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Minutes for October 2008

Draft Minutes of the Meeting of St Bees Parish Council held on Monday 20 October 2008

at 7.30pm in the Village Hall

PRESENT: Cllrs P Smith (in the Chair), P Argyle, G Gilmour, I Hill, F Kennedy, A King, R Mayow, D Millington, J Rowlands, D Sim, V Turpin and the Clerk

Also present: 1 member of the public (Rottington Ward)

IN ATTENDANCE: Cllr N Clarkson (CBC Ward Councillor)


Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Bettinson, Haile and Robson.


Cllr Hill declared an interest in the planning application for 16 Fairladies, as the owner of an adjacent property. (agenda item 15a).


Discussion took place on the way in which the interests of Rottington residents were represented by the Council.

The Chairman explained the outcome of the recent Sandwith Residents Group meeting he had attended. A survey of residents in Sandwith and Rottington had shown support for a Parish Council to be established to represent Sandwith, although it was not clear whether there was a mandate for Rottington to be included in a newly established parish. Residents had requested CBC to consider either a separate Sandwith Parish Council or a Sandwith/Rottington Parish Council. A view had been expressed at the meeting that St Bees Parish Council had done little benefit to Rottington, although it was also pointed out that no-one from Rottington had come forward for election nor had anyone raised any issues with the Council.

As a result of that meeting a local resident had expressed an interest in joining the Parish Council when a vacancy arose and had identified a possible site for a noticeboard which would enable the Council to improve communication with the residents. Details of the location and the relevant property owners would be forwarded to the Clerk so that arrangements could be made to purchase and install a noticeboard.


It was RESOLVED to vary the order of the agenda to bring forward discussion of this and following two items so that Cllr Clarkson could be present.

Details had been received from Capita of proposed changes to speed limits in the village. The changes were proposed following the issue of national guidelines designed to standardise speed limits across the country. The 20mph limit on the B5345 would be removed and the limit increased to 30mph, although the speed humps would remain. It was noted that Cllr Southward (CCC Ward Councillor) had already submitted objections to the proposals and that the Headmaster of St Bees School was also opposed to any increase in the speed limit. A recent survey by the police had shown traffic speed continued to be a major cause of concern in the village

It was pointed out that the national circular set out guidelines and listed criteria to be taken into account. The letter received from Capita did not give details of their assessment of these criteria.

It was RESOLVED to respond to Capita strenuously opposing the removal of the 20mph limit and drawing attention to the factors which support retention of the 20mph limit in St Bees.


Cllr Gilmour gave a report of the meeting he attended of the Distington Rural Safety Group. The group had close links with the parish council and involved the local police and youth workers. Whilst a formal structure of this sort might not be appropriate in St Bees, the group had achieved considerable success in reducing anti-social behaviour in their area and examples of good practice could be shared. The group had obtained a number of grants which had enabled them to employ paid youth workers and this was one of the key factors in their success. Whilst some of the problems experienced in the beach estate area last year were now resolved, anti-social behaviour


was still a concern and the lessons learned from the Distington group could be useful in tackling the problem.


The Chairman reported on the recent meeting of parish council representatives with the Copeland Local Committee. One of the topics discussed had been locality working. Central government guidance was that there should be greater local control over service provision and spending decisions. The county council was proposing to establish local area boards, although councillors had not yet discussed the detail of how this would operate. It had been the original intention to involve parishes in these initial discussions but it appeared that this would not now be the case. It seemed likely that St Bees would be in a group centred on Egremont but this was not yet finalised. Cllr Clarkson explained that this was a matter of concern to other parishes and he asked to be kept informed of the Council’s views on the issue.

Cllr Clarkson left the meeting at this point.


It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 15 September 2008 be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.


(a) Information Boards

A meeting had taken place with representatives of Northern Rail. They had agreed to provide the frames and to meet the costs of installation of two boards. A suitable position had been identified near the exit on the south-bound platform and the station Manager was seeking permission from Network Rail to mount a board on the side of the signal box. The working group would meet shortly to finalise the design.

(b) Beach Cleaning

There had been no response yet to the advertisement for a volunteer to co-ordinate beach cleaning activities. The Chairman had followed up a newspaper article about a beach clean undertaken by the Marine Conservation Society and was contacting them to explore possible joint working.

(c) Repainting of road markings – the advice of CCC Rail Officer had been sought on the charges being made by Network Rail which were delaying repainting of the box junction at the level crossing. He had suggested various points which could be used in negotiation with Network Rail but had questioned whether the box junction served any useful purpose. It was agreed to seek the views of Cumbria Highways on this point before contacting Network Rail.

(d) Other Items from the Action List


  • Screening, Pumping Station – United Utilities had now visited the site and agreed to carry out some replanting which should improve the screening of the building.
  • Data Protection – The Council had now completed its notification under the Data Protection Act.
  • Wicket gates, Dandy Walk – Prices had been obtained and approval has been sought from CCC to include them in the Parish Paths Initiative work plan.
  • Seats- Arrangements were agreed for storing the new seats until they could be installed.


(a) Priory Chestnut Tree

The horse chestnut tree in the Priory grounds is badly diseased and has to be felled. Discussions are taking place with CBC Landscape Officer on the choice of tree to be planted in its place. As the tree was a gift from the Parish Council, the PCC had asked whether the Council would be prepared to meet the costs of felling the old tree and planting a replacement.

It was RESOLVED that a donation be made to cover the costs of felling and planting a replacement up to a maximum of £500.

(b) Tree Planting Programme

The Council had taken the lead some years ago in planting trees in various locations around the parish.


The Parish Plan included plans to improve the common land and money was included in the budget for the current year to begin this work.

It was RESOLVED that a scheme be drawn up to begin work on the commons and that £1500 be included in the budget for 2009/10 to cover further tree planting in the parish.


It was noted that one plot was not being regularly cultivated despite a reminder having been sent to the tenant last year. The rent which was due in July had not been paid.

It was RESOLVED that the tenancy be terminated and the plot be reallocated.

Allotment rents were reviewed and it was proposed that rents be increased in line with inflation.

It was RESOLVED that the rents for 2009/10 remain unchanged.


The deed had now been signed by all parties. The Council had previously agreed to pay the reasonable legal costs of the owners of Moorclose and a bill had now been received.

It was RESOLVED that the legal costs amounting to £703.25 be approved for payment.


It had not been possible to include the Chairman’s Annual Report in the parish magazine because of the limited space available. It could be included in the next edition if the Council agreed to meet the cost of additional pages (approx £60).

It was RESOLVED that the Council meet the additional costs of publication.


The report from PC Geer was received. It was noted that the survey undertaken recently had shown that traffic speeds and anti-social behaviour were the main issues raised by local residents. Action was planned to tackle both these issues.


There were no matters requiring the Council’s attention.


There were no matters requiring the Council’s attention.


(a) New Applications

The following applications had been received for comment:


  • 4/08/2465/0F1 Two storey extension, 16 Fairladies, St Bees

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


  • 4/08/2472/0F1 New porch and double garage, 2 Seacote Gardens, St Bees

It was RESOLVED that CBC be informed that the plan submitted was inadequate and confusing.


  • 4/08/2473/0F1 Bedroom extension above kitchen, 72 Main Street, St Bees

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


  • 4/08/2480/0F1 Two linked garages, Ellerbeck Barns, Egremont

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


  • 4/08/2481/0F1 Two storey side extension, alterations to roof line and change of use of surrounding agricultural land to domestic, Lane End, Hensingham

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

(b) Approvals/Refusals

The following decisions by CBC were noted:


  • Conversion of part of farm building to essential worker dwelling, Tarnflatt Hall Farm– Approved
  • Steel framed agricultural building, Fairladies Farm, Outrigg – Approved


(c)Planning Seminar

CALC was organising a series of seminars with district councils with the aim of improving the consultation process on planning applications. The Copeland event would take place on 18 November.

It was RESOLVED that places be booked for Cllrs Argyle and Kennedy.


(a) Budget 2009/10

The Finance & Risk Management Group would be drawing up a draft budget shortly for approval by the Council and a number of suggestions were made for projects to be included. It was agreed that any further suggestions be notified to the Chairman as soon as possible.

(b) Donations

Two requests for donations had been received.

It was RESOLVED that:-


  • A donation of £250 be made towards the costs of a digital projector for the History Group
  • A donation of £300 be made to the Parent & Toddler Group for the purchase of a new playhouse.

(c) Payments to be approved

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

  • Cheque no 001358 Cumbria Assured Pest Control - grasscutting £96.00
  • Cheque no 001359 CALC – course fee (Health & Safety course) £45.00
  • Cheque no 001360 Playsafety Ltd – play area inspection £63.00 + VAT Total £74.03
  • Cheque no 001361 J Donaldson – salary Oct 2008 £383.16 + travel expenses £33.48 + postage £3.24 Total £419.88
  • Cheque no 001362 Brockbank Curwen Cain & Hall – legal costs £550 + VAT + disbursements £57 Total £703.25


(a) The annual play area inspection report had been received from ROSPA. The Finance & Risk Management Group would review the report and identify any action required.

(b) The agenda had been received for the CALC AGM to take place on 8 November. It was agreed that apologies be sent.

(c) Notification received of the publication of the North West Regional Spatial Strategy.

(d) Invitation received for a representative to attend a Stakeholders Forum as part of the Shoreline Management Plan review. Cllr King to attend.

(e) Consultation document received from the Dept for Communities and Local Government on proposals to allow authorities to make byelaws without central government scrutiny and to introduce a new enforcement regime for byelaws. The Clerk would prepare a summary for the next meeting.

(f) Letter received from CBC confirming that the parish boundary changes are due to come into force in April 2009. Noted.

(g) Notice received of the AGM of the Copeland District of CALC to take place on 28 October. It was agreed that apologies be sent.

(h) Details received from CALC of the new model publication scheme required under the Freedom of Information Act. It was agreed that this be included on the agenda for the next meeting.


CALC Circular October 2008

CALC guidance on the employment of parish stewards

Report of CALC survey of Parish Council Trends

Road closures on various roads including C4008 Ellergill Bridge to Loughrigg, Ellergill Bridge to Howman and C4020 Nethertown to St Bees for short periods over 6 months beginning 1 October

Road closure U4033 at Orchard House, Rottington for 15 days beginning 13 October.

Standards Board Newsletter – September 2008



(a) The next Neighbourhood Forum meeting takes place on Tuesday 4 November at the Adams Recreation Ground. Cllr Kennedy will attend.

(b) Report received from a member of the public about a horse being ridden on the pavement and causing a nuisance. Cllr Bettinson had sought advice from the police who say that this is an offence.

(c) It was noted that, since maroons were no longer used, there was no way of alerting members of the public when the lifeboat crew would be travelling through the village to respond to emergency call outs. It was agreed to ask the lifeboat crew whether there was any assistance which the Council could provide to help them respond to call-outs safely and quickly.


It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 17 November 2008 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.