Minutes (unconfirmed) of the Meeting of Gosforth Parish Council held on Wednesday 15th November 2023 at Gosforth Library at 7pm
Present: Mark Fussell (Chairman), Rachel Unsworth (Vice-Chair), Councillors Jackie Atkinson, John Owens, Tyson Norman, Graham Hutson, David Gray
Also present: Jacqueline Williams (Clerk) and one member of the public
579/23 Apologies for Absence – none.
580/23 Declarations of Interest – none declared.
581/23 Minutes of the meeting held on 11th October 2023
Cllrs. noted that all actions had been completed. Cllr. Atkinson requested the Clerk contact Cumberland regarding the trees at the car park. RESOLVED that the minutes of the last Parish Council Meeting held on 11th October 2023, pages 197 to 199 be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman proposed by Cllr. Gray and seconded by Cllr. Unsworth.
582/23 Public Participation
A member of the public reported an overgrown hedge which is encroaching on a footpath. Cllr. Unsworth agreed to speak to the owner.
583/23 Cumberland Councillor Report – Cllr. Moore not present
584/23 Planning Applications:
RESOLVED that the following applications have been considered and the Planning Authority be advised of the Council’s observations as follows:
4/23/2290/0F1 Sellafield – Training facility to memorial garden – Support
4/23/2295/0F1 Fleming Hall, Gosforth – Infill of covered farmyard – No objections
7/2023/4086 Former Gym & Stables on eastern side of Harecroft Hall, Gosforth – conversion to a 5-bedroomed home for local occupancy – Object – potential impact on neighbouring properties, particularly on water supply and sewerage. Concerns were raised about the density of developments with the cumulative effect of previously approved application for three dwelling and a further application for another three bungalows.
None received. Cllrs. request the Clerk to check the website for weekly decisions.
Other planning matters: – None.
585/23 Financial Reports
The Clerk presented a bank reconciliation and noted the payment for the Public Hall Options Appraisal project and a bank charge related to it. RESOLVED that the Bank Reconciliation to 31st October 2023 be received and noted.
The Clerk presented the schedule of payments for approval and noted the 2023 Pay Agreement which had been circulated prior to the meeting. Cllr. Gray queried the current pay scale and requested the Clerk research whether this is appropriate.
RESOLVED that the schedule of payments be approved for payment.
A draft Budget for 2024-25 had been circulated. Cllr. Fussell suggested a Finance Committee meeting be arranged for 6.45pm on Wednesday 13th December.
Applications are invited for funding from the South Cumberland Community Panel which must be spent within 2.5 years. Copeland Community Fund will be administering the grants and offers support to applicants. Cllrs. discussed potential projects and the Clerk was asked to research ‘Changing Places’ toilets and/or initial design for the refurbishment/replacement of the public toilets.
587/23 Car Park/Toilet Maintenance
Cllr. Unsworth said she had been unable to contact a plumber.
Cllr. Atkinson has been cleaning leaves from the car park and will be pressure washing the pebble mosaic. An offer to remove the lower branches of an oak tree had been received in return for placing an advertisement. Councillors agreed this could go ahead.
588/23 Playground/Outdoor Gym
Cllr. Unsworth reported the formal grant offer has still not been received and she is aware that prices are due to rise in December.
589/23 Public Hall
Cllr. Atkinson had produced a draft tender document for the detailed design phase. The Clerk had sent it to nine architects but only one quotation had been received. The AGM for the Public Hall committee will take place tomorrow evening.
590/23 NDA Properties
Cllr. Norman said a further meeting to discuss NDA properties will take place in January and he is happy to continue to represent Gosforth Parish Council at these meetings.
591/23 Connecting Communities
Cllr. Norman provided an update on progress and will continue to keep the Parish Council informed.
592/23 Correspondence & Communications
The work on the bench at the bottom of Leagate has been completed and Moore’s emailed to say that the couple who have adopted the bench have offered to pay for the installation. Councillors welcomed this and requested the Clerk write to thank them. It was suggested that the adoption be publicised and Cllr. Unsworth agreed to discuss with the couple first.
Cllr. Fussell had attended the last GDF meeting and reported that the initial survey results were coming in and the geology looks promising. Feedback from questionnaires is similar to last year.
Cllr. Fussell was unable to attend the last WCSSG meeting but had a recording and there were no major issues.
594/23 Councillor Administration
As Cllr. Fussell is stepping down after the December meeting, Cllrs. discussed who would take up his current roles on WCSSG, GDF and Finance Committee. Cllr. Atkinson requested the dates of the GDF meetings and Cllr. Owens said he is willing to stand in if necessary. Cllr. Gray will join the Finance Committee.
Co-option of Elizabeth Hutson. Proposed by Cllr. Unsworth and seconded by Cllr. Fussell and carried unanimously. Elizabeth signed a Declaration of Acceptance of Office and was welcomed onto the Parish Council.
595/23 Councillor Matters
Cllr. Fussell said a meeting of all stakeholders regarding the pavilion is needed and he will send a list of contact email addresses to the Clerk for her to arrange a date.
596/23 Items in Camera
Items in camera are dealt with in private in accordance with The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960.
The Clerk had attended a training course on procurement and is satisfied that procurement methods used by the Parish Council meet with current legislation.
It was agreed to put this item on the agenda for the next meeting.
597/23 Date of Next Meeting
The next meeting of Gosforth Parish Council is scheduled for 13th December 2023 at 7pm at Gosforth Library.
The meeting closed at 9pm.