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Draft Minutes of the Meeting of St Bees Parish Council

Monday 18 March 2013 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall

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

B Hewetson, K James, T Kelly, F Kennedy, D Millington, S Moules, C Robson,

H Strong and the Clerk

Also present: 1 member of the public.



 Apologies for absence were received from Cllr I Hill.



Cllr Robson declared an interest in agenda item 15(a) as the owner of Fern Bank.



Concern was expressed about the situation at Rottington Beck where it appeared that the sheet piling towards the site of the old bridge was being undermined and the erosion was now extending under the promenade.

It was RESOLVED to bring forward discussion of agenda item 12 Rottington Beck

The Chairman explained that the parish council was aware of the unsatisfactory state of the area after the contractors left the site and was continuing to press CBC to take some action. It was believed that rock armour was to be used at the inland end of the beck but the erosion was now affecting the land under the promenade.

The supports for the new bridge had now been installed and the bridge would be erected shortly.

It was noted that negotiations were still taking place between CCC and the landowners about the footpath over Tomlin and, until these were completed, repair work could not take place to improve the path surface.

It was RESOLVED to contact CBC to ask that action be taken as a matter of urgency to complete the work required at Rottington Beck and to restore the area to a satisfactory state.



It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 18 February 2013 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman subject to the following amendments:-

Minute 30/13  - to read ‘ the tenancy agreement be approved as a draft for consultation with tenants subject to the minor amendments to sections 3.8.1 and 3.9.1’

Minute 35/13  add ‘It was agreed that a policy on wind turbines would be included within the neighbourhood plan.’



(a)Finance report

The summary of accounts at 28 February was received (copy attached to the minutes). It was noted that there was likely to be an underspend of approx. £14,000 which would be carried over into the next financial year. Of this sum £8000 was funding for the traffic calming and beach play area projects and it was expected that the expenditure would now fall in the early part of 2013/14. The Finance & Risk Advisory Group would provide a full year end report at the next meeting.

The current level of fidelity guarantee insurance was reviewed in light of the funds likely to be carried over into next year and the increase in the precept in 2013/14.

It was RESOLVED to seek a quotation for fidelity insurance cover of £50,000.


It was noted that the Finance & Risk Advisory Group had reviewed the risk management measures earlier in the year and found them to be satisfactory. The group was considering recommendations for minor changes to the risk management policy and would report back to the full council early in the new financial year.



It was noted that an urgent repair was required to the stonework of the Pinfold.

It was RESOLVED that authority be delegated to the Clerk to organise repair work as soon as possible within a limit of £1000.


(b) Grasscutting Contract

The current grasscutting contract had been awarded for one year initially with a possible extension for two further years subject to mutual agreement. The contractor had provided a quotation for 2013/14 based on a slightly modified schedule to take account of the changes resulting from CBC’s reduction in service. He had also submitted a quotation for grasscutting at the main beach. It was noted that CBC had not yet formally agreed that the parish council could use its own contractor for this work but that the Clerk was seeking confirmation from CBC.

Cllr Bettinson agreed to assist with the administration of the contract.

It was RESOLVED that the quotation be accepted and the contract be extended for 2013/14 and that the Clerk liaise with the contractor about grasscutting at the main beach once discussions with CBC were concluded.



It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

·         Cheque no 001805 CBC – play area inspections March 2013 £39.91 + £7.98 VAT Total £47.89

·         Cheque no 001806 United Utilities Water plc - allotment water Total £13.35

·         Cheque no 001807 J Donaldson –salary £503.90  + postage £9.00 Total 512.90

·         Cheque no 001808 HMRC – PAYE 2012/13 Total £0.40

·         Cheque no 001809 Works 4 You Ltd – disposal of prunings etc £120.00 + VAT Total £144.00


Cheques signed since last meeting to report:-

Chq no 001804 VAC – Booking fee Community Tourism Conference Total £10.00 (agreed at last meeting)


(a)Beach Regeneration & Play Area Projects

It was noted that Copeland Community Fund had requested further information to support the play area grant application and this had now been supplied. Cumbria Waste Management Environment Trust had replied that they were now prioritising the Penrith area and were unable to accept an application so it was proposed to increase the amount to be requested from WREN.   If the Community Fund agreed to provide third party funding, the application would be submitted to WREN.

Amended Heads of Terms for the play area lease had been received. It was suggested that some of the terms were unnecessarily restrictive (eg fencing to erected within one month) and that there could be more flexibility (eg within a reasonable time or within a mutually agreed period). It was also suggested that references to litter picking were unnecessary and could be covered by a requirement to keep the area in a neat and tidy state. The Chairman and Clerk would be meeting CBC officers on 26 March and it was agreed that these suggestions would be put to CBC.

A meeting of the Beach Regeneration Committee had been arranged for 25 March. It was noted that CCC had organised a flood forum in St Bees on the same evening. It was agreed that the Beach Regeneration Committee meeting should go ahead as planned and that Cllr Bettinson would represent the parish council at the flooding meeting.





 (b) Traffic Calming

The draft minutes of the meeting of the Traffic Calming Committee on 14 February were received and noted.

Cllr Millington reported that he was awaiting information from the Traffic Engineer on when the next phase of traffic calming work would take place. The funding from St Bees School and the grant from Cllr Southward had now been confirmed. It was still not clear whether the underspend on the new pavement would be available to be used for the next phase of work but the confirmed funding would be sufficient for the main part of the work.


Cllr Moules reported on the outcome of the application to the Neighbourhood Forum for a grant to cover the purchase of a speed gun. £560 had been awarded. The cost of a new speed gun was estimated at £2000, although it might be possible to purchase a second-hand speed gun from Lowca Parish Council at a lower price. It was noted that the police were hoping to introduce a volunteer speed monitoring scheme across the western part of the county and had already purchased some equipment.

It was RESOLVED to ask Lowca Parish Council what price they would be willing to accept and to discuss with the local police the possible ways forward.


(c) Walks Booklets

There was no progress to report.



The Clerk reported on progress with the asset transfer of the Beach toilets and other land issues:-

(a)Beach Toilets

CBC had stated that in order for the toilets to remain open beyond 31 March agreement would need to have been reached on the terms of the transfer, even if legal formalities were not complete. CBC had provided draft Heads of Terms of a lease for the parish council to consider and had suggested a meeting during the week commencing 25 March to discuss the arrangements. CBC had previously said that it would be willing to provide a service to open/close and maintain the toilets on behalf of the parish council for an initial period whilst the parish council consider how best to manage the toilets in the longer term but no costs had yet been provided.

Concerns were expressed about several aspects of the draft Heads of Terms including the length of lease and arrangements for termination, security and insurance. It was considered to be very important that the toilets remain open whilst discussions continued on the terms of the transfer.

It was RESOLVED to write to CBC Chief Executive seeking urgent reassurance that the toilets would remain open whilst discussions continue.

(b)Land by Stonehouse Farm

CBC had now concluded its internal consultation and further information was awaited from CBC.

(c)Station car park

CBC had decided to terminate its lease and had discussed with Network Rail the possibility of the parish council operating the car park. Network Rail had suggested that it might be possible to transfer the existing lease and CBC was now awaiting written confirmation from Network Rail.



Copies of the list of projects in the Business Plan had been circulated together with a discussion document prepared by the Chairman and an organogram showing the structure of the parish council’s committees and working groups.

The project listed was reviewed and it was noted that a number of projects had now been completed or were in progress. The remaining projects were discussed and it was agreed that



some projects should be removed from the list as they were unlikely to be achievable within the foreseeable future. Cllr Robson agreed to contact the PCC about the possibility of a joint approach for brown heritage signs and the Clerk would write to CBC to explore the possibility of parking permits for the beach car park for village residents.

Discussion took place on how other projects and tasks should be progressed. It was agreed that the updated list of projects and tasks would be circulated before the next meeting so that councillors could consider how responsibilities could be allocated.

The next major project was the production of the neighbourhood plan and a draft list of sections

prepared by Cllr Moules was received. The Chairman explained that the web-site now included a section for the plan so that progress could be publicised.

It was RESOLVED that a steering group be set up to lead the neighbourhood plan project, comprising Cllrs Argyle, Gilmour, Kelly, Moules and Strong, with other councillors and interested residents being involved as required.



The draft terms of reference had been amended as agreed at the last meeting and the revised draft had been circulated.

It was RESOLVED that the revised draft terms of reference be approved.



There had been a presentation by Sellafield Ltd at the three tier meeting on 11 March. The original plan had been that from June 2014 there would be no vehicle access to the Sellafield site but it had now been decided that the timescales were not achievable and the plan now was that all vehicles entering the site would be searched. This might also create problems with tail-backs of traffic and it was agreed that the situation would need to be kept under review.



The Chairman reported that the bridge replacement had taken place as planned and the work to relocate the millstone and move the rocks etc had been completed very efficiently.

It was RESOLVED that a letter be sent to Network Rail to thank them and their contractors for the efficient and considerate way in which the work had been carried out.



The Chairman reported on the meeting of local councils with CBC and CCC on 11 March. There had been budget updates from both CBC and CCC and discussion about the increased number of applications for wind turbines across the borough.



It was RESOLVED that the Annual Parish Meeting be held on Monday 10 June and that the agenda include discussion of the Neighbourhood Plan.



Cllr Robson withdrew from the meeting during discussion of the following item.

(a)New Applications

·      Ref 4/13/2063/TPO     Various tree works

                                    Fern Bank, High House Rd, St Bees

It was RESOLVED that there were no objections to the application, as the work was simply that required for proper management of the trees.

·      Ref 4/13/2074/0F1 Demolition of existing house & replacement with new dwelling

                                The Knoll, High House Rd, St Bees

·      Ref 4/13/2047/0C1  Conservation area consent for demolition

                                 The Knoll, High House Rd, St Bees



As the applications had only just been received, it was RESOLVED that the Planning Advisory Group consider the plans and that authority be delegated to the Clerk to send a response to CBC within the specified period.


(b) Wind Turbine Applications

It was noted that a letter had been received from SKM Enviros giving advance notice that an application was to be submitted for a 45.5m high turbine at Highfield Farm, Egremont.


It was also reported that some residents had received letters from CBC about the application for a 66m high turbine on land near Fairladies Farm, Outrigg but others had not. As there was widespread interest in this application it was agreed to put information and a location plan on the parish noticeboards.


(c) Applications approved/refused

No decisions by CBC had been received but Cllr Argyle reported on the site visit by the Planning Panel to the Adams Recreation Ground. It was noted that drainage issues had been discussed and only foul water would be connected to the United Utilities system with separate arrangements being made for surface water drainage



The Clerk reported on progress with the following outstanding matters:

  • Highways defects –A letter had been sent to the Area Highways Manager (with copy to Cllr Southward) following the last meeting but no response had yet been received. It was agreed that the parish council’s efforts to follow up highways issues should be mentioned in the next parish magazine. .
  • Fairladies road subsidence – Highways had confirmed that the repair was finally completed in the last few days.
  • Proposed new allotment tenancy agreement – the proposed new tenancy agreement had been sent to allotment holders for comment. Two responses had been received so far.
  • Footpath repairs – CCC had been able to fund some repair work to the public footpath which runs from the Crofts. Cllr Gilmour had spoken to nearby residents to make them aware of the work. The lengthsman had cleared the undergrowth and overhanging branches to enable new stone to be laid. It was hoped that a Highways representative  and CCC footpaths officer would shortly meet residents who own property adjacent to the Beach Rd footpath to discuss drainage if the path were tarmaced.
  • Steps by 9 Main Street – CBC Environmental Health Officer had visited the site to look at the possible safety issues created by the worn steps. She would report back in due course. 



PCSO Kane had provided a written report which commented on the low level of crime in the village. He had recently visited the Pre-school Group to speak to the children about traffic safety.

Councillors drew attention to the lack of enforcement action on illegal/dangerous parking but it was noted that some fixed penalty notices had recently been issued.



There were no items to report.



There were no items to report.





(a)Correspondence had been received from Mark Wear about a proposed charity event (a beach fitness challenge) to be held at the main beach at August Bank Holiday. It was anticipated that it would attract large numbers of competitors and spectators, generating income for local businesses as well as media interest. It was RESOLVED that the council could see no objection to the event taking place on Bank Holiday Sunday and that a letter be sent to the organisers wishing them every success with the project.

(b)A letter received from CCC inviting comments on the draft Cumbria Minerals and Waste Local Plan which had been compiled following the consultation last summer. Cllr Bettinson agreed to review the document.

(c)Correspondence had been received from CALC enclosing a new booklet on neighbourhood planning produced in co-operation with the district councils and the National Park. Noted.

(d)An invitation had been received from St Bees Scouts for the Chairman and Vice-Chairman to attend a presentation by the scouts on the results of their study of crime issues in the village. It was RESOLVED that Cllr Moules attend on behalf of the parish council.

(e)An invitation had been received from the Bursar at St Bees School for parish councillors to meet representatives of the School for an informal discussion of their future plans. It was RESOLVED to accept the invitation and suggest a date of 13 May.

(f)A letter had been received from NALC informing councils of the retirement of their Chief Executive. Noted.

(g)The Neighbourhood Forum Newsletter had been received from meeting on 28 February.Noted.

(h)A letter had been received from Cumbria Wildlife Trust encouraging local councils to respond to the Marine Conservation Zone consultation.Noted.

(i)A request had been received for funding from the Centenary Book Fund to finance the reprinting of two publications, St Bees Man and 1000 Years of Village History.  The total printing costs were estimated at a maximum of £950 and the money would be repaid to the Fund from booklet sales. It was RESOLVED to ask for a formal request from St Bees PCC to be considered at the next meeting.

(j)Information had been received from the Friends of the Lake District about Whole Valley Planning. Noted.

(k)Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm – notification had been received of changes to the design parameters as set out in the Project Description. Noted.

(l)Notes of the National Grid meeting at Grizebeck had been received from CALC. Noted.

(m)Details had been received of a Flooding Forum for St Bees residents affected by last year’s flooding on Mon 25 March at 7.00pm at the Adams Recreation Ground. It was agreed that Cllr Bettinson would represent the parish council.


Open Space Spring 2013

CALC Circular March 2013

Connecting Cumbria February 2013

Cumbria Coastal Access Monthly Update March 2013



(a)Cllr Bettinson reported that the lengthsman had undertaken work at Priory Paddock and that the work had been done promptly and efficiently.



It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 15 April 2013 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.