Meeting of Dent Parish Council - 01 December 2014

 

Agenda Item

Present:

Councillors Graham Dalton, Chris Evans, Rita Corpe, Geoffrey Woof, Tom Stafford and Jenny Pilgrim.

 

District Councillors Evelyn Westwood and Kevin Lancaster.  

 

The meeting opened at 7.30pm.

1.

 

Apologies:

Councillor Elaine Lewis.   

County & District Councillor Nick Cotton.

 

2.

Minutes:

Minutes of the meeting of Monday 03 November 2014 were presented and signed as a true and accurate record.

 

3.

Policing Issues:

3.1 A report was received from PCSO Danielle Ayers. 

Further information was given on:-

3.2 A road traffic collision had occurred on the 03 November at Cowgill involving a bus. No other vehicle had been involved.

3.3 On 06 November one person had been arrested in Dent for drug offences.

3.4 On 26 November a large diesel spillage had occurred on the road near Dent.

3.5 Cold callers had been reported in the area on 27 November and the Police had advised them in relation to their selling methods. Residents were advised not to answer the door if they felt uncomfortable and call the Police if they required assistance.

3.6 Winter safety advice was given concerning both the protection of residents and their homes.

3.7 PCSO Danielle Ayers was thanked for her attendance and left the meeting at 7.36pm.

 

4.

Dent Youth Club:

4.1 A presentation was received from Kate Brooksbank, Holly Sedgwick and Mellissa Hartley representing the Young Leaders of Dent Youth Club, in respect of the Club’s grant request to the Council.

4.2 The Memorial Hall Committee had given the Youth Club the opportunity of decorating a wall in the recently refurbished Sedgwick Room. The Youth Club had accepted the invitation and would like the decoration to reflect the youth of Dentdale.

The Club intends to gain the assistance of an Arts worker and combine the project with an Arts Award facilitated by the Brewery Arts Centre. The objective of the Youth Leaders would be to gain a bronze level Arts Award which is a nationally recognised accreditation.  

4.3 The cost of the Arts project was estimated between £300 and £500 plus materials. Additionally, the moderation of the Arts Award would be in the region of £300 exclusive of £50 for each participating Youth Leader and transport expenses.

4.4 The Youth Leaders presentation supported the Club’s application for a grant award from the Parish Council.

4.5 Councillor Graham Dalton thanked the Youth Leaders for their attendance and presentation informing them that their grant request would be considered later in the meeting alongside other applications from the Parish.

4.6 The Youth Leaders left the meeting at 7.46pm.

 

5.

Declarations of Interest:

Councillor Tom Stafford in respect of item 17, Grants, concerning his association with Dent Pre-School Ltd.

 

6.

Clerk’s Report:

6.1 The Clerk’s report was presented and accepted. Further information was given on:-

6.2.1 (Item 2) Richard Morris on behalf of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line had attended a meeting with Northern Rail Timetable Planners on 07 November 2014. The issue of a stop for the early morning train at Dent Station was raised. The timings of the 05.50hours train from Carlisle appeared to indicate that a stop at Dent was possible. The issue will now be taken to the Northern Rail Performance Team who can put forward a revised schedule for the train but must be satisfied that a change to the timetable does not compromise any part of the network. If a stop at Dent is authorised it will not be implemented before the timetable change in May 2015.

6.2.2 District Councillor Kevin Lancaster suggested that this issue may be of interest to Michael Portillo in view of his keen association with the railway network. It was resolved to write to Michael Portillo requesting his support for the early morning train to stop at Dent Station.

6.3.1 (item 8) The Clerk had written to the Chief Executive Officers of both Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland  (in respect of NatWest) to ask both Organisations to reconsider and defer their Branch closure arrangements in Sedbergh, pending an assessment of the impact on the community.

6.3.2 A response had been received from Heather Clough, Area Manager, NatWest Bank, confirming the NatWest branch closure in Sedbergh, however; service to the community would be retained by a mobile NatWest Bank attending Sedbergh on Wednesday of each week following closure. A NatWest cash machine will remain in Sedbergh at a location to be decided. In addition, it was also agreed that the mobile bank would travel to Dent following the Sedbergh visit each Wednesday. The provisional time for the Banking facility to be available in Dent had been stated as between 2pm and 3pm.

6.4 (item 10) The Chair of Sedbergh Parish Council had written to David Laws MP questioning the decision of Cumbria County Council (CCC) to withdraw financial support for post 16 year old students travelling to and from their place of education. Reference in the communication is made to the Education Act 1996 and the statutory guidance published by the Department for Education in February this year. David Laws MP is asked if CCC has failed to ‘ensure that young people in rural areas should not be worse off financially, because they may need to travel further to access education and training provision, than their peers in urban areas’ (paragraph 13.3).

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

6.5 The Chair of Cumbria Association of Local Councils (CALC) had written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government requesting a review of the two-tier Council system in Cumbria (Cumbria County Council and six District Councils) as CALC believes it is no longer sustainable. It is the view of CALC that the scale of savings still required makes it increasingly difficult, if not impossible to find, without directly affecting frontline services valued by the people of Cumbria. The County Council had estimated that if there was one unitary authority serving the whole of Cumbria savings of between £22 million and £27 million could be achieved and that two unitary authorities could achieve savings of between £13 and £16 million based on 2013/14 data. 

7.

Chair and Member Announcements:

None.

8.

County and District Councillor Announcements:

8.1.1 District Councillor Evelyn Westwood made reference to the on-going campaign against closure of both Barclays and NatWest bank branches in Sedbergh.

8.1.2 The petition against the closures now includes 800 signatures and is rising daily.

8.1.3 Barclays had apparently made its decision for closure on the evidence of retail customers only and had not taken into account its business sector. Therefore, business activity from Sedbergh School had not been taken into consideration in the decision making process.

8.1.4 Tim Farron MP had written to other banks requesting them to consider a banking facility in Sedbergh.

8.2 District Councillor Evelyn Westwood highlighted the services available at the new Sedbergh Business Hub which is a focal point to help businesses of all sizes within Sedbergh and the wider rural community. The site is part of the Rural Growth Network, a DEFRA funded initiative to help businesses in rural areas. Services include rooms that can be hired for meetings. Additionally, it is hoped that the provision of financial services may be offered in the future. One current concern is the lack of opening hours the site provides.

8.3 District Councillor Kevin Lancaster made reference to item 4 of the Clerk’s Report

concerning the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s pursuance of an Article 4 direction on the restriction of building conversions. District Councillor Kevin Lancaster believed the policy was misguided and encouraged potential applicants to proceed with applications despite the Article 4 direction.

9.

Public Forum:

9.1 The issue was raised concerning a vehicle persistently parking on the cobbled area of Main Street, Dent, contrary to the designated ‘no parking’ restriction.

In response Councillor Graham Dalton stated that he had attempted to contact the vehicle’s owner several times by telephone without response. However, messages had been left outlining the problem and the Council’s parking policy. No reply had been received to any of the calls.

It was resolved that a letter should be sent to the vehicle owner/keeper’s address highlighting the infringement of the parking restriction and that a copy of the communication should be forwarded to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, Cumbria County Council Highways and Cumbria Police who are the Parish partners concerned with the designated no parking restriction.

9.2 As a Post Office service is available in Sedbergh it was proposed that more banks should do business through the Post Office to solve the problem of the branch closures in Sedbergh.

In response District Councillor Evelyn Westwood stated that the Post Office in Sedbergh was very small with only two stations available and there was a confidentiality concern in dealing with sensitive financial issues. She believed that using the Post Office for all banking services was not a solution to the problem.

10.

Local Area Partnership:

10.1 A report was received from the Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale Local Area Partnership (LAP) meeting of Thursday 18 November 2014.

10.2 In respect of the impact of the loss of subsidised transport for post 16 year old students a group within the Cumbria County Council Transport Team is currently discussing transport options with Kendal College and local schools including Queen Elizabeth School, Kirkby Lonsdale.

10.3.1 On Thursday 13 November 2014 there had been a South Lakeland LAP Health Event held at the Friends Meeting House in Kendal attracting 26 LAP Parish representatives. A panel of health professionals included, NHS England, the Clinical Commissioning Group, North West Ambulance Service, GP Services and Adult Social Care.

10.3.2 An issue had been raised concerning patients travelling to hospital from rural areas stating that there should be greater account taken of individual circumstances when timetabling appointments. Radiation therapies require patients to travel daily to Preston for up to six weeks for a ten minute appointment. It had been proposed that there should be a designated day at the Hospital for a particular area in order that bus transport could be arranged.

In response, Helen Bailey, Clinical Commissioning Group, highlighted that this would not be possible as each individual’s treatment plan is different and is built around the needs of the patient. Craig Melrose, NHS England, added that some treatments are specialised where the skills and technology needed to be centralised.

10.3.3 It was alleged that some First Responders are resigning the position due to the increased complexities of the role including competency testing. Additionally, it was felt that the application process was too onerous.

In respect of Dentdale Councillor Jenny Pilgrim stated that local First Responder training takes place once every six weeks to ensure that standards are maintained.

       

11.

Playing Field Committee:

11.1 The minutes of the meeting of Thursday 13 November 2014 were received.

It was further reported:

11.2 The dry stone walling work to be undertaken by the Dent Sheep Show Committee had not yet taken place but it is understood that it will be completed over the winter.

11.3 The Committee had thanked Peter Moorby for repairs he had carried out to the pavilion roof for which he had made no charge to the Council.

11.4 The Committee is still in search of inspirational ideas for making greater use of the Playing Field. Any suggestions from members of the community are welcomed.

11.5 The next meeting of the Committee will be held on Thursday 11 December in the Reading Room.

 

12.

Sedbergh & District Walking and Cycling Group:

12.1 A report was received from Councillor Graham Dalton on the meeting of the Sedbergh & District Walking and Cycling Group of Wednesday 12 November 2014.

12.2 The launch of the Group’s website sedberghgateway.org.uk had been a key feature of the meeting.

12.3 The Group is seeking volunteers from the Parish to look at an extension to the Quaker footpath route through Dentdale. Anyone interested in being involved in this project should contact the Group. Contact details can be found on the website sedberghgateway.org.uk.

13.

Beech Hill Project:

13.1 The Council is awaiting the outcome of its planning application to resurface the car parking area at Beech Hill.

13.2 Quotations had been received from all potential suppliers and the contract had been awarded to Steven Hurst Tarmacing as the most financially economical option.

13.3 Three parking signs would be supplied by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and would be commensurate with the style used for all YDNPA finger posts and plaques displayed throughout the National Park.

13.4 Two cycle racks previously used for the Olympic Games had been obtained and provided courtesy of South Lakeland District Council. It was resolved that one of the cycle racks would be utilised at Dentdale Car Park and the other located at the flower bed area of Beech Hill.

 

14.

Dentdale Car Park:

District Councillor Evelyn Westwood left the meeting at 9.15pm prior to the commencement of this item.

14.1.1 The Parish Council lease arrangement with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) for Dentdale Car Park is due to expire on 31 March 2015.

The YDNPA has three options on how to proceed with its Car Park arrangements after this date, namely:

i) Re-lease the facility, ii) operate the car park internally (in-house), or, iii) offer the facility for sale.

14.1.2 The YDNPA had indicated that at some future date it may have an interest in selling the facility dependent on the view and decision of the YDNPA Committee. 

In view of this indication it was resolved that the YDNPA should be informed that the Parish Council maintains an interest in the purchase of the site. Additionally, the Council should obtain a written valuation of the facility for its own purposes to ensure members are appropriately informed should they be required to consider the matter further. In this regard three quotations should be obtained with the contractor offering best value being appointed to carry out the valuation.

14.2 A letter had been received from the Secretary of the Dentdale Run Committee requesting the free use of Dentdale Car Park for vehicles on Saturday 14 March 2015 for next year’s Dentdale Run.

It was resolved that in view of the local fundraising activity for Dent Primary School that the Dentdale Run produced those involved with the Dentdale Run should be allowed to park their vehicles free of charge for the duration of the event on Saturday 14 March 2015.

 

15.

Website Service:

15.1 A report was received concerning the present position of the website service provided by dentdale.com.

15.2 Neville Allen had agreed to continue to administer dentdale.com until an acceptable solution could be found in terms of administering and /or developing the site.

15.3 It was resolved to advertise for interest from individuals who possess the appropriate skills to administer and develop dentdale.com to ensure its future service to the community.

 

16.

Finance:

16.1 Budget and Precept 2015/16:

16.1.1 Budget and precept proposals for the financial year 2015/16 were received.

16.1.2 The car park budget proposal was accepted.

16.1.3 The Parish Council budget was accepted.

16.1.4 It was resolved to formally approve both the Car Park and Parish Council budgets. This would be subject to their compliance with any change in benefit support grant from central government and grant support from South Lakeland District Council.

 

16.2 Payments for authorisation:

E.on  (street Lighting – November 2014)

£12.48

A. Stephenson  (administration & Clerk’s expenses 11/2014)

£32.15

United Utilities (water & wastewater Car Park - 11/2014)

£35.64

Dent Stores (car park toilets – consumables)

£44.85

Neville Allen (dentdale.com - domain name & hosting fees)

£95.98

Burton Turf Care (grass maintenance June to October 2014)

£2786.40

 

 

 

17.

Parish Council Grants 2014/15:

17.1 Councillor Tom Stafford left the room for this item.

17.2 A total of six Grant applications were received and considered.

17.3 It was resolved to authorise the following Grants:

Dent Pre-School Ltd

£200

Dent, Sedbergh & District Oral History Society

£200

Dent Youth Club

£300

Dentdale Memorial Hall

£300

Dent Football Club

£100

Western Dales Community Bus Service

£350

 

 

18.

Planning:

18.1 Applications:

S/01/246A – Beech Hill, Dent. Application for resurfacing of car parking area and siting of three parking signs.

S/01/262 – High Laning Farm Caravan Site, Dent. Application for permission for erection of barn. To be considered.

 

18.2 Decisions:

S/01/183A – Greenwell Farm, Dent. Application for permission to roof over sheep pens and collecting yard. Granted subject to conditions.                                                              

F106300 – The Vicarage, Dent. Notification to crown and re-shape one sycamore tree within the Conservation area of Dent. No objection.

 

19.

Dates of meetings 2015:

19.1 Proposed Parish Council meeting dates for 2015 were received and accepted as the definitive meeting dates for next year.

 

 

19.2 Councillor Jenny Pilgrim asked whether or not a meeting at Cowgill had been considered for the forthcoming year. It was resolved that the Parish Council meeting on Monday 06 July 2015 would be held at St John’s Church, Cowgill, subject to agreement with the Vicar.

 

20.

20.1 Close of Meeting:

The meeting closed at 10.10pm.

20.2 Next Meeting:

Monday 02 February 2015, 7.30pm, in the Sedgwick Room.