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

Monday 20 October 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,

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


In attendance : Cllr I Hill, CBC Councillor St Bees Ward

Mr M Kirkbride & Mr K Murphy, West Cumbria Mining


Also present: 3 members of the public


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr S Moules.



No declarations of interest were received.



One member of the public expressed interest in the agenda item concerning footway lighting. It was agreed to bring forward this item on the agenda.



Following the discussion at the last meeting the Finance & Risk Advisory Group had considered the cost implications of the decision by CBC not to replace lights removed from electricity poles and other CBC-owned lights which reached the end of their life, unless the parish council provided the funding. A briefing paper had been circulated explaining the Group’s recommendation that the long term costs of replacing these lights were beyond the resources of the parish council and that CBC, CCC and ENW should be urged to review the situation as a matter of urgency.

CBC had confirmed that three lights had been permanently lost in Rottington and would not be replaced unless the parish council or other third party agreed to meet the costs of new columns (approx £2500 per column) and on-going utility costs. It was pointed out that the situation in Rottington was now very serious. With the dark nights approaching there were concerns for the safety of pedestrians, particularly children coming and going to and from school, as there are no pavements and the road is used by fast moving traffic travelling through to Sellafield.

The definition of footway lighting remained very unclear and the division of responsibility between CBC and CCC seemed to be a matter of historical accident.

It was RESOLVED that:

  • a letter be sent to CBC deploring the decision not to replace footway lights and pressing for an urgent review of their policy in light of the risks it was creating
  • letters be sent to CCC and ENW asking that all the organisations involved work together to find a satisfactory solution
  • the MP be asked to take up the matter on behalf of local residents.



It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 15 September 2014 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.



The Chairman welcomed Mr Kirkbride and Mr Murphy from West Cumbria Mining Ltd.

Mr Kirkbride explained progress with the project. A lot of historical information existed about coal reserves in the area but it was necessary to do some further exploratory work using modern test methods. Four boreholes were to be drilled in locations around the village to test the depth and quality of the coal. Each borehole would take about 2 weeks to drill. It was planned to do some exploratory offshore drilling in 2015 and the results would then be used to assess the viability of the


project. In answer to questions Mr Kirkbride explained that the plan was to mine high quality coking coal which is at present imported to the UK. The coal would be extracted from under the sea and taken by rail to Workington for processing and onward shipping. Drift mining techniques would be used and extensive pit head buildings were not required. It was anticipated that training would be available to enable local people to take up the majority of the 500 jobs which were likely to be created.

Mr Kirkbride undertook to keep the council informed of progress as the project developed.

The Chairman thanked Mr Kirkbride and Mr Murphy for coming to the meeting and they then left the meeting.



Cllr Hill gave a brief explanation of the way in which decisions would be made by CBC following the election of a mayor in May 2015.


170/14 FINANCE

(a)Financial Report

The summary of accounts at 30 September was received, together with the notes of the meeting of the Finance & Risk Advisory Group on 2 October. Cllr Strong explained that the Group had considered the position at the half year point and looked ahead at the projected position at the year end. Some possible underspends had been identified which would give an underspend of £1000 at the year end. Since the meeting the final costs of the play area project had been received which showed an overspend of £1219.53 due to the purchase of signage and additional litter bins and this would need to be met from the parish council’s beach regeneration budget. Taking into account this additional cost it was expected that overall expenditure would be in line with the budget.

The Finance Group was now beginning the budget process for 2015/16. A number of possible projects had been suggested for inclusion in the budget. Any further suggestions would need to be submitted to Cllr Strong or the Clerk as soon as possible.

It was RESOLVED that a further payment of £1219.53 be made to CBC to cover the outstanding costs of the play area project.


It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Cheque no 002001 CBC – NNDR Beach Toilets 8 th monthly payment Total £150.00
  • Cheque no 002002 R Jopling– reimbursement for costs of WW1 display £57.16 + £3.98 VAT Total £61.14
  • Cheque no 002003 CBC - emptying of play area litter bins Oct- Dec Total £247.00
  • Cheque no 002004 CBC – emptying of litter bin (Fairladies footpath) Oct-Dec £24.70
  • Cheque no 002005 CBC – play area inspections (Outrigg) Oct- Dec £126.99 + £25.40 VAT Total £152.39
  • Cheque no 002006 J Donaldson – postage Total £12.72
  • Cheque no 002007 J Donaldson –Clerk salary Oct (nett) £450.71
  • Cheque no Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service Oct £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (to be paid by SO)


Payments made since last meeting to report:

Cheque no 001997 AST Signs – Station car park signs £179.05 + £35.81 VAT total £214.86 (payment due before this meeting)

Cheque no 001998 Voluntary Action Cumbria – ACT membership (agreed at last meeting)

Cheque no 001999 Post Office Ltd (for HMRC) – PAYE Qtr2 £175.40

Cheque no 002000 D Robinson–reimbursement for bulbs (VIB) £12.78 + £3.19 VAT Total £15.97

Answer-4U –answering service £8.80 + £ 1.76 VAT total £10.56 (paid by direct debit 17/9/14)

Answer-4U –answering service £8.80 + £1.76 VAT total £10.56 (paid by direct debit 17/10/14





(a)Beach Regeneration

The last invoices had now been paid bringing the final project cost to £132869.53 (excluding the £6600 third party funding paid to WREN). The forms were being completed to claim the grant funding. Regular inspections of the play equipment were being undertaken by the team of volunteers.


(b) Traffic Calming

Cllr Hewetson reported that further speedwatch sessions were being planned as two had been cancelled because of heavy rain.

A number of residents had commented that the new speed hump outside Eaglesfield was higher than the others along that road. It was noted that Highways had confirmed that it was within the prescribed specification.

Cllr Millington reported that it was not now proposed to go ahead with the gateway signs which combined the speed limit sign with tourist information signs and the parish council logo. The costs were too great and the design was not thought to be appropriate.

A meeting was to take place on 13 November with representatives of the village school, parents and Highways staff to look again at the problems associated with parking around the Outrigg entrance. The police had also been asked to attend the meeting.

Cllr Wormstrup had asked Highways to carry out a site visit to the Abbey Road/B5435 junction. It had been decided that new road markings at thejunction were the only effective measure that could be taken.


(c) Community Events

The Santa parade would take place on the evening of 9 December. The Christmas tree was on order from a local supplier.

The fireworks event at St Bees School would be taking place on 3 November. The parish council had agreed to provide 6 volunteer marshals to man the gates.

There had been very positive comments about the WW1 display. The poppy wreaths would be on display during the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday. It was noted that St Bees School CCF would be taking part in this year’s parade.

It was RESOLVED to purchase three ceramic poppies at a cost of £25 each for inclusion in displays.


(d) Office Improvements

The Chairman reported that the office was now watertight following roof repairs.


(e) Tree Planting

Plans were in hand to plant more trees this autumn/winter. Cllr Bettinson was working with St Bees School about plans for trees along the golf course and on the bank on Wood Lane. The lengthsman scheme would provide some funding for trees and supports.

It was also noted that some work was going to be necessary at Priory Paddock to pollard some of the trees.



The Chairman and Clerk had met representatives from Network Rail to discuss the work to renew the level crossing. There would be no work done to the railway lines but the gates and signalling equipment would be replaced. There would also be new signs and lighting. The work had now begun and would go on until mid December. There would be some disruption to traffic with full road closures on two weekends in December from Sat evening until early Mon morning and it was likely that there would also be periods of partial closure with one way traffic controlled by lights. Further details would be publicised as soon as they were available.





Cllr Gilmour reported on the Three Tier Meeting held in the Village Hall on Wed 24 September. There had been no representative present from CBC or Sellafield Ltd so there had been no discussion of issues arising from the Albion Square development. A CCC officer had spoken on some lighting issues but in the absence of CBC officers it had not been possible to progress the issue of CBC’s policy of non-replacement of footway lights.



The Chairman gave a brief report on the meeting of West Copeland Partnership held on 7 October.



The draft minutes of the Allotment Committee meeting on 9 October were received and noted. The committee was recommending that plots becoming vacant should be let as two small plots in order to reduce the waiting list.

It was noted that the fence erected by Network Rail had been placed on land owned by the parish council. The Clerk would write to Network Rail drawing this to their attention but confirming that the parish council was prepared to give permission for the fence to remain in place.



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

  • Beach Road footpath- CCC hoped to carry out the work before the end of the year. The parish council would need to provide some assistance in terms of volunteers and help from the lengthsman.
  • Land adj to Stonehouse Farm – a preliminary meeting took place with CBC on 1 Oct to discuss the possible transfer of the land behind the Station car park. A further meeting was being organised with all interested parties to explore the options.
  • Seat – Abbey Rd – a donation had been received from Mr M Hurst for the purchase of a new seat to be installed by Willowhayne where his late parents lived for many years.
  • Lights by Fairladies car park and steps – a resident had reported two lights as being out. Mayson Bros had been asked to carry out repairs.
  • Non-domestic rates, Beach toilets – some discussions had taken place with the Valuation Office about the possible exemption of the toilets. The parish council had been asked to complete an appeal application against the original decision that NNDR should be charged.



(a)New Applications

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

  • Ref 4/14/2398/0F1 Replacement of Community Youth Centre

Outrigg, St Bees

It was RESOLVED that this was a project which the parish council supported and there were no objections to the plan proposed.

  • Ref 4/14/2408/0F1 Variation of condition 2 of approval 4/13/2413/0F1 (use of static

caravans all year) to include other non-residential use

St Bees Caravan Park

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


  • Ref 4/14/2411/0F1 Extension to existing agricultural building

Whin Bank, Rottington

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


(b) Applications approved/refused

No decision notices had been received from CBC.


(c) Planning Panel Site Visits

It was noted that CBC Planning Panel would be carrying out site visits on 5 November to the site of the proposed wind turbine off Byersteads Rd and to Plot 3 Wyndhowe and the parish council was invited to send a representative. The Clerk had also received a copy of an objection to the proposed wind turbine from a resident of Rottington.

It was RESOLVED that Cllr Argyle attend both visits on behalf of the parish council.



It was noted that PCSO Kane had been transferred to the Millom area and PCSO Butler would be covering St Bees and parts of South Whitehaven. A letter had been sent following the last meeting requesting police attendance at one meeting each quarter. Insp Wear had replied that liaison with parish councils was being reviewed and he would inform the parish council of the outcome in due course.



It was noted that the light at the bottom of Outrigg was now connected.



(a) Information had been received from CALC about plans to hold a free training session led by the Information Commissioner’s office to consider data protection and freedom of information issues relevant to parish councils. Noted.

(b) Information had been received from the Office for Nuclear Development on a new programme of geological screening following the consultation on the site selection process. It was noted that CALC would be sending a representative.

(c) An invitation had been received from Northern Gas Networks to attend a workshop on their social investment policy to be held in York on Tuesday 4 th and Thurs 13 th November. 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)A letter had been received from the Great North Air Ambulance seeking a donation. Noted.

(f) Details had been received from Cumbria Community Foundation of various funds which they administer.

(g) Details had been received from CCC of proposals to introduce on-street parking charges in Whitehaven. Noted.

(h) Details had been received from CCC of proposed charges for residents’ parking permits in Copeland. Noted.

(i) The agenda had been received for the AGM of CALC Copeland Branch to take place on 22 October in Gosforth Village Hall. Noted.

(j) Information had been received on the future promotion of Hadrian’s Wall following the closure of Hadrian’s Wall Trust. Noted.

(k) Details had been received of a survey by NALC on the events they hold. Noted.

(k) Preliminary details had been received from CALC of the Local Council Award Scheme, the successor to the Quality Parish Scheme. It was noted that a decision would need to be made on whether to take part in the scheme once further details were available.


CALC Circular Oct 2014

Cumbria Community Foundation Annual Review

Coastal Access Update Oct 14



(a)The detailed proposals for the Coastal Access path between Whitehaven and Silecroft had been published. The period for representations and objections would run to 10 December. The details were available on-line and would be available to view at the Seacote Hotel and CBC offices.

(b) There was to be a lecture by Trevor Park on the history of St Bees Theological College on Tuesday 28 Oct at 7.30pm in the Whitelaw Building.


(c) It was suggested that the situation with dumping of gravel etc outside the agricultural building on Whitehaven Rd be monitored for the time being and included in a future agenda if it was considered that any action was required.



It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place at 7.00pm on Monday 17 November 2014.