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Minutes for September 2008

Minutes of the Meeting of St Bees Parish Council held on Monday 15 September 2008

at 7.30pm in the Village Hall

PRESENT: Cllrs P Smith (in the Chair), P Argyle, G Gilmour, J Haile, F Kennedy, R Mayow,

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


Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Bettinson, Hill, and Turpin


Cllr Haile declared an interest in the planning application for tree works in the Priory Grounds (agenda item 13a).


It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 21 July 2008 be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.


(a) Training

Arrangements for the training event on 13 October were noted. Representatives from neighbouring parish councils would be invited if all places were not taken up by St Bees councillors.

(b) Information Boards

A draft design had been produced for approval and estimates for printing and framing had been obtained. A meeting had been arranged with a representative of Northern Rail on 25 September to finalise arrangements to display the boards at the station. A copy of the new design could also be used to replace the existing information board at the post office.

It was RESOLVED that two framed copies of the board be produced for the station and a further copy be obtained for the post office at a maximum cost of £1000 (including fixing).

(c) Seats

A suitable model had been identified to replace the damaged seats on Coach Rd and at the Byersteads junction.

It was RESOLVED that two seats be ordered at a cost of £400.03 each.

(d) Beach Clean Co-ordinator

The Chairman reported that Andi MacKay, who had volunteered to co-ordinate beach cleaning operations, had now returned to live in the USA. It was agreed that a new volunteer co-ordinator be sought and the vacancy be advertised in the parish magazine.

(e) Other Items from the Action List


  • Land Registration – Arrangements were being made to collect the title deeds for Beck Edge Garden and the land adjacent to Station garage from the solicitor’s office. Further work would be required to collect the information required to register ownership of the Pinfold.

It was RESOLVED to proceed with the registration of the areas for which title deeds are

available and defer registration of the Pinfold to a later date.


  • Memorial seat – The shrubbery around the seat had been cut back and the family was intending to revarnish the seat when the weather permits.
  • Highways Steward – The Highways Steward had now been appointed and he would be visiting each parish in turn to carry out minor maintenance tasks. The Clerk would be compiling a list of non-urgent jobs before his visit in November.
  • Overgrown hedge- It was noted that the hedge overhanging the pavement at Peckmill had now been trimmed by the owner.
  • Emergency Planning – Cllr Gilmour had located a copy of the government emergency planning leaflet produced some years ago but it appeared that the web-site was no longer active.
  • Play Area – CBC had confirmed that the installation of the new swings had been delayed but they would be installed in the next few weeks.



Notes of the recent meeting with representatives of Cumbria Highways and Capita were received. The following points were noted:-


  • A review of A and B roads is underway as part of a government initiative to achieve consistency of speed limits across the UK. The Parish Council would have the opportunity to comment on any changes proposed.
  • The road markings have now been repainted with the exception of the box junction at the level crossing. However, Network Rail’s charges for safety measures during the work are considerable and are delaying the work.
  • A Speed Indication Device may be available on loan from the County Council for a temporary period to act as a deterrent to speeding motorists. The Police Road Safety Liaison Officer might be able to advise further.
  • Any change to the parking restrictions in the Main Street will require an amendment to the Traffic Regulation Order and it is unlikely that the Local Area Committee would approve a review within the next 12 months. However, the Parish Council could specify at this stage what changes it is seeking.
  • The Area Engineer is preparing a report for the Local Area Committee after discussions with St Bees School about the recommendations made by the Coroner following the fatal accident. The report would be made public in due course.

It was RESOLVED that:-


  • The position on charges by Network Rail be confirmed with the County Council and that, if appropriate, a letter be sent to Network Rail asking them to waive or substantially reduce their charges.
  • The Police Road safety Liaison Officer be invited to attend a meeting of the Parish Council.
  • A letter be sent to Cumbria County Council asking that residents on Main Street who have no off-street parking be exempt from the parking restrictions.
  • A copy of the Area Engineer’s report to the Local Area Committee following the fatal accident be obtained as soon as it becomes available.


Two possible contractors had been contacted but neither was able to undertake the work. A third person had now expressed an interest.

It was RESOLVED that Mr Hammell be asked to continue to maintain Beck Edge Gardens and the lonning adjoining Station garage and the new contractor be asked to carry out a one-off cut of the other areas as soon as possible on the basis of an hourly charge, subject to confirmation that he has public liability insurance and has carried out his own risk assessment. A quotation would be requested at a later date for regular grasscutting for next year on the basis of a revised schedule.


A letter was received from CCC about the recent White Paper. Views were sought on whether the County Council should express a ‘without commitment’ interest in examining whether there should be a repository in Cumbria.

It was RESOLVED that a response be sent to CCC supporting a ‘without commitment’ expression of interest and nominating Cllr Gilmour as lead contact for future correspondence on this issue.


A calendar showing regular events in the Parish Council year had been circulated, together with the timetable for review of standing orders and policies. It was agreed that any additions/amendments should be passed to the Clerk.


The report from PC Geer on police logs for July and August 2008 was received and noted. Cllr Gilmour would be attending a meeting of the Distington Safety Group shortly to see how anti-social behaviour issues are being tackled.



There were no matters requiring the Council’s attention.


There were no matters requiring the Council’s attention.


(a) Membership of Planning Advisory Group

It was RESOLVED that Cllr Gilmour become a member of the Planning Advisory Group.

(b) New Applications

The following applications had been received for comment:


  • 4/08/2421/0F1 Conversion of part of farm building to essential worker dwelling,

Tarnflatt Hall Farm, Sandwith

It was RESOLVED that there were no objections to this application, providing that a condition was attached that the property was to be used only as accommodation for a farm worker.


  • 4/08/2422/TPO Fell one horse chestnut, crown lift elm and pollard holly,

St Bees Priory Grounds

It was RESOLVED that there were no objections to this application. The recommendations of the Landscape Officer were awaited on a suitable replacement for the chestnut tree.


  • 4/08/2429/0N1 Steel framed agricultural building, Fairladies Farm, St Bees

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

(c) Approvals/Refusals

The following decisions by CBC were noted:


  • Listed building consent for demolition of chimney, New College Hall – Refused
  • Renewal of consent for use of temporary buildings, Youth Centre – Approved
  • Raised deck with screens, The Oddfellows Arms - Approved
  • Outline application for residential development, Station Yard, Moor Row - Withdrawn

(d)Planning Appeals

Appeals had been lodged by the applicants against refusal of permission for Plot 4 Blythe Place Gardens and also by Fleatham House. Copies of comments submitted at the application stage are automatically passed to the Planning Inspector and there is a further opportunity to submit comments at this stage.

It was RESOLVED that an aerial photograph be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate with a covering letter to reinforce the objections to the Fleatham House development.

(e) Fleatham Farm Development

Cllr Haile reported on a meeting with David Bechelli of CBC to discuss concerns about surface water drainage from this development. CBC was aware of the problem and had pointed out to the contractor that this was not acceptable but no specific solution had yet been agreed.

It was RESOLVED that CBC be asked to provide details of the steps to be taken to resolve the problem.

(f)Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment

CBC was seeking information on sites which could be earmarked for future housing development.

It was RESOLVED that a reply be sent indicating that there had been considerable development in St Bees in recent years and no further housing development was considered appropriate.


(a) Finance & Risk Management Working Group

The notes of the meeting held on 29 July were received.

It was RESOLVED that the Council register under the Data Protection Act at an annual cost of £35 and that application forms be obtained to open an investment account with Alliance & Leicester.

(b) External Audit Report 2007/8

The results of the 2007/8 audit were received. It was noted that this was an unqualified opinion with a recommendation from the auditor that the level of fidelity insurance be increased.

It was RESOLVED that the level of fidelity insurance be increased to cover £35,000.


(c) Payments to be approved

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

  • Cheque no 001348 St Bees Enterprises Ltd – photocopying £7.80 + VAT Total £9.17
  • Cheque no 001349 I McAndrew– reimbursement for renewal of domain name £17.02 + VAT Total £20.00
  • Cheque no 001350 BDO Stoy Hayward – audit fees £135.00. + VAT Total £158.63
  • Cheque no 001351 J Donaldson – reimbursement for noticeboard magnets £8.48 + VAT Total £9.96
  • Cheque no 001352 J Donaldson – salary Sept 2008 £383.16 + postage £8.64 Total £391.80
  • Cheque no 001353 CALC – course fee audit seminar £15 & CALC selective £55 Total £70.00
  • Cheque no 001355 National Society of Allotment & Leisure Gardeners – membership fees £22.10
  • Cheque no 001356 K Hammell – Grasscutting April – Sept. 2008 Total £532.50
  • Cheque no 001357 Information Commissioner - £35.00

Cheques signed since last meeting to report:


  • Cheque no 001343 Workplace Products – new noticeboard £327.96 + VAT Total £385.35
  • Cheque no 001344 Viking Direct – cork boards/stationery £61.10 + VAT Total £71.79
  • Cheque no 001345 J Donaldson – salary August 2008 £383.16
  • Cheque no 001346 Works 4 You Ltd – fixing noticeboard £20.00 + VAT Total £23.50
  • Cheque no 001347 Petty Cash £77.43


(a)A letter had been received from Steven Robinson, Planning Officer, Allerdale Borough Council inviting the Council to be involved with his PhD research project looking at changes in rural communities and the extent to which the planning system supports the aims of creating affordable housing and employment.

It was RESOLVED that the Council offer its help with the research.

(b) A letter had been received from Capita as land agents for CBC about a request from a property owner at Richmond Crescent to purchase the grassed area adjacent to their property. A reply was required by 31 August. After consultation with the Chairman a response had been sent favouring the lease of part of the land only to ensure a grass verge was retained adjacent to the footpath. Capita had confirmed that this was the only option acceptable to Cumbria Highways and a decision was awaited from the resident concerned.

(c) Details had been received from CCC of the Rural Wheels Scheme which was being extended to this area. Posters had been put on the noticeboards.

(d) An invitation had been received from Sandwith Residents Group for a representative to attend a meeting on 17 September. The meeting was being held to discuss the results of a questionnaire sent to households in Sandwith/Rottington about the possibility of establishing a separate Parish Council. The Chairman would attend on behalf of the Council.

(e) Details received from CALC of a training session on health & safety and risk assessment on 13 November at Newton Rigg – cost £45 per delegate. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk attend on behalf of the Council.

(f) Mrs J Warbrick had informed the Council that she was intending to stand down as a governor of the Village School and would no longer be able to act as a link with the Parish Council. The Chairman of the Governors had asked the Council whether they wished to recommend a new community governor to maintain the link between the school and the Council.

It was RESOLVED that a letter of thanks be sent to Mrs Warbrick and that Cllr Kennedy be nominated as a community governor of the Village School.


Results of the consultation on proposals for replacement of six residential care homes in Cumbria

Notification of road works A595 Hensingham to Moor Row junction – 1st& 2nd October

FLAG Newsletter August 2008

Cumbria Youth Support Services Newsletter


Cumbria Strategic Waste Partnership Annual Review 2007/8

Planned Roadworks in NW England Sept- Nov 2008


(a) Councillors commented on the excellent floral displays in the village and it was agreed to write to the Village in Bloom Committee thanking them for their hard work.

(b) It was reported that the wicket gates on the Dandy Walk were in need of replacement. Cllr Mayow was liaising with CCC about the possibility of purchasing new gates as part of the Parish Paths Initiative.

(c) Cllr Robson reported that plans for the Priory History Project were being revised as the anticipated funding had not been secured. The project would go ahead but more of the work would be undertaken by local volunteers.

(d) It was noted that there had been little progress with the Tree Warden scheme proposed by CBC.

It was agreed that Ian Shuttleworth be invited to attend the next meeting to discuss taking forward a tree planting initiative in the parish.

(e) It was noted that the noticeboard in the Main Street was much improved since the cork backing was fitted. The right hand section of the board would be reserved for Parish Council notices.


It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 20 October 2008 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.