Minutes of the meeting of Gosforth Parish Council held on 8th March, 2023 at Gosforth Library
Present: Cllor. Mark Fussell (Chairperson), Cllr. Rachel Unsworth (Vice Chair), Cllrs. Tyson Norman, Graham Hutson, David Gray and Jackie Atkinson
Also present: Jacqueline Williams (Clerk/RFO) and four members of the public
439/23 Apologies for Absence – none
440/23 Declarations of Interest – no declarations.
441/23 Minutes of the meeting held on 8th February 2022
Cllr. Norman confirmed he had acquired some cones for the short-stay bays at the Car Park. Cllr. Fussell suggested we monitor as there has been some improvement. Cllr. Atkinson noted that minute 425/23 was incorrect; contractors vehicles would not be permitted to enter the Caldergate entrance but contractors could enter by other means.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 8th February 2023, pages 173 to 176 be amended and accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
442/23 Public Participation
Two members of the public attended to support the installation of WIFI at the Public Hall and were advised to approach the Public Hall committee. Two members of the public attended to support a planning application.
443/23 County Councillor and District Councillors’ Reports – none attended.
444/23 Planning Applications:
RESOLVED that the following applications have been considered and the Planning Authority be advised of the Council’s observations as follows:
4/23/2049/0F1 Ivy Cottage, Gosforth – extensions and alterations – Support
Decisions: – none.
Other planning matters:
4/22/9005 Sellafield – a detailed response had been received to address the issues raised.
Haverigg House – The Clerk has received a response and submitted a form.
445/23 Financial Reports
The Clerk presented a Bank Reconciliation and noted receipt of a VAT refund, honesty box income and receipt of rental. Various payments regarding the outdoor gym had been made and annual grants had been paid to the Playing Field and St. Mary’s for Churchyard maintenance. Cllr. Gray had drafted a letter to John Slater requesting a revised invoice.
RESOLVED that the Bank Reconciliation to 28th February 2023 be received and noted.
A late invoice had been received from a plumber for work on the disabled toilet.
RESOLVED that the schedule of payments and the additional invoice be approved for payment.
Cllr. Fussell reported that Sellafield had introduced new restrictions on Monday 6th March. All staff will now need a token to ride on the minibus. They can apply for tokens and will need of show proof of address so that only residents of the village can board the bus. Significant improvement to the parking situation is already apparent after only two days.
Cllr. Hutson noted that parking on the Meadowfield side of Whitecroft was blocking the footpath and people are having to walk on the road. Cllrs. agreed there needs to be targeted communications to the owners of the holiday lets and Cllr. Fussell said it should be included in their welcome packs.
447/23 Car Park Maintenance
Cllrs. Fussell and Unsworth had attended a meeting with the Clerk and two members of the Car Park Management team from LDNP. The LDNP manage car parks throughout Cumbria for the LDNP and other organisations. They are keen and would be able to put parking restrictions in place with initial free parking. They provide machines, signage and would reline the car park. They also offer help with EV charge points. Councillors agreed that we need to get the village to decide at a public meeting.
Cllr. Gray had drawn out the car park with increased width of the bays to meet current standards. This would result in the loss of only 3 spaces.
448/23 Playground/Outdoor Gym
Cllr. Unsworth said there will be 3 instructors from Caloo at the Outdoor Gym Open Day on 18th March. An engineer had been out to repair a couple of faults and Playdale had carried out an inspection of the Playground. Cllr. Unsworth is working on phase 2 of the development and will carry out some public consultation at the Open Day.
449/23 Gravel Pit
Cllr. Gray reported that the Land Registry had organised for a survey by ordinance surveys. Cllrs. Gray and Norman put in some posts to reinforce the boundary. The Surveyor had taken photos and said that it is usually dealt with quickly. Cllr. Norman had 2 padlock keys cut.
450/23 Geological Disposal Facility
Cllr. Fussell reported that they had two meetings last week and they are working on the vision, both now and long-term. He said that regardless of where the GDF is sited, there are implications for all parishes as material will travel throughout the county. There is another event in Gosforth this Saturday between 10am and 3pm.
451/23 EV Charging
The Clerk noted that there are some new government schemes being developed and Councillors decided to put this on hold and wait for further information.
The Clerk had received the contract from Highways for signature. Cllr. Fussell said he would get a price for the base to include pick up from Mill Garage, delivery and installation. The Clerk reminded Cllr. Fussell for the need to get the wording for the plaque.
Cllr. Fussell said he would photograph the bench at the bottom of Leagate and offer it for sponsorship.
A local resident had offered to plant up the flower bed opposite the Lion & Lamb and requested a contribution towards plants. Cllr. Unsworth said that another resident has looked after the flower bed and had been surprised last year when the plants appeared. Cllrs. requested the Clerk to thank the correspondent for her offer and point out that there are other opportunities in the village.
All Councillors are booked on training sessions on the new Code of Conduct. Cllr. Unsworth completed the training previously.
455/23 Communications Strategy
The Clerk had produced the first quarterly newsletter based on the draft Cllr. Fussell had supplied. The Clerk encouraged Cllrs. to submit items for inclusion in the next issue.
Cllrs. Fussell reported that there had been two GDF meetings this week as well as the car park meeting mentioned earlier. Cllr. Fussell had a meeting with two representatives from the Scouts at the Pavillion. The building is an under-used resource and the Scouts are very keen to use it but would need the interior reconfiguring to meet their needs.
457/23 Councillor Administration/Recruitment/Election 2023
The Clerk distributed nomination forms. The Clerk can obtain Elector numbers from the Returning Officer if they want to submit their forms earlier. If Cllrs. wish to submit their forms in person, they will need to make an appointment.
458/23 Councillor Matters
Cllr. Gray raised the damaged sign at the turn-off to Nether Wasdale.
Cllr. Gray said that he had approached a local resident to take over flag duties.
Cllr. Atkinson requested letters of thanks to the WI & Library Volunteers for providing ‘Warm Spot’ sessions and to the Scouts & Beavers for their work on the flowerbeds at the car park.
Cllr. Norman requested an update from LDNPA re Lion & Lamb.
Cllr. Unsworth said that WI are organising a Coffee Morning on Coronation Monday and she is encouraging as many volunteer groups as possible to attend. Cllr. Unsworth requested the Clerk to send the balance of the VE funds and agreed that the funds could be used to cover the cost of the decals, flag and a donation for art materials for the Coffee morning.
459/23 Items in Camera
Items in camera are dealt with in private in accordance with The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960.
The Clerk raised an issue of correspondence regarding a legal matter. Cllrs. agreed that they are unable to intervene and asked the Clerk to correspond expressing their sympathies.
460/23 Date of Next Meeting
The meeting closed at 9pm. The next meeting of Gosforth Parish Council will take place on 19th April 2023 at 7pm at Gosforth Library.