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Minutes for March 2011

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

Monday 21 March 2011 at 7.45pm in the Village Hall

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

F Kennedy, D Millington, S Moules, D Sim, V Turpin and the Clerk

Also present: Mrs K James (observer) 1 member of the public

In attendance: Mr P Capes and Mr W Roberts (St Bees School)


Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs King and Robson


No interests were declared.


Ms Williamson explained her objections to the planning application for a managed drainage system at Rookery Barns, Rottington. Local residents had no wish to see the barn conversions left unoccupied but they did not believe that the proposed cesspit system was appropriate as it would require frequent emptying involving numerous tanker journeys. Ms Williamson explained that an alternative scheme of drainage onto the adjoining land was viable and, as the owner of the adjoining land, she had agreed to grant an easement but so far the developer had not been prepared to agree to this. She had written to CBC to oppose the application on the grounds that a better option was available and should be pursued.


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


The Chairman welcomed Mr Capes and Mr Roberts to the meeting. Mr Roberts then explained the school’s business plan for the period to 2014. In common with other businesses the school was feeling the effects of the recession but had plans in place to raise the funds required to allow the school to meet its purpose of providing high quality education to the people of West Cumbria. A new prep department had been opened and it was hoped to increase the number of day pupils and entrants to the sixth form. Despite being non-selective the school was continuing to achieve high academic results and was able to offer a wide range of sporting and other activities. The school had been chosen as a centre of excellence for cricket and would receive substantial funding to update its facilities.

Mr Roberts explained that the school had a total of 142 employees and was keen to raise its profile as a part of the local economy and wider community. A number of community events were being organised which would help to develop links with the local community.

In answer to questions Mr Roberts stated that the school had no plans to sell off any property or land. The school recognised that the condition of Grindal House was deteriorating and had plans to renovate it in due course but the costs would be substantial. In response to questions about the decision to release the restrictive covenant on land at Abbey Road, Mr Capes explained that the school had received legal advice which suggested that the restrictive covenant was unlikely to effective in the future because of likely change in government thinking.

Councillors thanked Mr Capes and Mr Roberts for explaining the school’s plans and welcomed the school’s initiative in building links with the local community.


(a) Grasscutting contract 2011/12 – Greenlands Ground Maintenance had accepted the contract for 2011/2 and had increased their public liability insurance to £5m. The additional cost to the council would be £25 giving a contract price of £ 2573.It was noted that some additional work was required at Priory Paddock and the shrubs around Fairladies car park needed some attention.

It was RESOLVED that the contract with Greenlands Ground Maintenance be confirmed and that the contractor be asked to undertake the additional work at the agreed hourly rate.


(b) Repairs to notice board – An estimate of £395 been received for replacing the doors on the notice board on Main Street. It was noted that some further work was also required to ensure the board was weathertight.

It was RESOLVED that that Cllr Sim draw up a detailed specification for the work and an order for the work be placed at a maximum cost of £500.

(c) Inspection of assets – Several reports had been received and one urgent repair had been carried out. Councillors were asked to submit any outstanding reports as soon as possible so estimates could be obtained for repairs.

(d) Coastal footpath/memorial seat – The new temporary footpath was now open and the seat was in storage whilst the RSPB assessed the long term situation.

It was RESOLVED to send a letter of thanks to Mrs E Crichton for her help in storing the seat and allowing the temporary path to cross her land.

The work to improve the surface of the path around the kissing gates on the Head had now been completed. It was noted that the future of the PPI scheme was in doubt due to budget cuts but CCC would remain responsible for essential maintenance on public rights of way.

(e) Other items from the action list :

  • Additional seat on parish council – The elections officer at CBC had now provided a copy of the order which created the additional seat for St Bees Ward.
  • Election – nomination forms were now available from the Clerk.
  • Allotment Water – the latest bill confirmed the suspicion that there was a leak somewhere on the pipe. The supply had been turned off and a contractor had been asked to investigate and repair the leak.
  • Blocked drain, Allotment field – Mayson Bros had been engaged by Environmental Health to investigate and they had found the collapsed drain. Home Group had been asked to confirm that they would accept responsibility for reinstating the drain.
  • Broadband – the CCC web-site now had a section devoted to the Broadband Cumbria Project. The government funding which was to be provided would be targeted at getting broadband to those homes currently unable to access broadband but there might also be improvements in terms of more reliable/faster speeds for other areas.
  • Traffic Calming – the next meeting to discuss options for the Fairladies/Outrigg area would be taking place shortly.


Following the last meeting a revised plan based on two parking spaces had been drawn up and this had been sent to the Commons Group to enable them to comment before the application was submitted. A response from Mr Paul on behalf of the group was received and noted. It was suggested that a sign pointing out that there was no vehicle access for the public might address some of the concerns.

It was RESOLVED that a planning application be submitted based on an area of hard standing sufficient for two vehicles and that the possibility of erecting a sign be discussed with the Commons Group.


Cllr Moules reported on the events which were planned for the coming months. The next event would be the Proms on the Crease event. This would take place on Saturday 21 May following Speech day at St Bees School. and would be a family event with admission by ticket. Volunteers would be needed to collect tickets. Some funding towards the planned events had been donated by the Neighbourhood forum and ticket sales would also help to meet the costs.

It was now too late to organise an event to celebrate the royal wedding but it was suggested that an event should be organised for next year to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The Events Committee were seeking more volunteers from the local community to join and help with planning and organising events. Cllr Moules agreed to write an item for the parish magazine.


The Chairman reported on the review of the objectives for 2010/11 and outlined the proposed objectives for 2011/12.


It was RESOLVED that the report on the achievement of objectives for 2010/11 be accepted and that the objectives for 2011/12 be approved.


A draft of the Chairman’s Annual Report for 2010/11 was tabled. It was agreed that lead councillors would submit contributions on their areas of interest as soon as possible to ensure the report would be available for the Annual Parish Meeting.


There had been a recent meeting of all the locality groups together but unfortunately no representative from St Bees had been available to attend.


PCSO Bradley had sent his apologies but had sent a written report. Since the last meeting there had been 27 calls for service, almost all classed as miscellaneous. The police were continuing to monitor parking issues on Main Street.


Two street lights were in need of repair. It was agreed to write to CBC to ask why the lights at the beach car park had still not been repaired and when new bins would be provided at the main beach.



It was noted that there was still no ‘St Bees’ sign in place at the northern entrance to the village. It was agreed to check with Highways whether a new sign would be provided as part of the planned gateway features.


(a) New applications

  • Ref 4/11/2059/0F1 Revised scheme for planning permission 4/01/0773/0F1

Conversion of barn to 3 dwellings incl partial demolition in order to

Provide new managed cesspit drainage system

Rookery Barns, Rottington

The deadline for comments had passed and the Clerk in consultation with the Planning Advisory Group had sent a letter of objection stating that the planned system was not considered appropriate and that it was understood that another viable option was available.

It was RESOLVED to endorse these comments and to ask CBC to encourage the applicant to explore the other options available.

  • Ref 4/11/2092/0L1 Listed building consent for repositioning of gateway and creation of

sandstone gateposts

Mayfield, Finkle Street

It was RESOLVED to comment to CBC that the appearance would be much improved if the

gate and adjoining wall were of the same height.

  • Ref 4/11/2077/0F1 Demolition of single garage and construction of double garage

Catbells, Abbey Road

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

  • Ref 4/11/2118/TPO Removal of sycamore tree in the conservation area

8 Seacroft Drive

It was RESOLVED to comment that the council were reluctant to see the felling of any mature tree unless this was necessary because of the health of the tree and the council would be happy to rely on the advice of CBC Tree Officer in this case.

(b) Whin Bank

Further information had been received from CBC, including a schedule of vehicle movements and a landscaping plan. The application was included in the agenda for the Planning Panel on 30 March and Cllr Kennedy would attend on behalf of the parish council.


(c) Approvals/refusals:-

The following decisions by CBC were noted:-

  • Erection of two Gaia wind turbines, Fairladies Farm, Outrigg, St Bees - REFUSED


(a) Finance & Risk Advisory Group

The minutes of the meeting of the Finance & Risk Advisory Group on 9 March were received and noted. The Chairman reported on the analysis of expenditure against the budget at the end of quarter 3 and the projected year end position The Group had carried out the required review of the effectiveness of internal audit and were satisfied that all five tests were met. The Group had reviewed the position with opening a fixed term account for long term reserves and recommended that this be deferred until after the May elections.

It was RESOLVED that the recommendations of the Finance & Risk Group be accepted.

(b) Donation Request

A letter had been received from St Bees Garden Society seeking a donation towards the costs of the annual show.

It was RESOLVED that a donation of £150 be made to the costs of the annual show.

(c) Payments to be approved

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

  • Cheque no 001593 J DonaldsonMarch salary £501.33 (after NI deduction) £501.33
  • Cheque no 001594 Assured Cumbria Pest Control – Grass cutting 4 th quarter £637.00
  • Cheque no 001595 Steven Brown fencing – footpath repairs £300 + VAT Total £360.00
  • Cheque no 001596 CCC – contribution to leaflet printing costs £50.00
  • Cheque no 001597 United Utilities – allotment water 9 Dec-7 March £63.03
  • Cheque no 001598 Works 4 You Ltd – refixing wheel to wall £35.00 + VAT Total £42.00
  • Cheque no 001599 HMRC – employer/employee NI contributions 2010/11 - £77.16

Payments since last meeting to report:-

Cheque no 001592 D Robinson– reimbursement for plants £149.31 (approved by VIB Committee)


(a) A letter had been received from CBC confirming that the concurrent services scheme would operate again next financial year but a review was to be carried out into its effectiveness and it might not continue in future years. Noted.

(b) A letter had been received from Friends of the Lake District seeking a contribution of £15 to their funds to enable grants to be made to suitable projects in the coming year. Noted.

(c) A letter had been received from Cumbria Wildlife Trust seeking volunteers to serve as Chairman/Secretary of the local Support Group. Noted.

(d) Information had been received from CALC about new HMRC rules which required all parish councils to register as employers and operate an electronic system for PAYE returns. As the council is already registered no further action was required.

(e) A letter had been received from St Bees Guides and Guild thanking the council for the new information board at the Post Office.

(f) An invitation had been received for councillors to attend a launch event for the Choice based Lettings Scheme for social housing on Wed 6 April. Noted.


FLAG Newsletter March 2011 & Notice of AGM on 26 March

Open Spaces Spring 2011

CALC Circular March 2011

ACT Newsletter Spring 2011

Cumbria Affordable Warmth Project update


(a) It was reported that Norman Clarkson would not be standing again in the Borough Council elections in May. It was agreed to write to Cllr Clarkson to thank him for his work for St Bees during his time as ward councillor.

(b) Cllr Bettinson reported that rubbish needed to be cleared from the beck by the war memorial. The Clerk would investigate the costs of employing a contractor to undertake the work.

(c) Cllr Hill reported that the History Group were organising an event in the Priory on 12 April. Councillors wishing to attend should contact Ian McAndrew.

(d) Cllr Bettinson reported that the PCC would be making a donation to the parish council to help with the costs of managing the wildlife area at Priory Paddock.


It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 18 April 2011 in the Village Hall. The Annual Parish Meeting would take place at 7.00pm with the monthly parish council meeting following immediately afterwards.