Meeting of Dent Parish Council - 02 February 2015

 

Agenda Item

Present:

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

 

District Councillor Kevin Lancaster. 

 

The meeting opened at 7.33pm.

1.

 

Apologies:

Councillor Elaine Lewis.  

County & District Councillor Nick Cotton and District Councillor Evelyn Westwood. 

 

2.

Minutes:

Minutes of the meeting of Monday 01 December 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 policing matters within the Parish:-

3.2 On 03 January there had been a theft of a motor vehicle which had been recovered in Durham on 08 January bearing false registration plates.

3.3 On 04 January the occupants of a vehicle had given rise to suspicion which had been reported to the Police. The vehicle had been subsequently located and checked with intelligence submitted for police purposes.

3.4 On 26 January four Limousin cattle had been stolen with an estimated value of £6,000.

3.5 Residents were asked to be vigilant due to a number of recent burglaries and thefts in rural areas.

3.6 A Police operation would shortly commence which will target vans and larger vehicles for the purpose of the prevention and detection of crime in rural areas. 

3.7 PCSO Danielle Ayers was thanked for her attendance and left the meeting at 7.38pm.

 

4.

Emergency Planning:

4.1 A presentation was received from John Sibley in relation to emergency planning arrangements for communities.

4.2 Cumbria County Council's Emergency Planning Team would like local communities to build their own emergency plans. Work is currently progressing in West Cumbria in conjunction with Electricity North West that may provide a model for other communities.

4.3 As part of its involvement with the County Emergency Plan, Cumbria Police, acting through the local Neighborhood Watch Teams, had asked communities to provide a list of resources that might be useful to the emergency services in the event of a major incident. John Sibley had completed this work and sent a response on behalf of the Parish.

 

 

4.4 Communities are now to be invited to construct their own emergency plans that could respond to a major incident or disaster. Action with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) already provide advice about local community emergency plans and suggest a two part approach, namely:

Part 1 - To encourage individual householders to be prepared.

Part 2 - A self-help plan that the community can put into effect quickly in the event of a major event.

4.5 In the event of a community deciding to build an emergency plan, help is available from ACT through its website and in person from the emergency planning team at county level. Once the West Cumbria model plan has been completed and published local communities will be able to use it as a template to adapt to their particular plan.

4.6 It was resolved that a Community Emergency Plan should be an agenda item at the next Parish Council meeting on Monday 02 March 2015, to decide whether or not the Council would wish to support the concept and future introduction of a Community Emergency Plan for Dentdale.

4.7 John Sibley was thanked for his presentation and for all the work he had undertaken to date in respect of emergency plan arrangements. He left the meeting at 8.00pm.

 

5.

Declarations of Interest:

Councillor Jenny Pilgrim in respect of agenda item 15.1 Planning Applications concerning application S/01/49F - Cowgill Barn.

 

6.

Clerk’s Report:

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

6.2 (Item 18) The NatWest mobile banking service in Dent had now commenced with a visit to Dentdale Car Park each Tuesday morning.

6.3 (Item 23) Cumbria Action for Sustainability is holding a ‘drop in’ event at Dentdale Memorial Hall on Friday 06 February 2015 between 1.30pm and 3pm. The event will provide free impartial advice and support on the best tariffs for electricity and gas including the cheapest way to pay bills. Attendees are encouraged to take their latest bill with them.  

6.4 (Item 24) A complaint had been received concerning the misuse of the recycling centre at Dentdale Car Park over the Christmas period. Bags of household waste items had been left inside and outside the recycling bins. As a result an article had been sent to the Lookaround requesting inclusion in the February edition. The article outlines the problem and asks for community support by contacting the Clerk should future misuse take place. A flyer is also being prepared for delivery to holiday cottages in the village asking for sensitivity and compliance with the recycling process.

6.5 (item 37) A complaint had been received of no salt piles being left by Cumbria County Council (CCC) Highways at Stonehouse on the C5101 as in previous years. A request for salt piles for the Stonehouse area had been subsequently made by the Clerk to CCC Highways. This complaint follows a pattern where in reality South Lakeland has seen a significant restriction this year in the routine placing of salt piles by the roadside.

It was resolved that County and District Councillor Nick Cotton should be contacted with a request for a more proactive approach by the delivery of salt within the Parish prior to the onset of further adverse weather conditions.

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

6.6 A letter of resignation had been received from Councillor Elaine Lewis with effect from 31 March 2015. Members expressed their disappointment but understood the reasons for her decision.

6.7 On 02 February 2015 a fallen tree in the River Dee had been reported which was blocking one of the arches at Church Bridge. The incident had been reported to Cumbria County Council for action as the responsible Authority.

6.8 A communication had been received from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) asking for the Council’s views on the YDNPA setting up two Parish Forums. One would be for the north and one for the south of the National Park. The objective of each Forum would be to give an opportunity for a two-way discussion about any National Park issues that are relevant to Parish Councils. It was resolved that this topic should be an agenda item for the Parish Council meeting on Monday 02 March 2015.

6.9 The Clerk had been notified that South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) would feature the Parish as the ‘Parish of the month’ for March 2015 on its website. The Clerk had been requested to make a written submission to SLDC for feature content. 

 

7.

Public Forum:

7.1 David Baines representing Dent Football Club highlighted the significant involvement of young people within the Club both playing football and using the local gym. He felt that the Football Club was misunderstood by members and returned a grant cheque for £100 which had been issued in December 2014 by the Council to the Football Club for the purchase of gym equipment. It was resolved that Councillors Graham Dalton and Chris Evans would attend a future meeting of the Football Club Committee to gather further information on the function of the Club and what it has to offer the community.

7.2.1 David Ryall representing Fibre Garden gave a report and update on its broadband project including the following information:

7.2.2 Network Rail would not be able to offer ‘back haul’ connection to the project for at least the next 5 years, therefore, Fibre Garden was looking to secure its fibre network feed from Sedbergh. Once this was secured the project build would start from both Sedbergh and Cowgill simultaneously. The objective would be for the network to ‘go live’ when the building from both ends of the dale meet together. This would demand a new timetable for ‘go live’.

7.2.3 The Cabinet of Cumbria County Council (CCC) is due to meet on Thursday 05 February 2015 to decide whether or not the original CCC Cabinet decision to de-scope Garsdale and Dentdale from the Connecting Cumbria project should stand. Regardless of the Cabinet’s decision the Fibre Garden project would proceed.

7.2.4 The Fibre Garden website had been unavailable for the last week, however; a problem with the provider’s service will be rectified as soon as practicably possible.

7.2.5 David Ryall was thanked for his attendance at the meeting and for delivering an update of Fibre Garden’s broadband project.

7.3 An enquiry was made as to whether or not the Council had received a reply to the letters it had sent concerning parking within the cobbled area of Main Street, Dent, contrary to the parking restriction. In response the Clerk stated that letters had been sent to the owner/keeper of the two vehicles involved and copies forwarded for the information of Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Police and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA). A reply had been received from Peter Charlsworth, Chair,YDNPA, supporting the partnership work the YDNPA had undertaken with the Parish Council in implementing the parking restriction, thereby; enhancing the conservation area status the village enjoys.

 

8.

Chair and Member Announcements:

8.1 Councillor Graham Dalton had received information from Lyon Equipment that the Company is currently unable to find a purchaser for the Rise Hill site. Members agreed the lack of a buyer presented an ongoing problem for the village which may be aggravated by the planning restrictions placed upon it by the YDNPA.

8.2 Councillor Rita Corpe had been approached by a Parish resident who had suggested that the erection of CCTV cameras at certain locations within the Parish would help the prevention and detection of rising criminal activity.

8.3 Councillor Jenny Pilgrim announced that the Central Dales Medical Practice has secured funding to extend hours at the Hawes surgery. The surgery will now be open on Wednesday evenings between 6pm and 8pm by appointment only for a trial period until June 2015.   

9.

Playing Field:

9.1 The minutes of the Playing Field meeting held on Thursday 08 January 2015 were received.

Further information included:

9.2 Concern had been raised about the amount of dog excrement on the Playing Field. Members of the public who witness dog owners not collecting their dog’s excrement are encouraged to report the incident to the Parish Council in order that appropriate action can be taken.

9.3 It was reported that the drainage system was working effectively with large quantities of water recently seen being dispersed into the River Dee.

9.4 Repairs to the walls are due to take place in Spring.

9.5 The next meeting of the Playing Field Committee will be held on Thursday 12 March 2015.

 

10.

Litter Picking:

10.1 The Litter-Picking Group Annual Report for 2014 had been received.

10.2 The list of registered Litter Pickers remains the same as last year.

10.3 In respect of the volume of litter the River Dee had been the main problem source. The flood conditions over the Christmas and New Year period brought a lot of rubbish onto the banks which had now been cleared where accessible and the help of unregistered volunteers has made a significant contribution to the effort.

10.4 ‘Takeaway’ food containers remain a local problem on the highway where passing places along the Barbon road section are the worst affected areas.

10.5 Some of the Litter-Picking Team continue to accept responsibility for trying to eradicate two invasive plant species from Dentdale, namely, Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam. The Team continues to work with the Lune Rivers Trust and the Cumbria Rivers Trust who provide DEFRA licensed personnel to apply herbicide sprays but a planned spraying visit for 2014 was cancelled at the last minute. The Lune Rivers Trust has agreed to undertake the work in 2015. As in the previous year the Dent Litter-Pickers work was that of locating the plants, providing location maps and obtaining landowner consents to permit the spraying operation.

10.6 South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) continues to co-operate by removing collected rubbish.

10.7 It was resolved to thank John Sibley for his dedicated work with the Litter Picking Group and to all members of the Team who give their time in striving to ensure that Dentdale remains litter-free.

 

11.

Forestry Commission Woodland Management Plan:

11.1 Details were received of a proposed woodland management plan at Hewthwaite Wood and Miry Paddock Woodlands, Dent. The information was received from Carter Jonas as agent for the Helga Frankland Estate as part of a Forestry Commission Woodland Management Plan.

11.2 The key objective of the plan, in addition to meeting UK Forestry Standards, is to preserve the ancient semi-natural woodlands by creating a diverse woodland age and species structure and to control invasive shrubs, thereby; re-establishing the ground flora.

11.3 It was resolved to support the objectives of the plan and the management strategy proposed.

 

12.

Beech Hill Project:

12.1 The re-surfacing of the parking area at Beech Hill together with the introduction of parking bays is planned to commence in mid-February subject to suitable weather conditions.

12.2 Vehicles will be requested to be removed from the area on Friday 13 February to allow for preliminary work over the weekend with the main contract planned to be undertaken between Monday 16 and Thursday 19 February. A number of days for surface hardening and settlement will be required on completion of the work before vehicles are allowed to return to the site on Monday 23 February 2015.

12.3 From Monday 23 February 2015 parking will be restricted to Dentdale residents displaying a resident’s car parking permit upon the windscreen of their vehicle. Additionally, two parking bays opposite Dent Stores will be reserved for shop customer parking during opening hours.

12.4 A Parish Council grant application to the YDNPA Sustainable Development Fund had been successful. As a result, £711.00 had been awarded to the Council towards the cost of stone cobbles which will outline each parking bay.

 

13.

Website Service:

13.1 The Council had sent letters to Sedbergh School, Settlebeck School, Queen Elizebeth School, Kirkbie Kendal School and Queen Katherine School, inviting interest in website redesign of dentdale.com, either as a formal school project or from students wishing to develop their personal skills and contribute real value service to the community. Additionally, an article had been placed in the February edition of Lookaround similarly inviting volunteer interest in website design and the day to day administration of dentdale.com. 

13.2 An initial response of interest concerning the website design phase of the project had been received from Steven Bramall, Director of ICT, Kirkbie Kendal School, who had indicated that he would be available to discuss the matter further at a meeting in early March.

13.3. It was resolved that Councillors Tom Stafford and Chris Evans would attend a meeting in early March with Steven Bramall with the objective of taking the project forward.

14.

Finance:

14.1 Finance Monitoring:

14.1.1 A report and statement of the Council’s financial position detailing income and expenditure from 01 April 2014 to 02 February 2015 was received and accepted.

14.1.2 An invoice from E.on in relation to the cost of street lighting for quarter 3 had been received. The account was for a total of £179.26 for the billing period reflecting a dramatic increase in costs. Electricity North West had indicated that it had purchased a new unmetered supplies management system which reflects up to date information on charge codes, switch regimes and annual burn hours. It was resolved that the Clerk would further investigate:

i)   the accuracy of the information received,

ii)  the difference in billing costs if all street lighting was changed to LED bulbs,

iii) feasibility and cost of replacing all street lights with LED bulbs,

iv) suitability of the light generated from LED bulbs.

 

14.2 Payments made since 01 December 2014:

HMRC (PAYE – third quarter)                  

 £896.37

HMRC (VAT – third quarter)

 £130.03

E.on  (electricity – Car Park December 2014)

   £12.90

United Utilities (water & wastewater Nov & Dec 2014)                     

   £69.81

 

14.3 Payments authorised:

E.on  (car park electricity – January 2015)

£12.90

A. Stephenson  (administration & Clerk’s expenses)

£69.81

United Utilities (water & wastewater Car Park – 01/2015)

£34.91

Dentdale Memorial Hall (room hire October - December 2014)

£24.50

nps Group (valuation Dentdale Car Park)

£540.00

 

 

15.

Planning:

15.1 Applications:

S/01/49F – Cowgill Barn, Cowgill. Application for full planning permission for erection of extension to existing dwelling house – Support

Councillor Jenny Pilgrim having declared an interest in this application was not involved in the Council’s observations and subsequent response to the YDNPA.

S/01/263 – Winny’s Field, Dent Road, Sedbergh.  Application for full planning permission for construction of anaerobic digester and erection of associated barn and drying shed - Support.

S/01/261 - Stone Croft, Cowgill, Dent. Application for erection of extension to existing house and change of use of part of field to form parking and garden - Support.

 

15.2 Decisions:

S/01/194B Hollybush, Deepdale. Application for permission for extensions and alterations to allow part of the house to be used as a self-contained annex for visiting family members.  GRANTED subject to conditions.

S/01/252A Peas Gill House, Stonerigg Outrake, Gawthrop. Application for re-occupation of former dwelling. GRANTED subject to conditions.

S/01/246A Beech Hill, Dent. Application for re-surfacing of car parking area and siting of three parking signs. GRANTED subject to conditions.

S/01/262 High Laning Farm Caravan Site, Laning, Dent. Application for permission for erection of barn. GRANTED subject to conditions.  

 

15.3 Withdrawn:

S/01/247A - Burton Hill Farm.  Prior notification under Schedule 2, Parts 6 & 7 of The Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development Order) 1995 for erection of lean-to extension to existing agricultural building.

 

16.

16.1 Close of Public Meeting:

The public meeting closed at 9.37pm.

16.2 Next Meeting:

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

 

17.

Dentdale Car Park: (Public Excluded)

17.1 Prospective Purchase:

An independent valuation of the Dentdale Car Park site was received and considered in respect of whether or not the Council should retain an interest in the purchase of the site should it be offered for sale by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA). It was resolved that the YDNPA should be informed that the Council would not continue an interest in purchasing the site at the current valuation level.  

17.2 Lease Arrangements:

A report was received from the YDNPA in respect of negotiated lease arrangements for Dentdale Car Park from 01 April 2015 to 31 March 2020. 

It was resolved to accept a new lease conditional on the following annual rental charges to the Council from the YDNPA:

Financial years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 @ £3,500,

Financial years 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020 @ £3,750.

17.3 It was also agreed to consider a joint venture with the YDNPA concerning the upgrading of the toilet facilities. This agreement would be subject to:-

i)  future budget constraints on both parties, and,

ii) upgrading costs and terms being considered reasonable and affordable.  

 

18.

The meeting closed at 10.15pm.