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

Monday 15 December 2014 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall

PRESENT: Cllrs D Sim (in the Chair), P Argyle, N Bettinson, B Hewetson, K James

F Kennedy, D Millington, M Riley, C Robson, H Strong and the Clerk

 

In attendance : Cllr I Hill, Ward Councillor

Cllr H Wormstrup, County Councillor for Egremont North/St Bees

Mr M Davies

201/14 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs G Gilmour, J Haile and S Moules.

 

202/14 CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS

The Chairman welcomed Mike Davies to the meeting. Mr Davies had expressed an interest in the vacancy for a parish councillor and would be observing the meeting.

 

203/14 DISPENSATIONS & DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

No declarations of interest were received.

 

204/14 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

There were no matters raised.

 

205/14 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 17 NOVEMBER 2014

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

 

206/14 CCC ISSUES

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

Cllr Wormstrup reported that the contractor had returned to clean the gullies around the Outrigg/Seacroft Drive area on 1 December. There had been liaison with the parish council to ensure that vehicles were not obstructing the drains. This had been largely successful, although there had been some problems in Main Street. It was hoped that the drains would now be able to cope with heavy rain without causing flooding. The parish council would be informed of the date of the next visit so residents could be asked to leave gullies clear of vehicles.

The problem with the sunken drain on the Whitehaven Rd was due to be repaired shortly. Patching/surfacing work had been done in Main Street whilst the level crossing was closed. Inevitably this had caused some inconvenience but it was noted that there had been many favourable comments about the standard of the work and the courtesy of those working on the job.

It was RESOLVED to write to the Highways Manager and also to Network Rail thanking them for the work done and the courtesy shown by those working on the repairs.

It was noted that CCC had received requests from residents in two areas for residents parking. The Clerk would contact Highways to ascertain the details of the requests.

It was noted that there had still been no official information on when the south side of the village would be able to receive superfast Broadband. The Chairman reported that fibre-optic cables were currently being installed to the cabinet on Cross Hill.

Cllr Wormstrup left the meeting.

 

207/14 CBC ISSUES

Cllr Hill reported that it was hoped to do further work on Rottington Beck in the next financial year if funds permitted. CBC was currently carrying out a consultation on the budget but it was proposed that the Council Tax Support Grant paid to parish councils would be reduced. CBC was looking at further oppotunities for sharing services with other authorities to reduce costs.

 

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In answer to questions, Cllr Hill explained that the Local Plan did not foresee the need for large scale housing development in St Bees. The Straegic Housing Land Availability Assessment would be coming out to public consultatin shortly. The draft included areas of land in the parish but this did not mean that these sites had been approved for development.

Cllr Hill then left the meeting.

It had been reported that 10 of the lights at the beach car park were not working. It was agreed that the Clerk woud report the matter to CBC. The street name sign at Hillside had still not been replaced following the accident there almost two years ago. The Clerk would contact CBC about the position.

 

208/14 FINANCE

(a)Financial Report

The summary of accounts at 30 November was received and noted together with the notes of the FRAG meeting on 11 December (copy attached to the minutes). The income now exceeded the budget predictions. Some additional income was likely as allotment rents were due in January but the position was unlikely to change substantially. Overall expenditure was generally in line with budget but expenditure on the toilets and play area maintenance were over budget whilst there were underspends on other budget headings. It was expected that there would be an underspend of approx £2K at the year end.

 

(b) Budget 2015/16

Cllr Strong explained the draft budget drawn up by the Finance & Risk Assessment Group. There were increased costs associated with the maintenance of the beach toilets and provision had been made for play area repairs. The budget for the current year had included a sum to cover an increase in the Clerk’s salary and the Chairman would report to the next meeting on the results of a recent review which he and the Vice Chairman had carried out. Provision had been made in the draft budget for increased costs in 2015/6. It was proposed to limit funding on projects next year to £4000. New projects being considered included preliminary work on the possibility of a cycle track link to Whitehaven and initial work to improve the Outrigg play area.

If the draft budget was approved there would need to be an increase in precept, amounting to approx 9% (less than £5 per annum for a Band D property). However, the level of grant from CBC was not yet known and there was no information on whether central government capping would be extended to parish councils. The budget and precept would be finalised at the January meeting.

 

(c) Review of Financial Regulations

One of the actions from the last internal audit was to complete the review of the financial regulations. FRAG had produced new draft regulations based very closely on the NALC model. It was noted that there was some overlap between the financial regulations and section 11 of the main Standing Orders (Contracts) and changes to the financial regulations would require consequential amendments to Standing Orders.

It was RESOLVED that the draft financial regulations be adopted and that Section 11 of Standing Orders be amended.

 

(d)Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Cheque no 002017 CBC – NNDR Beach Toilets 10 th monthly payment Total £150.00
  • Cheque no 002018 Royal British Legion – donation Total £220.00
  • Cheque no 002019 Village Hall Committee – donation Total £500.00
  • Cheque no 002020 St Bees PCC – contribution to costs of parish magazine £650.00
  • Cheque no 002021 Furness Line Action Group – donation & annaul membership £50.00
  • Cheque no 002022 The Friends of the Priory – donation & membership £50.00
  • Cheque no 002023 G Hayes – grasscutting 2014 Total £3375.00
  • Cheque no 002024 CBC –additional emptying of play area bins Total £250.80

 

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  • Cheque no 002025 Solway Recycling Ltd – seat & fixings £315.00 +£63.00 VAT Total £378.00
  • Cheque no 002026 Harrisons Packaging Ltd – poop scoop bags ££156.99 + £31.40 VAT Total £188.39
  • Cheque no 002027 Mrs M Thirlwell – refreshments for Christmas event £122.81 + £17.54 VAT Total £140.35
  • Cheque no 002028 G Gilmour – reimbursement for Chrstmas tree Total £70.00
  • Cheque no 002029 H Strong – reibursement for key cutting Total £23.00
  • Cheque no 002030 Viking – stationery & printer ink £87.04 + £17.41 VAT Total £104.45
  • Cheque no 002031 J Donaldson – postage Total £7.53
  • Cheque no 002032 J Donaldson –Clerk salary Dec (nett) £473.23
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service Dec £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (to be paid by SO)
  • Answer 4 U - answering service £13.79 + £2.76 VAT Total £16.55 (to be paid by direct debit)

Cheques signed since last meeting to report:

Cheque no 002015 Mrs E Todd – reimbursement for repairs to VIB shed Total £150.00

Cheque no 002016 Petty Cash top-up (Village in Bloom)– Total £149.59

 

209/14 FOOTWAY LIGHTING

The Clerk reported on the meeting with CBC to discuss the grant available from ENW to help with the replacement of pole mounted lights removed under the new ENW policy. The grant was only available towards the replaceent of lights lost in the current financial year and those parishes affected would be invited to provide a list of the lights which they wished to replace. The grant would then be distributed accordingly. The parish council would have to meet the annual maintenance costs and any shortfall between the grant and the installation cost.

It was RESOLVED to express an interest in the replacement of the two lights at Rottington with a final decision being made once the grant allocation was known.

 

210/14 PROJECTS

(a)Beach Regeneration

The grant claim forms for the play area had now been submitted to funders and the payment from WREN had been approved. Wicksteed had agreed to rectify most of the minor faults noted on the equipment and would be sending personnel to do the work ealy in January. The zip wires require tensioning and this would be done at the same time at a cost of £160 + VAT.

The minutes of the Beach Regeneration Committee on 25 November were received and noted. Further discussions had taken place with members not able to be at the meeting about the scheme to landscape the northern end of the promenade. The general feeling was that a more modest scheme would achieve the results necessary to improve the area.

It was RESOLVED not to proceed with the major improvement scheme but to consider smaller scale improvements.

 

(b) Traffic Calming

Cllr Hewetson reported that speedwatch sessions had been suspended whilst the road closures had been in place and would resume in January.

The series of road closures on the B5345 had reduced traffic flows considerably and the numbers travelling to Sellafield by train seemed to be increasing. Details of the level crossing wok and road closures had been posted on the parish council’s Facebook page and this had proved to be a very effective means of communication.

 

(c) Community Events

The Santa parade had taken place on 9 December despite torrential rain and works around Cross Hill. Network Rail had made special arrangements for Santa’s sleigh to be allowed over the level crossing that evening despite the road closure. The event had raised £451.07 for RNLI funds. It was

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noted that Cllr Gilmour would be unable to act as organiser of the parade next year and a volunteer would be needed to take over the organisation and co-ordinate arrangements with the RNLI.

It was RESOLVED to send a letter of thanks to Santa, his chauffeur and the elves for persevering with the event in such wet weather.

 

(d) Tree Planting

Cllr Bettinson reported that in recent weeks 30 hawthorns and 25 pinus negra had been planted around the golf course. The tree stakes and guards had arrived and he was liaising with the parish lengthsman to arrange further sessions.

 

211/14 THREE TIER MEETING

The Chairman reported on the three tier meeting which had taken place at Calderbridge on 4 December. Topics discussed had included street lighting and Sellafield travel plans. There had been good representation from Sellafield and the issues around the Albion Square development had been discussed. It had been stressed that it was vital to work with parish councils in planning changes to traffic flows.

 

212/14 UNITARY AUTHORITY

It was noted that the AGM of CALC had passed a motion supporting the idea of one or more unitary authorities and had resolved to write to Eric Pickles to ask him to initiate a review of the structure of local government in Cumbria.

 

213/14 BEACH RD FOOTPATH

CCC had provided more information on their plans to improve the footpath. It was now proposed to use a flexi-pave material which was porous and would avoid the drainage problems associated with a tarmac surface. A meeting would be taking place on 14 January with the supplier and Cllr Bettinson and the Clerk would attend on behalf of he parish council. CCC anticipated that the work would be done in March/April and the parish council would provide help from the lengthsman and volunteers for the preliminary ground works.

 

214/14 CLERK’S REPORT

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

NNDR Appeal – no decision had yet been received on the appeal to exempt the beach toilets from non-domestic rates.

Allotments – One plot had become vacant and was to be let as two smaller plots. A second allotment holder had indicated that he wished to give up part of his plot.

Seat – the memorial seat purchased with the donation from Mr M Hurst had been delivered and would be installed shortly.

 

215/14 PLANNING

(a)New Applications

The Planning Advisory Group reported on two new planning applications:

  • Ref 4/14/2475/0F1 Proposed siting of 24.8m (hub) wind turbine with a tip height of 36.6m

Land to the south of Green Lonning, St Bees

It was RESOLVED to object to the proposed turbine on the grounds that it would be sited within a Landscape of County Importance and would be on the highest point of the sandstone ridge, creating an unacceptable visual impact.

  • Ref 4/14/2491/0F1 Erection of conservatory, forming of two windows & two roof lights

3 High Walton Farm, High House Rd, St Bees

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

 

 

 

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(b) Applications approved/refused

It was noted that the application to replace the Scout Hut with a permanent building had been approved by CBC.

(c) Other Planning Issues

Some concern had been expressed at the last meeting about the rubble around the agricultural building on Whitehaven Rd. The matter appeared to have been resolved following informal discussions with the owners.

 

216 /14 REPORT FROM COMMUNITY POLICE OFFICER

No report had been received.

 

217/14 CORRESPONDENCE

(a) Information had been received from CALC on the new pay scales for local government staff. Noted.

(b)Details had been received of a consultation by Connecting Cumbria on Phase 2 of the project. This concerned primarily those areas not likely to receive superfast broadband under the first phase of the project. Noted.

(c)Details had been received of plans by Cumbria Wildlife Trust to hold a Beached Art event at the main beach on Sat 8 August 2015. Noted.

(d) CCC had launched a consultation on its flood risk strategy and details were available on the CCC web-site. Comments were required by 23 December. Noted.

(e)A letter had been received from CCC explaining that Cumbria was to be one of the pilot areas for implementation of Part 1 of the Commons Act 2006. This would allow registers to be amended in resect of qualifying events set out in the Act, including the rectification of certain errors or omissions. Noted.

(f) A letter had been received from Home Group on behalf of the residents of Sea View asking that the council instruct allotment holders not to park there as the residents are unable to park their cars there. It was RESOLVED that a reply be sent pointing out that the road is a public highway with no parking restrictions and the parish council is unable to prevent drivers parking there.

(g) Details had been received from CALC of proposals to modernise the arrangements for parish polls. Noted.

(h) Details had been received of a course organised by ACT for those involved in managing community buildings. It would be held at Calderbridge on 11 February and would be free but booking was required. Noted.

(i) A letter had been received from the Police & Crime Commissioner seeking volunteers to join the Independent Custody Visiting Scheme. Details would be put on the noticeboards.

(j) A letter received from GP Planning Ltd explaining that a further application would be made to extend the operating licence for Yeathouse Quarry waste recycling centre. Noted.

FOR INFORMATION

CALC Circular Dec/Jan 2015

Cumbria Wildlife Trust Newsletter Dec 2014

NuGen Company update – Winter 2014

NALC Newletter 17 & 24 November 2014

CALC Training & Development Programme

FLAG Newsletter Dec 14

 

218/14 ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

No items were reported.

 

219/14 DATE & TIME OF NEXT MEETING

It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 19 January 2015 at 6.30pm