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

Monday 17 February 2014 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall

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

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

Also present : 1 member of the public

 

20/14 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs P Argyle, Hill and Moules and also from Cllr H Wormstrup (Cumbria County Councillor)

 

21/14 CHAIRMAN’S OPENING REMARKS

The Chairman welcomed Cllr Maxine Riley who was attending her first meeting since being co-opted to the council.

 

22/14 DISPENSATIONS & DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Cllr James declared an interest in agenda item 6 as a family member of the owner of a property in the area of Seamill. Cllr Millington declared a possible pecuniary interest in agenda item 8.

 

23/14 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

No matters were raised.

 

24/14 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 20 JANUARY 2014

It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 20 January 2014 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

25/14 FINANCE

(a) Financial Report

The summary of accounts at 31 January was received and noted. Cllr Strong explained that there had been some additional income from allotment rents and expenditure was in accordance with decisions made by the parish council. The increase in expenditure in the last month was due in large part to payment of legal costs associated with the lease for the toilets.

 

(b)Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:-

  • Cheque no 001917 CCC – application fee for brown signs £100.00 (replaces cancelled cheque 1838)
  • Cheque no 001918 Alan Armstrong – supply & fitting header for main noticeboard Total £150.00
  • Cheque no 001919 Robert Acton Product Developments – litter picking equipment £122.00 + VAT Total £146.40
  • Cheque no 001920 YNH – domain name renewal (stbees.org & stbees.net US names) £34.00 + VAT Total £40.80
  • Cheque no 001921 Brockbanks – legal fees for play area lease £400.00 + VAT + £40.00 disbursements Total £520
  • Cheque no 001922 T Cording – reimbursement of allotment rent 2014 Total £24.75
  • Cheque no 001923 J Donaldson – reimbursement for postage £6.00 & pond mats for Priory Paddock £41.63 + £8.33 VAT Cheque total £55.96
  • Cheque no 001924 J Donaldson –nett salary Feb 2014 £444.91
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service Feb 2104 (to be paid by Standing Order on 26 of the month) £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00

 

 

 

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Payments since last meeting to report:

Chq 001913 AON UK Ltd – insurance premium for swings £13.27 – authorised at last meeting

Chq 001914 Brockbanks – legal fees -toilet lease £865.00 (includes £120.00 VAT) –payment due before next meeting

Chq 001915 1 st St Bees Brownies – donation £50.00 -approved at last meeting

Chq 001916 D Robinson reimbursement for plants £206.02 – approved by VIB

 

26/14 ASSET MAINTENANCE

The Chairman reported on progress to repair the damage caused by winds and high tides at Seamill. A second lower estimate had been obtained for levelling the car park surface and the work was expected to begin next week. The drainage pipe from the spring had been damaged and, although this was not on parish council land, it was affecting the car park.

Cllr Hill had reported that the bridge over the beck at Seamill had been closed but it was not clear who had put up the notices. The Clerk would check whether the closure notice had been put up by CCC.

It was reported that there was a potential danger further along the foreshore at Seamill where there was now a significant drop. As this was on private land it was felt that any signage should be the responsibility of landowners.

Information received from CBC put the costs of coastal defence work at Seamill at £200k. CBC was proposing to make an application for Grant in Aid to fund coastal defence work following the recent storms.

It was RESOLVED to write to CBC to request that they proceed with a grant application as soon as possible and lead the project to repair the sea defences at Seamill, keeping the parish council informed of progress.

 

The wall by the war memorial was also in need of repair after apparently being damaged by a vehicle.

It was RESOLVED that repairs be undertaken at a maximum cost of £250.

 

27/14 GEOLOGICAL DISPOSAL FACILITY

Following the last meeting a letter had been sent to members of the House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology explaining the public consultation process which had been undertaken. Replies had been received from four peers who shared the parish council’s concern about the lack of public understanding of the issues. A letter had also been received from DECC in response to the letter sent to Baroness Verma emphasising that raising public awareness would be part of any new site selection process.

 

28/14 PARISHING OF WHITEHAVEN/ELECTED MAYOR

A briefing paper prepared by the Chairman was received.

It was noted that there were proposals to create one or more parish councils for Whitehaven which until now had not been parished. It was agreed that this was a matter for Whitehaven residents and it was not appropriate for the parish council to have a view on the proposals.

The campaign for an elected mayor for Copeland had now attracted sufficient signatures to trigger a referendum on the question. It was noted that this would take place on the same day as the European elections in May and if this resulted in a ‘yes’ vote a mayoral election would take place in September.

 

29/14 PROJECTS

(a)Beach Regeneration

(i) Play Area

Planning approval had been granted for the play area and the formal grant offer was now awaited from WREN before work could begin. The lease had now been registered with the Land Registry.

 

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(ii)Coast to Coast Banner

An estimate was still awaited for repairing and re-fixing the banner.

(iii)Landscaping Brief

A meeting had taken place with the landscape architect to discuss his preliminary design suggestions. The design would now be revised to take account of comments received and a final meeting would take place on 28 February.

 

(b) Traffic Calming

In Cllr Moule’s absence no progress report was available on the Speedwatch scheme.

 

Cllr Millington reported that work had begun on the new traffic island opposite the entrance to the Fairladies estate and this was already having some effect on traffic speeds.

 

The Chairman raised the issue of the poor state of maintenance of the B5345 through the village. The road carries heavy peak time traffic as one of the main access routes to Sellafield and would be vital if the site were ever to be evacuated. The Clerk would check whether this was classed as a strategic route. It was clear that the budget available for road maintenance in the west of the county was not sufficient to keep the road in an appropriate state of repair. There was also little evidence of effective traffic planning for the Albion Square development which could lead to further traffic congestion in the village. It was suggested that steps needed to be taken to raise awareness of the issues at a higher level.

It was RESOLVED to ask the Traffic Calming Committee to consider the maintenance issues and make recommendations for further action to the April meeting.

 

(c) Walks Booklets

Cllr Robson reported that work was in hand to produce the large map and photographs for the beach shelter.

 

(d) Community Events

The commemoration of the centenary of WW1 had been discussed at the recent meeting with St Bees School. A number of tentative ideas had been put forward but there were no confirmed plans at this stage.

Cllr Kennedy reported that following the successful of last year’s Beach Bash there were plans to hold another event on 31 August 2014. It was hoped to have a range of activities available as last year and he and Cllr Argyle would report back on detailed plans in due course.

 

(e) Office Improvements

Cllr Bettinson declared an interest as a Trustee of the Village Hall.

Cllr Sim reported that work was continuing to clear the office at the Village Hall. The next step would be to repair the window. The Clerk would check whether this could be done by the lengthsman.

It was RESOLVED that expenditure be authorised for window repair/replacement within the project budget previously approved.

 

(f) Tree Planting

Cllr Bettinson reported that a plan had been agreed with the Bursar at St Bees School for trees to be planted at various locations on land owned by the school and the first trees had already been planted. The Parish Council would provide the trees and stakes etc and pupils from the school would be involved in the planting. An order was being placed for more trees although it was likely that some funds might be carried over at the end of the financial year.

 

 

 

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30/14 STATION CAR PARK

The transfer of the lease became effective from 8 February, although the formal paperwork was still awaited. The Chairman and Clerk had met a CBC representative on site to compile a report on the

condition at the time of transfer. There were some minor works for CBC to complete – removal of the car park meter and some fly-tipping etc - and once this had been done new photographs would

be taken to be included in the lease. The lease included the small grassed area at the rear which was used by Village in Bloom for composting and it had been agreed with CBC that the recycling area would remain in situ.

It was RESOLVED that a sign be ordered stating the parish council’s responsibility for the management of the car park at a cost not exceeding £100.

 

31/14 MEETING WITH ST BEES SCHOOL

The scheduled meeting took place on 27 January. The discussions had covered a number of topics including co-operation in WW1 commemoration events, tree planting, and co-operation in promoting St Bees. The School had confirmed that space within the Whitelaw Building was still available for hire by external groups both during the day and in the evenings.

 

32/14 CLERK’S REPORT

The Clerk reported on the following matters:-

  • Beach Road footpath –a response was still awaited from CCC following the parish council’s offer to help with progressing the project.
  • United Utilities Drought plan – a response had been sent to the consultation as agreed at the last meeting.

The was general agreement that the issue of water management was a major concern, both in terms of its impact on local residents and the potential effect of deterring new industry and it was agreed that this would be included as an agenda item for the next meeting.

  • Public footpath Fleatham- Loughrigg – a CCC officer had walked the path and spoken to the landowner. The stile in the new temporary fence was to be replaced with a better stile.
  • Community Payback Scheme – the Clerk was awaiting a date for a meeting to look at what help the scheme can provide with regular litter picking at the beach and play area.
  • Blocked drain at allotment field –the Environmental Health Officer was arranging a survey of the drain and would keep the parish council informed of progress.

 

33/14 PLANNING

(a) New Applications

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

  • Ref 4/14/2055/0F1 Conservatory to rear

97 Main Street St Bees

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

 

(b) Applications approved/refused

The following decisions by CBC were noted:

  • Prefabricated garage and relaying of driveway – 5 Finkle Street, St Bees – APPROVED
  • Two storey extension with raised deck & single storey garage to front (revised scheme)-

Miramare, Egremont Rd, St Bees - APPROVED

 

34/14 REPORT FROM COMMUNITY POLICE OFFICER

PCSO Kane had provided a written report. There continued to be problems with dangerous parking around the village school and the police would attend as often as possible to speak to drivers. The parking enforcement team had also been asked to attend.

 

 

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35/14 CBC ISSUES

It was noted that several properties in the parish would be affected by changes to off-route refuse collection arrangements in the near future. CBC had written to the properties involved which were all in the Bankend area.

It was reported that the litter bin by the entrance to Priory Paddock had not been emptied. The Clerk would contact CBC.

 

36/14 CCC ISSUES

Some feedback had been received from CCC on highways defects including various street light issues. The replacement illuminated school sign on Outrigg should be in place by the end of the financial year and CCC had requested Electricity North West to provide the connection but the timing would be outside CCC’s control.

Highways were to carry out further investigations into the blocked drain by the entrance to Station car park and were seeking Network Rail’s permission in view of its proximity to the level crossing.

The Chairman gave a brief report on the Neighbourhood Forum held in St Bees on 28 January.

 

37/14 CORRESPONDENCE

(a)Details had been received of the Words by the Water festival in Keswick from 7 March. Noted.

(b)Information had been received from CALC on the local government finance settlement. This confirms that local councils would not be capped for 2014/15 but larger councils might be brought within the capping regime for 2015/16. Noted.

(c)Information had been received from CALC on the proposed Local Government Transparency Code which would impose a duty on authorities to ‘publish information to be more transparent and accountable to its citizens’. The Code would not apply to authorities with less than £200,000 annual income or expenditure. However, the government would be consulting on a lighter touch code for smaller authorities.

(d) Legal Topic Note 79 had been received outlining NALC guidance on staff pensions and the implications of the 2008 Pensions Act. It was noted that there were no immediate implications for the council.

(e) An invitation had been received for a representative to attend a discussion on current challenges and future opportunities for Hadrian’s Wall World Heritage Site on 10 March at Maryport.Noted

(f) A financial briefing had been received from NALC on the repeal of sec 150 (5) of the Local Government Act 1972 which removed the need for two signatories on cheques. The Governance & Accountability for Local Councils – A Practitioner’s Guide was to be amended and new model financial regulations would be produced. Noted.

(g)A letter had been received from the tenants of one of the parish council’s allotments about the state of plots on the field. It was RESOLVED to refer the matter to the Allotment Committee.

(h) Two emails had been received from members of the public about the state of beach areas following the storms (one referring to the broken pipe at Seamill, the other the state of Rottington Beck). The Clerk had responded to both emails.

(i) A letter had been received from Toma Fund (Children’s Cancer Charity) based in the North-East seeking a donation to fund a caravan for holidays for families. It was noted that this fell outside the council’s policy of giving priority to donations to locally based organisations and it was RESOLVED that no donation be made.

 

FOR INFORMATION

Cumbria Coastal Access – Update Feb 2014

CALC Circular February 2014

Dispatches (CBC Newsletter) Jan 14

Cumbria Community Foundation Jan14

 

 

 

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38/14 ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

(a)It was noted that the new header was in place on the main noticeboard and it was agreed to pass on the council’s thanks to Cllr Argyle who had done the lettering.

(b)Cumbria Wildlife Trust would be holding a Beached Art event at the main beach on Sat 10 May.

(c)The Chairman would be contacting those who volunteered to help with the Neighbourhood Plan to explain the postponement of the project.

(d) St Bees Triers would be organising an ‘Everest Challenge’ on 21/22 March, running up and down Dent to achieve as many ‘Everests’ as possible to raise money for Sport Relief.

(f) Cllr Robson reported that he was working on a ‘welcome’ leaflet for visitors which could be distributed through local hotels and B&Bs, as had been discussed at previous meetings. The cost would be approx. £150.

 

39/14 DATE & TIME OF NEXT MEETING

It was RESOLVED that the next monthly meeting take place on Monday 17 March 2014 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.