Gosforth Parish Council meeting held on Wednesday 11th October 2023
Present: Mark Fussell (Chairperson), Rachel Unsworth (Vice Chair), Councillors David Gray, Jackie Atkinson, John Owens, Tyson Norman and Graham Hutson
Also Present: Councillor David Moore (Cumberland) and Jacqueline Williams (Clerk)
561/23 Apologies for Absence – All present
562/23 Declarations of Interest – none declared
563/23 Minutes of the meeting held on 20th September 2023
Cllrs. noted that all actions had been completed apart from the letter to the resident regarding parking behind the public hall.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the last Parish Council Meeting held on 20th September 2023, pages 194 to 196 be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
564/23 Public Participation – no public in attendance
565/23 Cumberland Councillor Report
Cllr. Moore reported on the South Cumberland Community Panel and is inviting Parishes to send representatives to attend one of the meetings to feed into their consultation on priorities. There is funding available, but it can only be spent on projects within the priorities. The focus has been on health and wellbeing, but connectivity is likely to be more of an issue. Cllr. Hutson suggested we concentrate on projects not covered by GDF funding.
Cllr. Moore reported that the yellow lines, which were removed when road repairs were carried out, will be replaced shortly. The streetlight near the bus shelter will not now be replaced as there is another light within 10 yards. A notice has been served on a landowner to maintain the drains around an area of road between coffin corner and Brown bank to prevent flooding.
566/23 Planning Applications:
RESOLVED that the following applications have been considered and the Planning Authority be advised of the Council’s observations as follows:
4/23/2281/0N1 Broom How, Hallsenna – Roof over existing – no objections
Planning Decisions: – none
Other planning matters:
4/23/9005 Sellafield, Seascale – Box Encapsulation Product Store 2 (BEPPS2) which was delivered after the agenda had been circulated. Cllr. Fussell declared an interest. Cllr. Norman expressed his concerns regarding the size of the building and there was a discussion on whether it would be visible. Cllr. Norman was also concerned about the management of traffic from the site. Cllr. Hutson said that it was in the interests of everybody in the area that storage was safe and secure.
RESOLVED that the Clerk respond, no objections in principle, and comment on reassurance on traffic management and preferably use of rail to transport waste and materials.
567/23 Financial Reports
The Clerk presented a bank reconciliation to 31st September 2023 and Budget Reports. The Clerk had circulated the External Auditors report and noted that she should have ticked the correct box in relation to the Parish Council being the sole trustee of the Public Hall. income including the balance of the outdoor gym grant and the public hall options appraisal grant.
RESOLVED that the Bank Reconciliation to 31st September 2023 be received and noted.
The Clerk presented the schedule of payments for approval and noted the increased cost of the external auditor. Clerk to write for clarification.
RESOLVED that the schedule of payments be approved for payment following a satisfactory response from the auditors.
568/23 Car Park/Toilet Maintenance
The Clerk has submitted the form for the asset transfer.
The Clerk had received a quotation for a deep clean of the floor and urinal £880. After a short discussion it was decided that the urinal needed repairing and Cllr. Unsworth offered to contact a plumber.
Cllr. Atkinson noted that the trees around the car park still needed to be cut back. Cllr. Moore suggested a contact.
The Clerk said the roof of the toilet block was covered in moss which was getting into the gutters and facia boards. Cllr. Unsworth offered to research possible contractors.
569/23 Playground/Outdoor Gym
Cllr. Unsworth reported that a grant offer has been received for works to the playground.
Cllr. Fussell said the Scouts were keen to start using the pavilion with some modifications and they had produced a document detailing the project. A full stakeholder meeting needs to be arranged to engage all current and potential future users. Cllr. Gray said that the existing building was originally for the Rugby Club and now only the football club uses it occasionally.
570/23 Public Hall
The Clerk said that the options appraisal was nearly complete, and the surveys had identified some major remedial works that need to be done. The next phase of the project is the detailed design which will have to go out to tender. Cllr. Atkinson offered to work on the tender with the Clerk.
571/23 NDA Properties
Cllr. Norman went through a list of properties that were being demolished or were empty and said that the NDA, as local landowners, were doing a very poor job.
572/23 Connecting Communities
Cllr. Norman said there was no safe way to get to and from Calderbridge and Ponsonby without a car and they are talking to the community about a path or cycleway and there is a similar situation between New Mill and Gosforth. Cllr. Atkinson queried whether this was expected in a rural area. Cllr. Gray pointed out that New Mill was half in Gosforth parish and there should be a feasibility study.
573/23 Correspondence & Communications
Cllr. Atkinson noted correspondence regarding 80th anniversary of D. Day and asked if we were going to light a Beacon. Cllrs. agreed that other areas were more suitable.
Cllr. Fussell said that there was a public meeting at the school to discuss joining a multi-academy trust but there had not been enough support, so the consultation has been closed.
Cllr. Hutson had attended a meeting of the reformed WCSSG which has been split to concentrate on NWS and Sellafield. The key points were that the number of containers sent to the LLW Repository over the last few years has reduced from 400 to 40 due mainly to better sorting and recycling at the consigners. The capping of the trenches and eventually the vaults is being advanced by a well-engineered procedure, starting with the Trenches. NWS are actively investigating the consigning of suitable ILW currently scheduled for the GDF to near surface disposal on existing land owned by the NDA. Cllrs. Hutson and Owens agreed ‘near surface’ could be as deep as 90-100 metres.
Cllr. Fussell had attended a meeting with Copeland Community Fund. The Clerk and Cllr. Moore were also in attendance. Cllr. Moore had pressed for the funding for the parishes which must be spent within 2.5 years. Cllr. Fussell said there were plenty of projects, but we need to decide what to spend it on. Cllr. Moore suggested applying for GDF funding for a community-led plan. Cllr. Owens said that Mott MacDonald has funding and/or may be able to facilitate a session. Cllr. Owens offered to draw up a schedule of priorities. The Clerk to put Funding on the agenda for the next meeting.
575/23 Councillor Administration
Cllr. Fussell said he would be stepping down at Christmas. Cllr. Hutson said his wife is interested in becoming a Councillors. Cllrs. suggested she attend a couple of meetings first.
576/23 Councillor Matters
Cllr. Atkinson is booked on a Code of Conduct course.
Cllr. Hutson asked the Clerk to send the course dates.
577/23 Items in Camera
Items in camera are dealt with in private in accordance with The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960.
The Clerk contacted CALC regarding procurement and is booked on a training course on 12th October.
Due to time constraints, it was agreed to put this item on the agenda for the next meeting and the Clerk is to circulate the list of options prior to the meeting.
578/23 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of Gosforth Parish Council was scheduled for 8th November but has subsequently been changed to 15th November 2023 at 7pm at Gosforth Library.
The meeting closed at 9pm.