Parish Council News June 2021

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The Annual Parish Meeting and the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council took place on 6 May 2021 via Zoom. Eight parishioners joined the meetings together with Parish Councillors and Tony Annison, Caldbeck’s Allerdale Councillor. Key points are set out below and draft minutes are on the website.

Tim Cartmell, Chairman, began by reporting that Alistair Macfadzean had resigned from the Parish Council and thanked him for his 18 years of service from July 1979 to April 1991 and then from June 2015 to May 2021. AliMac will continue making his many contributions to Caldbeck community.

Hesket Lonning Footpath – Tim Cartmell reported that the Footpath Working Group met Mike Johnson on 12 April and walked the Matthew Rudding and Hesket Lonning routes. He was consulting Doreen Steadman and landowners affected by the Matthew Rudding route. Responses to date were sceptical: the alternative route does not meet the expectations of the 2005 Parish Plan and there were concerns about the impact of any upgrading where the footpath crosses a field. The Parish Council would closely examine the merits of the alternative route and discuss findings and next steps with Mike Johnson.

Caldbeck Public Toilets – The Parish Council wished to see the facilities reopened as soon as possible in light of increased numbers of visitors and easing of COVID restrictions. It was seeking a site meeting with Allerdale’s Estates Manager to see whether the current facilities could be reopened prior to any upgrade and to agree any upgrade Allerdale would undertake and when.

Parish Maintenance – the Parish Council had sent Mike Johnson a brief on Caldbeck Parish Highways priorities and a comparison with other areas which have benefitted from Highways investment. Alison Young Poole drew attention to the poor quality of work recently carried out recently in Hesket Newmarket. Whilst drainage work has been completed, the road surface did not provide a satisfactory camber to channel surface water into the drains and would need to be redone. Norman Atkinson and Paul Graham were concerned about the poor quality of the pothole repairs on Hesket Lonning. Norman Atkinson reported a number of Highways defects: potholes between Lonning Head and Haltcliffe; potholes at the east end of Ratten Row; potholes near Fellview School opposite Park View; the very poor state of the highway from Hesket Newmarket to Howbeck; and again the very poor state of Woodhall to Pasture Lane road. Alan Tyson said that the gulley emptying team had been unable to deal with a number of gulleys as they did not have a drain key. Norman Atkinson said the John Peel Centre painting was nearing conclusion but there would soon be a need to replace windows. The National Park had advised that uPVC windows may be allowed subject to ‘any other considerations’. The Parish Council agreed that the historic signpost near the Old Police House should be renovated this spring/summer.

The Old Smithy Tea Room – Tim Cartmell reported that the National Park had advised that there had been some relaxation in the planning arrangements for temporary structure to enable business to get up and running for takeaway services as COVID restrictions were relaxed. The owners had assured that the temporary structure enabled the tea room to operate whilst renovation work was underway. During discussions concerns were expressed about parking arrangements and the Parish Council has since learned that during the summer parking will be available at Fellview School.

Caldbeck Green –  Alison Young Poole, Chair of the Biodiversity Working Group, presented her report setting out proposals for increasing biodiversity on Caldbeck Green. The Group had identified three areas on the Green, plus the open ground by the Old Police House. The proposal was to change the grass cutting arrangements in the identified areas, improve drainage, and open up the areas by putting in paths and footbridges across the issues so that users of the Green would be able to see the emerging results. Following discussion Tim Cartmell called for the 9 Parish Councillors to vote on four options:

a) Accept the full proposals (4 in favour);

b) Accept the proposals for Caldbeck Green but exclude the plot by the Old Police House (6 in favour); c) Accept the proposal for the area north of the Bowling Club only (3 in favour);

d) Reject all the proposals (1 in favour).

The Parish Council therefore agreed to press ahead with the proposals for Caldbeck Green but would leave arrangements as is for the area by the Old Police Station.

Hesket Newmarket Speeding Traffic – Tim Cartmell reported that traffic monitoring by the CRASH team last year highlighted a problem with speeding traffic approaching Hesket Newmarket and that two options were available. 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. That could possibly be done in collaboration with other parishes. Secondly the Parish Council could see if parishioners would undertake speed monitoring. The CRASH team would train volunteers and would provide support, with the Police joining volunteers on occasions. Some Parish Councillors considered volunteers may prefer to monitor traffic in other areas rather than their home village. Given the benefits of working with others, Tony Annison offered to discuss collaborative possibilities with his other parishes and report back.

The Parish Council approved the Final Accounts and Governance Statement for 2020-21 and agreed its reserves. Details are on the website.

For further information, please contact Simon Smith:

Email: Telephone: 016973 71008