2018/03/21 Annual Parish Meeting

21st March 2018

11867 Unconfirmed Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting for Silverdale held in the Gaskell Hall, Silverdale on Wednesday, 21st March 2018 at 7.30 pm.

11868 Present: Chairman – Councillor J. (John) Bennett, the Deputy Clerk – S.D. (Sue) Hayward, Ms Janet Thomas, Operational Library Manager (Lancashire County Council), City Councillor N. (Nigel) Goodrich, Mr Dai Perry, Coastal Access Lead Adviser, and Ms Angela Harker, Coastal Access Adviser, Cumbria Area team, Natural England and 26 members of the public.

11869 Apologies for Absence: Councillor N. (Nigel) Ribbons, the Clerk – L.D. (Denise) Challenor and Ms Jane Lambert.

11870 Minutes of the Previous Annual Parish Meeting
The Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 15th March 2017 were approved then signed by the Chairman.

11871 Matters Arising

11872 Police Report
There was no police representative present and their report was not available, however, Councillor Bennett advised that written monthly reports are provided periodically by the police – these cover the Carnforth and Upper Lune Valley area – Councillor Bennett advised that, compared with other villages in the same area, the number of incidents occurring in Silverdale is relatively low. The police keep in regular contact with the parish council and have responded to reports of drug dealing in the village and requests to monitor parking.
Councillor Houghton added that the parish council have borrowed 2 Speed Indicator Devices from Lancashire Constabulary (for which there is no charge), one of which records the time and speed of vehicles that pass.

11873 Chairman’s Report
A copy of the report was circulated at the meeting and is appended to these minutes. Councillor Bennett highlighted the following from the report: 1. advance notice that all the Parish Councillor positions will be up for re-selection in May 2019 – this is an opportunity for any resident on the electoral register to offer themselves for election if they wish (nominations must be submitted by March/ April 2019); 2. the list of sites and facilities for which the parish council has responsibility; 3. the parish precept and the budget items covered by this; 4. the raising of the precept to provide for planned expenditure, including £6K a year towards a medium-term replacement programme for the playground equipment which is about 10 years old and is starting to wear out. The intention is to gradually replace the equipment over several years.

Referring to the emergency plan, mentioned in the Chairman’s written report, Councillor Houghton noted that a generator has been installed at St. John’s church – this is to enable communications to continue securely, such as Broadband for the Rural North and alarm systems used by some elderly people in the village. Councillor Houghton has spoken with the North West Ambulance Service and the parish council should be able to acquire 2 (or 3) more defibrillators. Councillor Bennett noted that the Silverdale First Responders’ Group, which has disbanded, donated their funds to the parish council for the purchase of defibrillators.

A member of the public asked about the £6K from the precept in 2017/18 which was to be used for the community library – Councillor Bennett advised that, as the money had not been necessary following Lancashire County Council’s (Lancs. CC) change in administration and the re-opening of the library, the money was transferred to the playground fund in view of the need to start replacing some items of equipment quickly. Councillor Bennett advised on the guidance for parish councils regarding their reserves – it is recommended that a sum equivalent to 25-50% of the precept amount is held in reserve – the reserves held by Silverdale parish council until last year was at the lower end of that range, after the 2018/19 precept the level will be in the middle of the recommended amount.

Another question was asked about the materials to be used for replacing the equipment in the playground, given that part of the reason for the deterioration in the equipment is that the posts to which the equipment is fixed are wooden and rotting from being sunk into the ground. Councillor Bennett noted that the current trend is to use stainless steel or aluminum posts. Councillor Houghton added that the parish council is using reclaimed plastic to replace the wooden slats in concrete-ended benches when replacement is necessary.

11874 Library Report
Ms Janet Thomas, Operational Library Manager (Lancs. CC), reported that Silverdale library re-opened in November 2017 and is open for 16 hours a week including Saturday mornings (before closure it was open for 11 hours a week). In January 2018 the library had 809 visitors and in February it had 673 – this is on target (the total number of visitors in 2016 was 5,590). Sixteen new members joined in January and 10 in February (the average number of new members joining each month before closure was 8). The library has more items in stock now than it had before closure. Lancashire libraries are involved with the ‘Reading Well’ scheme e.g. self-help books for people with long term conditions which have been recommended by health professionals can be borrowed.
Bleasdale School is creating some art work to be put on display and Silverdale School’s library visits will resume after Easter. Councillor Bennett added that there was a lot of interest from Silverdale School when options for a possible Community Library were looked at. Various clubs have been set up such as chess and Lego which help with language development. The home library service has continued. Ms Thomas promoted the 2018 “50 books challenge” and the use of ‘fortune tellers’ to encourage readers to try different genres of books.
Councillor Williams asked about the provision of IT instruction – Ms Thomas left some information about the short “Learn My Way” online modules whereby people can learn online skills to meet their requirements with 1:1 support from library staff, Lancashire Adult Learning and volunteers and suggested that anyone wishing to volunteer give their name and email address to the Silverdale Librarian.

Ms Thomas offered to write an article for the Silverdale parish magazine to stimulate interest in the library and the various services it provides.

11875 Report from City Councillor Nigel Goodrich
Councillor Goodrich thanked Silverdale parish council Members for all their hard work notably: liaising with Lancs. CC to keep the bus service; putting together an application for Emergency Grant funding and setting up equipment and systems for use in the event of an emergency; providing input for the AONB Development Plan Document etc.

Councillor Goodrich referred to the works being carried out to the electricity substation on Caton Road, such as raising the height of equipment, to help prevent outages in the event of a flood. Councillor Goodrich suggested that the best way of contacting him is by email: ngoodrich@lancaster.gov.uk.

As Councillor Williamson was not present at the meeting to report on Lancs. CC matters Councillor Goodrich reported that £65K has been allocated to roads and road safety including improving the road markings at the junction of Nineteen Acre lane and the A6. He encouraged residents to “use or lose” the bus and library services and to object to the proposed closure of Carnforth travel ticket office. Some residents responded that they were having difficulties with the www.lancashire.gov.uk/haveyoursay website and Councillor Goodrich said that he would investigate this.

11876 Presentation from Mr Dai Perry, Coastal Access Lead Adviser, and Ms Angela Harker, Coastal Access Adviser, Cumbria Area team, Natural England
Mr Perry explained that the stretch of coastline along Morecambe Bay is challenging and complex in terms of coastal access as the stretch includes Sites of Special Scientific Interest, significant bird and wildlife habitats, salt marsh, the railway and areas with pre-existing rights such as those with regards to cockling and turf digging. Natural England (NE) aim to publish their report with proposals for coastal access along the Morecambe Bay stretch by late May/ June 2018 after which the public will have 8 weeks in which to make objections/ representations. Mr Perry advised that if any resident would like an electronic copy of the report they should contact NE and ask to be added to their mailing list. All landowners and parish councils will receive a copy of the report/ be notified that it is available along with anyone else who has asked to be kept informed. Secretary of State approval may be given in early 2019; establishment works would get underway immediately, but may take around 12 months to complete. The trail is to be inspected annually by the County Council (the cost of this will be paid for by the Treasury).
With regards to safety, Mr Perry and Ms Harker advised that NE are required to advise the public as to what the dangers are in order that the public can make their own informed decisions about using the route. NE have sought advice from the RNLI, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and Bay Rescue in the planning of the route round Morecambe Bay and have been liaising with the AONB, the County Councils and various other agencies as well as landowners and tenants. An alternative route for high tide will be sign posted. Although NE are unable to give exact details of the proposed route as yet (NE is still in negotiation with some of the landowners and tenants) Mr Perry used maps to describe the approximate route and explained some of the reasons for the choice of route (part of which is on the road) e.g. to avoid areas of exposed limestone (which can be slippery) or to take users inland and away from the dangers of the foreshore. Some stretches will take the form of a raised platform off the road and some will be fenced corridors by the road.

NE advised that map boards and signage will be used where critical to indicate direction and/ or for conservation purposes. They will consult with regards to the content, design and location of the signage and will try and minimize its use.

It was noted that access is for those on foot only, although some stretches will be wheelchair/ pram accessible e.g. where there is a new (gravel) path and it is within a community.

Silverdale Parish Council Members pointed out that they could have made a useful contribution to the report had they been consulted and suggested that NE would find it helpful to consult with the Fire Service, Mountain Rescue and the various parish councils in future as they are familiar with the local area. NE said that they would take on board these suggestions.

NE can be contacted at the following email address: northwest.coastalaccess@naturalengland.org.uk.

11877 Matters Raised by the Public
1. The amount of dog waste in the village e.g. along Emesgate Lane
2. A request for an update on the plans for the former Leeds Children’s Holiday Centre – Councillor Bennett advised that the Planning Inspector will probably announce a decision in the next few months.

11878 The meeting closed at 9.30pm.

Sue D. Hayward, Deputy Clerk to the Council

Appendix 1

Silverdale Parish Council Annual Parish Meeting – March 21st, 2018

Report from the Chairman

The Annual Meeting of the Parish Council – not to be confused with this Annual Parish Meeting – takes place in May each year. At the 2017 meeting, John Bennett and Tony Houghton were appointed for the ensuing year as Chairman and Vice Chairman respectively. Silverdale Parish Council consists of eight Councillors: Councillors Shirley Mason, Nigel Ribbons, Keith Palmer, Paul Williams, David Sandiford, Terry Bond MBE, Tony Houghton – Vice Chairman, John Bennett – Chairman. In May 2019, due to the four-yearly cycle of elections, the whole Parish Council will be up for re-selection. Existing Councillors may, or may not, choose to offer themselves for reelection. However, it is an open opportunity for any resident on the electoral register, aged 18 years or over, to offer themselves for election if they wish. Nominations must be submitted by March/April 2019, so there is time to give the matter some consideration. Please bear in mind, attendance at Parish Council meetings is just part of the task. What can really make a difference to your local community is the time you might be able to devote to progressing a wide range of administrative and practical matters. If you would like to discuss this further, please contact the Clerk or one of the existing Councillors.

Council Meetings
Meetings are normally held on the first Monday of each month at the Silverdale Village Institute. There may also be additional meetings during the year to deal with any special or specific matters that may arise.

County and City Council Representation
The Parish is represented at Lancashire County Council by Cllr Phillipa Williamson and at Lancaster City Council by Cllr Nigel Goodrich.

Parish Clerks
Our Parish Clerk is Mrs Denise Challenor and our Deputy Clerk is Mrs Sue Hayward.

Parish Council Responsibilities
The Parish Council on behalf of the residents of Silverdale is responsible for the following sites and facilities
• Children’s Playground, Cove Road
• War memorial, Emesgate Lane
• Public Clock, Emesgate Lane
• Bank Well, The Row
• Wood Well and Woodwell Lane
• Burton Well and Burton Well Lane
• Burton Scroggs Quarry, Bottoms Lane
• Public Toilets, Bank House Lane
• Bus shelter, Park Road
• 44 public benches at various locations in the Parish
• Emergency generator and communications equipment, Gaskell Hall
• Amenity grassland, St Johns Avenue

Correspondence items
The Council receives a large number of items of correspondence each year. So far this year some 232 items. Many of these are simply for information, for instance an event that may be taking place and the organisers would like us to place a notice on our notice boards. Others may require the Council to consider some detailed information and take action, for example the new regulations that are shortly to become law regarding data protection.

Planning applications and AONB DPD
This year we have been notified of 45 planning applications in our district. The Parish Council is not part of the formal planning decision making process, we are simply a statutory consultee and any comment we make, has only the same weight in the process as any individual resident in the village.
The majority of planning applications have proposed relatively small changes to domestic properties. As considered appropriate, we have commented on some of these, particularly where concerns were expressed to us by neighbouring residents. In addition, there has been the more significant application to replace the now redundant Leeds Children’s Holiday site with a new caravan lodge site. We received a large number of representations from residents on this particular matter and as a result, made quite involved submissions to SLDC, the local authority, and then also to the Planning Inspectorate when the applicant appealed the decision.
The Arnside Silverdale AONB Development Plan Document, which will have an important bearing on all future development in our area, has progressed this year to the stage where its adequacy is now being reviewed by a Government Inspector. We made many suggestions during the compilation of the document. Some residents will remember the possible development site at St Johns Avenue, where we submitted comments of concern on behalf of our residents. Eventually, after careful analysis, the team preparing the AONB DPD document, found the site unsuitable to progress for development.

Budget and Parish Precept
The Parish Precept, which is the principal funding arrangement for the Parish Council, is part of your annual Council Tax bill. For next year, this will amount to approximately £43 for every Band D equivalent property. I spent some time reviewing the layout of some of our finance documents to help provide greater clarity. In essence, the following four headings summarise our planned expenditure for next year: 1. Parish Council standing costs, approximately £10,200. These include the staff costs of employing our Clerk and Deputy Clerk, Auditors fees, Public Liability and other insurances, room hire, website costs, local association of local councils’ membership, Remembrance Day costs and a small expense allowance to each Councillor of £25. 2. Routine maintenance costs approximately £12,700. This covers the everyday cost of maintaining all the sites and facilities that the Parish Council is responsible for, including: Parish Contractor, cleaning, utilities and consumables for the Public Toilets, grass cutting at the Children’s playground, electricity and maintenance for the Parish Clock etc. 3. Donations under section 137 of the Local Government Act, £2000. Donations to the local air ambulance of £300 and to the AONB unit, £700, have been made for some time on an annual basis to assist with their work, which of course has a direct benefit to our residents. Next year we are also making £1000 available to allow local organisations to bid for small grants to assist with their work. 4. Planned expenditure provisions. These are determined each year based on what are identified as necessary but affordable requirements within the parish. Next year this will include: £6000 towards a medium-term replacement programme for the playground equipment, £1000 on woodland and wells management, £2850 on refurbishing public benches and notice boards, £450 on Christmas decorations, £1000 on new provisions at the war memorial site and commemoration of the centenary of Armistice day.

This time last year, following the closure of Silverdale Branch Library by Lancashire County Council in September 2016, the Parish Council was deeply involved in a project to take on and run our own Community Library and Information Hub. Following the county elections in May, a new regime at County Hall re-appraised the Library provision and decided they would re-open Silverdale Library as a County operated facility. After an unexpected, but welcome refurbishment, the Library re-opened in November 2017, benefiting also from usefully longer opening hours. I ask that you support the Library to help justify its ongoing continuation.

Bus service
Lancashire County Council has continued to provide our local service 51 bus, which travels between the Holgate’s Caravan Park, via most areas of the village, onwards through the Yealands and Warton to reach Carnforth. The service was successfully negotiated by the Parish Council to partly replace both the original Silverdale Shuttle and the Stagecoach Service 51 that ran from Lancaster bus station through to Silverdale. The service is of course a compromise, being shared with residents of the Yealands and Warton, but compared to many rural areas, we have an exceptionally good provision starting at 06:37 and finishing at 20:21 in the evening, six days each week. For comparison, please check and compare with the service provided by SLDC at Arnside. Unfortunately, usage of this service, apart from the journey outwards to Carnforth High School each morning and the corresponding return trip mid-afternoon, is pitifully low. If we as a parish, had to pay the subsidy that Lancashire County Council currently provides, it would equate to approximately an additional £153 per Silverdale property each year. Since the Parish Precept for next year will be just £43 next year, you will appreciate just how much Lancashire County supports this service. If you want to retain the bus service, as ever it is important that it is used as much as possible to try to justify the subsidy.

Children’s Playground
We are very pleased that the playground, which was significantly upgraded by a resident working group about 10 years ago, is so well used and gives such a lot of enjoyment to children and their families. We have a very thorough RoSPA based safety management regime in place, using both our own Parish Contractor and independent RoSPA qualified inspectors to help ensure our playground is a safe and pleasant environment. To make sure that the playground does not become jaded and worn out, with items eventually having to be taken out of use, we have agreed to a financial plan that will allow the existing play equipment to be replaced as it reaches the end of its useful life. The costs of purchasing playground equipment which meets all necessary safety standards and its installation and certification, is surprisingly expensive. We have found it necessary to raise the Parish Precept to provide an extra £6000 per year for the next few years to allow us to do the required work. When the pleasure that the playground brings and the health benefits of the physical activity it creates, are considered, we hope our residents will appreciate why we felt it was so necessary to do this.

Road safety and traffic speed
We have received a significant number of concerns from residents regarding the speed and behaviour of traffic in some parts of the village. More concerningly, there have also been reports of close incidents, sometimes involving parents with children whilst walking to school, in areas where there are no pavements. You will be well aware that just a few years ago Lancashire County Council implemented a county wide programme of 20mph maximum speed limits in many towns and villages to help reduce both the risk and severity of vehicle/pedestrian collisions. Expert research involving the analysis of thousands of road accidents demonstrates there is still a significant risk of death and serious injury when a car to pedestrian collision occurs at 30mph. However, the risk reduces very much should a collision occur at 20mph. Please help by respecting our speed limits and driving with due care and attention at all times, most particularly where there are no pavements at the roadside.
We have been provided with two Speed Indicator Devices (SPIDs) on long term loan by Lancashire Constabulary. One of these is an intelligent data collecting device to provide details of the time and speed of every vehicle that passes. This information will be used by Lancashire Police to help identify where and when any education/enforcement action is necessary.

Woodlands and Wells
On behalf of Silverdale residents, the Parish Council owns and maintains a number of sites which are open freely for public access and recreation. These include: Burton Well Lane and Burton Well, Burton Scroggs Quarry, Bank Well, Woodwell Lane and Woodwell. Throughout the year a programme of maintenance has been carried out by the Parish Council Woodland group led by Cllr Terry Bond. The aim of the work is to encourage the conditions that allow the natural flora, fauna, trees, undercroft and wildlife to thrive. Intervention is keep to a minimum, but some action is needed to prevent dominant species from taking over. Also, for safety reasons tree surveys must be carried out regularly by a suitably qualified expert and trimming or felling undertaken as required. Volunteers are the mainstay of this rewarding work and new recruits would be most welcome. I would particularly like to thank Cllr Bond for his long standing, unstinting work on this task.

Public toilets
Some 10 years ago Lancaster City Council who own and, at the time operated the public toilets in Silverdale, decided for financial reasons they could no longer continue to do so. As an alternative to closure, the toilets were offered to the Parish Council along with a £5000 per annum grant, to help operate, maintain and repair them. Since then, the grant has been halved and, at some point, we expect may be withdrawn to leave the full cost borne by the residents of Silverdale through the Parish Council Precept. At present it costs about £5500 per annum to clean and operate the toilets, excluding any required repairs. We are concerned that the toilet facilities, although clean and serviceable, are dated, uninviting and not particularly accessible for anyone with mobility difficulties. We intend to consider alternatives that could address these issues, however funding is likely to be a significant issue. An alternative would be a full closure. Feedback from residents on this topic would be welcome.
Public Benches
The addition of one new donated memorial bench at Jenny Brown’s Point this year, has taken our total of public benches to 44. We know they’re appreciated because as soon as any one of them is taken out of service for refurbishment, we receive calls asking where it’s Silverdale Parish Council 7 gone and when it will be back. This year we managed to fully refurbish the three traditional benches having cast iron, ornamental end frames. One is opposite The Royal at the bus stop, another outside the Coop and the other on Stankelt Road, adjacent to Hazelwood. Some of our other traditional benches with cast concrete ends are now receiving attention and it is planned to continue this process as necessary to keep all our benches in a safe and respectable condition.

Emergency plan
Following the floods in December 2015, we were successful in obtaining a £10,000 Community Foundation Grant which was being made available to enable parishes to increase the self-resilience of their communities in emergency situations such as floods or similar events. We submitted a proposal for a generator, new low energy lighting systems and a range of communication equipment, so that the Gaskell Hall can be operated as an emergency refuge for our community. The application was successful and a full grant of £10,000 made to us. A diesel-powered generator has now been installed outside the Gaskell Hall and low energy lighting fitted. We have a satellite telephone system to allow contact with the rest of the world should the standard telephone system be out of action. I would like to thank Councillor David Sandiford for the expert work he has done to apply for and win the grant, then bring this facility into service.

Notice Boards, Website and new publicity boards
We have one Parish Council notice board in the village centre fixed to the Gaskell Hall and one located just inside the children’s playground in Cove Road. The number of notices and size of the Council meeting minutes have grown in recent years so that it is difficult to display everything we need to. Apart from our statutory duty to display certain information such as the minutes, we feel it is important that residents also have access to the wide range of information documents that are provided to the PC. It is our intention to replace the notice boards with larger versions in the coming year. The Parish Council website, as might be expected, is now an important element of our communication to residents. For example, the Local Government Act now allows councils to give formal notice of meetings via its website and we can add a wide range of other information on finances, buses, recreation etc. We were recently invited by the Arnside Silverdale AONB unit to consider having some new local publicity boards in the Parish. They have already been successfully introduced in Arnside and Storth and typically comprise a map together some useful information, principally to guide visitors to the area. We have agreed to progress this and have been awarded a small grant to assist with the costs.

Grant Applications
Under section 137 of the Local Government Act, the Parish Council has discretionary powers to provide grants to organisations that provide a benefit to residents of the parish. For some years we have regularly donated each year, £300 to the Air Ambulance and £700 to the AONB. In our budget planning for next year, we have earmarked some additional funds to allow local community groups to apply for small grants to assist their work. We would welcome applications from organisations, explaining what they are intending to do, what the total cost of will be and what are the expected benefits. Although we may not be able to fully fund every request, each will be considered alongside the others and we hope to be able to help in many cases.

Finally ……
As Chair of the Parish Council, I would like to thank all the Parish Councillors for their support during the year and the work they have done on behalf of the residents of the Parish of Silverdale. I would also like to thank our Clerk, Mrs Denise Challenor and Deputy Clerk Mrs Sue Hayward for their excellent support and diligent, timely work throughout the year. Without their expert help, we would have found it much more difficult to remain within the complexities of the Local Government Act, Local Government Finance Act and the Council’s Standing Orders. Their commitment to your Parish Council is much appreciated.
John Bennett Chair – Silverdale Parish Council

On request, copies of this report can be made available in large print. Please contact the Parish Clerk (clerk.silverdale@gmail.com)

Silverdale Parish Council

The Annual Parish Meeting
will be held in the Main Room of the Gaskell Hall, Silverdale on
Wednesday 21st March 2018 at 7.30pm

Only persons registered as local government electors for the Parish will be entitled to vote at the meeting, but the meeting will be open to the public during the proceedings unless the Parish Meeting, by resolution, directs otherwise.

1. To receive apologies for absence.

2. To approve the Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on the 15th March 2017.

3. To consider matters arising from the Minutes, not covered elsewhere on the Agenda.

4. To receive a report from the Lancashire Constabulary.

5. To receive a report from the Chairman of the Parish Council.

6. To receive a report on Silverdale Library from Operational Library Manager Janet Thomas.

7. To receive a report from City Councillor Nigel Goodrich.

8. To receive a presentation on the North West Coastal Access Route from Angela Harker and Dai Perry.

9. To receive and discuss any matters raised by members of the public.

John Bennett
Chairman of the Parish Meeting

Before the meeting light refreshments will be served.