Annual Parish Meeting

Silverdale Parish Council

The Annual Parish Assembly
will be held in the Main Room of the Gaskell Hall, Silverdale on
Thursday 16th March 2023, at 7pm with light refreshments; for a 7.15pm start.

Only persons registered as local government electors for the Parish will be entitled to vote at the meeting, but the meeting will be open to the public during the proceedings unless the Parish Meeting, by resolution, directs otherwise.

1. To receive apologies for absence.

2. To approve and sign the Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on the 17th March 2022.

3. To consider matters arising from the Minutes, not covered elsewhere on the Agenda.

4. To receive a report from Sergeant L Brown.

5. To receive a presentation from Mr Tim Narey on the Eden Project proposed for Morecambe.

6. To receive a report from County Cllr. P Williamson.

7. To receive a report from Cllr. J Greenwell.

5. To receive a report from the Chairman of the Parish Council.

7. To receive and discuss any matters raised by members of the public.

Mike Fletcher
Chairman of the Parish Meeting

Thursday 17th March 2022
013068 UNCONFIRMED minutes from the Annual Assembly of the Silverdale Parish Council (PC) held on Thursday 17th March 2022 at 7pm in the Gaskell Hall, Emesgate Lane, Silverdale.
013069 Present:
Chairman: Mike Fletcher
Leader of Lancashire County Council &
County Cllr for Lancaster Rural North Phillippa Williamson
Lancaster City Councillor: June Greenwell
Police Sergeant (PS):
(Lancaster & Morecambe) Lindsay Brown
Station Officer for Bay Search & Rescue Gary Parsons
Clerk: Densie Challenor
Deputy Clerk: Katie Lambert
Members of the Public: 32
013070 Apologies for Absence – Parish Cllr Tony Houghton and Silverdale resident, Jane Lambert
013071 Approval of Minutes from the Previous Annual Assembly of the Silverdale Parish Council (PC) – the minutes of the last Annual Assembly held on Thursday 14th March 2019 were APPROVED and passed to the Chairman for
013072 Matters Arising from the Minutes not Covered by the Agenda – none
013073 Report of Relevant Matters from Police Sergeant (PS) Lindsay Brown – thanks given to PS Brown for his
attendance at the meeting and for the written report circulated to all attendees and appended to these minutes.
013074 Report of Relevant Matters from Lancashire County Councillor Phillippa Williamson – thanks given to County Cllr Williamson for her attendance at the meeting and for the written report circulated to all attendees and
appended to these minutes.
013075 Report of Relevant Matters from Lancaster City Councillor June Greenwell:
a) Appointment of a new Chief Executive – pleased to report that at a meeting of City Cllrs last night, they
approved the appointment of internal candidate, Mark Davies, as the new Chief Executive of Lancaster City Council. He came to City Council in 2002 to head the team responsible for services such as cleansing,
grounds maintenance, refuse and recycling and is currently the City Council’s Director for Communities and the Environment with responsibility for a portfolio that includes Public Realm, Housing, Leisure and
Customer Services. Cllr Greenwell has always found him to be approachable and is delighted City Council has a leader who has first-hand knowledge of the district’s varying wards.
b) Thanks to Silverdale PC – being a member of the City Council and working alongside many other wards and districts makes Cllr Greenwell realise how lucky we are to have Silverdale Parish Cllrs and gives her
wholehearted thanks.
013076 Annual Report of Relevant Matters from Silverdale PC Chairman Mike Fletcher – a copy of the report was
circulated to all attendees and has been appended to these minutes. In addition, the Chairman wished to highlight the following:
a) Changes within the PC – since the last Annual Assembly the PC employed a new Deputy Clerk and have lost three Cllrs and but have been able to Co-opt members of the public with experience in Planning, Computing and Public Relations.
b) Working groups (WG) – created with a view to ease the pressure on the formal two-hour meetings each
month, there are now seventeen in operation. They have become a necessity to enable matters to move
forward more easily as Cllrs with particular experience can be placed into effective groups for discussions,
with minutes then circulated to all Cllrs for consideration and decisions at the next formal meeting if needs be.
Signed:…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Date:…………………………………c) Public toilets – short-term aim is to keep them maintained to an acceptable standard with the long-term
being replacing entirely.
d) Visitor information and leaflet – a new visitor information leaflet is currently in production giving essential information about the history of the village, its amenities and facilities which will soon be distributed to local businesses. New information boards are also close to being finalised and are to be placed in the village
centre, exact location is yet to be decided.
e) Formal thanks – the survival of a term in office is due to the great support offered by all Cllrs and Clerks,
both City and County Council and sincere thanks and needed for being so supportive and patient.
013077 Matters Raised by Members of the Public for Discussion – none
013078 Presentation from Station Officer, Gary Parsons, of Bay Search and Rescue (BSAR)
a) Overview – since 1999 the BSAR, a volunteer team and charity based in Flookburgh, have been working away to solve some of the problems faced by Rescuers when trying to navigate the unpredictable sands of
Morecambe Bay. They come together every Thursday evening for training plus one Sunday in a month. All
Rescuers are volunteers, they have 18 in operation, but 70 volunteers all together and employ 5 people,
mainly to manage the two charity shops. Last year the organisation received the Queens Award for
Voluntary Service, equivalent to an MBE, which is the highest award that can be given to a local voluntary
group in the UK and something which is awarded for life.
b) How the organisation began – Morecambe Bay is a 120 square-mile expanse of intertidal mudflats and
sands, the largest in the UK. For most of the time, the Bay is without water and herein lies the problem. In
1996 a visitor, having gone for a walk, became trapped in the sands for ten hours overnight and came within minutes of drowning as his entire body was held upright by the sands’ deadly grip. Water lances were used by the 32 members of assembled emergency services to loosen the hold and, with only minutes left they got him out. Teams of coastguards, paramedics and firemen had to carry everything by hand, including high
pressure water pumps over the sands to get to the casualty with heavy winds blowing and the tide roaring in. As a result, by the time the rescuers reached the trapped man, they were worn out. Haunted by seeing a man come within minutes of drowning, Gary thought there had to be a better way that was faster and less risk for those involved, and so the seed was planted.
c) Training – over the years BSAR have had to develop their own techniques and tools for training as nowhere else has the problem of quicksand on their doorstep like we do on the Bay. Rescuers are taught selfextraction live on the sands as they need to experience what it is like in order to truly understand how to
rescue someone from them. As there is a skin on top of the quicksand, which is thicker in some places, the worst thing you can do is stand still on it. If you go out on the sands, wellies are the recommended footwear as you can extract your foot easily if you become stuck. Self-extraction is extremely tiring, you would need to sit down, phone 999 and move your foot/leg from side to side until the rescue services arrive.
d) The BSAR rescue fleet – they have three tracked, articulated, all-terrain carriers, two of which are
amphibious, that were developed by Hägglunds for the Swedish army. The Hägglunds are hugely versatile
and can climb up and down almost anything thanks to the 600mm-wide rubber tracks which give fantastic weight distribution. Being articulated means they can pull around 20 tonnes whilst carrying up to 18 people. They also operate two Arancia A380 inflatable rescue boats that are stored on road trailers ready for fast
deployment and can be launched straight onto an incoming tide.
e) Rescue operations outside of the Bay – thanks to the versatility of the Hägglunds, BSAR have been called
upon to help on numerous rescue operations outside of Morecambe Bay. These include assistance with both the Cumbria and Lancashire floods of 2015 and 2019. In 2018, during one of the harshest winter’s Cumbria has ever seen, BSAR brought a delivery of essential food and medical supplies to the village of Alston as they had the only vehicle which could travel on top of the snow. Later that year they then helped with operations on the Winter Hill wildfires, just outside of Bolton.
f) Future of the fleet – over the last 10 years, members of the team have been researching the types of vehicles in use by search and rescue teams worldwide, specifically in areas that experience extreme weather
conditions, to replace the Hägglunds. The corrosive environment of the Bay makes maintaining three of
these vehicles very difficult and very expensive. As a more sustainable alternative, in July 2020 they
Signed:…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Date:…………………………………purchased a Ukrainian all-terrain vehicle called a Sherp whose key feature is four large tyres made of Kevlar with an onboard system to inflate or deflate them that allows the vehicles to keep moving through mud and snow, float on water and can easily overcome obstacles up to 1M high.
g) Drones – to help reduce risk to the team BSAR now have three qualified UAV piolets (unmanned aerial
vehicle) and a search and rescue drone dedicated to the Bay. They can cover large areas and help to provide visual imagery and situational awareness over a large area quickly enabling better decisions to be made.
Whilst they have their limitations, they are fast becoming an integral part in any rescue mission.
h) Questions:
i. What are the operating costs of the BSAR? – Approximately £80,000/year, which covers the training,
insurance and maintenance.
ii. How can we stop people walking out onto the Bay? – You cannot prevent people wanting to walk out on the sands but what you can do is to increase awareness of the dangers through good signage and a siren. Hearing a siren will make people question the reason for its presence and hopefully go in search of the answers.
iii. As the SHERP is built in the Ukraine, given the current climate will this still be a viable option going
forward? – BSAR were supplied with a maintenance pack when the vehicle was purchased and their
design is very simply meaning the maintenance works can be carried out by the team themselves.
iv. Are you short of volunteers and how do you recruit them? – there is currently a small waiting list of
volunteers however there is always a need for good people on the team and would always encourage
anyone to apply if they feel they are able to contribute. All applications are made through the BSAR
website –
v. How many callouts a year to you get on the Bay specifically? – anywhere between twelve and Can any sand become quicksand? – it tends to be formed close to a water course, an inlet or a gully. The tide is more the enemy as you have got time to get out of sand but not if tide is coming in.
i) Closing comment from Cllr Unsworth – requests have been made to Lancaster City Council for a siren which have disappointingly been refused however the PC will continue to apply pressure. Enough thanks cannot be given for the fantastic service of the BSAR and continued work to improve the provision across Morecambe Bay.
013079 Meeting closed at 9:15pm
Appendix 1 – Police Report Covering the Period 1st March 2021 to 1st March 2022
The past year has been challenging for the whole community as we have dealt with the consequences of Coronavirus and Policing has been no exception to this. Demand for public services has stretched us in many ways but our core function of preventing and fighting crime; and keeping our communities and people safe has remained at the heart of what we do.
I am happy to report that Silverdale remains an extremely safe place to live and visit and will continue to be so over the coming year and that should be borne in mind when viewing these figures.
Over the last year there have been 177 reported incidents in Silverdale compared to 219 last year. This includes 21 antisocial behaviour reports, 46 crime related reports, 57 public safety reports, 19 road related reports and 34
administrative reports. Around 18% of those incidents relate to one repeat location.
Of the 46 crime related incidents, 10 relate to the repeat location mentioned above. Of the remainder 15 are
complaints of assault, 6 relate to criminal damage and 10 are reports of burglary.
Three of these are dwelling burglaries that have taken place in the last month and are part of a spike which have
been taking place across an area of south Cumbria and into Silverdale and Yealand. They have taken place around
dusk whilst the homeowners are out. Their modus-operandi is to force a rear window and steal jewellery. This spike is our main concern at the moment and is being investigated by our Targeting Team. The investigation is
supplemented by our Rural Task Force officers patrolling the area along with members of the Neighbourhood
Policing Team. We have two male suspects so residents can help by being vigilant and reporting anything out of the
Signed:…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Date:…………………………………ordinary on 101 or 999 in an emergency. None of the properties attacked had burglar alarms fitted so it is
worthwhile considering having one fitted. Simple wireless systems which alert the homeowner of an activation are available now for under £200.
If residents are concerned or would like any crime prevention advice, they can contact one of the Neighbourhood
Policing Team who are directly responsible for Silverdale:
PC 4203 Nicola Hayton email or ring 07799238117
PCSO 7109 Paul Shepherd email or ring 07816214209
Sgt Lindsay Brown
Appendix 2 – Report from Lancashire County Councillor Phillippa Williamson
Appendix 3 – Report from Silverdale Parish Council Chairman Mike Fletcher
This represents a summary of the major activities of your Parish Council during 2021/22. I will enlarge on this during the meeting when there will be an opportunity for clarification and questions.
Budget and Parish Precept
An important aspect of Council’s work is agreeing the Parish Precept, our principal funding arrangement. We have
managed to reduce expenditure so that our precept request for 2022-23 is £5,067 which is less than requested in
2021-22. The planned expenditure for next year includes the following;
1) Parish Council administration, approximately £15,645 – these include staff costs, auditors’ fees, insurances, room hire, website costs, association of local councils’ membership, a nominal expense allowance to each
Councillor and some planned communication improvements including a new website.
2) Routine maintenance costs, approximately £17,850 – this covers maintenance of all the sites and facilities
that the Parish Council is responsible for including cleaning and consumables for the public toilets, grass
cutting at the playground and electricity and maintenance of the parish clock.
3) Donations under Section 137 of the Local Government Act, approximately £1,485 – these include local Air
Ambulance and the AONB unit, and a small amount set aside for additional benefits to the village.
4) Planned expenditure provisions – these are determined each year based on what are identified as necessary, but affordable requirements within the parish. Next year this will include: £7,500 towards a medium-term
replacement programme for the playground equipment, £4,300 on woodland and wells management,
£2,300 on refurbishing public benches and notice boards and finally £550 on street decorations.
Emergency Plan
Significant progress has been made during the year and the full Emergency Plan has been published and distributed. This provides a refuge for residents in the event of a total shutdown of public services. Essentially the Gaskell Hall
will be open with heating and lighting available through an independent diesel-powered generator. Basic hot drinks and food can be provided.
Road Cleaning and Safety
We have met with senior highways staff at County and City level on several occasions during the year aimed at
ensuring that the village is clean and safe for pedestrians and vehicles.
We have obtained a new high specification Speed Indicator Device (SpID) and this is being rotated around the village at five strategic locations to monitor and report traffic speeds.
Public Benches
We now have a total of 47 benches distributed throughout the village and have almost completed a renovation
project, largely directed at replacing any older, deteriorating wooden parts with recycled plastic.
Signed:…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Date:…………………………………This is hoped to avoid the need for attention for many years whilst retaining the appearance and comfort of
traditional seating. Several residents have kindly arranged to purchase additional benches as a memorial.
The Coastal Path
The long-awaited plan for the northern-western section of the Coastal Path, between Allonby and the Welsh border, was released in 2000 but the Silverdale section has not yet been completed. This is a part of what will, at 570 km,
become the longest managed and waymarked coastal path in the world. We raised several issues with Natural
England where we require clarification concerning the section through Silverdale. Specifically, we objected to the
exclusion zone proposed between the Dip and the Cove and expressed serious concern about the potentially
dangerous proposal for the Path between Shore Road and Jack Scout.
Parish Council Structure
We have had several resignations since the last Annual Assembly – June Greenwell, Steve Wales, Phil Bickerstaff,
Nigel Ribbons and the Deputy Clerk, Gill Ribbons. The Parish Council co-opted replacements and took the
opportunity to select on the basis of expertise in sectors where we had limited experience. In particular in planning, communications and IT.
Working Groups
As the workload on the Parish Council has increased and monthly meetings began to exceed three hours the decision was taken to introduce the concept of Working Groups, set up to review specific issues and report back to Council
for a decision.
In conclusion, I offer my sincere thanks for all the support and patience so generously given to me during what has been a steep learning curve as Chairman. In particular I single out my Councillor colleagues, the Clerk and her
Deputy, and our City and County Councillors, without whose experience, so freely given, would have made my task so much more difficult.
Mike Fletcher
Chairman, Silverdale Parish Council