Meeting of Dent Parish Council - 02 September 2013

 

Agenda Item

Present:

Councillors Graham Dalton, Chris Evans, Rita Corpe, Elaine Lewis, Tom Stafford,

Ken McClurg and Jenny Pilgrim.

 

District Councillors Ian McPherson and Evelyn Westwood.

 

The meeting opened at 7.30pm.

1.

 

Apologies:

Councillor Geoffrey Woof

 

County & District Councillor Nick Cotton.

 

2.

Minutes:

Minutes of the meeting of Monday 05 August 2013 were presented and signed as a true and accurate record.

3.

Declarations of Interest:

Councillor Ken McClurg (family connection) should reference be made to Planning Application S/01/11/OF – Dent Heritage Centre at agenda Item 15.

 

4.

Clerk’s Report:

4.1 The Clerk’s report was presented and accepted.

Further information was given on:-

4.2 (Item 9) Malcolm Sutherland, Bridge Engineer, Cumbria County Council (CCC) had once again been contacted concerning the required repair work at Stonehouse Bridge. He reported that Swaledale Stone Masonary is due to start repair work at Devils Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale, and, if the completed work is acceptable, the intention is to employ the same Contractor to repair Stonehouse Bridge subject to suitable quotation. As the original coping stones at Stonehouse Bridge need replacing the likelihood is that stone will be sourced from Calverts of Leyburn. Any replacement stone will firstly need approval by the Yorkshire Dales National Park before being utilized on site. No fixed date was given for repairs to commence.

4.3 (item 20) Detailed progress of the Fibre Garden superfast broadband project can be found at www.fibregarden.blogspot.co.uk. Members of the public can register their email contact at the web address for automatic updates from the site. The Fibre Garden share prospectus is due to be delivered to every household in the Parish imminently and it will also be available at the website. It is understood that Julia Watts, British Telecom (BT), as supplier to the Connecting Cumbria Broadband project is keen to attend a meeting with Fibre Garden and the Parish Council to clarify the provision of superfast broadband in Dentdale. It was resolved that the Clerk would make contact with Julia Watts and make provision for the opportunity of a meeting between BT, Fibre Garden and representatives of the Parish Council.  

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

4.4 The next Neighbourhood Forum meeting will be held at 7.30pm, Tuesday 22 October 2013, at the Sedbergh Medical Centre.

4.5 The Parish street light at Ghyll Head had been reported as defective. The Clerk has made arrangements for repair work to be carried out.

5.

Chair and Member Announcements:

5.1 Councillor Tom Stafford reported that the street light adjacent to the Sun Inn was defective. It was resolved that the Clerk would take action for the light to be repaired.

5.2 Councillor Rita Corpe reported that the wall of the bridge at St John’s Church had been damaged and is unsafe. It was resolved that the Clerk would report the matter to Cumbria County Council Highways to action repair work.

5.3 Councillor Chis Evans reported that a metal rail was exposed to the highway at Ibbeth Peril causing a safety hazard. It was resolved that the Clerk would contact Cumbria County Council Highways and report the incident as a highway safety issue.

 

6.

County and District Councillor Announcements:

6.1 Councillor Ian McPherson informed members that an inaugural meeting between South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) would be held the following week. SLDC would be represented by the Chief Executive and David Butterworth would represent YDNPA. Two District Councillors and one County Councillor would also be in attendance. The objective of the meeting is to improve co-ordination between the two public organisations.

6.2 Councillor Evelyn Westwood reminded the meeting that SLDC had launched its third ‘Power up the Community’ scheme. The scheme puts energy buying power into the hands of the community offering people the chance to reduce their energy costs. Registration is open until Tuesday 15 October which can be made on-line, by telephone or at the SLDC office in Kendal. An auction will take place on Wednesday 16 October allowing energy companies to bid for the custom of those registered. An offer with a price for energy supply will be sent to everyone registered (calculated on their usage) and it is only then that people need to decide whether or not they wish to accept the winning supplier’s offer. Councillor Chris Evans commended the initiative as he had made a worthwhile saving on an earlier release of the scheme.

 

7.

Public Forum:

7.1 A question was raised asking if there was a designated District Councillor representing Dent.

Response: Explanation outlined a collective responsibility by the local District Councillors and the County Council member to represent the Parish.

 

7.2 It was announced that there had been a recent article in the Yorkshire Post concerning the provision of superfast broadband to properties. The article had raised the question of whether or not communities previously supported by an obsolete wired television network cable system could utilise and re-use the cabling for the new broadband network.

Response: It was believed that the old cabled television system would not support the advance in technology development demanded by superfast broadband.

 

8.

Playing Field Committee:

8.1 The minutes of the meeting of Thursday 08 August 2013 were received.

It was further reported:-

8.2 Four fridges, a freezer unit and other items need to be removed from the Pavilion. They are believed to belong to the Dentdale Show Committee and have remained in the Pavilion since 2011. Difficulties had been experienced in identifying a Show Committee member to request removal and correspondence to date had received no response. It was resolved that Councillor Tom Stafford would make enquiries and identify a Dentdale Show Committee member to take responsibility for this issue.

8.3 The next meeting of the Playing Field Committee will be held on Thursday 12 September 2013.

 

9.

Parish Council Vacancy:

9.1 Consequent to the resignation of Ken Smith the Parish Council had followed statutory procedures to fill the vacancy. Details of the procedures followed to date were presented.

9.2 South Lakeland District Council had written to the Council on 30 August 2013 stating that no requests had been received within the 14 day statutory period for the vacancy to be filled by election which should now be filled by Parish Council co-option.

9.3 It was resolved that the vacancy would be advertised within the Parish seeking applications from members of the community interested in the position.

 

 

10.

Land at Beech Hill and Main Street, Dent:

10.1 A report and position statement was received relating to the transfer of land to the Parish Council at Main Street and Beech Hill, Dent.

10.2 Draft contract and transfer documentation from Cumbria County Council (CCC) and South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) concerning the transfer had been received.

10.3 In respect of CCC land at Main Street (opposite the Sun Inn); members were concerned about a historic dispute between the owner of Cobble Cottage and CCC relating to a maintenance issue. It was resolved that the transfer of land at Main Street from CCC to the Parish Council should be declined on the grounds of risk to the Parish of inheriting a maintenance dispute which may have future financial consequences for the Council.

10.4 CCC had not yet identified the dimensions of the land which it intends to retain at Beech Hill for maintenance purposes or replied to the Parish Council’s request for clarification of a ‘right of way’ over the land  to be retained. It was resolved to await response from CCC to these matters before considering the transfer further.

10.5 SLDC land at Beech Hill would be offered to the Parish Council at a cost of £150 to cover registration costs of a parcel of land which had previously remained unregistered.

10.6 The SLDC transfer documentation included an overage provision where any future change of use of the land would incur a 50% claw back from SLDC of the difference in value of the land between its current use and the value of the change of use. It was resolved to request SLDC to limit the overage provision to a maximum of five years and to review the transfer documentation on receipt of a response to the request from SLDC.

 

   

 

11.

South Lakeland District Council Parish Charter:

11.1 A draft revision of the South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) Parish Charter was received.

11.2 The SLDC Parish Charter supports partnership working between SLDC and Parish Councils. It recognises that both tiers of Local Government are equal partners and share objectives to further the interests of the people they represent and provide the best value for money for all residents. The proposed revision identified some overarching shared principles and had been presented to Parish Councils for comment and/or amendment where appropriate.

11.3 It was resolved that the Council should offer no comment or amendment recommendation to the revised Charter.

   

 

12.

Bonfire Night Community Event:

12.1 Correspondence was received from Dent Football Club concerning the bonfire night community event which it has organised in recent years. Ian Mitchell was also in attendance at the meeting representing the Football Club Committee. He thanked the Parish Council for previous grants it had authorised towards the event.

12.2 It was submitted that the Football Club had increased difficulty in financing the event particularly in respect of advance funding which threatened the future of the traditional bonfire night gathering.

12.3 It was recommended that the Football Club apply for funding from the Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale Neighbourhood Forum and the Dent Combined Charity with a view to gaining additional financial support for this year’s event.

12.4 To resolve the immediate financial concern it was resolved that the Parish Council should make a loan of £500 to the Football Club to support advanced funding of this year’s event repayable to the Council upon its conclusion. This action would allow time for the Football Club in partnership with the community to investigate an appropriate financial strategy in order to secure the event for future years.

  

13.

External Audit Report:

13.1 The External Auditor’s certificate and opinion was received in respect of the annual return for the year ended 31 March 2013.

13.2 In the opinion of the Auditor information within the annual return was in accordance with proper practices with the exception that an appropriate risk assessment review (minuted on 03 June 2013) did not fall within the financial year 01 April 2012-31 March 2013. No other areas of concern were highlighted.

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

 

14.

Finance:

              Payments authorised:           

E.on (street lighting – August 2013)

£15.38

A. Stephenson (Clerk’s expenses August 2013)

£13.40

United Utilities (car park water & wastewater – August 2013)

£82.07

J. Brooksbank (car park relief)

£12.00

Cale Briparc (car park ticket machine rolls)

£129.24

Graham Bradley (new window to car park toilet block)

£83.90

 

15.

Planning:

15.1 Applications

None

 

15.2 Decision – Approved with Conditions

      S/01/253 – Dent Allotments, Sunny Bank, Dent. Full planning permission for  

      erection of a hut.

 

      15.3 The Chair gave an overview of a current planning issue in Grassington

      which had raised concerns over the development and expansion of  a milk-retailing 

      business to accommodate dairy processing, distribution infrastructure and

      additional employment in the area. The case was given as an example of the  

      difficulties faced by developing traditional farming methods in rural areas where   

      opposition exists within some sections of the community who are keen to resist

      development at the expense of employment opportunities and improvement of the    

      economic health of the area.

     

16.

16.1 Close of Meeting:

The meeting closed at 9.14pm.

16.2 Next Meeting:

Monday 07 October 2013, 7.30pm, in the Sedgwick Room.