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Draft Minutes of the Meeting of St Bees Parish Council

held on Monday 20 April 2015 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall


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

B Hewetson, F Kennedy, D Millington, C Robson, H Strong and the Clerk


In attendance: Cllr I Hill, CBC Ward Councillor

Cllr H Wormstrup, County Councillor Egremont North/St Bees

Mr J Mellor

Dr N Smart


Also present: 2 members of the public


Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs K James, S Moules and M Riley.



No declarations of interest were received.



The Chairman reported that the election for seats on the parish council would be uncontested. Thirteen nominations had been received for the thirteen seats for St Bees Ward and all those nominated would automatically be elected without the need for a poll. There had been no nominations for the seat for Rottington ward and the Parish Council would be able to fill the seat by co-option.

The Chairman explained that three councillors would be standing down at the election – Barbara Hewetson, Karen James and Sean Moules – and thanked them all for their contribution to the council. The Chairman welcomed Neil Smart and Jon Mellor who would be joining the parish council in May and were attending the meeting as observers.



There were no matters raised.



It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 16 March 2015 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.



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

Cllr Wormstrup explained that Highways would be carrying out speed monitoring in St Bees as part of a review of speed limits.

Cumbria County Council was in communication with St Bees School about assistance for pupils who would be joining the state system in September.



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

Cllr Hill reported that the appropriate legal procedures were in hand to move the travellers from the beach car park. Officers from CBC would continue to monitor waste issues.

Cllr Hill also provided an update on developments at the Beacon and explained the background to issues affecting the future of consultant-led maternity services at WCH.





(a)Financial Report

The summary of income and expenditure at 31 March 2015 was received.

Cllr Strong explained that income was higher than the budget predictions. The main income streams had been in line with predictions but there had been additional income from a beach landscaping grant from CBC, donations and the sale of a small parcel of land to United Utilities. Expenditure had totalled £38437, slightly below overall budget predictions. There had been underspends on some budget headings (insurance, solicitor’s fees, donations, salary costs) with other budget headings being over budget (including Station car park, play area inspections, toilets). All these variances had been monitored throughout the year by the Finance & Risk Advisory Group and all expenditure had been approved by the Parish Council.


(b) Donations

It was noted that a donation of £600 had been received from Donald Brownrigg from the proceeds of calendar sales. £300 was to be used specifically for Village in Bloom activities and the remainder was a donation to the work of the Parish Council.

It was RESOLVED that £300 be used to supplement the Centenary Book Fund.


(c) External Audit

It was noted that St Bees was once again in the random sample for an intermediate level audit this year. The main area of focus would be setting the precept, budget setting and monitoring and risk management.


(d) Payment of Accounts

It was RESOLVED that the following cheques be approved for signature:

  • Cheque no 002064 CBC-NNDR Beach toilets 2 nd instalment Total £153.00
  • Cheque no 002065 CBC- NNDR Station car park 2 nd instalment Total £77.00
  • Cheque no 002066 CBC- Emptying bin, Fairladies footpath Qtr1 Total £24.70
  • Cheque no 002067 CBC - Emptying bins, play areas Qtr1 Total £247.00
  • Cheque no 002068 CBC – Play area inspections Qtr1 £101.08 + £20.22 VAT Total £121.30
  • Cheque no 002069 Petty Cash top up, Village in Bloom £108.48
  • Cheque no 002070 NPK Landscapes– Plants, Priory Paddock £82.92 + £16.89 VAT Total £99.50
  • Cheque no 002071 Greenbarnes Ltd – Noticeboard (donation to Village Hall) £232.88 + £46.58 VAT Total £279.46
  • Cheque no 002072 Viking – Stationery/cartridges £84.45 + £16.89 VAT Total £101.34
  • Cheque no 002073 J Donaldson – travel to training/postage Total £57.42
  • Cheque no 002074 J Donaldson –Clerk salary April 2015 - £614.75
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service April £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (to be paid by SO)

Payments since last meeting to report:

  • Cheque no 002060 Post Office Ltd (for HMRC) – PAYE Qtr4 £310.72
  • Cheque no 002061 Printpoint – printing of Welcome leaflets £104.00
  • Cheque no 002062 United Utilities – allotment water charges £15.68
  • Cheque no 002063 United Utilities – water charges, beach toilets £165.35
  • Answer 4U – answering service £8.80 + £1.76 VAT Total £10.56 (direct debit)



The Governors of St Bees School had confirmed on 17 April that the school would definitely close at the end of the summer term. The Rescue Team had put forward a plan to keep the school open for a further year to allow a long term business plan to be developed but this proposal had been rejected by


the Governors. An open meeting had been held on 18 April at which Prof Woods, the Chairman of the Governors, had been present. It was noted that Prof Woods had indicated the Governors’ willingness to liaise with local councils and the community at large to find a way forward from the present position.

The closure of the School would have far reaching ramifications for the parish. It was agreed that the Parish Council should take the lead in ensuring that the local community was represented in discussions about the future and should maintain contact with other stakeholders.

It was RESOLVED that a letter be sent to the Chairman of the Governors in the following terms:-

Whilst this Council regrets the recent decision on the part of the Governors to close St Bees School in its present form, we welcome the statement made by prof Woods at the Open Meeting on Sat 18 April, in which he expressed the Governors’ wish to liaise with both local councils and the community at large in finding a way forward from the present position.

To this end we extend an invitation to the Governors to meet with representatives of the council to share their vision for the future of the assets.



(a)Beach Regeneration

CBC had indicated that they would be prepared in principle to allow the parish council to do some limited landscaping and put seats on the grassed area opposite the beach café. The project would be discussed in more detail by the Beach Regeneration Committee after the May elections.

Cllr Robson reported that the new information board was in place on the beach shelter. The shelter was in need of repainting and this would be done shortly.

(b)Traffic Calming/Speedwatch

Cllr Hewetson provided a report on the Speedwatch sessions carried out. It was agreed to defer a decision on the repair and re-calibration of the speed gun until the new council met in May.

(c)Community Events

Cumbria Wildlife Trust would be holding a Beached Art event at the main beach on 8 August. They had requested that the zip wires be taken out of service for the day so as not to interfere with tents/stalls. It was agreed that this could be done.

It was noted that Mark Wear was organising two charity events in the next few weeks – a cycle event on 4 May, starting and finishing at the Adams Recreation Ground, and a running event on 12 July for both adults and children. This would finish at the main beach and was likely to attract large numbers of spectators. Cllr Kennedy would be contacting the organisations who had provided stalls in previous years to ascertain whether there was sufficient support to organise a similar event this year.


(d)Tree Planting

Cllr Bettinson reported that more than 100 new trees had been planted in the current season and there were still a few oaks and willows left to plant. This brought to 300 the number of trees planted in the parish as part of the current project.


(e)Station car park extension

There had still been no reply from Network Rail.


(f)Outrigg Play Area

Recommendations and costings were still awaited from Wicksteed.



A draft statement of case had been prepared and circulated for comment. It was proposed to submit this to the Valuation Office Agency to allow them to review their decision. If the decision remained unchanged this would form the basis of the case to be put forward at a Valuation Tribunal.


It was RESOLVED that the statement of case be approved and submitted to the Valuation Office Agency.



CCC had estimated the total project cost at approx. £8500. This included the flexi-pave surface, labour and materials for the sub-base, footpath barrier and legal costs of the footpath closure. CCC had agreed to meet 50% of the costs but the remainder would need to be raised by the parish council. An application to Jewsons Building Better Communities Fund had been unsuccessful and other opportunities for grants/sponsorship would need to be explored if work was to go ahead before winter.

It was RESOLVED that an application be made to Copeland Community Fund.


The Clerk reported on the meeting which had taken place on 23 March. Items discussed had included the extension of the Sellafield emergency zone, the campaign to recruit foster carers, a campaign to encourage community recycling schemes and a report by the ambulance service. There had been no further information on the Sellafield travel issues.



The notes of the meeting on 7 April were received and noted. Cllr Gilmour reported on a scheme in Egremont to improve the appearance of empty shops by using them to display art work by West Lakes Academy students.



CCC was consulting on the draft Minerals & Waste Local Plan. The main changes related to the policies for lower activity levels of radioactive wastes, lower estimates of need for landfill capacity, reduced need for minerals, the renewed interest in deep mining of coal and the potential for the exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons.

Cllr Bettinson was reviewing the document on behalf of the parish council.



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

  • The Clerk had attended a training event organised by the Office of the Information Commissioner, covering the requirements of the Data Protection Act & Freedom of Information Act.
  • Two courses for new councillors had been arranged in West Cumbria. It was hoped to have a further course in St Bees.
  • The noticeboard which had been ordered as a donation to the Village Hall had now arrived.
  • There was still no definite news on the allocation of the ENW funding for replacing pole mounted lights. However, CBC had indicated that they were engaged in discussions about footway lighting generally.



(a)New planning applications

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

Ref 4/15/2119/0F1 Extensions;insulate & clad existing kennels, new 10 bay kennel building

And exercise runs

Quarry Cottages, Bank End, Bigrigg

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


(b)Applications approved/refused

It was noted that CCC had approved the application to extend the time limit for extraction of stone at Birkhams Quarry to 2030.



It was noted that the Annual Parish Meeting, a meeting of the electors of the parish, was required to take place between 1 March and 1 June each year.

It was RESOLVED that the Annual Parish Meeting take place immediately before the monthly parish council meeting on Monday 18 May.


It was noted that PCSO Butler was now covering the Millom area and PCSO Kane would be covering the St Bees area. He was unable to attend the meeting but had sent a brief written report. The only log reported for St Bees was an issue relating to the presence of travellers at the main beach.



(a) An email had been received from CALC announcing that the Chief Executive, David Claxton, was to retire later this year. Noted.

(b) Notification had been received that West Cumbria would be one of the two sites chosen for a New College for Nuclear. Noted.

(c) United Utilities Final Water Resources Management Plan had been received. Noted.

(d) Details received of roadworks to be undertaken on the A595 at Bigrigg from 27 April for 4 weeks. Noted.

(e) Information had been received from CALC about events to celebrate the anniversary of VE day from 8-10 May. Noted.

(f) Details had been received of a 10 week public consultation by Nu-Gen on the proposed Moorside Project. An open event would take place on 16 May at Whitehaven Civic Hall. It was RESOLVED to contact Nu-Gen to offer St Bees as a venue for an information event.


Cumbria Coastal Access Monthly Update –March & April 2015

CALC Newsletter – April 2015

Cumbria Wildlife Trust – April e-newsletter

OSS Manifesto Ezine – April 2015

Northern Gas Network –Quarterly Stakeholder Update



(a)It was reported that fallen stock had apparently been buried on St Bees Common. It was agreed to ask everyone to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

(b) Cllr Bettinson would be giving a guided tour of Priory Paddock on 12 May at 7pm.



It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 18 MAY 2015 immediately following the Annual Parish Meeting.