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Minutes for April 2008

Draft Minutes of the Meeting of St Bees Parish Council held on Monday 21 April 2008

at 7.30pm in the Village Hall

PRESENT: Cllrs P Smith (in the Chair), P Argyle, N Bettinson, G Gilmour, J Haile, I Hill,

F Kennedy, D Millington, C Robson, J Rowlands, D Sim and the Clerk

IN ATTENDANCE: Cllr N Clarkson (Ward Councillor). Two members of the public.


Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs A King, R Mayow, V Turpin


Cllr Millington declared a personal interest in the planning applications for Westlakes Science Park and Blythe Place Gardens (Agenda item 13a).


One member of the public raised concerns about the planning application for the conversion of Eaglesfield to 10 flats to be discussed under agenda item 13. The plans involved raising the height of the present single storey annexe at the rear. Eaglesfield is already the largest property in that area and this would further increase its size, making it completely out of scale with neighbouring properties. The proposed windows and balconies would affect the privacy of neighbours. Whilst not opposed to the conversion of the property to smaller units, he believed the present plan was unacceptable and should be opposed. He believed that if prior consultation were to take place between a developer and the owners of adjacent properties, an acceptable compromise might be found.


It was RESOLVED that the agenda be varied to bring forward the discussion of this item.

The Planning Advisory Committee presented their recommendations on this application which had been passed on for comment by CBC. There were concerns about a number of aspects of the plan.

It was RESOLVED that the Council had no objection in principle to the conversion of the building to smaller units but had reservations about the following aspects of the application:-


  • The increased height at the rear of the property would significantly increase its size and make it too dominant and overbearing in relation to other nearby properties.
  • The parking to be provided is insufficient and will lead to overspill parking along the road.
  • The realigned road appears to narrow at the point where vehicles will be turning in and out.
  • The new pavement should extend along the full width of the building.
  • The waste and recycling arrangements need to be clarified to ensure bins are not put along the road.


It was RESOLVED to vary the order of the agenda and deal with this item whilst Cllr Clarkson was present.

It was noted that repair work had not yet been carried out to the surface of the promenade despite the matter having been reported to CBC. Cllr Clarkson agreed to follow this up.

The standard of cleaning of the beach toilets was good and Cllr Clarkson was asked to thank the staff concerned for their efforts.

Cllr Clarkson reported that he was pressing for the Gutterfoot area to be cleared to prevent a build-up of litter.

Recent planning decisions were discussed including the refusal of permission for change of use at 24 Main Street and the refusal of the application for development in the grounds at Fleatham House. The latter was subject to ratification at the next Planning Panel meeting.

Cllr Clarkson then left the meeting.


It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 17 March 2008 be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.



(a) Beach Clean

The Chairman reported that the Probation Service had agreed to undertake a beach clean as part of their community service scheme. The area around Rottington Beck had been completed and further work would be done shortly. The Probation Service were unable to help with the Fleswick Bay area because of health & safety concerns but a member of the public had indicated her willingness to lead a team of volunteers to clean up this area. A group from the Rungwe Link project had undertaken a sponsored beach clean of the Seamill area.

It was RESOLVED that a donation of £200 be made to the Copeland Rungwe Link project in recognition of their efforts and that further discussion take place to progress a volunteer beach clean of Fleswick Bay.

(b) CCTV/Anti-social Behaviour

CBC had confirmed that the CCTV camera had been installed in the beach car park. The police report of incidents logged during February and March was received. It was noted that a Key Individual Network Survey was to be undertaken shortly in St Bees. Recent episodes of vandalism in the village were discussed. It was agreed that an article be put in the next edition of St Bees News emphasing the importance of reporting all incidents to the police.

(c) Withdrawal of the Assisted Travel Scheme

A reply had been received from Sellafield Ltd indicating that they were developing a strategy to encourage use of public transport and minimise the effects of the withdrawal of the existing scheme. It was RESOLVED to write again to Sellafield Ltd requesting more details of the strategy.

(d) Other Items from the Action List


  • Fairladies speed calming measures – Story Homes had confirmed that speed cushions are to be installed on the estate roads when the final surfacing takes place.
  • Donation of seat – the seat donated by the Koebner family has been installed on Tomlin. The RSPB has provided a licence agreement for the Council to sign. It was RESOLVED that the Chairman and Vice-Chairman sign the agreement on behalf of the Council.
  • Stonehouse Garden – The Clerk had checked the extent of work required and was seeking an estimate of repair costs.
  • Footpath Improvement Work – the work on the path from Seamill Lane is to take place on 16/17 May. Volunteers are still needed to help.
  • Moorclose – The Planning Inspectorate are visiting the site on 7 May and CCC are hopeful that they will agree to designate this as a public footpath without the need for a public Inquiry.
  • Inspection of Seats – Cllr Millington reported on the findings of his recent inspection of seats. Several seats had been identified which need to be added to the Asset Register, two seats were in need of replacement and nine were in need of cleaning/repainting.

It was RESOLVED that quotations be obtained for the repairs and replacements required.


A briefing paper prepared by the Chairman following the recent CALC conference was received and noted.


Invitations to tender for repairs and replacement of some of the equipment had been issued to four organisations. Three had submitted quotations – two were based on replacement of both sets of swings, the other on the basis that the flat swings could be refurbished. One organisation had provided a quotation for a regular programme of inspection and maintenance.

It was RESOLVED that the quotation from Copeland Borough Council be accepted at a cost not exceeding £6000 with the model of swing to be agreed between the Council and CBC.

It was further RESOLVED that the quotation of £420 from Copeland Borough Council for regular inspection and maintenance over a 12 month period be accepted.


The Chairman reported on a meeting which had taken place with the Technical Manager of Story Homes. It was envisaged that the car park and footpath would be completed by January 2009.


Cumbria County Council had declined to adopt the footpath. If the Parish Council did not agree to adopt the footpath it would remain indefinitely in the ownership of Story Homes. If the Parish Council agreed to adopt the footpath, legal title would be transferred to the Council and the lighting would become the responsibility of the Council. Detailed plans were to be supplied by Story Homes which would indicate the proposed ownership of the retaining walls. Story Homes had indicated that they would be prepared to contribute a sum of £5000 to a sinking fund to assist the Council in meeting the costs of repair and maintenance.

It was RESOLVED that the Council adopt the footpath and accept the offer of £5000 towards a sinking fund for future maintenance.


Cllr Kennedy reported on the situation with allotment tenancies. All plots were let and there had been a waiting list. It was proposed to create 3 small plots from the area which was presently unused. In view of the small area of the plots it would be inappropriate to charge the normal rent and a proportionate charge was proposed. One plot was still not being adequately maintained, although rent had been paid.

It was RESOLVED that a warning letter be sent to the tenant of the untended plot and that the rent for plots 5A and 13 be set at half the standard rent and plot 14 at a quarter of the standard rent.


The draft interpretive plan prepared by the Steering Group had been circulated for comment. The Council warmly welcomed the plan which would benefit local residents and encourage tourism. The Council believed that the project could be the springboard for developing innovative ideas to support tourism in the village.


It was noted that there were continuing problems with the blocked gulley opposite the entrance to the school playing field. Some minor repairs had been carried out to the road surface but this did not address the underlying problem and the road was flooded every time it rained.

It was RESOLVED that the matter be taken up again with the Highways Engineer.


(a) New Applications

The Planning Advisory Committee reported on the following applications which had been received for comment:


  • 4/08/2130/TPO Tree Work, Khandallah House, High House Road

It was RESOLVED to rely on the advice of CBC Landscape Officer on the need for this work.


  • 4/08/2132/0F1 New Dwelling, Blythe Place Gardens, Seamill Lane

It was RESOLVED that there were no objections to this application.


  • 4/08/2136/0F1 Extension/alterations to provide office and teaching space,

Westlakes Research Institute, Moor Row

It was RESOLVED that there was no objection to the extension to the building but that the car park provision did not appear to be adequate.

(b) Approvals/Refusals

The following decisions by CBC Planning Panel were noted:


  • Resubmission of plans for extension, Bank How, Seamill Lane – approved
  • Addition of Utility Room, 82A Main Street – approved
  • Change of use to florist/café/bistro, 24 Main Street – refused
  • 3 detached dwellings, Fleatham House – refused (subject to ratification at next Planning Panel meeting)

(c) Planning Appeal – Plot 2, Blythe Place Gardens

It was noted that the applicants had appealed against the refusal of this application.


(a) Payments to be approved

It was RESOLVED that the following accounts be approved for payment:-


  • Cheque no 001319 I McAndrew– reimbursement for renewal of domain names £34.04 + VAT Total £40.00
  • Cheque no 001320 R Mayow – reimbursement for spade/shovel £32.45 + VAT Total £38.13
  • Cheque no 001321 St Bees Enterprises Ltd - photocopying £4.25 + VAT Total £4.99
  • Cheque no 001322 J Geer – installation of seat £550.00
  • Cheque no 001323 J Donaldson – Salary April 2008 £383.16 + postage £7.90 Total £391.06

Cheques signed since last meeting to report:

Cheque no 001317 CALC – annual subscription 2008/9 £236.50 (agreed at last meeting)

Cheque no 001318 VIB Petty Cash £97.47

(b) Minutes of the Finance & Risk Management Committee

The minutes of the meeting of the Finance & Risk Management Committee held on 10 April 2008 were received and noted.

(c) Budget Review 2007/8

The Chairman presented a report showing the income and expenditure figures at the year end compared with the budget and an explanation of the variance.

(d) Restructured Budget 2008/9

The Chairman presented a restructured version of the approved budget. Changes had been made to the budget headings to align the budget more closely with the accounting system and make quarterly analysis more straightforward.

(e) Asset Management Plan

The Chairman presented a draft Asset Management Plan for approval. The Council had previously agreed to set aside a sum each year to provide a reserve for major repair or replacement items. The Asset Management Plan would underpin the Major Asset Refurbishment Fund and would provide the basis for the amount to be set aside each year.

It was RESOLVED that the Asset Management Plan be approved.

(f) Review of Risk Management Policy

The Finance & Risk Management Committee had proposed a number of minor changes to the policy.

It was RESOLVED that the changes to the policy be approved.

(g) Review of Financial Regulations

The Finance & Risk Management Committee had reviewed the policy and proposed minor changes.

It was RESOLVED that the changes to the Financial Regulations be approved.


(a) A letter had been received from CBC seeking suggestions for topics to be considered by their Scrutiny and Overview Committees.

It was RESOLVED that the following topics be suggested: proposals for working with local councils, youth provision, effectiveness in responding to repair requests and feedback provided, and action to deal with derelict properties.

(b) Details were received of the NALC conference to be held in Eastbourne. Noted.

(c) An e-mail had been received from Ian McAndrew requesting that the Council consider subscribing to a service to monitor ‘hits’ on the web-site. It was RESOLVED to pay for the service for one year in the first instance at a cost of 6.25 euros per month.

(d) Notification had been received from Sellafield Ltd that a new programme of beach monitoring had begun on 1 April. Details would be available on their web-site.

(e) A letter had been received from Cumbria Playing Fields Association inviting the Council to affiliate to the Association. It was RESOLVED to join the Association at a cost of £21 for 2008/9.

(f) A letter had been received the Government Office North West inviting comments on the proposed changes to the Regional Spatial Strategy. Cllr Millington to review.

(g) A letter had been received from CCC inviting comments on the Submission Draft Core Strategy and Generic Development Control Policies of the Minerals and Waste Development Framework. Cllr Bettinson to review.


(h) A letter had been received from the Open Spaces Society seeking donations to their campaign to raise awareness of common land inside local planning offices. It was RESOLVED to make a donation of £10.

(i) The agenda for the Neighbourhood Forum meeting on Tuesday 22 April in Egremont was received and noted.


CALC Circular April 2008 and Training Programme

Friends of the Lake District Annual Report 2007

Notification of temp road closure – B5345 Low Rd, Whitehaven from 21 April for 4 weeks.

Fieldwork March 2008

Countryside Voice Spring 2008

FLAG Newsletter April 2008

Lake District World Heritage Project Roadshow – 2 May at Whitehaven Harbour Front.


(a) Cllr Robson reported that plans to conserve and display the anchor from the SS Izaro were progressing. Initial estimates of cost suggested a total cost of £300 - £400.

(b) It was reported that the fence between Beck Edge Garden and the field was no longer stock- proof and sheep were getting into the garden. It was RESOLVED that arrangements be made to erect a stock-proof fence as a matter of urgency.

(c) It was reported that the Council’s representatives on the Adams Recreation Ground Committee were now receiving notification of meetings and had attended the last meeting.

(d) Cllr Sim reported that he had prepared a specification for the work to resite the mill stone and would be investigating which firms might be invited to submit quotations.


It was RESOLVED that the Annual Meeting take place on Monday 19 May 2008 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall .