Minutes of the Gosforth Parish Council meeting held at 7pm on 8th December 2021 at Gosforth Public Hall
Present: Cllr. Mark Fussell (Chairperson), Cllr. Rachel Unsworth (Vice-Chair), Cllr. Graham Hutson and Cllr. David Gray,
Jacqueline Williams (Clerk) and Anthony Millard (Playing field)
207/21 Apologies for Absence
Written apologies have been received from Cllr. Norman due to illness and Cllrs. Pennington and Turner due to work commitments.
RESOLVED that all apologies be approved, and the reasons noted.
208/21 Declarations of Interest – none received
209/21 Minutes of the meeting held on 10th November 2021.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 10th November 2021, pages 133 to 135 be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
210/21 Public Participation
Anthony Millard requested confirmation that the Parish Council insurance covered the playing field and pavilion. The Clerk confirmed that the insurers have stated that ‘the Public and Employers Liability extends to any Parish Council owned land or land that the Parish Council is responsible for including the buildings’. The Parish Council insurance therefore does cover the playing field and pavilion and includes Public Liability cover of £10million.
211/21 County Councillor and District Councillors’ Reports – No reports were received.
212/21 Planning Applications
RESOLVED that the Planning Authority be advised of the Council’s observations as follows:
7/2021/4134 Brierdale, Wellington – extension to incorporate a new kitchen and living area – no objections
4/21/2512/0F1 Sellafield – installation of No. 1 site siren (16m high column) – no objections
4/21/2531/0F1 Squeezy Barn, Holmrook – temporary siting of caravan during the building of a dwelling approved under reference 4/20/2211 – no objections
7/2021/4129 New Mill Smithy, Ponsonby – refurbishment of existing dwelling and change of use of attached workshop to holiday let – refused
213/21 Financial Reports
RESOLVED that the Bank Reconciliation to 30th November 2021 be received and noted.
RESOLVED that the schedule of payments be approved for payment.
Cllr. Gray submitted a list of expenses including land registry application fees, bark for the car park borders and other items totalling £146.59.
RESOLVED that the expenses claimed by Cllr. Gray be approved and paid.
214/21 Finance Committee & Budget 2022/23
RESOLVED that Councillors Unsworth and Gray be appointed as members of the Finance Committee.
The Clerk presented a draft budget with increased spending due to a general rise in costs as well as an overdue review of the cleaning contract.
RESOLVED that the draft budget be approved.
Cllrs. discussed the annual grant to the playing field and, in light of the savings made on the insurance, decided to reduce the grant by £100 this year.
215/21 Public Toilets & Car Park
Cllr. Gray reported that the Haverigg Community Team had completed the work to the borders at the car park. Members of the public had thanked the team on Facebook and in person and the team had enjoyed the experience. Cllr. Gray confirmed that the sign was now back up.
The survey completed by Cllr. Fussell had been sent to Copeland BC. Two requests for a meeting have been made but no response to date.
Cllr. Gray had taken photographs of the wall behind the toilet block which is now cracked due to saplings growing too close. Cllr. Unsworth confirmed that cobbles had not been replaced in the wall. Cllrs. also commented that the light is still not repaired. All of these are hazards and need attention.
RESOLVED that the Clerk write to Copeland Borough Council.
Cllr. Fussell has spoken to David Ancell regarding repositioning the defibrillator. Although David Ancell was happy to continue, the café owner seems keen to take it on. Cllr. Unsworth raised the issue of whether we need to inform anyone and offered to look into this.
Cllrs. discussed the defibrillator at the Kellbank and queried who is responsible for maintenance. The Clerk will check the email from the Fred Whitton Challenge event manager.
Cllr. Fussell offered to ask the school about servicing their defibrillator.
The Clerk has purchased defibrillator location signs.
217/21 War Memorial
Cllr. Gray will contact John Slater regarding the work on the war memorial but weather conditions may not be favourable until next year.
218/21 Geological Disposal Facility
Cllr. Fussell reported that he has been formally inducted onto the community partnership and has had a meeting with the Chair. The next meeting will be held in January. Cllr. Fussell referred to the emails which had been circulated stating that they contained some misrepresentations and LLWR had responded.
The Clerk reported that our website is based on an old version of WordPress. An updated premium version would cost £199 initially and £300 per year for technical support.
RESOLVED that the Clerk arrange for the website to be updated.
Cllr. Fussell was aware that a WCSSG meeting had taken place and said that it was important to keep engaged. Cllr. Fussell is considering attending WCSSG Environment meetings.
221/21 Standing Orders
Cllr. Gray pointed out a typographical error. Cllr. Fussell suggested changing ‘chairman’ to ‘chairperson’. The Clerk will amend the draft and circulate.
RESOLVED that the updated and amended Standing Orders be adopted.
222/21 Councillor Administration/Elections
The Clerk read out an email received from CALC regarding elections in 2022 and 2023.
RESOLVED that the election scheduled for Gosforth remain unchanged.
223/21 Trees at Entrance to Denton Park
Cllr. Hutson said that a tree had blown down in the recent storm which resulted in a power outage. Cllr. Hutson raised the issue of the remaining 45-year-old trees and who is liable if there is damage as no-one appears to be responsible for the land. Cllr. Gray has correspondence from 1999/2000 with Copeland which confirms that Copeland would ‘continue to maintain these grassed areas in Denton Park’.
RESOLVED that the Clerk write to Copeland regarding the trees.
224/21 Councillor Matters
Cllr. Gray – The Scouts have confirmed that they will fund a picnic table and he is waiting for the wording for a plaque. John Slater will respond regarding the base.
- reported that the Viking Way is getting overgrown in some areas, narrowing the path. Cllr. Fussell said he may have a solution. Cllr. Unsworth will speak to Highways.
Cllr. Hutson said we should ask Copeland about the cobbled areas in Denton Park.
Cllr. Unsworth – reported a leaking gutter at the public hall which needs cleaning and repairing.
- A resident has concerns about two trees on a property owned by Home Housing, one fell in the storm, fortunately not on any neighbouring properties.
- A resident raised concerns that the Methodist Church remains empty and fears it will be sold.
- The trees for the Jubilee have arrived and have been healed-in for planting in January.
- A member of the public has cleaned up the area around the old Wheatsheaf – Cllrs. requested a letter of thanks be sent.
Cllr. Fussell – Blengdale Runners has folded and will be making presentations soon.
- Drigg Young Farmers are looking to do outside work and Cllr. Fussell has received 10 litter-pickers and hoops which he will pass on to them. Other work suggested included the Churchyard and an event to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee in June.
225/21 Items in Camera – none
226/21 Date of Next Meeting
The date of the next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 12th January 2022 at 7pm.
Meeting closed at 9pm.