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

Monday 21 July 2014 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall

PRESENT: Cllrs D Sim (in the Chair), P Argyle, G Gilmour, S Moules, C Robson, H Strong

and the Clerk

 

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

Cllr I Hill, CBC Councillor St Bees Ward

 

Also present: 2 members of the public

119/14 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs B Hewetson, D Millington, K James, F Kennedy & M Riley.

 

120/14 DISPENSATIONS & DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Cllr Gilmour declared an interest in agenda item 8(b) Donation Request as a member of the PCC and Cllr Moules declared an interest in agenda item 9 Scout Hut Project as a trustee of St Bees Scouts.

 

121/14 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Members of the public present expressed an interest in the mining operations proposed by West Cumbria Mining. It was agreed to defer this item until the matter was discussed later in the agenda.

 

122/14 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 16 JUNE 2014

It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the annual meeting on 16 June 2014 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

123/14 CASUAL VACANCY

It was noted that Dr Ian Hill had resigned from the parish council for personal reasons but would continue in his role as borough councillor for St Bees Ward. The vacancy had been notified to CBC and notices inviting electors to apply for an election had been posted on the noticeboards. If no election was claimed the parish council would be asked to fill the vacancy by co-option.

Councillors thanked Cllr Hill for his contribution to the parish council and wished him well for the future.

 

124/14 CCC ISSUES

Cllr Wormstrup reported that the new street light at the bottom of Outrigg was now in place and was awaiting connection by Electricity North West.

It was noted that representatives of the parish council had met Highways staff to discuss new village entry signs. As current policy was to avoid proliferation of signs, it had been proposed that gateway signs should include ‘Welcome to St Bees’, the speed limit sign and symbols for historic church, beach and bird reserve. Highways staff had been asked to consider whether the St Bega logo could also be included, although it was likely that Dept for Transport approval would be required. Highways had agreed to look at the issue of funding and report back.

There had been no further progress with the request for brown tourist signs on the approach roads to St Bees. The Clerk would pass copies of all the correspondence to Cllr Wormstrup.

Cllr Wormstrup was continuing to liaise with a local resident concerned about the safety of the Abbey Rd junction with the B5345. A site meeting was to be organised with Highways engineers and the Clerk would arrange for parish council representation.

It was noted that there had been no further update from Highways on the maintenance and repairs required, particularly to the B5345 through the village.

It was RESOLVED to ask Cllr Wormstrup to organise a highways inspection.

Cllr Wormstrup then left the meeting.

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125/14 CBC ISSUES

Cllr Hill reported that Japanese knotweed had apparently been seen near the path alongside the Adams Recreation Ground. He would be reporting this to CBC Parks Dept and would be interested to know of other areas affected.

CBC had carried out a review of its handling of the situation when travellers camped in the beach car park. Some scope for improvement in the communication systems had been identified.

CBC had asked whether the parish council would support the use of stencils on pavements to help deter dog fouling.

It was RESOLVED to support the initiative as a trial measure.

Cllr Hill then left the meeting

 

126/14 PROPOSED MINING OPERATIONS

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

West Cumbria Mining had organised a drop in session in Old College Hall on 16 July to explain their proposal to mine coking coal. A number of parish councillors had attended and reported back on the information that had been provided. At this stage the company had finance to complete the exploratory boreholes and would need substantial additional funding if the project went ahead. The on-shore boreholes would be sunk in the next few months with off-shore investigations next year. At this early stage there were no firm details of the proposed location for any pit head or associated rail links.

It was agreed that the parish council could not take a view on the proposals until more specific information was available.

 

127/14 FINANCE

(a)Financial Report

The summary of accounts at 30 June was received and noted. Cllr Strong explained that expenditure was in line with expectations at this stage of the year, as some large bills such as grasscutting do not fall until later in the year. A meeting of FRAG would take place shortly to deal with outstanding issues.

It was noted that the contract for opening/closing and cleaning the toilets was due to end on 30 September. It was agreed that the contract had worked well and that discussions take place with the contractor about an extension of the contract.

An account had been set up with a telephone answering service to handle calls about issues with the play area. There would be a minimum monthly charge of £8.80 + VAT.

It was RESOLVED to set up a direct debit payment for this account.

(b) Donation Request

There had been a request for a donation towards the costs of the Family Fun Day organised by the Priory PCC. It was noted that the policy of considering donations in April and November each year had not worked well and it was agreed that requests would be considered on an ad hoc basis.

It was RESOLVED that a donation of £50 be approved as a contribution to the costs of the Family Fun Day.

 

(c) Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Cheque no 001967 AstSigns Ltd – play area sign incl fitting £360.90 + £72.18 VAT Total £433.08
  • Cheque no 001968 CBC – emptying Fairladies bin Qtr 2 Total £24.70
  • Cheque no 001969 CBC - play area inspections – Outrigg Qtr 2 Total £126.99 + £25.40 VAT Total £152.39
  • Cheque no 001970 CBC – NNDR Beach Toilets 5 th monthly payment Total £150.00
  • Cheque no 001971 TCV – tree supports £39.00 + £ 7.80 VAT Total £46.80
  • Cheque no 001972 St Bees PCC – costs of publishing parish council annual report - £78.00

 

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  • Cheque no 001973 H Strong – reimbursement play area sundries £103.14 + £20.59 VAT Total £123.73
  • Cheque no 001974 D Sim – reimbursement frames for signs ( £27.00 + £5.40 VAT) and hose/sprinklers (£24.04 +£4.81 VAT) Total £61.25
  • Cheque no 001975 J Donaldson –reimbursement postage £12.76 + ribbon£4.00+ answering service charge £8.80 + £1.76 VAT Total £27.32
  • Cheque no 001976 J Donaldson – Clerk salary July nett Total £450.71
  • Cheque no 001977 Grafix Signmakers Ltd – sign beach interpretation board £171.00 + VAT Total £224.40
  • Cheque no 001978 D Sim –reimbursement key cutting/flowers for play area opening £43.00
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (paid by Standing Order).

 

Payments since last meeting to report:

Cheque no 001962 Post Office Ltd – PAYE Qtr 1 £175.80 (payment due before next meeting)

Cheque no 001963 I T Statter (Miami Lights) – repair/fitting stainless steel banner £371.59 (payment due before next meeting)

Cheque no 001964 NPower Ltd – electricity 1/10/13 – 31/5/14 £314.39 + £15.72 VAT Total £330.11 (payment due before next meeting)

Cheque no 001965 D Sim –reimbursement for hoses/keys/megaphone & batteries £150.22 + £30.03 VAT total £180.25 (urgent purchase authorised under standing orders)

Cheque no 001966 Hartleys Ice Cream Ltd – ice cream for play area opening £180.00 (prev agreed)

 

128/14 SCOUT HUT PROJECT

At the last meeting the Scout Committee had asked the parish council to consider a financial contribution to the project to replace the existing portacabin with a permanent structure and also to consider whether the Pinfold could be used to create disabled parking spaces.

It was noted that the Pinfold is registered common land and cannot be altered without special permission from the Planning Inspectorate. It is also a structure which forms part of the village history.

It was RESOLVED that the Pinfold should not be altered because of its historic importance and that a financial contribution to the project be considered when more details of the proposed funding package were known.

129/14 PROJECTS

(a)Beach Regeneration

(i) Play Area

The official opening of the play area had taken place on 10 July and the opening ceremony had been performed by Cllr Sim assisted by three children from the Village School and Pre-school Group. Despite the Village School being closed by strike action by public sector unions the event had been attended by almost 200 children and an equal number of adults. Local press and Border TV had also attended. The play area had been heavily used in the days since the opening and initial feedback was very positive. The Chairman particularly thanked Cllrs Kennedy, James and Hewetson who had helped to water the new turf during the hot weather.

It was proposed that another litter bin be obtained and that CBC be asked to organise regular emptying of the bins. It was also suggested that additional signs were required so that they could be seen from each side of the play area.

Cllr Strong was preparing an inspection rota and Cllrs Sim, Riley and Robson had agreed to join the rota. Some tools and parts had been purchased as agreed.

It was RESOLVED that:

  • an additional litter bin be ordered
  • two additional signs be ordered at a cost not exceeding £300.

 

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(ii) Toilets

It was noted that there had been some damage to the toilets on the day of the play area opening with toilet roll holders being damaged. Notices had now been put in place explaining that the toilets were

managed by the parish council and funded by local residents. It was noted that on hot days the beach was still busy late in the evening after the toilets were closed. It was suggested that keys should be obtained for parish councillors so that they could open the toilets if needed.

It was RESOLVED to organise additional keys for councillors.

 

(iii) Information Boards

The information boards and a large scale walking map of the village were now in place in the shelter and were attracting much interest. There was one further panel to be put up.It had been noted that games of football were being played in that area and balls could damage the panels. Councillors were asked to discourage ball games around the shelter. Cllr Robson said that plans were now in progress for additional boards on the other side of the shelter.

 

(iv) CBC Coastal Interpretation Project

The text for the proposed board had yet to be decided but the Chairman had been asked to provide some suggestions. It was felt that the main focus at the beach had shifted somewhat since the opening of the play area and the need for a sign close to the beach café was questioned. It was agreed that the Chairman liaise with Diane Ward at CBC.

 

(b) Traffic Calming

Cllr Hewetson was contacting volunteers to suggest that the first checks be done before the end of August with a formal rota being arranged for the following months. An initial speed monitoring session had taken place, which had attracted the interest of two passing PCSOs.

It was RESOLVED to ask PCSO Kane to clarify the number of volunteers required to be present and to confirm the new point of contact within the local police following the retirement of Sgt Farnworth.

(c) Community Events

Cllr Argyle reported that plans for the Beach Event on Sun 31 August were in hand. The children’s entertainer had confirmed that he would be available and Cllrs Argyle and Kennedy were arranging the location of the stalls.

It was RESOLVED that £215 be approved for the fee for the children’s entertainer.

(d) Office Improvements

The Chairman reported that the roof repairs had now been done. Some additional work remained to be done to the ceiling.

 

(e) Tree Planting

The additional tree supports had now arrived.

 

130/14 STATION CAR PARK

Cllr Millington had investigated what signage was required and had suggested that the council take the opportunity to review its rules on the use of the car park. It was agreed that the signage at the play area, toilets and car park should use a common format.

It was RESOLVED that the present practice of providing free parking, including overnight parking, be continued, although camping would be prohibited. Marked disabled bays would not be provided.

It was further RESOLVED that a quotation for a sign be obtained based on the draft wording provided by Cllr Millington.

 

 

 

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131/14 TRAFFIC PROBLEMS, MAIN STREET

The Chairman reported on the lengthy traffic hold-up in the village on 15 July. The initial hold-up was caused by a lorry making a delivery which blocked the road but when this was gone traffic continued to jam, and it had been almost 2 hours before traffic was flowing freely. It was agreed that the underlying cause was the huge volume of traffic using the village streets at peak times, much of it through traffic travelling to/from the Sellafield site. It was also likely that there could be more frequent problems when the Albion Square development was completed. The disruption on 15 July provided clear evidence of the problems and it was agreed that short term and long term actions were required to tackle the issue. The publication of the draft Sellafield Socio-Economic Strategy provided an opportunity to request that St Bees PC be actively involved in future discussions of transport and infrastructure issues.

It was RESOLVED that:

  • an article be included in the parish magazine asking householders to arrange deliveries outside peak hours wherever possible and
  • letters be sent to the Sellafield Stakeholders Group, the police and other relevant agencies to seek discussions on measures to mitigate the effects of heavy traffic flows through the village.

 

132/14 WEST COPELAND PARTNERSHIP

The notes of the Partnership meeting on 3 July were received together with a report from Cllr Gilmour who had attended on behalf of St Bees. It was suggested that it would be preferable to have the same representative attending the meetings rather than on a rota basis as at present.

It was RESOLVED that Cllr Gilmour be the council’s representative on West Copeland Partnership.

 

133/14 RAIL FRANCHISE

The franchise to provide a rail service on the Barrow to Carlisle line was due for renewal in 2016 and would go out to competition. Comments were invited on the franchise by 18 August. There were a number of improvements which might be suggested including a Sunday service and earlier or later trains.

It was RESOLVED that suggestions be forwarded to the Chairman so that a response could be sent before the deadline.

 

134/14 CLERK’S REPORT

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

  • Residents parking permits- CCC had confirmed that the changes needed to allow parking permits for residents of Main Street would be incorporated in the next TRO.
  • Blocked drain, allotment field – the blockage had now been cleared, although some repair work was still required.
  • Complaint re bonfire – a resident made a verbal complaint about the nuisance caused by a large bonfire apparently on one of the allotments. Investigations confirmed that the bonfire was not on the allotments.
  • Planter workshop – the workshop held as part of the Lengthsman project had been a success.
  • Noticeboard on toilet block – new locks had been fitted so the board could now be used.
  • Main Noticeboard – Alan Armstrong had been asked to repair the damage to the door.
  • Overhanging tree - Lowside Quarter PC had contacted the Clerk about an overhanging tree close to Slade bridge which they believed might be dangerous. Highways were being asked to check whether it posed a danger.
  • Public footpaths - an obstruction to the start of the public footpath Fleatham Cottage had been reported to CCC. A problem had been reported of a locked gate on the footpath from Rottington. The Clerk would pass the report to CCC.

 

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135/14 PLANNING

(a)New Applications

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

Ref 4/14/2245/0L1 Listed building consent for provision of interconnecting door

8 -9 Lonsdale Terrace St Bees

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

 

Ref 4/14/2256/0F1 Amendments to 4/14/2071 –internal works, boiler flue in attic/gable wall,

ground floor extension, re-render,velux roof windows & replacement windows

81 Main Street St Bees

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

 

Ref 4/14/2259/0F1 Erection of gable end extension

3 Solway Rise St Bees

It was RESOLVED that there were no specific objections to this application provided that it did not affect neighbouring properties but it was noted that the proposed extension appeared very large in comparison with the existing property.

 

Ref 4/14/2262/0F1 Erection of HV electricity sub station

Land at Seacote Park (adj to 1 Solway Rise) St Bees

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

 

Ref 4/14/2275/0L1 Listed building consent for internal alterations to shower & bathroom facilities

8 & 9 Lonsdale Terrace, St Bees

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

 

Ref 4/14/2280/TPO Works to trees protected by a Tree Preservation Order

Fleatham House, St Bees

It was RESOLVED that no comment could be offered as it was impossible to identify the trees in question from the information provided in the application.

 

(b) Applications approved/refused

No decisions had been notified by CBC.

 

(c)Other planning matters

The owner of the property being built at Blythe Place, Seamill Lane, had apparently submitted a new application but this had not yet been received.

There had apparently still been no decision on the planning application for the storage of scaffolding at High Walton.

 

136 /14 REPORT FROM COMMUNITY POLICE OFFICER

PCSO Kane had provided some information on recent traffic problems but no information was available on any other issues.

 

137/14 REVIEW OF ANNUAL PARISH MEETING

Draft minutes of the Annual Parish meeting on 16 June 2014 were received and noted.

 

138/14 CORRESPONDENCE

(a)Details had been received of the examination in public of United Utilities Water Resources Management Plan to take place in October. Noted.

 

 

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(b)A questionnaire had been received from Rural Housing Policy Review to establish why some parish councils are actively engaged in delivering affordable housing and others are not. Noted.

(c) Information had been received from Mr Arthur Millie on a web-site being established to provide information on the process to elect a Copeland Mayor. Noted

(d)Correspondence had been received from CBC about the review of polling stations. No changes were proposed by CBC for St Bees Ward but the Clerk would inform CBC of the project to replace the Scout Hut so contingency arrangements could be made.

(e)Information had been received from CBC on the second phase of consultation on the Whitehaven Community Governance Review. Noted.

(f)An email had been received from CALC confirming that the new Governance and Accountability – Practitioners’ Guide was available on the CALC web-site.

(g) A new model complaints procedure had been received from CALC. The Clerk would check this against our existing procedure and, if necessary, bring back policy amendments to the council for approval.

(h) Details had been received from West Cumbria Crossroads of lottery funded support for carers of over 60’s in West Cumbria.

(i) Details had been received from Nuture Lakeland of small grants available for environmental projects undertaken by community groups.

(j)A letter had been received from St Bees & District Garden Society thanking the parish council for its recent donation.

(k) Correspondence had been received from a resident on Main Street asking for advice/assistance to prevent vehicles being parked right outside their property blocking access to their gate. The Clerk would reply on behalf of the council.

(l)Information had been received from United Utilities on performance against the current water management and drought plan. Noted

(m)The draft Sellafield Socio-Economic Strategy had been published for consultation.

It was RESOLVED that a response be sent requesting that the parish council be included in future discussions of transport and infrastructure planning and community investment.

(n) Information had been received from the National Grid on the options for the North West Coast Connections Project which would form the basis of consultation in the autumn. Noted.

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

CALC Circular July 2014

OSS News Summer 2014

Solway Firth Partnership Newsletter

ACT Gazette Summer 2014

Defra Bathing Water newsletter Summer 2014

 

139/14 PRESENTATION OF CERTIFICATES

The Chairman presented certificates to Cllrs Argyle and Strong to recognise their completion of a RoSPA course in basic play area inspection.

 

140/14 DATE & TIME OF NEXT MEETING

It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place at 7.00pm on Monday 15 September 2014.