Parish Council Minutes - July 2008

  • Minutes of meeting held 9th July 2008 in the Supper Room Gosforth Public Hall - 7.00pm

    Present : Mr McKinley (Chairman); Dr Hutson; Messrs. Bailey, Gray, Jacob, Newbold, Wright.

    1. Apologies: Mr Norman, Mr Ancell (both Business commitments), Mrs Balmer, Mrs Pennington (Holiday).

    2. Declarations of interest. None

    3. Chairman's opening remarks. The Chairman apologised for the late distribution of the agendas (due to a computer glitch) and welcomed Dr Hutson to an unaccustomed seat. He suggested that it would be more convenient to take Main Business items b),c) and d) before items a) and e).

    4. Minutes of the previous meeting held on 11th June 2008. These were approved (Proposed Mr Jacob, seconded Mr Wright)

    5. Actions arising from the minutes.

    1. Investigate funds in High School charity. Action – The Clerk Action ongoing.

    2. Write to Copeland BC legal dept. ref enforcement of parking. Action – The Clerk Action complete – a reply had been received from Mr Murphy which actioned Mr Parker.

    3. Raise issue of visibility of exit from Public Hall with P/Hall committee. Action – Mr Jacob Action complete - Mr Jacob said that he was intending to cut the foliage back in the next day or so.

    4. Arrange meeting with K Parker ref transfer of carpark. Action – The Clerk Action complete – The Clerk and the Chairman would arrange to meet Mr Parker.

    5. Provide copies of P/Hall AGM and subsequent meeting minutes. Action – Mr Jacob Action ongoing.

    6. Follow up with Copeland BC issue of Smoking Shelter. Action – The Clerk Action ongoing.

    7. Inspect council safe contents. Action – Mr Jacob & The Clerk Action ongoing.

    8. Discuss with Playing Fields committee the retirement of Mrs McDowell. Action ongoing. Action – Mr Norman

    9. Provide an update on electricity payments for P/Hall. Action – The Clerk Action complete.

    10. Pay Ό of costs of desk-top survey for burial ground and write appropriate letter to PCC. Action – The Clerk Action compete.

    11. Copy list of topics from Rural Services Network weekly digest to all councillors. Action – The Clerk Action complete. NOTE: The web-site address is :

    12. Prepare initial response to LDF document. Action – Mr McKinley, The Clerk Action complete – See Item 7a) below.

    13. Contact LDNPA ref trees at Harecroft Hall. Action – The Clerk Action ongoing – As there had been no response from the Tree Preservation Officer, The Clerk had sought assistance from Mr Sutcliffe.

    14. Contact Postwatch ref. Post Office closure. Action – The Clerk Action complete – See Item 7b) below.

    6. Financial Matters. The monthly financial statement was approved. (Proposed Mr Gray, seconded Mr Jacob).

    7. Main Business.

    a) Local Development Framework. The Chairman said that he and The Clerk had prepared an initial response but the document was so important for the future of all National Park parishes that he felt that others should be given the opportunity to contribute. Accordingly copies were circulated and individuals asked to feed any comments back to The Clerk as a matter of urgency. Primarily Dr Hutson would comment on Transport Issues & Nuclear Waste, Mr Wright on Minerals & Waste, Mr Gray on Nuclear Matters and Waste, Mr Newbold & Mr Bailey on Tourism. Mr Ancell and Mrs Balmer would also be asked for their input regarding Tourism/ Sustainability. Further information could be gained from the LDNPA web-site ( Members were asked to make any comments AS SOON AS POSSIBLE but NO LATER THAN 21st JULY directly to The Clerk for inclusion within the initial response.

    b) Post Office closure. The Clerk said that the decision to close the Post Office had been finalised and queried whether an application for an OUTREACH service should be sought on the basis that any service was better than none. This was agreed and he was asked to contact Mr Woollas (Seascale postmaster) and Post Office Ltd. for further information.

    c) Potential loss of Phone Boxes. The Clerk said that Copeland BC were seeking views regarding the proposal to remove the telephone box at Wellington. There was general agreement that the service was not essential to residents but could be valuable for visitors or others in an emergency. A response was conditional on the availability of mobile phone coverage and Mr Jacob volunteered to check out which networks functioned in the Wellington area.

    d) Potential changes to Seascale Surgery (The Clerk) The council were appalled by the proposal and the possible knock-on effects – potentially the loss of the Dispensary, 1.5 Doctors and the practice itself threatened. It was agreed to invite Dr Walker to the next meeting for further information and discussion. The issue would also be raised at the next 5-Rivers Group meeting.

    e) Government White Paper on Radio-active Waste Disposal. The Chairman introduced the subject stating that: a. The purpose of the discussion was NOT for the council to take a decision at this time. b. Any decision on whether or not a Disposal Facility should be based in the Gosforth area (ie Gosforth be a Host Community) should in his opinion be made by the parishioners of Gosforth eg. by a local referendum. However, to make an informed decision, it was essential that all relevant information should be made available. In order to obtain this information – the first step in the engagement process - it was necessary to make a ‘without commitment’ Expression of Interest. c. 70% of the nation’s ILW and HLW was present on our doorstep. There was no long-term above-surface storage anywhere in the world – it was all sub-surface. This White Paper did not necessarily mean that Gosforth was a selected or even a desired area for a disposal facility but it did mean that at last the Government was making a long overdue move towards dealing with the issue and it could mean that there was a likelihood of some involvement of Gosforth. The Chairman then sought views on the paper from those present, which included issues such as proactive involvement in the selection process, retrievability of the waste, benefits packages, the transparency of the safety case and the misleading information being broadcast by Copeland BC. Specifically Mr Wright said that, bearing in mind the past experience with NIREX, at this moment in time he personally could not support any decision to be a Host Community, but that if at a future date it was the wish of the Parish to do so, he would work with the council to seek the best outcome on its behalf. The Chairman said that in many areas the White Paper lacked clarity and expressed concern about several stages in the engagement process, in particular the Decision to Participate and the Right of Withdrawal. He also had serious concerns regarding Community Siting Partnerships and Community Benefits Packages – such concerns, that he advised against making any hasty decision to register an Expression of Interest. Accordingly it was agreed that he would draft a letter with The Clerk to seek more assurance and clarification from Government about 3 main areas – Participation – where it appeared that Host Communities would not have equality in representation or access to any funding until far too late in the process; any Benefits Package – and the delay in making any funds available; the Rights of Withdrawal from any scheme - which was ambiguously described. Until that information was received the council would not make any decision on progressing further, although the matter was likely to arise at the next 5-Rivers Group meeting. The draft letter would be circulated to all councillors for comment before being despatched.

    8. Planning Matters

    a) Gosforth Hall Hotel – New Accommodation Block. Mr Newbold declared an interest. After a short discussion it was agreed that there were no objections.

    b) The Clerk reported that LDNPA had approved developments at 2 Boonwood Lane (2 storey extension) and 3 Denton Park (replacement of existing extension).

    c) Correspondence had also been received regarding the re-roofing of an agricultural store at Parknook.

    d) In response to a question from Mr Gray The Clerk said there had been no further correspondence from LDNPA regarding development at Fell View.

    9. Correspondence.

    1. Clerk Magazine. To be passed to the Chairman.

    2. LD Local Access Forum – Annual Report. Mr Wright to circulate as necessary.

    3. Seascale Health Practice – Letter ref potential closure of the Dispensary at the Seascale Clinic. See Item 7d) above.

    4. Cumbria Highways – Response to site meeting (Street Lighting issues). Agreed to write to Mr Clarkson to exert pressure on the Area Committee to provide funding for the necessary improvements.

    5. Bleasdales – Invoice for producing the new pavilion lease. Noted and The Clerk was authorised to settle the account.

    6. Neighbourhood Forum. The meeting had taken place on the previous Monday. Those members present disagreed with much of what the Leader of Copeland BC had to say about hosting a deep Geological Disposal Facility for nuclear waste. The Parish Council would be making its position clear. See also Item 7e) above.

    7. Cumbria CC – Changes to X6 bus service from 1st Sept 2008. Noted.

    8. Local Council Review – Magazine. Mr McKinley.

    9. Cumbria Highways – Response to site meeting (Traffic management issues). Noted.

    10. CRUG newsletter. Dr Hutson to circulate as necessary.

    11. LDNPA – Planning permission approvals. Noted above in Item 8b).

    12. Gosforth P/Hall – Loss of Treasurer.

    13. Cumbria Highways – Closure of A595 S from 30th June. All councillors informed by e-mail.

    14. Police Forum – Meeting 8th July. Clerk could not attend due to clash with PC meeting.

    15. Cumbria Highways – Highway Stewards meeting 15th July. The Clerk said there was no point in him attending as the steward for our area had not yet been appointed. In response to Mr Bailey he said that the Steward who had been seen working in Irton was from the adjacent area.

    16. Cumbria NHS – Consultation on Mental Health Services. The Chairman. would circulate the document to enable a response to be made.

    17. Cumbria Police Authority – Recruitment of Independent members. Noted.

    18. Cumbria PCT – Response to ‘Closer to Home’ consultation. Copied to all councillors. Copy to be put in the Library.

    19. Police Report. There had been 7 incidents in the period – 1 RTA and 7 minor miscellaneous events.

    20. Copeland BC – Response from Mr Murphy ref. enforcement. He had passed the request on to Mr Parker for action.

    21. Copeland BC – Consultation on removal of telephone boxes. See Item 7c) above.

    22. Copeland Bc – Information on Summer activities for children. To be put in the Library.

    23. Planning Inspector – Report on dismissal of appeal ref. development at High Boonwood. Passed on to Mr Norman.

    10 Public Participation. There were no members of the public present at this point.

    11 Matters Councillors wish to raise.

    Mr Bailey – Referred to the tatty state of the road verges in the vicinity of the 30 mph signs at Leagate. The Clerk said he would raise this with Copeland BC grass-cutting team.

    Dr Hutson - Reported that there was a dead tree overhanging the road on the carpark. The Clerk said that he had already reported this to Copeland BC earlier in the year. They had sent someone out to confirm that it was dead but had done nothing since. Mr Jacob said that he had sent photographs of said tree to Mr Parker for action.

    Mr Newbold – Said that he was discussing with local traders ways and means of substantially reducing the number of plastic bags used within the village. There was to date good support and he would update the council as the scheme progressed. He also reported that rubble and waste had been dumped alongside the footpath between the 2 Bleng bridges. The Clerk said he would report this to the NP Ranger. He would also contact the County Rights of Way Warden regarding the locked gate on the bridleway near Silverdale Farm.

    12 Representatives Reports.

    Dr Hutson – Reported on the latest meeting of the WCSSG and tabled a press release. He would e-mail The Clerk an electronic copy for onward distribution to members.

    Mr Gray – Reported that Sustrans had recently appointed a new area officer to handle projects more locally. This should enable more rapid progress to be made on the Seascale – Gosforth Greenway. He also reported on Community Plan progress where the group had been advised to seek preliminary information before launching a questionnaire. To this effect the School had recently participated and he would distribute copies of the summary. Members were asked to assist in the distribution of an associated newsletter which had been prepared, when this was printed. The Clerk said he would provide the distribution lists used previously for the Housing Survey.

    The Clerk - Reported on the CALC (Copeland District) meeting. Topics dealt with were Telephone Box closures, lack of progress on Parish boundary changes (including Whitehaven), Highways Stewards – slow progress, and the White Paper on Nuclear Waste Disposal.

    13 In Camera None There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.43pm.

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