September 2020

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CALDBECK PARISH COUNCIL

Minutes of the ‘virtual’ Ordinary Meeting held via Zoom on Monday 7 September 2020 at 7:30pm.

Cllrs Attending: Tim Cartmell (Chairman), Paul Doherty, Norman Atkinson, John Brown, Paul Graham, Angela Glendinning, Alastair Macfadzean, Ian Shaw, Alan Tyson, Alison Young Poole

Also Attending: Tim Marsters (to Item 9), Simon Smith (Clerk).

  1. Apologies

Apologies were received from Tony Annison, Allerdale Borough Councillor and Mike Johnson, County Councillor and Acting Leader Allerdale Borough Councillor, who could only attend briefly.

2.  Minutes

The Chairman was authorised to sign the Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Parish Council held via Zoom on 27 July 2020 as a true record, pp’d by the Clerk. 

3.  Declaration of Interest

Alison Young Poole declared an interest in Item 16 – land purchase from the National Park in relation to Smithy Cottage owners’ claim to own part of the land in front of Smithy Cottage and the Chairman declared an interest having given her advice.

4.  Public Participation

The Chairman welcomed Tim Marsters and said he would be able to speak to the meeting at Item 8c.  

5.  Coronavirus

The Parish Council noted the updates on coronavirus pandemic from Cumbria Constabulary, the County Council and Allerdale Borough Council. It was agreed that the Notices displayed in car parks should remain, given the numbers of visitors and continuing concerns regarding the pandemic.

6.  Provision of new waste bins in the Parish and littering concerns

The Parish Council agreed that the four bins recently purchased and erected should be fitted with rubber lids. As regards the three smaller bins that Allerdale had agreed to provide, the National Park had restated its policy against the siting of bins on Caldbeck Common as such provision leads to the ‘urbanisation’ of the countryside. The National Park considered that it is better if people take home their own litter and encourages voluntary litter picking.  The Parish Council took issue with the adequacy of the National Park’s stance on littering in light of significant concern about the amount of littering following the easing of lockdown restrictions and the increase in visitor numbers. The Parish Council agreed to make representations to the National Park regarding littering and ask it to reconsider its decision on the siting of bins on the Common. Meantime the Chairman would ask Allerdale to erect the third bin at Upton Bridge.

The Chairman reported that he had requested bins from Allerdale to support Mark Binney’s Lengthsman’s work. Allerdale had declined stating that bins are only supplied to properties or churches/village halls. The Parish Council was trying to see if a pragmatic solution could be found and agreed to ask Mike Johnson and Tony Annison to help.

7.  Caldbeck Public Toilets

The Clerk reported that he had spoken to Peter Knapton, Allerdale Estates Manager. Work on the transfer of Caldbeck public toilets to the Parish Council was currently on hold pending Allerdale’s discussions with other potentially interested parties.

The September Magazine included an invitation for expressions of interest in undertaking the servicing of the public toilets. The Parish Council agreed it would also be useful to seek quotations from commercial firms.

8.  Street Lighting 

a) Hesket Newmarket

The Clerk reported that he had forwarded the Hesket Newmarket conclusions to Dave Bryden, Allerdale,  for the removal of two lights and making good where one light had already been removed.

b) Caldbeck

Following the July meeting, the Clerk had circulated relevant extracts from earlier minutes. The Parish Council had not specified how street lighting surveys should be undertaken. Given that 84% of respondents to the budget consultation survey in Caldbeck stated that they wanted all street lights retained, it was agreed that the conclusions from the Caldbeck physical survey undertaken by Ian Shaw and Alastair Macfadzean should be accepted and that all street lights should be retained.

c) Reinstallation of light near Calva/Parish Hall

The Chairman reported that Tim Marsters had formally complained about the Parish Council’s handling of the reinstallation of the street light which he considered amounted to harassment of his parents. The Clerk would review what had occurred and provide a full response to Tim Marsters by 19 September. The Marsters would then have opportunity to consider the Clerk’s findings and decide whether they wished to ask Allerdale to investigate the complaint further. 

The Chairman said the Parish Council was pressing for the reinstallation of the street light as assurances had been given by Mrs Marsters when the Parish Council discussed the planning application. Whilst the November 2019 budget consultation had not asked about whether parishioners were in favour of the reinstallation, the Clerk reported that a number of parishioners had made added comments to their responses, calling for the street light to be put back. Comments came from local parishioners in Upton and also users of the Parish Hall. The Chairman proposed that the Parish Council should survey Upton parishioners and users of the Parish Hall to ask if they wanted the light reinstated at a potential cost to the Parish Council of £7,354 (plus VAT) and where contributions from other parties were to be determined. The Parish Council discussed whether all parishioners should be surveyed given that so many parishioners use the Parish Hall and the Parish Council agreed to a Parish wide survey.

Tim Marsters considered that it would be unfair if any documentation used for the survey cast aspersions on the Marsters. He reiterated that when Mrs Marsters gave assurances that the street light would be reinstalled, the Marsters had believed that the authorities would make the necessary arrangements. When the developer enquired about the reinstallation, Tim Marsters’ understanding was that the County Council as lead authority deemed that the street light could not be sited close to its previous position and was not required. 

The Clerk reported that the street light was Allerdale’s, not the County Council’s, and that the County Council had attended the meeting as Highways Authority. Whilst Highways considered that the street light could not be accommodated on the east side of the lane, when the Parish Council met Allerdale and Highways on site, it was readily agreed that the street light could be positioned on the west side of the lane, opposite where it had been. With an alternative site agreed, the Parish Council was now pressing for the reinstallation of the street light.

The Parish Council agreed that the Clerk should prepare his report for Tim Marsters and organise a survey of parishioners and Parish Hall users. The Chairman told Tim Marsters that the proposed consultation would refer to the assurances given by Mrs Marsters to the Parish Council and the notes on the approved plans that the light should be resited in explaining the reasons for the consultation.

9.  Parish Maintenance

Updates from the previous meeting:

a) Inspections of local highways and Caldbeck Parish priorities

The Parish Council had received news of planned investment in local highways in July which remained the position. Norman Atkinson reported concerns about Hesket Lonning, the most important stretch of Highways in the Parish, which was often used as a temporary diversion if other roads were closed. The recent serious cycling accident was most likely related to pot holes/state of the road and the County Council may be facing legal action and significant costs. Following discussion it was agreed that the Parish Council should ask Mike Johnson and Tony Annison for their support to lobby Highways for significant investment on improving Hesket Lonning from Caldbeck to Howbeck. It was agreed that limited patching and surface dressing was not a solution and that ideally the full length from Caldbeck to Howbeck required proper resurfacing. 

b) Other issues

i) Hesket Newmarket surface water/flood mitigation including work around the Green and development site;

Alison Young Poole reported that the ‘no through road sign’ is still required. Matt Bish, Highways, had reported that he has commissioned the work.

ii) Hesket Bridge land slippage;

Paul Graham reported that he had met Matt Bish on site to discuss the problems shortly after the last meeting. Highways would continue to monitor the situation.

iii) Possible repair work on Banks Lane – Hesket Bridge to Millhouse;

The Clerk reported that he had not had a response from Highways East as to what was proposed and when. The work is not scheduled for the next three months and the marking up of repairs does not indicate that actual repair work is imminent.

iv) Possible encroachment of Highway Caldbeck Camping Barn;

Alastair Macfadzen reported that he had stopped further cobbles being positioned and suggested that the existing cobbles and troughs might be encroaching on the Highway. The Clerk said he would circulate a response from Highways once received.

v) Barriers obstructing pavement at Riverside, Caldbeck, opposite the Oddfellows;

Alastair Macfadzean reported that the sunken pavement was over a drain and would require proper attention. Matt Bish reported that work was scheduled to be undertaken before March 2021.

vi) Warning signs at Faulds Brow and Wath Brow – issues raised with County Council;

It was agreed that this matter should be raised with Mike Johnson as it has been outstanding for so long.

vii) National Park signage at Millhouse;

The Clerk reported that signage was unlikely to be progressed in the short term given National Park priorities/funding issues.

viii) Cycling accident near Cricket Club, Hesket Lonning.

The accident was discussed as part of the concern about priority investment and the need for significant improvement along the length of Hesket Lonning.

No other urgent matters regarding parish maintenance were reported.

10.  Parish Lengthsman

The Clerk had circulated Mark Binney’s invoice for August which included details of the work undertaken and photographs. The Parish Council was pleased with how the arrangements were operating and the progress made.

Alison Young Poole suggested that Mark Binney should clear the weeds/rushes from around the outflow of Hesket Newmarket pond. She would discuss with those having grazing rights whether some strimming/mowing of the Common by the pond would be welcomed. The Parish Council agreed that these jobs would be appropriate subject to comments from interested parties.

The Parish Council also agreed to request Mark Binney to undertake further gully work throughout the Parish, including identifying if specific gullies needed emptying. Paul Docherty reported that specific gullies could be reported to Highways via HIMS. Angela Glendinning said the gulley by Bridge House needed attention. Ian Shaw said the gulley outside the Parish Hall is silted up so that rain water ponds around that gulley. Both these gullies will be logged on HIMS.

11.  Hesket Newmarket Speeding Traffic

The Clerk reported he had asked Highways, Steph Davis-Johnston, if the CRASH Team would consider siting a temporary Vehicle Activated Speed sign at Hesket Newmarket. He had also asked if the speed detector vans might be deployed and detector vans had been seen in Caldbeck.

12.  Planning applications and decisions

Applications

T/2020/0112  Howk Footpath, near Bridge End House, Caldbeck Lime Tree 2 metre crown reduction and cut back branches

The Parish Council agreed there was no objection to the work proposed. The Parish Council was unsure why an application had been submitted as the tree was outside the Conservation Area. Paul Graham reported there had been problems in downloading Conservation Area data from websites but systems appeared to be working in recent days.

Decisions notified

None since the last meeting.

13. Additional Planning issue

Caldbeck Camping, Mill View, Friar Row. The Clerk reported that Ewan MacFadzean had provided an update. He had not submitted a planning application and had closed the site from 1 September after a successful season. For one week he had asked campers how much they had spent on local services (£1,500), suggesting some £13,000 for a 9 week season. He is likely to submit a planning application for next year. Norman Atkinson reported that some Friar Row parishioners were concerned about traffic volumes and camper vans.

14.  Hesket Lonning Footpath

The Clerk reported that he had spoken to Peter Knapton, Allerdale Estates Manager, who is supporting Mike Johnson in progressing discussions with landowners, prior to Allerdale issuing any Footpath Creation Order. The Clerk was asked to arrange a Zoom meeting with Mike Johnson to discuss the footpath and other issues.

15.  Community Led Affordable Housing

The Clerk had circulated Kevin Richards’ pre planning application advice received earlier in the day. He had spoken to Stuart Woodall, the Parish Council’s architect consultant, who was pleased with the advice and believed that the scheme could be amended to meet the points made. The Clerk would report progress to Allerdale and request whether the balance of the grant could be used to develop the scheme further. The Parish Council agreed that the advice was encouraging and requested the Clerk to draw up a plan for the next steps, including discussions with housing associations.

16.  Lake District National Park land disposals and car parking on common land

The Chairman reported that, despite considerable chasing on his part, the National Park had not yet provided draft Heads of Agreement.

17.  Parish Benches

The Chairman reported that work is continuing and he would provide an update at the October meeting.

18.  Monthly Accounts 2020-21

The Parish Council approved the following receipts and payments since the last meeting and noted the bank balances and budget monitoring report.

a) Receipts

8 August Interest £0.92 Note: Interest rates were significantly reduced from 1 June.

Interest Cumberland Building Society for 2019-20  – tbc

b) Payments

28 July Mark Binney Lengthsman’s contract July – £328.00

8 August Mrs E Benson May to July Chapel disabled facilities – £100.00

8 August Stuart Woodall, Green Swallow Architects – £745.20

2 September Andrew Ward, hosting website – £90.00

c) Bank Balances as at 29 August June 2020

Current Account £15,379.77

Deposit account £108,550.96 including £98,627.80 for Hesket Lonning footpath

19.  Correspondence

The Parish Council noted the correspondence received since the last meeting:

  1. Cumbria Constabulary, County Council, Allerdale/Copeland joint letter: various coronavirus updates.
  2. CALC: Autumn training programme; Allerdale 3 Tier Meeting – virtual meeting 17 September 7pm
  3. Lake District National Park: Geoff Davies July report and press notice on need for savings in light of expected deficit.
  4. Allerdale littering/dog waste consultation
  5. Cumbria Strategic Flood Partnership – virtual meeting 16 September 1:30pm
  6. Lakes in a Day 2020 and local community views on whether the annual event should go ahead this year in light of Covid. Debbie McGowan, organiser, has since confirmed that the event would be cancelled this year and it was hoped that the 2021 event would go ahead.

20.  Next meeting and further dates

19 October 2020

7 December 2020

11 January 2021

The meeting ended at 8:55pm