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19th March 2009

9021 Minutes: of the Annual Parish Meeting for Silverdale held in the Gaskell Hall, Silverdale on Thursday, 19th March 2009 at 7.30 pm.

9022 Present: Chairman  –  Councillor T.G. (Terry) Bond, the Clerk   –  L.D. (Denise) Challenor, the Deputy Clerk  –  S.D. (Sue) Hayward, Police Sergeant 1643 David Forshaw, PC 2866 Tony Marsh, SC 9785 Steven Broadbent, Ms Diane Baxter (Lancaster District Manager for Libraries), Mr Tony Parker (Secretary for the Furness Line Action Group (FLAG)) and 33 members of the public.

9023 Apologies for Absence: Inspector Geoff Tagg (Morecambe police station), Mr Paul Salveson (Head of Community and Regional Strategy for Northern Rail) and Ms Rowena Lord (Property Manager (National Trust), Morecambe Bay).

9024 Minutes
 The Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 17th March 2008 were approved and signed by the Chairman.

9025 Matters Arising
 There were no matters arising from the Minutes for discussion.

9026 Police Report
 Sergeant Forshaw advised that he has been supervising the Silverdale area since November 2008, the number of reported crimes for Silverdale has fallen from 77 (for 2007/ 08) to 37 (for 2008/ 09); the number of reported thefts of items stored outside (such as scrap metal and diesel fuel) has, however, increased (as has been the case in many rural areas). The number of reported vehicle crimes has reduced – this may be due to the work done to monitor secluded car parks and raise public awareness.

 PC Marsh explained that his main focus has been to deal with car crimes in connection with the RSPB and Neighbourhood Watch. He thanked the public for reporting the recent distribution of inflammatory racist leaflets which has lead to the arrest of a suspect. PC Marsh reports monthly to the parish council where the priorities set are to deal with speeding vehicles and inconsiderate parking. A police surgery is held every Wednesday at 10.00am outside The Royal Hotel. PC Marsh confirmed that villagers can give him their details if they are going to be away for any period of time and he will include their property in his regular patrols.

9027 Library Report
 Ms Diane Baxter, Lancaster District Manager for Libraries, reported on news from Silverdale Library, the Librarian for which is Mrs Jill Mason: (1)  borrowing figures have increased, (2)  Mrs Mason continues to work closely with the playgroup and Silverdale Primary School, (3)  ‘face to face’ sessions are held regularly at which villagers can report matters such as street lights that are out of order or can apply for a blue badge, (4)  a home library service is soon to be introduced – if anyone is interested in using this service, or knows of anyone who might be interested, they should contact Mrs Mason, (5)  in the autumn various improvements will be carried out to the library building including redecorating and new shelving; the side door will be used to provide access, this will leave some free space to the area around the front door – questionnaires are available at the library for villagers to give their ideas as to how this area can be used or any other improvements.

 Ms Baxter noted that it is important that villagers continue to support the library. Any queries regarding the service can be raised either with Mrs Mason or with Ms Baxter at Lancaster Library.

 The Chairman handed over the village Millennium photograph album which will now be stored in the library and available for all to see.
9028 Report on Rail Travel to and from Silverdale Station
 Mr Tony Parker, Secretary for FLAG, explained that he is the station adopter for Silverdale, this role involves visiting the station regularly and maintaining regular contact with the train operators for the Silverdale line. Mr Parker reported that there are some minor improvements to the new timetable (May – September 2009) in that more trains will be stopping at Silverdale and there will be a later train to Manchester airport. A number of people asked questions and the following points were made: (1)  if there are problems with Silverdale trains being cancelled from Lancaster members of the public can ask the Station Manager at Lancaster if it is possible for a train to make an unscheduled stop at Silverdale, (2)  there are plans to introduce crystal display units at Silverdale, (3)  TransPennine is hoping to introduce more 4 car units to avoid overcrowding on the trains.

 Mr Parker noted the lack of trains to Manchester airport in the middle of the day and the need for more comfortable seating at the station, he will raise these issues with the appropriate organisations. Mr Parker can be contacted by e mail on kenpar@heversham.freeserve.co.uk .

9029 National Trust Report
 Ms Rowena Lord was unable to attend the meeting but had provided a written report which was read out by the Chairman. In addition to the usual ‘housekeeping’ and fettling that is done on a regular basis the following points were noted: (1)  100 metres of wall have been rebuilt, (2)  1 hectare of limestone grassland has been rescued, (3)  5  hectares of grassland have been enhanced by cutting bramble, (4)  6 areas of hazel coppice have been cut, helping to provide employment for local contractors, (5)  7,400 hours of volunteer work have been carried out by 170 people (divided equally between Arnside and Silverdale), (6)  the National Trust is hoping to build on the recent initiative with the Horticultural Society to encourage gardeners to use local hazel for beanpoles (rather than bamboo).

 If members of the public have any queries Ms Lord can be contacted on 701178 and the warden on 702815.

9030 Chairman’s Report
 The Chairman read out his annual report, a copy of which is appendaged to these minutes and will be printed in the Silverdale Parish magazine.

 Councillor Holden advised of the existence of Silverdale United Charities, villagers are urged to apply if they find themselves unexpectedly in need of financial help – all cases are confidential and are considered by a committee comprising 4 members. Further information will be displayed on the parish council notice board.

9031 Matters Raised by the Public
 A member of the public asked about the public toilets, the Chairman reported that Lancaster City Council (Lancaster CC) has decided to keep the toilets open (at least for the current year).

 Another member of the public queried the amount of council tax to be levied by Lancaster CC during 2009/10 and was advised to address any queries to County and District Councillor Fishwick.

9032 The meeting closed at 8.45 pm.

Sue D. Hayward
Deputy Clerk to the Council















Appendix 1

Annual Newsletter & Chairman’s Report to the Parish Meeting

As the Chairman of Silverdale Parish Council I would like to present my report on the Council for the year 2008-09.

Parish Council
The Parish Council is the first tier of local government and plays a significant role in representing the interests of Silverdale and local villagers.
This year has seen continuity in membership of the Council and a growing confidence with  experience. Our Clerk, Denise Challenor, has done a sterling job in support of all of us and managing many of the day to day tasks of the Council. The Deputy Clerk, Sue Hayward, has been a great help although following an accident in November she has been quite poorly. As there were  126  items of correspondence over the past year it can be seen the Clerk’s role is an important one.

The Parish Council meets on the first Monday of each month at the Institute on Springbank. These meetings are open and the public can attend and hear Council business. Verbal reports are also provided by our District & County Councillor Sarah Fishwick, and the Community Police. Usually there are very few members of the public attending these meetings, and I would urge anyone who is interested to come along and find out more of what is happening in our area.
The Agenda and Minutes of the Council are displayed on the Notice Board outside the Gaskell Hall, published in the Parish magazine and available on the Council’s website at www.silverdale-pc-lancs.gov.uk. The attendance of Councillors at the past 12 meetings was: Cllrs Bond – 11, Graves – 10, Holden – 10, Houghton – 11, Kitson – 10, Mason – 11, Taylor – 11, Williams – 11.

Planning and Related issues
During this year the Council considered  23  planning applications and made comments to Lancaster City Council, who are the legal planning authority. There have been some controversial applications this year, notably Waterslack, Cove House & Emesgate Lane developments. Again there have been a number  of applications being retrospective, whereby work has already been done but either without permission or not done to the agreed plans. We have made our objections known to the City Council about some of these, but without success.

Our local Parish Contractor service works well, Phil Hargreaves  maintains all Council property, including over 40 seats and benches around the village, as well as maintenance of the playing field. The work at Woodwell has made this area once more an attractive feature. Work is currently underway at the War Memorial site.

There have been some problems regarding the level crossing on the railway line. Efforts are being made to improve public safety, particularly at ways of improving the station area. Last year I mentioned concerns regarding the Silverdale Shuttle and encouraged more people to use it.  Following public objections the recent proposal by the County Council to withdraw funding was defeated, or to put it another way, staved off for a year. Unless there is an increased use in this facility the prospect of its closure will emerge again next year. The Council are aware that the car park at the station is used rather more, which is welcomed, but there are no plans to increase the size of the parking area. An alternative is for rail users to travel to  the station via the Shuttle.

Community Aspects
Throughout the year the Council has maintained good working arrangements with the local Police and policing priorities are agreed at each council meeting. Efforts have been concentrated on parking issues, in particular Emesgate Lane & Stankelt Road, and also  speeding by some drivers on village roads. The proposal last year for 20mph combined with speed reduction measures was withdrawn following public objection. We continue to press for 20mph without ‘speed bumps’.
The Parish Council also works closely with the AONB, RSPB and the National Trust, with members of the Council attending meetings of these bodies.
The Playground has been a success and work continues on this project, and there is a small sub-committee which oversee the maintenance and management of the playground and who are also looking at ways to improve the facilities.  In addition the Council support the proposal for a MUGA [Multi User Games Area] within the village.
The provision of allotments has been an ongoing issue and the Council will continue its search to locate a suitable site, interest in this has been welcomed.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasise that we live in a lovely village with a good provision of services and facilities.  However, in order to keep enjoying them we need to continue to use them and contribute to the village environment. The Post Office and the Shuttle are two of these that have been under threat in the past and can be again. We as your Parish Council will continue to serve this village to the best of our abilities and seek your support in doing so.
All are welcome to the Annual Parish Assembly, which will be held in the Gaskell Hall on Thursday, 19th March 2008 starting at 7.30pm.
Terry Bond  MBE
Silverdale Parish Council 



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