Parish Council News March 2021

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The Parish Council met on 15 February 2021 and draft minutes are on the website. Key points are set out below, updated for further progress after the meeting.

Hesket Lonning Footpath -The Parish Council discussed proposals to upgrade the existing footpath south of Hesket Lonning (via Matthew Rudding) and the Footpath Working Group held further discussions with Mike Johnson, Allerdale’s leader. Whilst the Parish Council is happy to look again at options, it is concerned that upgrading the footpath does not deliver what was originally set out in the Parish Plan: a direct, safe, easy to walk footpath between the villages. And in July 2019 when visiting Caldbeck both the National Park and County Council were sceptical that an upgraded footpath would be used by many people wanting a direct link. They feared it might prove costly and be underused. Following easing of COVID restrictions, the plan is for Mike Johnson to walk the existing footpath with the Working Group to discuss the pros and cons and what might be done to progress matters.

Replacement of street light near the Parish Hall – The Parish Council agreed to continue pressing for the street light to be replaced and hoped that progress would be made. The Clerk would follow up requests for further information from Allerdale, the County Council, and Electricity North West. He would ask Allerdale to progress options for using other contractors for the electrical installation and whether a wind/solar light was an option.

Parish Maintenance – The Parish Council noted significant Highways repairs were now scheduled, with patching work in March to be followed by surface dressing in the summer:

1 March: The Street (Hesket Newmarket to B5299 Parkend Farm) – carriageway patching 3 weeks; 

18 March (Caldbeck to Upton) – carriageway resurfacing/patching 1 week (now postponed); and 

26 March: (Caldbeck to Hesket Newmarket) – carriageway patching 1 week. 

In addition Hesket Newmarket surface water/flood mitigation work is scheduled from 6 April for 4 weeks, including work around the Green and development site.

The Parish Council has arranged for repairs on the John Peel Shelter which have been completed by Matthew Atkinson. When replacing some rotten roof timbers, significant gaps between the ridge tiles were discovered which allow water in as there is no roofing felt below the tiles on the whole roof. The ridge tiles needed to be lifted and re-bedded with fresh cement. The Parish Council also recognised that  the wood work is in need of painting, particularly the facia boards. Tim Cartmell and Norman Atkinson volunteered to do some of the painting in the Spring and other volunteers would be welcome.

Caldbeck Green and biodiversity project -Alison Young Poole has undertaken background research and made useful contacts. She has been in touch with Tanya St Pierre who is the Get Cumbria Buzzing project manager with the Cumbria Wildlife Trust and is also a Lorton Parish Councillor. Lorton has initiated regeneration of wildflowers. Alison Young Poole has spoken to the contractor about current mowing patterns and what may be achievable in the future in terms of practicalities. He has suggested a number of small areas which might be considered in the pilot project and provided information on flora and fauna he has noticed. In addition, the Commons graziers have all been contacted. Tim Cartmell asked if the Working Group would look at how best to manage land at Howbeck and Stadle Dykes and also Hesket Newmarket pond which form part of the National Park land purchase.

Lake District National Park land disposals and car parking on common land – The Parish Council is now expecting the long awaited purchase of National Park land, including the green at Hesket Newmarket and the various village car parks to actually happen soon. Tim Cartmell reported on Counsel’s opinion on car parking on common land. The Parish Council’s insurers had advised that current insurance arrangement would cover continued operation. Successful completion gives the Parish more control over important community assets and voluntary contributions from car parking can be used to help maintain facilities and the Parish Council agreed the purchases should go ahead.

Hesket Newmarket Speeding Traffic – The Clerk had circulated a report from the CRASH team which showed that 15% of vehicles were travelling at more than 35mph when approaching Hesket Newmarket from Millhouse. It was recognised that a vehicle activated speed indicator display sign was costly, some £3,000, but a sign could be moved to various locations in the Parish. Further information was expected and the Parish Council would consider a more detailed report at a future meeting.

The Parish Council meets again on 22 March.

For further information, please contact Simon Smith:

Email: Telephone: 016973 71008