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4th November 2002

7110 Minutes: of a meeting of the Silverdale Parish Council held in the Silverdale Institute on Monday 4th November 2002.

7111 Present: Councillor Mr C.J. Eden (Chairman), Councillors, Mr A. Graves, Mrs J. Greenwell, Mr R. Henderson, Mr A.J. Houghton, the Clerk and four members of the public.


7112 Apologies for Absence: Councillors Mrs S.M. Fishwick, Mr T.B. Fryer and Police Constable 874 Daley (Community Police Officer).

7113 Minutes of the two Previous Meetings

The Minutes of the meetings held on the 3rd and 7th October were approved and then signed by the Chairman.

7114 Matters raised by Members of the Public for consideration.

One representative spoke on behalf of the four persons present and expressed grave concern about the development known as Bottoms Barns in Bottoms Lane. The ground in the vicinity was described as an unacceptable mess, but particular concern was expressed about the above-ground apparatus relating to the septic tank. The tank control panels have been located in a very conspicuous position and the red/green lights are unacceptable.

In accordance with Standing Orders, there was no discussion of the comments made, except that some questions were asked for clarification purposes. The Chairman did however point out that he, and Councillor Henderson, had visited the site, in company with the Senior Planning Officer for Lancaster City Council. Because of their shared concern and dismay at the condition of the land surrounding the development, an item had been placed on this evening’s agenda, for a full discussion.

7115 Matters arising from the Minutes of previous meetings:

7074 Provision of a seat in memory of Mrs Annie Lynch (nee Webster). The Chairman had identified two types of seat which he considered suitable and these were shown to members. The Clerk will send the details to Mr Metcalfe, authorising him to arrange for the purchase and installation of one of the two options. The Parish Council will only assume maintenance responsibility for the seat once the installation has been approved and confirmation of payment has been received.

7105 Ambulance Service request that the First Responders group pay an Administration Fee

The Clerk advised that he had not received the further letter, promised by the Ambulance Service, and would therefore write again.

7108 Items for Information (a) and (c): In answer to questions, the Clerk confirmed that he had not had a response from United Utilities, concerning the interruptions of electricity supply, or from British Telecom, concerning the telegraph poles. In both cases, reminders would be sent. (b) Members were reminded to have a look at the new style of lamp standards being erected in Warton and consider whether they would be suitable for Silverdale.

7116 Reports on Meetings

(a) AONB Executive Meeting, 16th October 2002.

The Chairman presented a report of the meeting which he had attended as Parish Council representative and which had also been attended by Councillor Henderson, as a member of the public. In the absence of Mr Ian Henderson, Miss Rowena Lord presented papers on the activities of the AONB Unit in the past twelve months. Silverdale Parish Council had already submitted suggestions for amendments to the Constitution and other parishes were asked to submit their suggestions (if any), for discussion at the next meeting. Any agreed amendments would be made in January 2003. It was felt that the opposition to the initial intention to reduce the Parish Council representation from six to three was so strong that the level would probably remain at six.

The AONB national conference, held in our area, had been a great success, with much favourable comment on the management services.

Considerable groundwork has been carried out for the preparation of the new Management Plan, without which there would not be any Government funding.

The AONB management will have a much greater role in Planning matters.

An approach had been made to Railtrack Property Division, concerning the possibility of purchasing the present building. Whilst this, in itself would not present a problem, there could well be difficulties with rights of access. It was noted that Arnside Parish Council would prefer the AONB to find alternative accommodation, in the hope that station facilities could be improved.

The Limestone Heritage Project was progressing well, with the estimated total expenditure for the year being £63,000. Work had been completed at Haweswater and Trowbarrow Wood. Work is in progress at Storrs Lane, Slackwood Lane and The Row. Work is planned for the first limekiln, at Bottoms Farm.

The next meeting of the Executive will be on 15th January and there will be an AONB Conference, in Silverdale, on 30th January 2003.

(b) National Trust Liaison Committee meeting, 15th October. Councillor Henderson reported that the regrowth of coppiced woodland had produced a commercial crop and sales of wood products had generated an income for the Trust.

7117 Parish Plan

The Parish Conference held in the Gaskell Hall on October 17th had been a huge success. The helpers manning the boards had found the evening most engaging and enjoyable. The analysis of the comments has been commenced. The results will be presented in a collated form and also as a list of the individual comments. Members were reminded of the need to keep a record of time spent on Parish Plan activities. The Conference itself is estimated to have taken 100 volunteer hours. The next meeting of the ‘steering group’ will be on Monday 18th November. It was generally felt that the project was making excellent progress and it had been noted that the work in Silverdale was being used elsewhere, by the Countryside Agency, to illustrate the scheme

7118 Planning

(1) The following applications were considered and commented upon:

02/01213/FUL – 1 Elmslack Lane, Silverdale: erection of a ground floor rear extension: NO OBJECTIONS

02/01182/FUL – 48 Emesgate Lane, Silverdale: erection of a dormer to the side: OBJECTIONS on the grounds that the extension will be such that the property would no longer be in keeping with the houses in this area.

02/01227/FUL – Bank House Farm, Silverdale: installation of two self-bunded 2500 litre fuel stores on concrete bases: NO OBJECTIONS

(2) The following decisions from Lancaster City Council were noted:

TPO 49 (1979) – 22 Wallings Lane, Silverdale: request for permission to fell trees T7 (birch), T8 (birch) & T9 (oak): GRANTED.

TPO 130 (1988) – 14 Wallings Lane, Silverdale – request for permission to fell trees marked with pink marker paint, within area W1, as part of ongoing management scheme: GRANTED

02/00826/FUL – Silver Sapling Camp Site – erection of an extension to the existing hut to provide shower rooms and drying areas: GRANTED.

(3) The development known as Bottoms Barns, in Bottoms Lane (00/01095) had been causing considerable concern, as reiterated by the members of the public, speaking under item 4 of the agenda. Members engaged in lengthy discussion about the details of the development work and unanimously endorsed the expressed concern. Apart from the detailed items, it was felt that the general damage to the site and the potential damage to the surrounding landscape was very much contrary to Policy E3 of the Lancaster City Council’s District Local Plan and to some of the statements made in the Landscape Assessment made in 1997 by the Countryside Commission. It was unanimously agreed that a letter should be written to the Chief Planning Officer asking that members of the Planning Committee be requested to visit the site and make a full assessment of the situation. The matter would also be drawn to the attention of the AONB Countryside Management Service as it was thought that they would wish to make representations about damage to the landscape.

7119 Correspondence

Nineteen items of correspondence had been received since the last meeting and were tabled for the information of members. Apart from the correspondence covered by other items on the agenda, the only item requiring attention is the letter from Lancaster City Council, advising that it is now in order to co-opt a person onto the Council, to replace Mr Cyril Beckford. The vacancy will be advertised on the web site.

7200 Freedom of Information Act

Two documents were presented to the members, relating to the requirement for the Council to register a publication scheme by no later than 31st December 2002. All the mandatory core publications are adequately covered by the statutory display of audit-related accounts and by the information published on the Council’s web site. A letter has been sent to the District Librarian requesting permission to state that access to the Council’s web site, via Silverdale Library, would be free of charge – a reply has not yet been received. RESOLVED that the Clerk should complete the Declaration Form, giving the title as “Model Publication Scheme for Local Councils (Core Classes only)” and that the Form should be registered with the Information Commission before 31st December 2002.

7201 Provision of an illuminated Christmas Tree.

In response to many requests for re-instatement of the Christmas Tree, provided by the Council and located in the grounds of Bleasdale House School, the Clerk had written to the Headteacher. The point had been made that the incidence of vandalism had dropped markedly since the appointment of the Community Police Officer and it is considered less likely that the lights for the tree would be vandalised, than had been the case previously. The Clerk had also spoken to PC Daley about the possibility of increasing the Police surveillance of the designated area, during the time that a tree may be illuminated. A reply has not yet been received.

7202 Revised rates of pay and allowances from the National Joint Council

(1) RESOLVED that the Clerk’s hourly rate of pay should be increased, in line with the NJC recommendations, to the following:

1st April 2002 to 30th September 2002: £7.227 (SCP 17)

1st October 2002 to 31st March 2003: £7.297 (SCP 17)

1st April 2003 until further revision: £7.701 (SCP 18)

(2) It was noted that the following are now the rates of car mileage allowance, recommended by the NJC, for payment to both officers and members of parish councils:

Engine size 451-999cc: 35.8p

Engine size 1000-1199cc: 39.9p

Engine size 1200-1450cc: 49.4p

Councillor Houghton expressed his grave concern about the taxation implications for the Clerk receiving a mileage payment exceeding the 40p threshold set by the Inland Revenue. The Clerk pointed out that, because of his personal feelings about rewarding people to drive cars with larger engines than are strictly necessary for the task, he is in the habit of claiming the rate applicable to the lowest designated engine size, despite being entitled to receive the rate for the largest engine size. He therefore claims well below the Inland Revenue figure of 40p and his allowance is not subject to taxation. The possibility of councillors being subject to taxation was also considered and the members present all felt it appropriate to do the same as the Clerk. RESOLVED that this Council recognises the rights of members to claim the appropriate mileage rates recommended by the NJC, but it will be the normal practice for members to be offered reimbursement of qualifying mileage costs at the rate set for the smallest engine size.

7203 Accounts for Payment

Cheques for the following accounts were signed:

Royal British Legion wreath (RBL Poppy Appeal) £ 25.00 (885)

Mr P.G. Challenor £647.59 (886)

Matthew Priestley (Parish Plan photographs) £250.00 (887)

It was noted that payment for the services of the bugler, at the Remembrance Sunday Service, will be made by the Clerk and then reimbursed, at a future date, from Council funds.

7204 Items for Information

The Clerk is authorised to attend a “Budget, Finance and Audit” training session, organised by the Lancashire Association of Parish & Town Councils, at Preston College, on Tuesday 19th November 2002.

7205 Date of Next Meeting – Monday December 2nd 2002
Peter G. Challenor

Clerk to the Council.

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