Minutes of the meeting of Gosforth Parish Council – 9 December 2020

Present: Mark Fussell, Chair, Rachel Rowe, Vice Chair, Councillors Turner, Gray, Norman and Hutson, Councillor Pratt, Copeland Borough Council, Jacqueline Williams, Clerk, Paul Harland, Open Reach and two members of the public

336/20 Apologies for Absence

RESOLVED that apologies be received from Cllr. McKinley and the reason noted.

337/20 Declarations of Interest – none.

338/20 Minutes of the meeting held on 11th November 2020

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 11th November 2020, pages 90 to 92, be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

339/20  Public Participation

The Chairman welcomed members of the public to the meeting.

A member of the public addressed the meeting requesting the support of the Parish Council for a project to bring Fibre Broadband to the Wellington area. Joined by Paul Harland, Rural Engagement Manager, Open Reach, they explained the process which requires a contract between Open Reach and a legal entity. If approved, the project will be funded by Borderlands Initiative and the Rural Gigabit Voucher Scheme. Mr Harland has been involved in 70 projects to date and five or six of them involved Parish Councils as the legal entity. 35 households have so far agreed to the terms of the scheme which requires them to sign up for ultra-fast internet service. If an individual reneges on their commitment to the service, the Parish Council would be liable for the shortfall. Mr. Harland explained the measures in place which mitigate the risks to the Council and said that the project would only go ahead if enough people signed up.

A member of the public addressed the meeting, raising concerns regarding a planning application for a new access road at Hallsenna Barn. In particular, the previously reported presence of great crested newts and the loss of a wildlife corridor as well as the proposed methodology.

340/20 County Councillor and District Councillors’ Reports

County Cllr. Turner had nothing to report but commented that he had circulated a new link for submitting reports to Cumbria Police.

Cllr. Pratt reported that ‘footway’ lighting had been put on hold due to the proposed government reorganisation and is not expected to return to the table until next year. Copeland Borough Council will continue to maintain the lights but will not perform any major renewals. Cllr. Pratt said the next 3 Tier meeting of parish, district and county councils will be online on 28th January.

341/20 Planning Applications

Applications – no new applications had been received.

Decisions – no decision notices had been received.

 Other Planning Matters

4/20/2310 – Hallsenna Barn – creation of new access road

Cllr. Fussell noted that our original response had been no objection, however, the discussion turned to the presentation given under public participation. Councillors agreed there were sufficient concerns that should be raised with the planning authority.

RESOLVED that the Clerk draft a response and circulate to Councillors prior to submission.

342/20 Financial Reports

The Clerk noted that there was an underspend due to the pandemic.

RESOLVED that the Bank Reconciliation to 30th November 2020 be received, noted and signed by the Chairman.

The Clerk noted one additional invoice which had been received after circulation of the schedule of payments for approval.

RESOLVED that the schedule of payments and the additional invoice be approved for payment.

The Clerk presented two draft Budgets for 2021/22 and precept calculators. Councillors discussed the extra expense which could be incurred on upgrading the website and felt this could be covered by reserves.

RESOLVED that the first draft Budget for 2021/22 be approved.

343/20 Broadband

Councillors discussed the presentation made earlier under public participation. Cllr. Rowe was in favour of supporting the project and Cllr. Fussell agreed, stating the importance of good internet access. Councillors discussed the risks and responsibility of the contract and Cllr. Hutson queried the location. Cllr. Gray suggested the Clerk seek guidance from CALC and consider the impact it would have on the annual audit. Cllr. Gray noted the location of three internet installations in the village.

RESOLVED that the Clerk write to CALC for guidance and information on other parish councils who may have entered into a similar arrangement.

 344/20 Public Toilets & Car Park

The survey conducted by Copeland BC has been received and circulated. The survey confirms that the toilets are in need of an upgrade and included costs. Cllr. Pratt said he had attended a meeting with a solicitor and the head of corporate properties where they discussed a variety of options. Cllr. Pratt had pressed for a written statement to bring to the meeting and is assured it will be available for the January meeting.

345/20 Secondary School Allocations

Cllr. Turner reported that he had attended a meeting of the children and young persons scrutiny committee where he proposed they request that the School Admission Policy be removed from the Agenda of the next Cabinet meeting to allow more time for the consultation to be scrutinised. Cllr. Turner said he would keep the Parish Council updated and noted that only Seascale and Gosforth had responded to the county-wide consultation.

346/20 Telephone Box

Cllr. Rowe is contining her efforts to engage an electrician.                                                         

347/20 Grants to Churches

Cllr. Turner agreed to discuss with Seascale Cllr. Moore.

348/20 Tinkers Hill/Gravel Pit

Cllr. Gray is continuing his work on this complicated process.                                             

349/20 Hollybank Lease

The lease is for a car parking space behind the library for Hollybank House which has been sold and a request has been made to change the lease. Cllr. Norman said he had no concerns providing the Public Hall committee were consulted and the new names were on the lease rather than it refer to just ‘the owners’.  Some concerns were raised regarding access to the space when the disabled bay was in use.

RESOLVED that the Clerk contact members of the Public Hall committee for their comments.                                                                                                                                                               

350/20 Councillor Administration

The Clerk confirmed there had been no applicants for the two vacancies.

 351/20 Meetings

Cllr. Fussell had been unable to attend the Sellafield Parish Forum meeting but was given the opportunity of a private meeting to go through the presentation on the Sellafield Travel Plan which shows improvement and that Sellafield are conscious that have made decisions that have had implications for neighbouring communities. Cllr. Turner had attended the meeting and said that one issue was that once staff and contractors were offsite there was little they could do. Cllr. Norman said that this was a planning condition going back a number of years. Sellafield have made promises on improvements to path and cycle ways and we should keep monitoring this to ensure they are delivered. Cllr. Pratt said that a planning application has been submitted for an extension to Greengarth park and ride to include 360 cars and 6 with electric charging points. Cllr. Hutson suggested a ‘bus pass’ to identify that people boarding buses in Gosforth were village residents.

 352/29 Councillor Matters

Cllr. Norman – an email regarding the stonework at Newton Manor had been circulated. Cllr. Norman has proposed that a new crest be made and installed inside the building and the old one given to the Parish Council so we can place it in the Supper Room as part of our heritage.

Cllr. Gray – requested that electric charging for the car park be put on the agenda for the next meeting.

Cllr. Fussell – is attending a meeting on local community transport next week.

  • Has discussed a bench with a local resident and will set up a socially distanced meeting at the car park to look at options
  • Requested an update on the installation of a defibrillator at the Kellbank
  • Said due to a resignation, the Public Hall needs to appoint a Vice Chair and will talk to Cllr. Rowe about this. The Public Hall is hoping to do some upgrades and will update the Parish Council prior to committing funds. Cllr. Fussell requested a job specification for the cleaner vacancy which the Clerk agreed to produce.                               
  • Asked for an update on Haverigg Community Team. Cllr. Turner said he would pass Cllr. Hutson’s contact details on to them.                                                                   

Cllr. Norman – understands there have been 4 applications to host the Geological Disposal Facility in Copeland. Cllr. Pratt reported that Copeland BC expressed an interest in everything outside the national park. Predominantly, Copeland are looking at an offshore facility but there are three other sites. The first steering group meeting will take place at the end of the week and Cllr. Pratt, as Chair of CALC, will be representing all the parishes in Copeland until the areas that are selected are defined. Once they have been established, working parties for all the parishes involved, including those that the waste has to travel through, will be formed. Cllr. Pratt said he would be able to update the Parish Council at the next meeting.

353/20 Item in Camera – none.

335/20 Date of Next Meeting

The date of the next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 13th January 2021 at 7pm.

Meeting closed at 9pm.