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

Monday 15 September 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, S Moules, M Riley, C Robson, H Strong and the Clerk


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


Also present: 5 members of the public


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr H Wormstrup, County Councillor for Egremont North/St Bees.



Cllr Millington declared a disclosable pecuniary interest in agenda item 16a, planning application for Plot 3 Wyndhowe, as owner of a neighbouring property. Cllrs Strong, Sim and Bettinson declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 7 as trustees of the Pagan Trust.



Members of the public present expressed interest in the agenda items concerning footway lighting, the proposal for a railway museum and the planning application for Plot 3 Wyndhowe. It was agreed to bring forward these items on the agenda.

A member of the public drew the council’s attention to a planning application for a 50m wind turbine off Byersteads Rd. Whilst the location was just outside the parish boundary it would be clearly visible from St Bees. The Chairman outlined the parish council’s agreed policy on wind turbines. It was agreed that the Clerk would seek further details of the application from CBC and a response would be sent based on the council’s policy of opposing turbines which would have a detrimental effect on the landscape of the Heritage or Sandstone Coast.



It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 21 July 2014 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.



The Chairman invited Mr Rooke to outline his proposal to create a railway museum in St Bees.

Mr Rooke explained that he had purchased a former shop on Main Street with the intention of creating a small museum dedicated to local railways. He had accumulated a number of items of railway memorabilia which would be on display. The intention was to house the museum on the ground floor with the upper floor remaining as residential accommodation. Entrance would be free with donations invited from visitors. Opening times etc were yet to be decided but it was likely to be by prior arrangement. The project would require a planning application for change of use and preliminary discussions had taken place with CBC.

Councillors welcomed the proposal for the museum as an additional attraction for visitors.

It was RESOLVED to provide a letter to support the change of use application.



(a)New Applications

Cllr Millington left the meeting during this item, having declared a pecuniary interest

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

  • Ref 4/14/2348/0F1 Re-application for a single storey dwelling with garage under

Plot 3 Wyndhowe, Blythe Place, Seamill Lane St Bees

The group had visited the site at the applicant’s invitation and provided a report on the problems which had arisen during construction which had necessitated a change in the plans.


The modified plans would involve some change in the height of the building but the new plans had been designed to minimise the effect as far as possible. It was noted that the Clerk had received a copy of a letter which the owners of an adjacent property had written to CBC, critical of the way the situation had been allowed to develop and pointing out the effects of the changes on adjacent properties.

It was RESOLVED that no objection be raised to the amended plans.

  • A pre-application letter had been received from Earthmill Ltd stating their intention to apply for permission for a second wind turbine (34.5m to blade tip) on land near Green Lonning.

(b) Applications approved/refused

It was noted that the application for storage of scaffolding at Dovecote Barn, High Walton had been refused by CBC.



A member of the public drew attention to the lack of lighting in Rottington following the removal of a street light previously fixed to an electricity pole. Two other lights were also out. There are no pavements and with the dark nights approaching there were concerns for the safety of pedestrians. A number of residents had also contacted the Clerk about the same issue.

A letter had been received from CBC explaining that the pole mounted light had been removed as part of Electricity North West’s policy. The policy agreed by CBC in 2013 was not to replace these lights unless the parish council was prepared to meet the costs of a new column and on-going maintenance/utility costs. The indicative costs given by CBC were £2500 for the column and approx. £80pa on-going costs. CBC policy also stated that column mounted footway lights would not be replaced at the end of their life unless the parish council agreed to fund the costs. The CBC lighting inventory showed over 70 footway lights in the parish. Whilst some of these lights might last for many years the long term financial implications were considerable. It was noted that other parishes faced the same issues and the subject would be discussed at the CALC three tier meeting of parish councils with CBC and CCC on 24 September.

It was RESOLVED that the Finance & Risk Assessment Group review the situation and make recommendations on future policy on replacing street lighting.


148/14 FINANCE

(a)Financial Report

The summary of accounts at 31 August was received and noted. Cllr Strong explained that expenditure was in line with expectations with some large items of expenditure falling later in the year. It was noted that an anonymous donation of £380 had been received in appreciation of the council’s work in providing the Coast to Coast banner.

The external audit of accounts for 2013/14 had been completed with no issues arising.

(b) Toilet Contract

The contract for opening/closing/cleaning the beach toilets was due to end on 30 September. The contractor had indicated that he was agreeable to an extension of the contract for a further year on the same terms.

It was RESOLVED to extend the contract for a further year on the existing terms.


It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Cheque no 001988 CBC – NNDR Beach Toilets 7 th monthly payment Total £150.00
  • Cheque no 001989 Alan Armstrong – noticeboard repair Total £60.00
  • Cheque no 001990 Blomfields – filling of baskets etc £500.00 + £100.00 VAT Total £600.00 (agreed by VIB)
  • Cheque no 001991 – beach toilets electricity 1/6 to 5/8 £103.07 + £5.15 VAT Total £108.22
  • Cheque no 001992 Information Commissioner – data protection renewal Total £35.00
  • Cheque no 001993 J Donaldson –reimbursement for postage £10.08
  • Cheque no 001994 United Utilities Water plc – allotment water 24/5 – 8/9 Total £17.46



  • Cheque no 001995 United Utilities Water plc – water/wastewater beach toilets 24/5 -8/9 Total £805.36
  • Cheque no 001996 J Donaldson –Clerk salary Sept (nett) £451.11
  • Cheque no Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service Sept £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (to be paid by SO)


Payments made since last meeting to report:

Cheque no 001979 St Bees PCC – donation to Family Fun Day £50.00 (agreed at last meeting)

Cheque no 001980 YNH Ltd – domain name renewal (stbees.info) £17.00 + £3.40 VAT Total £20.40

Cheque no 001981 CBC – emptying play area bins (beach & Outrigg)14/7 -30/9 Total £208.90

Cheque no 001982 BDO LLP – external audit fee £300.00 + £60.00 VAT Total £360.00

Cheque no 001983 Playsafety Ltd – annual inspection Outrigg play area £68.00 + £13.60 VAT Total £81.60

Cheque no 001984 CBC – NNDR beach toilets 6 th monthly payment £150.00

Cheque no 001985 J Donaldson – salary August £450.71

Cheque no 001986 D Simpson – children’s entertainment, Beach Bash Total £215.00

Cheque no 001987 B Nesbitt – reimbursement for water butt £46.19 + £9.23VAT Total £55.42 (VIB)

Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service Aug £583.33 + £116.67 VAT total £700.00

Answer-4U –answering service £8.80 + £ 1.76 VAT total £10.56 (paid by direct debit 18/8/14)



Cllr Hill reported on a number of matters of interest.

  • The DWP were introducing on-line claims for benefits. CBC recognised that this could be difficult for some applicants and would be prepared to help those who were not able to make a claim online.
  • New regulations now permitted the recording of council meetings. CBC had issued a protocol on the recording/filming of meetings.
  • The creation of a town council for Whitehaven was moving ahead.
  • Cllr Graham Sunderland was taking the lead for CBC on cycle way matters. It was agreed that the Chairman would contact him to discuss how he might be able to help with the possibility of creating a cycle link from St Bees to Whitehaven.
  • Some residents had complained about changes in bus timetables and that the new lower pavements in Whitehaven were making it difficult to board buses. As transport was a CCC responsibility the Clerk would pass the concerns on to Cllr Wormstrup.



(a)Mobile fish & chip shop

CBC was seeking comments on a request received for a mobile fish and chip unit to be sited at the beach car park.

Councillors felt that it would be inappropriate to agree to this and similar requests on an ad hoc basis. It was suggested that a policy needed to be developed in consultation with local residents and businesses on the type of activities that were appropriate. As the summer season was now nearing an end, it would allow time for a policy to be developed in time for the 2015 season. The Beach Regeneration Committee would be a mechanism for doing this and CBC representatives could be invited to join the discussions.

It was RESOLVED to recommend to CBC that the request be held in abeyance until a policy could be developed for the beach area.

(b) Request for bouncy castle

CBC had received a request to allow a bouncy castle on the grassed area at the main beach.

It was RESOLVED to recommend to CBC that the request be held in abeyance until a policy could be developed.


(c)Sale of land

CBC was seeking comments on the possible sale of land behind Firth Drive to the owners of properties whose gardens adjoin the land.

It was RESOLVED that there was no objection in principle to the sale of the land providing that all property owners were prepared to purchase the land behind their property. A sale to some but not others would not be appropriate. A condition should be included to prevent a subsequent sale to a neighbouring property to ensure that the appearance of the area was maintained.

(d) West Cumbria Mining

CBC as owners of the beach car park had received a request from West Cumbria Mining to drill a borehole at the car park and to store equipment on the site. It was noted that the work would coincide with Carillion’s use of the rear of the car park as an operating base while work was taking place on the level crossing .

There was general agreement that there had been too little time allowed for consultation with local residents and too little information had been provided on the locations of the different boreholes to be drilled in the parish.

It was RESOLVED to pass these concerns to CBC and to West Cumbria Mining and to ask that there should be greater engagement with the local community.

Cllr Hill then left the meeting.



Cllrs Sim, Bettinson and Strong declared a non-pecuniary interest as trustees of the Pagan Trust.

The current lease of the hall from the Pagan Trust expired on 14 September and a new lease was now required. A briefing paper had been circulated by the Chairman explaining the history of the village hall lease and the parish council’s role as custodian trustee for the Village Hall Committee.

Advice had been obtained from Action with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) on various models for the management of village halls and the current model, which allowed the Village Hall Committee to continue to be a registered charity, was the most commonly adopted model. It was agreed that the village hall was an important village asset and the parish council should do all it could to support it. It was noted that the constitution of the Village Hall Committee allowed the parish council to nominate representatives to the committee.

There was also a sub lease of part of the hall to the St Bega Lodge and legally this could not survive the head lease. Once a new head lease was in place this sub-lease would need to be renegotiated.

Both the Pagan Trust and Village Hall Committee had asked for a donation from the parish council to help with the costs involved in the drawing up of the new leases.

It was RESOLVED that

  • The parish council continue to act as custodian trustee for the Village Hall Committee
  • The parish council as custodian trustee write to St Bega Lodge about the ending of the current lease and the creation of a new sub-lease
  • Donations of £400 be made to both the Pagan Trust and the Village Hall Committee to help with the legal costs, with the funds being taken from reserves
  • Cllr Kennedy be appointed as representative to serve on the Village Hall Committee
  • The parish council become a member of ACT (subscription £75).



(a)Beach Regeneration

(i) Play Area

The final invoices were now being paid so that the grants could be claimed from the funders. CBC had refunded the costs of the sign paid by the parish council so that it could be included in the final project claim.A post-completion review meeting had taken place with Wicksteed. They had replaced the picnic tables which had not been correctly installed and done other minor work which was outstanding. Cllr Strong reported that five volunteers were now carrying out weekly inspections.Feedback on the new play area had been excellent.



(ii) CBC Coastal Interpretation Project

CBC had organised a consultation event at the beach café on 12 September to seek views on the proposed interpretation board.


(b) Traffic Calming

Cllr Hewetson reported that five speedwatch sessions had taken place in August with a further two to date in September. 17 vehicles had been reported to the police as exceeding the speed limit. It was noted that the speedwatch sessions were having an effect in slowing traffic as many drivers were reducing their speed as soon as they saw the speed gun.

Cllr Millington reported that Highways had provided a possible design for gateway signs, combining the speed limit sign with tourist information signs and the parish council logo. Highways had confirmed that there were no funds remaining after the Fairladies work and the cost of gateway signs would have to be found by the parish council if it was decided to proceed.

(c) Community Events

It was reported that the Beach Bash on Sun 31 August had gone well. There had been a number of charity stalls as well as children’s entertainment. The event might have to take a different form next year as the tides were not suitable for the extreme fitness event on the beach.

The Santa parade would take place on the evening of 9 December with the Christmas tree being put up the previous weekend.


(d) Office Improvements

The Chairman reported that work was continuing to make the office at the Village Hall more suitable for the storage of archives.


(e) Tree Planting

Some of the trees planted last year had not survived the long dry spell. Plans were being made to plant more trees this autumn/winter in several locations around the village.



The Chairman reported on the offer of help with community projects.



The Chairman reported on the Marine Conservation Zone which was now in place to protect the inshore coastal environment.



No written expressions of interest had yet been received.



The next Three Tier Meeting (CBC/CCC/Parish Councils) would be held in the Village Hall on Wed 24 September. The Chairman was unable to be there but other parish councillors would be welcome to attend.



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 on Main Street would be contained within the Order which was being prepared.
  • Main Noticeboard - the damage to the door had been repaired.
  • Station car park –A quotation had been obtained from Ast Signs and after consultation with the Chairman an order had been placed. The new signs were now in place.
  • Litter bin outside the Post Office – the wall mounted bin had been damaged beyond repair. A replacement bin was being ordered.


  • Letter to Sellafield Stakeholder Group – the letter about traffic issues was sent as agreed at the last meeting – no reply yet received.
  • Light at Peckmill – the top of one of the footway lights was removed after the storms a few months ago. CBC has placed an order for repair with their contractor.
  • Level crossing works – work to renew the level crossing would take place between Sept and January. Following a consultation over the summer CBC had agreed to allow Carillion to use the beach car park as a base.
  • Land issues– a meeting had been arranged with CBC on 1 Oct to discuss the possible transfer of the land behind the Station car park.



PCSO Kane was unable to attend the meeting. He had reported that Copeland would shortly have its own parking enforcement team and he would brief them on the parking issues around the village school.

As it was seldom possible for a police representative to be present at monthly meetings, it was suggested that the police be asked to commit to send a representative to one meeting each quarter. The Clerk would contact the local police to propose this arrangement.



It was noted that the illuminated sign by the village school had still not been connected. The Clerk would follow this up with Highways.



(a)An email had been received from a visitor about the irresponsible use of jet skis. The Clerk had responded and discussed the issues with CBC.

(b) Information had been received from CALC on the Bribery Act 2010. Noted.

(c) An update had been received from the Office for Nuclear Development outlining a renewed process for the siting of a geological disposal facility. Noted.

(d) Details had been received of ACT AGM and Community Buildings event on 17 Sept. Noted.

(e) Dept for Communities and Local Government’s guide to the new rights of the public ( including a protocol on the right to record council meetings) was received. This would be incorporated in Standing orders at the next review.

(f) A copy had been received from CALC of the new regulations on open and accountable local government. Noted.

(g) A letter had been received from St Bees PCC thanking the parish council for the donation to the Family Fun Day. Noted.

(h) A letter had been received from a local resident about parking issues in the Finkle St/High House Rd area. Noted.

(i) Notification had been received from the Office for Nuclear Regulation confirming that the initial GDA assessment had been completed for UK ABWR. Noted.

(j) Information had been received from CALC about the launch of The Accessible Britain Challenge on 4 Sept. Noted.

(k) Details had been received from CALC of a Digital Champion Event to be held at Rheged on 18 Sept. Details had been passed to the parish Broadband Champion.

(l) Legal topic note 6 had been received from NALC updating procedural advice re parish meetings and assemblies. Noted.

(m) Details had been received from CALC of government consultation on allowing residents and businesses to challenge parking policies. Noted.

(n) Details had been received of the consultation by the National Grid on north west coast connections project. Public events would be held in a number of local venues and details had been distributed to every household. Noted.



CALC Circular Sept 2014


FLAG Newsletter Summer 2014

CCC Copeland Area Support Summer Newsletter 2014

Coastal Access Monthly update Sept 2014

Cumbria Police & Crime Commissioner Newsletter

Cumbria Community Foundation Newsletter Aug 2014

Countryside Voice Summer 2014

Dispatches (CBC Newsletter) July 2014


(a)It was noted that there was to be a presentation in words and art of the story of St Bees Man on Tuesday 16 September at 7.30pm in the Priory.

(b) It was noted that gravel was being placed around the agricultural building off the Whitehaven road to allow storage around the building.

(c) It was reported that the owners of the shelter being built in a paddock off Seamill Lane had contacted CBC about whether planning consent was required and were awaiting further information.



It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place at 7.00pm on Monday 20 October 2014.