Ponsonby Parish Council Minutes - November 2014

  • Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held at 7.00pm in Calderbridge Village Hall on 11 th November 2014.


    Present: Mr R Stewart, Mr P Stanley, Mr A Rigg, DA Polhill (Clerk)


    74/14Apologies: Mr R Jones, Mr R Munro. Declarations of Interest. None.


    74/14Minutes of the previous meeting. These were approved.


    76/14 A ctions and Matters arisingfrom the Minutes.

    Traffic Plan. Although there had been no further correspondence from Mr Melville it had been confirmed by Mr Clarkson that the construction of a roundabout at the A595/ Fell Road junction was being considered by the Area Committee.

    Flooding . The Clerk had written to Mr Melville noting the improvements made to reduce flooding in the Square and at Ponsonby Lane End. Problems still persisted on the Fell Road which affected the garage forecourt and the Church. Mr Stanley said that the build-up of leaves in the Ponsonby Lane grids still caused problems.

    Police Reports . The Clerk said that following a request to PC Burgess more detailed information on recent incidents was now available. During the period 16 incidents in the Gosforth /Ponsonby area were reported: 3 involving road traffic including a minor collision; 4 road associated incidents (stray sheep, stray dogs, fallen tree and flooding near 7 – Acres); 3 incidents of theft (Sheep near Wasdale, 2 separate thefts from garden sheds in Gosforth); 2 domestic assaults; 2 Mountain Rescue call outs; 1 concern for someone’s welfare; and 1 complaint ref fireworks.

    Church House Farm Wind Turbines . The Chairman said that Airvolution had recently deposited additional information with Copeland BC which contested the risks highlighted by the Parish Council as part of its objection. (See also Item 77/14 below.


    77/14 Parish Council Representation Reports

    Sellafield Site Stakeholders Group – SSSG. The Chairman attended in lieu of Mr Jones who was on holiday. He took the opportunity to raise the matter of the Church House Farm wind turbine planning application. The Chairmanopened his question by quoting “Nuclear Safety is Our Overriding Priority” which appears on virtually all documentation and promotion by the various Sellafield site organisations and from the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR). He then went on to say:  

    Ponsonby Parish Council is perturbed with the one-line response from ONR to the planning application for the development of two 110 metre high wind turbines within the 2 Km Evacuation Zone overlooking the Sellafield site and its decision not to oppose the development.

    The Parish Council conducted a poll within the parish of all householders on a yes/no basis and the results (from a > 50% return) in an independently monitored count, showed that

    > 80% said NO. Safety was a major issue in comments fed back.

    The application states that in fault conditions large fragments from a turbine blade can impact on a wide range of buildings on the Sellafield site. It accepts that the probability is low but there is a risk. The Parish Council has examined a worldwide survey of all accidents involving wind turbines over a period of 10 years. The results suggest strongly that the perceived risks to the Sellafield site by the developer and presumably ONR are seriously being underestimated. The proposal by the developer to defer resolution on the Safety Impacts to the site, Transport Assessment and potential effects on the National Grid until after planning permission is approved is totally unacceptable.

    Ponsonby PC has been fully supported in its objections by the neighbouring Parish Councils, all of which are strong supporters of the nuclear industry, but once more feel disappointed with the lack of consultation/ consideration over such a controversial development, not only in the interests of safety issues but also those of security, bearing in mind the high security alert in operation at the site.


    Note: Since the meeting Mr Jones has written directly to ONR inviting them to meet the Parish Council to discuss the matter.


    The Chairman also raised the matter of communications with NDA. On 11 th July the Parish Council (and Gosforth PC) had jointly received from the Chief Executive a promise that a senior manager would make time to discuss the various issues with which the PC’s were concerned. On 24 th August The Clerk reminded the Chief Executive that no communication had been received, and two days later received a phone call from an NDA officer who said that a meeting would be arranged. To date there has been no further contact.


    78/14 Correspondence .

    a) CCC Budget . It was considered that County Councillors should make these decisions. The Clerk would write to Mr Clarkson accordingly highlighting any cuts in services which would differentially have the greatest effects on rural communities.

    b) Banking arrangements. As HSBC was to close the Gosforth branch and any business would have to be transacted at Whitehaven The Clerk had been assessing the options which included transferring the council accounts to Natwest. This was ongoing.

    Note:The day after the meeting it was learnt that Natwest was closing the Seascale and Cleator Moor branches. The Egremont branch would remain open. All options would be reconsidered.

    c) Telephone Box. The Clerk read out a letter from the BT area manager which offered the Parish Council the option of adopting the box, an offer which if taken up would include a painting kit. If it was decided not to adopt the box any painting would be included in the current BT maintenance regime which could be up to up to two years.

    d) National Grid . It was agreed that a response would be made to the consultation.

    e) Planning .

    A planning application for extended parking at Pelham House for LLWR (????)

    - No objection.

    An application to reprofile the landscaping on the Sellafield site near to the CHP (4/14/9011) – No objection.


    79/14 Finance

    a) Payments requested:

    HMRC (PAYE) £9.40 Cheque No 100464

    Village Hall (Room Hire) £85.00 Cheque No 100466

    Robinsons & Co (PAYE Services) £30.00 Cheque No 100467

    b) Clerk’s salary and expenses. (15/10/2014 – 11/11/2014) £49.13 Cheque No 100465

    Were all approved.


    e) Budget 2015-16. It was agreed that the Chairman and The Clerk would produce a draft budget for consideration at the next meeting. The Clerk said that he had been informed by Copeland BC that the charges for running the 2015 parish elections would be £620.  

    Balance of accounts at 20 th October 2014 :- £14954.84


    Note: This sum has since been enhanced by £373.78 with the receipt of VAT refund from HMRC

    for the 2013 -14 financial year.

    80/14 Public Participation. No members of the public were present.


    81/14 Questions councillors may wish to raise.

    Mr Rigg – Reported that a severe pot-hole had developed near the bridge on the southbound side. He said he would report this via the Highways hotline.

    Mr Stewart – Said that complaints had been made about the amount of dog fouling along the Pelham House riverside footpath. He would ask LLWR if they would sanction the provision of a suitable receptacle.


    82/14 Date of next meeting . Tuesday 9 th December 2014

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