LAKES Parish Council has a wide variety of services, including six public toilets and White Platts recreation ground, council chairman Louise Waterhouse told the annual parish meeting.

It also contributed £10,000 to managing the toilets, with assistance from others.

Low Fold and Rothay Park toilets were refurbished and last year’s sunny weather saw visitor income and numbers soar, enabling more improvements.

Significant planning applications were also debated, from the university, Sainsbury’s and the Bridge House, with more expected, he said.

Affordable housing took steps forward with new building at Grasmere and Waterhead.

Council placed a similarly high priority on representing local business interests and the proposed on-street parking charges by Cumbria County Council would be strongly debated and challenged.

Officers, including finance and projects sub-committee chairman Philip Thompson, handyman Robin Lees and clerk Michael Johnson were thanked for hard work.

Coun Thompson and Mr Johnson presented slides illustrating the council’s localism, including provision of bus shelters and benches, street cleanliness and toilets.

A contingency fund has been set up to cover toilet maintenance and vandalism once South Lakeland District Council’s financial support ends next year. The council precept remains at £39 a year for people living in an average band D property.

Harry Manning, Ambleside Civic Trust, reported a 20 per cent increase in membership, with the main focus on major planning applications. A tree survey was under way because of concerns at numbers being felled, and funds had been donated towards a slate panorama at Waterhead and signage at the Roman Fort.

Vivienne Rees reported membership of more than 300 at Grasmere Village Society, while Ambleside U3A has 330 members and ran 20 activity groups.

Kelsick Educational Foundation chairman Nigel Hutchinson said in 2013-14 it made grants of £228,000 to young people in the parish, £140,000 of which was divided between the three primary schools.

Income was derived from assets, including 43 leased properties, but grants were slightly lower last year due to costs. Kelsick was to resubmit outline plans for local housing at Jopson’s Close, Stockghyll Lane.

Jak Hirst, chairman of Ambleside Sports, reported reserves were adequate to see the sports through three bad weather years and the Sports Scholarship funding for youth sports helped clubs and individuals, including Ambleside Cricket Club and junior fell-runners.

Schools received football equipment and netball posts and the sports funded two wrestling academies at Grasmere.

A joint wrestling academy between Ambleside, Langdale and Grasmere children took place in the main arena at the sports on July 31.

Reports were received from Langdale Village Society, Ambleside Oral History Group and the library’s CDC project.

Rydal Village Society, represented by Coun Fiona Sparrow, said its main concerns were traffic calming through Rydal, and continued opposition to the cycle route along the western shore of Rydal Water.

Geoff Brown, for Troutbeck Village Association, reported on repairs to the new snow plough, which also still needed an operating contract from Cumbria.

A new Discover Troutbeck Day would run on Spring Bank Holiday Monday, with guided walks, tours and nature walks.

Broadband remained slow and problematic, but alternatives using microwave technology were being discussed with Kencomp.

Marj Waddecar, chairman of Friends of the Armitt, said membership had risen from 80-120 and the friends had enjoyed a programme of events and visits.

As chairman of Castlefield and Greenbank Residents Association, she reported success in resisting the use of Greenbank Road for uni-versity construction traffic.

Up to 9,000 people attended last year’s Christmas Lights switch-on, Richard Attenbor-ough said. The £12,000 cost was met by the two Santa cruises, donations from local businesses and residents, and grants from Rotary and LPC.

Volunteers will replace 1,200 15-watt bulbs with longer-lasting LED lights this summer, saving £652 in costs.