(Unconfirmed) Minutes of the Meeting of Gosforth Parish Council held on Wednesday 14th July 2021 at Gosforth Public Hall at 7pm
Present: Rachel Unsworth (Vice-Chair)
Cllrs. Paul Turner, David Gray, Graham Hutson, Tyson Norman and Mike McKinley
Also present: Jacqueline Williams, Clerk
126/21 Apologies for Absence
RESOLVED that apologies be received from Cllrs. Fussell, Pennington and Ancell and the reasons noted.
127/21 Declarations of Interest – None
128/21 Minutes of the meeting held on 9th June 2021.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 9th June 2021, pages 117 to 125, be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
129/21 Public Participation – No members of the public were present.
130/21 County Councillor and District Councillors’ Reports
Cllr. Turner reported on the complaint received following an incident in Blengdale Forest concerning a group of pupils and staff who were seen driving on a footpath and attempting to light a fire. In his capacity as County Councillor, Cllr. Turner had spoken to the school and all involved. The school, established by the County for pupils who are permanently excluded, have stated that they will not use Blengdale as a Forest School in the future, despite the Forestry Commission confirming that they had given permission for this use.
Cllr. McKinley reminded the meeting that he produces a quarterly letter, as Chairman of the LDNPA, which lists contact details for various organisations who should be contacted. The letter is circulated to Town and Parish Councils and Cllr. McKinley requested that it be made available to the general public. Cllr. Hutson suggested placing it in the notice boards and on the website. Cllr. Unsworth suggested posting it on Facebook.
Cllr. Norman said that Teachers are trained in woodcraft and that many schools operate Forest Schools as part of the curriculum.
After a general discussion, Cllrs. agreed that clarity on which schools, and what they are permitted to do, should be sought.
RESOLVED that the Clerk write to the Forestry Comission for clarity.
RESOLVED that the Clerk ensure the LDNPA letter is displayed more widely.
131/21 Planning Applications
RESOLVED that the following applications are received and the Planning Authority be advised of the Council’s observations as follows: No Objections
4/21/2266/0F1 Plot 5, The Loudons (land adjacent to West Lakes Hotel) – detached dwelling.
4/21/2261/0H1 Sellafield – relocation of diesel fuel into new tanks.
Other Planning Matters:
Lion & Lamb – Wooden balustrade – refused. Cllr. Turner reported that an enforcement notice is being issued and confirmed that the car parking to the rear of the premises is a separate issue.
River Irt – A LDNPA Planning Investigation Report had been circulated to all Cllrs. which sets out the the reasons why planning permission is not required. Cllr. McKinley expressed his concern that the Environment Agency were able to do this without any notification. Cllr. McKinley will raise this with the Executive Board and will update the Parish Council.
Cllr. Turner said that the group of residents had been advised how to register a right of way and Cllr. Unsworth confirmed that an application has been submitted.
Lower Ling Bank – Copeland BC had confirmed that no planning permission was required as it was an agricultural building. Cllr. Norman said that the Parish Council should be notified of any developments, and pointed out the LDNPA do notify the PC.
RESOLVED that the Clerk write to Copeland Borough Council requesting notification of all developments.
Harecroft Hall – an email from a local resident had been circulated to Cllrs., followed by the original response received from LDNPA in March 2021. The Clerk has sent a further email asking if proof of the exemption had been received. Cllr. Norman expressed his concern about the disposal of sewage from the camping pods.
RESOLVED that the Clerk write to Copeland Borough Council Environment department to request an investigation into the disposal of sewage.
RESOLVED that the Clerk email the local resident with an update.
Bridge Petton Farm – Cllr. Norman had been approached by a local farmer regarding a compound of portacabins and numerous buildings that were being used to operate an Artificial Insemination company. Cllr. Norman said that the farmer was concerned about the scale of the farm and that this is not diversification but rather commercialisation through the processing of semen.
RESOLVED that the Clerk write to LDNPA to enquire whether planning permission is required.
132/21 Financial Reports
The Clerk noted that an acknowledgement of the AGAR 2020/21 had been received.
RESOLVED that the Bank Reconciliation to 30th June 2021 be received and signed.
The Clerk presented the schedule of payments for approval.
RESOLVED that the schedule of payments be approved for payment.
133/21 Public Toilets & Car Park
Cllrs. noted the absence of District Councillor Andy Pratt and that no further correspondence had been received from Copeland BC. Cllrs. discussed the increased use of the Car Park and the camper vans that had stayed overnight. Cllr. Unsworth agreed to contact the Warden to install appropriate signs. Residents are permitted to park overnight but signage should state no camping, no HGVs, no trailers, no buses and no trading is permitted.
Cllr. Unsworth reported that United Utilities had cleared the blocked drain behind the phone box.
The Clerk has purchased replacement bulbs and a light fitting needs attention. Cllr. Norman agreed to change the light bulbs.
RESOLVED that the Clerk write to Barbara Vernon of CBC, copy to Cllr. Pratt, to request an update.
134/21 Platinum Jubilee
Cllr. Norman suggested that a Facebook notice should be posted to see if residents want to mark the Jubilee with an event. Cllr. Hutson suggested contacting the WI. Cllr. Unsworth agreed to make contact.
Cllr. Unsworth will be on holiday over the Jubilee which will take place in June 2022. Cllr. Unsworth had circulated information regarding planting a woodland under the ‘Plant a tree for Jubilee’ scheme and all Cllrs. agreed this was an excellent idea. Cllr. Unsworth agreed to register and apply for the free tree package for planting in the Autumn.
135/21 Gravel Pit Presentation – Cllr. Gray
This issue goes back to the 1960s when the Parish Council was trying to sell the land to the County Council who were using it as a depot. It was a big issue at the time with the Clerk being repeatedly asked if a cheque had been received and the Charity Commission continually asking for an Annual Return. In 1999 the Charity Commission stated that they were unclear who the Trustees were and in 2000 requested a copy of the enclosure award. In 2003 they requested that the County Council or the Parish Council become the Trustees. In 2004 the Charity Commission wrote confirming that the charity had been removed from the register as neither Councils were willing to become Trustees.
In 2009, Cllrs. Norman and Gray attended a meeting with the Land Registry who were advising Parish Councils to register any land they thought they owned. Without any documents to prove ownership, the only course of action was to apply for ‘Adverse Possession’, a process which takes 12 years. Cllr. Gray started the registration procedure in 2020, filling in the forms and gathering the relevant documents. There are over 100 pieces of correspondence on file. Cllr. Gray will now submit the form and two copies of all the relevant documents.
Cllr. Unsworth thanked Cllr. Gray for all his hard work in dealing with the issue.
Cllr. Fussell, in his absence, had sent a note stating that the NDA have agreed to spray the Knotweed on the adjoining land.
136/21 Telephone Box
All Cllrs. agreed that the Telephone Box is looking good and is now signed as an Information Point.
137/21 Tourist Information Point
Cllr. Unsworth reported that Cumbria Tourism had recommended A-ha!, a leaflet distribution company which will install racks and supply leaflets. The company receives payment from Cumbria-wide attractions such as Muncaster and the Ratty but small local businesses will be able to advertise free of charge. Cllr. Unsworth has been in contact with the Café to update them.
138/21 Geological Disposal Facility
There is to be a meeting with all Parishes where RWM (Radioactive Waste Management) will explain the process.
139/21 Community Led Plan
Cllr. Unsworth reported that 600 questionnaires had been sent and 43 completed. A meeting of the sub-committee will be called once the responses have been collated.
140/21 Playground Inspection
The Clerk has received a quotation from Copeland BC which is much less than other companies.
RESOLVED that the Clerk accept the quotation from Copeland BC.
141/21 Standing Orders – Review & Update
An updated draft will be circulated for discussion in September.
In his absence, Cllr. Fussell had sent a note regarding the Sellafield Parish Forum as follows:
Main points were around Traffic and Travel Plan. Aim to get private cars on Sellafield Site to zero by 2025. Major reduction in SOVAs also due. Bus services, park and rides etc to start back soon with some additional services. Keen to work with PCs to resolve any knock-on impacts upon local communities.
The change in site categorisation regarding COMAH (Control of Major Accident Hazards) has required some revised local response arrangements. These will be communicated via means such as a new household leaflet. Arrangements have been simplified to align with those for a radiological incident so no real change for the community.
Lengthy discussion relating to the project to find a replacement site for the landfill (CLESA) as it will be full by around 2030. One site currently being investigated in just outside the site boundary on NDA land close to Calder Gate. There were various concerns raised and SL and the community need to engage more effectively as this site identification process progresses.
143/21 Councillor Administration
There was interest last month which was subsequently withdrawn. Cllr. Unsworth suggested contacting re the CLP steering committee. There are still two vacancies on the Parish Council.
144/21 Councillor Matters
Cllr. Norman – has been approached by a member of the parish who has offered to tidy up the planters outside the Wheatsheaf. Cllrs. agreed to contribute towards the cost of plants.
Cllr. Turner – Weed-spraying is underway and is now managed by the County Council who contract out the work.
Cllr. Unsworth – The ‘No Entry’ sign on Hardingill is buried in the hedge and her partner is going to deal with it. Cllr. Unsworth has spoken to the owner of the hedge.
145/21 Date of Next Meeting
The date of the next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 8th September 2021 at 7pm.
Meeting closed at 8.30pm.