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

Monday 17 November 2014 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall

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

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


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



Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs B Hewetson, K James, S Moules and H Strong.



No declarations of interest were received.



There were no matters raised.



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


187/14 FINANCE    

(a)Financial Report

The summary of accounts at 31 October was received and noted. There were no significant changes in the position from last month. The standing order mandate for the cleaning of the beach toilets had been renewed with the October payment being made by cheque. The Finance & Risk Advisory Group meeting had been postponed until early December and a full report and draft budget for 2015/16 would be available for the next meeting.


(b) Donations

It was RESOLVED that the following donations be approved:

·         Village Hall Committee - contribution to costs of upkeep in recognition of use of hall & office     £500

·         St Bees PCC   -   contribution to costs of the parish magazine    £650

·         Royal British Legion  - voluntary donation to include cost of wreath   £220 (to be funded from budget allocation for WW1 Commemoration)

·         The Friends of the Priory - annual membership and donation   £50

·         Furness Line Action Group – annual membership and donation £50



It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

·         Cheque no 002011  CBC – NNDR Beach Toilets 9th  monthly VAT Total payment Total £150.00

·         Cheque no 002012 CBC – play area inspections (beach) Aug-Oct £176.25 + £35.25 Total £211.50

·         Cheque no 002013 J Donaldson – postage  Total £9.77

·         Cheque no 002014 J Donaldson –Clerk salary Nov (nett) £450.91

·         Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service Nov £583.33  + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (to be paid by SO)


Payments made since last meeting to report:

Cheque no 002008 CBC – additional contribution to play area project  Total £1219.53 (payment approved at last meeting)


Cheque no 002009 Thomas Milburn (Property) Ltd – beach toilet service Oct £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00

Cheque no 002010 Choiceshops Ltd  – tree guards/stakes £1165.99 + £33.20 VAT Total £199.19 (to be reimbursed through the Lengthsman project)

Answer-4U –answering service £8.80 + £ 1.76 VAT total £10.56  (paid by direct debit 17/11/14)



Cllr Wormstrup reported that some repairs to the road surface in Main Street were planned and Highways were liaising with Network Rail about the work on the drain close to the level crossing.

He had arranged to meet Highways staff on 19 November to look at the issue of drain cleaning to prevent water flowing down Outrigg and into Main Street.

It was noted that repairs had been done at Linethwaite but the situation would need to be kept under review to ensure that the drains did not become blocked.

Councillors raised the issue of the drain at the top of the Whitehaven road which was now surrounded by cones and was presenting a hazard to traffic. Cllr Wormstrup agreed to take up the matter with Highways staff.

It was noted that the no 26 bus service was to be discontinued from 13 December. CCC staff were working with users of the service to identify possible alternatives.



(a)Beach Regeneration

The grant claim forms for the play area had now been completed and submitted to CBC for countersigning as the Accountable Body. The grass in the play area was now established and the dog fouling stencils on paths seemed to be having an effect. The minor problems with the equipment identified during the routine inspections had been referred to the supplier for their comments.

There would be a meeting of the Beach Regeneration Committee on 25 November to consider the possible project to landscape the northern end of the beach area.


 (b) Traffic Calming                                                                                              

Cllr Hewetson reported that two sessions had been held in October with 547 vehicles monitored and one reported to the police for speeding. One session had been held in November with 423 vehicles monitored over a 1 hour period and three had been reported for speeding.


(c) Community Events

The fireworks event at St Bees School took place on 3 November. The event had been well attended with a large number of tickets sold on the gates. It was agreed that additional volunteers would be needed next year. A letter had been received from the Bursar thanking the parish council for helping with the event.

Arrangements were in hand for the Santa parade on 9 December. Network Rail had made special arrangements for Santa’s sleigh to be allowed over the level crossing that evening despite the road closure.


(d) Office Improvements

There was no further progress to report. It was noted that the noticeboard outside the Village Hall used to publicise local events was in poor condition.

It was RESOLVED to purchase a suitable board and donate it to the Village Hall Committee.


(e) Tree Planting

Cllr Bettinson reported that some hawthorns had already been planted around the golf course and he was liaising with St Bees School and the parish lengthsman to arrange further planting sessions. Volunteers to help would be welcome.





Cllr Riley explained that the play equipment on the site was old and needed some remedial work. She would be compiling a report on the work required and the likely costs so that provision could be made in the budget.



National Grid had held a number of events across the county to explain the options for the new North West Connections Project and the consultation period was due to end on 28 November.  The detailed response of CBC to the proposed route options was considered. It was noted that Friends of the Lake District had written to local councils urging them to oppose the onshore route. It was generally agreed that the onshore route was the only option likely to be viable and the response submitted by CBC had carefully considered the local impact of the National Grid preferred option.

It was RESOLVED to support in principle the comments submitted by CBC with the proposal that the route follow A1.2.



Network Rail had confirmed that the level crossing would be closed to traffic from the evening of Sat 6 December until early morning on Monday 15 December. During this period only emergency vehicles would be allowed over the crossing. Pedestrians who were unable to use the footbridge would be escorted over the crossing by a gatekeeper. There would inevitably be some inconvenience to residents but Network Rail had stated that the road closure was necessary to enable them to complete the work.



West Cumbria Mining Ltd had provided a report on progress with the project. Work had finished on the first borehole at the main beach car park and the equipment moved to a site in Rottington. The company had responded to suggestions in the local press that underground coal gasification was being considered. They had stated that this was not their plan and the project was focussed solely on the extraction of coking coal.



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

·         Beach Road footpath-  CCC was awaiting a response from the contractor and would then provide further information on when the work would take place.

·         Land adj to Stonehouse Farm – a meeting had taken place with CBC & the owners of Stonehouse Farm to discuss the possible transfer of the land behind the Station car park. Some land ownership questions remained to be clarified and information was being sought from Network Rail on their boundaries.  There would need to be negotiation to secure an easement to safeguard access from Station car park before any funding applications could be made.

·         Seat on Abbey Rd – the new seat had been ordered and would be installed by the lengthsman.

·         Non-domestic rates, Beach toilets – the appeal had been lodged against the inclusion of the toilets in the rating list and a response was awaited.  

·         Emergency vehicle access, Seamill Lane – the Fire Service had confirmed that the lane was wide enough to allow fire tenders to access properties, although parked cars could cause obstructions. In that case the officer in charge would assess the situation and decide how to deal with the situation.


195/14 PLANNING                                                      

 (a)New Applications

 No new planning applications had been received for comment.



(b) Applications approved/refused

No decision notices had been received from CBC.


(c) Planning Panel Site Visits

(i) Plot 3 Wyndhowe Seamill Lane

Cllr Argyle had attended the visit on behalf of the parish council. The revised application was subsequently approved by the Planning Panel.

(ii) Wind Turbine, off Byersteads Rd

Cllr Argyle had attended the visit and reported on the discussion which had taken place. Although no formal notification had been received, it was understood that the application had been turned down at the Planning Panel meeting the following week.



No report had been received, although a police representative had attended the meeting to discuss traffic issues around the village school.



It was noted that CBC had launched its consultation on the budget for 2015. The full details were available on the CBC web-site but one of the issues being considered was a reduction in the allocation of council tax support grant to parish councils. It was noted that the consultation document gave only broad figures for areas of expenditure which made it difficult to make meaningful comments.

It was RESOLVED to ask CBC to provide a more detailed breakdown of the figures and to submit initial comments from the parish council, pointing out the benefits which parish councils bring to their local communities and opposing any changes which would reduce the support to parish councils.



(a) Information had been received from CALC on the consultation being held by NJC on pay proposals for local government staff. Noted.

 (b)A letter had been received from Friends of the Lake District urging councils to oppose the onshore route for the proposed new National Grid connections project. Noted.

(c)A letter had been received from CALC enclosing the papers for the AGM on 15 November and the Annual Report for 2014. Noted.

(d)A request had been received from Cumbria Wildlife Trust for a donation to help their work to protect the sea and marine life. Noted.

(e)Details had been received of a workshop being organised by the lengthsman project on making your own Christmas wreath. Noted.

(f) Details had been received of elections to NALC Smaller Councils Committee. Noted.

(g) An email had been received from CALC giving details of a new programme organised by Dept for Communities & Local Government entitled ‘Delivering Differently in Neighbourhoods’. Noted.

(h) A letter had been received from Earthmill Ltd giving preliminary information about a proposed planning application for a wind turbine at Bell House Farm. Noted.

(i) Expressions of interest were being sought by ACT in a training session for volunteers involved in running village halls and community buildings. Details had been passed to the Pagan Trust and Village Hall Committee.

(j) Preliminary information had been received of a proposal by the Post Office to relocate the Crown Post Office in Whitehaven to the WH Smith store. The proposal would be subject to consultation but some concern was expressed about the access arrangements for disabled people.



CALC Circular Nov 2014

Coastal Access Update Nov 14

ACT Gazette Winter 2014



Cllr Robson reported that an Art & Craft exhibition would be taking place in Old College Hall from 21-23 November and all were welcome.



It had been suggested that meetings should start at an earlier time.

It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 15 December 2014 at the earlier time of 6.30pm on a trial basis.