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

Monday 21 December 2015 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall


PRESENT: Cllrs D Sim (in the Chair), N Bettinson, M Davies, T Kelly, F Kennedy, J Mellor,

D Millington, C Robson, N Smart, H Strong and the Clerk


In attendance: Cllr I Hill, Ward Councillor, Copeland Borough Council

Cllr H Wormstrup, County Councillor Egremont North/St Bees

Mr F McMorrow, Nu-Gen


Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs P Argyle, G Gilmour, J Haile and M Riley.



No declarations of interest were received.



There were no issues raised.



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



The Chairman welcomed Fergus McMorrow from Nu-Gen who gave an update on the Moorside project. There had been a major public consultation over the summer on outline plans for the project and the results showed much general support. Further technical work was now taking place to translate the general strategy into detailed proposals for siting transport hubs and accommodation and it was planned to hold a further round of public consultation in the summer of 2016. He stressed that consultation was taking place locally as assessments were underway but no firm decisions had yet been taken.

The area south of Mirehouse was a key site for Nu-Gen whose strategy was to use rail as the predominant method of transport for both equipment and people. A new station was likely to be required in this area as Corkicle offered less scope for development. Whilst it was hoped to recruit as many employees as possible from the local area, the company had to plan for the maximum numbers which might be needed coming in from outside the immediate area. There would be parking at the main site only for coaches, emergency vehicles, disabled employees etc so the impact on the local road network would be minimised. Some increased traffic might be expected as staff travelled to the transport hubs but Nu-Gen was working with CCC to look at local bottle-necks and what might be done to ease the situation.

In answer to questions Mr McMorrow explained that the company was part of the Nuclear Transport Group chaired by CCC and was working with Sellafield and other companies to co-ordinate their plans but the Development Consent Order could only include developments actually required for the project itself. Issues such as the impact on local health services were currently being assessed. The company was keen to see as much legacy benefit as possible for the local area with the buildings erected for temporary use being put to longer term use. A final decision on whether to go ahead with the project would be taken in 2018.

The Chairman thanked Mr Mc Morrow for his explanation of the current position which had been most useful to the parish council in understanding the implications for the St Bees area.

Mr Mc Morrow then left the meeting.






Cllr Wormstrup outlined the membership of the Nuclear Transport Group mentioned during the previous item. This was a meeting of officers from CCC with representatives from the nuclear industry but also included other companies such as West Cumbria Mining whose projects would have significant traffic implications. The NTG makes recommendations to CCC and Cllr Wormstrup offered to report back to the parish council when recommendations were available. He also informed councillors of the existence of a Moorside technical officers meeting at which some parish councils and CALC were represented. He would provide the Clerk with contact details for the group so that the parish council could seek representation.

Cllr Wormstrup also noted that the drain cleaning work in the village had been successful and no flooding had occurred despite the recent heavy rain.

Cllr Wormstrup then left the meeting.



Cllr Hill reported that the CBC Coastal Partnership was supportive of the proposed cycle track link to Whitehaven and would like to see links developed with cycle tracks to the south. There was evidence that the new audio interpretation board was being well used. The work at Rottington Beck was now complete but CBC had no funds for landscaping the area by the north end of the promenade. CBC had also decided that it would not be able to fund applications for Seaside Awards next year but parishes were free to apply in their own right if they wished.

The elected Mayor was in the process of drawing up the budget but no further details were available. Government approval was awaited for the plan put forward by the local authorities for the Cumbria Deal.

Cllr Hill explained that the proposals being developed by the Success Regime for health services in North Cumbria would be based very largely on evidence-based clinical information.

Cllr Hill then left the meeting.



(a) Financial Report

A summary of income and expenditure at 30 November was received and noted. It was noted that invoices had not yet been received for the repairs to the equipment and safety surfacing at the Outrigg play area.


(b) Budget 2016/17

The notes of the meeting of the Finance & Risk Advisory Group on 15 December were received (copy attached to the minutes). The draft budget drawn up by the group was discussed. Many expenditure items were expected to remain at current levels but an additional allowance had been made for replacement of the Clerk’s lap-top and for play area inspections and repairs as the beach play area equipment was now outside its guarantee period and some wear and tear would be anticipated. A sum had also been included to cover the costs of updating the feasibility study on the proposed cycle track, although it was anticipated that much of the cost would be covered by grant funding and a contribution from Whitehaven Town Council. It was noted that the budget included some provision for additional grasscutting as it was not yet known whether Copeland Borough Council would continue fortnightly cuts at the main beach.

Since the FRAG meeting the council had been informed that its application for a grant to refurbish Priory Paddock had been unsuccessful. It was therefore suggested that the budget should include £200 for routine maintenance of Priory Paddock. This would bring total budget expenditure to £51590.

The recommendation of the Finance & Risk Advisory Group was that the precept for 2016/17 should rise by £2000 to £40351. Taking into account other anticipated income this would leave a budget deficit of £2689 which could be met from reserves.

It was RESOLVED that:

  • the recommendations of the Finance & Risk Group be accepted and the draft budget be approved subject to the inclusion of £200 expenditure on Priory Paddock and
  • the precept for 2016/17 be set at £40351.


(c) Changes to External Audit

Following the abolition of the Audit Commission new arrangements were required to procure external audit services. The government had agreed that a sector-led body made up of representatives of NALC, SLCC and ADA should be set up to procure audit services from 2017. Any local council which did not wish to take part in this arrangement had the right to opt out and make its own arrangements.

It was RESOLVED that the council would not exercise the right to opt out.


(d) Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Chq no 002152 CBC – NNDR Beach toilets 2015/16 final instalment £153.00
  • Chq no 002153 CBC – NNDR Station car park 2015/16 final instalment £77.00
  • Chq no 002154 Greenbaarnes – noticeboard keys £13.66 + £2.73 VAT Total £16.39
  • Chq no 002155 Npower– electricity to beach toilets £139.78 + £6.99 VAT Total £146.77
  • Chq no 002156 United Utilities –water/wastewater beach toilets £365.29
  • Chq no 002157 K James – sweets for Santa Parade £16.83 + £3.37 VAT Total £20.20
  • Chq no 002158 CBC – emptying bin, Fairladies footpath Qtr4 £24.70
  • Chq no 002159 CBC – emptying bins, play areas Qtr 4 £247.00
  • Chq no 002160 CBC – play area inspections Qtr 4 £101.08 + £20.22 VAT Total £121.30
  • Chq no 002161 J Donaldson – reimbursement for postage £10.26 + printer cartridges £93.73 + £18.75 VAT Total £122.74
  • Chq no 002162 J Donaldson – salary (net) Dec 2015 - £614.75
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service Dec £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (to be paid by SO)


Payments since last meeting to report

  • Chq no 002147 G Burgess – presentation cake £22.60
  • Chq no 002148 P Argyle – reimbursement for refreshments £129.86 + £16.48 VAT Total £146.34
  • Chq no 002149 AON Ltd - additional insurance premium Total £26.50
  • Chq no 002150 YNH Ltd – domain name renewal £17.00 + £3.40 VAT Total £20.40
  • Chq no 002151 G & R Gilmour – reimbursement for Christmas tree £150.00
  • Answer 4 You – answering service £8.80 + £1.76 VAT Total £10.56 ( paid by direct debit on 17/12/15)



It was noted that Cllr Kelly had a non-pecuniary interest in this item as Secretary to the Board of Directors of St Bees School.

Cllr Kelly reported that two new members were joining the Board before Christmas and four further appointments were planned in January to address some of the skills gaps previously identified. It was likely that further appointments would be made in due course. Once the new board members were in place the ex officio members would stand down. A press release was planned for January.

Councillors asked whether the Board would include someone with knowledge of the international market. Cllr Kelly said this was something which the Board was still considering. Cllr Kelly said that the Board was grateful for the Parish Council’s offer of help and would be pleased to take up the offer once the new Board was in place and beginning its task of looking at options.

Cllr Kelly also stated that there was no foundation to the rumour that appeared to have been circulating that the school would be used to house refugees.



Cllr Strong reported that consultation events had taken place across the area and in St Bees this had been combined with consultation on the St Bees-Whitehaven cycle track.


The drop-in event in Old College Hall had been very well attended. There had been lots of suggestions for projects, both large and small, and these were being collated by the consultants before they were presented to the Coastal Communities Team who would decide which projects would be included in the 5 year economic plan. Cllr Strong agreed to circulate details of possible projects affecting St Bees when they were available.



(a)Beach Regeneration

It had been confirmed that planning consent would be necessary for the creation of additional seating opposite the beach café. The next stage would be to seek estimates of the costs of the work and to continue discussions with CBC Legal Dept about the granting of a licence.

(b)Traffic Calming/Speedwatch

The draft minutes of the meeting of the Traffic Calming Committee on 24 November were received and noted. There had been encouraging representation from local residents. The representatives from Sellafield Ltd had explained progress with drawing up a new transport plan. It was clear that the company would not be putting money into highways infrastructure improvements but were looking at encouraging the use of public transport, cycle routes etc as a way of reducing traffic volumes. Those present had put forward a number of ideas which had been included in a letter sent by the Committee Chairman to George Beveridge at Sellafield.

The issue of speed limits had been discussed in light of changes in the criteria required for 20 mph limits. CCC Traffic Engineer had agreed to review the situation in different areas of the village and would come back to the committee in the spring with recommendations on speed limits and physical measures which might be necessary to enforce them. It was suggested that solar powered speed indicator devices could be considered as part of this review.

A rota had been drawn up for Speedwatch sessions in January and February and there continued to be excellent support from volunteers.


(c)Community Events

The presentation of the British Empire Medal to Cllr Sim had taken place on 30 November in front of a packed audience in the Village Hall. The Santa Parade the following evening had been well attended with large numbers of families following the sleigh along Main Street to watch the switch-on of the Christmas tree lights.


(d)Tree Planting

It was noted that the parish council had been awarded a grant of £800 from the Nu-Gen Green Grants Scheme to plant trees along the bank at the side of the Adams Recreation Ground.

It was also noted that the parish council had been offered six hornbeams to be planted on land by Grindal House and discussions would be taking place with the groundsman at St Bees School.


(e) Outrigg Play Area

It was noted that the work had been completed. Cllr Kennedy was carrying out regular inspections of the area.


(f) St Bees – Whitehaven Cycle Path

There had been a superb response to the consultation at the drop in event. Many supportive comments were received and a large number of people had asked to be kept informed of progress or had offered help. Some suggestions had been received for variations to the route originally proposed at the St Bees end and it was planned to ask the consultants to consider these options and make recommendations as part of the updating of the feasibility study.



The report by Cllr Gilmour on the recent Three Tier Meeting was received and noted.

It was agreed that councillors would respond individually to the CCC budget consultation.



The Chairman reported that there had been a public consultation event at the Civic Hall recently but it had not been widely advertised. A similar consultation event had been held in Workington but this too had been poorly publicised and as a result had apparently been poorly attended.

It was noted that the Success Regime was due to make proposals in the spring of 2016 for the future of health services in North Cumbria.

It was RESOLVED to write to Jamie Reed MP and health chiefs in North Cumbria to deplore the lack of effective public consultation in advance of proposals being drawn up.


(a)New planning applications

The Planning Advisory Committee reported on the following applications which had been received for comment:-

4/15/2474/TPO Felling of ash tree situated within the conservation area

Meadow House, High House Rd, St Bees

It was RESOLVED that there was no objection to this application as the tree appeared to be dead.


4/15/2471/OF1 Permission to remove a non-traditional building & convert two traditional buildings to

form two residential units

4/15/2472/0C1 Conservation area consent for above works

Town Head Farm, Main Street, St Bees

It was RESOLVED that there was no objection to these applications.


4/15/2492/0F1 Erection of detached garden room to rear

53 Fairladies, St Bees

It was RESOLVED that there was no objection to this application.

(b) Applications approved

It was noted that the following applications had been approved by CBC:-

  • 4/15/2403/0F1 & 2404/0L1 Reinstatement of cottage as annex incl works to demolish rear two storey extension & increase height of existing ground floor extension – Ghyll Farm, Egremont
  • 4/15/2405/0F1 Erection of garden shed (retrospective) – The Old Byre, Off Main St, St Bees
  • 4/15/2365/0F1 Prior approval for change of use of agricultural building to dwelling –Part barn adjacent to Bell House Farm, Egremont
  • 4/15/2367/0F1 Change of use of traditional barn to B&B accommodation – Stonehouse Farm, St Bees
  • 4/15/2383/TPO Crown reduction of beech tree – 31 Main Street, St Bees
  • 4/15/2394/0F1 Crown reduction/felling of various trees protected by TPO – 3 Fleatham Gardens, St Bees
  • 4/15/2394/0F1 Replacement windows (some retrospective) – 24 Main Street, St Bees



CCC had confirmed that work was now scheduled for March when the footpath closure order would be in place. It was now proposed that the ground preparation would be done by the main contractor with volunteers assisting with landscaping and final reinstatement. The quotations were slightly higher than estimated and would bring the project approx £600 over budget. Copeland Community Fund had committed a maximum sum of £3134 and discussions would be taking place with CCC staff about how to fund the additional cost but at present CCC staff were fully committed to the flood recovery programme.

It was RESOLVED that the Parish Council would underwrite the additional sum to allow the project to proceed.



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


  • Street lighting – Highways had confirmed that there was a supply fault to the three lights on Coach Rd. Electricity North West had been asked to repair the fault.
  • Daffodils – A bulb planting session had taken place with children from the Village School on 15 December. Bulbs were planted in Beck Edge Garden and along Coach Rd. There were still some bulbs left – volunteers to plant some at Rottington and elsewhere would be welcome.
  • Allotments – the vacant plot had been let and two residents were on the waiting list. United Utilities had been unable to read the water meter as it appeared to have been buried when a trench was dug for new pipes crossing the grassed area and it was planned to install a new meter.



The report from PCSO Kane was received and noted. There had been a total of 7 logs since the last meeting including one theft of a bicycle, an attempted break-in at an unoccupied property, two incidents of disorder and a road traffic collision as well as two incidents where it was deemed that no offences were being committed.



(a) An open letter had been received from health leaders across North Cumbria outlining commitments around WCH for patients and staff. Noted.

(b) A local resident had forwarded a copy of a letter which he had sent to Highways about the enhanced flood risk at Seamill Lane following surfacing work on the B5345. It was RESOLVED to contact Highways to add support to the letter.

(c) Details had been received of the feedback report from the Moorside –Have Your Say Consultation. The link to the report had been sent to councillors by email.

(d) The formal order had been published for the re-routing of the public footpath at Bell House. Noted

(e) An invitation had been received for parish councillors to attend public meetings to discuss CBC budget proposals. Cllr Gilmour had attended the meeting on 14 December in Egremont.

(f) CALC had forwarded details from NALC of various national developments including consultations by central government on the Community Infrastructure Levy and Council Tax Support Scheme. Noted.

(g) A letter had been received from a local resident informing the council of difficulties he is having with storing his mobility scooter. The Clerk had replied to the letter.

(h) CALC had forwarded a summary report of a North West Coast Connections Project mitigation technical workshop. It was noted that a further round of public consultation was due to take place later in Spring/Summer 2016.

(i) A letter had been received from the Open Spaces Society seeking donations to their ‘What comes next’ appeal to help them deal with their increasing workload of cases. Noted.

(j) A letter had been passed on by Cllr Hill from a young woman hoping to raise funds to travel to Uganda to teach rugby to disadvantaged children. It was noted that she did not live within the parish and it was suggested that she should approach her local council for support.


CALC Newsletter – December 2015/January 2016

Connecting Cumbria - November Newsletter

Cumbria Wildlife Trust – December e-newsletter

Nu-Gen News issue 1

North West Coastal Access Monthly Report – December

FLAG Newsletter December 2015

Countryside Voice Winter 201


It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 18 JANUARY 2016 at 6.30pm