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Parish Council meeting minutes – April 2021

Parish Council meeting minutes – April 2021

May 20th, 2021

Minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on: Thursday 15th April 2021 via Skype.

Cllr Phil James (PJ – Chair)
Cllr Carol Berry (CB)
Cllr Geoff Carter (GC)
Cllr Martin Delaney (MD)
Cllr Chris Houghton (CH)
Cllr Alan Lingard (AL)

Clerk: Mike Ainsworth (MA)

Members of the Public: Mr. Paul Gibbs

Apologies: none

Meeting opened: 20:00
Meeting closed: 20:56


1. Open Forum for the general public
2. Minutes of the last meeting held on Thursday 18th March 2021
3. Matters arising from the last meeting
4. Planning
5. Carrs Green
6. Financial
7. Any other business

Next meeting Scheduled for: Thursday 21st May 2021 at 8pm


Chair: Cllr. Phil James
Date: 20th May 2021

1. Open Forum – No members of the public were present at the start of the meeting however the Chair invited Mr. Gibbs, who arrived later, to speak at the end of the meeting. Mr. Gibbs asked about his earlier suggestion for a line of trees to be placed on the Common. He suggested that an elegant species such as Flowering Cherry would be an improvement on the gnarled and ugly native species on the Common currently (see paras. 5.2 and 5.5, below).

2. Minutes of Last Meeting – approved as read.

3. Matters Arising

3.1. The Parish Clerk reported that all Actions had been cleared with the following exceptions:

9.18/1.4 – erection of deer warning signs on B5269 at Carrs Green
7.19/2 – to ascertain whether LCC will reinstate rumble strips
12.20/3 – interruptions to mobile phone reception in areas of the village
3.21.7 – to amend text for Information Panel

3.2. With regards to refurbishments proposed at the Tennis Courts Cllrs. Delaney and Lingard said that they had inspected the nets and were content that they were fit for purpose provided new wire was supplied. Cllr. Lingard agreed to supply details to the Parish Clerk.
Action 4.21/1 – AL to supply MA with details of tennis net wire

3.3. There was also discussion about providing a new secure box to hold the tennis nets to be located close to the Tennis Court and Cllr. Houghton agreed to investigate options.
Action 4.21/2 – CH to investigate options for provision of a secure box for tennis nets

4. Planning – Cllr. James reported that the three planning applications with respect to Carr House Farm had apparently been withdrawn and the documents related to the proposed development at The Beeches had apparently been taken down from the planning portal.

5. Carrs Green

5.1. The Parish Clerk reported that he had spoken to Howard Clark who has been contracted to build the proposed boardwalk. He plans to carry out the work once the land has dried out sufficiently. Cllr. James asked about when the other groundworks were scheduled, however these might now be delayed until after the bird breeding season. Parish Councillors suggested that there was a severe risk that nothing might ever be achieved owing to a combination of constraints resulting from ground conditions and as a result of abstaining from disturbing wildlife in their breeding seasons. It was proposed that Fylde Bird Club might be able to assist by surveying where it might be safe to work. Also they might be asked to contribute any suitable photography for the proposed Information Panels.
Action 4.21/3 – MA to liaise with FBC with regards to groundworks during the breeding season

5.2. The Parish Clerk reported that he had received about six positive comments related to the proposed avenue of trees following from the article in the recent Parish Newsletter and one comment opposing the idea.

5.3. It appears that maybe as many as 50 saplings have been planted on the Common at some point in the past, maybe several years back. The Parish Clerk suggested that Parish Councillors might have granted permission for tree planting in the past but Parish Councillors were unable to verify this. It was agreed that the Parish Clerk would research this point with the former Clerk to the Council. The Parish Clerk also advised the Parish Council that if it proved to be the case that trees had been planted without the landowners consent this could be represented as a trespass and the Parish Council might seek damages if it so wished, however Parish Councillors were unanimously opposed to that approach. The preferred approach of the Parish Council would be to work with members of the public.
Action 4.21/4 – MA to liaise with former Clerk to the Council with regards to tree planting on the Common

5.4. Cllr. Berry understood that the recently planted saplings may have been planted by someone local. It was agreed that she would investigate further as Parish Councillors felt that it would be important to discuss management of the Common and consult with them before any decision on their future (whether to leave them in place or to move them to a more appropriate location on the Common) were made. One key question being what species of tree they were.
Action 4.21/5 – CB to investigate further as to the planting of saplings on the Common

5.5. Parish Councillors then discussed what to do with the considerable number of trees that had self-seeded on the Common. It was agreed that the Parish Council needed technical advice as to which trees needed to be removed – and also as to suitable trees to be planted under the ‘avenue of trees’ proposal. Cllr. Delaney emphasized that what was wanted was a meeting with suitable experts on the Common not yet another expensive report.
Action 4.21/6 – MA to liaise with Woodland Trust, Wyre Tree Officer, LCC, and Seamus Eaves with regards to advice on tree management in a wetland environment

6. Financial

6.1. The Parish Council read and approved the Annual Governance Statement that forms a part of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return 2020/2021 Part 2.

6.2. The Parish Clerk advised Parish Councillors that the Parish Council insurance policy was due and that a quotation had been received from Zurich for the sum of £602.79, which was only marginally greater than in the previous two years: £592.54 (2020); £582.58 (2019). The Parish Council approved this expenditure. Cllr. Delaney asked however whether the insurance policy covers fly tipping as this is a risk for the Council. Fly tipping has become more prevalent and any major incident could be potentially very costly for the Council.
Action 4.21/7 – MA to investigate whether the Parish Council insurance policy covers fly tipping

6.3. The Parish Clerk notified the Parish Council of an urgent request for donations from the Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue team. The Parish Council had last donated in July 2015. Parish Councillors felt however that other charities had a greater demand on Parish Council funds and it was agreed to donate £100 to NW Air Ambulance, as this charity has a greater impact on the lives of members of the community here in rural Fylde.

7. Any Other Business

7.1. Cllr. Lingard reported that he had repaired the Noticeboard on Mill Lane at a cost of approx. £70. He intended to repair the backboard of the adjacent bench and to also repaint the Noticeboard on Preston Road.

7.2. Cllr Berry reported that she had checked all the defibrillators.

7.3. Cllr. Berry also raised the subject of advertising Parish Council meetings. The Clerk suggested that Council business should be published on the Parish Council website, but that did not preclude a link to the content also then being advertised on the two Inskip local Facebook pages. Parish Councillors agreed to this suggestion and the Parish Clerk agreed to proceed on that basis.