2013/03/25 Annual Parish Meeting

25th March 2013

10297 Minutes: of the Annual Parish Meeting for Silverdale held in the Gaskell Hall, Silverdale on Monday, 25th March 2013 at 7.30 pm.

10298 Present: Chairman – Councillor T.G. (Terry) Bond, the Clerk – L.D. (Denise) Challenor, the Deputy Clerk – S.D. (Sue) Hayward, PC 2866 Tony Marsh, Ms Diane Baxter, Lancaster District Manager for Libraries, Mr Alan Ferguson, National Trust Ranger (Arnside and Silverdale), City Councillor K. (Kath) Graham, Mr Tony Parker (Secretary for the Furness Line Action Group (FLAG)) and 24 members of the public.

10299 Apologies for Absence: Geographic Inspector (Morecambe) James Edmonds, PS 6966 Adrian Knowles, County Councillor S.M. (Sarah) Fishwick and Councillor K. (Keith) Palmer.

10300 Minutes of the Previous Annual Parish Meeting
The Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 19th March 2012 were approved then signed by the Chairman.

10301 Matters Arising
A member of the public referred to item 9998, and asked for an update on the Silverdale Shuttle – the chairman responded that there has not been notification of any changes.

10302 Police Report
PC Marsh passed on the apologies of Geographic Inspector Edmonds and PS Knowles, both of whom have had unexpected changes to their duties.

PC Marsh reminded those present that an incident does not automatically mean that a crime has occurred; an incident is created whenever somebody contacts the police. The vast majority of incidents are resolved without a crime being recorded. He reported that since the 1st April 2012 299 incidents have been logged for the Silverdale/Yealand area, 35 of which have been crimes. This compares with 43 crimes over 2011/12. There have been 23 crimes reported in the Parish itself (a decrease of 10 (or 30%) on the previous year), the breakdown of crimes by offence is as follows: auto crimes – 2; dwelling burglaries – 0; non-dwelling burglaries – 5; criminal damage – 1; drugs – 0; theft – 14; violent crime – 1.

A member of the public asked if the police have been given extra money to police the 20 mph zone; PC Marsh replied that he would ask the Inspector for information on this. PC Marsh was also asked if the police intend enforcing the 20 mph limit; PC Marsh explained that the police are looking at an educational approach involving school children in speaking to offenders.

10303 Library Report
Ms Diane Baxter, Lancaster District Manager for Libraries, reported on news from Silverdale library. The library has 18 new members and borrowing figures have increased. A number of special events were organized during the year including a family history day and a “Winnie the Witch” activity day and the Brownies were given help with entering for their book badge. The plasma screen is well used for advertising local events and activities including the recent Silverdale School art project when ceramic panels were made. A ‘Shout about Books’ activity is planned for the under 5s (through the playgroup) after Easter. A volunteer helps with IT support and the library is involved with promoting the ‘signing up for energy’ campaign.

Ms Baxter thanked the villagers for their support and advised that Lancashire County Council is one of the few authorities in the country not to have cut library services.
10304 National Trust Report
Mr Alan Ferguson, National Trust Ranger (Arnside and Silverdale), reported that the Trust relies on the public getting involved, for example, through local voluntary groups or individually. Voluntary groups have been involved with maintaining access and open spaces. The office now has 3 full-time members of staff – 2 rangers and one apprentice. He reminded villagers that hazel poles from Eaves Wood are available from the Trust for use as garden canes.

Members of the public asked about:
1. why parts of Eaves Wood have been cut down – Mr Ferguson replied that there are a variety of reasons for this – part of woodland management involves widening the paths to allow light and sun to reach ground level thus providing light and dark environments both of which are important to many species of wildlife.

Some areas of felled wood have been left to allow the wood to dry out in situ; the felling and sale of timber has provided work for local contractors.

2. the possibility of villagers harvesting dead wood – Mr Ferguson said he would look into this, but the process would need careful management as dead trees provide a habitat for rare insects, for example.

The Chairman thanked Mr Ferguson and advised that Mr Ferguson will retire in May.

10305 Report on Rail Travel to and from Silverdale Station
RESOLVED to defer this item until the end of the meeting.

10305 Report from County Councillor Sarah Fishwick
County Councillor Fishwick was not present at the meeting and her report was not available.

10306 Report from City Councillor Kath Graham
Councillor Graham reports each month in the parish magazine but advised that: (1) she had spoken to Mr Maurice Brophy, Policy and Housing Manager (Lancaster City Council) who is still looking for land on which housing can be developed. Any developers presenting proposals to build housing on available land are likely to be granted planning permission and so villagers might prefer to suggest suitable sites themselves; (2) the new National Planning Policy Framework comes into effect on 28th March and more planning applications are likely to be granted approval; (3) she has asked the Enforcement Officers to look at The Royal Hotel which is considered to be in a dilapidated state and noted that, with regards the current planning application for 2 houses on The Royal land, the Planners can only look at the application in hand and so the use of the public house cannot be taken into consideration; (4) Silverdale Hotel has applied to relocate its septic tank.

10307 Playground Report
Councillor Ribbons, a member of the Playground Management Committee, reported that the bad weather has had a detrimental effect on the playground equipment and that although the bark on the floor of the aerial slide was replaced last year this has rotted very quickly and will be replaced with longer lasting rubber chips.

10308 Chairman’s Report/ Matters Raised by the Public
A copy of the Chairman’s report had been circulated to those present and is appendaged to these minutes.

Members of the public asked about:
1. The Royal Hotel – the Chairman advised that there the latest information had been reported by Councillor Graham in her report above;
2. the proposed skate park and whether or not Members are aware of the current “furore” (including the circulation of 2 petitions and “semi-threatening” anonymous e mail) – the Chairman responded that 43 members of the public had attended that last parish council meeting; he was saddened to hear about the anonymous e mails and would like to see a hard copy and stated that the Parish Council condemn such behaviour as inappropriate, if the e mails are considered to constitute harassment they should be referred to the police.

10309 Report on Rail Travel to and from Silverdale Station
Mr Tony Parker, Secretary for FLAG and ‘the station adopter’ for Silverdale advised that the most significant change since he last reported to the Parish Council in 2009 is the building of the new viaduct at Arnside.

He reported that First TransPennine will be running electric trains from Glasgow/ Edinburgh to Manchester airport from December 2013 and this will affect the Manchester airport service from Silverdale, a copy of the timetable will be sent to the Clerk once it has been finalized. There are plans to build a ramp from the RSPB car park to the Carnforth platform, if this goes ahead FLAG have asked that the barrow crossing remain. He has put in a request for seats at Silverdale station. Hopefully, a ‘real time’ information board will be installed at the station in the next 12 months.

Members of the public asked about:
1. the possibility of a footpath alongside Arnside viaduct – Mr Parker explained that the viaduct has been constructed so that a footpath can easily be provided but the problem is getting on and off the footpath safely. The Chairman added that the Parish Council receives regular reports from the Arnside to Grange action Group (ATOG) about this;
2. fare evasion/ ticket money not being collected/ lack of carriages for special events e.g. the Cartmel Races and Cross Bay walks – Mr Parker advised that organizers of such events should contact the train service provider and request extra carriages;
3. trains not stopping at Silverdale – Mr Parker explained that First TransPennine offer limited stops due to their turnaround times; from May 2014 all Northbound trains but one will stop at Silverdale.

10310 The meeting closed at 8.55 pm.

Sue D. Hayward, Deputy Clerk to the Council

Appendix 1

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 2012-13. This is my sixth report as Chairman.

Parish Council
The Parish Council is the lowest 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 89 items of correspondence plus numerous e/mails so it can be seen these roles are important.

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 or to express a point of view about an issue. 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 12 meetings was: Cllrs, Bond – 11, Houghton – 10, Mason – 12, Williams – 11, Palmer – 10, Ribbons – 10, Woods – 10 & Bradfield – 9.

Planning and Related issues
During this year the Council considered 46 planning applications [a 50% increase from last year] and made comments to Lancaster City Council, which 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 has not been to the fore so much this year. More recently there has been the issue of the Royal Hotel, and the proposals for development on land at the rear. The long term future of this building is as yet unresolved. The Council did make a response to the City Councils consultation on future housing development sites, as did a number of residents.
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, the new contracts will be awarded in April. The contract for the toilet cleaning was agreed at the March meeting. Incorporated into this will be the provision of free dog waste bags at three sites within the village.

The Council support the bid by ATOG for a footpath across the viaduct. There are concerns about the proposal for a reduction in rail services to Manchester, where services will terminate at Preston, details are awaited.
The 20mph scheme arrived last November, although there has yet to be any enforcement exercises to educate drivers. The Council would like to extend some of the existing 30mph limits and have asked for volunteers to come forward to assist in this campaign.
Bus services have greatly improved, although they do not appear to be well used and this may result in this service being removed.

Community Aspects
The Council maintains good working arrangements with the local Police, policing priorities are agreed at each council meeting and efforts have been concentrated on parking issues, and monitoring aspects of anti-social behaviour.
The Parish Council also works closely with the AONB, RSPB and the National Trust, and local charitable groups.
An issue that continues to cause 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 if they are informed action will be taken against any dog –owner who declines to remove their dogs mess. The Council have trialed a free dog waste bag dispenser which seems to have had some effect. This will be expanded to three sites within the village; at an average cost of £4 weekly the Council believe this is worth doing to protect our village streets.
Following a tragic accident at Kew last year all local authorities were required to check the state of their woodlands. A survey of woodland at Woodwell, Burton Well and Bankwell has resulted in several trees needing attention. This will be taking place over the next few weeks.
The provision of a skate/scooter park has been another issue this year. It was recognised in the Parish Plan that there is little recreational facilities for the younger village residents and this is an attempt to redress that. Given the lack of land owned by the Council it was decided to approach the Trustees of the Institute and they are currently discussing this project. Other sites have been considered but for various reasons have been ruled out.
In conclusion, I would like to thank all the Councillors, Parish, and District & County for their hard work throughout the year 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, Chairman, Silverdale Parish Council 07/3/2013