2011/08/01

1st August 2011

9703 Un-confirmed Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Silverdale Parish Council held in the Silverdale Institute on Monday, 1st August 2011.

9704 Present:  Chairman  –  Councillor T.G. (Terry) Bond, S.L. (Shirley) Mason, K. (Keith) Palmer, N. (Nigel) Ribbons and A. (Angela) Woods, the Clerk  –  L.D. (Denise) Challenor, the Deputy Clerk  –  S.D. (Sue) Hayward, County Councillor S.M. (Sarah) Fishwick, City Councillor K. (Kath) Graham and 23 members of the public.

9705 Apologies for Absence:  Councillors H. (Harriet) Bradfield, A.J. (Tony) Houghton and P.N. (Paul) Williams and PC 2866 Tony Marsh.

9706 Receipt of Declarations of Members’ Interests Relating to any Items Appearing on the Agenda
 None.
9707 Minutes of the Previous Meetings
 The Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on Monday, 4th July were approved then signed by the Chairman.

9708 Receipt of Information about Matters Arising from the Minutes of Previous Meetings, not Covered by the Agenda
 The Clerk referred to: (1)  item 9666, regarding Ridgway Park School, and reported that Ms Carol Whitehead, Director of Operations for the school, had responded to the comments made in this Council’s letter to Social Services (but see 9714 below), (2)  item 9686, regarding the contract with the Phs Group, and advised that the legal department of Lancaster City Council (Lancaster CC) had suggested that this Council contact Phs pointing out that the ‘small print’ pertaining to the annual Duty of Care certificate is not good practice, (3)  item 9696, regarding the playground, and reported that Mr Michael Knight now has all the parts ordered from Playdale and that Lancaster CC will repair the seesaw and matting beneath.

 The Chairman referred to item 9692, regarding a (history trail) leaflet to be produced by the National Trust, and advised that he is working with the Trust to help with the leaflet which, it is hoped, will be ready for distribution in September.

9709 Matters Raised by Members of the Public for Future Consideration
 Six members of the public spoke and the following points/ comments/ queries were made/ asked:
 1.  a petition addressed to Lancaster CC, regarding the “proper monitoring” of the Gibraltar Farm camping and caravan site and concerns about its expansion beyond 60 caravans, has been signed by 430 people.
 2.  Silverdale is seen as a ‘peaceful, tranquil and beautiful’ village; a resident felt that there is a need to monitor and manage developments to protect the area for future generations; she asked if it is possible to have access to planning applications in order that comments can be made.

 The Chairman responded that plans are available to view on the Lancaster CC website, at Lancaster CC (Lancaster and Morecambe Town Halls (Customer Services)) and at Parish Council meetings (although the plans available at meetings will not necessarily be within the 21 day period allowed for comments to be made).

 3.  when attending the recent open meeting held by Lancaster CC, regarding future planning developments, the resident had raised the issue of caravan sites perceived to be “overused” and “ignoring planning laws”, he asked that County Councillor Fishwick and City Councillor Graham feedback his concerns to the local authorities.
 4.  if the Parish Contractor uses weedkiller and, if so, when and where it has been used? The resident expressed concern as to the safety of weedkiller for pets.
 5.  the railings look much improved, having been painted, and a resident wondered if it was possible for any repairs to be carried out to railings damaged by cars in the past.
 6.  a photograph of the Gibraltar Farm camping and caravan site, which has been circulated, is felt to give a misrepresentation of the usage on the site, having been taken on the day of a rally and from the top of Lindeth Tower (rather then from the road). The resident felt villagers should be mindful of the business brought to the village by users of the site and of how the village has developed in response to, and as a result of, tourism over the years.

9710 Update from the Community Police Officer
 It was noted that, unfortunately, no officers were available to attend the meeting. A written update from PC Marsh was read out by the Chairman: (1)  2 crimes have been recorded in the last month – theft from the grounds of a property on Lindeth Road and theft of construction materials from West Lindeth, (2)  sheep worrying continues to be an issue. Residents are reminded that they risk prosecution and, perhaps more importantly, the shooting of their pet if it is not kept under close control whilst near stock, (3)  in relation to the PACT priorities the village has been regularly patrolled with particular attention being paid to the playing fields and wild camping spots. No incidents of relevant anti-social behaviour or camping have been received.

 RESOLVED that the police continue with the same PACT priorities.

9711 Camping and Caravan Sites
 RESOLVED to bring forward agenda item 12.

 The Chairman read out the following statement from the Parish Council:
 “The Parish Council are the lowest tier of local government with limited powers for funding. The Council, in their governance, has to take account of all aspects of the Parish in terms of the local economy, the environment, the encouragement of local businesses and wellbeing of all residents.
 Discussions and decisions, particularly on matters such as planning, highways and housing, will be overshadowed by the policies of both City and County authorities.
 With regard to planning decisions, the Parish Council may make comments and objections but they have no more standing than those of private individuals when considered by City Council planning staff.
 In respect of planning controls, regarding caravan and campsites, the Parish Council believe that decisions should be made in accordance with AONB policies, having regard to the environment and the local economy. The Parish Council are concerned that the City Council do not consider themselves bound by the policies of the AONB and can make decisions that detract from the beauty of the environment.
 Where there are future planning applications regarding caravan/ camping sites, the Parish Council will, as they have done in the past, continue to adhere to AONB policies and make comments in sympathy with these and with regard to the wellbeing of the Parish as a whole. In addition, the Parish Council will actively urge the City Council to process any applications appropriately, correctly and in line with the duties under section 85 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 and to fully enforce when necessary.

 The Parish Council are aware of a petition being circulated regarding Gibraltar Farm; some of the aspects of the accompanying leaflet are inaccurate and give a misrepresentation of the situation. Concerns have also been raised with several Councillors in respect of the process of obtaining signatures for the petition and the Parish Council regard it to be intimidating when someone knocks on doors requesting signatures (in the manner described by several residents).”

 It was noted that 2 items of correspondence have been received since the agenda, one in support of the petition, the other on behalf of the proprietors of Gibraltar Farm, both were read out by the Chairman.

9712 Report from County Councillor Sarah Fishwick
 Councillor Fishwick reported that: (1)  there has been a road traffic accident at Slackwood Hill which has caused some damage to a wall, (2)  the application made by the Morecambe Bay Partnership under the ‘Headlands to Headspace’ initiative has been successful and £2m has been allocated to the Partnership, (3)  she has received several complaints recently concerning the number of cars parked along Hollins Lane, (4)  regulations are being introduced whereby all private sewage tanks must be registered with the Environment Agency.
9713 Report from City Councillor Kath Graham
 Councillor Graham reported that: (1)  she has contacted Mrs Susan Clowes, Senior Environmental Health Officer at Lancaster CC, who had e mailed giving a number of suggestions as to what action can be taken regarding dog fouling – a copy of the e mail was circulated to Members, (2)  she has had a reply by e mail from Ms Daphne Snelson, Elections Manager, to concerns raised about the election process – a copy of the e mail was circulated to Members, (3)  a Planning Enforcement Officer has visited 32 Wallings Lane and there is no “apparent breach of planning control” that can be pursued, (4)  at the request of a number of residents, she is trying to establish whether, at some future date, the owners of Gibraltar Farm camping and caravan site could be granted permission for more permanent pitches than the 60 for which they currently have a licence, by basing their application for a Certificate of Lawful Use on the fact that they regularly have more caravans on site due to rallies or other events by exempt organisations. She has not yet had a definitive answer from Lancaster CC Planning Department.

9714 Reports on any Meetings Attended by Members, or the Clerk
 1.  Looked After Children
 The Chairman reported that Members had met with a Lancs. CC Working Group, regarding issues at Ridgway Park School and Witherslack School and the wellbeing of the young people attending those schools. It was noted that Ridgway Park has closed.

9715 Correspondence
 Receipt of the following items of correspondence was noted and any action determined as indicated:
 a)  Ms Jane Phillips, Chair of the Arnside and District Natural History Society, writes on behalf of 200 plus members regarding the threat of the expansion of caravan sites in Silverdale, which they believe is threatening the beauty and condition of the environment.
 b)  A copy of a letter sent to Lancaster CC regarding the Silverdale Art trail.
 c)  Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue team write to request a donation to go towards the cost of training volunteers, which has increased substantially due to more stringent regulations.  RESOLVED not to make a donation.
 d)  RoSPA notify of their intention to inspect the playground in August.
 e)  LALC Minutes of the meeting held on 23rd May 2011.
 f)  Glasdon Direct 2011 brochure.
 g)  Keer to Kent magazine.
 h)  Lancaster CC review of polling districts and polling places.
 I)  Lancaster CC Lancaster District Local Development Framework – follow up to the meeting in Silverdale on 19th July. Notification of further meetings in the Lancaster and Morecambe area.
 j)  Consultation on the draft policy for managing unauthorised encampments on Lancashire County Council (Lancs. CC) land and on the highways for which Lancs. CC is the responsible authority.

9716 Planning
 (1)  It was noted that the following planning applications were dealt with under the provisions of Standing Order 25a and comments made as indicated:
 11/00502/FUL  High Bank House, Lindeth Road.  Erection of a single storey extension to the rear and side, a raised terrace area to the rear of the property and an erection of a porch to the front of the property.  PLANNING OBJECTIONS on the following grounds: overdevelopment of the site; it provides for a separate unit and this raises concerns for holiday lets etc.; parking problems with an extra vehicle/person; it’s not clear where the septic tank is – is access available?
 (2)  The following planning applications were considered and comments made as indicated:
 SL/2011/0576  Holgates Caravan Parks Ltd., Middlebarrow Plain.  Variation of condition 2 on 5/94/1931,  SL/2011/0575  Silver Ridge Caravan Park.  Extension of open season on planning permission 5/00/0481,  SL/2011/0577  Far Arnside Caravan Park. Variation of condition 2 (seasonal occupancy) on planning permission 5/94/1915.  NO PLANNING OBJECTIONS although this Council is concerned that occupancy is restricted to less than 52 weeks a year so that they do not become permanent residences.
 10/01020/FUL  Hillside Cottage, St Johns Avenue.  Demolition of existing dwelling and erection of 2 no. 4 bed dwellings with associated on site parking (amendment).  NO PLANNING OBJECTIONS although the problems with regard to emptying the septic tank are reiterated.
 (3)  It was noted that no decisions had been advised by Lancaster CC.
 (4)  It was noted that an open meeting had been held by the Planning and Housing Policy Team of Lancaster CC in the Gaskell Hall on 19th July as part of a consultation exercise being carried out throughout the district in July and August. 4 areas of land have been identified for future development and concerns had been expressed about a large area of land between Richmond Hill and Silverdale Green; it has since been clarified that the area of land is significantly smaller than had at first been indicated and the information has been updated on the website.

9717 Urgent Action Taken in Accordance with Standing Order 25 (other than Planning)
 25(a)  Parish Council Property and Functions
 It was noted that there has been a problem with the Parish Council website having been hacked and that Mr Steve Lamb is working on resolving the problem.
 25(b)  Non-Parish Council Property and Functions
 None.

9718 Finance
 a)  Councillor Woods conducted the monthly check of all money received by the Council and found the records to be satisfactory. It was noted that there had been the following receipt: £1.55 – BACS payment from British Gas (refund for clock electricity).
 b)  RESOLVED to authorise payment and sign cheques for the following accounts:
 Mr Terry Bond (“Beating of the Bounds” banner framing)     £63.00  (631)
 Mr Michael Knight (parish and playground contractor, June/ July)  £623.32  (633)
 Mr Paul Williams (toilet cleaning)      £175.00  (634)
 British Gas Business (clock electricity)       £16.79  (635)
 Ms Ruth Livesey (Section 137 – towards village sculpture)    £150.00  (636)
 Johnson Publishing Ltd. (advertising bicentenary events in press)    £95.47  (637)
 United Utilities (public toilets)      £263.22  (638)
 Envirocare (grass cutting)         £48.00  (639)
 c)  Members noted the quarterly review of the accounts versus budget which had been prepared by the Clerk; it was noted that the water rates for the public toilets will be higher for 2011/12 as the flush mechanisms have been altered to increase the water used to try and prevent blockages.
 d)  RESOLVED to amend the fixed assets amount for year ending 31st March 2010 on Section 1 of the Audit form to £64,976, as requested by the external auditor, to reflect the costs of all assets; the form was duly amended and initialled by the Chairman and the Clerk.

9719 Footpath on Cove Rd
 It was noted that the Chairman had met with Lancs. CC (Highways) and the National Trust (NT) to discuss possibilities for a concessionary footpath alongside Cove Road from Holgates Caravan Park to the existing footpath on Cove Road. He had also met with Mr Michael Holgate who thought it unlikely that a permissive path would be agreed through the field adjoining the caravan site; a path through the NT land would result in a lot of work and continuing maintenance.  RESOLVED to suggest to Highways better signage of existing footpaths in the area towards the village centre, pending the creation of a new (more direct) footpath, in order to encourage pedestrians to use footpaths as much as possible where there are no pavements.

9720 Queens Jubilee
 It was noted that this Council would welcome ideas from residents for celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

9721 Items for Information
 1.  Councillor Mason noted that overgrown reeds are still causing problems with visibility for road users at Pool Bridge (as reported at the April meeting).

9722 Suggestions for Future Agenda Items
 1.  Review the condition of the seats so that a list of seats (which it would be desirable to replace) is readily available should a member of the public offer to provide a bench in the future.  (Councillor Houghton)
 2.  The co-option of new Members from time to time to take part in discussions.  (Suggested at the October 2010 meeting.)
 3.  Green grants. (Suggested at the August 2010 meeting.)
 4.  War Memorial improvement works. (Suggested at the August 2010 meeting.)

9723 Date of the Next Meeting
 It was noted that the date of the next meeting is Monday, 5th September 2011. Items for the agenda to reach the Clerk before Friday, 26th August and copies of reports to reach the Clerk before Monday, 29th August.

    Sue D. Hayward,  Deputy Clerk to the Council