Minutes of the Meeting of Gosforth Parish Council held on Wednesday 8th June 2022 at Gosforth Library at 7pm
Present: Mark Fussell (Chairman), Rachel Unsworth (Vice Chair), David Gray, Tyson Norman, Graham Hutson
Also Present: Cllr. Andy Pratt (Copeland & CALC), Jacqueline Williams (Clerk)
311/22 Apologies for Absence
Apologies were received from Cllr. Turner (work commitments) and Cllr. Atkinson (on holiday).
RESOLVED that both apologies be approved, and the reasons noted.
312/22 Declarations of Interest – none received
313/22 Minutes of the meeting held on 11th May 2022
Cllr. Gray noted that the tubs at the entrance to Denton Park had been provided by the Parish Council and planted by the resident who lived close by.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 11th May 2022, pages 148 to 152 be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
314/22 Public Participation – no members of the public wished to speak.
315/22 County Councillor and District Councillors’ Reports
Cllr. Pratt had nothing to report. Cllr. Fussell asked about the potential funding which Cllr. Moore had mentioned. Cllr. Pratt said he would speak to Cllr. Moore.
316/22 Planning Applications:
RESOLVED that the following applications are received and the Planning Authority be advised of the Council’s observations as follows: no objections
7/2022/4019 Bleng Garth, Wellington – alterations and extension for accessible suite for disabled person plus internal alterations and garage/workshop.
Decisions: None received
T/2022/0060 – reduce height of two trees – Granted (Slip Decision). Cllr. Gray noted that the reduction height had been reduced from 3m to 2m.
7/2022/4015 Mill House Farm, Holmrook – general purpose agricultural building – Granted
Other Planning matters: none
317/22 Financial Reports
The Clerk presented a Bank Reconciliation and noted that an insurance payment had been made on behalf of the Public Hall as the company were unable to process cheques. Reimbursement had been received and banked. The suggestion to combine the insurance policies requires further research prior to the next renewal date.
RESOLVED that the Bank Reconciliation to 31st May 2022 be received and noted.
The Clerk had previously circulated a schedule of payments and noted that the overtime had been incurred in providing assistance to complete a funding application on behalf of the Library for the project outlined in the Public Hall minutes. The Clerk explained that the community partnership had requested that the Parish Council act as the Accountable Body for the application.
RESOLVED that the Parish Council supports the Library project and will act as the Accountable Body on behalf of the Library.
RESOLVED that the schedule of payments and a late invoice from CALC be approved for payment.
Cllr. Gray discussed the updated Asset Register and said that one dilapidated bench had been moved from the Car Park to adjacent land owned by Anthony Millard. Councillors agreed that the bench be removed from the Register. Cllrs. discussed the number of benches and requested that the Asset Register be updated to include 1 bench opposite Spout House and remove 1 bench near Gosforth Hall. Cllr. Gray requested that the Telephone Kiosk be included.
There was a general discussion as to whether the Public Hall and Playing Field Pavilion should be on the Asset Register which would require valuations.
318/22 Traffic & Roads
Cllr. Fussell reported on a meeting he attended with Cllr. Hutson, a staff member from the School and representatives from ENWL and the contractor regarding the road closures. The contractor was not willing to delay the works which have now started. It is clear they and CCC had not considered the impact on the village and communication of the road closures had been very narrow. It is understood that Cllr. Turner is bringing people from CCC to see the impact. Bradbury House had not been informed and the school and school transport had to take alternative measures. Cllr. Fussell said he had received a lot of complaints and Whitecroft House had been clipped by several vehicles going through ‘the cut’, the narrow lane by the school between Whitecroft and Wasdale Road. Cllr. Gray pointed out that the three-week road closure covers the most popular time for the 3 Peaks Challenge so there is potential for a huge increase in traffic which needs to be passed on to Cllr. Turner. Cllr. Hutson suggested putting ‘with restrictions’ signs on ‘the cut’, Cllr. Gray recommended closure. We will feedback through Cllr. Turner and ask for an update.
Cllr. Norman said that the chevron barriers which had been knocked down in a traffic accident have not been replaced. The barriers were on the B5344 on the bend known locally as ‘coffin corner’.
RESOLVED that the Clerk write to highways to report this.
Cllr. Unsworth had written to Highways regarding the staggered speed signs and has been told that they are undertaking a review of the speed limits. Highways sent the policy on Vehicle Activated Signs which are not permitted. The Clerk said she would circulate the policy for information.
Cllr. Gray reported a signpost which needs attention. Cllr. Fussell said he would log it on the online reporting system.
319/22 Public Toilets & Car Park
The Clerk read out an email from Babara Vernon which stated that the lease was ‘in process’ and would be sent very soon. Cllr. Pratt said we could expect it before the next meeting. Cllr. Gray had received a complaint about the state of the toilets and he had inspected the Gents. Cllr. Unsworth had also inspected the toilets and said they were in a similar state when they last inspected. A wide- ranging discussion took place about whether to make a temporary limited refresh or wait until we had a signed lease and/or funding in place for a major refurbishment. The Clerk pointed out that the design and layout of the building was very poor. Cllr. Fussell suggested we wait for the lease and have a separate meeting to discuss the options.
Cllr. Norman had received a complaint about the faint lineage on the Car Park and there should be an arrow to guide cars to the right turn at the top.
RESOLVED that the Clerk obtain a quote for lineage including directional arrows.
Cllr. Unsworth is still waiting for designs and had nothing to report.
321/22 Geological Disposal Facility
Cllr. Fussell reported that there had been some negative press and a protest would take place at Whitehaven Harbour this week. A petition is being delivered to Copeland BC and Nuclear Waste Services. A planned community survey has been paused and the team will be attending the next GDF partnership meeting. Gosforth remains the highest attendance for the GDF drop-in sessions. There will be more community engagement going forward.
322/22 War Memorial
Cllr. Gray reported that the repointing work had been completed but there were other repairs needed. Cllr. Fussell offered to contact Ian Tyson.
The Clerk had previously circulated a letter and the minutes of a meeting on a project initiated by Ponsonby Parish Council to create a footpath/cycleway to link Calderbridge to Gosforth and the Viking Way. The Clerk will write a letter of support for the project.
Cllrs. Fussell said the bench at the top of Leagate did not look as if it was being maintained. Cllr. Gray said he would speak to the resident who previously adopted the bench. Cllrs. Norman and Unsworth had identified two different locations for a bench requested by Bradbury House. Cllr. Norman agreed to talk to the landowner.
325/22 Grass cutting
Cllr. Hutson said that some areas at the entrance to Denton Park are not being cut. The grass behind the sub-station has now been cut. Cllr. Pratt suggested having a meeting to walk the areas and offered to arrange this. Cllr. Gray said that an area at the entrance to Meadowfield has also been missed although it is not part of the Parish Council’s contract.
Cllr. Unsworth confirmed that a defibrillator for the playing field is being included in the playground funding bid. The Clerk passed the defib location signs to Cllr. Fussell and Cllr. Norman agreed to ask Cllr. Turner if we are allowed to place them on existing road signs.
327/22 Trees at entrance to Denton Park
The Clerk had asked for a response but had not received one yet.
As well as the GDF meeting, Cllr. Fussell had attended a meeting of the Environmental sub-committee of WCSSG. The meeting covered beach monitoring which is going to tender and they are consulting with the community. They gave an update on discharges and reported an event in December when elevated levels had been found on a sealine filter, however beach monitoring had picked up no finds. Sky news is coming to the site and will be reporting on national news.
Cllr. Norman had attended a meeting with the NDA, along with Cllr. Moore and Bob Jones. Gillian Elliot was introduced as a new face. They asked if there was a strategy and did it need updating as 9 out of 11 properties were empty and a barn they had built had subsequently been demolished. Cllr. Norman said the Newton Manor plaque was not worth saving as it had substantially degraded.
329/22 CALC Elections
The Clerk had circulated the email regarding CALC’S AGM and requesting nominations for various posts. No Councillors were willing to stand.
330/22 Councillor Administration/Recruitment
There are currently three vacancies.
331/22 Councillor Matters
Cllr. Unsworth had attended the Code of Conduct training session and will send information to the Clerk for circulation. If the Parish Council want to adopt the new Code of Conduct, each Councillor will have to attend the training session.
Cllr. Norman said that Japanese Knotweed had reappeared on the Viking Way. Cllr. Fussell said he would contact Cllr. Turner as the cycleway is overgrown.
332/22 Items in Camera – none
Items in camera are dealt with in private in accordance with The Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960.
333/22 Date of Next Meeting
The date of the next meeting (AGM) and the Annual Parish Meeting are scheduled for Wednesday 13th July 2022 at 7pm. Meeting closed at 9pm.