Monthly News Update – April 2018
Lengthsman: Archie has been busy as usual. A summary of his work is as follows; Penny Bridge work completed. Drainage cleared at Ickenthwiate. Rusland Triangle drains cleared. Wall repaired at Tottlebank crossroads (this has since been knocked down again). Drains cleared at Lakeside. Bouth to A590 litter pick created 3 bin bags full of an assortment of rubbish. Mapping work on drains continues.
Litter: There seems to be an increasing amount of litter in the parish. There are of course hotspots, and these are our rural roads that are closest to the A590. All councillors agree that there needs to be a concerted effort to tackle not only the litter, but the business establishments supplying the packaging. It is hoped that litter picks can be organised in the parish so watch this space for dates or do get in touch if you would like to help organise or be involved.
New look website: The council decided recently that it was time to give the website a new and more modern look. We have been struggling with the dated back office systems for the old site and this pushed us into swapping for a new package. Hopefully we have kept all the right bits of information so do take a look and let us know if something is missing. www.coltonparishcouncil.org.uk
Our next parish meeting is The Annual Parish Open Meeting & the Annual Colton Parish Council Meeting are to be held on Monday 14th May, 7pm at Bouth Village Hall. All are welcome to attend, there is the chance to hear the Chairman’s report which reflects the work of the council over the past 12 months.
Monthly News Update – March 2018
Lengthsman: Another hectic month for the Lengthsman, making maximum use of the hours that the parish allocates to this role. Lakeside has had drains uncovered, unblocked and verges cut back to try and ease flooding on the road. Lowick Bridge has had potholes temporarily filled in and logged on the Highways Hotline for a more permanent repair. Penny Bridge has had some attention to trees and verges. Ickenthwaite got blocked drains cleared. Rusland Vicarage Triangle not only had the drains cleared but had a visit from Cumbria County Council staff to plan a way forward to reduce road flooding in this area.
Highways Hotline: This is a reminder to you all that you can log any issues you have with regards highways via the online system. Go to www.cumbria.gov.uk and ‘Report a highway fault’, whilst the system is a great way of alerting Cumbria County Council to issues that we have within the parish it needs to be noted that when an issue it closed/completed it doesn’t mean the issue is no longer there it means that Cumbria County Council have logged the fault and have a timetabled plan to attend to it.
Councillor vacancy: The council is still looking for a volunteer from the Finsthwaite and Lakeside area to become a councillor for this ward. We are particularly keen to have someone from this area to represent the views of local people both at council meetings and within the wider community. If you or anyone you know may be interested in this role then do get in touch for an informal chat.
GDPR: It is hard not to have heard about GDPR; or as most of us are referring to it as the new Data Protection laws as we keep being reminded about how organisations need to be ready for the changes. Parish councils are no different. The Clerk and one of the councillors recently attend a training course to help get the council ready to be compliant. It must be said that in principle the changes are easy to understand and that with the use of the Information Commissioner’s Office website www.ico.org.uk any organisation handling data can be compliant.
Monthly News Update – February 2018
Braodband: Mike the councils Broadband champion has been working hard over the months to better the connection we all have with our internet speeds. This is where we are at now; Superfast Broadband is available in Newby Bridge, Finsthwaite, Bouth and Spark Bridge. Oxen Park to follow shortly. Areas of poor connectivity remaining; Colton, Nibthwaite and parts of Rusland. People need to swap to Superfast when available as the more people that do the more money is ploughed back into the scheme, a changeover won’t happen automatically. Costs are becoming prohibitive as remaining properties become more remote and there is currently no option for a community to provide top up funds. Mike will submit a restructured application for Satterthwaite exchange (Rusland area) this time he will need to exclude hard to reach properties in the hope that easier properties might then be successful. Remote nodes (on poles) could be an option here. There is hope for even the hardest to reach properties as the Government have decided there will be a legal right to 10mb/s though this may not be until 2020 at earliest.
Lengthsman: I am yet again starting the lengthsman’s update with it was another busy month, this time Archie has been hard at work around Finsthwaite unblocking drains that were causing flooded and icy roads. The Lengthsman now has SLOW signs encouraging cars to slow down whilst he is at work. Whilst out in Finsthwaite Archie has been able to complete a map of Finsthwaite drains which will be useful for both the Parish Council and Cumbria County Council. The Hay Bridge sign in Bouth has been repainted and looks very smart. The area around the bench at Colton Church has been strimmed and tidied; though it has perhaps been too wet and cold for anyone to appreciate this just yet. All Oxen Park signs have been cleaned, chevrons re-positioned and signpost to Bouth realigned. Great tidying up, thanks Archie.
Charitable donation: Each year the Council allocates an amount of money to support worthy causes which have a direct impact on the people living in and visiting our parish. This year the councillors decided to donate £150 of funds to the Hawkshead & Satterthwaite First Responders. This team covers a wide area and are the people we see when there is a medical emergency before an ambulance has arrived. We are fortunate to have 3 of the 4 team members living in the parish, however there is always a plea from them for more volunteers to help with this essential community resource. The donation is going to be used to help fund the defibrillators out in the community and buy signs to make people aware of them.
Councillor vacancy: The council has for a few months now been looking to recruit a new Councillor from the Finsthwaite and Lakeside area of the parish. It is a volunteer role that is vital to represent the views of the community and work to better the lives of people living across the whole parish. If you or anyone you know may be interested in this role then do get in touch for an informal chat.
Monthly News Update – January 2018
Lengthsman: After a busy month in November with flooding Archie had a quieter time in December. He has cleared around the bench at Colton church, so it is now a pleasant place to sit and rest. Road signs at both Oxen Park and Hay Bridge have had some TLC. The Hay Bridge one is looking particularly splendid now, thanks Archie. Work has also been done to help with the mapping of all the drains within the parish, not an easy task; 36 recorded this month just in Finsthwaite. Of course, looking for the drains has now revealed 6 that need unblocking which will be scheduled over the coming weeks.
Planning Applications: There seems to be more planning application being submitted to the Lake District National Park Authority than usual at the moment. These do take up a Councillors time but are a part of the role where the council can really be used to represent the views of those living in the parish. It is worth remembering that there are several documents the councillors refer to when making their decisions; these are LDNPA policy and the Colton Parish Council Community Plan. It is through these that the decisions can be unbiased and in support of the wider community.
Illegal off-road vehicles: The Council has been made aware of increasing damage to Bethecar Moor through the use of off-road vehicles. Whilst the vehicles can legally use a Byway or Green Lane as they are sometimes known the damage is being done when the vehicles deviate from the Byway, possible because of obstructions or better routes. If anyone is concerned about vehicles damaging Bethecar Moor, then reports can be made to the police using 101.
Rural crime Initiative: A decision has been made by Colton Parish Council to withdraw from the Rural Crime Initiative that it was jointly involved with. The reasoning was broadly due to the additional workload it would have placed on the council at a time of a reduced number of councillors to drive such a project forward. This does not mean that the parish council is not still keen to tackle rural crime, it just means there are certain aspects they will no longer be involved in.
Monthly News update – December 2017
Police and Crime Commissioner’s survey regarding Council Tax for policing: You may have heard in the local news that Peter McCall, the Police & Crime Commissioner for Cumbria wishes to raise the amount residents pay through their council tax to cover policing in our communities. He is asking if residents will pay an additional 1.92% next year. If you would like to comment on the consultation, then please follow this link https://cumbria-pcc.gov.uk/finance-governance/budget-finance/budgets/
Forestry work at Grizedale: Over the coming months there will be winter woodland thinning taking place within Grizedale forest. The main route for haulage vehicles who are extracting the wood is via the Grizedale to Colton Road. Please be aware that there is going to be an increase in traffic along this road, but the hauliers have been requested to respect the communities who live and travel along these narrow country lanes.
Lengthsman: Another busy month for Archie out clearing flood water and unblocking drains. Lin Bridge – Cleared flooded drain, cut back vegetation and swept road, Finsthwaite – Cleared 4 blocked drains, cut back vegetation, dug out blocked drain chamber, Colton-Oxen Park Road – Cleared 12 drains after hedge trimming works, Rusland – Cleared flood water, unblocked drains and swept the road, Thwaite Head – Dug out drains, cut back damaged verges, Rusland Triangle – Dug out and rodded 5 drains after flooding. As always please do remember to log any highways incidents through Cumbria County Councils hotline 0300 303 2992 (answer phone service evenings, weekends and public holidays) or visit www.cumbria.gov.uk
Community Transport: A number of community transport schemes operate in Colton mainly through the efforts of volunteers and Cumbria CC.
1. The Voluntary Car Scheme – organized by Cumbria CC and run by local coordinator (Marguerite Calvert 01229 885498). Pre-book via the coordinator, costs 45p per mile for a door to door service. Drivers are paid 45p per mile, more volunteer drivers are always being sought.
2. Rural Wheels – administered by Cumbria CC (contact 0845 6023786). Users purchase a £5 smartcard to register which comes with £5 credit. The service uses local taxis, must be undertaken between 8.30am and 6pm and is limited to 2 return door to door trips per week to the nearest town. Costs 45p per mile (or 25p for shared journeys).
3. The Community Minibus scheme provides accessible and affordable transport for community groups, either self-drive or with a volunteer driver. www.cumbriact.org.uk or Linda Howarth on 01539 727001.
4. The Royal Voluntary Service (contact 0845 608 0122) which provides help particularly to the elderly to get to hospital and GP appointments, but also shops and town trips.
5. NHS Patient Transport – If you are unable to use public transport due to a medical reason, you may be eligible for transport to hospital appointments or after discharge from hospital. Ask your GP surgery for more information.