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Minutes of the Meeting of St Bees Parish Council held on

Monday 17 March 2014 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall

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

I Hill, K James, F Kennedy, S Moules, M Riley, H Strong and the Clerk

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


Also present : 4 members of the public



Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Millington and Robson (the latter meeting the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street).



There were no declarations of interests.



Two issues were raised:

(a)Broadband Project

Dr I McAndrew, the parish’s Broadband Champion, explained his concerns about the roll-out of the county project to bring superfast broadband to communities across Cumbria. Maps recently published had cast some doubt on the speeds likely to be available and it now appeared that the timing would be later than anticipated.

It was agreed that a formal letter would be sent by the parish council to Cllr Southward to seek reassurance that superfast broadband would be available to most households in the parish and to request definite information on when this would be achieved.


(b)Sale of County Council Land

Members of the public expressed concern that CCC was to sell 10 acres of land adjacent to Fairladies by auction on 19 March. Many people had only become aware of the sale when auction details appeared in the press. The land was outside the current development boundary but it was suggested that local residents might be interested in putting together a joint bid to purchase the land to prevent it being developed in the future. Time would be needed to achieve this and residents asked for support in requesting a postponement of the sale.

It was agreed that the Clerk would contact the County Council to ask if the sale could be postponed to allow more time.



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



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

Cllrs Bettinson and Strong reported on the Flood Forum organised by CCC which had taken place on 3 March. County Council officers had presented their report into the flooding in August 2012 which covered an analysis of the reasons for the flooding in 8 areas of the village and recommended actions to reduce the risk of flooding in the future. Some of these actions were the responsibility of CCC, others would be the responsibility of landowners but there was no detailed action plan for taking forward the recommendations. In most of the areas affected the flooding was linked to drainage problems. It was noted that some measures had been completed but in many cases the situation had not changed in the last year. There was a concern that funding might lost if there were further delays in progressing work on measures already identified.



The County Council had suggested the formation of a community group in St Bees to act as a channel of communication with the County Council and other agencies on flooding issues.

Cllrs Bettinson and Wormstrup volunteered to be part of a flooding and drainage group if there was support from the wider community.

Information on drainage issues in High House Rd was also received from Mr J Wrigley.

It was RESOLVED to support the establishment of a flooding & drainage group if there was wider community support and to seek volunteers through the parish magazine and noticeboards.



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

Cllr Wormstrup reported that the Coal Authority had granted a new licence for underground coal gasification in the area off Maryport.

The county council had now confirmed its budget for the coming year. On-street parking charges would be introduced in Whitehaven and bus subsidies would be removed, although this would not happen immediately and avenues for reducing the impact on local communities were being explored.

Cllr Wormstrup then left the meeting.



(a) Financial Report

The summary of accounts at 28 February was received and noted. Cllr Strong explained that income for the year had increased slightly and expenditure on legal and surveyors fees was over budget due to the costs of advice on leases for both the toilets and play area. All expenditure was in line with the council’s decisions and the overall position was in line with expectations.

Donations had also been received from Low Level Waste Repository (£395) and from Ms D Crozier (£30) to be used for repairs and maintenance of the weather station. These would be shown in the accounts for March.

Cllr Bettinson then left the meeting.


(b) Risk Management Review

Cllr Strong explained that the existing risk management policy was overdue for review and it was proposed to change the format to provide a policy statement with a risk register attached. The existing risk management measures had been reviewed and those which were still relevant had been included in the draft risk register. In future committees would consider risks within their remit and the register would be reviewed periodically by the full council. It was suggested that an E H & S champion was required to ensure that consideration of risk was taken into account in all decisions and that the opportunity should be taken to review the format used for risk assessments.

The risk register was then reviewed and a debate took place on the primary risks/opportunities facing the council. It was generally agreed that the register reflected the council’s current position. Councillors were asked to contact the Clerk with any suggested amendments to the register before a final version of the policy and risk register was brought to the full council for approval in the first quarter of the new financial year.



It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:-

  • Cheque no 001926 United Utilities – water charges beach toilets 27/11/13 to 22/2/14 Total £174.22
  • Cheque no 001927 United Utilities – water charges allotments 28/11/13 to 22/2/14 Total £13.82
  • Cheque no 001928 I McAndrew – reimbursement for new sensor for weather station £329.17 + £65.83 Total £395.00
  • Cheque no 001929 CBC – NNDR beach toilets 2014/15 1 st instalment £148.39



  • Cheque no 001930 CBC – play area project funding £8000.00 (£5K parish council contribution already approved + £3K CCC grant)
  • Cheque no 001931 J Donaldson – reimbursement for postage £14.90/refreshments for play area publicity event £16.40 Total £31.30
  • Cheque no 001932 J Donaldson – Clerk salary March 2014 nett £444.91
  • Cheque no 001933 HMRC – PAYE 4 th quarter £193.00
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service March 2104 (to be paid by Standing Order) £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00

Payments since last meeting to report:

  • Cheque no 001925 Choiceshops Ltd (Hedgenursery) –trees £166.49 + £30.35 VAT Total £196.84


Cllr Gilmour had provided a report on the presentation given by United Utilities at the recent Three Tier Meeting. A public exhibition would take place on 20 March at the Copeland Centre. Councillors questioned the justification for the project given the expenditure and environmental impact of installing a new pipeline from Thirlmere. It was noted that the Environment Agency were being invited to attend the next Three Tier meeting in June to clarify the reasons for the decision to stop water abstraction from Ennerdale and explain how this had been balanced against the environmental impacts of the proposed project.

It was RESOLVED to write to the Environment Agency in the meantime to seek an explanation.



(a)Beach Regeneration

(i) Play Area

The drainage condition attached to the planning consent had been discharged the planning condition and a publicity event took place on Thurs 13 March to mark the beginning of work on site. Copeland Community Fund, CCC and Wicksteed had sent representatives and Cllr Moules and the Clerk represented the parish council. Drainage work was scheduled to take approx. 10 days and, if the contingency funds were not required, permission would be sought from funders to use the contingency funds to purchase a wooden galleon.

Cockermouth Town Council was offering places on a training course for basic playground inspections and two places had been booked. Cllrs Argyle and Strong volunteered to attend.

(ii)Coast to Coast Banner

An estimate of £371.59 had been received for repairing and re-fixing the banner.

It was RESOLVED that an order be placed for the work.

(iii)Landscaping Brief

Outline plans for landscaping were received. Engineering advice was being sought so the costs could be firmed up. Planning consent would be required as some building work will be involved. Funding applications would need to be made to carry out the work and discussions would need to take place with RSPB as landowners of the section beyond the end of the promenade on the south bank of the beck.

It was noted by the Chairman that the parish council may have to make a polict decision in the future on whether they wished to take on a new liability, as a likely funding route would be for the parish council to lead the project and thereby take on responsibility for any new assets

(iv) Sink Hole

CBC had confirmed that work to fill the hole was expected to begin on 24 March and 50 lorry loads of concrete would be required.


(b) Traffic Calming

It was noted that work was almost complete on the new traffic island opposite the entrance to Fairladies. A meeting of the Traffic Calming Committee would take place on Wed 2 April to review progress and consider maintenance issues on the B5345.


Cllr Moules reported that he would be contacting the volunteers involved in the Speedwatch scheme to see whether anyone was prepared to take on the responsibility of organising the rota.


(c) Walks Booklets

The printing of the walks booklets was complete. This item would be taken off routine agendas and interpretation boards would be considered under beach matters


(d) Community Events

Cllrs Kennedy and Argyle reported that plans were being made for activities to entertain those attending the Beach Bash on 31 August including a kite display, brass band and children’s entertainer.

Plans were being developed for the play to mark the outbreak of WW1. The date was yet to be decided.


(e) Office Improvements

Cllr Sim was in discussions about the replacement of the window and roof repairs.


(f) Tree Planting

The project was on target. The original plan of planting 50 trees this year had been exceeded as it had been possible to purchase young trees in bulk. Some trees had been made available to local residents to be planted in gardens.



Work to clear the car park and level the surface was now complete. The next stage would be to repair the pipe which had been damaged. There had been no further news on the Grant in Aid application proposed by CBC.

The boat park had been cleared of boats and it was proposed to take this opportunity to introduce rules to ensure that the area could be properly managed. The RYA had model rules which could be used as the basis of an agreement. One boat owner had offered to fence the area and it was agreed that it would be appropriate to grant free use of the boat park for five years in return for his help.



CBC had now completed the repairs to the car park and removed the old meter. New photographs would now be taken to verify the condition at the start of the lease and the formal lease would then be issued for signature. A sign would be ordered as soon as the wording had been finalised.



Cllr Gilmour gave a briefing on the government consultation on plans for interim storage and disposal of small quantities of overseas origin oxide fuels that cannot be reprocessed or are not economic to reprocess in the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) at Sellafield before it closes in 2018.

It was RESOLVED that the parish council support the proposals and welcome the decision to consult on the plans.



The draft minutes of the meeting of the Village in Bloom Committee held on 17 February were received and noted.



Complaints had been received that horses were being ridden on pavements and paths and horse droppings were being left, causing a nuisance for pedestrians. It was agreed to raise awareness of the problem among horse owners and ask that any droppings be moved from the paths.




The Clerk reported on the following matters:-

  • Beach Road footpath –there had been no response from CCC to the offer to help with progressing the work.
  • Publication of responses to GDF consultation – the responses had been published on the DECC web-site. The response from SBPC was included in the on-line response section but was very difficult to read within the spreadsheet format. An email had been sent to DECC asking that the response be published in full in the Organisations section but they had replied this would be too costly. It was RESOLVED to write to DECC to express the council’s dissatisfaction with the situation.
  • War memorial wall –an order had been placed for the work which would be done shortly.
  • Noticeboard, Beach toilet block – enquiries had been made of CBC Property Services to locate the key but so far with no success.
  • Community Payback Scheme – the Clerk was hoping to meet the scheme organiser shortly to investigate what help the scheme could provide with regular litter picking at the beach.
  • Works for You Ltd, who provide the parish lengthsman scheme, had begun a new project offering short training courses in woodworking for unemployed young people. It was suggested that the project be publicised in the parish magazine.



(a) New Applications

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

  • Ref 4/14/2071/0F1 Extension at 1 st floor level; Re- roofing of tiled roof with grey slate. Replace roof light in attic with 2 double-glazed roof lights, new central heating boiler in attic with flue in roof space and restoration of fireplaces.

81 Main Street, St Bees

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


  • Ref 4/14/2072/0L1 Listed building consent for above application

81 Main Street, St Bees

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


  • Ref 4/14/2090/0F1 Demolish low sub-standard stable : erect general purpose/stable building

Moorclose, Outrigg Rd

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


  • Ref 4/14/2092/0F1 Use of barn to allow storage of scaffolding

Dovecote Barn, High Walton

It was noted that permission had previously been given for a period of 1 year only to enable alternative storage arrangements to be made but this permission had expired some time ago. This new application was to allow storage of scaffolding on the site without limit of time.

It was RESOLVED that objections be lodged to the application on the grounds that the location was totally inappropriate for such use being situated on a narrow road, near a bend and in close proximity to a junction. There was also potential for noise nuisance for neighbouring properties.


(b) Applications approved/refused

The following decisions by CBC were noted:

  • Listed building consent for replacement windows Foundation Building, St Bees School APPROVED





PCSO Kane had provided a written report. Dangerous parking around the village school continued to be the main problem. It was suggested that the police be invited to speak to the children in school about traffic safety.

It was noted that there had been another recent accident on Outrigg.



The notes of the recent West Copeland Partnership meeting were received. Cllr Bettinson had attended as the parish council’s representative. It was noted that the partnership was to purchase dog fouling stencils for use with bio-degradable paintwhich could be used by parishes if they wished.

CBC had provided an update at the Three Tier Meeting on the referendum on the issue of an elected mayor. Whatever the decision there could be no further referendum for 10 years. If there was a ‘yes’ vote the mayoral election was scheduled to take place on 16 October, although representations were being made for the election to be delayed to coincide with council elections in May 2015 to save costs.

It was noted that the review of the possible parishing of Whitehaven was scheduled to be complete this autumn so that any new council could be formed at the elections in May 2015.



(a)Details had been received of plans to hold another St Bega’s Ultra Trail Run on Sat 30 August this year. Noted.

(b)Information had been received from DCLG about ‘Our Big Gig’ which offers grants and support for community music events held from 11-13 July 2014. Noted.

(c)Information had been received from CALC on the provisions of the Local Audit & Accountability Act which gives greater access to meetings and documents of local government bodies including parish councils. Details of the regulations were still subject to consultation with NALC. The government was consulting on how the transparency code should apply to parishes. Noted.

(d) Correspondence had been received from CBC explaining that the PDSA would be holding a series of ‘PetCheck’ events in August offering free health checks for dogs and advice on the care of other pets. A session would be held in St Bees – date to be confirmed. Noted.

(e) Correspondence had been received from United Utilities following the consultation on the Draft Drought Plan. The Statement of Response was available on their web-site explaining the responses received and how they had been taken into account in the revised draft plan. Noted.



Cumbria Coastal Access – Update March 2014 CALC Circular March 2014

Cumbria Wildlife Trust e-newsletter March 2014 ACT Gazette Newsletter Spring 2014

Open Spaces Spring 2014



(a) It was reported that a drain near the Seacote Hotel appeared to be blocked. The Clerk would investigate responsibility for the drain.

(b)Information was provided on the Tree of Light in Keswick which allowed members of the public to leave messages on the Christmas tree in return for a donation. It was suggested that this could be considered as an idea for next Christmas.



It was RESOLVED that the next monthly meeting take place on Monday 28 April 2014 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.