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Minutes for January 2009

Draft Minutes of the Meeting of St Bees Parish Council held on Monday 19 January 2009

at 7.30pm in the Village Hall

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

B Mayow, C Robson, J Rowlands, D Sim and the Clerk



Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs J Haile, A King, D Millington, V Turpin


No declarations of interest were received in respect of items on the agenda.


There were no items raised.


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


It was RESOLVED to bring forward this item on the agenda.

PC Geer provided a summary of reports to the police during November and December. The number of crime reports remained low but there had been a slight increase in reports of damage/behaviour problems around the Christmas and New Year period. There had been few reports recently of problems in the Beach area. A new system of crime mapping had been introduced with results available on the Cumbria Constabulary web-site, although it was noted that the statistics covered the St Bees Ward and not specifically the village of St Bees.

In answer to questions PC Geer explained that the police did have powers to deal with vehicles such as quad bikes being ridden on the beach and asked that any information on this or other local problems be passed to her for follow-up action.


The speed of traffic travelling through the village had been a long-standing concern and the Council was keen to explore what further measures could be taken to tackle the problem.

PC Geer explained that this was an issue of concern to several local villages affected by traffic travelling to and from Sellafield. A speed indication device could be sited in the village for a period if a suitable position could be identified. PC Geer agreed to investigate several possible sites identified by councillors.

The police had carried out some speed checks in St Bees and it was hoped that more checks would be carried out as more officers were trained to use the speed gun. Possible times and locations for enforcement action were suggested. It was also pointed out that there was a particular problem with large agricultural vehicles travelling at speed through the main street. PC Geer agreed to discuss this with local farmers/contractors.

It was noted that a traffic survey had been carried out recently by CCC in connection with the proposed changes to the speed limit. It was agreed to seek details of the survey results for information and PC Geer agreed to pass on the results of future speed checks in the village.


(a) Rottington noticeboard– The ownership of the land was being investigated with Capita. CBC had confirmed that planning consent is not required.

(b) Grasscutting contract – A draft contract and schedule of work for 2009/10 had been drawn up. It was RESOLVED that the contract should be offered at a fixed price on the basis of equal risk to the contractor and the Council in the event of weather causing more or less work than specified in the schedule. It was further RESOLVED that the schedule of work be approved subject to the inclusion of an annual cut of Priory Paddock and that quotations be sought for the work.


(c) Other Matters Arising from Action List

  • Land Registration – The application to register title to Beck Edge Garden, the allotment field and the lonning behind Station Garage had been accepted by the Land Registry and is now being processed.
  • Fairladies Footpath & Car Park – Story Homes had confirmed that the work was now expected to be completed in April/May. The Clerk would investigate what arrangements needed to be made to confirm that the work was done to adoptable standards. The lights would be on a separate electrical supply from the rest of the estate so the usage could be metered and billed to the Parish Council.


As part of the Parish Paths Initiative CCC had agreed to fund 50% of the cost of reprinting the leaflets, as the current stock was now exhausted. A quotation of £499 had been received from Printpoint.

It was RESOLVED that the leaflets be checked to identify any amendments necessary and that the printing be approved at a total cost of £499.


Cllr Kennedy gave a report on activities at the Village School. It had been another successful year for the school. The SATS results were slightly down on the previous year but were still good. The school had been successful in a recent cross-country event and there had been visits from theatre groups etc. The wall adjoining Hampton House had been in a dangerous condition and was now being repaired.

The main project under consideration was a proposal to build a new pre-school unit attached to the school. Some funding had already been obtained and a fund-raising campaign was being organised by the Pre-school Group. It was noted that a letter had been received from the Pre-school Group asking the Parish Council to support the fund-raising effort.

It was RESOLVED that a representative of the Pre-school Group be invited to attend the next meeting to explain the background to the project and to provide more information on the costs, time-scale etc. and that councillors submit their questions to the Clerk in advance of the meeting.

The problem of dog-fouling had been raised by the Governors of the Village School who were concerned about the state of the pavement close to Seacroft Drive where children cross the road. Some of the signs warning owners about dog-fouling were in poor condition and there were fewer signs reminding owners about keeping dogs on a lead. Dog fouling is an issue of concern to residents in many parts of the village and it was suggested that a concerted campaign was required to tackle the problem.

It was RESOLVED that:

  • an item be placed in the parish magazine asking residents for their help in identifying problem areas/times so that enforcement action could be targeted effectively
  • information be passed to CBC with a request for enforcement action at particular locations/times
  • the Parish Council investigate the purchase of plastic bags to be made available free of charge through local shops etc


(a) It was noted that a number of lights at the beach car park were still in need of repair despite earlier reports.

It was RESOLVED that a letter be sent to CBC asking that the work be undertaken as soon as possible.

(b) It was reported that the area at the north end of the prom close to the Head is in a poor condition. The ground is waterlogged and debris etc makes the area an eye-sore. The footbridge has no side protection and is very slippery.

It was RESOLVED that as a first step Cllrs Rowlands, Bettinson and Robson visit the site and report back on possible improvement work.



It was noted that there were recurrent problems with flooding on the B5345 towards Whitehaven. The problem seemed to have got worse in recent months.

It was RESOLVED that a letter be sent to Cumbria Highways asking for their comments on the situation.


(a) New Applications – No new applications had been received since the last meeting.

(b) Approvals/Refusals:

The following decisions of CBC were noted:-

  • · Construction of external chimney – Keirlann, Finkle St APPROVED
  • · Proposed alterations/extensions – Mayfield, Finkle St APPROVED
  • · Amended plan to include external decking – plots 14 -14c Fairladies APPROVED with conditions


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

  • · Cheque no 001379 Assured Cumbria Pest Control– installation of new seats £423.00
  • · Cheque no 001380 St Bees Enterprises Ltd – photocopying Christmas term £6.70 + VAT Total £7.70
  • · Cheque no 001381 J Donaldson – reimbursement for renewal of antivirus software £30.99
  • · Cheque no 001382 Robin Hood Sawmill Ltdgates and fastenings £224.00 + VAT Total £257.60
  • · Cheque no 001383 J Donaldson – salary Jan 2009 £392.56 + Broadband allowance 2008/09 £50 + postage/stationery £5.09 Total £447.65

Cheques signed since last meeting to report:

Cheque no 001378 Brockbank, Curwen, Cain and Hall £703.25 (replacement for cheque no 001362 lost by recipients – this cheque has now been cancelled with the bank)


(a) Consultation paper received from Dept for Communities and Local Government on a code of recommended practice on local authority publicity. Noted.

(b) Invitation received from CBC for councillors to attend a training session on chairing and managing meetings to be held on 11 February. Noted.

(c) Invitation received for representative to attend an event entitled ‘Health in Copeland’ to be held at the Sellafield Visitor Centre on Wed 4 February. Noted.

(d) Letter received from St Bees Pre-School seeking financial support for the building of a new extension at the village school to house the pre-school sessions. Discussed under min no 09/09.

(e) Notice received of general meeting of CALC (Copeland District) to be held on Thursday 19 February at Egremont Market Hall. Topics include Highways Steward scheme and Parish Paths Initiative. Clerk to attend.

(f) Letter received from CBC inviting a representative to attend a meeting about the Quality Coast award scheme – Monday 16 February 4-5.30pm. Cllr Turpin to attend on behalf of the Council.

(g) Request received from St Bees Pre-School to put down a bark surface inside the Pinfold as the grass is often long and weed-infested making it difficult to use for play.

It was RESOLVED that a letter be sent to the Pre-school Group explaining that there had been problems with the grasscutting over the last year and that the situation should be much improved this year when the new contract begins.

(h) Information received from CCC Countryside Warden about the ‘Walkers are Welcome’ scheme. There is an annual subscription of £20. St Bees appears to meet the criteria for Walkers are Welcome status.

It was RESOLVED that the Clerk and Cllr Mayow prepare an application for Walkers are Welcome status.

(i) Letter received from Digital UK seeking the Council’s help in publicising the help available to those affected by the switch-over to take place on 24 June.


It was RESOLVED that a public meeting be organised in consultation with the Over 60’s group.

(j) Correspondence received from Ian McAndrew asking the Council to take over responsibility for maintenance/repair costs of the weather station. Cllr Sim agreed to investigate further and report back.


CALC Training programme Jan – June 2009

Issue of travel concessions 2009/10

2nd Local Transport Plan 2008 Progress Report

Resource Cumbria Newsletter December 2008

Cumbria Highways Newsletter Winter 2008


(a) It was noted that there had been no response from the PCT to the questions raised by the Council in its response to the Closer to Home consultation. The Clerk would send a further letter.

(b) Cllrs Mayow and Sim had prepared a plan for improvement work to create a wildlife area at Moorclose and St Bees Common and would present their report at a future meeting.

(c) It was noted that a trial footpath had been constructed on the seaward side of Birkhams Quarry and County Councillors had visited the site. The path had been constructed following consultation on a diversion made necessary by the extension of the quarry.


It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 16 February 2009 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.