2012/03/05

5th March 2012

9964 Un-confirmed Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting of the Silverdale Parish Council held in the Silverdale Institute on Monday, 5th March 2012.

9965 Present:  Chairman  –  Councillor T.G. (Terry) Bond, Councillors A.J. (Tony) Houghton, S.L. (Shirley) Mason,  K. (Keith) Palmer, N. (Nigel) Ribbons, P.N. (Paul) Williams and A. (Angela) Woods, the Deputy Clerk  –  S.D. (Sue) Hayward, County Councillor S.M. (Sarah) Fishwick, City Councillor K. (Kath) Graham and 49 members of the public.

9966 Apologies for Absence: Councillor H.M.E. (Harriet) Bradfield.

9967 Receipt of Declarations of Members’ Interests Relating to any Items Appearing on the Agenda
 Councillor Ribbons expressed an interest in agenda item 11 (b) (12/00128/CU) in that the property owner’s company is a client of his employer.

 Councillor Williams expressed an interest in agenda item 13 in that he is employed (as a member of the public) to clean the toilets and has submitted a tender for the cleaning of the toilets for the next 12 months.

 Councillors Bond, Ribbons, Williams and Woods expressed an interest in agenda item 10 (a) in that they are members of the Silverdale Field Day Committee.
9968 Minutes of the Previous Meeting
 The Minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on Monday, 6th February were approved then signed by the Chairman.

9969 Receipt of Information about Matters Arising from the Minutes of Previous Meetings, not Covered by the Agenda
 The Clerk referred to: 1.  item 9953 (1), regarding the public toilets, and advised that Lancaster City Council (Lancaster CC) have agreed to reimburse this Council for the recent clearing of a blockage in the drains which emanated from a problem in their area of jurisdiction; 2.  item 9953 (2), regarding the slide complex in the playground, and advised that following consultation with Members she has asked Lancaster CC to carry out the necessary works to the complex. It was noted that their quotation for the works (£114 + VAT) was considerably lower than that given by Playdale to Mr Michael Knight.

9970 Matters Raised by Members of the Public for Future Consideration
 (a)  Royal Hotel, 15 Emesgate Lane  planning application
 A number of residents spoke about the application:
 1.  there was concern as to the limited consultation by Lancaster CC given the impact on the village;
 2.  there are already problems with sewerage on Gaskell Close, it was felt that this would be exacerbated should 4 dwellings be developed on the site;
 3.  it was felt that there would be problems with parking (this is already considered to be a problem on Gaskell Close, particularly when events take place in the Gaskell Hall) and the free movement of traffic in the area which might have road-safety implications. Problems with parking might also have an adverse effect on local businesses and services;
 4.  there was concern as to the possible impact of any building works on village businesses due to problems of access to those businesses whilst those works took place, particularly in the busier summer months;
 5.  whatever scheme is approved will have a visual impact on the village centre and consideration should be given to this;
 6.  it was suggested that proper public consultation be carried out as the development provides an opportunity for an improved village centre;
 7.  it was felt that insufficient research (if any) had been carried out to determine the viability of the Royal as a pub (which was thought to have been sold as a going concern);
 8.  Concern was expressed as to the affordability of the proposed dwellings and whether or not the development would meet the criteria of Lancaster CC’s Core Strategy;
 9.  it was suggested that a public meeting be held and that the applicant be invited to attend to provide a forum for villagers to voice their concerns directly;
 10.  it was noted that the Localism Act 2011 (effective from April 2012) gives local communities certain rights regarding “assets of community value”.

 The Chairman advised that parish councils have the same status as individuals as far as comments on planning applications are concerned and urged residents to make their own individual comments to Lancaster CC; the planning application (12/00128/CU) is available to view on the Lancaster CC website and all comments are published on the website. He reported that a site notice has now been placed on the property and that the consultation period had been extended to 21 days from 5th March.

 (b)  Inconsiderate dog ownership
 A number of residents spoke about this and the following points were made:
 1.  diseases can be spread to livestock and dogs by dog excrement and by dogs being allowed to eat dead animals; dog waste should always be removed from areas where livestock are around;
 2.  there is a need for more litter bins, Moss Lane was highlighted as a popular route for dog-walkers and as having no bins;
 3.  the Neighbourhood Watch has organised a petition which will be presented to Lancaster CC shortly;
 4.  one resident explained that a problem with dog fouling had been effectively dealt with in the area where he previously lived due to the involvement of the Police Community Support Officer who had fined irresponsible dog owners after an initial warning had been given;
 5.  Silverdale shore is considered to be an area of beauty but is perceived as being covered in dog excrement;
 6.  it was not considered unreasonable to expect dog owners to walk with a bag of dog waste until reaching a litter bin (or reaching home) where it could be disposed of.

 As 2 Lancaster CC dog wardens were present at the meeting the Chairman asked them to speak. The wardens explained that they are struggling as a service to cope with the problems of dog fouling (only 3 wardens are available for the Lancaster CC area); they can act on information given to them (and this can be given anonymously) by issuing a fixed penalty fine. The telephone numbers for reporting problems are 01524 582000/ 582935. Posters asking people to clean up after their dogs can be downloaded from the Lancaster CC website should residents wish to display these. Excrement can be disposed of in an ordinary litter bin or taken home and placed in a grey wheelie bin.

9971 Update from the Community Police Officer
 PC Marsh was not present at the meeting and no report was available.

9972 Report from County Councillor Sarah Fishwick
 Councillor Fishwick reported that Lancashire County Council (Lancs. CC) have
 cleared a number of drains in the village but that some are still causing problems, she asked Members to report any blocked drains to her.

9973 Report from City Councillor Kath Graham
 Councillor Graham reported that: (1)  the slurry tanker reported at the last meeting as having sprayed slurry onto the highway from the field had, in fact, been spraying the field from the highway; (2)  she has spoken to Mr Mark Davies, Head of City Council (Direct) Services, regarding the new trenches at Gibraltar Farm and the Planning Enforcement Officers will try and visit the site this week; (3)  the Planning Enforcement Officer dealing with The Parrock is on holiday at the moment; (4)  some work has started at Appleby.

9974 Planning
 RESOLVED to bring forward agenda item 11 dealing with planning.

 (a)  It was noted that no planning applications have been dealt with under the provisions of Standing Order 25a.
 (b)  12/00128/CU  Royal Hotel, 15 Emesgate Lane.  Change of use of existing hotel to two dwellings, erection of two semi-detached dwellings with associated sewage treatment plant, landscaping and access arrangements. It was noted that there has been a great deal of public outcry about this planning application and this Council makes the following comments and PLANNING OBJECTIONS as follows:
 1.  Change of Use
 This Council does not believe the case is made for the demise of the pub. Planning permission for extension of the trading period to a local caravan site (Holgates) was based upon the benefit that the increase in period of usage would be to the village amenities. The report accompanying the application actually indicated that shops and pubs are kept viable by the patronage of holiday park guests. That application was granted because it would have a positive impact on the local economy. The Marketing Report indicates 3 licensed premises within the immediate vicinity of the Royal Hotel – this includes the applicant’s caravan site so it could be construed as a vested interest. The viability of the pub has been based upon recent trading. The Royal did not operate as a free house – the ‘CAMRA Public House Viability Test’ poses the question: “what could the business achieve given a management dedicated to it and with full discretion over stocking policy and type of operation?”. This Council believes that the Royal was not given this chance and, in fact, could be viable and that the Royal is a local community asset, it forms an integral part of the centre of the village and provides local employment. Lancaster CC’s policy is to protect community facilities such as this. Recent planning permission was given for extensions to a local caravan site at the south end of the village which will eventually lead to incremental trade. There is insufficient evidence in the report that the premises have been advertised in the appropriate local and trade press at a realistic price or rent on more than 2 occasions over a period of at least one year and that no reasonable offers have been refused. This Council has concerns over a further reduction in the commercial centre of the village by this proposed change of use.
 2.  Parking
 The Parish Plan 2003 indicates the importance of the Royal at the centre of the village. The parking area being a place of meeting for local residents and traders. The loss of parking at the front of the Royal would be detrimental to the village. This is an open area that has been available for parking for at least 100 years and has become the unofficial public car park in the centre of the village. Loss of parking would exacerbate parking on local roads i.e. Gaskell Close and Stoneleigh Court, particularly at weekends. Gaskell Close is a single carriageway and the proposal to have further access to properties on this road is dangerous. The largest property in the application (the one to the east) has no off-road parking. There are concerns over the access to the North, a narrow access road, in particular, it could result in un-neighbourly parking. This Council does not believe that this village needs further expensive housing, particularly as there are already too many for sale or in the development pipeline. Following a demonstration of support outside the Royal Hotel this afternoon and attendance by over 40 local people at this meeting tonight this Council believes that this planning proposal should be heard by the full Committee.

 12/00135/FUL  Fir Trees, Woodwell Lane.  Erection of a single storey extension to the rear.  NO PLANNING OBJECTIONS.
 12/00137/FUL  Peasland, 4 Bottom Barns, Bottoms Lane.  Erection of a single storey side extension with balcony above.  NO PLANNING OBJECTIONS.
 (c)  It was noted that no decisions had been advised by Lancaster CC.

9975 Reports on any Meetings Attended by Members, or the Clerk
 1.  Arnside and Silverdale AONB’s Annual Conference
 Councillor Palmer advised that he had attended the conference on 22nd February which launched the Arnside and Silverdale AONB’s 40th Anniversary year.
 2.  20 mph Zone
 The Chairman advised that he had attended a public meeting to discuss the revised proposals on 9th February.
 3.  Archbishop Hutton Trust
 The Chairman also reported that he had attended a meeting of the Archbishop Hutton Trust.

9976 Correspondence
 Receipt of the following items of correspondence was noted and any action determined as indicated:
 a)  The Silverdale Field Day Committee writes to ask for a donation to support the Field Day on 16th June.  Approximately £460 needs to be raised.  RESOLVED to discuss this as an agenda item at the April meeting;
 b)  Residents bordering Bankwell write to ask permission to replace the wire fence with a new wooden post and wire fence.  RESOLVED that the Clerk write to the residents not objecting to the existing fence being replaced;
 c)  A resident writes about the planning application for the Royal Hotel site, stating that it has not yet been established that a change of use is justified;
 d)  A resident writes about planning application for the Royal site, urging the Council to encourage the centre of the village to be improved according to the ambitions expressed in the Parish Plan of 2003;
 e)  Mr David Morris MP responds to this Council’s letter regarding the train service;
 f)  NALC give a legal briefing regarding freedom of information and another on PAYE for employees;
 g)  A resident enquires if the housing at the Royal is for essential workers;
 h)  Cumbria County Council re-submit the site allocation policies and proposals map for Minerals and Waste;
 I)  FLAG publication;
 j)  Allotments Newsletter;
 k)  Clerk & Councils Direct.

9977 Urgent Action Taken in Accordance with Standing Order 25 (other than Planning)
 25(a)  Parish Council Property and Functions
 None.
 25(b)  Non-Parish Council Property and Functions
 None.

9978 Tenders for the Cleaning of the Public Toilets
 Councillor Williams left the room whilst agenda item 13 was discussed.
 
 It was noted that 2 tenders had been submitted for the cleaning of the public toilets (from 1st April 2012) as follows: Mr Alston – £3,000 and Mr Williams – £2,100.  RESOLVED to accept Mr Williams’ tender.

9979 Playground Grant
 RESOLVED to give a grant to the playground from the “sport and recreation fund” (£1690.50) held by the Council, but not to transfer the funds at the present time.

9980 Finance
 (a)  It was noted that no money had been received by the Council since the last meeting.
 (b)  RESOLVED to authorise payment and sign cheques for the following accounts:
 Mr M Knight (parish contractor)      £311.66  (694)
 North West Air Ambulance (donation, section 137)    £200.00  (695)
 Lancaster CC (AONB donation, section 137)    £700.00  (696)
 Mr P. Williams (toilet cleaning)      £175.00  (697)
 Mr D. R. Brailsford (Bankwell clearance)     £468.00  (699)
 United Utilities (public toilets)      £304.58  (700)
 H M R & C (tax)           £96.00  (701)
 Lancaster CC (septic tank charges, public toilets)        £9.40  (702)
 Mr John Graves & Son (drain clearance)       £50.00  (703)
 
 (c)  Audit Matters
 1.  The Clerk confirmed that Mrs Jean Colwell will carry out the internal audit for 2011/12.
 2.  Members reviewed the risk assessment document and it was noted that no changes were necessary.
 3.  Members reviewed the effectiveness of the internal audit (its scope, independence, competence of the Internal Auditor, relationship of the Auditor with this Council and internal audit planning/ reporting) and noted that it was in order.

9981 War Memorial Gardens
 RESOLVED to defer agenda item 16, regarding any further ideas to improve the War Memorial Gardens, to another meeting of this Council.

9982 Inconsiderate Dog Ownership
 RESOLVED to defer a full discussion on inconsiderate dog ownership to the next meeting of this Council, although it was noted that the advice given by the Dog Wardens under 9970 above had been welcomed and that the Chairman would refer to the problems in his annual report.

9983 Play Area for Scooters etc
 RESOLVED to discuss agenda item 18, regarding the provision of a play area for scooters etc to another meeting of this Council.

9984 Queens Jubilee
 RESOLVED to fund and organise the planting of an oak tree as a tribute to the Queen’s Jubilee if a suitable public place could be found.

9985 Items for Information
 1.  Councillor Mason reported that a problem persists with flooding outside the cemetery gate.

9986 Suggestions for Future Agenda Items
 1.  Silverdale Field Day Committee request for a donation.  (All)
 2.  Responsible dog ownership.  (Councillor Bradfield)
 3.  The provision of a play area for scooters etc.  (Suggested at the November 2011 meeting and deferred at the March 2012 meeting.)
 4.  The co-option of new Members from time to time to take part in discussions.        (Suggested at the October 2010 meeting.)
 5.  War Memorial improvement works. (Suggested at the August 2010 meeting and deferred at the March 2012 meeting.)

9987 Date of the Next Meeting
 It was noted that the date of the next meeting is Monday, 2nd April 2012. Items for the agenda to reach the Clerk before Friday, 23rd March and copies of reports to reach the Clerk before Monday, 26th March. 

 

 Sue D. Hayward
 Deputy Clerk to the Council