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

Monday 16 September 2013 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall

PRESENT: Cllrs D Sim (in the Chair),N Bettinson, G Gilmour, J Haile, B Hewetson, I Hill,

K James, F Kennedy, D Millington, S Moules, C Robson, H Strong and the Clerk

 

145/13 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Argyle and Kelly

 

146/13 DISPENSATIONS & DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Cllr Hill declared an interest in the planning application for 53 Fairladies as a relative of the owner.

 

147/13 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

No issues were raised.

 

148/13 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 15 AUGUST 2013

It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the extraordinary meeting on 15 August 2013 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

149/13 FINANCE

(a)Finance report

The summary of accounts at 31 August was received and noted. The expected income for the year had all been received. The contribution to traffic calming measures, for which funds had been carried over from last year, had now been paid. It was noted that expenditure on Open Spaces appeared low but the annual bills for grasscutting and use of Station car park would not be paid until quarter 3.

 

(b) External Audit 2012/13

The external audit had been completed and an unqualified opinion had been given with no matters drawn to the council’s attention. The notice of conclusion of audit had been displayed on the main noticeboard for the requisite period.

 

(c) Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Chq no 001861 Mayson Bros – street light repair £254.54 + £ 50.91 VAT Total £305.45
  • Chq no 001862 D Simpson – beach event entertainment Total £215.00
  • Chq no 001863 Playsafety – annual inspection £68.00 + £13.60 VAT Total £81.60
  • Chq no 001864 Information Commissioner – data protection renewal Total £35.00
  • Chq no 001865 AON – additional premium for beach toilets Total £295.75
  • Chq no 001866 J Donaldson – reimbursement for postage Total £16.10
  • Chq no 001867 J Donaldson – clerk salary September nett Total£439.15
  • Chq no 001868 HMRC – PAYE quarter 2 payment Total £273.60

 

Cheques signed since last meeting to report:-

  • Chq 001850 CCC – contribution to traffic calming work £10,700.00
  • Chq 001851 Lowca Parish Council – purchase of speed gun £1200.00
  • Chq 001852 Mayson Bros – street light repair £176.14 + VAT Total £211.37
  • Chq 001853 A.A Pestroy – pest control £100.00 + VAT Total £120.00
  • Chq 001854 Cheque stopped – lost in post
  • Chq 001855 YNH Ltd – domain name renewal £17.00 + VAT Total £20.40
  • Chq 001856 Border Signs and Graphix – Information boards & banner £943.00 + VAT Total £1131.60
  • Chq 001857 BDO – audit fee £200.00 + VAT Total £240.00

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  • Chq 001858 J Donaldson – salary August net £415.10
  • Chq 001859 D Robinson – reimbursement for bulbs (VIB) £43.68 + VAT Total £52.42
  • Chq 001860 I C Robson – reimbursement printing of walks leaflet Total £44.00

 

150/13 BEACH TOILETS

The main terms of the contract for opening/closing/cleaning the toilets had been drawn up and agreed with the preferred contractor. The formal contract would be prepared shortly for signature. The contractor had in-house staff covering most trades and would be willing to undertake minor repairs on an ‘as required’ basis.Arrangements would need to be put in place for managing the toilets and authorising repairs and it was agreed to review how the council’s committee structure could be used to deal with these matters.

A draft lease had been forwarded by CBC immediately after the last meeting. Brockbanks solicitors had been engaged to advise the parish council. A copy of the proposed lease with the amendments suggested by the parish council’s solicitor had been circulated in advance of the meeting. Most of these amendments had been accepted by CBC. There were two minor matters still to be resolved but the parish council’s solicitor had advised on a satisfactory way to deal with both issues. An independent survey had been commissioned from Day Cummins to give a report on the state of the property at the time of transfer and this would be referenced in the lease. The cost of the survey would be £400 + VAT.

Discussions had taken place with the insurer to provide cover for the building from 1 October based on the current insurance valuation provided by CBC. The cost for the additional cover would be £295.75.

CBC had provided copies of the risk assessment for legionella and the reports of the recent testing. The Clerk would investigate the options for setting up a suitable contract from October.

 

It was RESOLVED that the terms of the contract for opening/closing/cleaning the toilets be agreed and that a contract be offered to Thomas Milburn (Property) Ltd in the sum of £7000 + VAT for the 12 month period beginning 1 October.

It was further RESOLVED that, having taken all reasonable steps to minimise the risks to the parish council, the terms of the lease be agreed and the Chairman and Vice-Chairman be authorised to sign the lease on behalf of the parish council.

 

151/13 PROJECTS

(a)Beach Regeneration

(i) Play Area Project

Tenders had been received from five play equipment companies and the evaluation would take place on Wed 18 September. The funding application to WREN had been successful and they had offered a grant of up to £60K, bringing the total funding secured to £135,250 and leaving a shortfall of only £3k. An application to Home Group had been unsuccessful. Cllr Wormstrup had been asked to consider a contribution from his Members project allowance but would not be able to give his decision until later in the year.

WREN required the third party funding within 30 days and Copeland Community Fund who agreed to provide that funding were unable to formally confirm their grant until all funding had been secured.Delays at this stage could jeopardise the plan to complete the project for the 2014 tourist season. After considering the position with the current year budget and the level of reserves, it was proposed that the parish council should undertake to provide the additional £3K to enable the project to go ahead. Fundraising could continue in the meantime to help the parish council meet the costs.

It was RESOLVED that the parish council undertake to provide an additional £3k contribution to the funding package and that all funding avenues be explored to help meet the costs.

It was further RESOLVED that the Chairman be authorised to sign the grant acceptance from WREN.

 

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(ii) Beach Event

The beach event on 25 August had been a huge success with large numbers attending. The ‘Beach Bash’ obstacle course organised by Mark Wear had been very well supported with 150 adult competitors and 50 juniors taking part and the event had raised over £4000 for charity. The children’s entertainer and the kite displays had been excellent and the charity stalls had proved an added attraction for visitors. The organisers of the event were keen to make this an annual event and it was agreed that this would be a popular addition to the village calendar. Councillors recorded their thanks to Pam Argyle and Gus Kennedy who had co-ordinated the various activities on behalf of the parish council.

It was RESOLVED that a letter of thanks be sent to the organisers of the Beach Bash and the kite displays.

 

(iii) Other beach issues

The Chairman reported that the new stainless steel banner was now in place on the Wainwright Wall.

CBC was seeking funding for interpretation boards at each of the main beaches and had asked whether the council was willing to be the applicant for planning consent if required, with the costs being reimbursed. The content of the boards would be agreed between CBC and the parish council.

It was RESOLVED that the parish council be the applicant for planning consent, if this was required.

Cllr Robson explained plans to mount a large map and visitor information inside the shelter at the main beach. The costs of a suitable information board would be approx. £300. The Clerk would make enquiries about the need for planning consent.

It was RESOLVED that an information board be purchased and erected in the shelter subject to clarification of the planning requirements.

 

(b) Traffic Calming

(i) Community Speedwatch Scheme

Cllr Moules reported that more than twenty volunteers had now come forward and three training sessions had taken place with a fourth scheduled for October. The training had been provided by the local police, who had also now completed their risk assessment of the various locations to be used. A rota would now be drawn up to enable speed monitoring to begin.

 

(ii) Traffic calming works

The traffic engineer had confirmed that work on the island by Fairladies and other work would begin in October. He was making further enquiries into why the additional markings on Outrigg had not yet been done. Parking continued to be a problem on Outrigg and a letter had been sent out to parents of children at the Village School. The Clerk would ask the Pre-School if they could send a similar letter to parents. The yellow lines requested around the Seacroft Drive and Nethertown Rd junctions required a Traffic Regulation Order which would be processed later this year.

It was noted that there had been recent instances of problems by the chicane with a school minibus parking outside Barony House. The Clerk would discuss the matter with the Bursar.

 

(iii) Speed limits

Cllr Millington drew attention to national guidance for councillors on speed limits. Requests for changes to speed limits would need to be based on evidence of accident statistics. Cllr Wormstrup was looking into the background to the changes which had been made to speed limits in St Bees and it was agreed to await his comments before considering the matter further.

(c) Walks Booklets

Laminated versions of the history walk had been produced and were available for visitors to borrow from the caravan park, beach café and Priory. Stocks of some paper leaflets were running low Whilst copies could be downloaded from the web-site, it was agreed that there was still a need for

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some paper copies. It was suggested that consideration should also be given to producing some visitor information sheets which could be made available through B&Bs etc with the costs being met in whole or part by sponsorship from local businesses.

It was RESOLVED that a small reprint be organised of those leaflets where stocks were low.

 

152/13 NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN

Cllr Sim reported that the various volunteer groups were beginning the task of looking at specific areas of the parish with a view to a further public consultation later in the autumn. Discussions had taken place with Bob Metcalfe about the possibility of engaging his professional services and it was planned to make an application for grant funding to cover the costs. Cllr Hill suggested that the plan should look at the need for affordable homes in the parish.

 

153/13 LAND ISSUES

The Clerk gave a report on progress with the various land issues. Network Rail had confirmed that a lease was being prepared for Station car park on the existing terms to begin on 4 February 2014. Discussions about the possible asset transfer of grassed areas at the main beach had been put on hold until the work on the toilet lease was completed.

There had been no progress with the possible transfer of land adjacent to Stonehouse Farm. CBC was looking for a firm commitment that the parish council would use the land as a car park.

It was RESOLVED that the parish council confirm its intention to use the land as additional car parking subject to planning approval.

 

154/13 ALLOTMENT MATTERS

Most tenants had now signed the new tenancy agreements and paid the rent due. One rent payment was outstanding and a reminder had been sent.

A tenant had asked the council to consider waiving all/part of the rent due in recognition of the fact that they had spent a considerable sum on weedkillers in an attempt to eradicate the horse tail weed on the plot. It was noted that horse tail had been present on various plots for many years and whilst it could not be eradicated it was possible to keep it under control and still produce reasonable crops.

It was RESOLVED not to waive the rent on this occasion.

 

155/13 CLERK’S REPORT

The Clerk reported on the following matters:-

  • Beach Rd footpath – there had been little progress as the CCC officer concerned had been busy with the coastal access programme. He had promised to progress the scheme on his return from leave.
  • Seamill car park – Network Rail had replied that their contractor had photographic evidence of the car park before and after the work which showed no appreciable change in the condition of the surface.
  • Grasscutting complaint – afurther complaint had been received about grass falling on to a neighbouring property when the Beach Rd footpath is strimmed. The Clerk had spoken to the contractor to try to minimise the problem.

It was RESOLVED to monitor the situation for the next few weeks.

  • Broadband – The Clerk had obtained information from CCC on the likely improvement to Broadband speeds in the parish when the county project was rolled out. 85% of St Bees households would be able to receive superfast broadband and 90% of Egremont households. Ian McAndrew had suggested that more detailed information be requested but this might not be available through the county project.

It was RESOLVED to authorise Dr McAndrew to seek further information in his capacity as the parish council’s broadband champion.

  • Outrigg Play area – the annual ROSPAinspection had taken place. There were no high risk issues identified but several lower risk issues were drawn to the council’s attention. Copies of the report would be circulated to Cllrs Strong, Kennedy, Bettinson and Haile.

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  • Thefts of planters – there had been two separate incidents over the summer when VIB planters complete with plants had been stolen from Beck Edge Garden. The police had been informed. It was agreed to keep the matter under review and to discuss the costs of replacement with the Village in Bloom Committee when budget decisions were made for next year.
  • Manor House issues – there had been a complaint of noise nuisance and anti-social behaviour at the Manor House. Cllr Hill, in his capacity as borough councillor, had asked appropriate officers at CBC to look into the matter. It was suggested that the problems were not confined solely to the Manor House but action could only be taken if evidence was available. Cllr Bettinson agreed to speak to the licensee of the Manor House.

 

156/13 PLANNING

(a) New Applications

The Planning Advisory Group reported on the following applications received for comment:

Ref 4/13/2324/0F1 Extensions & alterations

Calafell, Seamill Lane, St Bees

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

 

Ref 4/13/2332/0F1 Canopy on end of existing grain store

Whin Bank, Rottington

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

 

Ref 4/13/2339/0F1 New sun room extension & telescopic mast and antenna

53 Fairladies, St Bees

It was RESOLVED there were no objections to this application.

 

Ref 4/13/2352/0F1 Erection of dwelling (revisions to approved scheme 4/09/2188)

Plot 1, Fleatham House, High House Rd, St Bees

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

 

Ref 4/13/2359/0F1 Variation of condition of planning application 4/01/0665 to allow only 2 months

closure of static holiday caravans

St Bees Caravan Park

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

(b) Applications approved/refused

The following decisions by CBC were noted:

  • Installation of 250KW wind turbine – Highfield Farm, Egremont APPROVED with conditions
  • Demolition of plumbers store & erection of new dwelling – 116 Main St APPROVED with conditions
  • Conservation order consent for above development – APPROVED
  • Erection of new dwelling- revisions to previously approved scheme –Plot 3 Fleatham House APPROVED
  • Renewal of consent for continued use of youth centre – Youth Centre, Outrigg APPROVED to 2018
  • Listed building consent for internal alterations – 11 Lonsdale Terrace APPROVED

 

(c) Other planning issues

  • Abbey Rd – the developer had now remedied the breach of the planning consent so work would now be able to proceed.
  • High Walton – CBC had written to the property owner about the apparent breach of the planning consent to store scaffolding equipment at Dove Cote Barn on a short term basis.

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  • Scalebarrow – a new field access had been created from the road. CBC Planning Enforcement Officer would investigate whether any planning consents were required.

 

157/13 REPORT FROMCOMMUNITY POLICE OFFICER

PCSO Kane had provided a written report which indicated that there had been no incidents over the summer apart from the thefts of the planters.

Councillors reported that there had been incidents in the village in recent weeks which the police had attended and which were not reflected in PCSO Kane’s report. It was agreed that the Clerk would take this matter up with him.

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158/13 CBC ISSUES

The changes proposed last year to waste collection arrangements for ‘off route’ properties were now coming into effect. Only one property in the parish had so far been affected.

It was pointed out that the CBC pay and display sign at Station car park needed to be covered or removed.

 

159/13 CCC ISSUES

It was noted that new bus timetables had been introduced from the beginning of September with the earliest bus not arriving in St Bees until after 10am.

Two highways related items had been suggested as topics for CCC Scrutiny Committee to investigate – the communication between Highways and parish councils and the length of time taken to complete repairs.

Three repair issues were raised. The illuminated school sign on Outrigg had still not been replaced, although it was now more than six months since the accident in which it had been damaged. The sides of the road on High House Rd were in need of repair and were a danger to cyclists. The road surface close to the entrance to Station car park was breaking up due to a blocked culvert under the road. The Clerk would take these matters up with Cumbria Highways.

 

160/13 CORRESPONDENCE

(a) Information had been received from CBC about the Coastal Network meeting to be held on Wed 18 September. Noted.

(b)A letter had been received from Dept for Communities and Local Government about the Post Office Community Enterprise Fund which encouraged sub-postmasters to work with local people to develop innovative ideas for how post office branches could support their local communities. Noted.

(c) Notice of acceptance had been received for the application for a Development Consent Order by the Planning Inspectorate for the proposed Walney Extension Offshore Wind Farm. Noted.

(d) Information had been received about the Ennerdale Workshop to be held on 30 September at the Environment Agency offices, Penrith. Noted.

(e) Notice had been received of the CALC AGM to take place on Saturday 9 November at Rheged. Noted.

(f) An invitation had been received from the West Cumbria Bus Users Group for a representative to attend their AGM on Monday 30 September at the Waverley Hotel, Workington. Noted.

(g) Information had been received from the Office for Nuclear Development about the launch of a public consultation on the site selection process for a Geological Disposal Facility. The consultation would run to 5 December. The intention was to re-launch the GDF site selection process in 2014.

It was RESOLVED that the matter be included as a main agenda item for the October meeting and publicised in the parish magazine to encourage local residents to join the debate on how the parish council should respond.

(h) Information had been received from CALC on the postponement of the consultation by National Grid on the route corridors for the upgraded electricity connections from Sellafield to the main supply lines. The delay was due to NuGen considering the appropriate technology choice for the new power station which would have implications for the National Grid plans. Noted.

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(i) Details had been received of Multi-Agency Flood Training days to be organised across the county by the Environment Agency. The Allerdale/Copeland event would be on Wed 16 October. Noted

FOR INFORMATION

Cumbria Coastal Access Monthly Update September 2013

CALC Circular September 2013

CALC Continuing Professional Development programme Sept 2013- July 2014

Cumbrian Wildlife September 2013

 

161/13 ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

(a)The RNLI Christmas Carol Service would take place on Tuesday 3 December.

(b)It was noted that there was a promotional video on Youtube highlighting the tourist attractions in St Bees and featuring Chris Robson.

(c) Cllr Hill reported that plans for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust to assume responsibility for the running of West Cumberland Hospital had been delayed until various issues had been resolved.

(d) It was noted that a decision on whether parish council precepts would be ‘capped’ next year was expected in a few weeks time.

 

162/13 DATE & TIME OF NEXT MEETING

It was RESOLVED that the next monthly meeting take place on Monday 21 October 2013 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.