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Minutes for November 2011

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

Monday 21 November 2011 at 7.35pm in the Village Hall

PRESENT: Cllrs S Moules (in the Chair), C Davidson, G Gilmour, J Haile, K James,

T Kelly, F Kennedy, D Millington, C Robson, D Sim, H Strong and the Clerk

In attendance: Mr K Melville & Mr R Crawford, Cumbria Highways (agenda items 5 & 6)


Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Bettinson, Hewetson, Hill


Cllrs Gilmour and Robson declared an interest in agenda item 7b (donation to Old College Hall renovation project).


No items were raised.


It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 17 October be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.


The Chairman welcomed Mr Melville and Mr Crawford to the meeting.

Mr Melville began by explaining the range of work covered by his department and the budgets available for different types of scheme. He then went on to explain the recent restructuring of the county council’s highways department which devolved responsibility to each of the districts. The main Copeland team was based at Richmond House in Whitehaven with three departments being based at Lillyhall. The new structure created three Better Highways Teams in Copeland which would be responsible for carrying out repair work in their designated area with a fourth team being available to supplement these teams as necessary for larger works. The emphasis would be on fixing faults at the first visit. Calls to the call centre would now be answered locally where staff would have a better knowledge of the area. The aim would be to get back to callers within 48 hours and to answer letters within 5 working days. The system for creating/amending traffic regulation orders was being streamlined to save costs and there would be greater emphasis on achieving planning gain. Illegal parking was now being enforced in Copeland.

Mr Melville was anxious to develop working relationships with each of the parish councils and would shortly be sending out a large scale plan to each council so that any highways issues could be marked up to establish a base-line position in each area. It was also suggested that the parish council should nominate one point of contact for liaison with the Better Highways Team.

In answer to questions Mr Melville stated that a cycle path link to St Bees was included in the Local Transport Plan but the budget for schemes would not be known until early next year.


Councillors reported that the chicane outside Barony was proving effective but there was some concern about cars parking between the war memorial and the new chicane. It was agreed that some parking restrictions might be necessary and this could be considered for inclusion in a future traffic regulation order. There remained concern about the high volume of Sellafield traffic coming through the village and the speed of some vehicles using High House Road.

Mr Melville explained that the new speed limit guidance suggested that the requirements for 20mph limits were being relaxed but the details were still being studied so no time-scale was yet available. The scheme which the parish council had proposed for Outrigg was being considered on 25/11/2011 for funding from the budget available to the Local Committee.


Alternative sources of funding would need to be found for any other measures. It was agreed that Cllr Millington continue to be the lead contact on highways matters with the Clerk assisting, as necessary.

176/11 FINANCE

(a) Budget and Precept 2012/2013

A copy of the draft budget was received. Cllr Strong outlined the proposed expenditure and how this might be funded. There was likely to be an underspend this financial year and the funds would be carried forward to next year. However, the proposed increase in spending on specific projects would require an increase in the precept but it was anticipated that the contribution from the council would enable a significant sum to be drawn in from other funders. The results of the recent parish plan survey indicated that there was support for a higher precept to fund improved facilities.

It was RESOLVED that the budget for 2012/13 be approved and that the precept for 2012/13 be set at £26,160

(b) Donations

(i)Old College Hall Renovation Project

At the last meeting correspondence had been received from St Bees Priory PCC about the project to renovate Old College Hall as a community venue. A funding application had been made to CWMET which, if successful, would require a third party funder.

It was RESOLVED that the council act as third party funder, if required, up to a maximum of £770.

(ii) Other donations

It was also RESOLVED that the following donations be made:

  • St Bees Village Hall Committee - £500
  • St Bees Priory PCC (parish magazine costs) - £600
  • Royal British Legion - £150
  • Friends of the Priory - £50
  • FLAG - £50
  • Cumbria Wildlife Trust - £60 group membership

It was further RESOLVED that next year the availability of grants be advertised more widely with no assumed continuation of previous funding and that all organisations be asked to provide information to support their requests for funding.

(c) Payments to be approved

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

  • Cheque no 001659 CBC – playground inspections November £39.91 +VAT Total£47.89
  • Cheque no 001660 Petty Cash top up- Total £128.19
  • Cheque no 001661 J Donaldson – Clerk salary Nov 2011 £504.30 + postage £4.32 Total£508.62
  • Cheque no 001662 SLCC- CiLCA Management – fee for Cilca update Total £15.00
  • Cheque no 001663 St Bees Priory PCC – Room hire Total £12.00
  • Cheque no 001664 M Thurlwell – reimbursement for refreshments etc for Christmas event Total£85.78

Cheques signed since last meeting to report:

Cheque no 001658 Amberol Ltd– planters Total £499.20 (expenditure approved by VIB Committee)



The training session on 10 November had been well attended so the council now met the criterion of having 80% of councillors trained in the use of the power. A draft community engagement strategy had been produced and a final version would be ready for approval at the next meeting and the Clerk was submitting the necessary section to update her CiLCA qualification.

  • It was RESOLVED to formally adopt the power as soon as the final criteria were met.


(a) Christmas Event

Cllr Gilmour reported that arrangements were well in hand for the event would be held on 6 December and would link in with the RNLI Carol Service. The event would begin at 6.15pm and Santa would travel trough the village handing out sweets to the children. It was agreed that the Christmas tree would be put up by parish council volunteers the previous weekend.

(b) Fireworks Event

The Chairman reported that the event had been very successful and ticket sales had gone well. It was noted that the parish council’s support for the event had not been clear on the tickets and it was suggested that a logo be used to aid publicity for future events. It was noted that a suitable logo had already been developed for the village and could be used for this purpose.

(c) Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

It was agreed that the parish council should organise a meeting early in the New Year to co-ordinate village events to celebrate the Jubilee.

(d) Main Beach Play Area

Cllr Moules was working with the village school to get the children’s ideas for play equipment.

(e) Broadband Project

Cllr Moules reported that the next stage would be to get expressions of interest from local residents for the use of superfast broadband. It was hoped that this could be done through the village web-site.

(f) Parish Plan Update/Neighbourhood Plan

The results of the questionnaire were being analysed and a full report would be available for the next meeting. The results would be fed into the neighbourhood plan (village design guide) which was being developed It was agreed that a meeting be organised in January to put together the draft neighbourhood plan before a public consultation was undertaken.


Cllr Gilmour reminded councillors of the offer made at the meeting with Mitre Housing that the parish council would help to assess the future demand for single person accommodation at Bega Flats.

It was agreed to include this as an agenda item early in the New Year.


Correspondence had been received from CBC asking for information on properties empty for more than 6 months. A number of properties were identified which had been unoccupied for a lengthy period including 51 Main Street, 116A Main Street and Moorleys. The site of the former Station Garage was also a cause for concern.

It was RESOLVED to pass details of these properties to CBC.


(a) New applications

The Planning Advisory Group reported on the following applications which had been received for comment since the last meeting:-


  • Ref 4/11/2494/0F1 4 Bedroom dwelling (revised plan), Plot 1, Land adjacent to Wyndhowe, Seamill Lane

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

(b) Applications approved/refused:-

The following decisions by CBC were noted:

  • Conversion of 4 bedsits to 2 dwellings, Bega Flats, Main Street – APPROVED
  • Outline application for agricultural dwelling and additional building for animal welfare & storage, Land opp Linethwaite, Moor Row – REFUSED
  • New dormer on front & rear elevations to convert loft to habitable space, 3 Abbotts Way, St Bees – APPROVED

It was also noted that the applicant had lodged an appeal against the refusal of plans for a detached dwelling at Plot 3, Wyndhowe.


The minutes of the meeting on 25 September were received and noted. A letter from the committee explaining the background to the Village in Bloom project and requesting further funding from the parish council budget was also received.

It was noted that the budget for 2012/13 included support for the project and it was suggested that a meeting take place in January with VIB volunteers to discuss what help and support could be provided.


PCSO Bradley had provided a report on logs received during October. It was noted that officers would be carrying out speed checks in the village. The Chairman reported that PCSO Bradley’s advice had been sought about a specific vehicle which regularly travelled at high speeds on high House Road.

Councillors expressed concern that no action had been taken to address the problems of cars parking in a dangerous position on Cross Hill. The Clerk had asked the new enforcement officers to visit but in the meantime requests for help from the police had met with no success. It was noted that parking by the Queen’s Hotel also presented a danger to school children attending swimmimg lessons at St Bees School.

It was RESOLVED to write to Cumbria Police about the lack of action to address these problems.


There were no items to report.


It was noted that the yellow school markings had still not been repainted and some pot-holes were still in need of repair. The Clerk would report these items again to the Better Highways Team.


(a) A letter had been received from the Local Government Boundary Commission about the

review of county council ward boundaries. The closing date for comments on the proposals was

16 Jan 2012. Noted.

(b) An invitation had been received to the third Copeland Partnership conference on Tuesday 29

November 9.30am to 1pm in Millom. Noted.

(c) A letter had been received from CBC about consultation on the Whitehaven Town Centre

and Harbourside Supplementary Planning Document which was available on the CBC website.

The closing date for comments was 2 December. Noted.

(d) A letter had been received from CCC about re-consultation on the Minerals & Waste


  • Development Framework Site Allocations Policy. Noted.

(e) An invitation had been received from CALC to a half day conference on possible geological disposal of radioactive waste in West Cumbria to be held on Sat 7 January 2012 at Hunday Manor. The public consultation on whether to take part in the search for a site for a repository

began on 21 November. It was RESOLVED that places be booked for Cllrs Gilmour, Kelly and Moules.

(f) A letter had been received from the Fire Brigades Union urging the parish council to use its influence to prevent CCC transferring control room functions to a regional centre in Cheshire. A copy of a letter from CCC to local MPs had also been received explaining the decision. Noted.

(g) A letter had received from Cumbria’s Military museum explaining their move to larger premisies and seeking financial support for their regeneration fund. Noted.

(h) A letter had been received from North West Wildlife Trusts seeking support to for their campaign to prevent Defra reducing the number of Marine Conservation Zones to be designated under new legislation. Noted.

(i) Briefings had been received from CALC on the Localism Bill which had now received royal assent and the associated consultations on neighbourhood planning and the community infrastructure levy. It was RESOLVED to include this on the agenda for next meeting.


  • MRWS e-bulletin Oct
  • Connecting Cumbria Nov 2011
  • Cumbria Community Foundation - annual review 2011
  • CALC Circular October 2011
  • CALC Annual Report 2011
  • Open Spaces – Autumn 2011
  • Countryside Voice – Winter 2011
  • A595 Mirehouse to Westlakes drainage & pavement renewal – 14 Nov for 4 weeks


(a) The litter bin was ready to be installed outside the Post Office. Cllr Kennedy agreed to liaise with the contractor to decide the best position.

(b) It was reported that there had been further problems with an emergency ambulance being unable to find a property off Outrigg. The possibility of giving a name to this private estate had previously been suggested and CBC had indicated that they would be prepared to do this if all residents agreed. It was agreed that the Clerk would contact property owners on the estate to offer the parish council’s help in taking this forward.

(c) Cllr Robson reported on several activities due to take place in the village shortly, including the Arts Society meeting on Wednesday 23 November, a talk by Will Sim at NCH on Friday 25 th and the History Group meeting on Tuesday 29 th in NCH.


It was RESOLVED that the next meeting be held on Monday 19 December 2011 at 7.35pm in the Village Hall.