Minutes – 13th December 2023

Minutes Uploaded on December 19, 2023

Minutes of the Meeting of Gosforth Parish Council held on Wednesday 13th December 2023 at Gosforth Library at 7pm

Councillors present: Mark Fussell (Chairman), Rachel Unsworth (Vice-Chair), Cllrs. Tyson Norman, Graham Hutson, David Gray, Elizabeth Hutson, John Owens, Jackie Atkinson

Also present: Cllr. David Moore (Cumberland), Jacqueline Williams (Clerk) and one member of the public.

598/23 Apologies for Absence – none.

599/23 Declarations of Interest – none declared.

600/23 Minutes of the meeting held on 15th November 2023

RESOLVED that the minutes of the last Parish Council Meeting held on 15th November 2023, pages 200 to 202 be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman proposed by Cllr. Gray and seconded by Cllr. Unsworth.

601/23 Public Participation

A member of the public raised concerns over the state of a popular bridleway. It had been reported to LDNPA but no response had been received. Cllrs. discussed the status of the road which as a private road was the responsibility of the landowner. However, it is also a bridleway and Cllrs. agreed that the Clerk should contact LDNP.

A member of the public reported dog-fouling and requested larger or more dog bins. Cllrs. were aware of four dog bins in the village. The Clerk to contact Cumberland Council.

602/23  Cumberland Councillor Report

Cllr. Moore reported that Cumberland Council have secured £14.5million under the Levelling Up scheme which will be used for improvements to sections of the A595 between Calderbridge and Millom. Work will commence in March or April and must be completed before April 2025. All work will be undertaken overnight from 8pm. There will be some road closures but access for emergency vehicles will be maintained.

Cllr. Fussell raised the faded yellow lines outside the school which he has reported it several times and was told there was ‘no action’ against it. Cllr. Fussell said that the safety of children should be a priority. Cllr. Moore agreed to check.

Cllr. E. Hutson raised the issue of parking at the entrance to Denton Park and requested markings to provide a passing place. Cllr. Moore explained that lines are inexpensive, but the traffic order required for new markings was very expensive. Cllrs. Unsworth and Owens said they were working on a long-term solution, but it would take time.

603/23 Planning Applications:


RESOLVED that the following applications have been considered and the Planning Authority be advised of the Council’s observations as follows:

7/2023/4101 Binchester, Ellerslie Park, Gosforth – Front and rear extensions and internal alterations – No objections

4/23/2229 Fleming Hall, Gosforth – Infill of covered farmyard (resubmission of 4/23/2295) – Support – Cllrs. noted that the resubmission was due to some confusion over the route of a public footpath. Cllr. Norman said it was important that we obtain a definitive map as the digitised version does not agree with the OS map.

4/23/2330 Broom How, Hallsenna – roofing over two cattle yards – Support

Planning Decisions:

7/23/4086 Former stables and gymnasium on Eastern side of Harecroft Hall – Change of use for the conversion to a 5 bedroomed family home for local occupancy – Granted with conditions.

Other planning matters: – None.

604/23 Financial Reports

The Clerk presented a bank reconciliation and noted a payment for a repair to the roof of the Public Hall which she has deducted from their annual grant.

RESOLVED that the Bank Reconciliation to 30th November 2023 be received and noted.

RESOLVED that the schedule of payments be approved for payment.

605/23 Geological Disposal Facility

Cllr. Fussell said that Cllr. Atkinson will be his successor on the GDF Community Partnership and Cllr. Atkinson confirmed that arrangements have been made for an initial meeting on 22nd January.

Cllr. Fussell reported that members of the partnership had visited a site in Finland. They received a lot of technical information but not much on community engagement. A letter had been received from Nuclear-free Local Authorities asking if we are intending to carry out a local opinion survey.

RESOLVED: That the Clerk respond advising we are fully engaged in the process and that the Parish Council considers it too early for a postal survey whilst community consultation and education is being carried out.

Cllr. Fussell said that the next drop-in at Gosforth Public Hall will take place on 29th February at the Public Hall. A total of 55 grants have been awarded and in year 3 £125K has already been committed. Cllr. Moore said that LLWR grants allocation has been increased to £85K and organisations within a 30-mile radius can apply.

606/23 Car Park &Toilets

Cllr. Atkinson said that a survey of the trees at the car park had been carried and the work will be carried out early next year when the new line Manager is appointed.

Cllr. agreed that the response to our asset transfer application had been disappointing. Cllrs. agreed to discuss forward strategy at the next meeting. Cllr. Gray circulated copies of a report he had prepared on the Car Park spacing, including photos and a plan, for discussion at the next meeting.

607/23 Playground & Pavilion

Cllr. Unsworth reported that the grant offer has been received.

RESOLVED: That Cllr. Unsworth and the Clerk sign the grant acceptance document and Cllr. Unsworth can proceed with ordering the equipment once funds are received.

Cllrs. Unsworth and Owens had met with stakeholders at the Pavilion to discuss requirements for the various groups. A working document had been produced outlining the project to convert the Pavilion to a multi-use facility for groups including the football clubs, Brownies, Scouts, and Beavers. The document is being updated following the meeting and will be circulated. An alternative to the Scout Hut, may provide an opportunity for the potential to use of the land for school staff car parking. Cllr. Fussell has emailed Sellafield regarding the continued use of the playing field car park.

608/23 NDA Properties

Cllr. Norman to update at the next meeting. 

609/23 Connecting Communities

Cllr. Norman to update at the next meeting.

610/23 Funding

Cllr. Atkinson and the Clerk have applied to the South Cumberland Community Panel for 20% of the costs for the detailed design phase of the Public Hall refurbishment project. The application will be considered on 10th January. An application for the balance will be submitted in early January for consideration by the GDF grants panel on February 5th.                                                    

611/23 Correspondence & Communications

An email regarding a layby in Wellington had been received. The Clerk has responded asking for confirmation of the location and a photograph.

612/23 Meetings

Cllrs. Atkinson, Owens, and the Clerk had a meeting with the Grants Manager and four members of the panel to discuss potential funding for the Public Hall project.

613/23 Councillor Administration

A discussion took place regarding a new Chair as Cllr. Fussell is stepping down. The Clerk pointed out that standing orders 3m and 5f say that the Vice Chair should Chair the meetings in the absence of the Chairman.

614/23 Items in Camera

Items in camera are dealt with in private in accordance with The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960.

Gravel Pit

Cllrs. discussed the current lease and proposed a small increase to the rent over the next two years. Cllr. Norman to discuss with tenant.

Pay Agreement 2023

The Finance Committee have agreed to raise the Clerk’s pay scale to SCP 19 after consideration of the Council Profile document provided on CALC’s website.

615/23 Date of Next Meeting

Due to vacations, it was agreed that the next meeting of Gosforth Parish Council will take place on 7th February 2024 at 7pm at Gosforth Library.

The meeting closed at 9pm.