COCKERMOUTH AND DISTRICT CIVIC TRUST
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
7.30pm Wednesday 6th December 2017
Phil Campbell (Chairman) welcomed 20 members to the Annual General Meeting.
Apologies: Brian Coley, Margaret Coley, Eleanor Woosey.
Minutes of the meeting of 2nd November 2016:
Ros Earthy proposed that the minutes be accepted as a true record – this was seconded by Shirley Campbell and passed unanimously.
Matters arising: None.
Secretary’s Report: John Dent
The 2016/17 winter programme of lectures was well received by all who attended the events. We have purchased a new projector for use at the lecture evenings. The annual lunch was held at the Trout Hotel on 3rd May 2017 where the speaker was Hunter Davies. The annual day trip was to The Sage and the Quayside area, Gateshead on 6th September 2017 and was enjoyed by all who went.
The Trust worked with the Town Manager, Joe Broomfield to improve the river confluence area and this has resulted in a more attractive place for both residents and visitors. Plans for information boards and artwork are currently being formulated.
The Trust has applied for the Derwent riverside path behind Wordsworth House to be designated a public right of way, though it will be some time before a decision is made by the County Council. We supported the campaign not to close the footpath past Double Mills to the river and requested that the footbridge over the Cocker be designated a public right of way.
The Trust has continued to comment on the various planning applications as and when appropriate and is using the “Building for Life” method of assessment. We continue to be pro-active by talking to the developers before any submission for planning permission. We made submissions to the planning authority with regard to the signage for the Lidl & WCF development on Station Street, as well as numerous other applications. We have also taken up various valid comments with the appropriate authorities with some success.
We are involved in the pilot scheme for Local Listing in Allerdale and they have at last accepted that properties within the Conservation Areas can be included. We now await the date of the first meeting of the panel to agree which properties are worthy of being included on the list.
The Trust was disappointed that the Town Council once again turned down the proposal for a Neighbourhood Plan. However at a meeting we had with the Leader of Allerdale Borough Council and planning officers it was agreed that if points were submitted to them they would consider including them in the forthcoming revue of the Local Plan. The members of the Neighbourhood Plan Forum agreed to reform under the banner “Vision for Cockermouth” and are working on this submission.
The Trust continued to have concerns about the plans for the repairs to Market Place and have held discussions with County Councillor Rebecca Hanson but without a satisfactory conclusion. The Main Street snagging list was re-examined and used by the County Council for the corrections of faults in the original work. Some members weeded the tree bases in Market Place and we are in discussions with Allerdale BC on how to ensure that the bases are kept tidy. We are also looking to plant trees on the bank at the top end of St Helens Street and are working with Allerdale BC and Cockermouth Travel to achieve this.
The telephone kiosk in Market Street was cleaned after we brought the state of it to the attention of BT. We have continued to complain to Cumbria County Council about a-boards causing an obstruction on pavements in the town and have had some limited success.
The Trust submitted comments on the proposal for the Town Council to take over the library and incorporate the Tourist Information Centre there.
We have completed our programme of the local war memorials as part of the national programme organised by Civic Voice. A total of 30 were inspected and a condition report for each one submitted.
2017 was the 50th Anniversary of the formation of Cockermouth and District Civic Trust and this was celebrated at a special celebration meeting on 4th October with music and photographs of Cockermouth taken 50 years ago compared to the same place today. A decorated anniversary cake was enjoyed by the members in attendance. A special Anniversary Newsletter was published to mark the anniversary.
This year was also the 50th anniversary of the introduction of Conservation Areas and the Trust worked with Cockermouth Town Council and Allerdale Borough Council to produce a booklet to mark this, describing our two conservation areas and the property owner’s responsibilities. These were distributed to all owners/occupiers of buildings within the areas. The booklet was launched by Town Mayor Alan Tyson at a special exhibition on the subject as part of Heritage Open Days. Walking tours of the Cockermouth and Papcastle conservation areas were also produced and passed over to the TIC for their further use. Information boards were erected in the Library and Old Kings Arms Lane. All this was supported by grants from the Institute of Historic Building Conservation, Allerdale Borough Council and Cockermouth Town Council.
The Trust participated in the Wordsworth Daffodil Day organised on 1st April by the Cockermouth Rotary Club and conducted tours from All Saint’s Church to Wordsworth House. The Trust also participated in the “Heritage Open Days” event on 7th – 10th September for the ninth year. Six premises were open in Cockermouth on the day plus the Conservation Areas exhibition and River Confluence storying. Castle visits have been hosted in support of Cockermouth Live and in addition to the Heritage Open Days.
The Trust continues to be a member of the North West Association of Civic Societies (NWACTS) and of the national Civic Voice. Members of the Executive Committee have attended various meetings organised by Civic Voice and NWACTS.
The Trust has continued to host a website. Publicity throughout the year has been quite good with regular articles in the “Times & Star”.
Proceeds from the sale of the various publications this year have continued to ensure that our membership fees remain affordable.
Membership at the end of the 2016/17 year stands at 106. Currently 74 members are on the email list which saves the Trust printing and postal costs and keeps those members right up to date.
Chairman’s Report: Phil Campbell
Our Secretary has already reported on the detail of our activities over the last year. I would just like to focus on some achievements & key issues for us in the coming year.
As you know, 2017 is our 50th anniversary & we have celebrated accordingly with our annual lunch, a special lecture evening & a special newsletter. I believe we have achieved a lot for the town & our membership over these 50 years & I hope that we can continue to contribute for many years to come. Clearly this needs continuity in obtaining new members & members willing & able to contribute.
A special 50th anniversary project was undertaken by Brian Coley. This was to seek to take current photographs of Cockermouth at the same locations that our members took photographs as part of a project 50 years ago in the late 1960s. This was a significant undertaking & has provided us with excellent record of how Cockermouth has changed over this time, mostly for the better.
A big success story for 2017 has been our project to raise the profile of our Conservation Areas in conjunction with the Town Council & Allerdale Borough Council. This has been part of a national campaign by Civic Voice to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the very first conservation area. We have issued an explanatory booklet on our Conservation Areas to all properties within the areas & erected information boards in the Library/TIC and in Old Kings Arms Lane. We have also prepared walking tours of the Cockermouth & Papcastle CAs.
A big disappointment for 2017 has been the continued lack of support from the Town Council for a Neighbourhood Plan, despite our best efforts. However, a potential success is that we have agreed with Allerdale BC that if we produce a community ‘vision’ document for Cockermouth, they will take this into account when producing the next review of the Allerdale Local Plan. Accordingly, the Civic Trust has supported the establishment of a community group, ‘Cockermouth Vision’, to produce such a document. Work is already in progress & will continue as a major project next year.
We have remained in impasse with Allerdale BC on the project to produce a Local Heritage List for Cockermouth over most of this last year, with the Council refusing to consider nominations within Conservation Areas. However, this impasse has recently been removed and we hope that the completion of this project will be a success for 2018.
A major concern for us in 2018 is the continuing lack of maintenance of the Market Place and what the County Council eventually decide to do.
Finally, I would like to thank everyone for their contributions over the last year, elected officers and members. We still need to broaden our membership base so please do help by advertising what we do to friends and neighbours. My special thanks this year are to:
- Eric Apperley for his work in producing the booklet on our Conservation Areas
- Brian Coley for his project to photograph Cockermouth ’50 years on’
- Ian Dodsworth on his retirement as Treasurer and Committee member for his contributions over many years.
Tom Hughes asked why the Town Council didn’t want a town flag. He was told that the Council would only accept the town crest to be the town flag but that such a design was not acceptable to the Flag Institute.
Treasurer’s Report: Ian Dodsworth
The financial year was much as anticipated.
At the year end our Bank Balance was up from £3954 to £5157. Excess of income over expenditure was £488. Net reduction of stock for books sold was £516 giving a net loss for the year of £28.
The stock of books was down from f4058 to f3502 reflecting the books sold during the year.
The main income was from book sales at £837 and membership subscriptions of £519.
Grants and donations totalled £386. There were losses by the Annual Lunch and the Annual Trip.
Our membership subscription stayed the same at £7.50 and will remain unchanged for 2017/18.
Many thanks to Eric Apperley for examining the accounts. It has been a privilege to serve on the committee.
Tom Hughes proposed that the accounts be accepted as a true record – this was seconded by Ros Earthy and passed unanimously.
Election of Officers and Committee Members:
The present officers Phil Campbell (Chairman) and John Dent (Secretary) were happy to continue in their roles. Ian Dodsworth has decided to retire from the position of Treasurer.
Elizabeth Silman is willing to take over the position of Treasurer. There being no other nominations, Georgina Dent proposed that the officers be appointed – this was seconded by Kath Keeler and passed unanimously.
The current committee members, Shirley Campbell, Darren Ward, Duncan Keeler, Brian Coley, Margaret Coley, Ros Earthy and Elizabeth Silman were happy to continue. Their election was proposed by David Cornwall – this was seconded by Louise Hutchinson and passed unanimously.
There was no additional business and the meeting closed at 7.44 pm.