2011/03/22 Annual Parish Meeting

22nd March 2011

9596 Minutes: of the Annual Parish Meeting for Silverdale held in the Gaskell Hall, Silverdale on Tuesday, 22nd March 2011 at 7.30 pm.

9597 Present:  Chairman  –  Councillor T.G. (Terry) Bond, the Clerk  –  L.D. (Denise) Challenor, the Deputy Clerk  –  S.D. (Sue) Hayward, Geographic Inspector Dave Vickers (Morecambe police station), ECSO 7301 Gerald Hurtley, Ms Diane Baxter, Lancaster District Manager for Libraries, Mr Alan Ferguson, National Trust Ranger  (Arnside and Silverdale), Mr Paul Calland, Deputy Station Officer (Bay Search and Rescue), County and District Councillor S.M. (Sarah) Fishwick and 18 members of the public.

9598 Apologies for Absence:  Councillor A.W. (Arthur) Graves and PC 2866 Tony Marsh.

9599 Minutes
 The Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 22nd March 2010 were approved then signed by the Chairman.

9600 Matters Arising
 There were no matters arising from the Minutes for discussion.

9601 Police Report
 Geographic Inspector Vickers reported that 357 incidents had been logged relating to the Silverdale/Yealand area for 2010/11, the majority relate to Silverdale, this represents an increase of around 17% on the previous year. 72 of the incidents were crimes. Although there has been an increase in crime there is no pattern in the offending (i.e. Silverdale is not being targeted by a single offender or group of offenders) and a number of strategies have been put in place to try and reduce crime in the area. The breakdown of crimes by offence is as follows: car crime – 7 (6 of which have been detected), dwelling burglary – 1, non-dwelling burglary – 11 (4 detected), criminal damage – 18 (5 detected), theft – 18 (3 detected), violent crime – 17 (11 detected). Notable incidents have been aggravated vehicle taking that led to a police car being rammed on Shore Road, theft from a BT kiosk and the theft of charity boxes from various locations around the village. The thefts were committed by offenders from outside the village and are part of a number of offences across the North West. Some incidents are not crime related e.g. road traffic accidents, missing persons and reports of sheep on the highway.

 Inspector Vickers advised that scrap metal thieves are being targeted as part of a police crackdown in North Lancashire, he asked the public to be vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour to the police.

 In response to a question from a member of the public Inspector Vickers said that the police hold monthly meetings with staff from Ridgway Park School and regular action plans are set up with the school to help deal with anti-social behaviour; he also has dealings with the school in his role as Missing from Home Search Manager and, as such, has highlighted the dangers of Morecambe Bay.

9602 Library Report
 Ms Diane Baxter, Lancaster District Manager for Libraries, reported on news from Silverdale Library including an update on the plans to improve the library building. A consultation process has recently been carried out as to whether the current building should be refurbished or provision be made for a library within the proposed new Parish Hall in the grounds of St. John’s church. The consultation process has involved the meeting of a Focus Group, a questionnaire and feedback via the annual public library user survey. Lancashire County Council is in the process of considering the responses. The money for the works has been held over to 2011/12 and Ms Baxter advised that there is a commitment from the County Council to keep a library open in Silverdale.

 County and District Councillor Fishwick explained that she would liked to have been involved with the consultation process as did a member of the public who had written the business plan for the proposed new Parish Hall.

 Regarding day-to-day matters Ms Baxter reported that: (1)  borrowing figures for Silverdale have increased in the last year (contrary to the national trend) and there has been a 35% increase in the issue of junior books, (2)  10 villagers use the home library service, (3) WiFi has been installed.

 Ms Baxter concluded by saying that there is clearly a great commitment from villagers for maintaining the library service in Silverdale.

9603 National Trust Report
 Mr Alan Ferguson, National Trust Ranger (Arnside and Silverdale), explained that the National Trust’s aim is to increase its profile so that it comes to mean something to everyone over the next 9 years. Part of this strategy involves the Ranger getting out and about more in the area and setting up roving information points where the public can be alerted to plants and animals to look out for at certain locations (e.g. via children’s trails) and he will be on hand to answer questions.
9604 Report on the Bay Search and Rescue Service
 Mr Paul Calland, Deputy Station Officer, gave a presentation on the Bay Search and  Rescue Service. He advised that Bay Search and Rescue is an independent organisation funded entirely by public donations and local Council and Trust Fund grants. The rescue team is based at Flookburgh, they provide operational support, dedicated equipment, 2 Hagglunds (All Terrain Emergency Response Vehicles) and trained personnel to assist the Fire and Rescue Service, H.M. Coastguard and other emergency services around Morecambe Bay, the Lake District and North Lancashire. The team specialise in quicksand rescue and have developed unique tools and techniques for the fast extraction of people, animals and vehicles. They also train other rescue teams and can help when problems are caused by snow and floods. The team is hoping to have a search and rescue airboat operational later this year.
9605 Report from County and District Councillor Sarah Fishwick
 County and District Councillor Fishwick reported that she: (1)  has attended as many parish council meetings as possible during the year, (2)  is involved with the ongoing battle to keep the Silverdale Shuttle, (3)  has been involved with campaigns to keep the Keer Bridge recycling centre, local swimming pools and public toilets open, (4)  has been concerned with traffic issues and planning permissions, (5)  organised an information-giving session about the train and bus services during the closure of Arnside viaduct, with the help of the Chairman of Silverdale Parish Council (6)  is involved with attempting to solve the ongoing problems with various private sewage systems in the village, (7)  had attended a meeting with the Chairman of Silverdale Parish Council about Tree Preservation Orders, (8)  helps groups and individuals with specific problems involving the County and City Councils, (9)  is a member of a number of committees and Trusts etc.

 Mr Ferguson added that the National Trust is promoting the Silverdale Shuttle by encouraging visitors to arrive by public transport in order to access the many walking routes in the area, including a Bicentennial walk.

9606 Chairman’s Report
 The Chairman introduced his annual report, a copy of which is appendaged to these minutes.

 The Chairman added that the Parish Councillors come to the end of their term of office in May and invited anyone interested to stand as a Parish Councillor in the forthcoming election.

9607 Matters Raised by the Public
 A member of the public commented that there seem to be a number of cases where development work is being carried out before planning permission has been granted and wondered if this was because the Tree Preservation Orders (which can be a condition of granting planning permission) are often seen to be onerous.

9608 The meeting closed at 9.20 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 2010-11. This will be my fourth report, and the last of the present Council before a new one is elected in May.

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. Our Clerk, Denise Challenor does a good job in support of all of us and managing the day to day tasks of the Council. The Deputy Clerk, Sue Hayward, is also a great help. As there were 113 items of correspondence plus numerous e/mails over the past year it can be seen the Clerk’s role is an important one.

The Parish Council meets usually on the first Monday of each month at the Institute on Spring Bank. These meetings are open and members of the public can attend to 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 – 12, Graves – 5, Holden – 5, Houghton – 9, McNaughton – 7, Mason – 10, Taylor – 9, Williams – 11.

Planning and Related issues
During this year the Council considered 45 planning applications and made comments to Lancaster City Council, who is the legal planning authority. Some of the applications we have commented upon are outside the village, notably Cumbria, but which affect us all the same. Although we make comments, and sometime objections, the City Council does not always concur with us. The issue of caravan sites has been a recurring matter this past year and no doubt will continue to be so.  As a Council we also have concerns, not only the visual impact but primarily the fact that an expansion of, or a new, caravan site leads to more traffic and the caravans have to come through Silverdale thereby causing more pressure on our narrow roads. Other planning concerns have centred upon the delays in enforcement by the City Council when planning applications have been changed, buildings or usage altered without approval.

Our local Parish Contractor service continues to operate well, he maintains all Council property, including over 40 seats and benches around the village, as well as maintenance of the playing field.

Efforts continue to improve public safety, particularly at ways of improving the station area. Negotiations with Network Rail, RSPB and others continue with regard to the provision of a ramp to the platform.  Rail users are encouraged to travel to the station via the Shuttle, and I would remind all that the threat to the Shuttle may yet resurface next year. Links with Carnforth Connect and the school buses have helped retain this service so far. There will be difficult times ahead with the closure of Arnside viaduct for several weeks and a disruption in rail services

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. Inconsiderate parking by some, especially on Saturday mornings, causes problems for many others. In addition the Police have been monitoring aspects of anti-social behaviour, particularly in the village centre.
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 continues to be well used, and there is a small Committee which oversee the maintenance and management of the playground and who are also looking at ways to improve the facilities.
The public toilets were taken over by the Council last April, but there have been a number of problems resulting from this and whether we as a village can afford to keep them is a decision the Council will make soon.  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 remind people that this year is a special one; we celebrate 200 years since the formation of today’s village boundaries when Silverdale came into its own. A number of events are planned, so please watch out for notice of these, and whilst on the subject of notifying events I would like to record my thanks to the public spirited village resident who has set up an electronic Weekly Newsletter for the village.
Finally we as your Parish Council will continue to serve this village to the best of our abilities and seek your support in doing so.

Terry Bond MBE
Silverdale Parish Council                                            14/3/2011