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

Monday 28 April 2014 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall

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

I Hill, K James, F Kennedy, D Millington, C Robson and the Clerk

In attendance : Cllr H Wormstrup (Cumbria County Councillor for St Bees/ Egremont North)

 

61/14 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs D Sim, M Riley and H Strong.

 

62/14 DISPENSATIONS & DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Cllr Hewetson declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 5c Donation request from St Bees Garden Society as the spouse of a committee member.

 

63/14 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

No issues were raised.

 

64/14 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 17 MARCH 2014

It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 17 March 2014 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

65/14 CCC ISSUES

It was RESOLVED to bring forward this item on the agenda.

Cllr Wormstrup reported on progress with the Connecting Cumbria Broadband project. He would continue to liaise with County Council officers and would report again at the next meeting. It was agreed that Jason Dixey, the County Council officer taking over responsibility for the project, should be invited to attend the next meeting.

It was noted that the illuminated school sign on Outrigg which was removed following a traffic collision more than a year ago had still not been replaced. Cllr Wormstrup agreed to take up the matter with the Highways officers concerned.

 

66/14 FINANCE

(a) Financial Report

The summary of accounts at 31 March was received and noted. The Clerk explained that income for the year was £41945.49. Total expenditure was £58210.52 which appeared to be over budget but this included expenditure on projects for which provision had been carried over at the end of the last financial year. When this was taken into account, spending was much in line with the budget. The annual accounts and Annual Return would be available for approval at the May meeting.

It was noted that Tom Milburn had offered to purchase a new information board for the main beach shelter and that Hartleys had agreed to pay for the printing of Welcome leaflets to be distributed through B&Bs etc

It was RESOLVED to write to both businesses to thank them for their help in financing these projects.

It was proposed that the parish council approach CBC to ask that any increased receipts from parking charges following the completion of the play area be shared on a 50/50 basis with the parish council. This would enable a sinking fund to be established to replace the play equipment in future years.

It was RESOLVED that a formal request be made to CBC.

Cllr Wormstrup left the meeting.

 

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(b) Risk Management Review

The Clerk reported that no comments had been received on the draft risk register following the last meeting so the Finance & Risk Advisory Group would now meet to finalise the register and write a covering policy document. The Financial Regulations would also be reviewed following the recent publication of new NALC model regulations. The final documents would then be brought to a meeting of the full council for approval.

 

(c) Donation Request

A request had been received from St Bees Garden Society for a donation towards the costs of the annual show in August.

It was RESOLVED that a donation of £156.00 be made.

 

(d)Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:-

  • Cheque no 001944 Cumbria Association of Local Councils –annual subscription £273.00
  • Cheque no 001945 Egremont Town Council – contribution to lengthsman scheme £450.00

 

The following payments made since last meeting were noted (accounts due before this meeting in view of the change of meeting date):

  • Cheque no 001935 Cockermouth Town Council – play area inspection course fees £60.00
  • Cheque no 001936 H & I Crayston – work at Seamill car park £200.00
  • Cheque no 001937 Mike Gibson Stonework Ltd - war memorial wall repair £80.00
  • Cheque no 001938 CBC – emptying of Fairladies litter bin Apr- June £24.70
  • Cheque no 001939 D Mart – photographs for information board £80.00
  • Cheque no 001940 CBC – NNDR Beach toilets 2 nd monthly payment £150.00
  • Cheque no 001942 Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd– annual rent for Station car park - £400.00
  • Cheque no 001943 J Donaldson – clerk salary April net £450.71
  • Thomas Milburn Property – beach toilet service April - ££583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (paid by SO)

 

67/14 PROJECTS

(a)Beach Regeneration

(i) Play Area

The drainage work was now complete with only minor reinstatement works required following the installation of the play equipment. The revised estimate for the drainage work was £1500 under budget. With drainage work complete the contingency budget of £9500 was not needed and the funders had agreed that the unused funds could be used to fund the purchase of the wooden galleon. The only outstanding expenditure was signage and the expenses involved in an opening ceremony. It was proposed that this would take place in June to acknowledge the contributions made by funders and volunteers, and discussions were taking place with the Village School about the possibility of children participating in the ceremony.

It was RESOLVED to proceed with the order of a sign and arrangements for the opening ceremony and that, if required, the costs be met from the beach regeneration budget.

(ii)Beach cleaning

CBC would be employing a seasonal member of staff between May and September to clear litter from the grassed areas and the beach between the groynes and had provided a member of staff to clear litter from the beach on Easter Saturday. He had been assisted by Cllr Hill who reported that an enormous amount of litter had been cleared. The Clerk reported on discussions with the Community Payback Scheme about help with litter picking in other areas. They were willing to do work on a regular basis at a charge of £25 per day. This could then be supplemented by volunteer beach cleans.

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It was RESOLVED that Community Payback be asked to provide a team for one day per month, concentrating on the areas not covered by CBC during the summer season and including the main beach area as necessary during the winter.

 

(iii)Landscaping

Since the last meeting CBC had offered a grant of £1785 towards the landscaping project. In view of the deadline for responding to CBC the Clerk had confirmed acceptance and the grant had now been received.

 

(iv)Sink Hole by promenade

The work to fill the hole had now been now completed.

 

(v)Information board

Cllr Robson reported that he and Cllr Argyle had begun to paint the shelter and the board would be in place in the next few weeks.

(b) Traffic Calming

Cllr Moules reported that he was still seeking a volunteer to organise the Speedwatch rota.

The draft minutes of the Traffic Calming Committee on 2 April were received and noted. The main purpose of the meeting had been to discuss the possibility of lobbying for more funding to maintain the B5345 which is used as a main route to and from Sellafield. However, the Highways representative at the meeting had reported that some additional funding had been received from central government for road repairs and the Main Street and High House Rd areas might be suitable schemes. It had been decided to take postpone discussion on lobbying for the present time.

Cllr Millington reported an email received from a local resident criticising the recent traffic calming measures. Cllr Millington would be replying to the resident concerned and the content of the response was agreed. It was noted that Highways staff would be monitoring traffic speeds once all the work was complete to assess the effectiveness of the new measures.

 

(c) Community Events

Cllrs Kennedy and Argyle reported that plans were well advanced for the Beach Bash on 31 August but ideas for other activities would be welcome. It was suggested that some involvement by Made in Cumbria might be appropriate.

The performance of the play to mark the outbreak of WW1 was likely to take place in the autumn.

 

(e) Office Improvements

The Clerk reported that the room was much tidier and Cllr Sim was in discussions about the replacement of the window and roof repairs.

 

(f) Tree Planting

Cllr Bettinson reported that the tree planting scheme agreed in partnership with St Bees School had progressed very well. A total of 140 trees had been planted across ten different locations, six of them within the School grounds, at sites from Sea Mill to Wood Lane, and a further 50 had been issued to local residents for their own use. Some additional tree supports would be ordered shortly and more sites were being identified for planting in the coming year. It was suggested that trees could be planted in memory of village residents who were killed during WW1. Cllr Bettinson agreed to look at whether this would be practical.

 

(g) Welcome Leaflets

Cllr Robson tabled copies of the new leaflet to be distributed through local B&Bs and hotels. The leaflets were now in use and had been well received.

 

 

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68/14 MANAGING THE COUNCIL WORKLOAD

A discussion took place on how the council should manage the increased workload which had resulted from the new projects taken on in recent months. It was agreed that it was not necessary for all tasks to be undertaken by parish councillors, although some parish council oversight was required, and local volunteers should be encouraged to become involved with tasks such as play area inspections etc. It was suggested that whilst some tasks were essential, other projects might have to be postponed or cancelled if volunteers could not be found. Cllr Millington volunteered to lead work on Station car park and Cllr Gilmour offered to draw up new rules for the use of the boat park. Lead responsibilities for the other projects would be agreed at the next meeting.

 

69/14 UNITED UTILITIES WORK AT BECK EDGE

United Utilities had given notice of emergency works to be carried out at Beck Edge to comply with new legislation on real time reporting of water quality. A new compound would be installed in the field owned by the Parish Council which would be permanently fenced off with a new pedestrian gate from the road.

United Utilities had offered to pay the reasonable costs of the council employing a surveyor to protect its interests and the Clerk had asked Mitchells Land Agency to act on behalf of the council. Following discussions with the agent United Utilities had offered to purchase the small area of land as it would in future be effectively unavailable to the Parish Council.

It was RESOLVED that the land be sold to United Utilities and that the agent be authorised to negotiate the price on behalf of the council on the basis that United Utilities would pay the council’s legal costs.

 

70/14 BOAT PARK/SEAMILL STORM DAMAGE

It was noted that new fencing had been put in around the boat park by one of the boat park users and the Clerk would be writing to thank him.

A local builder had been contacted about repairs to the outlet pipe and he would liaise with the Chairman about what was required.

A meeting had taken place with CBC Acting Head of Neighbourhoods attended by Cllrs Sim, Hill and the Clerk to discuss progress with the grant in aid application for coastal defence work at Seamill. An application had been submitted but this was a five year programme so, even if successful, nothing would be done for some time. The chances of success would be increased if other partners could be persuaded to submit letters of support. The Clerk would be contacting Network Rail and CCC to ask them to support the bid.

 

71/14 STATION CAR PARK

The licence agreement for the car park had been signed by the Chairman and Vice-Chairman. This was a rolling year to year agreement effective from 8 February 2014.

It was agreed that the amount set aside in the budget for long term asset repair should be reconsidered as part of the budget process in the autumn in view of the new responsibilities for the car park, play area and toilets.

 

72/14 FLOODING & DRAINAGE GROUP

There had been no response to the article in the parish magazine seeking volunteers to join a community group to liaise with CCC. A reminder had been included in the May edition.

It was reported that the flow from Pow Beck into the sea was restricted and this was creating problems at Seamill where algae was building up. Responsibility for maintaining the beck was unclear. It was suggested that CCC might have some riparian responsibility. The Clerk would contact the County Council and Environment Agency to establish who was responsible.

 

73/14 UNITED UTILITIES WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT PLAN

It was noted that the Secretary of State had declined to accept the Plan and had decided to set up a Planning Inquiry. All objectors would have a right to make representations. One of the reasons

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given by the Secretary of State was concern that the Plan does not do enough to protect the fresh water mussels.

 

74/14 ALLOTMENT COMMITTEE

The draft minutes of the meeting of the Allotment Committee held on 3 April were received and noted.

 

75/14 CLERK’S REPORT

The Clerk’s report on ongoing matters was received and the following points were noted:-

  • Sunday Rail Service – Copeland Rail Users Group had asked the council to provide a letter to support CCC’s attempt to get a pilot project for a Sunday rail service. The letter was required by end of March so letter was sent by the Clerk supporting the initiative, on the grounds that a Sunday service would assist local people and boost tourism.
  • Beach footpath –CCC had confirmed that funding would still be available in the new financial year and it was still intended to go ahead with the project in partnership with the parish council. CCC officers would be in contact with the Clerk shortly about timescales.
  • GDF- The Chairman had continued his correspondence with DECC about the format used for the publication of on-line responses. Some limited progress had been achieved but DECC would not agree to use the PDF format. Cllr Gilmour would be attending the CoRWM meeting in Workington on 30 April and some information on the parish questionnaire and the poor response from DECC had been forwarded to the committee in advance of the meeting.
  • Brown Tourist signs – A response had been received from CCC. They had turned down the application for brown tourist signs to signpost visitors from the A595 to the Priory and Heritage Coast.
  • Wall by war memorial – The repair was now complete.
  • Sale of land opposite Fairladies – The attempt to delay the sale was unsuccessful and the auction sale went ahead. The land had been purchased by a local resident.

 

76/14 PLANNING

(a)New Applications

The following applications had been received for comment:

  • Ref 4/14/2141/0F1 Alteration & extensions to increase kitchen, new utility and replace garage Fairways, Egremont Rd, St Bees

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

 

  • Ref 4/14/2154/0N1 Notice of Intention for agricultural building for storage of hay/straw Fairladies Farm, Outrigg Rd, St Bees

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

 

  • Correspondence had been received from a resident objecting to the application (Ref 4/14/2092/0F1) for the use of a barn to allow storage of scaffolding at Dovecote Barn, High Walton. The Clerk had replied explaining that the parish council had formally objected to the application and encouraging the correspondent to make a written objection direct to CBC.

(b) Applications approved/refused

No decisions had been notified by CBC.

 

77/14 REPORT FROM COMMUNITY POLICE OFFICER

PCSO Kane had provided a written report. There had been a recent burglary at a property in the village and the police wished to remind householders to secure doors and windows before going to bed and to report any unusual activity to the police.

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It was reported that there had again been problems with vehicles parking on the pavement forcing pedestrians to walk into the road. This had been drawn to the attention of the local police. It was noted that parking enforcement by the local authority was ineffective as officers were not visiting at the right times and many of the yellow lines had not been repainted by Highways. The Clerk would check when repainting would take place.

 

78/14 CBC ISSUES

Cllr Hill reported that the appropriate legal procedures were in hand to remove the travellers from the beach car park.

It was noted that the matter of the land adjacent to Stonehouse Farm was now being handled by CBC Legal Department. The Clerk would contact the officer concerned to establish the current position.

 

79/14 CORRESPONDENCE

(a) Details had been received of the programme of beach & sub-sea monitoring for 2014/15. It was noted that no beach monitoring will take place over Easter or school summer holidays. Sub-sea sampling will take place in April/May and July/August but would be weather dependant.

(b) Information had been received from NALC on their Policy Review Survey. Noted

(c) Amended draft minutes of the last West Copeland Area Partnership had been received. Noted.

(d) Notification had been received of the dissolution of Cumbria Playing Fields Association. Noted.

(e) Details had been received of a fund set up by the Police & Crime Commissioner to support initiatives and interventions which aim to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. Noted.

(f) Copeland Community Fund were organising an event on the evening of 2 June to recognise and thank volunteers involved in a range of community projects. Noted.

(g) A letter had been received from North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust enclosing a briefing on progress with improvements across the Trust. Noted.

(h) Copies had been received of CBC Housing Strategy 2011-2015 and Homelessness Strategy and Action Plan. Noted.

 

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

CALC Circular April 2014 Healthwatch Cumbria Spring Newsletter

Coastal Access Update April 2014 Dispatches April 2014

Go Cumbria – Bus and Travel Guide FLAG Newsletter April 2014

Fieldwork (CPRE) Spring 2014 Open Spaces Society newsletter Spring 2014

Countryside Voice (CPRE) Spring 2014 CCC Youth Council Report 2012/13