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Minutes for July 2009

Draft Minutes of the Meeting of St Bees Parish Council held on

Monday 20 July 2009 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall

PRESENT: Cllrs P Smith (in the Chair), I Hill, B Mayow, D Millington, C Robson, J Rowlands,

D Sim, V Turpin and the Clerk

Also present: PCSO S Bragg.


Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Argyle, Bettinson, Gilmour, Kennedy, Haile, and King


The Chairman thanked everyone who had attended the presentation of the Council’s Quality Parish certificate immediately before the meeting. The attendance of the Chairman of the County Council, the Mayor of Copeland, the Chairman and Chief Officer of CALC had been much appreciated. The Chairman reiterated this thanks to councillors and the Clerk for their work in achieving Quality status and particularly drew attention to the part played by the Council’s Internal Auditor in helping the Council to improve its procedures.


No declarations of interest were received.


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


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

The Chairman welcomed PCSO Bragg to the meeting. PCSO Bragg provided a summary of the reports relating to St Bees since January. The largest number of calls over the period related to anti-social behaviour. PC Strain had also provided a written report which confirmed that some speed checks had been carried out on the entrances to the village and further checks were planned in the coming weeks. It was suggested that a speed indication device might also prove a useful deterrent.


There were no items raised.


(a) Allotment competition

Judging of the competition had taken place on 4 July and the winner of the best plot was Peter Graham, with the prize for best newcomer being awarded jointly to Karen James and Ian Shuttleworth. A letter had been sent to Mark Hewetson thanking him for his help in judging the competition.

(b) Proposals for 20mph limits

Cllr Millington presented proposals for stretches of roads where 20mph limits were considered appropriate. Some of these sections already had traffic calming measures or natural features which limited speeds but in other areas some additional measures were likely to be required.

It was RESOLVED to forward the proposals to Cllr Southward as the basis for discussion with Cumbria Highways and to seek clarification of the situation with the roads on the housing estates.

(c) Local Development Framework

It was noted that a response had been sent to the consultation and a Call for Sites form had been submitted to register the Council’s wish to protect the area around the Priory from development. The Chairman thanked Cllr Sim for his help in formulating the response.


(d) Other items from the action list

  • Closer to Home – Arrangements had been made for a representative of the PCT to attend the September meeting. Cllr Hill had summarised the main issues so that the PCT representative could come prepared with the necessary information.
  • Donation of Seat – The RSPB had provided details of their policy on memorial seats and required a minimum donation as well as reserving the right to choose the design of the seat. The donor was not willing to compromise on the style of seat and had requested that other sites be considered. It was suggested that a site in Rottington might be appropriate and it was agreed to discuss this further with the donor and seek views of Rottington residents.


A report by CALC Chief Officer on the current situation was received, together with a draft statement of CALC’s position on this issue.

It was RESOLVED to support the CALC position statement.


Prices had been obtained for dog litter bags to be distributed free of charge through the post office and other outlets.

It was RESOLVED to purchase two dispenser boxes at a total cost of £80.00 + VAT + delivery.


A request had been received for financial assistance with the costs of repairing the chimney which was currently in a dangerous condition. Permission to remove the chimney had been refused by CBC as the building is listed. The adjacent car park had now been closed on safety grounds causing an increase in parking along the road.

It was RESOLVED that the PCC be asked to consider obtaining an expert opinion on challenging the planning decision and that the Council would consider favourably a request for help with the costs involved in seeking professional advice.


Correspondence had been received from a local resident about the deteriorating state of Eaglesfield where building work had come to a halt. Complaints had also been received about the state of a property on Main Street which was empty and in a poor condition.

It was RESOLVED to seek advice from CBC Planning Department about action that could be taken when a development was left unfinished and to investigate ownership of the Main Street property with the Land Registry in order to contact the owner.


The Clerk reported that there were continuing problems with a blocked drain flooding one of the allotment plots. The Environmental Health Dept was contacting Home Group who were responsible for the drain to press for repairs to be carried out.

Another allotment holder had requested permission to erect a shed. The proposed size and design were within the guidelines set by the Council.

It was RESOLVED to waive the rent for the coming year on the plot affected by flooding and to give permission for a shed on plot no 4.


The Clerk reported on repairs required.

It was RESOLVED that:-

  • Emergency repairs be authorised to the fence at Beck Edge Garden and estimates be obtained for a replacement of the fence.
  • The notice board on Firth Drive be revarnished
  • A new litter bin be ordered for the play area at a cost of £200 including fitting.
  • The seat near the notice board in Main Street be refurbished



There were no items to report.


(a)There had been a report of a blocked sewer affecting a property on Seamill Lane. Previous attempts to clear it had been unsuccessful and sewage was being washed on to the drive after heavy rain. It was noted that this was likely to be the responsibility of United Utilities rather than CCC.

It was RESOLVED to ask United Utilities to investigate and take action to resolve the problem.

(b) The road surface on Outrigg had been damaged by a large tracked vehicle.

It was RESOLVED to report the matter to Cumbria Highways and ask what action was to be taken.

(c) It was noted that the proposed new leaflet linking the common land with the existing paths would now be funded by a grant from Natural England. The Parish Paths Initiative bid had been revised in light of this and would now include several small schemes to improve the surface of the path beyond Gutterfoot and to install steps on the Byersteads road once the new permissive path was formally agreed.


(a)New Applications

The Planning Advisory Group reported on the following new applications received for comment:

  • Ref 4/09/2278/0F1 & Rear extension

4/09/2283/0L1 The Manor House St Bees

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

  • Ref 4/09/2268//0F1 Single storey extension to both sides and rear

Llanwern, Outrigg, St Bees

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

  • Ref 4/09/2267/0F1 Change of use of barn to allow storage of scaffolding

Dovecote Barn, High Walton, St Bees

The Advisory Group believed that the location of the property on a bend of a narrow road made it unsuitable for regular use by lorries and the change of use would cause additional noise and inconvenience to neighbouring properties. A letter had also been received from a resident objecting to the change. It was noted that a provisional objection had been lodged with CBC by the Clerk to meet the deadline for comments.

It was RESOLVED to ratify the objections already submitted.

  • Ref 4/09/2316/0F1 Single storey garage extension & double storey extension to rear

21 the Crofts, St Bees

It was RESOLVED that there was no objection to this development.

  • Ref 4/09/900 Single storey extension to village school to provide classroom &

children’s centre

St Bees Village School

It was RESOLVED that there was no objection to this development, although it was considered regrettable that there had been a series of ad hoc developments over the years which had led to the present sprawling layout of the building.

(b) Applications approved/refused

The following decisions by CBC were noted:

  • 55 Seacroft Drive - two storey extension to side of house - APPROVED
  • Plot 1 Fleatham House – erection of new dwelling – APPROVED with conditions

(c) Wyndhowe, Seamill Lane

It was noted that this application had been withdrawn by the applicant. The Council would be informed if an amended application was submitted.


128/09 FINANCE

(a) Financial Regulations

Draft amendments to the regulations were received for approval. The amendments incorporated the recommendations made by the Internal Auditor in his last report.

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


(b) Scope of Internal Audit/Audit Plan 2009/10

The proposed scope of audit and audit plan for 2009/10 were received.

It was RESOLVED that the scope of audit and audit plan be approved


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

  • Cheque no 001435 J Donaldson – reimbursement for trophy Total £45.00
  • Cheque no 001436 Assured Cumbria Pest Control – repairs to Stonehouse Garden paths Total £190.00
  • Cheque no 001437 Assured Cumbria Pest Control – installation of seat £70.00
  • Cheque no 001438 Assured Cumbria Pest Control - grasscutting, allotment field £65.00
  • Cheque no 001439 K Nesbitt– reimbursement for new part for water bowser £17.50 + VAT Total £20.13
  • Cheque no 001440 J Donaldson – Clerk’s salary July 2009 £429.36 + postage £7.20 Total £436.56

Cheques signed since last meeting to report:

  • · Cheque no 001431 United Utilities –allotment water supply £21.32
  • · Cheque no 001432 Printexpress –station information boards £120.00 + VAT Total £138.00 (expenditure previously approved min ref 133/08(b))

Cheques authorised by Village in Bloom Committee:

  • · Cheque no 001433 Blomfields Ltd – hanging baskets etc £842.70 + VAT Total £969.11
  • · Cheque no 001434 D Robinson – reimbursement for purchase of refreshments for Open Gardens event - £52.39 + VAT Total £60.25


(a) An invitation had been received at short notice for councillors to attend a meeting on 1 July with CBC and neighbouring parishes to discuss locality working. The Clerk attended on behalf of the Council but the meeting was poorly attended so the event is to be held again in early September.

(b)A letter had been received from CBC inviting comments on the Revised Draft Statement of Licensing Policy under the Gaming Act 2005. Noted.

(c) Dates had been received for future meetings of the Whitehaven Police Area Community Liaison Forum. It was noted that the meeting on 9 March 2010 would take place at the Seacote Hotel, St Bees.

(d) Notification had been received of the next meeting of CCC with parishes to take place on Wednesday 23 September. CALC were asking for possible agenda items. Noted.

(e) A request had been received from St Bees Garden Society for a donation to help with the costs of the Annual Flower Show. It was RESOLVED to make a donation of £150.

(f) Details had been received from NALC of the annual Local Council Awards. Nominations for the various awards are sought by 30 November. Noted.

(g) A complaint had been received about the blocking of the path which runs past Gas House and thence to Station Garage. However, it appears that this is not a public right of way and therefore no action could be taken by the Council. It was agreed to send a reply encouraging the complainant to take up the matter with the landowner to seek agreement to allow a path. The Council would offer any support it could.


CALC circular July/August 2009

Planned Road Works – NW England

Cumbria Community Foundation Newsletter

Cumbria Highways Newsletter Summer 2009

Dispatches – Issue One July 2009 (new Copeland BC newsletter)


(a) It was noted that the new seat had been installed on High House Rd. The view from the seat would be improved if the height of the hedge was reduced. It was agreed to make enquiries about ownership of the hedge so that permission could be obtained to cut it.


(b) It was noted that some residents had complained about being woken by the crowing of a cockerel kept at the allotments.

(c) A local resident had asked about responsibility for the small lane beside the Oddfellows which had a number of pot-holes. It was noted that this was not an adopted road so the County Council had no responsibility. The Council had no information on ownership but it was likely that owners of properties with access down this lane would have the information.

(d) It was reported that surfacing work was now complete on the Fairladies estate, including the car park and footpath. A reply was awaited from the solicitor dealing with the conveyance on behalf of the Parish Council.

(e) It was reported that there was a problem of litter and discarded cigarette ends outside the public houses in the Main St. The Clerk would write to all the licensees to seek their help in keeping the village tidy.


It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 21 September 2009 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall when a representative from the PCT would be in attendance.