2012/03/19 Annual Parish Meeting

19th March 2012

9988 Minutes: of the Annual Parish Meeting for Silverdale held in the Gaskell Hall, Silverdale on Monday, 19th March 2012 at 7.30 pm.

9989 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), PC 2866 Tony Marsh, Ms Diane Baxter, Lancaster District Manager for Libraries, Mr Alan Ferguson, National Trust Ranger  (Arnside and Silverdale), Mrs Anne Burrow, volunteer with the North West Air Ambulance, County Councillor S.M. (Sarah) Fishwick and 23 members of the public.

9990 Apologies for Absence:  City Councillor K. (Kath) Graham.

9991 Minutes of the Previous Annual Parish Meeting
 The Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 22nd March 2011 were approved then signed by the Chairman.

9992 Matters Arising
 There were no matters arising from the Minutes for discussion.

9993 Police Report
 Geographic Inspector Vickers reported that 325 incidents had been logged relating to the Silverdale/Yealand area for 2011/12, the majority relate to Silverdale, this represents a decrease of around 9% on the previous year. 42 of the incidents were crimes (a 42% reduction on the previous year). The breakdown of crimes by offence is as follows: car crime – 5, dwelling burglary – 1, non-dwelling burglary – 6, criminal damage – 9, fraud – 1, theft – 13, violent crime – 7.  There are a number of reasons for the reduction in the figures; the closure of Ridgway Park School has had some impact on reported crime, it is also believed that the strength and vigilance of the village’s Neighbourhood Watch and the care and vigilance of its residents are also important factors. Notable incidents were the second burglary at the Co-operative store, the robbery on Cove Road and the sad events of this last weekend. As is the case across the Carnforth area the police have seen an increase in the number of incidents concerning attacks by dogs on sheep and the police will continue to do what they can to support local farmers and will prosecute offenders when able. Inconsiderate vehicle use and anti-social behaviour have been consistent police priorities throughout the year and the police would like to thank the RSPB workers for their assistance in dealing with wild camping on the shoreline.

 Due to unfortunate circumstances the police have not been able to maintain their presence at the fish van as they have over previous years; in reality it is extremely unlikely that they will be able to return to that activity. Inspector Vickers noted that police attendance at Parish Council meetings is a concern, he advised that they will attend when able and will always provide a report and follow up on any actions allocated to them.

 A member of the public asked about the use of quad bikes by members of the public on the beach. Inspector Vickers said that any incidents should be reported to the police.
 Inspector Vickers concluded by thanking the public for their support.

9994 Library Report
 Ms Diane Baxter, Lancaster District Manager for Libraries, reported on news from Silverdale Library. Works have been carried out to repair and improve the library and include: the provision of 2 computers; a plasma screen which can used, for example, to advertise events in the village; a table and chairs; disabled access, which means that children from Bleasdale House School can use the building; air conditioning; a new staircase (unfortunately, the upstairs room can only be used for storage); an outside space and weatherproofing of the building. Library users have made many positive comments about the improvements.

 The building is seen as a community space which can be used more than the 2 days a week that the library is open and a ‘Friends of the Library’ group is being considered. Ideas for using the building, outdoor area and plasma screen should be given to the librarian, Mrs Jill Mason.

 Borrowing figures have increased by 13.7% compared to figures for 2010/11.

 A member of the public asked about the possibility of an increase in opening hours;  Ms Baxter explained that Lancashire County Council (Lancs. CC) is looking at extending the opening hours of libraries across the county.

9995 National Trust Report
 Mr Alan Ferguson, National Trust Ranger (Arnside and Silverdale), reported:
 1.  there are 2 new members of staff in the area – Mr Tom Burditt, National Trust Lead Ranger (South and East Cumbria and Morecambe Bay), and a part-time member of staff. 10 volunteers help the National Trust in Silverdale (a higher number than in other villages in the area!) and help with jobs such as keeping the footpaths clear and maintaining gates, stiles, walls and hedgerows. More volunteers are always welcome!
 2.  it is local policy to use local contractors and starter businesses;
 3.  some new posters have been introduced to ask people to clear up after their dogs (or move dog excrement from the footbath into the bushes) and to alert people to the possibility of attacks by dogs on sheep which can happen at any time of year. The art work used on the posters can be made available to other organisations and any comments on the posters are appreciated;
 4.  juniper bushes are being planted at various local National Trust sites;
 5.  a bicentennial walking trail leaflet has been published; Mr Ferguson thanked the parish council for their donation towards the cost of producing this and thanked the villagers who had helped put the leaflet together.

 With reference to dog fouling, members of the public pointed out that not only should footpaths be kept clear of dog excrement but also any areas where there are grazing animals or where children play.

9996 First Responders
 Although there was no agenda item to receive a report from the First Responders the Chairman invited Mr Austin Walker of Silverdale First Responders to speak.

 Mr Walker reported that Silverdale First Responders have reached crisis point due to the lack of volunteers and they are beginning to miss attending urgent calls. It was noted that the First Responders were called out 68 times in the last 12 months.

 If anyone is interested in becoming a volunteer they should contact Mr Walker, tel. 701101 or Mrs Sheila Suthers, tel. 702533 sheila.suthers1@mypostoffice.co.uk

9997 Report on the North West Air Ambulance (NWAA) Service
 Mrs Anne Burrow, a volunteer with the NWAA service, gave a presentation on the work of the service. She advised that the service, which was founded in 1999, is a charity; it covers Cheshire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cumbria (an area totalling 5,500 square miles) and attends all major incidents and areas where there is poor and restricted access, working alongside the other emergency services. A high percentage of the calls are to road traffic accidents. The helicopters are also sometimes used for hospital transfers. Two helicopters provide the service at a cost of £4m a year and are reliant on donations made by the public. Currently the helicopters can only fly in daylight (unless flying from one lit helipad to another) due to the lack of night-flying equipment and fly with 2 paramedics on board; it is, however, planned that eventually there will be 3 helicopters equipped to fly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with one doctor and one paramedic on board.

 There are 3 NWAA charity shops and a Cross Bay Walk has been organised to raise funds on Saturday, 14th July (visit www.nwaa.net or call Zoe 01229 811544 for details).

 Mrs Burrow explained that due to a loophole in the VAT laws, the RNLI can claim back VAT on fuel but the Air Ambulance services can’t, despite both being charities, and asked if the public would click on the following link https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/29349 and sign the petition.  If thee are 100,000 signatures there will be a good chance that this matter will be debated in Parliament.

 Mrs Suthers presented Mrs Burrow with a cheque for £4,000 for the NWAA which has been raised by the people of Silverdale through the 300 Club. If anyone is interested in joining the club (which has 4 prize winners a month) they should contact Mrs Suthers (details can be found in 9996 above).

9998 Report from County Councillor Sarah Fishwick
 County Councillor Fishwick reported that: (1)  Lancs. CC’s element of the Council Tax will remain the same for 2012/13 as for 2011/12; (2)  the Local Strategic Partnership has been disbanded; (3)  there is soon to be a second stage consultation on the introduction of the 20 mph zone; (4)  sadly, there was a fatality in the Bay at the weekend despite the attempts of the statutory services and volunteers to rescue the person.

 A member of the public asked about the subsidising of the Silverdale Shuttle bus service and Councillor Fishwick advised that, as far as she is aware, the current subsidy is safe.

9999 Report from City Councillor Kath Graham
 Councillor Graham was not able to attend the meeting, but had advised that she had nothing to report.

10000 Playground Report
 Councillor Ribbons, a member of the Playground Management Committee, reported that there was a change in the contractor employed by the parish council to maintain the playground in 2011/12. He listed the repairs that have been carried out during the year and those which are due to be carried out and advised that grant funding has been secured for the provision of a membrane and replacement bark for the floor of the aerial slide.

 Councillor Ribbons can be contacted by e mail nr@silverdale.it regarding playground matters.

10001 Chairman’s Report
 The Chairman circulated his annual report, a copy of which is appendaged to these minutes.

 Members of the public asked about:
 1.  the planning application for Appleby – the Chairman was unsure as to the current position; another asked about the Royal Hotel – the Chairman advised that the recent application was withdrawn and there is no current application;
 2.  the position regarding the proposed 20mph speed limit – the Chairman advised that the public is to be consulted on the second stage which is still under negotiation. The second stage of the consultation process will be advertised in the press.

10002 Matters Raised by the Public
 A member of the public asked about the notice boards in the village which often contain notices which are out of date or advertise events outside Silverdale and wondered as to the policy on this. The Chairman explained that the parish council owns 2 notice boards – one on the wall of the Gaskell Hall and one on the wall of the butcher’s shop although another is to be put up in the playing field; it is considered appropriate for those who put up notices to take them down after the advertised event has passed.

10003 The meeting closed at 8.45 pm.

Sue D. Hayward, Deputy Clerk to the Council

Appendix 1

Silverdale Parish Council

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 2011-12. This will be my fifth report, and the first of the new Council 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, supports all of us and manages the day to day tasks of the Council. The Deputy Clerk, Sue Hayward, is also a great help. This past year there were 109 items of correspondence plus numerous e/mails so it can be seen the Clerk’s role is an important one. At last year’s elections only five people were nominated and, therefore, all were returned unopposed. In order to prevent another costly election co-options were made to the other three places.

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 Councillor Kath Graham & County Councillor Sarah Fishwick, and the Community Police.
The Agenda and Minutes of the Council are displayed on the Notice Board outside the Gaskell Hall, an edited version 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 11 meetings was: Cllrs Bond – 11, Houghton – 10,  Mason – 9,  Williams – 9, Palmer – 11, Ribbons – 11, Woods – 10 & Bradfield – 9.

Planning and Related issues
During this year the Council considered 31 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, at both ends of the village, 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. More recently there has been the issue of the Royal hotel, which closed in September and the proposals for development there, this is as yet unresolved and likely to be so for some months yet

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. We have slightly altered the way the work is done this year; the new contracts will be awarded in April. The contract for the toilet cleaning was agreed at the March meeting.

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 and this may be close to realisation with the successful bid by the Morecambe Bay Partnership for Lottery funding.  Rail users are encouraged to travel to the station via the Shuttle. Links with Carnforth Connect and the school buses have helped retain this service so far. The closure of Arnside viaduct for several weeks last summer caused some problems. The Council support the bid by ATOG for a footpath across the viaduct.
The prospect of 20mph within the village has arisen again. This time it will come, but without bumps. The Council are endeavouring to arrange the best coverage that we can, hence the 2 open meetings held in recent months, and again this issue is on-going.

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, and 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 and local charitable groups. Including the production of a leaflet with the National Trust for the Bicentenary.
The Playground continues to be well used, and there is a small sub-committee which oversee the maintenance and management of the playground and who are also looking at ways to improve the facilities.
A major issue this year, with many complaints by residents is that of dog-fouling and the leaving of dog-mess on the public highway and agricultural land. Dog Wardens are aware of the situation and action will be taken against anyone dog –owner who declines to remove their dog’s mess.

In conclusion, I would like to thank all the Councillors, Parish, and District & County for their hard work throughout the year and especially all those in the village who helped with events in celebration of the 200 years.   
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                                            07/3/2012