Colton Parish Council NEWS

See past CPC Newsletters


Monthly News for February 2017

Councillor Vacancy for West Ward: We currently have a vacancy for a Councillor to represent the West Ward of our Parish. This covers Colton, Oxen Park, Nibthwaite, and Spark Bridge (Colton side of the Crake). If you or anyone you know might be interested in taking on this vital role within the community, then do please get in touch with the Clerk (coltonpc@btinternet.com). The vacancy has arisen due to the resignation of Councillor Katherine Patterson. The council would like to take this opportunity to thank Katherine for her hard work and commitment during her time as Councillor.

Rural Crime initiative: As you may have read in previous newsletters Satterthwaite and Colton Parish Councils have jointly set up an initiative to help reduce rural crime. Funding has been received from the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Community Fund and progress is being made on various parts of this project to help protect the area from rural crime. The initiative includes the production of a leaflet which will go to all households in the two parishes, license plate recognition cameras, a local messaging group and prevention signage. Please take note of the following dates for your diary Wednesday 6th March, 6pm at the White Hart in Bouth and Wednesday 15th March, 6pm at the Eagles Head in Satterthwaite. These will be open evenings for anyone with an interest in reducing rural crime in the area. They are to allow the group to share information, provide awareness and to answer any questions.

Road markings: Various areas within the parish are still waiting for road marks to be painting. It would have been nice, after what is nearly 4 years for some of these, to have had more to report. After a conversation with Highways it is now understood that the list has been handed to contractors to complete the work, but there is no completion date set. Hopefully there will be progress on this over the coming months. If there are any issues with regards Highways the only way to report these are through the Highways Hotline (this applies to us as a Parish Council too), so please, use the hotline on 0300 303 2992, email: highways@cumbria.gov.uk  or go online to the Cumbria Highways website (www.cumbria.gov.uk   'Report a Fault' page).

Clerk, Karen Birch.

Monthly News for January 2017

At a relatively quiet time of year for the Council, we are struggling to come to terms with the loss of a familiar face at the table. Our clerk, Mandy Lane, has stepped down after more than eight years’ loyal service. During that time, she has seen the Council achieve Quality Parish Council status (which involved her doing a lot of voluntary work to become a suitably qualified clerk) and then Foundation Status under the Local Council Awards Scheme. She has run a very efficient administration and has battled hard with the various powers that be, on behalf of the Council and local residents; she will be sadly missed. Councillors recently said their farewells at a social gathering in Oxen Park.

Every cloud has a silver lining and we are pleased to announce our new clerk, Karen Birch who has already demonstrated her undoubted capabilities and experience, running two council meetings most effectively. As part of her duties, she will be contributing to future editions of the newsletter. Meanwhile, she can be reached on 01229 860115 or on the usual email address coltonpc@btinternet.com .

Colin Barr (Chairman Colton Parish Council)

Monthly News for December 2016

New Councillor for Central Ward: We are delighted to welcome Natalie Bibby as our recently co-opted Councillor for Colton Central Ward (Rusland and Bouth). Natalie moved to Crosslands 5 years ago, where she lives with her partner and young daughter. She works for the Environment Agency as an advisor to Defra, and has expertise in natural flood-risk management, peatland restoration and river restoration.  She has a strong interest in sustainable energy solutions and will work on the 'Energy and Sustainability' actions listed in our Community Plan.

New Clerk: We are also delighted to say that we have appointed a new Clerk, Karen Birch, who will start work on 1st December. Karen has recently moved back to the Lake District, and is living in Grizedale with her partner and young children. She has worked in a number of management and administrative roles, most recently as visitor services manager and website coordinator for a National Trust property in Devon. For the time being, please use the same email address for contacting the Council. Mandy Lane will be on hand as a mentor during the first couple of months whilst Karen gets familiar with the role.

Hulleter Moss: At our last meeting, Sir Martin Holdgate, representing the John Strutt Foundation presented plans for the restoration of Hulleter Moss, part of the Rusland Mosses SSSI. He explained that the restoration process would be almost identical to that carried out at Hay Bridge Moss, with a perimeter bund, construction of shallow peat banks to retain water, some tree removal, and some planting of alder and willow. The construction of the bund requires planning permission; an application would be made in due course, and a site visit arranged.

Flooding on C5022, between Hulleter and Whitestock: Just to let you know works have now been carried out at this new flooding spot to repair the collapsed culvert.

Monthly News for November 2016

Deer Poaching and Rural Crime: Colton and Satterthwaite Parish Councils are very pleased to report their successful bid for a grant from the Police and Crime Commissioner's Community Fund to help combat the increasing problem of deer poaching in Rusland and Grizedale.

Signpost at Rusland: At last, we are delighted to see a replacement signpost in place at the turn to Rusland Church, which includes a sign to 'Grizedale'. This will hopefully help to stop vehicles heading for Grizedale turning towards Thwaite Moss and attempting to take the unmetalled road to Force Mills. The only remaining issue is that there is still no Grizedale sign for the right turn at Rusland Vicarage, causing traffic to continue south to Oxen Park. We had requested this as well, and hope it will be added before long.

YMCA Lakeside: The planning application for development of YMCA Lakeside (7/2013/5621) included a Construction Traffic Management Plan as a result of some concerns expressed by local residents and the Parish Council about traffic along this busy and constricted route from Newby Bridge. The Plan now incorporates our recommendations which include limiting travel times for works staff and tradesmen to the start and end of day, and appointing a Site Traffic Management Officer to manage construction traffic, monitor compliance and liaise with the Parish Council and residents living along the route.

Parish Council's Community Grant: Three village halls benefitted from your Parish Council's Community small grant scheme: Finsthwaite & Lakeside Village Hall for a digital projector, Rusland Reading Rooms for a hand dryer, and Oxen Park Reading Rooms for lighting and a vacuum-cleaner. This is likely to be an annual fund allocation, so look out for a call for grant applications next summer.

Our next Parish Council meeting will be held on Monday 5th December in Rusland Reading Rooms, 7pm  

Monthly News for Sept/Oct 2016

Old Hall Wood, Bouth: A community meeting was held with the Rusland Horizons (RH) project team in Bouth Village Hall on 24th August to discuss re-starting the Old Hall Wood 'community woodland' initiative. The meeting was very well attended with much enthusiasm for RH working in the wood with local volunteers and apprentices to clear paths, coppice some areas and work on drainage where required. The Forestry Commission management plan, as originally agreed with the local community in 2012, would guide operations. Paul Holden (Bouth) was nominated as the community liaison link with Rusland Horizons and Colton Parish Council.

Highways: It is now 3½ years since your Chairman sent in his road markings survey of the Parish to Highways, and we are still waiting for road markings to be carried out in Bouth, Rusland and Oxen Park. We have been told in July that plans have been moved forward for Colton Parish and that they will be carried out  'in the next few months'. It is also 3 years since we requested and were promised a replacement for the rotten finger-post at the turn to Rusland Church; we have been trying to get an update from our County Councillor. Lastly, we have been told that the Highways Hotline is the only formal way for anyone, including Parish Councils, to submit defects and problems on the highway, so please, use the hotline on 0300 303 2992, email: highways@cumbria.gov.uk  or go online to the Cumbria Highways website (www.cumbria.gov.uk   'Report a Fault' page).

Deer Poaching and Rural Crime:  Colton and Satterthwaite parish councils have together submitted an application to the Police and Crime Commissioner for resources to help tackle rural crime, and deer poaching in particular. Poaching of deer has become a serious problem over this summer, with incidents recorded on a regular basis.  If you witness unknown people in unfamiliar vehicles lamping local fields and woods at night, then they are almost certainly poaching. The only exception to such lamping activities at night would be local people carrying out legitimate fox or rabbit control. If you see anything suspicious, then please report it IMMEDIATELY to the police on the ‘101’ service (or ‘999’ if an emergency or a crime is in progress).  Please note that i) It is an offence for anyone to shoot deer at night ('night' is defined as one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise). ii) Female deer cannot be shot between April 1st and October 31st to prevent the killing of pregnant females and those with dependant young, and iii) It is illegal to use anything other than a licensed firearm of the correct calibre to kill deer.

Our next Parish Council meeting will be held on Monday 24th October  in Bouth Village Hall, 7pm  


Monthly News for July/August 2016

Vacancy for Colton Parish Council Clerk: Our current Clerk, Mandy Lane, has decided that, after nearly 10 years in the role, she would like to retire, and so we are seeking a replacement Clerk. The Council is looking for someone with experience of working for committees, managing basic accounts and budgets, and ideally having worked in local government or a similar organisation. Experience of using Microsoft Word and Excel is essential, and experience of developing basic websites would be desirable.  The role requires working from home for up to 10 hours a week, at the standard local government pay scale (which starts at £8.70 per hour). You will need your own computer and internet access. A home office allowance is payable. If you are interested, please get in touch with Mandy (contact details below).

Broadband Update: Our 'Broadband Champion', Mike Postle, is working closely with 'Connecting Cumbria' and Openreach on Phase 2 of the Super-fast Broadband initiative to see how the gaps in the middle and north parts of Colton Parish might be addressed. Meanwhile, for those communities in the south of the Parish that already have SFBB, two 'Digital Inclusion' workshops are being arranged:
i) Finsthwaite Village Hall – Thursday 8th September starting 7 pm, and
ii) Greenodd Village Hall – Friday 9th September starting 7pm.

More details will be available shortly on notice-boards, the website and on Mike's blog (http://postleorg.coffeecup.com/stream/ )

Ofcom rural broadband survey: "Ofcom wants rural people (sic) to tell it about the broadband challenges they face" – according to the Rural Services Network: (www.rsnonline.org.uk/services/telecoms-watchdog-seeks-rural-volunteers). Volunteers are being sought to join Ofcom's expanded research panel. Interested? Then sign up on Ofcom's partner website: (https://signups.samknows.com/ofcom/).  If you are accepted on the scheme, you will get a 'white box' which reports the performance – or lack of it – of your broadband connection. The box will not interfere with your connection as it only runs tests when the connection is not in use and it does not monitor what you use the connection for. Mike Postle has had one of these boxes for some time and the graphs make interesting (if sometimes depressing) reading!

Our next Parish Council meeting will be held on Monday 5th September  in Finsthwaite Village Hall, 7pm  


Monthly News for June 2016

Parish Council Elections: Eight of our nine parish councillors were re-elected (uncontested) this year, with one, Chris Potts, deciding to retire after more than 12 years of service for the community. We are very grateful to Chris for his active involvement on the Council including acting as our representative at National Park Local Plan and Rights of Way public hearings, advising on financial procedures, and working with County Highways to get roads and drains improved in Finsthwaite and Stott Park.

Since the elections, we have learned that another Councillor, Kate Lodge-Brown, is having to move away from the area and sadly must also resign from the Council. During Kate's short term, she has made a very useful and active contribution and we are very sorry to lose her. We wish her all the best in her new location.

Vacancies on the Council: This news of course means that we now have two vacancies on the Council to fill – one in East Ward and one in Central Ward. If you would like to join us, help to see through the policies and actions in our newly produced Community Plan (available on our website), and have a say in the development of the new Lake District Local Plan, then get in touch with the Clerk (details below). A Parish Councillor must be 18 years or over, a British subject or a citizen of a member state of the European Union and be (a) an elector of the parish; or (b) a person who over the whole of the last twelve months has been owner or tenant of land or premises in the parish or has lived in the parish or within three miles or has had his principal place of work in the parish.

 Road markings: As reported at our recent Annual Parish Open meeting at Bouth, it is getting on for 3 years now since our request for renewal of various road markings was approved by Highways and unfortunately we are still waiting. These include yellow lines around Bouth Village Green, SLOW markings on the road at Bouth and Oxen Park and junction linings at Rusland Cross. Your Clerk has had assurance that these will be done this summer.

Our next Parish Council meeting will be held on Monday 6th June  in Colton Church Hall, 7pm  

Monthly News for May 2016

Lake District Local Plan Review: The National Park is embarking on a 5-yearly review of its Local Plan (a document that sets out local planning policies and identifies how land is used, and what can be built where). A meeting between National Park officers and Parish Councils in our  'South Distinctive Area' of the National Park is being held on 20th April to discuss any issues or changes in circumstances that might need policy change. Our recently produced 'Colton Community Plan' and its policies (based on your questionnaire responses) will help inform discussions. Members of the public will be able to feed their opinions into the Local Plan review via the National Park's website.

Illegal Off-road Activity: The police together with the 'Illegal Off-roading Working Group' representatives have been holding a series of 'enforcement days' to target motor vehicles venturing off legal routes. The police have sent out warning letters to the owners of vehicles associated with transporting motor bikes ridden illegally in the Bouth area. All motor vehicles ridden on public roads (and this includes unmetalled 'green lanes') must be road-legal, including having road tax, insurance and visible number plates. There are only 8 legal 'green lane' routes for motor vehicles in Colton Parish (see http://www.coltonparishcouncil.org.uk/Off-Road.htm for details). If you see motor vehicles acting illegally, then please ring the police non-emergency number 101 and give them details and the direction of travel.

Pegg Lane, Oxen Park: We are working closely with County Highways to come up with a collaborative solution to repairing this route, now almost impassable on foot. Highways officers are visiting the lane to assess what repairs are required and will hopefully provide the materials. The tenant of the land has already put drains into the walls that have collapsed due to vehicles attempting to get around the deep puddles. Representatives from responsible off-roading organisations have offered support with carrying out the repairs. We are hopeful that work will be done this summer.

Our Annual Parish Open Meeting followed by our Annual Parish Council meeting will be held on Monday 9th May  in Bouth Village Hall, 7pm  

Monthly News for March/April 2016

Community Transport:  'Voluntary Car Scheme', 'Rural Wheels', 'Village Wheels', 'Community Minibus Service', 'Wheels to Work' - are you confused about all the different Community Transport schemes in Cumbria? Our website now has details and contact information: go to the 'Local Information' link on www.coltonparishcouncil.org.uk

Notice-boards – Oxen Park and Colton: Oxen Park now has a new notice-board mounted on the 'gig-house' door. Many thanks go to David Oldham for his time in sourcing and mounting it for us, and thanks also go to Henry and John Watson who own the gig-house. The original notice-board will now go to Colton (hamlet) to replace their dilapidated one (this was bought under a specific grant scheme some 10 years ago, but sadly was never really fit for purpose).

Rusland Reading Rooms - An 'Asset of Community Value': The Localism Act 2011 gives parishes and community groups the right to nominate a building (e.g. a village hall) or other land for listing by the local authority as an 'Asset of Community Value' (ACV). This means that the community has a 'right to bid' should the owner decide to sell. There is no compulsion on the owner of the asset to sell to the community; the listing simply provides a moratorium on the sale for 6 months to allow the community time to raise funds. We began the listing process with Rusland Reading Rooms and have now received confirmation that has been formally listed as an 'ACV'. We will be contacting other Colton village hall committees to talk about going through the same process.

Our next meeting will  be on Monday 21st March  in Rusland Reading Rooms, 7pm  


Monthly News for January/February 2016:

December Floods: Although most of Colton Parish escaped the worst of the recent flooding, some properties and businesses in Finthswaite and Lakeside were unfortunately inundated, either from the lake or from fell-side water. The Parish Council has expressed its sympathies and sent those affected information and advice from County and District Councils; links are also on the website.

In terms of the roads, County Highways of course have their hands full with the aftermath of the flooding, and your Clerk has been holding back from bothering them for a while. However, even before Storm Desmond, the rains and high tides turned Bouth causeway into a lake, with the water deep enough to cover the top of the hedges.  Despite many calls to County Highways, the road was not closed for 3 days, during which time two cars drove into the floods, resulting in fire engines, police, ambulances and other rescue teams being called out. The Parish Council wrote to County lamenting the waste of resources, which could have been prevented had the road been closed earlier, and asking how the local community could help with early alerts for closing the causeway in future.

Our roads in general are awash with water and debris. Maintenance of our roadside drains have been neglected by County Highways for a long time, with many now so overgrown by the verge that they cannot operate. Archie, our Lengthsman has been working extremely hard in all parts of the Parish to get some of the badly blocked drains running again. He is buying some even longer drain rods!

Green Roads: Some of you will have noticed that Pegg Lane, between Oxen Park and Ickenthwaite, is almost impassable on foot, even wearing wellies. Meanwhile, recreational off-roading groups continue to use these lanes (which they are legally allowed to do), making the situation much worse. Our Chairman has been attempting for at least two years to arrange a meeting with Highways about the status of these lanes.

The next Parish Council meeting will be on Monday 15th Feb  Finsthwaite Village Hall, 7pm  


Monthly News for December2015:

COLTON COMMUNITY PLAN LAUNCH EVENT
With a talk from Archie, our ‘celebrity’ Lengthsman

The Colton Community Plan has now been published and we are holding a free ‘launch event’ on Friday 4th December at Rusland Reading Rooms, 7.30pm.

There will be a light supper, tea & coffee (byo drinks please), and a talk from our ‘Celebrity Lengthsman’, Archie Workman: “My Life in the Gutter! ”.  If you don’t know already, Archie has become something of a media personality, and his drain-cover calendar is in demand world-wide!  

There will be a short presentation of the Plan, how its policies and actions have emerged from the community’s views, and how it will be used as a working document to inform decisions about the future of the parish. There will be an opportunity for questions and a chat with your Councillors over supper. Please book your place with the Clerk on 01229 861408 or email coltonpc@btinternet.com.

The Colton Parish Community Plan is now available on the Parish Council website (see link below). It includes policies and actions that have emerged from local opinion, based on 6 themes: Local Economy;  Landscape and the Natural Environment;  Communities and Well-Being; Housing and Other Development; Roads, Traffic and Transport; and Energy and Sustainability. The Parish Council will use this Plan to inform decisions and spending on future projects.

The next Parish Council meeting will be on Monday 11th January, Bouth Village Hall, 7pm  

 

Monthly News for October2015:

New Councillor for Central Ward: We are very pleased to welcome Kate Lodge-Brown as a new Councillor for Colton Central Ward. Kate lives at Crosslands, Rusland where she lives with her husband and two children, and from where she runs a VW camper-van business.

Adopt-a-Path Scheme for Colton's Rights-of-Way: The National Park, like other public bodies, have suffered a significant reduction in government funding in recent years, resulting in staff redundancies and a re-assessment of priorities. Although there is already a formal system of trained volunteers working alongside the National Park staff rangers, it is just not possible for them to keep an eye on the condition of all rights-of-way. Noticing that some of our footpaths and bridleways are overgrown and some stiles in need of replacement, we have suggested that we try an 'adopt-a-path' monitoring scheme using local volunteers. If you would like to join in with others in adopting a local right-of-way and reporting back on its condition, please get in touch with the Clerk, Mandy Lane (details below).

Super-fast Broadband (SFBB) - Winners and Losers:  Mike Postle, our 'Broadband Champion', reported to the Council at our September meeting on the latest news from the Connecting Cumbria initiative. Maps now released for Phase 1 of the initiative (expected to be completed by Spring 2016) show that SFBB connectivity is planned for the south of the parish - Lakeside, Finsthwaite, Bouth and Spark Bridge; these are the 'winners'.  However, the central and northern sector of Colton Parish (Bandrake Head, Oxen Park, Rusland) looks like a 'broadband desert' and these areas are unlikely to see any benefit at all. Nibthwaite and the northern end of Colton hamlet are at the far range of the Spark Bridge SFBB cabinet and may well see no increase in speeds. The Parish Council is working closely with Mike Postle to lobby hard for better connectivity for in Phase 2.  See Mike's very helpful blog for regular updates: http://postleorg.coffeecup.com/stream/

Monthly News for September2015:

Two years ago, an LPG purchasing group was set up with a view to saving money for all its members. A survey of those interested quickly revealed that a surprisingly wide range of prices were being charged for the gas supplied. The only consistent thing was that everyone was paying much more than they could have been! A group price, which represented a substantial saving for everyone, was negotiated with Calor  (including for those who were already Calor customers). It is now time to review the current arrangement and to agree a new price with Calor, or with another supplier, if Calor is not competitive. If you live within the area broadly bounded by Lowick and Water Yeat to the West; Finsthwaite and Lakeside to the East; Satterthwaite and Grizedale to the North; and the A590 to the South, and are interested in being part of the purchasing group, contact Rick Emslie at rick.emslie@oxenpark.eu or on 07785 248145.

Monthly News for August 2015:

Do you want a say in the future of your community? Then come and join us as a Parish Councillor. We currently have a vacancy for co-option in central ward: this covers Bouth and Rusland - click on the map on www.coltonparishcouncil.org,uk to see the Parish and ward boundaries. As a Councillor you are able to comment and vote on a wide range of consultations that affect our community, from planning applications to health services. We are known as an active, positive and good-humoured team! A Community Plan has recently been completed which consolidates the views and aspirations of the community for the future of the Parish – come and help us embark on projects to see these through.

A parish councillor must be 18 or over, a British subject or a citizen of a member state of the EU and be (a) an elector of the parish; or (b) a person who, over the whole of the last 12 months, has been owner or tenant of land or premises in the ward or has lived in the ward (or within 3 miles of it) or has had his/her principal place of work in the ward.

If you want to find out more, then please contact the Clerk, Mandy Lane, or the Chairman, Colin Barr (both on 01229 861408, or email Mandy on coltonpc@btinternet.com or Colin on cj.barr@btinternet.com), or speak to your local Parish Councillor – their details are on the website under 'Your Councillors'.

The next Parish Council meeting will be on Monday 7th Sept, 7pm, Finsthwaite Village Hall

Mandy Lane (Clerk), T: 01229 861408, E: coltonpc@btinternet.com W: www.coltonparishcouncil.org.uk

 

Monthly News for July 2015:

LDNPA: Proposed new Rights of Way (footpath and bridleway), Rusland: The National Park has consulted the Parish Council about two proposals to create rights of way, as follows:

i) Footpath, Border Moss. To dedicate the present permitted path from Crooks Bridge through Border Moss wood to Rusland Beeches road as a public footpath. This would secure the path in perpetuity and create a link to the new path network already established in Yewbarrow woods. A short section of the proposed route between the end of the bridge and the woods is owned privately.  The landowner has very kindly offered to dedicate this short stretch to the public.

ii) Bridleway (horse-riders and cyclists), Stony Hazel woods: Creation of a bridleway from the southern gate to Stony Hazel woods northwards to meet the UCR at Force Mills. The land is statutory open access land – which means that it is permanently open to walkers.  But there is currently no legal access for horse-riders or cyclists.  A track runs through the entire plot, and the Park considers that this would be suitable for a bridleway and would give riders more opportunities for circular routes.

If you would like to express your views on the above proposals, please email Mandy Lane (Clerk) on coltonpc@btinternet.com or write to her at Lilac Cottage, Oxen Park, Ulverston. LA12 8HG, before 13th June. Please include your name and address in all correspondence. The Council will be considering these proposals at its 20th July meeting at Rusland.

More details including maps are posted on our website: www.coltonparishcouncil.org.uk

The next Parish Council meeting will be on Monday 20th July, 7pm, Rusland Reading Rooms

 

Monthly News for June 2015:

Broadband:  (From Mike Postle's blog - http://postleorg.coffeecup.com/stream/A sunny Saturday afternoon saw a steady stream of people bringing smart phones and tablets to Colton Church Hall, connecting up to the demonstration Wi-Fi link and experiencing speeds of the order of 40 Mb/s both up and downstream. Also showing was a continuous streaming from the BBC iPlayer and a demonstration of videoconferencing. Oh the joys of high definition pictures, no delays and virtually no buffering! At one stage, there were 17 people all connected with no noticeable decrease in speeds. The demonstration, courtesy of WMY Systems Ltd, certainly showed that the technology – which relied on radio links and fed back into the B4RN network across Morecambe Bay - worked well and has the potential to be a cost effective solution to bringing Superfast (or even ultrafast) Broadband to rural areas such as ours.

Crake website:  www.crake.org is a website co-funded by the parish councils that surround the Crake Valley, though its usefulness extends beyond those boundaries – don't be put off by the name!  It is a 'meta-website' in that it provides a portal to local parish councils, village halls and community groups in our general area. What makes this website very different to most others is that it allows registered individuals to add content, both in terms of  their own pages, and to add their own events to an over-arching 'Events Calendar'. You can see at a glance what’s on in the next month, and publicise your own events. For more information on how to use the site and register to add content, contact the Clerk.

The next Parish Council meeting will be on Monday 8th June, 7:30pm, Colton Church Hall
 

Monthly News for May 2015:

Environment Agency Walk along Ashes Beck, Rusland, 10th March:  The Environment Agency had attended a Parish Council meeting in December to talk about 'flood awareness' in Rusland, designated as an area at risk of 'flash flooding'. Reduced resources mean that the Agency could only be concerned with potential flooding of properties, and particularly those in the larger villages and towns. Householders in sparse rural areas were unlikely to receive direct help, so self-help was being encouraged as much as possible. A walk along Ashes Beck with EA staff was organised to show landowners how they could keep river channels free of obstructions. Some work, particularly if heavy machinery was proposed, would require consent from the EA and from Natural England. The 'in-river' working window is between May and September, and nesting season of birds also needs to be taken into account when working on river banks.

Police Officer changes: Our local Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), Diana Wilcock, is retiring from her position to work for the Ambulance Service.  We thanked her for her regular attendance at Council meetings and her support for the local community. PCSO Paul Harris will be taking over as our nominated officer. He is acting on our request to monitor traffic speed and is liaising with the Clerk and his colleagues about appropriate locations.

Illegal off-roading: There has been an increase in illegal of-roading, mainly concerning trail bikes: a) Trail bikes by-passing the seasonal TRO barriers at The Strands, Rusland and going through the river - the National Park and the Environment Agency have been alerted, b) Trail bikes 'playing' in fields at Nibthwaite, c) Vehicles using the Thwaite Moss to Force Mills green road, despite its temporary closure. Anyone seeing illegal off-road activity should call the police on 101 as soon as possible, and also report it to the National Park email address: hq@lakedistrict.gov.uk. A webpage on illegal activity and how to report it will be re-instated on our website shortly.

Lake District National Park – Land Sales and Acquisitions: i) No interest has yet been expressed in the sale of woodland at Waterside Knott at Newby Bridge; the LDNPA will continue to look for an appropriate buyer. ii) Land between the road and the railway from Newby Bridge to Lakeside has been bought by a consortium that includes the National Park, with the aim of establishing more public access. This would be very welcome, given the danger to pedestrians walking on the road between the bridge and Lakeside.

The next Parish Council meeting will be our annual Parish Open Meeting followed by our Annual Parish Council meeting on Tuesday 5th May, 7:30pm, Bouth Village Hall

 

Monthly News for April 2015:

Private Water Supply Testing – correction: You may have read the press release from South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) in our recent Colton PC newsletter about compulsory testing of water supplies. The press release stated that SLDC was legally required to carry out risk assessments on all private supplies in the district, to make sure they meet Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) standards, and that the cost of the assessment is borne by the householders on the supply. We are grateful to a local resident for pointing out that this is not quite the case: a water supply that serves only one private domestic dwelling where no commercial activity takes place, is exempt; these supplies will only be sampled and risk-assessed at the request of the owner or occupier. We have been in touch with SLDC who have apologised if anyone felt misled, explaining that the legislation is quite complicated to explain succinctly. They repeated that anyone with concerns or in need of more detail can contact SLDC’s Environmental Protection Team on 01539 733333, or visit their website: www.southlakeland.gov.uk/environmental-health/private-water-supplies/

LDNPA Sale of woodland at Waterside Knott, Newby Bridge: Your Council expressed its concerns to the National Park Authority about their proposed sale of this important ancient semi-natural woodland, asking that i) if the woodland had to be sold, that the LDNPA ensure sale to a responsible buyer who will manage and maintain the woodland in line with the landscape, wildlife and cultural aims and duties of the Authority, in perpetuity if possible, ii) that the permissive paths be dedicated as formal rights of way, before sale, and iii) that the tower be protected. The LDNPA has confirmed that they would be in a position to determine a responsible buyer, and that a restrictive convenant was already in the deeds to ensure public access, forestry or agricultural use and protection of the deciduous woodland. We have just heard that the permissive paths have now been dedicated as formal rights of way. The tower is Grade II listed which brings with it certain planning protections.

National Trust: Plans for Fell-Foot Park:  Representatives from the National Trust's Fell Foot Park at the southern end of Windermere gave a talk at our February meeting on proposed developments at the site. The plans are due to be submitted in April and will include restoration of historic boathouses, the replacement of the old chalets near the present entrance area with camping pods, a new entrance and larger car-park created to the south with tree-planting for screening, a new café built near the old house lawn, and conversion of the old gas house into offices and a shower-block for campers.

The next Parish Council meeting will be our annual Parish Open Meeting followed by our Annual Parish Council meeting on Tuesday 5th May, 7:30pm, Bouth Village Hall

Mandy Lane (Clerk), T: 01229 861408, E: coltonpc@btinternet.com W: www.coltonparishcouncil.org.uk

 

Monthly News for March 2015:

Hay Bridge Moss: Plans for the restoration of Hay Bridge Moss have been supported and approved, following a long period of consultation, discussion and agreement about the planned works and their possible impact on the surrounding land. The Moss is part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest and, as a 'lowland raised bog', represents a rare habitat in the UK - Cumbria is one of the few places where these bogs remain. However, the Moss has dried out over the years and the plants and animals it once supported have declined.  Restoration to 'favourable condition' means installing a peat and clay 'bund' around the bog to retain the rainwater, creating the right conditions for the sphagnum moss to grow back.  

Concerns about the effect this bund could have on flooding of surrounding farmland led to the Parish Council initially objecting to the plans. However, discussions between the National Park Authority, the Parish Council, the Rusland Mosses Liaison Group, Natural England, and the John Strutt Foundation (Hay Bridge) about the nature of the bund and its height have led to agreement on modifications to the plans to allow the works to go ahead. The bund itself will now not extend above the level of the surrounding land surface, thus allowing rainwater to be retained, whilst still providing a 'sink' for floodwaters. The bund will have a turf capping of no more than 150mm which will gradually flatten out. The National Park Authority have approved the plans, and engineering works will start soon.

Footpaths across the Mosses: The various footpaths that run across the mosses (Hulleter, Hay Bridge, and Rusland Moss) are in need of attention – they are impassable in some places and the boardwalks need mending. The Clerk and our local field ranger, 'Wilky', are meeting on the mosses early March to discuss what needs to be done.

Vacancy for a Councillor: We still have a vacancy for a councillor.  Please get in touch with the Clerk (contact details below) if you would like to have a say in the future of your parish.

The next Parish Council meeting will be on Monday 23rd March, 7:30pm, Rusland Reading Rooms

 

Monthly News for January/February 2015:

Vacancy for a Councillor: We currently  have a vacancy for a councillor in Central Ward, as Anne Robinson has decided to step down due to family and other commitments. Anne served on the Council for seven years and we will miss her invaluable local knowledge and her helpful contributions on health issues in particular. We thank her for all her hard work and commitment to the Council.

Please get in touch with the Clerk if you are interested in being co-opted to the Council and having a say in the future of the parish. A parish councillor must be 18 or over, a British subject or a citizen of a member state of the EU and be (a) an elector of the parish; or (b) a person who, over the whole of the last 12 months, has been owner or tenant of land or premises in the ward or has lived in the ward (or within 3 miles of it) or has had his/her principal place of work in the ward. We are an active, positive and good-humoured team! A Community Plan has recently been completed which consolidates the views and aspirations of the community for the future of the Parish – come and help us embark on projects to see these through.

A map of Colton Parish and ward boundaries can be found on our website: www.coltonparishcouncil.org.uk (click on the map on the left-hand side).

If you want to find out more about becoming a Councillor and what it involves, then please contact the Clerk, Mandy Lane, or the Chairman, Colin Barr – both on 01229 861408.

The next Parish Council meeting will be on Monday 12th January, 7:30pm, Bouth Village Hall.

Mandy Lane (Clerk), T: 01229 861408, E: coltonpc@btinternet.com W: www.coltonparishcouncil.org.uk