Meeting held on 16 January 2020

The last Parish Council Meeting was scheduled for 16 January. Unfortunately the Council was not quorate as Councillors Sanderson and Mitchell were unable to attend. Consequently, a formal meeting could not be held.

Pete Jones, Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Reserve Manager for Lowick Common spoke at the meeting about plans for Lowick Common which was recently gifted to the Trust. It is a no funding project and therefore there are no constraints placed by any funders, but there is also no money available and volunteers are encouraged and welcome. Anyone can get in touch with CWT (01539 816300) to express an interest in helping.

Short term projects include controlling the Himalayan balsam and keeping the main path network clear, year round. Access plans include maintaining the path network,interpretation signs, leaflets, and parking capacity.

There will be a five year management plan:

  • Surveys will be carried out on birds,dragonflies (15 species), reptiles, the ponds and sites of archaeological interest.
  • CWT will be assessing high risk ash trees and apply for a felling licence if required.
  • Reduction of bracken is a significant issue and CWT will only be using mechanical means – no chemical controls.
  • Tree planting may be considered and this would help to reduce the bracken. In order to introduce grazing the bracken would have to be managed and CWT would have to work with Commoners.
  • Pond management: the need to consider restoration/rotational clearing, but the wet land sites are important habitats.

The Parish Council appreciates Mr. Jones giving his time to come to the meeting.

The next meeting will be on Thursday, 19 March at 7.30pm in Lowick Community Hall, all welcome.

Lowick Parish Council is still seeking another member of the public to join the Council following the resignation of John Longmire. If you are interested, please speak to a Councillor or the Clerk. It would be a co-opted position as parish council elections are due to be held in May 2020.

Meeting held on 21 November 2019

Highways issues

County Councillor Matt Brereton gave some feedback on highways issues raised at previous meetings.

He confirmed that the SatNav sign is to be moved to the other side of the road to mitigate any confusion.

He agreed that the flower box scheme at Lowick Bridge should go ahead – using ‘common sense’ in siting. Highways officers are looking at locations where there are flooding problems, including Woodgate.

Councillor Mitchell highlighted the issue of white lining – or lack of it, following re-surfacing, and what has been done is a waste of time.

Parish Plan

Councillor Ingham has completed the final draft of the questionnaire in relation to the Parish Plan and it was agreed that this should be printed and sent to all residents.

A questionnaire for young people will also be devised.

This will be an opportunity for members of Lowick parish to give their views on what they would like to see happen in the future – so please take part.

Farmers Arms

District Councillor Ian Wharton explained that Egton with Newland, Mansriggs and Osmotherley Parish Council are going ahead with an attempt to get the now defunct Farmers Arms registered as a community asset. A planning group is needed to move things along to prevent the owners allowing it to deteriorate further.

Lengthsman

The Lengthsman is still active in the parish and will be undertaking some work on the bus shelters as well as his usual tasks of clearing drains and cutting back overgrown areas.

Planning

SLDC have refused the application from Arqiva to erect a 10 metre mast at the junction of the A5092 and the A5084 to improve the network for smart metering. The reasons given are the adverse visual impact and the lack of convincing evidence that the site selection was fully exhaustive. The councillors felt that this was a just result, considering the concerns that were expressed. Arqiva may submit a further application, hopefully taking into consideration local opinions.

Councillor Longmire

It is with regret that the Council learnt that Councillor Longmire plans to resign from the Council. He was Chairman for several years and guided the Council through a difficult period after the last election.

A casual vacancy will be advertised and if any resident wishes to join the parish council, please let a councillor or the clerk  know. Because it is less than six months before the next election is due, no election will be held but an interested person could be co-opted.

Next meting

The next meeting of the Parish Council will take place on 16 January at 7.30pm in Lowick Community Hall. All are welcome.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Pete Jones, Reserve Manager for Lowick Common, is planning to attend the January meeting to talk about the plans for the Common. Please come to the meeting if you are interested in this topic.

Meeting held on 18 July 2019

Councillor Ingham received a helpful reply from County Councillor Matt Brereton with regard to traffic issues in Lowick. He has raised these with officers from Highways and is hopeful that there will be some action with Lowick’s particular problems – re-siting the satnav sign; general signage; speeding – which will be part of a wider review in the area.

As part of the Parish Plan, Councillors have developed their particular items and there was a discussion about preparing a questionnaire which will be sent to all households. It is hoped to have a meeting early in September and Councillor Ingham undertook to prepare a questionnaire which will be discussed and refined before it is sent out.

Mr Ellwood, Chairman of Lowick Green Management Committee, reported that the wild flower areas have done well and he will be sowing some yellow rattle seed in the wild areas – courtesy of Cumbria Wildlife Trust. The old well is now flowing freely.

The Lengthsman has been out and about in the parish, strimming and tidying and is going to examine the bus shelters to see what work needs to be done to keep them in good repair.

Councillors discussed a planning application for the development of a barn into a dwelling at Woodgate. The Council is opposed to this development and will be responding to SLDC, giving reasons for this opinion.

The Southern Boundary Partnership information evening was held in the Community Hall on 3 July.

Kirkby Moor Windfarm

The Parish Council are very disappointed that the appeal has been allowed by the Planning Inspector, following the Public Enquiry. This means that the wind turbines will remain until 2027. This information came in after the meeting but will be on the agenda for the September meeting.

Unfortunately Police Community Support Officer Debbie Ross has had to take sick leave but if anyone needs to contact the Team, Sgt Rupert Johnston will be covering for her.

The next meeting of the Parish Council will take place on 19 September at 7.30pm in Lowick Community Hall. All are welcome.

Meeting held on 21 March 2019

The Council is still awaiting a response from CCC Highways about the possibility of having solar signs on the A5092 to remind motorists of the 40mph speed limit. Although this is merely a request for information it seems difficult to get any feedback.

As part of the Parish Plan, the Council has delivered a second newsletter to all households. Again this was collated by Councillor Edmondson and if anyone has an issue to raise appertaining to the parish and of interest to residents, please contact Councillor Edmondson – or any councillor.

Mr Ellwood, Chairman of Lowick Green Management Committee has not received any negative comments about improving the parking area outside Cosy Cottage/Green View and outside Hopefield Cottages so plans to go ahead with this.

Some residents have been affected by the action of Vodafone to stop using the mast near Lowick Old School. Councillors feel very strongly that the phone company should ensure that our rural area is adequately served with a satisfactory signal for all. As well as advising affected residents to contact Vodafone directly, it will be sending a letter outlining concerns and the needs of our area.

Flooding on the A5092 was raised by a local resident and Councillor Sanderson commented that he had heard that one gully was so badly blocked that the road may have to be dug up to repair it. Gully sucking has taken place along the A5092.

The Public Enquiry about Kirkby Moor took place in January and the Planning Inspector’s decision should be published in May.

Councillors discussed an issue relating to an unofficial residential development just over the parish boundary with Blawith and agreed to raise this with the Lake District Special Planning Board.

The next meeting of the Parish Council will take place on 16 May at 7.30pm in Lowick Community Hall. This is the date for AGM and Annual Parish Assembly. All are welcome.