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Minutes of the meeting of St Bees Parish Council held on Monday 21 March 2005

in the Village Hall


305.1 PRESENT: Cllr G P Smith (Chairman), Cllrs J Haile, N Killip, R Mayow, D Millington, J Rance, M Richards, C Robson, D Sim, V Turpin, H Wilson and the Clerk


305.2 APOLOGIES: Cllrs N Bettinson, J Rowlands, D Warbrick



Paul Pearson explained the Quality Council scheme and how Parish Councils might benefit from achieving ‘Quality’ status. Quality Parishes are able to access additional sources of funding and may have more influence with their district councils. There are certain criteria which must be met before a council can apply for Quality Council status – for instance, 80% of councillors must be elected and the Clerk must be qualified.A portfolio must be produced showing how the council meets all the required standards.

CBC has said that it is keen to support Parish Councils seeking to achieve Quality status.

Mr Pearson urged the Council to consider working towards becoming a Quality Parish and offered further assistance if a decision is made to do this.



It was AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 21 February 2005 be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.


(a) Station Car Park

A letter has now been received from CBC formally accepting the offer for 2005/6 and confirming that they will continue to insure, maintain and pay the associated costs of the car park. The position will be reviewed towards the end of the year.

It was AGREED that permission be sought from CBC for a sign to be placed in the car park indicating that the car park is funded by SBPC and maintained by CBC.

(b) Traffic Calming

The Clerk reported that the Highways Dept had confirmed that signs warning of speed bumps were not obligatory in 20 mph zones. Work to modify the existing speed bumps would be carried out as soon as it could be fitted into the contractor’s schedule.

(c) Fairladies Car Park

CBC has proposed a meeting with the developer, the Highways Dept and the Parish Council but no date has yet been set. CBC has been asked to give an indication of matters to be discussed in advance of the meeting.

(d) Annual Parish Meeting

The Chairman explained that the Annual Parish meeting is required to take place between 1 April and 1 June each year. The date originally proposed was outside these dates.

It was AGREED that the Annual Parish Meeting take place at 7.00pm on Monday 18 April, immediately followed by the scheduled monthly meeting.

(e) Beach Road Footpath

Further correspondence had been received from Brockbank, Cain & Hall stating that 2 objections had been lodged to the application by SBPC to register ownership of the land. CCC had objected on the grounds that the owners of the land were the Governors of St Bees School and in 2003 they had entered


into an agreement with the County Council to designate the land as a public footpath. This had apparently not been revealed by the searches undertaken by the solicitor.

It was AGREED that :-

  • the application to register the land be withdrawn (proposed by Cllr Haile)
  • a letter be sent to Brockbank, Cain & Hall to seek a reduction in their bill (proposed by Cllr Millington)
  • CCC be asked to provide finger posts on the path (proposed by Cllr Killip)



(a) New Applications

  • Ashley House – insertion of roof lights to rear roof slope and internal alterations. No objections.
  • Fleetrigg – application to fell 1 tree. No further details received from CBC.

It was AGREED that CBC be informed that there was no objection provided that the tree was to be felled because it was diseased/dangerous.

(b) Fleatham House – CBC had now provided further details of the application to fell 15 trees, including a plan showing the trees affected and a report by the Landscape Technical Officer. This stated that all the trees require removal because of extensive decay/disease or dead wood within the internal structure of the tree. The report also recommends a suitable replanting scheme.

It was AGREED that a reply be sent to CBC stating there are no objections if the trees are to be felled because of disease/decay rather than to facilitate development.

(c) Applications Approved –

  • Tarnflatt Hall, Sandwith – erection of silage store building

(d) New Planning System

Cllr Millington reported on the recent seminar organised by CBC. A new system is being introduced for strategic planning which will change the way in which development planning takes place at district council level. Regional Planning Guidance is to be replaced by a Regional Spatial Strategy which will offer less flexibility. A Local Development Framework will be produced – a series of documents which would be open to consultation. CBC is drawing up a Statement of Community Involvement setting out how stakeholders and the local community will be involved in the planning process. This is likely to be circulated to Parish Councils for consultation in June/July. The Planning Officer who spoke at the seminar had not been able to say how Parish Plans would link into the new system.

It was AGREED that further enquiries be made as to how Parish Plans will feed into the process (proposed Cllr Smith)



(a) Two letters received from Mr M Clarkson. One letter concerned problems of anti-social behaviour in the area of the beach and the beach car park. The second letter raised a number of issues about the poor standard of facilities at the beach and drew attention to the bright red signs recently erected at the Seacote Hotel advertising activities such as pony rides. It was noted that Toni Magean of CBC had already agreed to attend the April meeting to discuss these issues and a representative from the police was also being invited to attend.

It was AGREED that a reply be sent to Mr Clarkson explaining that the beach car park is the responsibility of CBC and a representative of CBC would be attending the next meeting to discuss these issues. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

It was also AGREED that clarification be sought from CBC about the need for planning consent for external signage and about the licensing requirements for amusement arcades and other activities.


(b) Letter received from John MacLachlan explaining that he will not be willing to act as internal auditor for the year ending 31 March 2005 because of new requirements imposed by his professional body for on-going professional development. It was AGREED that a letter of thanks be sent to Mr MacLachlan for his services over the last three years and that advice be sought from CALC on the qualifications required of an internal auditor.

(c)Letter from St Bees in Bloom requesting that the £500 donation agreed for 2004/5 be transferred to their restricted fund before the end of the year and asking that SBPC continue to support the group with a donation of £500 in 2005/6 despite the decision not to compete in Cumbria in Bloom this year. It was AGREED that a donation of £500 be included in the budget for 2005/6 and that the restricted Village in Bloom reserve be adjusted to reflect the donations of £500 in each of the years 2003/4 and 2004/5. This is an internal balance transfer with no impact on audited funds.

(d) Letter from Mr Todd of St Bees Garden Society requesting funding for the hire of the hall for the annual flower show. It was AGREED that a sum of £140 be included in the budget for 2005/6.

(e) Letter received from Martin Jepson, Chief Legal Officer, CBC proposing meetings with Parish Council representatives to discuss Boundary Review issues. A meeting had been arranged for 23 March which the Chairman would attend. There were no immediate issues which involved St Bees.

(f) Letter received from DEFRA outlining the new powers proposed for Parish Councils in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Bill.

(g) Letter from the Standards Board for England inviting comments on the consultation paper on changes to the Code of Conduct. The paper is available online at www.standardsboard.co.uk.

(h) Letter from the ‘Save Our Control’ Group giving an update on progress and requesting further support. No further action to be taken.

(i) Letter received from WRVS requesting financial support. No action.

(j)Reply received from Mr J Grisenthwaite, Head of Culture, CCC undertaking to resolve the problems with the computer at the village Library.



  • A595 Detrunking – notes of the pre-inquiries meeting
  • The Countryside Agency- conclusive map of registered common land and open country
  • ODPM – discussion documents ‘Citizen Engagement and Public Services: Why Neighbourhoods Matter’ and ‘Vibrant Local Leadership’
  • CALC Minutes 27 January 2005
  • Open Spaces – Spring 2005
  • DTI – CD Rom publicising Broadband
  • CALC Circular March 2005
  • Copy of CBC response to consultation on Future of Acute Health Services.
  • Overhead Wires Project Newsletter



Cllr Haile withdrew from the meeting for the next item.

(a) Gift to Retiring Chairman

The Chairman suggested that the Council should recognise the contribution made by Cllr Haile during his Chairmanship. It was AGREED that arrangements be made with ‘Platform 9 ‘ for Cllr and Mrs Haile to dine at the Council’s expense (up to a limit of £100) (Proposed by Cllr Rance, seconded by Cllr Turpin)


(b) Payments

It was AGREED that the following payments be authorised (Proposed by Cllr Sim, seconded by Cllr Millington):-

  • LBS Horticulture (for Village in Bloom) £719.39 + VAT (total £845.30)
  • CALC Subscription 2005/6 £213.50 + subscription to Local Council Review £13
  • Viking Direct £66.77 + VAT (total £78.45)
  • Clerk’s Salary & expenses Dec 2004-March 2005
    Nett Salary £794.16 PAYE £223.52 Travel/postage £28.16
  • K Hammell – grounds maintenance £93.00
  • Copeland Borough Council – for Station Car Park - £2000 (to be sent with covering letter specifying CBC’s continuing responsibility for maintenance, insurance etc)



It was AGREED that the draft Standing Orders be adopted and implemented with effect from the next meeting. (Proposed by Cllr Millington, seconded by Cllr Sim)



The Clerk reported on the Joint Parishes meeting held on 14 March. CCC Emergency Planning Officer had given a presentation and encouraged Parish Councils to develop very local plans. He had agreed to circulate a suitable framework to all Parish Councils.

Details had also been given of the draft highways budget.



The following items were identified for report to CBC:-

Beach Area

  • Beach Car Park Toilets in poor state of repair, both internally and externally
  • Litter bins missing on the foreshore
  • One of the concrete seats on the path behind the promenade has collapsed and others seem to be cracked and at risk of collapsing
  • The opening times for the toilets need to be reviewed. The toilets need to be open earlier at weekends to cater for Coast to Coast walkers and cyclists and to remain open later in the evening.

It was AGREED that a letter be sent to CBC expressing concern about the continued lack of maintenance of the facilities at the beach at a time when CBC was budgeting to spend a large part of its income on leisure and tourism.(Proposed by Cllr Sim, seconded by Cllr Wilson)

Other Items

  • The area between the Post Office and Seacroft Drive needs to be cleared of litter.
  • The street light previously reported on Pow Beck bridge has still not been repaired and the light adjacent to the Station Garage is not working properly. The light on the road to Rottington (no 137) is at the wrong angle and does not light the steps.
  • The drain outside 116 Main St is blocked.
  • Rubbish needs to be cleared from Thorney Beck Bridge, Byersteads Rd.







The following items were identified for report to CCC:-


  • The fence on the Adams Sports Ground from the main gate to the Seacote properties has come down and is in need of repair/replacement
  • A red warning disc is required on the end of the wall opposite Millfield and on the bridge on the Egremont – St Bees road
  • Drains are blocked on the B5345 between Demesne and Abbey Farm
  • A large pot-hole has developed in the road by Abbey Farm corner and the road surface is in generally poor condition



  • Cllr Haile reported that there had been some vandalism in Priory Paddock. A new spring is required on the gate – Cllr Mayow offered to repair this. The litter bin had been burned – the Clerk to check whether an insurance claim could be made.
  • Cllr Killip reported some problems in walking the path from Rottington to the quarry. Cllr Mayow explained that there was no right of way through the quarry although the landowner had in the past indicated that he had no objection to public access.
  • Cllr Mayow reported that sales of the leaflets had raised £115 which would be paid into the SBPC account.



Cllr Robson explained that the History Group was planning a number of activities to celebrate the history of the village. The Group hope to publish the Sewell memoirs with photographs. It is hoped that sales will ultimately cover the costs of publication but the Group would be grateful if SBPC would agree to finance the initial costs from Centenary Book funds. It was AGREED that Centenary Book funds could be used for this purpose. (Proposed by Cllr Sim)



Notice Boards- Cllr Haile reported that the main notice board had now been repaired. Mr Hammell would be erecting the Beach notice board shortly.

Noise from Transmitter/Telecoms mast- Cllr Millington reported concerns about a high pitched noise which appears to emanate from the transmitter near the golf club and which is audible around the village. It was AGREED that the Clerk make enquiries of CBC about how best to take up this issue.



It was AGREED that the Annual Parish Meeting take place on MONDAY 18 APRIL 2005 at 7pm in the Village Hall, followed immediately by the monthly Parish Council Meeting at 7.30pm.