Coming out of the Christingle Service at St Mark’s Church on Christmas Eve into a dark, cold December evening feels like the real start of Christmas to me. Having sung carols and watched the children receive their orange with a lit candle we go home to a warm fire and nibble on ‘Nigella’ cooked ham straight from the oven. Ah!
We’ve added a new feature to the website where people in the community are able to share memories of the lives in Scarisbrick. Please head over the Memories page to read what other Scarisbrick residents and to leave your own memory on the timeline.
Scarisbrick Village Matters have recently reported that superfast broadband has arrived at telephone exchanges servicing parts of Scarisbrick, with a sticker being spotted on the BT box near St Mark’s Church. This comes hot on the heals of a local 4G mobile network rollout, meaning that Scarisbrick finally seems to be catching up with other towns and cities in the North West of England.
But what does this mean to Scarisbrick and its residents? One of the first things people think of when they hear “superfast broadband” is their improved personal use of the internet, such as using social media, streaming films and music, watching catch up TV and online gaming.
Businesses can also take advantage of high internet speeds, allowing their employees to work remotely outside the office and use cloud computing to reduce costs. A local business would also be able to improve their communication with clients and customers, with the new technology allowing more efficient transfer of files as well as the opportunity to use the internet to make phone and video calls.
On a global and national scale, fast internet speeds are supporting the advent of the “Internet of Things” (IoT). This is a term describing the connection of devices to each other via the internet and it already has practical uses in the home, for example, turning on the lights automatically when someone gets home. In the future, IoT could allow for real time transfer of health data to our hospitals without the need to visit a GP. Of local interest, it could allow farmers to track cattle movements on their mobile phone via tags on the animals or allow the farmer to use online tools to check soil quality to increase crop yield.
What does the arrival of superfast internet mean to you – the residents of Scarisbrick? Are slow speeds holding you or your business back, or is the internet simply something you could do without? What would be your vision for a faster, more connected Scarisbrick? Please share your thoughts using the Comments form below or by sending us a message from the “Contact Us” page, or tweet us @Scarisbrick2day.
Minutes of the meeting of the Parish Council held at 8.00pm in the Village Hall on Monday 6th October 2014.
- Councillor M. Forshaw (in the Chair)
- Councillor Mrs J. Marshall
- Councillor D. Oakes
- Councillor A. Williams
- Councillor H. Ascroft
- Councillor J. Hankin
- Councillor P. Packwood
- Councillor C. Marshall
- Councillor Mrs M. Edwards
- Councillor I. Tinsley
- Mr J. Herbert (Clerk – in attendance)
- County Councillor C. Dereli
- Sixteen members of the public were also present.
There were none.
14/191 DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST.
Councillor H. Ascroft declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in agenda item 14/197(a).
Councillor C. Marshall declared a personal interest in agenda item 14/197(a).
14/192 CONFIRMATION OF THE MINUTES.
It was resolved that the minutes of the ordinary meeting held on Monday 1st September 2014 were a true record and should be signed by the Chairman.
14/193 ADJOURNMENT OF THE MEETING.
Prizes for this year’s Garden Competition were presented by the Chairman.
A resident enquired as to progress regarding the provision of a new bus stop on Gorsuch Lane (the Clerk responded as outlined in Item 14/206 of these minutes). He also expressed concern regarding the non-publication of Scarisbrick Village Matters.
A resident expressed concern regarding the state of various public footpaths in the Parish. County Councillor Dereli said that she was investigating public footpath complaints.
A resident stated that WLBC had refused to allocate her son and daughter-in-law an affordable home within the Parish as they did not yet have a family.
A local landowner expressed his dismay that LCC had made an Order to add a claimed public footpath to the Definitive Map. The route crosses his land and he outlined his objections.
The following applications were considered and the decisions taken as shown.
- 2014/0838/FUL – 163 Bescar Lane, Scarisbrick, L40 9QR. – No objection.
- 2014/0922/COU – Jacksons Common Farm, Harridge Lane, Scarisbrick. – No objection.
- 2014/0943/FUL – 19 – 21 Southport Road, Scarisbrick, PR8 5JF. – No objection.
- 2014/1023/FUL – 32 Snape Green, Scarisbrick, Lancashire. PR8 5LN. – No objection.
- 2014/0980/FUL – Land Adjacent To 1 To 7 Hillock Close, Scarisbrick. – No objection (Councillor Mrs J. Marshall abstained).
- It was resolved that the invoice for the replacement bus shelters (insurance claim) should be paid prospectively as requested by the contractor. It was further resolved that our insurers’ offer to pay a £1,825 initial contribution be accepted, with the balance (£2,225) to be paid by this Council and recouped from the insurers at a later date.
- It was resolved that the following accounts be passed for payment:
- Mobile phone monthly tariff and credit agreement @ £34.05
- Travelling (55 miles @ 45p/mile)
- Printer ink cartridge @ £21.00
- Stationery and stamps @ £15.49
- Website (hosting and domain name registration for 2 years) @ £118.31
- Companies House research (re. Mercuri) @ £1.00
N.B. Cheques for Garden Competition prizes were signed prior to this meeting, as resolved at the Council meeting of 1st September 2014 (minuted at Item14/186c). Expenditure under provisions of LGA 1972, s.137 (benefit to community is environment/well-being/health).
14/196 BUS SHELTERS WORKING GROUP.
It was resolved to proceed with the Working Group’s recommendations to replace two bus shelters (New Hall Drive and Carr Cross), arrange repairs as listed (within the stated budget), and authorise Councillor Mrs. Marshall to arrange disposal of shelters at New Hall Drive, Carr Cross, and St Mark’s School in the sum of £80 per shelter.
14/197 PUBLIC FOOTPATHS.
Councillor H. Ascroft left the room (having declared a disclosable pecuniary interest). Members expressed concern regarding LCC’s Definitive Map Modification Order (Bescar Brow Lane to footpath 14A), citing the plethora of footpaths within the Parish (which LCC struggle to maintain) and drainage maintenance issues relating to Sandy Brook.
It was resolved that Councillors Oakes, Marshall and the Clerk should draft and submit an objection on behalf of this Council.
Councillor H. Ascroft was then recalled and resumed his place at the meeting.
The poor condition of some public footpaths within the Parish was discussed. The Clerk reported that obstruction was LCC’s priority; complaints about routine maintenance were placed on a long waiting list. He outlined proposals for transferring maintenance to Parish Councils, which will be placed on a future agenda pending further information from LCC.
It was resolved that the Clerk be informed of maintenance issues to pass on to LCC.
14/198 SCARISBRICK BRIDGE NOTICE BOARD.
It was the recollection of members that the notice board is the property of this Council.
It was resolved to authorise repairs to the Perspex window.
14/199 ALT-CROSSENS CATCHMENT.
The Clerk reported that he and Councillor Oakes will be putting forward a motion for consideration at the LALC AGM on the 8th November.
He reported on a meeting with shadow minister Barry Gardiner MP. Inequity in funding of IDBs was highlighted. Existing Boards attract substantial Government funding, new Boards will not. Mr Gardiner said that he would take this issue back to Westminster. Concern was also expressed regarding a failure of local funding, with a WLBC spokesman reported as saying that the majority of the Borough would not obtain benefit from the expenditure.
Members made the point that the current lack of an accurate modelling exercise did not help the situation. It was reported that Dan Rogerson MP will no longer be visiting the catchment.
It was resolved keep the issue in the public domain and lobby Mr Rogerson’s replacement (Liz Truss MP) and the chief executive of LCC.
14/200 SCARISBRICK VILLAGE MATTERS.
Resignations and vacancies have left a significant void within the management group of Scarisbrick Newsletter Association with lack of publication of Scarisbrick Village Matters.
It was resolved that the chairman would discuss with the chairman of the Association.
14/201 WW1 WORKING GROUP.
The Clerk reported on progress, the Group’s concerns regarding funding through the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the desirability to find alternative funding streams (including the precept).
It was resolved to revisit the issue of funding once costs had been clearly determined.
14/202 PARISH CAROL SERVICE.
It was resolved to support the Parish clergy’s initiative for such a service.
14/203 BUDGET UPDATE.
The Clerk reported that the budget heading for bus shelters is expected to be overspent by about £5,400 due to the purchase of new bus shelters. This expenditure was not included in the budget, it being previously resolved to meet the cost from reserves. Expenditure under the remaining budget headings is currently predicted to come within budget.
14/204 INTERNAL AUDIT.
It was resolved to defer this item to the next meeting.
14/205 STANDING ORDERS.
It was resolved to approve amended standing order 3L and adopt the revised document.
14/206 CLERK’S REPORT.
The following items were noted:
- WLBC – (a) Received an email containing background information regarding the Community Infrastructure Levy (circulated); (b) Received notification of Code of Conduct training sessions. Members should inform the Clerk if they wish to attend.
- LCC – LCC are currently in consultation with the police regarding new bus stops on Gorsuch and Jacksmere Lanes. They will respond to this Council’s enquiry shortly.
- LALC– Received notification of Freedom of Information/data protection courses (circulated). Members should inform the Clerk if they wish to register.
- LBKV – Scarisbrick Marina and Master McGraths Restaurant were both highly commended in the Certificate of Merit entries.
- North West Ambulance Service – Received a reply from correspondence (circulated).
- Department of Transport – Received a reply from correspondence (circulated).
- Friends of Bescar Lane Station – Received a letter of thanks (circulated).
- Website – Webhosting and domain name (www.scarisbrick.today) have been purchased for two years. The site is currently undergoing some modifications and off-line testing.
- 3-Parishes Meeting – There was discussion around public footpaths, forthcoming changes to public transport provision with emphasis on community transport initiatives, and how Parishes may have input into public health improvement schemes. Details will be circulated and issues discussed through future agendas.
- Policing – Last month’s crime figures will be circulated to members when available.
14/207 COUNCILLORS’ REPORTS AND ITEMS FOR FUTURE AGENDAS.
Councillor Tinsley reported that a meeting of the Peter Lathom Charity will take place shortly. Councillor Mrs Marshall reported that the defibrillator is now installed and operational in Master McGraths restaurant.
The Chairman closed the meeting at 10.24pm.
Prizes were awarded to winners of Scarisbrick’s annual garden competition at the recent Parish Council meeting. There had been a good level of entries for the competition which was judged in August, with twenty-five entrants across seven categories.
The competition was once again judged by Messrs Alan Foxall and Peter Scanlan, two local horticultural experts who have supported the competition for many years. Mrs Pamela Weir, a previous competition winner, was a guest judge for this year’s competition. Their job proved to be particularly difficult due to the high standard of the entries but after much deliberation the winners were declared to be:
- Mr and Mrs R. Guy (Scarisbrick Nurseries Trophy).
- Mr P. Sourbutts.
- Mr and Mrs F. Musgrove.
Highly Commended – Richards Family; Mrs S. Grimshaw.
- Mrs K. Smith (Alan Foxall Trophy).
- Mr and Mrs F. Musgrove.
- Mr and Mrs R. Guy.
Highly Commended – Mrs R. Burrill.
Hanging baskets/ window boxes/ containers
- Mr P. Sourbutts (Scarisbrick Parish Council Trophy).
- Mr J. Halsall.
- Mr and Mrs R. Sumner.
Highly Commended – Mr and Mrs F. Musgrove.
Best entry from a non- prize winner in previous years
Friends of Bescar Lane Station (Dennis Halsall Trophy).
Water feature/ garden pond
- Mrs S. Grimshaw & Family (Holgate Maintenance Trophy).
- Mr J. Halsall.
- Mr and Mrs F. Musgrove.
Highly Commended – Mr and Mrs R. Sumner.
Non-domestic premises (note – joint winners)
- Heatons Bridge Inn (Turfland Trophy).
- Master McGraths Restaurant (Turfland Trophy).
- Friends of Bescar Lane Station.
Mobile home garden
- Mr A. Davitt (Hurlston Hall Country Caravan Park Trophy).
- Mrs Southworth.
Best overall entry:
Mr P. Sourbutts (Bill Scarisbrick Memorial Trophy).
Of particular note are the Friends of Bescar Lane Station, winners of the Dennis Halsall Trophy for the best entry from a non-prize winner in previous years. This team of green-fingered volunteers have dedicated themselves to adorning the station with flowers and plants to brighten up the journeys of local commuters. The fruits of their labours are for all to see and they are well deserved winners.
Special mention also goes to Master McGraths Restaurant and Scarisbrick Marina who were both highly commended in this year’s Lancashire’s Best Kept Village Competition. Master McGraths also enjoyed success in the garden competition, coming into joint top spot with Heatons Bridge Inn in the non-domestic premises category.
Scarisbrick Parish Council is particularly grateful for the ongoing support given by sponsors of the garden competition. Their contribution underlines commitment to the community of Scarisbrick in difficult economic times and ensures the event is possible. The Council would like to acknowledge the generosity of:
- Turfland Farms Ltd.
- Hurlston Hall Golf and Country Club.
- Cathay Garden Chinese Restaurant.
- Heatons Bridge Inn.
- The Elephant Restaurant.
- Lea’s Traditional Butchery.
- Flavourfresh Solfresh Group.
The Environment Agency’s plans to disinvest in flood control measures on Martin Mere remain high on the Council’s agenda. It is apparent that no-one is quite sure what the extent of flooding will be once the local pumping stations are switched off. This remains a matter of great concern to the Parish Council and indeed our colleagues in Burscough, Rufford, Halsall and Downholland. This is undoubtedly a situation where public pressure can count and the Parish Council encourages you to make your voice heard. Please let your concerns be known to your local councillors and MP. This is not only about farmland; it has the potential to affect infrastructure such as roads, railways and utilities. It is possible that the full extent of the repercussions will not be known until the land is allowed to flood, by which time it may well be too late. The people of the Somerset Levels are still feeling the effects after the floods have subsided. We don’t want to see a similar situation in Scarisbrick.
Scarisbrick’s timber bus-shelters have been a familiar and distinctive aspect of the local street scene for many years. Many of you will have noticed that the storms earlier in the year damaged a number of the shelters. The Diglake shelter was blown over and the shelter opposite Bullens Lane was literally torn apart by the winds. Insurance claims have been processed and both are to be replaced in the near future.
Other shelters incurred minor damage but it is also clear that age is beginning to take its toll. I am told that some of the shelters are over forty years old and annual maintenance costs are becoming quite high. It is for these reasons that the Parish Council has recently committed to a rolling programme of replacement.
The Council has recently inspected the shelters and now has an idea of the scale of the problem and where priorities lie. The Parish has nineteen bus-shelters. It is clear that costs can be contained if some shelters are simply taken down and not replaced as they become unserviceable. Please contact the Council if you are a user and have strong views on which bus stops should keep their shelters.
Timber bus-shelters have been a distinctive feature of the Parish for many years and there is a school of thought that these are aesthetically more in keeping with our rural setting. An alternative view favours the modern metal frame and perspex shelters. These are more utilitarian in appearance but are cheaper to purchase and maintain; they are therefore more in keeping with every local authority’s responsibility to obtain value for money. The Council will be looking at the alternatives over the next few months and we will hopefully be seeing some new shelters within the Parish in the near future.
Rural crime has been something of a growth industry across the country over the past few years. Scarisbrick is susceptible to this type of crime because its location invites cross-border criminality from adjacent conurbations. The police cannot be everywhere and often the price of continued safety is vigilance, for which we all have a responsibility.
Technology undoubtedly helps, particularly as we have experienced cuts in front-line policing. The opportunity recently arose for the Parish Council to enter into partnership with West Lancashire Borough Council to provide two additional CCTV cameras for the Parish. This was considered to be a particularly good deal as the Borough Council would assume the running costs for the cameras. However, we have since been overtaken by events and I am pleased to report that the Borough Council will now take on the total cost of supplying and running the cameras. The precise locations for the new cameras are yet to be confirmed. It is likely that they will be at strategic sites on the A570, monitoring routes into the Parish from Sefton and Merseyside.