Minutes – 14 December 2022

Minutes Uploaded on December 29, 2022

Minutes of the meeting of Gosforth Parish Council held on 14th December 2022 at 7pm at Gosforth Library

Present: Mark Fussell (Chairperson), Rachel Unsworth (Vice Chair), Cllrs. Tyson Norman and Jackie Atkinson

Also present: Jacqueline Williams (Clerk) and one member of the public

398/22 Apologies for Absence

Apologies have been received from Cllr. Hutson due to vacation and from Cllr. Gray due to poor weather conditions. Both apologies were approved.

399/22 Declarations of Interest – no declarations.

400/22 Minutes of the meeting held on 9th November 2022

Cllr. Atkinson reported that the flower bed near the garage wall at the car park has been adopted by the Scouts and that she will be approaching U3A and WI for other areas.

Cllr. Norman was still concerned over the interpretation of the boundary map by Copeland planning department. The Clerk will check the maps on file.

The Clerk said she had misunderstood the arrangements for the Code of Conduct training which would be a virtual session rather than face-to-face.                                                         

Cllr. Gray has arranged to meet the resident regarding the Beech Tree on Friday.

All other actions have been completed.

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 9th November 2022, pages 165 to 168 be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

401/22 Public Participation – none.

402/22  County Councillor and District Councillors’ Reports – none.

403/22 Planning Applications:


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

4/22/2467/0F1 Sellafield – Demolition of the control rod mechanism workshop – no objections.

Three applications were received after the agenda had been circulated:

4/22/2473/0F1 Sellafield – retention of temporary welfare/office building and erection of an additional modular building for a temporary period until 2032. Cllrs agreed that this would not impact Gosforth residents.

4/22/2471/0F1 Fleming Hall, Gosforth – roof over existing silage clamp – no objections.

4/22/2472/0F1 Fleming Hall, Gosforth – roof over existing silage clamp – no objections.

Decisions: – none.

Other planning matters: – none.

404/22 Financial Reports

The Clerk presented a Bank Reconciliation and noted the receipt of a VAT refund.

RESOLVED that the Bank Reconciliation to 30th November 2022 be received and noted.

RESOLVED that the schedule of payments be approved for payment.

405/22 Parking

Cllr. Fussell had met with Sellafield’s head of transport and logistics on Monday along with the owner of Gosforth Bakery as a representative of local businesses. Although usually quiet on Mondays, they had witnessed a lot of activity. Cllr. Fussell said they had a frank discussion and he had pointed out that current communications create the impression that Gosforth is a park and ride. Cllr. Atkinson noted they had recently changed it to ‘residents only’. Cllr. Fussell said that comms targeted to contractors will be sent out and that Sellafield is actively seeking offsite parking.

406/22 Car Park Maintenance

The Clerk has contacted the company they will phone her in January to arrange a date for the relining. Cllr. Unsworth said that she had discussed the toilets with RWM who said they are not able to fund a refurbishment until we own them. After a brief discussion, it was decided to go ahead with improvements to the disabled toilet, redecoration and other minor improvements. Cllr. Unsworth offered to get quotes. The Clerk will send details a specialist company.

407/22 Outdoor Gym

Cllr. Unsworth said that the grant contract has been signed and work will commence mid-January.

408/22 Public Hall

The funding application for the refurbishment of the public hall has been withdrawn and a new application for an Options Appraisal will be submitted. The grants manager has suggested the application be made in the name of the Parish Council as the Trustees of the public hall. Cllrs. agreed.

RESOLVED that the Parish Council apply for a grant for the first phase of a project to refurbish the public hall.

Cllr. Fussell said a meeting has been arranged to discuss the provision of village halls which could alleviate the parking situation at the school and encourage more use of the pavilion.

409/22 Geological Disposal Facility

Cllr. Fussell said the second public meeting had been cancelled and will now take place in January. The community partnerships are still recruiting members and recent communications show mid-Copeland are more in favour of a GDF. More engagement and communications are planned for next year.

410/22 Gravel Pit

Cllr. Gray had sent a note indicating some progress at the Land Registry. Cllr. Gray asked if the Knotweed had been treated and reported that the notice on the gate appears to have fallen off.

411/22 Benches

Cllr. Gray contacted Highways to ask if they wanted to comment on the installation of a bench at the entrance to Ellerslie Close. They have not responded but Cllr. Gray has spoken to our County Councillor. Cllr. Gray suggests, if the PC wishes it can start the initial work by establishing the cost of the bench and the cost of the base installation.

Cllr. Fussell said it was good to see progress with the bench at the top of Leagate. Cllrs. discussed the bench at the bottom of Leagate and decided to offer it for adoption. Cllr. Fussell said he would photograph the bench.

Cllrs. discussed publications as articles submitted to Tethera often do not get included.

RESOLVED that ‘PC Communications Strategy’ be included on the next agenda.

412/22 Communications & Correspondence

The Parish Council received an email from an exercise instructor who uses the Public Hall. She reported that three youths had entered the hall saying they needed to use the toilet, but they proceeded to wander around and were confrontational when asked to leave. Later it was discovered they had left a tap running full on which had flooded the floor. There had also been graffiti behind the public toilets and both incidents have been reported to the Police. Cllr. Fussell agreed to draft a message for a Facebook post.

The Parish Council had received an email from residents offering to donate a metal poppy to be installed at the War Memorial. The couple had previously consulted the British Red Cross who were happy for this to happen. Cllr. Norman suggested installation a memorial plaque next to the poppy to commemorate the reign of our late Queen Elizabeth II. All agreed.

RESOLVED that the Clerk write to the couple to accept their kind donation.

413/22 Meetings

As well as the parking meeting, Cllr. Fussell had attended a GDF meeting and a Sellafield Environmental Sub-group meeting where the annual report on discharges was discussed. It was reassuring to hear that the discharges were very low. Cllr. Hutson attended an Enablers group meeting, and they are looking at the structure of the group due to operational changes.

Cllr. Unsworth reported that only one resident had attended the last Warm & Well session, but this may be due to the icy weather.

414/22 Councillor Administration/Recruitment

415/22 Councillor Matters

Cllr. Norman obtained and installed a Christmas Tree and four bags of salt which he used on the paths around the car park.

Cllr. Norman had noticed two caravans which had appeared in the grounds of Haverigg House.

RESOLVED that this item be included on the next agenda.

416/22 Items in Camera

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

417/22 Date of Next Meeting

Cllrs. discussed whether to meet in January.

RESOLVED that the next meeting will take place on Wednesday 8th February 2022 at 7pm. The meeting closed at 8.30pm and a meeting of the Finance Committee commenced – see meeting note below.

Notes of the meeting of the Finance Committee held at 8.30pm on 14th December 2022

PRESENT: Cllrs. Fussell, Norman, Unsworth and Atkinson

Also present: Jacqueline Williams, Clerk & RFO

The Clerk had previously circulated a draft Budget for 2023/24 for discussion.

RESOLVED that the draft Budget be approved with the following amendments:

  1. That the reserves for elections remain at £1500 with no additional amount in 2023/24.
  2. That the provision for playground be reduced to £500 in 2023/24.
  3. That the cleaning contract fee be increased by 8% at commencement of a new contract.
  4. That a provision of £500 be included for a replacement laptop.

The Finance Committee requested that the Clerk contact Cllr. Hutson to enquire whether the FLAG subscription is still required and how it benefits the community.

The Finance Committee meeting closed at 9pm.