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

Monday 16 February 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, M Riley, C Robson, H Strong and the Clerk

 

In attendance: Cllr I Hill, CBC Ward Councillor ( CBC item only)

Cllr H Wormstrup, CC Councillor Egremont North/St Bees (CBC & CCC items only)

29/15 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs K James and S Moules

 

30/15 DISPENSATIONS & DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

No declarations of interest were received.

 

31/15 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

There were no matters raised.

 

32/15 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 2 FEBRUARY 2015

It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the extraordinary meeting on 2 February 2015 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

33/15 FINANCE

(a)Financial Report

The summary of accounts at 31 January was received and noted. Expenditure was in line with expectations and the reserves at the year end would be sufficient to allow the planned contribution to be made to next year’s budget.

 

(b)Risk Management

(i) Risk Management Policy

A draft risk management policy had been circulated for comment. The policy set out a four stage process for the identification and management of risk and all councillors would have a responsibility for identifying possible risks.

It was RESOLVED that the policy be approved.

(ii) Risk Register

The risk register was presented for consideration. The document identified risks and mitigation measures and also opportunities to be exploited. The risk register would come to the full council quarterly for review so that risk management remained an on-going issue. The register identified the need for certain actions for which responsibility would need to be assigned.

It was RESOLVED that the register be agreed subject to the addition of play area inspections as an additional mitigation measure.

It was FURTHER RESOLVED that:

  • Cllr Davies become the council’s EH & S Champion and undertake a review of the health & safety policy
  • Training for new councillors be organised as soon as possible after the May elections
  • A list of projects be drawn up to enable opportunities for external funding to be explored.

 

(c)Grasscutting contract 2015/16

Six sealed bids had been received by the deadline and they had been opened by Cllrs Sim and Bettinson in the presence of the Clerk in accordance with the Financial Regulations.

It was RESOLVED that the contract be offered to Gary Hayes Garden & Countryside Services for one year initially, with possible extensions by mutual agreement for two further years.

 

 

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(d) Play Area Inspections

A quotation had been received for operational inspections of the two play areas next year. The frequency of inspections was discussed in light of the regular inspections being undertaken by volunteers.

It was RESOLVED that operational inspections would in future be on a quarterly basis with an additional ROSPA inspection each summer.

 

(e) Possible future capping of precepts

It was noted that NALC had sent a detailed response to the government’s consultation on the local government finance settlement which included a response to Eric Pickles’ apparent criticism of rises in local council precepts.

It was RESOLVED to write to CALC to support the comments made by NALC and to highlight the need for central government to be aware of the additional functions being undertaken by local councils which had necessitated precept increases.

 

(f) Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Cheque no 002046 Leach Colour– Beach information board £95.00 + £19.00 VAT Total £114.00
  • Cheque no 002047 Your Name Here– Domain name renewal (stbees.org, stbees.net) £34.00 +£6.80 VAT Total £40.80
  • Cheque no 002048 Wicksteed Leisure Ltd – retensioning cableway £160.00 + £32.00 VAT Total £192.00
  • Cheque no 002049 J Donaldson – salary Feb 2015 - £607.55
  • Cheque no 002050 D Robinson – reimbursement for plants (VIB) £209.02 + £3.99 VAT Total £213.01
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service February £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (to be paid by SO)
  • Answer 4U – answering service £8.80 + £1.76 VAT Total £10.56 (direct debit due 17 Feb)

 

Payments since last meeting to report:

Cheque no 002044 J Donaldson – Clerk’s salary Jan 2015 £607.55

Cheque no 002045 Cumbrian Newspapers Ltd – grasscutting tender advert £180.20 + £36.04 VAT Total £216.24

 

34/15 CBC ISSUES

Cllrs Hill & Wormstrup joined the meeting at this point.

Cllr Hill reported that CBC was taking the appropriate legal steps to move the travellers from the beach car park. The Clerk would contact the parish council’s contractor about whether there had been any issues affecting the toilets.

It was noted that letters had gone out to all households to encourage anyone not registered to vote to do so as soon as possible to enable them to take part in the May elections.

Cllr Hill then left the meeting.

 

35/15 CCC ISSUES

The speed hump outside Eaglesfield had now been modified and was consistent with others along that road. Councillors thanked Cllr Wormstrup for his help in getting the road markings repainted in the village.

It was reported that residents had expressed concern about safety at the Outrigg/ Main Street junction where there had been another collision recently causing damage to a wall. There were particular concerns about the safety of pedestrians, particularly children, using the pavement by Outrigg House as large vehicles often mount the pavement when turning left out of Outrigg. Cllr Wormstrup agreed to look into the possibility of a stob being placed on the pavement to prevent vehicles mounting the pavement.

Cllr Wormstrup then left the meeting.

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36/15 FOOTWAY LIGHTING

It was noted that CBC had not yet made a decision on the allocation of the funding from Electricity North-West.

 

37/15 PROJECT REPORTS

(a)Beach Regeneration

Cllr Robson reported that the owner of The Manor had agreed to provide sponsorship towards reprinting of the Welcome leaflets. Additional funding of approx. £100 would enable the council to take advantage of a bigger print run.

It was RESOLVED that the additional funding be approved from the Beach Regeneration budget.

 

(b)Traffic Calming/Speedwatch

Some residents had expressed concern about limited visibility when turning out from the Fairladies estate as traffic leaving the village was often travelling at speed. There appeared to be little scope for physical alterations to the junction and it was known that Highways were unlikely to support the suggestion of a mirror. It was suggested that warning signs on the B5345 approaching the junction might help. Cllr Millington would follow up the suggestion with Highways.

Three speedwatch sessions had taken place in January with 14 vehicles being reported for speeding. Volunteers had reported some problems with the speed gun and Cllr Hewetson was investigating the costs of repair.

 

(c)Community Events

Plans were in place for the Great Water Challenge being organised by St Bees Triers in aid of Comic Relief on 13 March. The event was open to anyone to take part.

 

(d)Tree Planting

Cllr Bettinson reported sites had been identified for the next stage of the project and the trees would be ordered shortly.

 

(e)Station car park extension

A response was awaited from Network Rail.

 

(f)Outrigg Play Area

The lengthsman had repaired the steps beside the slide. Cllr Riley was to discuss the fencing with representatives of the Scouts and was also checking prices for new seats for the swings.

 

38/15 REQUEST FOR USE OF CBC CAR PARK BY NETWORK RAIL

CBC was seeking the parish council’s comments on a request by Network Rail to use part of the beach car park as a base for engineering work and to use the ramp as access for a large excavator. The exact timing and duration of the work was not yet decided.

It was RESOLVED that there were no objections in principle but Network Rail should be asked to take steps to minimise the impact on visitors and residents.

 

39/15 WOODLAND MANAGEMENT WORK – SPRINGFIELD FARM

Ian Wrigley had written to explain plans for woodland management work on land belonging to Springfield Farm. Much of the area was within the parish of Egremont with a small section in St Bees parish.

It was RESOLVED to write to Mr Wrigley thanking him for giving the council the opportunity to look at the plans and expressing the council’s support for the work, with the suggestion that one or two dead mature trees could be left in situ to benefit wildlife.

 

 

 

 

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40/15 PROPOSED MINING PROJECT

The Chairman gave a report on the public presentation given by West Cumbria Mining on 2 February.

There had been a large audience and feedback had been positive. The initial results from the boreholes had suggested that good quality coal had been found in significant quantities.

 

41/15 RATING APPEAL – BEACH TOILETS

Further information had been obtained on the next steps in the appeal process. The appeal could be continued without specialist help and could be considered by a Valuation Tribunal either on papers or at a formal hearing. In order to be successful the parish council would need to show that use of the toilets by those not visiting the beach or grassed areas was very small. Cllr Millington agreed to prepare an outline statement of case, if it was decided to continue with the appeal.

It was RESOLVED to continue with the appeal.

 

42/15 ABBOTS WAY – BEACH RD FOOTPATH

Details of project costings were still awaited from CCC.

 

43/15 REPORT FROM THE GOVERNORS OF THE VILLAGE SCHOOL

Cllr Kennedy gave a verbal report on Village School matters. Work had been done to the building to renew windows and doors and provide playground games. The SATs results had been lower last year but this was attributable to a number of children with special needs in that year group and results this year were expected to be higher. The Headteacher, John Wood, would be retiring at the end of the summer term and Emma Sharp, currently Head at Eskdale School, had been appointed as his successor.

 

44/15 CLERK’S REPORT

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

  • There would be no more new councillor training courses until after the elections in May but there would be at least one course in the west of the county following the elections.
  • Elections – parish council elections would take place on Thurs 7 May with nominations closing on 9 April. All 14 seats would be up for election.
  • Lengthsman scheme – Copeland Community Fund had agreed to allow the project to continue until 31 May with funds being transferred between budget headings to meet the salary costs. New funding applications were being made for a two year project from June 2015.
  • Local Council Award Scheme – St Bees PC was now accredited at the Foundation level of the new scheme as the parish council already held Quality Council status. A decision would need to be taken in the autumn on whether to apply for accreditation beyond Jan 2016.
  • United Utilities purchase of land –There had been no progress with United Utilities offer to purchase the small area of land at Beck Edge where their monitoring equipment had been installed. Mitchells, who acted as the council’s Land Agents, were following this up with United Utilities.
  • Village Hall noticeboard – Following the agreement that the PC would purchase a new noticeboard as a donation to the Village Hall, a number of suitable boards had been identified.

It was RESOLVED to proceed with an order for a noticeboard at a cost of approx. £250.

  • Sellafield Matters – since the last meeting there had been developments in the council’s attempts to become more involved in matters which affected Sellafield and the letter which it was agreed to send to Ed Davey had been put on hold. The Chairman had secured an invitation to a liaison meeting with parish councils organised by Sellafield Ltd and discussions had taken place with the secretary of the Stakeholder Group. The parish council’s willingness to be involved in such meetings had been noted and it had been suggested that the parish council could write to the Stakeholder Group asking to become a member.

It was RESOLVED that a letter be sent to the West Cumbria Sites Stakeholder Group seeking membership of the Group.

 

 

 

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45/15 PLANNING

(a)New planning applications

There had been no new applications since the last meeting.

 

(b)Applications approved/refused

It was noted that CBC Planning Panel had decided to carry out a visit to the site of the proposed wind turbine near Green Lonning. Cllr Argyle would represent the parish council at the visit on 18 February.

 

(c) Planning Appeals

It was noted that the applicant had lodged an appeal against the refusal of permission for a large wind turbine near Byersteads Road.

It was RESOLVED to write to the Planning Inspectorate supporting the decision made by CBC.

 

(d) Site Allocations & Policies Plan

It was agreed to defer this item until the next meeting.

 

46/15 REPORT FROM COMMUNITY POLICE OFFICER

A written report had been received from PCSO Butler. There had been 5 logs since the January meeting, including two of theft/burglary for which the culprits had been identified and dealt with.

 

47/15 CORRESPONDENCE

(a)An invitation had been received to a drop-in organised by West Copeland Partnership to view the Community Growing proposal for the Pastures site in Egremont – 26 February 4-6pm. Noted.

(b)An invitation had been received for the Coastal Communities Partnership Conference on 19 March at Muncaster. Noted.

(c) Confirmation had been received from CALC that parish council precepts will not be subject to capping this year. Noted.

(d) Details had been received of the timetable for the No 6 bus service serving St Bees. Noted.

(e) A new guide to Affordable Rural Housing had been received from CALC. Noted.

(f) The draft Revised Statement of Licensing Policy had been received for consultation. It was noted that the deadline for comments was 20 March.

(g) Details had been received of a new grants scheme managed by Friends of the Lake District & Natural England to support innovative events which encourage people to get outside, discover and enjoy the natural environment. Noted.

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

Cumbria Coastal Access Monthly Update –Jan 2015

CALC Newsletter – Feb 2015

Notification of roadworks on A595 at Bigrigg from 3-31 March 2015

Cumbria Wildlife Trust – February e-newsletter

Conserving Lakeland (newsletter of Friends of the Lake District) Winter/spring 2015

 

48/15 ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

(a)It was reported that Cllr Sim would be giving an illustrated talk on the “Coming of the Railway” on 10 March at 7.30pm in the Whitelaw Building.

(b)Cllr Robson reported that a documentary film had been made about St Bees Man. This would be shown on the Yesterday channel and it was hoped to have a screening of the film in St Bees with those involved in the production being invited to attend. The date was yet to be confirmed.

 

49/15 DATE & TIME OF NEXT MEETING

It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 16 March 2015 at 6.30pm