Kent Estuary Neighbourhood Forum Newsletter - Welcome To Cumbria by keara


Summary of meeting held on 5 March 2008 at Leasgill Athenaeum
County Councillor Roger Bingham welcomed everyone to the Forum, gave the apologies of County Councillor Ian Stewart who had another meeting and County CouncillorJim Bland who arrived later, and thanked Mr. & Mrs. Forrester who kindly provided refreshments A LOCAL VIEW Councillor Bingham explained why the Village Hall was named the Athenaeum (built by the Argles family in the mid 1800’s with the profits from slavery and named after the Liverpool Athenaeum) At the last census Heversham had a population of 670 and the village, historically, has three main features – the Grammar School, The Church and the Blue Bell. The Church is very active and the hub of a number of organisations for all ages. Heversham Grammar School merged with Milnthorpe secondary school in 1983 to form Dallam School and goes from strength to strength. It maintains its rare status as one of very few state boarding schools and along with the village primary school, St. Peter’s, has achieved excellent OFSTED results. Heversham is a residential village, the only local employment provided by the schools and two residential homes. It is fortunate to still have a number of working farms, and a good bus service – though there are more cars than adults in the village. As in most rural communities, a major problem is the cost of housing – the average house price in South Lakeland is 10 x the average annual salary. Councillor Bingham stressed house prices around £500,000 are common in Heversham, so whilst crime hardly exists in the village, neither do young families! TRADING STANDARDS Ernie Greenhalgh, Manager of the County Council’s Trading Standards department based in Kendal, mentioned the six Council aims for the County – Better - Wealthier – Healthier – Happier - Safer and Greener – and said the work of Trading Standards falls into the ‘Safer’ category. He talked about a variety of issues with which Trading Standards is involved, including Food Standards, unsafe goods and the health and welfare of farm animals. He mentioned the issue of age restricted sales and the departments use of young volunteers to test if goods are being sold to under age customers. The department currently works with the police on this issue, and whilst there is a range of age restricted sales, including the purchase of cigarettes from pub vending machines, the emphasis is on alcohol because of the problems of anti social behaviour and youth disorder which can ensue. Ernie mentioned people’s right to feel safe within their own home and scams – via mail/internet/cold calling and door to door – which endanger this right. He provided instances of the sale of counterfeit goods on the streets and reminded people that no one knocks on your door to do you a favour – they are there to get what they can out of you! Police and Trading Standards will always try to respond straight away if notified of scams and counterfeit goods – as serious crime often underpins these activities. Continued over…………………….. FEEDBACK FROM PREVIOUS MEETINGS AND UPDATES ON LOCAL PROJECTS Sinead reported that Cumbria County Council has allocated £1 million to employ 24 Highways Stewards. Each Highways Steward will be responsible for a number of parish areas and will work with Parish Councils to identify issues. Councillor Bingham added that each County Council division has been allocated £10,000 towards highway maintenance issues. County Councillors may choose to allocate some of this to support Parish Lengthsman schemes. Discussions on the Parish Lengthsman scheme are on-going. Sinead mentioned the Climate Change consultation being undertaken by Cumbria County Council who would like as much feedback as possible on the issues faced. Details of the consultation can be found on the web at Councillor Bingham suggested the Forum is always happy to hear updates from organisations who have received grants from the Forum.

The next Kent Estuary Forum will be held at Arnside W.I. & Village Hall at 7.30pm on Wednesday 11th June 2008

The next Kent

Ernie mentioned the Consumer Credit Act which provides rules for money lending and the illegal operations set up by loan sharks who lend money to people with bad credit ratings – frequently charging interest rates of 200% and over. He mentioned a pilot scheme set up by the Department of Trade & Industry and operated by Birmingham Trading Standards to counteract illegal money lending linked to serious crime which will also tackle loan shark problems in the North West. Trading Standards receives a lot of complaints about cars parked by the roadside and advertised for sale, but Ernie said this is not actually illegal. He warned of buying goods over the internet, as consumer rights do not apply outside the European Union, and responded to questions on firework sales (minimum age 18); checks on measures and substitution of cheaper brands in pubs and confirmed that Trading Standards is both proactive and reactive. He mentioned new laws being brought in to give the Department more power and said that a first point of contact for queries or anxieties over consumer issues was Consumer Direct which is supported by the Department of Trade & Industry and operated by the Office of Fair Trading. The North-West Consumer Direct base is Barrow-in-Furness and the contact number is 08454 04 05 05. OLD RAILWAY LINE PATH Bridget Pickthall provided a brief history of the old railway line running from Hincaster to Marsh Lane, Milnthorpe and people’s aspirations over many years for this to be made into a footpath. Bridget proposed that the track be made into a multi use path with full disabled access at a Kent Estuary Forum a year or so ago, and said Cumbria County Council are currently looking at this proposal in their Rights of Way improvement plan. Since the initial proposal, Bridget has contacted a lot of individuals and organisations and has received favourable responses from Tim Farron, MP, South Lakeland District Council, Milnthorpe Parish Council, North Lancashire Bridleways Group, Ramblers Association etc. etc. She has consulted with the landowners involved and has received positive responses from three. Bridget has also discussed the proposal with Steve Holdup, Head of Dallam School, who is interested in Dallam pupils becoming involved (subject to risk assessments) in establishing the route and in the opportunities the footpath would present for ‘safe ways to school’. Issues of safety and security, access and parking and funding were raised. Bridget stressed that as a rural route in a low crime area, the route would pose a low security risk; that there are already several points of access and scope for small car parking areas alongside the route and that Cumbria County Council has suggested attracting as many individuals and groups as possible to become stakeholders to access their funding. She confirmed that Friends of the Lake District have already confirmed they would be interested in giving a large grant if the scheme goes ahead and Cumbria Wildlife Trust have suggested an ecological survey would be a good step forward. Bridget has no budget for the proposal and is waiting for the County Council to get back to her, hopefully, with guidance. She has received encouragement from a similar project in North Dorset and confirmed the route has some beautiful views. Bridget explained the ownership of the land and said that it was possible to walk the route – with a slight deviation at one point, although some parts are very wet. She confirmed that car parking options would need to be investigated by SLDC . If you would like to offer support or become involved in the project contact Bridget on 015395 61243 GRANTS Wheely Good Communities Requested £250 Awarded £250 Abbe Franklin Requested £150 Awarded £150 COMMUNITY NOTICEBOARD Councillor Bingham explained the current situation at Crooklands Bridge and said the road would be closed for repairs for ten days from 10th March, but would be open for Easter. 21 March – Farmers Market/Morris Dancing/|Open Air Service on the Green at Milnthorpe 22 March - Fabulous Picasso Brothers at Leasgill Athenaeum 22/23 May –Burton Amateur Dramatic Society production 7/8 June - Burton Art & Craft Society Exhibition. Contact Paula Firth on 01524 781984 if you wish to exhibit or book a craft table

Dallam PTA Film Stars Cinema Club Requested £ 600 Awarded £600 Milnthorpe Community Football Association Requested £1,000 Awarded £1,000

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