Minutes of the Meeting of Gosforth Parish Council held online on Wednesday 10th February 2021 at 7pm
Mark Fussell (MF) – Chairman
Councillors: Rachel Unsworth (RU) – Vice Chair, Paul Turner (PT), David Gray (DG), Mike McKinley (MM), Graham Hutson (GH), Tyson Norman (TN)
Others: Jacqueline Williams (Clerk), Cllr. Andy Pratt (Copeland BC)
022/21 Apologies for Absence – none
023/21 Declarations of Interest – none.
024/21 Minutes of the meeting held on 13th January 2021
RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 13th January 2021, pages 97 to 100, be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
025/21 Public Participation
No members of the public were present.
026/21 County Councillor and District Councillors’ Reports
Nothing to report that is not covered by items on the Agenda.
027/21 Planning Applications
4/20/2310/0F1 – Hallsenna Barn – new vehicle access – Granted with conditions.
7/2020/4092 – The Stables, Ellerslie – conversion of store to improve existing accommodation – Granted.
7/2020/4097 1 Ellerslie Terrace, CA20 1BA – Demolition of existing garage, greenhouse and lean-to building and replace with garage and sunroom with loft space for storage – Granted.
Other Planning Matters:
A parishioner has reported that there may be a potential breach of planning regulations, claiming that an agricultural building erected at Lower Ling Bank is being used for non-agricultural purposes. The parishioner has also reported the dumping of rubble and rubbish at the site.
RESOLVED that the Clerk pass on this report to the appropriate Planning Authority.
028/21 Financial Reports
RESOLVED that the Bank Reconciliation to 31st January 2021 be received and noted.
RESOLVED that the schedule of payments be approved for payment.
029/21 Local Government Reorganisation
Cllr. Turner reported that the County Council were waiting to hear whether the May elections will be delayed whilst the reorganisation takes place. Cllr. McKinley had heard that all four submissions were to go before MHCLG (Ministry for Housing, Community & Local Government) for consideration and that once a decision has been made, a shadow authority would be put in place for one year and that the new organisations are not expected to be in place until 2023. Cllr. McKinley reported that the LDNPA had been informed that they would be consulted along with individual Parish Councils.
030/21Public Toilets & Car Park
Cllr. Pratt passed on the apologies of the Copeland BC’s Officers who had been unable to provide a document for discussion at this meeting. They have promised to provide a draft document which Cllr. Pratt will circulate in advance of the March meeting.
031/21 Secondary School Allocations
Cllr. Turner reported that this had gone through Cabinet and the County Council had approved a review of the situation. The process will start with a consultation from 1st October. Cllr. Turner is meeting with officers shortly to discuss the form of the consultation. Cllr. Hutson asked if anybody, not just parents, can respond to the consultation. Cllr. Turner confirmed that everyone can respond and stressed the importance of getting more people to respond. He thanked Mags Walton for speaking to Cabinet and noted that she had been complimented for the manner and quality of her public speaking.
Cllr. Fussell was pleased that the process had started, however he pointed out that there were two issues, dual-catchment and the inability to obtain places at West Lakes Academy. He said it was important that people were aware that the consultation was primarily about dual-catchment. Cllr. Turner said that as an Academy, West Lakes can set their own policy although they claim to follow CCC’s policy, priority is given to schools closer or to schools who join their MAT (Multi Academy Trust). As a Church school, Gosforth are unable to join the WL MAT without relinquishing membership of the church MAT. There was a general discussion about whether the Head Teach or the diocese or PCC should be contacted. Cllr. Pratt pointed out that any decisions would be steered by the Governors but agreed to provide the relevant contact addresses. Cllr. Unsworth requested that Cllr. Pratt take this to the next Governors meeting. Cllr. Fussell agreed to draft a letter and Cllr. Hutson said it was important to keep the Vicar and the Head Teacher informed.
RESOLVED that Cllr. Fussell draft a letter and that Cllr. Pratt provide contact details.
032/21 Telephone Box
Cllr. Unsworth reported that the electric supply to the Telephone Box has been isolated. Cllrs. Unsworth and Fussell requested that the Clerk contact BT to clarify the situation with regard to the payment of electricity and the meter.
Cllr. Turner asked if he should proceed with the boarding up of the Telephone Box which LLWR had agreed to carry out. After a short discussion it was agreed not to board up the Telephone Box as there had been no sign of dilapidation or disturbance and Cllr. Unsworth hoped that GEN II would be able to start work on the refurbishment soon. Cllr. Turner agreed to inform LLWR.
033/21 VE Day Funds
Cllr. Unsworth reported that funds raised for the cancelled VE Celebrations were still in an account. They will distribute some to the Church to maintain the war graves and to the Parish Council for maintenance of the War Memorial. This leaves a balance of approximately £500 which members and contributors would like to put towards a future event for the village when measures are lifted. The group would like to close the account and request the Parish Council hold the funds, ring-fenced, until a future event can be organised. At the request of the Clerk, Councillor Unsworth agreed to provide the minutes of the relevant meeting.
RESOLVED that the Parish Council receive the funds and hold them as ring-fenced reserves under the title ‘VE Event Funds’.
034/21 Grants to Churches
Cllr. Turner had spoken with Seascale Cllr. Moore who confirmed that Seascale Parish Council donate to Gosforth Church. A general discussion took place regarding the amounts donated and it was confirmed that the funding was for the graveyard which Cllr. Unsworth pointed out is also an attraction for visitors. Councillors agreed to continue to donate but not to increase the amount at present.
RESOLVED that the Parish Council continue to provide a donation to St. Mary’s Church.
035/21 Tinkers Hill/Gravel Pit
Cllr. Gray reported that he had done some work on this but had reached an impasse due to the requirement of a certified conveyancer. Cllr. Gray is having difficulty communicating with the Land Registry and the issue may have to wait until measures are lifted.
036/21 Geological Disposal Facility
Cllr. Fussell attended a 3 Tier meeting which included a presentation on GDF and documents have been circulated. Cllr. Pratt reported that there had been several meetings of the steering group. He is representing all Parish Councils and those with any direct proposals or any that may become ‘travel through’ areas will be invited to join the steering group. Cllr. Pratt will keep the Parish Council updated.
037/21 Community-Led Plan
The Clerk reminded Councillors that Cllr. Fussell had suggested there were other ways of consulting the community but felt that it would be difficult under the current measures. Cllr. Fussell agreed but said that a sub-committee should be set up to prepare the process to be ready to start as soon as possible. Cllr. Norman said that a CLP would identify projects and provide evidence for future funding applications. Cllr. Unsworth requested a copy of the previous plan.
RESOLVED that a sub-committee be set up to include Cllrs. Fussell, Unsworth, Norman and the Clerk.
Cllrs. Fussell and Turner had attended the 3 Tier Meeting. Both GDF and Local Government Reorganisation were discussed and have been covered above. Cllr. Fussell asked the Clerk to check documents have been circulated. Cllr. Pratt said there was some information from CALC regarding the way forward for Parish Councils.
Cllrs. Fussell and Turner have had meetings regarding community transport. They suggest that a volunteer ‘Transport Champion’ be trained up to improve the visibility of what is available. An email has been sent to Library volunteers.
Cllr. Hutson had attended a WCSSG meeting and had pointed out that the Sellafield Community involvement document, produced by Copeland BC, had little or no direct reference to parishes immediately around the site. Cllr. Hutson said he would circulate a draft when it is received.
Cllr. Fussell reported on the Public Hall Management Committee meeting held in January. The hall is shut at the moment. One key member of the committee has left and another may be leaving soon. The older part of the building is in a poor state and the Clerk has been approaching specialist companies to carry out a survey. Cllr. Gray suggested a contractor from Beckermet who has experience of working on old buildings. Cllr. Fussell said he would keep the Parish Council informed of progress.
039/21 Councillor Administration
The Clerk confirmed there had been no applicants for the two vacancies.
040/21 Councillor Matters
Cllr. Gray – had noticed some missing Footpath signs which he will report.
There was a general discussion regarding the planning status of a building near the village store and Cllr. Pratt agreed to investigate.
041/21 Item in Camera – none.
021/21 Date of Next Meeting
The date of the next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 10th March 2021 at 7pm.
Meeting closed at 8.30pm.