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Minutes for March 2008

Draft Minutes of the Meeting of St Bees Parish Council held on Monday 17 March 2008

at 7.30pm in the Village Hall

PRESENT: Cllrs P Smith (in the Chair), N Bettinson, G Gilmour, I Hill, F Kennedy,

A King, R Mayow, D Millington, C Robson, J Rowlands, D Sim, V Turpin and the Clerk


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr P Argyle


No declarations of interest were received.


A resident had attended prior to the meeting and raised the problem of signage to the caravan park. Cumbria Highways had erected a new sign but its siting was unsatisfactory and caravans and mobile homes were still driving into the beach estate in error.

It was agreed that the Clerk would contact Cumbria Highways about improving the signage.


It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 18 February 2008 be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.


(a) Quality Parish Status

The Clerk and Chairman had met a representative of CALC on 21 February for an informal discussion about the application process for Quality Council status. It appeared that the Council met most of the criteria. A portfolio of evidence would now need to be prepared to support the application.

(b) CCTV

The siting of the camera had been queried with CBC. A response had been received indicating that the camera was to the industry standard and its siting was considered appropriate.

(c) Other Items from the Action List


  • Flooding –a reply received from Karl Melville of Cumbria Highways, confirming his view that further development in the village would be inappropriate until improvements have been made to the drainage system.
  • Seacroft Estate Footpath – Home Group’s Property Services Manager is not aware of any plans to lease/dispose of the strip of land earmarked for the footpath. He will look at the site when he next visits West Cumbria.
  • Beach signage – CBC has confirmed that the new signs will be in place by the summer. SBPC will be consulted on the wording.
  • Quality Coast Awards – CBC has been seeking funding from Environment Agency and United Utilities to help with meeting the requirements of the Quality Coast awards. No funding has been offered so it seems unlikely that CBC will go ahead with the scheme.
  • Richmond Crescent – The Clerk met the Traffic Engineer on site to look at the unauthorised access which has been created by the removal of the fence so cars can drive over the pavement. Cumbria Highways will write to the residents of the terrace as a first step and will take further action if the practice continues.
  • Donation of seat – The seat donated by the Koebner family is to be installed on Tomlin in early April. The family will be visiting St Bees later in the month to see the seat in place.
  • Footpath Improvement Work – Work to improve the surface of the path from Seamill Lane to the beach is to take place on 16/17 May. Volunteers are being sought to help.

It was RESOLVED that the materials be purchased with the cost to be reclaimed from CCC

as part of the Parish Paths Initiative.


A copy of the proposed objectives and a summary of main duties had been circulated for comment. The objectives would form the basis of next year’s annual review.


It was RESOLVED that the objectives be approved with minor amendments to the list of duties.


A draft of the report had been circulated and was discussed. The report will be available for the Annual Parish Meeting in April and will include contact details for Parish Councillors.


Invitations to tender for repairs and replacement of some of the equipment had been issued to four organisations. The quotations would be available for consideration at the next meeting but preliminary discussions indicated that the cost would exceed the original budget allocation. Results of recent inspections by Councillors were discussed.

It was RESOLVED that the extent and funding of the work be included on the agenda for next meeting.


The Risk Management Policy requires an annual inspection of the condition of the seats. Cllr Millington agreed to carry out the inspection during April.


The minutes of the Village in Bloom Committee meeting on 5 February were received and noted. A further meeting had recently been held for which the minutes were not yet available but the Committee had drawn attention to the need for more gravel to be put on the paths at Stonehouse Garden and for some repair work to be carried out to the fence supports. The Clerk would arrange for an inspection to assess the work required.


There were no maters requiring the Council’s attention. It was noted that the position of the replacement street lights on Coach Rd had been marked out.


There were no matters requiring the Council’s attention.


(a) New Applications

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


  • 4/08/2057/TPO Felling of Ash Tree, High House, High House Road

It was RESOLVED that the Council was content to rely on the expert advice of CBC Landscape Officer about the need for the work.


  • 4/08/2095/0F1 Addition of Utility Room, 82A Main Street

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

(b) Applications approved/refused

There were no approvals/refusals to report.

(c) Fleatham House

The Chairman reported on the meeting of CBC Planning Panel on 5 March at which this application had been discussed. A further site visit was to take place on 19 March to look at the conflicting reports from CBC Landscape Officer and the applicant’s arboriculture expert. The Chairman and Cllr Kennedy would attend on behalf of the Council.

(d) Birkhams Quarry – Diversion of footpath

An amended plan for the footpath diversion had been received for comment. The new plan was for a more limited diversion.

It was RESOLVED that there were no objections to the proposed route.


(a) Payments to be approved

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



  • Cheque no 001310 B T Edwards – repair to seat £230.39
  • Cheque no 001311 Cattles Invoice Finance – tables for Village Hall £711.36 + VAT Total £835.85
  • Cheque no 001312 K Hammell – grasscutting Oct- March £143.85
  • Cheque no 001313 J Donaldson – Salary March 2008 £383.16 + retrospective adjustment to hours and scale for Jan & Feb £213.52 Total £596.68 – NI £17.60 Total nett pay £579.08
  • Cheque no 001314 HM Revenue & Customs – employee/employer NI contribution £38.08
  • Cheque no 001315 E Moorhouse & Sons – quarry waste £70.00 + VAT Total £82.25
  • Cheque no 001316 Furness Supply – drainage pipe £67.60 + VAT Total £79.43
  • CALC subscription – (to be paid on 1 April 2008) £ 236.50

Payments made since last meeting to report:

Cheque no 001307 CALC – conference fee £10.00 (agreed at last meeting)

Cheque no 001308 Garden Machines (Northampton) Ltd – shredder £242.95 (approved by Village in Bloom Committee)

(b) Actions Arising from Audit 2006/7

The Audit Commission had recommended that the Council review the level of fidelity insurance in light of the increase in the precept and reserves. A quotation had been received from Allianz Cornhill for cover for up to £25,000 subject to completion of a proposal form.

It was RESOLVED that cover be increased to £25,000 at a full year cost of £57.75.

(c) Allotment Water Charges

A further water bill had been received but this was being queried with United Utilities as it did not correspond with the actual reading on the meter. Discussion took place on whether the whole charge should be met by allotment tenants or whether the standing charge should be met by the Council.

It was RESOLVED that the Council be responsible for the standing charge with the volume charge being met by the tenants using the supply.

(d) Grasscutting

The hourly rate to be paid for grasscutting in 2008/9 was discussed. It was noted that Mr Hammell was prepared to take over the grasscutting at Beck Edge garden on a trial basis.

It was RESOLVED that the hourly rate for 2008/9 be increased to £7.50 per hour.


(a) A letter had been received from the Wainwright Society about the problem of litter on the beach. An e-mail on the same subject had been received from a local resident via the web-site. It was noted that much of the rubbish was washed up by the tide, with the area by Rottington Beck being a particular problem. CBC had confirmed that they carry out an annual clean-up before the summer season and do some cleaning on a daily basis in the season at the main beach but their budget is limited.

It was RESOLVED that possible ways of dealing with the problem be explored and a report be provided to the next meeting.

(b) A letter had been received from Cumbria Highways seeking comments on a proposal to extend the 30mph speed limit north of Moor Row to include the Summergrove and Whinney Hill area. It was agreed that there was no objection to the proposed change.

(c) An e-mail had been received from Ian McAndrew seeking the Council’s view on whether the international domain names, stbees.org and stbees.net, should be renewed.

It was RESOLVED that the names be renewed for a further year at a cost of £20 each.

(d) A letter had been received from CALC inviting Councils to nominate their Chairman for the ballot to attend a Royal Garden Party. No action required.

(e) A letter had been received from CBC seeking interest in further training on the Code of Conduct. It was agreed that further training was not required.

(f) A letter had been received from Mencap seeking a donation towards its work in Cumbria. It was agreed that this fell outside the Council’s policy of giving priority to organisations based within the parish.


CALC Circular March 2008

Standards Board Newsletter March 2008

Open Space Spring 2008



(a) The insurers for Network Rail had authorised Mayson Bros to carry out the repair work to the war memorial.

(b) Agreement has been reached in principle with the landowner to extend the footpath at the quarry in Rottington. Cumbria County Council will be drawing up the terms of an agreement.

(c) Cumbria Wildlife Trust are to hold a ‘Beach Art’ event at the main beach on 28 June.

(d) Cllr Robson reported that there was a proposal to conserve the anchor of the SS Izaro, wrecked off St Bees in 1907, and to fix it on the Wainwright wall with a plaque directing people to the display in the Priory for further information. Questions of ownership were still to be resolved and he would report further in due course. Cllr Robson also explained to Councillors the various publications that were available describing the history of the village.

(e) It was reported that the permissive footpath south of Seamill Lane car park had been damaged in recent storms and was unfit for use.

(f) With the Fairladies development nearing completion it is expected that the roads will be surfaced prior to adoption by Cumbria County Council. This would mean that the traffic calming measures put in place as a temporary measure would be lost.

It was RESOLVED to write to the developers asking whether they have considered the possibility

of installing speed retarders when the new surface is laid on the roads.

(g) Cllr Sim reported that he would be preparing a specification for the work to resite the mill stone so that quotations can be sought.


It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 21 April 2008 in the Village Hall immediately following the Annual Parish Meeting which is to be held at 7.00pm.