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
Councillors Graham Dalton, Chris Evans, Rita Corpe, Tom Stafford, Geoffrey Woof and
District Councillor Mel Mackie.
The meeting opened at 7.31pm.
Councillor Scott Thornley.
County & District Councillor Nick Cotton.
District Councillor Kevin Lancaster.
The minutes of the meeting of Monday 06 July 2015 were presented and signed as a true and accurate record.
Declarations of Interest:
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.
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: email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
7.1.1 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.
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.
9.1 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
14.1 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.
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.
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.
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.
E.on (street lighting Quarter 1, 2015/16) £82.29
S/01/245A/LB – Hewthwaite, Dent. Application for listed building consent
for rebuilding of chimney - Support
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
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.