Meeting of Dent Parish Council - 04 August 2014

 

Agenda Item

Present:

Councillors Graham Dalton, Chris Evans, Tom Stafford, Geoffrey Woof and

Jenny Pilgrim.

 

Prior to the meeting a minute’s silence was observed to commemorate the First World centenary.

 

The meeting opened at 7.34pm.

1.

 

Apologies:

Councillors Elaine Lewis and Rita Corpe.

County & District Councillor Nick Cotton.

District Councillors Evelyn Westwood and Kevin Lancaster.

 

2.

Minutes:

Minutes of the meeting of Monday 07 July 2014 were presented and signed as a true and accurate record.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest:

None.

 

4.

YDNP:

4.1 Councillor Robert Heseltine, YDNPA member representative, was welcomed to the meeting.

4.2 The purpose of Councillor Heseltine’s visit was threefold:-

i)   To inform the Council of current issues facing the Authority,

ii)  To receive issues that are important to the Council, and,

iii) To identify areas where the Authority can help to work in partnership with the Council.

Councillor Heseltine covered the following areas:-

4.3 Finance: The Authority is being severely affected by reduced funding from Central Government. Further spending cuts were announced in December which will mean that the budget will have been reduced by almost 40% in real terms over the years 2011-2016.

4.4 National Park Management Plan 2013-18: The Plan sets out an ambitious vision for the future of the Park with its key objectives being;

Getting more visitors to stay overnight;

Holding on to local services like primary schools and GP services;

Supporting farmers and landowners to deliver a wide range of environmental benefits;

Improving access to broadband;

Finding ways to conserve thousands of stone-built barns and bringing some of them back into use;

Reversing the decline in the number of young people and people of working age;

Providing more affordable housing for local people;

Restoring huge areas of moorland and planting more woodland;

Keeping footbaths in excellent condition.  

 

4.5 Local Plan: The Local Plan will steer planning applications and other development decisions between 2015 and 2030. Councillor Heseltine highlighted that the key issues will be:

Finding sites to encourage new economic development;

Widening the range of visitor accommodation and visitor facilities;

Encouraging the re-use of some redundant farm buildings which includes use for  local housing;

Deciding whether or not to allow any further extensions for quarrying.

4.6 Boundary Review: The public inquiry was held in Kendal in June 2013. The Authority is still awaiting the outcome. The YDNPA position is that it agrees in principle of the designation of the areas of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, subject to;

i)  an increase in resources proportional to the increase in area, population and administrative complexity, and,

ii) membership of the Authority is increased in order to adequately reflect the political representation of the areas designated and to maintain the current level of representation within the existing National Park area.

4.7 Parish Forums: Parish Forums are intended to provide an opportunity for the Authority and Parish representatives to discuss local issues. The first two meetings focused on the planning service and the Local Plan.

4.8 Sustainable Development Fund: The fund has £160,000 available for the 2014/15 financial year for local projects that would have economic, social and environmental benefits. Councillor Heseltine highlighted the help this fund was giving to Fibre Garden in pursuit of improving the broadband infrastructure in Dentdale.

4.9 It was acknowledged that the Parish had written to the YDNPA concerning the excellent working relationship with Paul Wilkinson, National Park Ranger, and for the work undertaken by the Ranger Team.

4.10 The issue of Planning Officer opinion was raised in relation to a perception of subjective views expressed on planning applications by individual Officers. Councillor Heseltine responded by stating that Planning Officers should always use planning policy as their base line and it is for members to make a decision on applications.

4.11 Councillor Heseltine was thanked for his attendance on behalf of the YDNPA and he left the meeting at 8.27pm.

 

5.

Clerk’s Report:

5.1 The Clerk’s report was presented and accepted.

Further information was given on:-

5.2. (Item 11) A letter had been sent to Tim Farron MP requesting him to contact Northern Rail on behalf of the Parish Council asking that early morning train services are adjusted to include a stop at Dent Station.

The franchise for the line is due for renewal in February 2016; however, the Department of Transport is presently in public consultation seeking views on the rail franchise specifications. The consultation closes on 18 August 2014. 

Anyone with any information of potential users of the early morning trains who would wish to take advantage of a stop at Dent Station is asked to contact the Clerk by 11 August.

 

 

5.3. (item14) Information had been received from Connecting Cumbria concerning the Impact Assessment from BT relating to the de-scoping of Dentdale from the Connecting Cumbria Project. Analysis has now started with BDUK, their technical team and legal advisors. As there are a number of elements within the assessment  that need to be clarified and challenged a recommendation to the September meeting of the CCC Cabinet will now not be possible and is likely to be postponed until October or, more likely, the November meeting where a decision on de-scoping will be made.

It was resolved to write to Fibre Garden to request a meeting with its partner ITS for the purpose of gathering more information about the Company and the role it will play with Fibre Garden as the broadband project moves forward. 

5.4 (item 15) A complaint had been received concerning a number of defective cobbles on Main Street, Dent, outside the George & Dragon Public House. This issue had been reported to CCC Highways for action, complaint reference no: 62/124116. It was resolved that CCC Highways should be contacted to ensure that the cobbles are repaired and not replaced with tarmacadam as had previously occurred at the junction of Main Street with Vicarage Lane.

Information received since the publication of the Clerk’s report included:

5.4 The police report for Dentdale had been received;

5.4.1 A pot hole in the road between Dent Station and Cowgill had been reported and repaired by CCC Highways.

5.4.2 On 03 August 2014 there had been a report of anti-social behaviour at Beech Hill, Dent. Officers had attended and dealt with the incident.

5.4.3 A Police desk will be available at the Sedbergh Community Office building above the Information Centre between 11am and 2pm every Wednesday. A Community or Police Officer will be in attendance to deal with any issues.

5.5 The Central Dales Medical Practice is to hold an Open Meeting for all its patients at the Yorebridge Community and Sports Centre in Askrigg from 6.30-8.30pm on Monday 22 September 2014. The purpose of the meeting is to welcome suggestions to help the Practice offer the best possible service to patients.

5.6 The Library Link at the Reading Room, Dent, has just celebrated its second year of service to the community. The majority of the primary school children have enrolled for the yearly Reading Challenge. The service remains very popular with both the community and Cumbria County Council where the Dent initiative is still considered a beacon of good practice for the Library Service within the County.

5.7 The Music & Beer Festival Committee had been contacted and asked to remove a number of pallets and beer casks which still remain at the Car Park site following the Festival.

 

6.

Chair and Member Announcements:

6.1 Councillor Tom Stafford reported that the street light at Hodgson’s Barn was unlit.

It was resolved that the Clerk would take action for repair.

6.2 Councillor Tom Stafford reported that he had received a complaint of dog excrement on the grass verge adjacent to the entrance to the allotments on the Cowgill side of Church Bridge. Advice was given that a ‘no dog fouling’ sign could be requested from South Lakeland District Council to remind dog owners of their responsibilities.

 

 

7.

County and District Councillor Announcements:

None present.

 

8.

Public Forum:

A request was made for Peter Charlsworh (Chair, YDNPA) to be informed of the dilemma in which Dentdale finds itself regarding the upgrade to the broadband infrastructure. This concerns an announcement of a delay to the decision of whether or not to ‘de-scope’ Dentdale and Garsdale from the Connecting Cumbria broadband project. It was resolved that a letter be sent to Peter Charlsworth informing him of the present situation and for any help the YDNPA can give in highlighting the issue at local and national ministerial level.  

 

9.

Playing Field Committee:

9.1 The minutes of the meeting of Thursday 10 July 2014 were received.

It was further reported:-

9.2 A request was made for the Chair to write to John Dixon to inform him that although the eastern boundary dry stone wall of the Playing Field will be repaired by the Parish Council, the Council would not take responsibility for its future maintenance. It was resolved that the Clerk would write to John Dixon informing him of the Council’s intentions to repair the eastern boundary wall but this would not assume the Council’s commitment and responsibility to future maintenance.

9.3 The Playing Field Committee had recommended to the Council that no charge for use of the playing field should be made to local groups other than by voluntary donation. It was resolved that for local organisations no charge would be made for use of the Playing Field for a single event, however, a donation to the Council’s running costs would be welcomed.

9.4 The next meeting of the Playing Field Committee will be held on Thursday 14 August 2014.

 

10.

Car Park Lease:

10.1 A communication had been received from Alan Hulme, YDNPA, reminding the Council that the Car Park lease arrangement with the Parish Council is due to expire on 31 March 2015. Due to its current financial position the YDNPA is in the process of reviewing all activities including those taking place on its properties which have potential financial implications for the Authority. Part of the review will look at the input the Authority has continued to have over the last 5 years in relation to the management of Dentdale Car Park.

10.2 To assist the Authority’s review the Parish Council has been requested to submit an opinion on its experiences and whether or not it would wish to see the lease renewed on 01 April 2015.

10.3 The car park is seen as an important and integral part of the community where parking is extremely limited, currently offering free parking to all residents throughout the Parish. It was resolved to inform the YDNPA that the Parish Council would like to continue with a further lease agreement from 01 April 2015. Additionally, in principle, the Parish Council would be willing to consider acquisition of the car park from YDNPA on reasonable and affordable terms should the YDNPA wish to transfer / sell ownership of the site.

 

11.

Parish Plan:

11.1 Meeting: Councillor Tom Stafford reported that the Parish Plan meeting of Monday 28 July 2014 did not take place due to lack of attendance.

11.2.1 Parish Plan Strategy: Councillor Tom Stafford advised the meeting that the objectives of Phase 2 of the Parish Plan would be difficult to achieve with the resources available at this time. He proposed that this would be better attempted when more volunteers became available.

11.2.2 It was resolved that work on the Parish Plan  should be postponed and reviewed at the Annual Parish Meeting in April 2015.

11.3.1 Website Service: Members considered the future of Parish Council website delivery in view of Neville Allen’s intention to cease administration and operation of dentdale.com from October this year. 

11.3.2 It was resolved that a meeting should be held to discuss a website strategy for the Council. Councillors Tom Stafford, Chris Evans and Jenny Pilgrim agreed to attend the meeting with invitations extended to:- Heather Fraser, Laura Thornley, Matthew Kaunz and Neville Allen. Date to be arranged.

 

 

12.

Beech Hill:

12.1.1 A quotation for tarmacadam resurfacing of the Parish Council land at Beech Hill was received by members.

12.1.2 Comments from the YDNPA had also been received concerning options for alternative materials for the resurfacing project.

12.1.3 It was resolved that a meeting should be arranged between the Council and the YDNPA with the objective of obtaining a mutually acceptable agreement on the surface material to be used at Beech Hill.

12.1.4 It was resolved that consultation with residents on car parking arrangements at Beech Hill should be made after a solution for the resurfacing project has been agreed with the YDNPA. 

12.2.1 Members were advised that the repair work to the paving and walls at the flower-bed area of Beech Hill had now been completed.

12.2.2 It was agreed to approve the repairs in order that the account for the work could be sent to South Lakeland District Council for reimbursement, and, as a result, the contract for the transfer of the land to the Parish Council could be completed. 

 

 

13.

Finance:

 

 

  Payments authorised:             

E.on (street lighting – July 2014)

£12.90

A. Stephenson (administration & Clerk’s expenses – July 2014)

£45.50

S. Fiddler (car park relief)

£36.00

United Utilities (water & wastewater car park – July 2014)

£132.81

G. Bradley (repairs to paving and walls Beech Hill)

£630.00

J. Hyde (car park consumables)

£2.50

Land Registry (registration of land at Beech Hill to Dent Parish Council)

£40.00

Dentdale Memorial Hall (room hire)

£19.25

   

14.

Planning:

14.1 Applications

 S/01/260/LBCowgill Bridge, Cowgill. Application for listed building     

 consent for repair works to bridge - Support.

 S/01/131A/LB – Barth Bridge, Dent. Application for listed building consent 

 for repairs to flood arches – Support.

 

14.2 Decisions

 None  

 

15.

15.1 Close of Meeting:

The meeting closed at 9.44pm.

15.2 Next Meeting:

Monday 01 September 2014, 7.30pm, in the Sedgwick Room.