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3rd February 2003

7255 Minutes: of a meeting of the Silverdale Parish Council held in the Silverdale Institute on Monday 3rd February 2003.

7256 Present: Councillor Mr C.J. Eden (Chairman), Councillors Mrs S.M. Fishwick, Mr A. Graves, Mrs J. Greenwell, Mr R. Henderson, Mr A.J. Houghton, Mr P. Roberts, the Clerk, Police Constable 874 Daley (Community Police Officer) and one member of the public.
7257 Apologies for Absence: Councillor Mr T.B. Fryer.

7258 Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The Minutes of the meeting held on 6th January 2003 were amended by the inclusion of Councillor Roberts in Minute 7227. Following this amendment, the Minutes of the meetings held on 6th January and 20th January 2003, were approved, and signed by the Chairman.

7259 Update from PC 874 Daley (Community Police Officer).

Following the query raised at the previous meeting, PC Daley had ascertained that motorised scooters, eg “Go-Peds”, are classified as mechanically propelled vehicles, requiring road tax and insurance, with the riders being over the age of 16. It would therefore be an offence to ride these vehicles on the footway.

Police statistics indicated that, during January, there had been no cases of nuisance and no road traffic accidents. There had been four other crimes, one involving the theft of a JCB and the other three being inter-related and of a confidential nature.

WPC Christine Harrison, has been appointed as the new Community Police Officer for Carnforth. A new post of Police Community Support Officer has been created and has been filled by Annette Hoover.

7260 Matters raised by Members of the Public for consideration.

There were no matters raised by the member of the public.

7261 Matters arising from the Minutes of previous meetings:

Members asked if there had been any progress with the implementation of the proposed 20mph speed limit scheme for Emesgate Lane. The Clerk advised that the progression through the statutory procedures is being dealt with by Lancashire County Council and is likely to take some considerable time.

7262 Report of any relevant matters by City and County Councillor Mrs S.M. Fishwick.

Councillor Fishwick made reference to the proposed establishment of a North West Regional Authority and stated that it seemed likely that, if the proposal were to be implemented, there would be just four seats for Lancashire, out of a total of 35.

7263 Reports on Meetings

(a) AONB Executive Committee. The Chairman reported on a meeting which he had attended on 15th January. The revised draft Constitution had incorporated most of the amendments requested by individual members and was therefore adopted.

The AONB Officer reported on progress in the production of the Management Plan and Budget, which will be circulated to members, for consideration, once completed. The Management Plan will place great emphasis on public consultation and this will be commenced with the holding of an AONB Conference on January 30th. There will also be four workshops during the February-March period.

The draft Planning Protocol was considered and accepted. It had been agreed to establish a Planning Sub-Group.

Members had divided into small groups to establish views on matters which should be incorporated in the Vision Statement about the development of the AONB.

(b) Lancashire Association of Parish & Town Councils. Councillor Henderson reported that he had attended a meeting of the Lancaster Branch on 27th January. The meeting had commenced with a talk by Councillor Dowding, of Lancaster City Council, about a Vision Statement for the Lancaster District Local Strategic Partnership.

Councillor Henderson also reported that a letter was being sent to each Parish Council, from the Lancashire County Highways Road Safety Department, asking for the input of Councils to a road traffic safety plan. The Clerk has not yet received the letter.

(c) Silverdale Sport and Recreation Development Committee. Councillor Houghton reported that he had attended a meeting on 27th January. He had found the members to be very enthusiastic and positive, but felt that there were still some misunderstandings about the roles of the Committee and the Parish Council. Three comments/questions were brought back to the Parish Council, by Councillor Houghton:

1. Committee Members were concerned about the constitution of the ‘steering group’ for the Parish Plan and wondered whether or not the group should compile Minutes of meetings.

2. Is there a strategy to go beyond the Parish Plan?

3. Assuming the Parish Plan is accepted, who will be the driving force, ensuring that action ensues?

Councillor Greenwell responded by indicating that the ‘steering group’ had evolved from the Parish Council’s decision, in February 2002 (Minute 6911) that the Parish Council should be represented by the Chairman, Councillors Greenwell and Henderson, and the Clerk, at a meeting with Mr Roy Hymas of the Countryside Agency. Once the intention to proceed to the production of the Parish Plan had become known, representatives of the Silverdale Neighbourhood Watch Committee had offered to become involved in the ‘groundwork’ and had therefore been invited to join with the representatives of the Parish Council in trying to progress the matter. From the outset, it had been felt that this ‘steering group’ should be geared to practical motivation with the minimum of procedural bureaucracy. This approach had been encouraged and endorsed by the Countryside Agency and the consultants (Pathways) appointed by the Countryside Agency to assist Silverdale. To date, it was felt that the progress made by all those involved in the work towards the production of the Parish Plan had been admirable. As to the strategy for going beyond the Parish Plan, it is hoped that the goals outlined in the plan will form an integral part of Planning Strategy for Silverdale. The Parish Plan is also seen as an excellent support for those groups who may need to apply for financial, and other, assistance in progressing specific projects, such as that proposed by the SSRDC. The driving force behind the implementation of proposals made under the Parish Plan, will be individual action groups, supported by the village community and the Parish Council. The Parish Council is merely the co-ordinator, acting as agent for the Countryside Agency, under the “Vital Villages” scheme.

The Clerk will supply photocopies of the background literature published by the Countryside Agency, to any persons, or groups, who may request same.

7264 Parish Plan

Councillor Greenwell reported that there had been a meeting of potential ‘action groups’ in the Gaskell Hall on Thursday 16th January. 52 people had attended and had divided into nine action groups, the designations of which had been derived from the responses to the Parish Plan Questionnaires. At the conclusion of the meeting, each group made a very brief presentation of the action which it proposed to take, or to investigate. Each group also nominated a lead member, for contact and co-ordination purposes.

Within the group which had been established to consider the needs of older people, it had been noted that four people in the community had stated that there was a need for additional Sheltered Housing. As there were some doubts about the level of demand, it was agreed that all those persons in the village area who are currently unable to obtain access to Sheltered Housing and who see this as a specific need, are invited to contact the Chairman or Councillor Greenwell.

7265 Annual Audit Return 2001-2002

(a) Since the last meeting, the Clerk had received a request from the External Auditor to make a change to the Audit Return for 2001-2002, within the section which records the (audited) accounts for 2000-2001. This entailed moving the sum of £1,890.00 from “Total Other Payments” to “Staff Costs”, as this sum was paid as a Retirement Gratuity to former Clerk, Mr Harry Hall. In view of the urgent nature of this matter, it was brought to the attention of members, immediately following the Special Council Meeting, held on 20th January and was dealt with under the provisions of Standing Order 25. Members agreed that it seemed to be ‘out of order’ for the record of previously audited accounts to be altered and took a dim view of the External Auditor’s request. It was however agreed that the Clerk should comply with the request and return the amended Annual Return to the External Auditor.

(b) Since submitting the amended return, as in ‘a’ above, the Clerk had received a telephone call and a further letter from the External Auditor, raising a query about the entry for “Total Fixed Assets”, which had been entered as £17 for both 2000-2001 and 2001-2002. The auditor requested that both entries be amended to record the insurance value of the assets, rather than the nominal value, which had been the accepted practice for many years. The Clerk had checked the insurance policy and had determined that the revised figure for 2000-2001 would be £29,290 and for 2001-2002 it would be £29,875. Whilst it was accepted that the change of policy would be acceptable for accounts which have not completed audit, members agreed that it was totally unacceptable to make such changes to the formal record of accounts (2000-2001) which had been audited, approved and published. RESOLVED that, in order to progress the audit for 2001-2001, the Clerk would make the amendments and return the form to the External Auditor. Once the audit has been completed and the fee paid, the Clerk is authorised to refer the matter to the Audit Commission for further consideration.

7266 Planning

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

02/01508/CU – Hazelwood Hall, Hollins Lane – conversion and reconstruction of nursing home to provide 30 apartments with new access off Hollins Lane: The Parish Council is sympathetic, in principle, to an application for a change of use, but there are a number of important questions, which have been put to the Applicant and for which answers are still outstanding. The Council therefore considers that it is necessary to protect the public interest by OBJECTING to this application. It is hoped that the Parish Council will be able to withdraw all objections, once satisfactory answers have been received.

03/00030/FUL – 49 Emesgate Lane, Silverdale – erection of extension to bungalow: OBJECTIONS on the grounds that the proposal is out of keeping with the neighbourhood.

03/00071/FUL – Dyke House, Jenny Browns Point – erection of a study/playroom on site of former barn: NO OBJECTIONS subject to the construction using materials which are in keeping with the location.

7267 Local Planning Design Guide

After a brief discussion about the construction of extensions to properties, which are deemed to be out of keeping with the neighbourhood, it was agreed that the Clerk should enquire about the possibility of the Lancaster City Council Planning Department producing a “Planning Guide” for those areas of the village which are in the nature of fairly modern ‘estates’, ie a group of dwellings constructed at, or around, the same time and sharing some common design features.

7268 Correspondence

24 items of correspondence had been received since the last meeting and were tabled for the information of members. The following items will receive further attention:

(a) The subscription to the Open Spaces Society will not be renewed.

(b) There will not be a delegation to the LAPTC Annual Spring Conference.

(c) The Council will take up the offer from Community Futures for the provision of a consultant to help with the development of the Parish Plan, free of charge.

(d) The Council will respond positively to the request for views about the possibility of holding a referendum relating to the proposal for Regional Government.

(e) The Council will advise the AONB that it is in favour of the widening of the gap in the access wall at the southern end of footpath 58, in order to permit the passage of pushchairs. It will be recommended that the widening should also permit wheelchair access.

7269 Playground Safety Inspection

(a) It was noted that the National Playing Fields Association has given ‘back-word’ on conducting the annual Playground Safety Inspection, arranged for January 2003.

(b) Members confirmed approval of the Clerk’s immediate action in arranging for a Playground Safety Inspection and Risk Assessment to be carried out by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and noted that the RoSPA timetable means that inspection will be scheduled for August 2003.

7270 Annual Risk Assessment

The Clerk announced that the Annual Audit Return would now include a provision for the Independent Internal Auditor to declare that a satisfactory risk assessment had been carried out. The Clerk presented a draft risk assessment report, based upon the principles specified in the course, run by CALC. RESOLVED that the Risk Assessment appended to these Minutes be adopted.


7271 Parish Lengthsman / Parish Contractor

The Clerk reported that he had not received any further communication from the Lancs CC Countryside Manager, which was probably because the promises of funding from various other sources are unlikely to be forthcoming much before April. Members considered that an alternative to the Joint Lengthsman Scheme would be to have an equivalent contractor working exclusively for Silverdale. RESOLVED that the Clerk should place an advertisement on the Noticeboard and Web Site, inviting expressions of interest from suitable persons. Details of the possible scheme will be discussed when the level and nature of interest is known.

7272 Silverdale United Charity

(a) Members received the resignation of Councillor Fishwick from her appointment as Parish Council representative to the Silverdale United Charity.

(b) RESOLVED that Councillor Peter Roberts be nominated as a representative to the Silverdale United Charity.

7273 Banking Facilities

(a) RESOLVED that the Clerk be authorised to open a new Current Account and a new Reserve Account with the Alliance & Leicester Bank, in the name of Silverdale Parish Council.

(b) RESOLVED that initially Councillors Eden, Greenwell, Henderson and Roberts be nominated as signatories, any two of whom shall be able to sign cheques drawn on the new Current Account.

(c) RESOLVED that the Clerk be authorised to receive any information from the Bank, on request, be authorised to receive Bank Statements on behalf of the Council, be authorised to transfer funds between the two accounts and be authorised to make credits to either account, and to become an authorised signatory for these purposes only, but not to sign cheques, make payments by any other means, or to draw funds out of either account (other than transfers).

7274 North West Air Ambulance Service

RESOLVED that a donation of £50 be made to the North West Air Ambulance Service under Section 137 of the Local Government Act 1972.

7275 Accounts for Payment

Cheques for the following accounts were signed:

North West Air Ambulance Service 50.00 (900)

Silverdale Institute (hire of hall) 90.00 (901)

Mr C.J. Eden (Christmas tree & lights) 29.96 (902)

Mr Doug Fishwick (Playing Field mats – cleaning) 27.50 (903)

Mrs June Greenwell (Parish Plan – envelopes) 15.00 (904)

Milnthorpe Printers (Parish Plan Appraisal Reports] 473.28 (905)

Mr P.G. Challenor (Parish Plan refreshments expenses) 3.91 (906)

Mr P.G. Challenor (salary & expenses) 749.79 (907)

7276 Items for Information

There were no items raised for information.

7277 Date of Next Meeting – Monday March 3rd 2003

Peter G. Challenor – Clerk to the Council.

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