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Summer 2016 News Articles:
As you receive this Newsletter you are living in a parish of outstanding beauty with a wonderful range of wildlife that includes the ancient Furness Red Deer Herd and many roe deer. Sadly, the area has been targeted by deer poachers who often turn to other forms of rural crime, for example thefts of vehicles, livestock and farm equipment. You may already know all this and are wondering what is being done about it!
The humane management of deer numbers is carried out by qualified wildlife rangers and deerstalkers. Population assessments and control measures are co-ordinated by the South Lakes Deer Management Group (SLDMG) which covers the Colton Parish area. Private individuals with a licensed firearm may also shoot deer on their own land. Restrictions apply to anyone involved in shooting deer:
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), and 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.
If you witness unknown people in unfamiliar vehicles lamping local fields and woods at night, then they are almost certainly poaching. These poachers may use rifles with night sights and sound moderators, but frequently use dogs to pull down deer, causing immense suffering. If you see anything suspicious, then please report it IMMEDIATELY to the police on the ‘101’ service (or ‘999’ if an emergency). The only exception to such lamping activities at night would be local people carrying out legitimate fox or rabbit control. It would be wise policy to find out those people and vehicles taking part in legitimate wildlife management in your area. The SLDMG can provide information about legitimate deer management activity - contact details at the end of this article.
There are serious welfare issues regarding the poaching of deer. Since March, five red hinds have been killed in your area using dogs; the deer are then dispatched with a club or knife. At least two of these hinds were heavily pregnant. Often carcases are left hidden overnight to be collected the next day. This can have implications for potentially tainted venison entering the human food chain. If you see carcases or the remains of deer then please also report these to the police on 101 as soon as possible.
The Parish Council works with the SLDMG and is increasingly concerned about the incidents of rural crime and poaching in particular. They encourage you to be vigilant and report suspicious activity immediately to the police on 101 (please persist until you get a response and ask for a log number) or 999 if an emergency. Other useful contacts are i) Forestry Commission Wildlife Ranger Jon Beardsley on 07990 563761 ii) The North of England Deer Liaison Officer for the Deer Initiative, Alastair Boston on 07855 606877 iii) Bob Jarratt, Secretary of the SLDMG on 07733 225769.
Bob Jarratt SLDMG
Your Parish Council has been working with partners including the LDNPA, Forestry Commission, Trail Riders Federation, Green Lane Association and Cumbria Police to tackle illegal off-road motoring in this area of South Lakeland. Two successful enforcement days resulted in six riders being stopped and advised about legal routes, and two issued with Traffic Offence Reports and Section 59 Warnings. Sgt Rupert Johnston of the Ulverston & Furness Policing team said: “This was a very successful day of action targetting the illegal and anti-social use of motor vehicles abusing our countryside. It is important that motorists research and seek advice to check they are driving legally. Further operations will be run this summer as we are determined to do all we can to prevent further damage to the fells and distress to residents and visitors.”
The Parish Council has allocated a small community grant fund this year (Total: £300) into which local organisations, such as village hall committees, may bid for small items such as replacement kitchen items or minor repairs. Please complete an application form (PDF, or Word version on request), and send it to the Clerk, Mandy Lane (details below). Grant applications will be considered at our September 5th meeting.
Councillor Chris Potts decided to retire from the Parish Council after more than 12 years of service, and so did not stand at our May elections. We are very grateful to Chris for his active involvement on a variety of issues including representing the Council and community at National Park Local Plan and Rights of Way public hearings, advising on financial procedures, and working with County to get roads and drains improved in Finsthwaite and Stott Park.
We are delighted to welcome Walter Oates (pictured right) from Lakeside as a new Councillor for East Ward, having been co-opted at our July meeting. Walter has a background in civil engineering and worked all over the world, settling in Lakeside in 1997. His family also live locally. Both he and his wife are keen volunteers for the ‘Fix the Fells’ programme.
Cllr Lodge-Brown, from Rusland, is moving away and, sadly, has had to resign. We are very sorry to lose Kate who has contributed much during her short time as Councillor; we wish her luck in her new location. This of course leaves a vacancy open in Central Ward (covering Rusland and Bouth). Please contact the Clerk (see back page) if you are interested. 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.)
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).
NEW HIGHWAYS HOTLINE NUMBER: 0300 303 2992. To report road surface defects (potholes etc.), contact the Highways Hotline on the new number above, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or report online to the County website: www.cumbria.gov.uk and go via ’Roads and Travel’ to the 'Report a Fault' page.
LENGTHSMAN: To ask for Archie, our Lengthsman, to attend (for drains, strimming etc.) , contact the Clerk (details below). You can now see details of all his hard work on our website, under the Highways link.
COMMUNITY PLAN ACTION PLAN: Our Community Plan, published last year, includes an Action Plan for the six key topic areas identified during the consultation process. Each topic area is coordinated by a lead Councillor as ‘portfolio-holder’, as follows: Local Economy (to be re-assigned following Cllr Potts’ resignation), Landscape & Environment (Cllr Champion), Communities and Well-Being (Cllr Hoyle), Housing & Development (Cllr Dean), Roads, Traffic &Transport (Cllr Barr), Energy & Sustainability (Cllr Patterson).
Agendas and authorised minutes of meetings are
available from the Clerk,
on this website and on your notice boards.
Cumbria County Councillor (High Furness Division):
Mr David Fletcher 015395 36673