2015/03/16 Annual Parish Meeting

16th March 2015

10921 Minutes: of the Annual Parish Meeting for Silverdale held in the Gaskell Hall, Silverdale on Monday, 16th March 2015 at 7.30 pm.

10922 Present: Chairman – Councillor T.G. (Terry) Bond, the Clerk – L.D. (Denise) Challenor, the Deputy Clerk – S.D. (Sue) Hayward, Mr John Rogan, Library Officer (Morecambe), Ms Janet Procter, Manager – Lancashire Libraries (West), Ms Jill Mason, Silverdale Librarian and 31 members of the public.

10923 Apologies for Absence: Mr Steve Roberts, Northern Rural Fire Stations.

10924 Minutes of the Previous Annual Parish Meeting
The Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on 13th March 2014 were approved then signed by the Chairman.

10925 Matters Arising

10926 Police Report
There was no representative from the police present and their report was not available. The Chairman advised that it is some time since a police representative has attended a Parish Council meeting due to time constraints and that the situation is the same for other Councils and for the Lancashire Association of Local Councils. Information on incidents in the area can be found online at http://www.lancashire.police.uk/my-area/morecambe/silverdale

Ms Jill Mason, Silverdale Librarian, advised that the library receives regular bulletins from the police by email.
A member of the public suggested that a representative from Neighbourhood Watch be invited to give a report at the next Annual Parish Meeting.

10927 Library Presentation and Report
Mr John Rogan, Library Officer (Morecambe) showed a selection from Mr Owen Graystone Bird’s 205 colour-washed glass slides which have been scanned and he compared them with present day images (from Google street view). Lancashire County Council bought the slides at auction in 2004, they were taken by Mr Owen Graystone Bird during the period 1900 – 1910 (possibly during a holiday in the area) and they are stored in Morecambe library. The slides can be viewed on line at lanternimages.lancashire.gov.uk. Residents are invited to look at the images, pass on any information and anecdotes regarding any of the locations or people they recognize and to take photographs of the locations to build up a set of ‘now and then’ images. Mr Rogan will pass on a supply of permission slips to Ms Mason, Silverdale Librarian, in order that the contemporary images can be reproduced. Mr Rogan may be contacted by email with any information john.rogan@lancashire.gov.uk.

Ms Janet Procter, Manager Lancashire Libraries (West), gave some statistics about Silverdale library for the previous year: there are 555 registered members, 16,000 items were borrowed; the library received 12,000 visits and there were 1,500 requests for books.

Ms Jill Mason explained that the library is small with only one member of staff (herself) and it is open two days a week. A team of eight volunteers help with events and there are two young people who help out as a part of the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

Ms Mason arranges home visits and runs a story-time in school. There are class visits to the library once a fortnight. 1:1 IT help is offered and the e-book range is gaining momentum. A number of activities took place to commemorate the anniversary of the First World War including a knitting/ crochet project where poppies were made – these have been mounted and are available for display at events over the next four years. The community has also knitted bunting which can also be borrowed for events. An abstract mural of sunsets of Morecambe Bay has been made by residents and it has been mounted (funded by sponsorship from various sources). Ms Mason promotes the use of the library by the community and reminded everyone that the building can be used when the library is closed. All ideas as to how a sense of being a part of the community can be developed are welcome.

Ms Procter concluded the library presentation by reading out some of the comments from a survey that has been carried out.

10928 Playground Report
Councillor Ribbons, a member of the Playground Management Committee, reported that the playground remains popular both with villagers and visitors. The only major repair during the year has been to the net on the multi-activity unit. Lancaster City Council (Lancaster CC) continue to carry out a quarterly inspection of the playground and the Parish Contractor inspects the playground weekly.

10929 Chairman’s Report
A copy of the Chairman’s report had been circulated to those present and is appendaged to these minutes.
The Chairman updated those present on the situation regarding: 1 The Royal- planning permission has been granted, but a number of conditions must be met before works (other than repairs to the roof) can be carried out – it is unlikely that works will start before the autumn; 2. the Moss Lane/ Trowbarrow footpath – the AONB has been working with the landowners, but the matter is now with the Lancaster CC to resolve.

The Chairman also reported that the toposcope is in situ by the Pepperpot – this was funded by the Parish Council and installed by National Trust volunteers.

Councillor Houghton added that memorial plaques, mounted on stone, have been put in place at the War Memorial Gardens, they give information on the soldiers who are commemorated there.

10930 Matters Raised by the Public
1. A question was asked about the graveyard now that planning permission has been refused. Canon Paul Warren was present at the meeting and responded that the availability of spaces in St. John’s church graveyard is being looked at.
2. The proposed closure of the post office and transfer of post office business to the newsagents the resident emphasized that there is no alternative if the post office is to remain in the village.
3. The whereabouts of the suggested sites for the proposed mobile phone mast. Councillor Houghton explained that the mast will be installed in a ‘not spot’ (an area where there is no mobile phone signal). He met with the Chief Engineer for the firm concerned and suggested a number of sites and styles of mast (rather than the lattice mast originally proposed) – the firm is currently looking at options.
4. Bankwell – it was reported that there is a lot of rubbish in the water. The Chairman advised that this is a matter for the AONB.
5. A resident asked if there was any news on the Neighbourhood Plan – the Chairman responded that there is none.
10931 The meeting closed at 8.40pm.

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 2014-15.

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 88 items of correspondence plus numerous e/mails so it can be seen these roles are important. The Council operates on a budget of £18300 per year from which it pays the clerks, the contractors and fulfils its statutory duties. 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. The attendance of Councillors at the past 12 meetings was: Cllrs, Bond – 11, Houghton – 11, Mason – 10, Williams – 8, Palmer – 8, Ribbons – 12, Woods – 9 & Bradfield – 8.

Planning and Related issues
During this year the Council considered 44 planning applications and made comments to Lancaster City Council, which is the legal planning authority. Although we make comments, and sometime objections, the City Council does not always concur with us. With everything now being on-line access to plans has been quite difficult, the City Council site not being the easiest to navigate. Other parish councils have also voiced their opinions over this but the City council have not changed the situation.
There have been a few contentious issues this year, the site causing most concern being the Royal Hotel. Planning permission for this has now been given and work may start soon. Discussion about the siting of the mobile phone mast was positive and the developers have gone away to rethink the proposal.

Our local Parish Contractor service continues to operate well, they maintain 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 and this also includes replenishing the free dog waste bags at four sites within the village.

Community Aspects
The Council continues to maintain good working relations with the AONB, RSPB and the National Trust and local charitable groups. There has been little contact with the local Police, they no longer attend council meetings and maintaining a good relationship becomes difficult without contact, this is a situation experienced by other parish councils.
The Woodland Management Committee continues to oversee the safety and environment of the four areas owned by the Council. Volunteer work parties have carried out conservation work on Burton Well Scroggs.
The Council has been unable to provide some of amenities requested. The provision of a skate/scooter park has been hampered by the lack of a suitable area of land. Similarly, the provision of allotments has not gone ahead as the council have not found any land that would be suitable.
The provision of better broadband service within the village has moved forward. BT was originally intending to introduce superfast broadband by September 2013. Eighteen months further on there is still no date set, and BT have been evasive as to when that might happen. However, B4YS, the hyperfast service, has expanded its area and before long will reach the village. This service will far exceed that proposed by BT. The council have invested £5000 into the scheme helping it to reach the village and benefit this community.
On a more positive note, this past year the Council put money into provision of Christmas trees in the centre of the village, something which seems to have been enjoyed by many. Grants have been given to a number of local schemes, Field Day, Playgroup, the Open Gardens, and the two community art projects in the village. The History weekend in September was well attended, and contributions to the compilation of the Heritage Asset Register were also welcomed.

This is the last report from the current council, before elections in May. Silverdale has a very ‘young’ council in comparison to some and this has been shown by the input and work done not only in council meetings but in the various representations upon local bodies that takes place. My thanks to all Councillors for their work, and also to the two Clerks, without which we would be sorely hindered.


Cllr Terry Bond MBE
Silverdale Parish Council 5/3/15