Parish Council News April 2021

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The Parish Council met on 22 March 2021 and draft minutes are on the website. Key points are set out below, updated for further progress after the meeting.

Hesket Lonning Footpath – On 12 April the Footpath Working Group is meeting Mike Johnson to look at the Matthew Rudding option. The Parish Council had asked for documents so as to understand Allerdale’s position as fully as possible. Mike Johnson said that the documents constituted legal advice and would not be released but that he would brief the Working Group when visiting Caldbeck.

Caldbeck Public Toilets – Tim Cartmell reported that Allerdale is prepared to transfer the public toilets to the Parish Council either ‘as is’ (with a grant of up to £8,000 to support upgrading or relocation/alternative arrangements in partnership with others) or to carry out the upgrading prior to transfer. It was agreed that relocation/alternative arrangements were unlikely and that using the existing site was the most practical option. The Parish Council agreed it should hold a site meeting to discuss what Allerdale would provide by way of an upgrade, including checking windows and the roof, and making the facilities disabled friendly although it was recognised that wheelchair access may not be possible. The Parish Council would explore supporting wheelchair accessible facilities at St Kentigern’s and the Chapel.

Parish Maintenance – The Parish Council noted that work on Hesket Lonning and The Street is progressing. It was concerned that work was underway between Hesket Bridge and the Banks when there is so much higher priority work in the Parish not scheduled or postponed. The Upton work has been postponed to the new financial year; the lane around Caldbeck Pond has been outstanding since 2015; and Pasture Lane to Calebreck and towards Mungrisdale also require considerable attention, albeit some patching work has been carried out. It was agreed that the Parish Council would brief Mike Johnson, who is now on the Allerdale Local Committee Highways Working Group, to help him lobby for Caldbeck priorities to be addressed. Parishioners have been in touch regarding drainage problems by Midtown, near Calebreck, and the Woodhall Lane/The Street junction, and the state of Knocker Road which Highways has confirmed is its responsibility. Highways expects to carry out Hesket Newmarket drainage work from 6 April for 4 weeks. Paul Graham reported that Hesket Newmarket Parish Councillors were looking at what might be done to safeguard the Green once the National Park land purchase is completed and would bring proposals to the next meeting. The Allotment Association had been in touch asking if the Parish Council would carry out work to deal with a large hawthorn and sort out the hedging.

Caldbeck Green – Alison Young Poole provided an update of the work she has been undertaking in preparation for a first meeting of the Biodiversity Working Group. The Group will visit Caldbeck Green and formulate proposals for areas where biodiversity might best be encouraged for the Parish Council to consider. The Working Group would later look at management of Stadle Dykes and land at Howbeck. A separate Working Group would consider Hesket Newmarket pond where Alison Young Poole and Paul Graham have begun drawing up options. The Parish Council agreed the formation of the Biodiversity Working Group comprising: Caroline Knox, Caldbeck Green Resident; Elspeth MacKenzie, Caldbeck Gardening Club; Liz Mounsey, Grazier on Caldbeck Common; Ian Shaw, Caldbeck Parish Council; Simon Smith, Clerk; and Alison Young Poole (Chair), Caldbeck Parish Council.

Lake District National Park land disposals and car parking on common land – Tim Cartmell explained that the land purchase was moving forwards. The National Park now asked that the Parish Council purchase the entirety of the National Park’s surplus land and would be responsible for finding solutions where there were adverse possession claims. Jo Edwards, PKF Land Agent, had advised that the Parish Council could go ahead with the purchase.

Hesket Newmarket Speeding Traffic – The Clerk reported that during recent traffic monitoring 2,084 vehicles (37.9%) exceeded the speed limit. The average speed of those vehicles exceeding the speed limit was 37.2 mph, with one vehicle recorded driving at 60 mph. There were two options for taking action. The Parish Council could look to purchase a Vehicle Activated Speed Indicator Device which could be used in Hesket Newmarket and other parts of the Parish. Alternatively Hesket Newmarket parishioners might consider undertaking speed monitoring (as has happened in other parishes including Embleton). The CRASH team trains volunteers to check speeds and can support monitoring with Police joining volunteers on occasions. Police would have powers of enforcement. Volunteers would not have such powers. The Parish Council agreed to look further at the options and discuss possibilities with other parishes and organisations.

Parish Council final accounts for 2020-21 and internal controls – the draft accounts and related documentation are being prepared for internal audit. They will all be posted on line before 12 April.

The Parish Council meets again on Thursday 6 May for the Annual Parish Meeting at 7:00 pm. This is a virtual meeting via Zoom, the last date currently on which such meetings can be conducted although the Government is consulting on extending arrangements for virtual meetings.

For further information, please contact Simon Smith:

Email: Telephone: 016973 71008