Minutes of the meeting of Dent Parish Council on Monday 03 August 2015

 

To be presented for acceptance at the Parish Council Meeting on 07 September 2015

Agenda Item

Present:

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

Jenny   Pilgrim.

District   Councillor Mel Mackie.

The   meeting opened at 7.31pm.

1.

 

Apologies:

Councillor   Scott Thornley.

County   & District Councillor Nick Cotton.

District   Councillor Kevin Lancaster.

2.

Minutes:

The   minutes of the meeting of Monday 06 July 2015 were presented and signed as a   true and accurate record.

 

3.

Declarations of Interest:

None.  

4.

Clerk’s Report:

4.1 The Clerk’s report was presented and   accepted.

Further   information was given on:-

4.2. (item 3)A further   complaint had been submitted by the Clerk concerning the road defect near to   Hud’s House, Cowgill, on the C5101 road section. Complaint reference:   62/1351768. Whilst the hole in the centre of the road had been filled it is   now suffering subsidence together with the complete width of the road. CCC   Highways had responded by stating that a works order had been issued for   further investigation work and any necessary repairs. This will require a   road closure which is expected to be effective week commencing 28 September   2015.

4.3. (item   9) Enquiry forms for the 2015 Electoral Registration canvass are due to   be sent out imminently by SLDC to every household within South Lakeland.   Residents may respond by returning the form by post as in previous years,   however, there are now three additional ways to respond which is quicker and   saves return postage.

SLDC recommends the use of the following automated response services:

Internet: www.elecreg.co.uk/sldc - changes can   be made using this method.

Telephone: 0808 284   1468 – for no changes or to request a postal vote application form. Text: 07786209 368 – for no changes.

4.4 (item 10)Parents of   children starting school in September are being urged to remember to apply   for free school meals, even though since last year all children in reception   and years 1 and 2 have been automatically entitled. This is because if   eligible parents do not apply, they miss out on a free school clothing grant   provided by the County Council worth £25 (or £35 for secondary pupils) and   their child’s school misses out on a £1,300 Pupil Premium payment from   government; these payments allow schools to provide extra support to pupils   to help them achieve their potential.

http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/childrensservices/schoolsandlearning/fsm.asp

Councillor   Tom Stafford agreed to post the item on dentdale.com for further publicity.

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

4.5 The ‘Yorkshire Day’ event held in   Main Street, Dent, on Saturday 01   August 2015, had been a resounding success being very well attended. It was agreed that a letter should be   sent to John Hyde congratulating him for all his hard work in promoting and   co-ordinating the event together with the distribution of Yorkshire flags to   properties in the locality.

4.6 South Lakes Citizen Advice is   currently seeking volunteers who can spare one day per week to help local   people. A range of roles are available and free training is provided. Further   information can be obtained by telephone: 015394 46464 or by email: support@southlakes.cabnet.org.uk.

4.7 Antony Fisher, a resident of   Deepdale, had conducted a survey of the U5506 road section in Deepdale   providing the Clerk with details and photographic evidence of road defects.   The information has been forwarded to CCC Highways for attention and request   for repairs to be undertaken. Antony Fisher was thanked by the Council for   his detailed work.

4.8 Sedbergh Parish Council is looking   to host a ‘Good Councillor’ training event on 17 September 2015. The   invitation is extended to both members of Dent and Garsdale Parish Councils.   Costs and venue are yet to be decided but will be forwarded to the Clerk when   formalised. Details will be circulated to members upon receipt.

  

5.

Chair and Member Announcements:

Councillor   Jenny Pilgrim wished to thank members of the community for their recent   generous support of the First Responders social evening which had raised   almost £1,000 towards the Organisation’s funds.

6.

County and District Councillor   Announcements:

6.1 District Councillor Mel Mackie had been in contact with Joanne Golton,   SLDC Economic Development Team, concerning the former Lyon Equipment site at   Rise Hill.

It   was confirmed that the District Council had been in talks with Lyon Equipment   on the future of the site but no solution has yet been found. SLDC will   continue to work with Lyon Equipment in an attempt to find a suitable   outcome.

6.2 District Councillor Mel Mackie had   also spoken with the SLDC Economic Development Team concerning the   replacement of six tourist information signs on the M6 located close to   junction 37. It has been proposed that the wording of the signs is changed   from ‘Western Dales’ to ‘The Yorkshire Dales’ at a cost of £12,000.   Councillor Mackie stated that he was willing to subscribe £1,000 from his   SLDC District Councillor’s allowance to assist project funding. Councillor   Mackie was thanked for the offer of funding and informed that the Council had   previously agreed ’in principle’ to support the project although it would not   be in a position to be a significant contributor.

6.3 It was reported that there appeared   to be no further progress with ground work in respect of Fibre Garden’s   superfast broadband project, despite earlier indications that work would   recommence in the middle of July following the grass cutting season.   Councillor Mel Mackie agreed to make further enquiries with Fibre Garden to   ascertain more information with regard to the current position.

7.

Public Forum:

7.1.1 A number of residents had attended   the meeting concerned about South Lakeland District Council’s (SLDC’s)   private water supply risk assessment process and associated projected costs.   The legality of the assessments was also questioned.

7.1.2 SLDC had produced a news release   stating that it is legally required to carry out risk assessments on all   private water supplies in the district to make sure they meet Drinking Water   Inspectorate standards. Risk assessments are required to be undertaken every   five years, however, the Private Water Supplies Regulations Act 2009   (effective from 2010) means that for the first time smaller supplies have   been included in the programme. Residents are advised that under the Act the   cost of the assessment is borne by the householder(s) on the supply. The   legislation stipulates that the maximum cost of the assessment is £500,   however, SLDC anticipate that the actual cost of the assessment will be much   less being estimated at £300 depending on the complexity of the supply.

7.1.3 Councillor Graham Dalton   acknowledged that there was significant disquiet amongst residents on the   issue. It was also understood that District Councillor Kevin Lancaster has   also submitted a number of questions to SLDC concerning the assessments upon   which reply is awaited.

7.1.4 It was resolved that the Clerk would make enquiries with SLDC for   further information, and, additionally, invite an officer from SLDC’s   Environmental Protection Team to attend the next meeting in order that a more   detailed explanation of the assessment process may be delivered.

7.2 Eddie Smith informed the meeting   that Dent Stores would be moving its operation to the lower section of the   premises from September this year. There would also be reduced opening hours   of between 9am and 1pm. The Post Office   service will be retained and daily newspapers will still be available for   purchase.  

8.

Playing Field Committee:

8.1 The minutes of the meeting of   Thursday 09 July 2015 were received.

It   was further reported:-

8.2 John Hyde was formally co-opted   onto the Playing Field Committee.

8.3 Councillor Tom Stafford had received   an initial inquiry concerning the possible use of the Playing Field for   regular archery sessions. It is hoped that further negotiations will follow.

8.4 The next meeting of the Playing   Field Committee will be held on Thursday 13 August 2015.

9.

School Transport:

9.1 Following the cessation of the Dent   to Queen Elizabeth (QES) School Bus on Monday 13 July 2015 a meeting of   parents and prospective parents was held whose children are directly affected   by the termination of the service. Cheryl Cowperthwaite representing Cumbria   County Council’s Integrated Transport Team and County Councillor Nick Cotton   were in attendance at the meeting. Whilst it was made clear that the subsidy   for the Dent to QES School Bus had been lost it was hoped that sufficient   seats on the Sedbergh to QES bus route would be available for Dent students.   Unfortunately this would demand parents arranging their children to travel to   Sedbergh in order that they could take their place on the bus.  

9.2 The Parent Group was unanimous in   expressing its concern that the possible use of the Community Bus had not   been fully explored.

9.3 The meeting concluded with the   following options for further investigation:

(i)   To explore the possibility of using the Community Bus with parents   volunteering to become drivers.

(ii)   An offer was made by Cheryl Cowperthwaite on behalf of the County Council   that the Parent Group may wish to apply to lease a County Council owned bus subject   to conditions. Once again this option would involve the use of volunteer   drivers.

(iii)   To seek quotations from local bus operators to provide the service.

9.4 Following the meeting the Clerk had   contacted the Parent Group representative, Adrian Gordon, for an update on   the progress of the available options. He had responded by stating that a   parent driven bus was not viable as not enough people were willing or able to   volunteer to drive. A quotation had been received from a local contractor and   the cost per day would be £100 equating to £19,000 per year. As the bus would   be shared by 10 students the service was deemed financially prohibitive to   parents. He had concluded that unless an additional source of funding could   be found in the form of a subsidy the cost of a paid driver bus service did   not appear feasible.

9.5 Members expressed their concern of   the negative impact on families and the wider community following the loss of   the Dent – QES School Bus. It was   resolved that the Clerk would approach the Yorkshire Dales National Park   Authority to ascertain if a future Dent – QES School Bus could attract any   funding opportunities from that source.

    

10.

Dentdale Sheep Show 2015:

10.1 A letter had been received on behalf   of the Dentdale Show Committee requesting permission to use the Playing Field   and pavilion for this year’s event which will take place on Sunday 30 August   2015. The request would be on the   same basis as last year with livestock pens being set up next to the entrance   gate a couple of days prior to the Show and being removed by the following   Tuesday.

10.2 It was resolved to allow use of   the Playing Field for the event to take place subject to the walling repairs   being undertaken on the site as indicated in the letter of request. The Dentdale   Show Committee to be advised accordingly.

 

 
11.

Council Working Group – Rise Hill:

11.1 Councillors Graham Dalton, Jenny   Pilgrim, Chris Evans and Scott Thornley would form a working group to look at   the future possibilities for the Rise Hill site.

11.2 Councillor Graham Dalton informed   the meeting that Ben Lyon, representing Lyon Equipment, was considering the viability   of demolishing the existing structure.

11.3 The SLDC Economic Development Team is   in favour of the site being occupied by small business units but clearly   there was a need to establish whether or not there was a demand for such use.   It was suggested that notice boards and local news media could be utilised to   gain an indication as to whether or not there was any interest in the small   business unit concept from potential users.

11.4 It was agreed that the Working   Group would hold its first meeting on a date to be arranged later in the   month.

 
12.

Dent Youth Club:

12.1 Councillor Scott Thornley had been   waiting for a reply from Young   Cumbria in order to investigate the present situation with Dent Youth Club   but had not received a response prior to going on holiday.

12.2.1 The Clerk had managed to make   contact with Young Cumbria and had received the following information.

12.2.2 An open tendering process at the   end of 2014 took place and in the context of further substantial savings   having to be made, Young Cumbria was informed that Cumbria County Council   took a last-minute decision not to award the youth work services contract to   any external organisations. This included those charities that have been   providing such services over the past years. Therefore, at the end of   September 2015, the youth work contract that has supported Young Cumbria’s   delivery of both youth work and Early Help work across the county will be   taken back ‘in house’ by Cumbria County Council. This means that regular,   club-based delivery in most communities ceased from Monday 20th   July 2015.

12.2.3 It is   understood that there may be a possibility of monies being released to the   Local Area Committee for which communities may apply in order to continue to   fund local youth provision. This would presumably support communities to   continue to operate ‘open access’ clubs through either local volunteers, or   purchase appropriate youth workers from other sources, however, Young Cumbria   is yet to be advised of any detail on this matter.

12.3 It was   resolved to await further information from Young Cumbria when it becomes   available.

 
13.

Parish Council Vacancy:

13.1 Procedural details were received   concerning the current Parish Council vacancy for the Dent Ward due to the   resignation of former Councillor Elaine Lewis. As no requests had been   received by South Lakeland District Council within the statutory period of 14   days for the vacancy to be filled by election, formal notice had been given   by the District Council to fill the vacancy by co-option.

13.2.1 The Parish Council had received one   application for co-option from Mr Wolf Morningstar. Members had been in   receipt of information submitted by Mr Morningstar to support his application   prior to the meeting.

13.2.2 Mr Morningstar’s application was determined   by each member present voting by ballot to decide whether or not to accept   the application for co-option. Two members voted in favour of co-option and 4   members declined.

13.2.3 The Chair, Councillor Graham   Dalton, formally announced that as a result of the ballot the application be   declined.

   

 
14.

Website Service:

14.1 A position statement was received   from Councillor Tom Stafford on the progress of the development of the   dentdale.com project.

14.2 A second website training event had   taken place on Monday 22 July 2015 involving both the core Administration   Team and Dorothy Vernon representing Dent Grammar School together with   Heather Fraser on behalf of the Churches of St Andrew’s and St John’s. Training of administrators for specific   organisations enables material to be published to the website which is   bespoke to a particular group.

14.3 The development of dentdale.com   continues with one of the latest additions being a new service for   accommodation providers who can submit requests for inclusion directly to the   Administration Team. This facility is already gaining web traffic.

14.4 The option of a newsletter feature is   available if required for a fee of £30. This facility allows material to be   written in a newsletter style design and publication directly to the site.

14.5 Members were pleased with the   progress of the website service and it   was resolved that the designer, Steven Bramall, should receive recompense for   transferring dentdale.com from the previous host, annual registration and   hosting costs of dentdale.com together with authorisation to build and   install the newsletter facility.

 
15.

SLDC Empty Homes Strategy:

15.1.1 Details of South Lakeland District   Council’s Empty Homes Strategy 2015-20 were received. The document has been   placed in the public domain for consultation until 21 August 2015.

15.1.2 The   Council’s five year Plan 2014 – 2019 recognises the importance to tackle the   issue of empty homes in South Lakeland, bringing them back into use to   provide homes that meet need. The Strategy sets out a vision and priorities   to deal with empty homes in South Lakeland, together with measures of   success.

15.1.3 The vision is:   Bringing empty properties   back into use as homes to meet needs and to help sustain communities making   better use of existing housing.’

15.1.4 The approach   is to:

Make best use of   existing housing stock to provide homes to meet need.

Target resources   primarily in areas of highest housing need where the number of empty homes is   higher, and,

Ensure the accurate   monitoring and reporting of empty homes.

15.2   Members were concerned about the element of   the Strategy which allows SLDC to raise Council Tax to 150% on empty homes   which have been empty for 2 years and over. Due to market forces it was   considered that owners may well be penalised although they have been actively   attempting to sell their property but unable to do so.

15.3   It was resolved that the following response should be forwarded to SLDC as   part of the Strategy consultation process:

(i)   Owners of empty homes should be exempt from the payment of 150% Council Tax   if they have been actively trying to dispose of the property within the   previous 6 months prior to the increased charge being implemented.

(ii)   A similar exemption should apply to empty homes restricted to agricultural   tenancy and those with local occupancy restrictions as these properties   historically have proved to be more difficult to sell due to the imposed   conditions.

 

 
16.

Street Lighting Project:

16.1 A report was received informing   members that all street lights in Dent had now been fitted with 7w LED bulbs   and that a new certificate had been issued by Electricity North West   reflecting the lower power output of each light. The certificate had been   forwarded to E.on, the Council’s electricity supplier, in order that future   accounts are reduced to the lower level of consumption.

16.2 It was formally resolved that   the street lighting project had now been successfully concluded.

 
17.

External Audit Report:

17.1 The External Auditor’s   certificate and opinion was received in respect of the annual return for the   year ended 31 March 2015.

17.2 In the opinion of the Auditor information   within the annual return was in accordance with proper practices and no   matters of concern were highlighted.

17.3 It was resolved to accept and   approve the annual return.

 

 
18.

Finance:

Payment cancelled:

E.on (street lighting   Quarter 1, 2015/16)                                                         £82.29

Payments   authorised:            

                                                                                                               
    E.on (street lighting Quarter 1, 2015/16 - reassessed)        £42.79   
    E.on (car park electricity – July 2015)        £22.39   
    A. Stephenson (administration & Clerk’s expenses – July     2015)        £15.40   
    S. Bansor (car park relief)        £56.00   
    United Utilities (car park water & wastewater – July 2015)        £39.73   
    Bentham Plant Hire Limited (car park grounds maintenance)         £264.00   
    BDO LLP (external audit for financial year 2014/15)        £240.00   
    Dentdale Memorial Hall (room hire)         £31.00   

  

 
19.

Planning:

19.1   Applications

S/01/245A/LB – Hewthwaite, Dent.   Application for listed building consent

for rebuilding of chimney - Support

19.2   Decisions

S/01/258D and S/01/258E/LB – Methodist   Manse, Flintergill, Dent.   For    

renovation   of Methodist Manse and extension to south including solar

panels on extension (4.3w) – Granted subject to conditions.

S/01/269 and S/01/269A/LB - Platt, Deepdale. For repair / replacement    

of existing roof and windows - Granted subject to conditions.

19.3 Planning   Committee

S/01/87C – Millwood, Helmside, Dent. For outline planning permission for

erection of Agricultural Workers Dwelling.

This application will be considered by the   YDNPA Planning Committee on

Tuesday 11 August 2015. The application is   supported by the Parish    

Council.

 
20.

20.1 Close of Meeting:

The   meeting closed at 9.07pm.

20.2 Next Meeting:

Monday   07 September 2015, 7.30pm, in the Sedgwick Room.