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Minutes for March 2009

Draft Minutes of the Meeting of St Bees Parish Council held on Monday 16 March 2009

at 7.30pm in the Village Hall

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

A King, B Mayow, D Millington, D Sim, V Turpin and the Clerk


Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Argyle, Robson and Rowlands


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 16 February 2009 be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.


(a) Grasscutting Contract – It was noted that the contractor had requested that the start date be brought forward so that a first cut could be done in March. No additional payment was being sought. It was suggested that priority should be given to Priory Paddock as this was not cut at the end of the season.

It was RESOLVED that the contractor be authorised to begin work in March and that an additional payment be made later in the year for a second cut of Priory Paddock.

(b) Beach Clean Leadership role – The Chairman reported that Joyce Jennings had agreed to take on this role and was hoping to recruit a team of volunteers to help. A meeting was being arranged on 8 April for those interested.

(c) Meeting of CBC with Parish Councils – The Clerk reported on the meeting which took place on 9 March. There was to be further consultation on proposals for locality working before pilot projects took place. The boundary changes have now been approved by central government and will take effect on 1 April. The impending change was not taken into account by CBC when setting the council tax for 2009/10 although parishes had been advised to set their precept on the basis of the new boundaries. The leader of the council would be writing to all parish councils to apologise for the confusion and explain the implications for council tax billing. The Head of Legal Services had been unable to confirm that the change in the number of councillors representing St Bees ward was contained in the Order. He had promised to check the situation but no further information had yet been received.

It was RESOLVED to write to CBC to ask for urgent clarification of the situation.

(d) Other Matters Arising from Action List

  • Removal of 20mph speed limit – the Local Committee had met on 13 March and had decided to remove the 20mph zone and replace it with a 30mph zone with advisory 20mph signs. No explanation had been provided of the costs quoted for the work which would be required to make the 20mph zone compliant with current legislation. Councillors agreed that the 30mph limit would need to be rigorously enforced by the local police and that as much information as possible should be gathered on traffic speeds with the Council carrying out its own checks, if necessary.


  • to write to CCC expressing the Council’s grave concerns about the safety implications of this decision and asking for information on what further measures were planned to allow St Bees to have an enforceable 20mph zone.
  • to investigate the experience of other parish councils in monitoring traffic speeds, including the possibility of borrowing/purchasing the necessary equipment.
  • to press Cumbria Highways for the results of surveys undertaken in the village.


  • Research Project on Affordable Housing– Following the discussion at the last meeting Cllr Southward had provided copies of CCC Scrutiny Committee report on delivering affordable housing in Cumbria for information.
  • Walkers are Welcome – Cllr Mayow and the Clerk had looked at the requirements for Walkers are Welcome status and it seemed that St Bees meets almost all the criteria. An application fee of £20 was payable.

It was RESOLVED to proceed with the application for Walkers are Welcome status.

  • Play Area Repairs – it was reported that most of the work was now complete. The

outstanding work was likely to be done in April.


The Clerk withdrew from the meeting during discussion of the salary review.

The Chairman reported on the review of progress towards the objectives set for 2008/9 and the terms & conditions of the Clerk were then reviewed.

It was RESOLVED that the salary be increased by 3 incremental points from 1 April 2009 to reflect the increment for the coming year and two prior years which had been overlooked and that the hours of work remain at 40 hours per month. The contract of employment of the Clerk would be reviewed over the next year in line with updated guidance from NALC. It was further RESOLVED that the proposed objectives for 2009/10 be approved with one minor amendment.


CBC was seeking views on proposed new dog control orders to replace existing bye-laws and provisions of the Dog Fouling (of Land) Act 1996.

It was RESOLVED to support the extension of areas where it is an offence to leave dog faeces and the proposal to limit the number of dogs to be walked by a single person. It was RESOLVED to oppose the restriction on dogs on the main beach in the tourist season as too restrictive and unfairly penalising responsible dog owners.


Cllr Turpin reported on a meeting organised by CBC to consider an application for Quality Coast Awards for beaches in Copeland. A further meeting was scheduled to take place in St Bees on 17 March.


A draft of the Chairman’s report for 2008/9 was received for discussion.

It was RESOLVED that the proposed amendments be incorporated and that a copy be circulated with the minutes.


PC Geer’s report on logs received during January and February was received and noted.


The Chairman reported on a complaint received from a local resident about the amount of litter alongside the B5345 towards Whitehaven. The matter had been reported to CBC but there still appeared to be rubbish/debris particularly around the area which had been flooded.

It was also noted that new arrangements were required to empty the litter bin on the Dandy Walk at the Abbey Rd junction.

It was reported that a drain on High House Rd was blocked and needed to be cleaned. The Clerk would include this in a routine report.

It was RESOLVED to ask CBC to remove the rubbish from the roadside as soon as possible and to ask whether the Dandy Walk bin could be included in the regular CBC collection.


There were no items requiring the Council’s attention (excepting the item discussed under min 38/09(d).



(a) New Applications :-

  • 4/09/2048/0F1 Installation of decking in rear garden

38 The Crofts, St Bees

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

  • 4/09/2055/0F1 Single storey garage extension to side of property and double storey extension to rear of dwelling.

21 The Crofts, St Bees

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

  • 4/09/2608/TPO Fell 2 conifers & 1 elm and top and crown reduce 1 bay

The Beeches, High House Rd, St Bees

It was RESOLVED that there were no objections to this application provided that it

was supported by CBC Landscape Officer.

  • 4/09/2088/0F1 & 4/09/2089/0L1 Re-instatement of cottage including work to demolish rear two storey extension & increase height of existing ground floor extension

The Cottage, Ghyll Farm, Egremont

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

(b) Approvals/Refusals:

No approvals/ refusals had been received.

(c) Other Development Issues

  • It was noted that St Bees School had decided to close Abbots Court. Future plans for the building were not yet known.
  • The site of the former Station Garage was giving cause for concern. The toilets had been subject to vandalism and the security barriers had been breached. It was RESOLVED to write to the new owner of the site bringing these matters to his attention and asking whether appropriate work had been done to make safe the petrol storage tanks.


Payments to be approved

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

  • Cheque no 001395 CALC - course fee– £18.00
  • Cheque no 001396 J Donaldson – salary Mar 2009 £393.72 + backdating of final salary award £12.76 + postage/stationery £3.24 Total £409.72.
  • Cheque no 001397 Walkers are Welcome Towns Network £20.00
  • Cheque no 001398 United Utilities – allotment water £14.10

Cheques signed since last meeting to report:

  • Cheque no 001393 Printpoint – printing of parish walks leaflets £499.00 (approved at January meeting min no 08 /09)
  • Cheque no 001394 BTCV – trees and sundries £233.39+ VAT Total £268.40 (approved at November meeting min no 117/08)


(a) Letter of thanks received from the Pre-School Group including a picture of the new play house purchased with the donation. Invitation extended to Parish Councillors to visit and see the play house in use.

(b) Letter received from the family of Flt Sgt Alan Rodgers thanking the Parish Council for funding the commemorative plaque in the Priory.

(c) Letter received from CCC. Work on the Minerals & Waste Development Framework Site Allocation Policies and Proposals Map is to recommence with consultation on the preferred sites scheduled for Oct 09. Cllr Bettinson agreed to review the document.

(d) Letter received inviting nominations for the Calor Village of the Year Award. Noted.

(e) Letter from CCC inviting participation in on on-line survey on landscape issues as part of the development of the Cumbria Landscape Character Toolkit & Guidance. Noted.


(f) Letter from CALC notifying the new subscription rate from 1 April 2009 - £248.00. It was RESOLVED to continue to subscribe to CALC for the year 2009/2010.

(g) A message had been posted on the Forum about the poor state of repair of the railings on Main Street and litter problems around the Post Office. It was noted that the railings are the responsibility of CCC. Cllrs Sim and Mayow agreed to inspect the railings so that a request could be made to Cumbria Highways for remedial work to be carried out. The problems of litter were discussed. It was RESOLVED to write to the owner of the Post Office offering a wall-mounted bin if a suitable position could be found.


Notification of road closure– B5345 Wilson Pitt Junction to U4034 from 23 March for 1 week

Open Space – Spring 2009

CALC Circular March 2009

Fieldwork March 2009

Standards Board Newsletter – Feb 2009

Highways Agency – Planned Roadworks NW March – May 2009

Notification of surfacing renewal of A595 at Bigrigg to take place in June 2009


(a) Cllr Hill reported on a talk given by Prof Ashton, Director of Public Health. It was noted that the Council had still not received answers to the questions raised in the response to the Closer to Home consultation. It was RESOLVED to press the PCT to provide a response using the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, if necessary.

(b) Cllr Bettinson reported that he had now found a supplier of gorse for Priory Paddock.

(c) The trees for the commons had now been ordered and Cllr Sim was looking for volunteers to help with the planting. It was RESOLVED that a sum of £30 be approved for refreshments.

(d) It was noted that a site at Braystones had been identified as a possible site for a new nuclear power station. As a neighbouring parish it was important that the Council had a voice in the formal consultation process. It was agreed that the Clerk investigate how this could be achieved.

(e) It was noted that no progress had been made with the reinstatement of the sandstone gate stoop outside the Manor House. The Clerk would contact Cumbria Highways again.


It was RESOLVED that the Annual Parish Meeting take place on Monday 20 April 2009 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall followed immediately afterwards by the monthly meeting of the Parish Council.