Carnforth Town Council Minutes – September 2023

Minutes Uploaded on April 20, 2024

Minutes of meeting held on 20th September 2023 at 6:30pm at Carnforth Council Offices

Present:                      Councillors Grisenthwaite (Town Mayor); Jones; Bromilow; Paula Gardner; Laurence; Richmond; Roe and Turner. Councillor Parker joined the meeting electronically.

In attendance:            Ward Councillor Louise Belcher.

23093          Apologies:  Apologies were received and accepted from Councillors, Paul Gardner, Hanna, Smith and Parker and County Councillor Williamson.  All reasons for apologies given by Town Councillors were accepted.
23094          Declaration on interests and dispensations: There were no declarations of interest or dispensations directly relating to matters on the agenda.
23095          Urgent Business:  Councillor Grisenthwaite commented that following the withdrawal of the proposed development in Bailrigg the Lancaster & District Local Plan would be subject to review as Lancaster City Council will need to identify alternative locations to meet its statutory requirements for new build properties.  It was noted that the Carnforth Neighbourhood Plan is also likely to need a review as a result.

Councillor Grisenthwaite reminded Councillors of the scheduled Leadership & Development day and outlined the content.  All Councillors were encouraged to attend.   

23096          Minutes: Subject to a minor amendment, it was RESOLVED that the Minutes of the meeting of Carnforth Town Council held on 19th July 2023 be approved.
23097          Adjournment for public discussion and information only updates:

1)     Public Discussion:  No members of the public were in attendance.

2)     Councillor updates / matters: The Town Mayor reported on his activities in the last month, including an interesting and informative invitation to an open day for Town / Parish Council Mayors by North West Air Ambulance Service and, representing the Council on the recent Carnforth Twinning Association visit to Sailly-sur-la-lys.  The Town Clerk, who had also visited, outlined the activities undertaken and his views on the benefits associated with the Town’s association with Sailly.  In response to a question, it was confirmed that the visit had not been funded by Carnforth Town Council.

Councillor Paula Gardner provided an update on the Highfield Park event.  Councillor Laurence had represented Carnforth Town Council at the recent Battle of Britain Service.

Councillor Bromilow has been volunteering at the Vaccination Centre and, acting with trustees of a local charity, overseen the award of grants to local primary schools for musical equipment and to the project being led by the Friends of Carnforth Canal Park.

Councillor Roe has been assisting the Outdoor Maintenance Officer and Councillor Turner commented on a recent ‘open’ meeting with Carnforth (Highfield) Allotment holders, which had been very positive and proactive for everyone involved, with a clear way forward being agreed.

3)     Reports of Ward & County Councillors:  Ward Councillors Belcher commented and provided updates on planning applications currently under consideration by Lancaster City Council that effect Carnforth and its surrounding area.

She also reported on a City Councillors briefing on the proposal to revoke Carnforth (and Galgate) Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs).

4)     Reports from outside bodies:  Councillor Jones commented on the Annual general Meeting of the Carnforth Carnival Committee and their plans for the 2024 Carnival.  Councillor Laurence reported on the recent activities and plans of the Friends of Carnforth Canal Park and the last meeting of the Chamber of Trade who are planning a Business Expo, Christmas Switch on and a community award scheme.

Councillor Paula Gardner reported that she had met with representatives from Carnforth Rotary and Carnforth Inner Wheel.

The Town Mayor, reported on the Quarry Liaison Group meeting including a consultation commencing in November on an extension to the Quarry.

It was then RESOLVED that reports of Town Councillors and Outside Bodies be noted

23098          Planning applications & statutory consultations:  Councillors considered the following planning applications and road traffic orders:

Application No: Description
23/0123/TPO Fell Sycamore trees – 152 Lancaster Road, Carnforth LA5 9EE Recommendation:  Support planning application in principal
23/00699/FUL Amended: Relevant demolition of Church and erection of two storey building comprising of 9 apartments and bin store with associated garden areas and landscaping – Pentecostal Church, Hunter Street, Carnforth LA5 9BP

Recommendation:  Object to the planning application

23/00872/FUL Change of use from living accommodation to hotel and alterations to shop front windows and doors – 3-7 New Street Carnforth, LA5 9BX

Recommendation:  Object to the planning application


Application No: Description
23/00875/FUL Change of use from retail store to hot food takeaway and installation of flue to rear elevations – 31 Market Street, Carnforth, LA5 9JX

Recommendation:  Object to the planning application

Councillors considered and commented on the above planning applications and the recommendations made by the Town Development & Planning Committee.

It was then RESOLVED that the recommendations of the Town Development and Planning Committee be approved.

23099          Planning Authority Decisions:  Councillors considered the up-to-date position on decisions of the planning authority (Lancaster City Council) on planning applications previously considered.  Three planning applications are awaiting decision, two have been permitted and one (Planning application 23/00699/FUL) has been withdrawn.

It was then  RESOLVED that the update on the planning authority’s decisions be noted.

23100          Carnforth Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA):  It was reported that Lancaster City Council is proposing to revoke the Air Quality Management Areas covering the areas around the main centre crossroads in Galgate and Carnforth.

Initially, information on the proposals and an online consultation survey had been published with a deadline on 18th October, but this has now been postponed to allow for a briefing to be presented to Ward and Town Councillors at a date to be confirmed..

After some comments, it was RESOLVED that the update be noted and that Councillors be informed on the briefing in due course.

23101          Town Development & Planning Committee:  Councillor Laurence reported on the recommendations and actions arising from the meeting of the Town Development & Planning Committee held on 11th September 2023, including:

1)       Proposed revocation of Carnforth as a designated Air Quality Management Area (AQMA);

2)       Advice from the Council’s Solicitor on responsibility for the Market Street Clock;

3)       Planning applications;

4)       Arrangements for Remembrance Sunday;

5)       Support for establishing a Friends of Highfield Play Area group;

6)       Carnforth Fringe 2024;

7)       100th anniversary of the War Memorial Gardens and Cenotaph;

8)       Award of Citizen of Merit certificates following the clean-up at Back New Street.

It was then RESOLVED that the report, actions and recommendations of the Town Development & Planning Committee be noted and approved.

23102          Carnforth Fringe:  It was reported that a there was a proposal to build on the 2023 Fringe in 2024 with an extended event in collaboration with Morecambe Fringe and the Chamber of Trade.  Councillors broadly discussed the risks and benefits associated with the proposal.

It was then RESOLVED that the rationale behind the project be developed into a detailed project / business plan for more detailed consideration as part of the budget process for 2024 / 2025.

23103          Property & Environment Committee:  Councillor Bromilow reported on the recommendations and actions arising from the meeting of the Property & Environment Committee held on 5th  September 2023, including:

1)       Revised agreement for fire and security services and a refund to Carnforth Town Council;

2)       Actions arising from the recent ‘Love Highfield’ event;

3)       Back New Street clean up and invitation to local residents / community groups to suggest further locations;

4)       Ongoing discussions on major projects to upgrade the heating systems and other potential capital works at both Carnforth Civic Hall and Crag Bank Village Hall;

5)       Weeding contract between Lancashire County Council and Morecambe Town Council;

6)       Carnforth Highfield Allotments;

7)       Environmental and public realm matters and updates;

8)       Actions arising following a Premises Licence being awarded to Carnforth Civic Hall;

9)       Crag Bank Village Hall bookings and delegated action taken to reinstate the WIFI connection and arrange for urgent repairs to the heating system.

It was then RESOLVED that the report, actions and recommendations of the Property & Environment Committee be noted and approved.

23104          Finance & Governance Committee:  Councillor Jones reported on the recommendations and actions arising from the meeting of the Finance & Governance Committee held on 18th September 2023, including:

1)       A recommendation that Carnforth Town Council works in collaboration with Eggcup, Lancaster City Council and Carnforth Integrated Care Community to set up a food club in Carnforth;

2)       Bank reconciliation and budget monitoring as at 31st August 2023 (Month 5);

3)       Audit of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) for year ended 31st March 2023; (see also Agenda item 23105)

4)       A recommendation that Carnforth Town Council continues to promote the Co-wheels Car sharing scheme in the town but withdraws its financial support in 2024/2025;

5)       A discussion on Government funding (£150 million over 4 years) to support community groups and parish/town councils to ‘..take ownership of assets and amenities at risk of being lost’.

6)       A recommendation that Carnforth Town Council makes a formal submission for the Town & Parish Council ‘Foundation Award’ by the end of the current financial year;

After some comments, It was RESOLVED that the report, actions and recommendations of the Finance & Governance Committee be noted and approved.

23105          Annual Governance & Accountability Return (AGAR) 2022/2023:  The Town Clerk reported that the external auditor has concluded that Carnforth Town Council’s financial management and reporting and governance arrangements for the financial year 2022/2023 were ‘…in accordance, with Proper Practices and no matters have come to our attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirements have not been met’.

Councillors were informed that the Council’s accounts had been randomly selected for a more detailed review, involving the submission of additional documentation and further questions by the external auditors.  Their conclusion provides a high level of assurance that the Council has sound internal controls in place and provides ‘good value for money, good governance and safeguarding if its assets on behalf of the Carnforth community’. 

The Town Clerk advised that legislation now requires the Council to publish a ‘Notice of Conclusion of Audit’ by 30th September.

After some comments, it was RESOLVED that the Town Clerk and Finance and Governance Committee be congratulated on their management of the Council’s accounts and governance arrangements and that the ‘Notice of Conclusion of Audit’ be published.

23093          Payments for Authorisation: Councillors considered an updated list of payments awaiting authorisation.  It was noted that the Town Mayor had awarded donations to North West Air Ambulance Service and St John’s Hospice from his annual budget and allowances.

After some comments it was RESOLVED that payments as set out be authorised.

23094          Correspondence:  Councillors considered correspondence received in the last month.

It was then RESOLVED that the correspondence be noted.

23095          Items for next Agenda: It was suggested that budget monitoring for 2023 / 2024 and planning for the next three financial years be considered at each Council meeting until formal agreement of the budget and precept in January.  A possible review of the Carnforth Neighbourhood Plan to be considered in due course.
23096          Date and time of next meeting: The next meeting of the ‘ordinary’ Town Council will be held on Wednesday 18th October 2023 at 6:30pm.

The meeting closed at 7:50pm

Town Clerk & Responsible Finance Officer