Minutes of the meeting of Dent Parish Council on Monday 05 October 2015
To be presented for acceptance at the Parish Council Meeting on 02 November 2015
Councillors Graham Dalton, Chris Evans, Geoffrey Woof, Tom Stafford, Rita Corpe and Jenny Pilgrim.
District Councillor Mel Mackie.
The meeting opened at 7.32pm.
District Councillor Kevin Lancaster (attending Barbon Parish Council meeting).
County & District Councillor Nick Cotton (attending Barbon Parish Council meeting).
North West Ambulance Service:
2.1. A presentation was received from Peter Mulcahy, Head of Service in Cumbria & Lancashire for the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS).
2.2.1 The presentation concerned the evolution of the Ambulance Service both locally and nationally as part of its #Team 999 campaign to close the gap between public perception and what the Ambulance Service offers in reality, including:
(i) An enhanced treatment role as a community based provider of mobile urgent care and emergency health care.
(ii) To safely manage more patients at the scene of an incident, treating them at home or referring them to a more appropriate community based service.
(iii) To assess, prescribe & manage exacerbations of chronic illness, and,
(iv) To work closer with GP’s and community services.
2.2.2 The importance of the role of volunteer Community First Responders was highlighted where vital care for patients could be administered prior to arrival of the Ambulance Service.
2.2.3 It is planned that NWAS will introduce Advanced Community Paramedics in some areas who will be attached to GP medical centres which will allow paramedics to work and engage with communities more effectively.
2.2.4 The objective of the Ambulance Service together with its current process of evolution is to deliver the right care, at the right time, in the right place. This is against a background of increased demand for the Service with an 8.1% higher activity rate in Cumbria and the Morecambe Bay area in 2014/15. The Service in the same area responds to an average of 440 emergency calls per day.
2.3 Peter Mulcahy was thanked for the opportunity that the Parish Council had been afforded to receive the presentation. Peter Mulcahy left the meeting at 8.15pm.
Minutes of the meeting of Monday 07 September 2015 were presented and signed as a true and accurate record.
Declarations of Interest:
5.1 The Clerk’s report was presented and accepted. Further information was given on:-
5.2 (Item 15) Cumbria Highways had responded to the Parish Council’s request for roadside hedges in Dentdale to be cut at the earliest opportunity from 15 September 2015. A complaint had since been received that the hedges on the C5101 road between Sedbergh and Dent had only received a light trim rather than a significant cut. The Clerk had made contact directly with the Highways Steward responsible for hedge and verge cutting and as a result the Steward had agreed to instruct the contractor to return to the area to undertake a more robust cutting approach to fulfil contractual obligations.
Information received since the publication of the Clerk’s report included:
5.3 The Parish Council website, dentdale.com, had recently been the target of hackers and as a result there was a need to take down the site from public view on Monday 05 October. Due to the content of the unauthorised material placed on the site the Clerk had reported the matter to Cumbria Police. Swift action by the Parish Council’s website consultant, Stephen Bramall, ensured that the unauthorised content was safely removed from the site and normal operation was resumed later the same day.
5.4 The car park sign and pole adjacent to the bus shelter and toilets at Dentdale Car Park had been knocked down and flattened by a large vehicle. The incident had been witnessed by a local resident who had recorded details of the alleged offending vehicle.
As a result, the information had been passed to the Police for further inquiries. The Clerk had corresponded with the witness expressing appreciation of the information provided to assist in tracing the driver responsible for the damage. Cumbria Highways were made aware of the incident and responded promptly to make the scene safe for the public.
5.5.1 Members were advised that the visitor information notice board at Dentdale Car Park had been removed due to its content being outdated and the frame in need of repair. It was resolved that the wording of the display should be up-dated with a view to being restored for the information of visitors and that an additional identical display should be placed in Cowgill.
5.5.2 District Councillor Mel Mackie stated that he would contact South Lakeland District Council to ascertain if finance was available towards the cost of the project.
Chair and Member Announcements:
6.1.1 Councillor Graham Dalton raised the issue of the lost school bus service between Dent and Queen Elizabeth School, Kirkby Lonsdale, specifically relating to the adverse impact this decision would inevitable have on families in the dale. Public transport for school students is now only available from Sedbergh and students aged 16 years and above are required to pay for their journeys. The cost of public transport for post 16 year old students from Sedbergh to Kendal is £950 per annum.
6.1.2 It was resolved that the Clerk should write to Cumbria County Council asking for a review of the decision not to financially support post 16 year old students travelling to or from a place of education or training.
6.1.3 District Councillor Mel Mackie stated that both he and District Councillor Kevin Lancaster supported free transport for post 16 year old students travelling to and from a place of education or training.
6.2 Councillor Jenny Pilgrim reported that the road closure on the C5101 road between Dee Cottage and Ewegales Bridge was now in operation as work on the road section affected by subsidence had started.
6.3.1 Councillor Jenny Pilgrim stated that she had received two complaints of staff depositing litter in the Dent Head area whilst working overnight on the rail network. This included litter being found on land adjacent to the railway fencing.
6.3.2 It was resolved that the Clerk should raise a complaint with Storey Rail who are believed to be the contractors for the current scheme of work being carried out on the rail network at Dent Head.
6.4.1 Councillor Chris Evans announced that the most recent refuse collection had been missed by SLDC in Gawthrop. Councillor Jenny Pilgrim stated that there had also been no collection in Cowgill.
6.4.2 District Councillor Mel Mackie requested to be informed should further collections be missed in order that he could address the matter with South Lakeland District Council.
County and District Councillor Announcements:
7.1.1 District Councillor Mel Mackie announced that he had written to Tony Roberts representing Digital dales (UK) Limited requesting an update on the progress of the superfast broadband project in Dentdale and Garsdale. A reply had been received assuring him of the commitment of the Team to deliver the network across both dales but was devoid of detail.
7.1.2 Members expressed their concern about the lack of visible progress of the network being built in the dale, and, in a wider context, the future of the project.
7.1.3 It was resolved that the Clerk should write to Andrew Fleck, Chairman of Fibre Garden – Digital Dales, requesting a position statement of the project to date and planned detail of intended progress.
8.1.1 Directions had been requested via the dentdale.com website of the route from the Leeds/Skipton area to Dent. The directions given suggested the route should be through Kingsdale which is not only a gated road but unsuitable for large vehicles and inappropriate for any vehicle in adverse weather conditions.
8.1.2 It was resolved that Councillor Tom Stafford would address the matter with the Parish Council’s website consultant, Stephen Bramall, for a suitable course of action in order that vehicle users could be alerted to the restrictive nature of the Kingsdale road section.
9.1 The minutes of the meeting of Thursday 10 September 2015 were received.
9.2.1 It was requested by Councillor Chris Evans on behalf of the Playing Field Committee that meetings should be held quarterly rather than monthly to ensure that there was a meaningful agenda for the Committee to discuss.
9.2.2 It was agreed that meetings should take place quarterly unless there was a matter of urgency to discuss in which case an additional meeting should be called as and when required.
9.3.1 The notice board at the entrance to the Playing Field had been damaged and knocked down. The Committee considered that a replacement should be obtained stating that the field is owned by the Parish Council together with a notice concerning the behavior of dogs and the responsibility of their owners.
9.3.2 It was resolved that a new notice board should be acquired.
9.4 It had been noted that the grass on the playing field appears to have died in several places. The issue had been raised with the Contractor, Burton Turf Care, requesting a resolution to the problem.
9.5 The next meeting of the Committee would be held on Thursday 08 October 2015, commencing at 7.30pm.
10.1 Councillor Graham Dalton had attended the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s (YDNPA) Parish Forum meeting at Leyburn on Tuesday 22 September 2015.
Further information from the meeting included:
10.2 Figures had revealed that 25% of the housing stock within the YDNP was not in full-time residence.
10.3 Representation had been made to the Government by the YDNPA concerning the sale of social housing under the Government’s initiative of the ‘right to buy’ scheme. An exemption to the scheme had been requested within the National Park. The purpose of this exemption is to protect the social housing stock within the YDNP in order that it is not further reduced.
10.4 It is believed that the geology within the YDNP is unsuitable for fracking purposes thereby reducing the threat of future calls for this activity to take place within the National Park area.
10.5 The Authority will release a new Local Plan in 2016. This will include the conversion of roadside barns for residential purposes. If such a conversion is placed on the ‘open market’ a levy is proposed which could be set against the cost of social housing needs, however, it will be further proposed that if a converted barn is placed for sale specifically for ‘local occupation’ then there would be no levy attached to the sale.
Dent Youth Club:
11.1 A report was received by Councillor Graham Dalton on the Youth Club meeting of Tuesday 22 September 2015 involving members of Cumbria County Council (CCC) staff.
11.2 The Youth Club in Dent has previously been reliant on the services of Young Cumbria which was funded by CCC. The County Council has now withdrawn its funding to Young Cumbria, however, it is providing assistance to youth clubs through its Early Help Team. This Team will specifically mentor, train and support local volunteers to run local youth clubs independently. As a consequence Dent Youth Club requires voluntary help from the community if it is to continue to function.
11.3.1 The Clerk had submitted an article to the Sedbergh & District Lookaround asking for contact from members of the community who may be interested in supporting the Youth Club as a volunteer. No response had yet been received from the article which was published on 01 October.
11.3.2 Councillor Tom Stafford agreed to post a similar volunteer request on dentdale.com.
11.3.3 It was resolved to await responses from the community and no further action should be taken at this time.
Music and Beer Festival 2016:
12.1.1 A request had been received from Philip Ayers on behalf of the Music and Beer Festival Committee (MBFC) for the use of the Car Park site for next year’s Dent Music and Beer Festival. The event would take place between 24 and 26 June 2016.
12.1.2 It was resolved that the Parish Council would give consent for the MBFC to use the Car Park site for the purpose of the Festival, subject to the agreement of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) as owner of the site; together with any terms and conditions being imposed, including those imposed on the Parish Council within its lease agreement. It was additionally stipulated that following the Festival the site should be left in the condition it was received prior to the event. The Clerk should write to the YDNPA seeking its permission for the event to take place and contact the MBFC with the YDNPA’s decision.
Parish Council Document Archive:
13.1 A report was submitted concerning the storage of Parish Council documentation.
13.2 A request had been received by Jock Cairns for the storage of Parish Council documentation which he still holds following his association with the Council.
13.3.1 The Clerk was unable to help with storage of additional material. As a result inquiries were made for permission to lodge a secure cabinet at the Reading Room which would ensure all Council documentation would remain in the Parish allowing accessibility to both the Clerk and Councillors. The request to use the Reading Room for this purpose had been rejected. Further inquiries with the County Archive Service in Kendal had been more helpful but storage would be strictly limited to what the Service considered historic value.
13.3.2 It was resolved that other possible points of storage within the Parish should be researched, however, if the documents could not be stored locally the County Archive Service at Kendal should be utilised.
St Andrew’s Churchyard Steps:
14.1 A complaint had been received by Councillor Rita Corpe concerning the differing height of the Churchyard steps adjacent to Beech Hill.
14.2 The steps had been found to be secure with safety rails firmly positioned on each side of the steps; however, the fifth step was lower in height than the others which may contribute to a trip hazard.
14.3 It was resolved that an oak inscribed sign on either side of the steps should be obtained stating, ‘please mind the steps’ which would further assist the safety of pedestrians.
Ministry Of Justice Consultation:
15.1 Details were received of a consultation being conducted by the Ministry of Justice concerning the closure of Court facilities in the North West of England. This included the closure of Court facilities in Kendal and business being transferred to Barrow.
15.2 Members were in agreement with reasons submitted by the South Lakeland Community Partnership rejecting the proposal. The Parish is geographically compromised in relation to Barrow where public transportation links are particularly long, expensive and difficult, therefore, inevitably, equality of justice for residents is denied.
15.3 It was resolved that the Council should contribute to the consultation rejecting the proposal in favour of Court facilities being retained in Kendal or re-located to either Carlisle or Lancaster where public transport allows greater access.
Finance and Budget Monitoring:
A report, financial statement and budget review of the Parish Council income and expenditure position to the conclusion of Quarter 2 - 2015/16 was received and accepted.
17.1 Payments made since 07 September 2015:
17.2 Payments authorised:
S/01/127D & S/01/127E/LB – Millbeck Cottage, Dent, for installation of 14kw air source heat pump - Support.
S/01/268A – Well Head, Dent, for works to existing outbuilding to form bedroom and ancillary accommodation – Support.
19.1 Close of Meeting:
The meeting closed at 9.35pm.
19.2 Next Meeting:
Monday 02 November 2015, 7.30pm, in the Sedgwick Room.