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Minutes for October 2012

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

Monday 15 October 2012 at 7.35pm in the Village Hall

PRESENT: Cllrs S Moules (in the Chair), P Argyle, N Bettinson, G Gilmour, J Haile,

B Hewetson, I Hill, K James, T Kelly, F Kennedy, C Robson, H Strong and the Clerk

In attendance: Mr M Ainsworth & Mr C Robinson – Environment Agency

Also present: 5 members of the public


Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs D Sim and D Millington


There were no declarations of interest.

It was noted that, under powers delegated to the Clerk, dispensations had been granted to all councillors for the period until the next ordinary elections in May 2015 to allow them to take part in debate and decisions on the precept in order that the council could fulfill its proper function.

Requests for dispensations had also been received from Cllrs Kennedy and James to allow them to take part in debate and decisions on allotment matters (other than the setting of rents), although they are both allotment holders.

It was RESOLVED that dispensations be granted to Cllrs Kennedy and James until May 2015 as it was deemed to be appropriate to utilise their experience in allotment matters.


The Chairman welcomed Michael Ainsworth and Chris Robinson to the meeting to give presentations on beach monitoring and the proposed new build at Moorside.

(a)Beach Monitoring

Mr Ainsworth explained that a routine programme of monitoring had been carried out since 2006. The monitoring was done by Sellafield Ltd with the Environment Agency setting the targets and reviewing the results. At St Bees 237 hectares had been monitored with 118 finds (all particles under 2mm). Over time the number of beta emitting particles seemed to be decreasing. There had been a slight increase in alpha emitting particles but this was thought to be due to the introduction of more sensitive equipment. The evidence supported the theory that the particles were due to historic legacy rather than recent discharges. The Health Protection Agency and Food Standards Agency classified the risk to the public as very low, much lower than the risks associated with other beach activities such as skin cancer.

A trial of offshore seabed monitoring had been undertaken in 2011. One particle had been found and further work was being done to determine if this was a legacy of past events. Monitoring work would continue in order to provide reassurance and the Environment Agency would continue to work to reduce uncertainties in risk assessment.

(b) Moorside

Mr Robinson explained his role as the EA Project Manager for the proposed new power station at Moorside close to Sellafield. The new power station was expected to be of similar size to Hinckley C. There were two reactor designs being considered and the two options were still being evaluated. Nu-Gen, the developers, would be starting some preliminary site investigations shortly. The Environment Agency role was to ensure that safety, security, water abstraction and waste management issues were properly managed, both during construction and when the power station became operational.

The Chairman thanked Mr Ainsworth and Mr Robinson for coming to speak to the council.



Mr Scott raised the subject of the relocation of the mill-stone and asked when a decision would be taken. He also asked whether there had been similar public consultation when the millstone was moved previously.

It was explained that there was no obligation on the council to consult on every spending decision. The Chairman explained that a decision on the millstone would be taken in due course when the consultation was concluded and this would be shown on the agenda posted on the village noticeboards.

The Clerk explained that a letter had been received from Mr Scott (to be reported under Correspondence) asking for an amendment to the minutes of the Sept meeting and seeking clarification of whether the parish council had any duty to protect land which had no registered owner from encroachment. He had asked for a written answer to be provided.

The Clerk would write to Mr Scott following the meeting with a response to his queries.


It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 17 September 2012 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman subject to the addition of the following to min 149/12

‘Mr Scott referred to a previous minute on a different matter (min 47/10b) and asked whether legislation on common land could be used to protect the access area from encroachment.’

Cllr Bettinson left the meeting at this point.


It was reported that the public meeting on 10 October with representatives from Cumbria Highways and Flood Resilience Scheme had been well attended with residents from a number of areas within the parish. Both CBC & CCC Ward councillors were present. It was clear that the drainage system was not sufficient to cope with the increase in the size of the village and there was some criticism that further developments continued to be approved. Cllr Hill had explained that the new Local development Framework would require developers to make adequate provision for drainage. Residents had been able to discuss specific problems in detail with Highways staff and were able to provide local knowledge of the drainage system to supplement the information held by Highways. CCC officers had undertaken to look at the problems raised by residents and try to identify measures which could be implemented without great expense, although major capital works were not likely to be possible in light of budget constraints.

Problems with flooding at Peckmill from the nearby Adams Recreation Ground had also been raised at the meeting and it was suggested that the matter be drawn to the attention of the Adams Ground Committee. The loss of trees in the village could also be worsening flooding problems. The work on the footpath from Seamill Lane to the railway line discussed at the last meeting had been approved by CCC who had now authorised local residents to carry out the work.

It was RESOLVED to request a copy of the report by Highways when it was available.

168/12 FINANCE

(a)Financial Report & Budget 2013/14

The report of the Finance & Risk Advisory Group meeting on 9 October was received (copy attached to the minutes). Cllr Strong outlined the main points in the report and explained that it was estimated that full year expenditure was likely to be lower than anticipated and income slightly higher. However, in light of the low level of the general reserve, it was recommended that the savings should be used to increase the reserves and should not be used to finance additional expenditure in the current year.

It was requested that any additional bids for inclusion in the budget for 2013/14 should be submitted to the Clerk by 1 November. Cllr Moules pointed out that current projects might require further funding next year and suggested that these should have priority over new projects.


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


(i)It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:–

  • Cheque no 01768 CBC – supply of litter bin – £120.00 + VAT Total £144.00
  • Cheque no 01769 CBC – play area inspection £39.91+ VAT Total £47.89
  • Cheque no 01770 J Donaldson – clerk salary Oct £504.30 + postage £5.40 Total £509.70

Cheques signed since last meeting to report:

  • Cheque no 001766 BDO LLP – external audit fee £285.00 + VAT Total £352.00 (payment due before next meeting)
  • Cheque no 001767 United Utilities Water plc – replacement for cheque 001762 damaged in the post £20.42

(ii)It was noted that the annual subscription to the National Society of Allotment & Leisure Gardeners was now due but insufficient allotment holders had paid the optional £2 subscription to cover the minimum subscription.

It was RESOLVED to refund the subscriptions of those tenants who had paid the fee.


(a)Beach Play Area

The draft minutes of the Beach Regeneration Committee on 26 September were received. Cllr Moules reported on a meeting which had taken place with CBC officers to discuss the report which was to be put to CBC Executive to seek their approval to the play area project. However, CBC’s proposed budget cuts had significantly changed the situation and the parish council would need to review the position as soon as possible. It was agreed that the impact on the play area project should be discussed at the Beach Regeneration Committee on 24 October with recommendations being made to the next parish council meeting.

(b) Community Events

It was noted that the fireworks event would take place on 7 November in partnership with St Bees School. The event would be open to everyone in the village and tickets would be available from the village school. Cllrs Argyle, Kelly and Hewetson agreed to act as marshalls.

The Christmas event would take place on Tuesday 4 December in partnership with the RNLI. There had been a positive response from last year’s volunteers and Cllr Gilmour was trying to source a large Christmas tree.

It was RESOLVED that a budget of £400 be approved for the Christmas event.

(c) Traffic Calming

It was noted that the result of the application to Copeland Community fund would be known on 26 October. It was agreed that the Traffic Calming Committee should be asked to review the success of the schemes implemented to date (chicane outside Barony House and new pavement on Outrigg).

(d) Tree planting

It was noted that volunteers were needed to help progress this project. It was suggested that volunteers be sought through the parish magazine to assist with tree planting and a number of councillors agreed to help.

(e) Walks Booklets

No progress report available.


Draft standing orders had been circulated, based closely on the NALC model. It was agreed that comments should be submitted to the Clerk by the end of November.



(a)New applications

  • 4/12/2423/TPO Felling of sycamore tree, Brocklebank House, High House Rd

It was RESOLVED to ask CBC to obtain specialist advice before approving the work

  • 4/12/2437/0F1 Decking at rear of dwelling (retrospective), 5 Fairladies

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

  • 4/12/2459/TPO Remove 1 sycamore and replace with 1 ash, fell 2 sycamore and replace with 2 ash and partial crown reduction of 1 ash, Fleatham House

It was RESOLVED to ask CBC to obtain specialist advice before approving the work.

(b) Applications approved/refused

There were no decisions to report.

(c)Neighbourhood Plan

It was noted that CBC was applying for funding to assist with the costs of the neighbourhood plan but it was not clear whether any of the funding would be made available to the parish council.


The Clerk reported on progress with the following matters:-

  • Abbots Way – Beach Rd footpath –A meeting had taken place on site with Carillion to look at the possibility of including the work in their community scheme.
  • Rottington Beck works – CCC had confirmed that they would provide a new bridge but discussions were still taking place with CBC and RSPB about the supports for the bridge.
  • Millstone –An article had been included in the Oct parish magazine inviting views on whether the millstone should be relocated. Some individual responses had been received as well as a joint letter signed by approx. 80 people.
  • Seamill car park access – information was being provided to the solicitor to enable her to draw up a statutory declaration confirming the parish council’s use of the access to the car park since its purchase. A caution against first registration could be lodged with the Land Registry at the same time based on the council’s right of access over the land, although there was no guarantee that this would be accepted by the Land Registry.


A written report had been received from PCSO Watson. It was noted that there had been one arrest for drink driving and one arrest for disorder.

174/12 CBC ITEMS

Cllr Hill explained the background to the consultation on budget cuts recently announced by CBC. CBC, in common with other councils, was facing significant cuts in funding from central government and would need to make cuts in discretionary services in order to continue to provide statutory services. If confirmed, the cuts would have an impact on services and facilities in St Bees and this would need to be taken into account when the parish council budget was considered. CBC had also offered to discuss possible transfers of community assets to parish councils.

It was agreed that preliminary discussions should take place with CBC to establish which services would be stopped/reduced, what the current costs of those services were and which assets might be transferred. The Finance & Risk Advisory Group would then meet to discuss the information and report to the next meeting.


There were no items to report.



(a)A number of items had been received on the subject of MRWS.

  • An acknowledgement from the Leader CCC to the letter requesting that no decision be taken until the concerns identified by CALC had been addressed.
  • A copy of the press release from CBC/ABC/CCC explaining that a decision on proceeding to the next stage was to be postponed for 3 months.
  • An update from MRWS Partnership including a copy of the letter from the three principal authorities to Baroness Verma.
  • A press release from CALC welcoming the decision but warning that three months delay will not be sufficient to clarify all the issues of concern and emphasising the need for local issues of trust to be addressed.

(b)Consultation had been received from Electricity North West on how and where they should invest in the local electricity network over the next 10 years. Noted.

(c)Correspondence had been received from CALC advising that local councils delay their precept decisions until it is clear whether they will be subject to ‘capping’ and until the principal authorities have published their own budget proposals. Noted.

(d)An invitation had been received from Beckermet with Thornhill PC for a representative to attend a meeting they have arranged with Nu-gen on 24 October. Cllr Gilmour had agreed to attend on behalf of SBPC.

(e)Booking forms had been received for the CALC AGM on Sat 10 November. Noted.

(f)A letter had been received from CBC confirming the adoption of the Whitehaven town centre and harbourside supplementary planning document. Noted.

(g)An email had been received from the Leader and Chief Executive of CBC about the 8 week consultation on CBC budget proposals, inviting parish councils to enter into discussions with them about community asset transfer. Noted.

(h)A letter had been received from Mr D Scott raising two points, seeking an amendment to the minutes of 17 September to include reference to his question as to whether the access area at Seamill could be protected as a common and asking the Clerk to investigate and confirm in writing that the council has no statutory duty to protect ‘ownerless’ land of this type.

(i)The agenda had been received for the Copeland District AGM of CALC on 23 October.


CALC Circular October

Cumbria Coastal Access Monthly Update October 2012

Cumbria Wildlife Trust e-newsletter October 2012

Cumbria Playing fields association annual report 2011-12

Cruse Bereavement Care Cumbria – information leaflets


It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 19 November at 7.35pm.

It was further RESOLVED that the December meeting begin at an earlier time to avoid a clash with the concert at the Priory and the Clerk would investigate alternative venues if it was not possible to use the Village Hall.