Unconfirmed minutes of the meeting of Gosforth Parish Council held on 8th February, 2023 at 7pm at Gosforth Library
Present: Chairman Mark Fussell, Vice Chair Rachel Unsworth, Councillors David Gray, Graham Hutson, Tyson Norman and Jackie Atkinson
Also present: Councillor Andy Pratt (Copeland & CALC), Jacqueline Williams (Clerk) and one member of the public
418/23 Apologies for Absence – none
419/23 Declarations of Interest – no declarations.
420/23 Minutes of the meeting held on 14th December 2022
All actions were either completed or in hand.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 14th December 2022, pages 169 to 172 be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
421/23 Public Participation
A member of the public requested WIFI be installed at the Public Hall to facilitate digital skills training activities.
422/23 County Councillor and District Councillors’ Reports
Cllr. Pratt reported that Copeland are preparing to handover to the new Cumberland Council. There will be localised committees with representatives from Parish Councils and eight area panels across Cumberland will replace district councils.
423/23 Planning Applications:
RESOLVED that the following applications have been considered and the Planning Authority be advised of the Council’s observations as follows:
7/2023/4002 Low Boonwood Farm, Gosforth – Roof over existing silage store – no objections.
A further application was received after the agenda had been circulated:
4/23/2022/0F1 Land to the South East of the Civil Nuclear Constabulary Training facility, Seascale – Dog training facility – no objections.
Decisions: – none.
Other planning matters: Haverigg House
RESOLVED that the Clerk write to the planning authority to enquire about the two caravans.
424/23 Financial Reports
The Clerk presented a Bank Reconciliation and noted various payments regarding the outdoor gym. Cllr. Unsworth explained that Platinum Live were managing media communications for the outdoor gym. Cllr. Hutson said the FLAG subscription help to inform and update on any issues with west coast rail service. The Clerk asked about an invoice that had been in dispute. Cllr. Gray agreed to request a revised invoice.
RESOLVED that the Bank Reconciliation to 31st January 2023 be received and noted.
RESOLVED that the schedule of payments be approved for payment.
Cllr. Fussell met with Sellafield last Friday and a formal communication is being released to advise that a local resident token system is to be introduced. Local residents can apply for tokens and only those with tokens will be able to use the minibus service from Gosforth. Contractors will no longer be able to use the Caldergate entrance and will have to use the Main Gate. Sellafield will be sending targeted communications to contractors and they are actively seeking an alternative location to replace the Greengarth site. Cllr. Fussell expects these conditions will be implemented before Easter. Cllr. Norman said that the Parish Council should be pro-active and suggested allocating two or three bays for ‘short-stay only’ parking. He said we could produce signage and asked Cllr. Fussell to request the loan of traffic cones from Sellafield.
The Clerk had not received a response from Copeland regarding Parking regulation orders. After a brief discussion Cllrs. requested the Clerk contact LDNPA to discuss potential car park management arrangements.
426/23 Car Park Maintenance
The Clerk said the company had not yet contacted her with a date for the re-lining. Cllr. Gray said that he had measured the width of the bays and they were slightly below current recommendations. Cllrs. agreed that we should put the relining on hold and Cllr. Gray agreed to do further research.
Cllr. Unsworth had obtained quotations from a plumber for the work to refurbish the disabled toilet and from a decorator for repainting the interior of the building. Other work to install aluminium wall guards below the hand dryers and to improve the ventilation could be carried out within budget.
RESOLVED that the quotations be approved and the work commenced.
427/23 Outdoor Gym
Cllr. Fussell commended Cllr. Unsworth for her work in organising the Outdoor Gym project, saying that it is already being well-used. Cllr. Unsworth said the defibrillator will be installed tomorrow and she has purchased 240 table-tennis bats and balls for distribution. She is planning an Open Day on Saturday 18th March between 10am and 12 noon, with free refreshments and Caloo will be sending three instructors. Cllr. Unsworth said that GDF will be attending, and she invited members of the Parish Council. Cllr. Unsworth is organising a playground inspection by Playdale and she is now turning her attention to phase 2 of the playground which could include reseeding the cricket pitch and a soakaway to prevent flooding. Cllr. Unsworth requested the Clerk to check insurance cover for the outdoor gym.
Cllr. Fussell recently had a meeting to explore options for repurposing the pavilion for use by the Scouts. They had concerns over storage, but this could be overcome by extending the building or installing another structure and discussions will continue. Cllr. Normal suggested a container. Cllr. Unsworth noted that floodlighting is already in place at the playing field.
428/23 Public Hall
The Clerk has submitted a funding application for an options appraisal on the Public Hall.
429/23 Geological Disposal Facility
Cllr. Pratt reported that the first £1m had been spent and a representative from the farming community has been recruited. The recent engagement day at Gosforth had been well-attended and more are planning with different specialists to focus on specific topics.
430/23 EV Charging
The Clerk had circulated an email from ‘char.gy’ offering EV charge points and had received further emails in answer to questions she and other Cllrs. had raised. Cllr. Pratt said that there were two schemes local authorities were involved with; Onstreet Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) and Local EV Infrastructure (LEVI). Char.gy provide the equipment and a fifteen-year guarantee. Cllrs. asked the clerk to set up a meeting.
The Clerk had met with Highways at the location and they had agreed to the installation. Highways promised to send a plan but it has not yet been received. Cllr. Gray said that the wording for a plaque needs to be agreed. Cllr. Fussell said he would photograph the bench at the bottom of Leagate and offer it for sponsorship.
The Clerk read out the dates of the code of conduct training sessions; 24th May 1.30 – 3pm, 19th June 7 – 8.30pm, 12th July 7 – 8.30pm. Cllrs. should select a date and let the Clerk know so she can book them in and confirm that everyone has booked a date.
433/23 Communications Strategy
Cllr. Fussell said that he posts on Facebook but this does not reach everyone. Tethera has become unreliable although the Clerk pointed out it does include a list of Cllrs. and contact details. Cllr. Hutson said he can submit short articles to the Parish Magazine. Cllr. Fussell had mocked up a newsletter which could be sent out periodically with news and information. It could be on the website and residents could register to receive it electronically. The Clerk will research a suitable design template.
Cllrs. Fussell and Hutson had attended a WCSSG Stakeholders meeting. The group has been split into Sellafield related and NW services, environmental health working group, emergency planning working group and enablers group. Cllr. Atkinson said she could attend meetings on Mondays and Fridays.
All other meetings have been included in the minutes under other items.
435/23 Councillor Administration/Recruitment
Cllr. Pratt said that the number of Councillors could be reduced in an election year. There was a short discussion regarding the number required for a meeting to be quorate.
RESOLVED that the Clerk contact CALC for clarity.
436/23 Councillor Matters
Cllr. Hutson said the hedge by the sub-station at Denton Park is overgrown.
437/23 Items in Camera
Items in camera are dealt with in private in accordance with The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960.
The Land Registry is progressing the application and have notified that a visit from a surveyor is necessary and a key has been obtained.
438/23 Date of Next Meeting
The meeting closed at 9pm. The next meeting of Gosforth Parish Council will take place on 8th March 2023 at 7pm at Gosforth Library.