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

Monday 19 January 2015 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall

PRESENT : Cllrs D Sim (in the Chair), P Argyle, N Bettinson, K James, F Kennedy, D Millington,

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

 

In attendance: Cllr I Hill, Ward Councillor

Cllr H Wormstrup, County Councillor for Egremont North/St Bees

Mr M Davies

01/15 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs G Gilmour, J Haile and B Hewetson.

 

02/15 DISPENSATIONS & DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

No declarations of interest were received.

 

03/15 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

There were no matters raised.

 

04/15 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 15 DECEMBER 2014

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

 

05/15 CO-OPTION OF PARISH COUNCILLOR

An expression of interest had been received from Mr M Davies.

It was RESOLVED that Mr Michael Davies be co-opted as a parish councillor to serve until the elections in May.

Mr Davies signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and joined the meeting.

 

06/15 CBC ISSUES

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

Cllr Hill explained that the Preferred Options for the Site Allocations & Policies Plan had now been published for public consultation and was available on the CBC web-site. The budget process was being finalised, although the Mayor to be elected in May would have the power to reject this and ask for a revised budget. It was noted that the public would be able to approach the elected mayor directly but it was anticipated that officers would keep parishes informed of matters which affected their area.

Cllr Hill also reported that there would not be further funding for coastal initiative projects.

Cllr Hill agreed to explain to the present Mayor the series of difficulties outside the council’s control which had affected the Santa Parade last month.

 

07/15 CCC ISSUES

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

Cllr Wormstrup reported that work on the gullies on Whitehaven Road had been completed.

Cllr Millington explained that there had been complaints from a local resident about the new speed hump outside Eaglesfield which was higher than others on that road. Cllr Wormstrup offered to follow this up with Highways staff and it was agreed that the parish council would also write formally to Highways asking that all the humps on that section of road be of a consistent height.

There was no further news to report on the issue of residents’ parking permits.

It was noted that superfast broadband was now available to homes south of the railway.

Cllrs Wormstrup & Hill then left the meeting.

 

08/15 FINANCE

(a)Financial Report

The summary of accounts at the end of Qtr 3 was received and noted, together with a report from the Finance & Risk Advisory Group (copy attached to the minutes). The income now exceeded the budget

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predictions. Overall expenditure was generally in line with budget but expenditure on the toilets and play area maintenance were over budget whilst there were underspends on other budget headings. It was still expected that there would be an underspend at the year end.

 

(b) Budget 2015/16

Cllr Strong outlined the main points of the draft budget drawn up by the Finance & Risk Advisory Group. Expenditure next year was estimated at £44240. CBC had confirmed that the parish would receive a Council Tax Reduction Scheme grant of £230.13 for 2015/16. Taking into account the other income anticipated, FRAG recommended that an increase in precept of 9% would leave a deficit of approx. £2k, which it was felt could be met from reserves.

It was RESOLVED that the draft budget be approved and that the precept for 2015/16 be set at £38351.00

 

(c)Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Cheque no 002037 CBC – Emptying of bins at beach play area and Outrigg play area Jan to March 2015 Total £247.00
  • Cheque no 002038 CBC – Emptying of bin on Fairladies footpath Jan to March 2015 14/7 to 30/9 Total £24.70
  • Cheque no 002039 CBC – Play area inspections Outrigg Jan – March £126.99 + £25.40 VAT Total £152.39
  • Cheque no 002040 Network Rail – rent for Station car park 8/2/15 to 7/2/16 £400.00 + £80.00 VAT Total £480.00
  • Cheque no 002041 CPRE – annual subscription Total £36.00
  • Cheque no 002042 J Donaldson –annual contribution to Broadband costs £50.00, reimbursement for postage £6.36 & anti-virus software renewal £49.99 + £10.00 VAT Total £116.35
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service January £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (to be paid by SO)

 

Payments since last meeting to report:

  • Cheque no 002033 Post Office Ltd for HMRC – PAYE Qtr 3 £181.20
  • Cheque no 002034 Npower Ltd-beach toilet electricity £183.04 + £9.15 VAT Total £192.19
  • Cheque no 002035 United Utilities – allotment water £13.58
  • Cheque no 002036 United Utilities – beach toilets water & wastewater £177.37
  • Answer 4U – answering service £8.80 + £1.76 VAT Total £10.56 (direct debit due 19/1/2015)

 

09/15 FOOTWAY LIGHTING

The Chairman reported that he and the Clerk had met CBC officers on 16 January to discuss the CBC policy of not replacing footway lights which reach the end of their life. It had been pointed out that there were 70+ CBC-owned lights in the parish and this policy could ultimately result in there being no lighting at all at one end of the village. Lights at the other end of the village were owned by CCC whose policy was somewhat different. CBC officers had agreed to arrange a meeting with CCC officers to see whether some rationalisation was possible.

A decision on the grant funding available for the replacement of the pole-mounted lights was expected at the end of the month.

The repairs needed to the lights at the beach car park had been raised with CBC. They were meeting CCC to discuss repairs.

 

10/15 REVIEW OF CLERK’S SALARY

The Chairman and Vice-Chairman had reviewed the contracted hours and salary level of the Clerk in view of the council’s increased workload. Their report and recommendations had been circulated.

It was RESOLVED that the hours be increased to 52.5 per month at scale point 26 and that future reviews take place on an annual basis.

 

 

 

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11/15 PROJECTS

(a)Beach Regeneration

Cllr Robson had arranged for an information board to be produced for the shelter at the beach at a cost of £95 + VAT. A second board was planned for the other side. Cllr Argyle had volunteered to paint the shelter before the season began. Stocks of the ‘Welcome to St Bees’ leaflets produced last year and distributed through B&Bs, beach café etc were running low. Cllr Robson would explore the possibility of further sponsorship.

 

(b) Traffic Calming

Cllr Hewetson reported that two speedwatch sessions were planned.

It was noted that yellow lines in parts of the village were being repainted. The Clerk would check with Highways which markings were to be included.

 

(c) Community Events

It was reported that an event was being organised for Comic Relief on 13 March. The event would be organised by St Bees Triers running club but it was hoped that all sections of the community would join in. The aim was to carry water from the nearest stream to locations in the village to simulate the practice in less developed parts of the world where carrying water was an everyday chore.

 

(d) Tree Planting

There was no further progress to report.

 

(e) New Projects

(i) Outrigg Play Area

Cllr Riley reported on the condition of the play equipment and fencing. It was agreed that some immediate repairs were required and the Clerk would ask the lengthsman to carry out repairs to the wooden steps. Cllr Riley would make preliminary enquiries about the costs of repair/replacement of some of the equipment and the options for grant funding.

 

(ii) Station car park extension

Cllr Millington had visited the site and believed that there were no issues of land ownership which would prevent the scheme going ahead. Preliminary enquiries were being made of Network Rail about the possibility of an easement.

 

(iii) Cycle track

Cllr Strong had volunteered to take the lead on this project. It was noted that there was a great deal of community support for the idea. Plans had been produced some years ago but considerable funding would need to be found if the project was to go ahead.

 

12/15 PROPOSED MINING PROJECT

The Chairman reported on plans for a public presentation by West Cumbria Mining Ltd on Mon 2 February. St Bees School had offered to host the event and would work with the Parish Council on arrangements for the meeting. The event would be publicised on the noticeboards, parish magazine and Facebook.

 

13/15 CREATION OF NEW PARISH COUNCIL FOR WHITEHAVEN

It was noted that the Order had now been made to create a parish council for Whitehaven with effect from May 2015. The new council would border St Bees Parish and it was hoped that the two councils could work together on matters of joint interest.

 

14/15 ABBOTS WAY - BEACH RD FOOTPATH

A meeting had taken place on 14 Jan attended by CCC, the contractor, two representatives of local residents, Cllr Bettinson and the Clerk. It was proposed to use a flexi-pave surface on top of a stone

 

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sub-base. CCC was awaiting costings which should be available for the next meeting. The suggestion was that the parish council would contribute labour from the lengthsman/volunteers to do the initial

groundwork and possibly seek donations of materials for the base. A formal footpath closure order would be required and CCC had suggested that the work could be done over the summer.

 

15/15 WEST COPELAND PARTNERSHIP

A report from Cllr Gilmour on the Partnership meeting on 13 January was received and noted.

 

16/15 SELLAFIELD MATTERS

(a)Sellafield Evacuation Zone

There had been an article in the local press suggesting that the evacuation zone around the Sellafield site was to be extended to 6km. It was noted that the proposals had not yet been formally announced but it was unlikely that it would extend to the parish of St Bees.

(b) Ministerial Statement on future management of the Sellafield Site

The recent statement by Ed Davey on the future management of the Sellafield site was noted. The proposal to work with local communities was welcomed.

It was RESOLVED to write to the Minister, the NDA, NMP and Sellafield Ltd welcoming the proposals to involve the local community and asking that parish councils be involved in issues related to transport, infrastructure and the environment.

 

17/15 CLERK’S REPORT

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

  • Non-domestic rates – the appeal against the inclusion of the toilets in the rating list had been turned down on the basis that the toilets also serve the public car park and are not regarded as ‘ancillary to the open space’. The Clerk would investigate whether there were options for challenging the decision.
  • Training – The Clerk would be attending a Clerks’ Forum in February in Cleator Moor (course fee £5). A place had also been reserved for the training day in April provided by the Office of the Information Commissioner on Data Protection and Freedom of Information.
  • Allotments – Three new tenants had been given plots on the allotments and another plot holder had given up half his plot which could now be let to another tenant.
  • Fairladies footpath lights –It was proving difficult to find a company to repair one of the lights on the footpath. An enquiry was being made of a company based in Carlisle.
  • Grasscutting Contract- The tender advert would appear in the next edition of the Whitehaven News.
  • Local Council Award Scheme-The new scheme which replaces the Quality Parish Scheme was launched recently. As an existing Quality Parish it is possible to transfer to the Foundation Level of the new scheme for a year before deciding whether to apply for re-accreditation. It was agreed that the council would take up the opportunity of transfer to the new scheme under the transitional arrangements.

 

18/15 PLANNING

(a)New Applications

The Planning Advisory Group reported on two new planning applications:

  • Ref 4/14/2511/0F1 Proposed siting of wind turbine with a tip height of 36.6m & associated

infrastructure

Land to the south of Bell House Farm, St Bees

It was RESOLVED to object to the proposed turbine on the grounds that it would be sited within a Landscape of County Importance and would create an unacceptable visual impact.

  • Ref 4/14/2491/0F1 Erection of conservatory, forming of two windows & two roof lights

(amended plans)

3 High Walton Farm, High House Rd, St Bees

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

 

 

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  • County Minerals application 4/15/9001: Section 73 application to vary condition 2 of permission 4/02/9022 in order to extend the timescale for mineral working by 15 years to 31 July 2030.

Birkhams Quarry, St Bees

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

 

(b) Applications approved/refused

No decision notices had been received from CBC.

 

(c) Other Planning Issues

The Draft Preferred Options for the Site Allocations Policies & Plan had been received. It was agreed that the sections relevant to St Bees would be circulated for discussion at the next meeting.

 

19 /15 REPORT FROM COMMUNITY POLICE OFFICER

A written report had been received from PCSO Butler who was now covering the St Bees area, outlining the number of calls for service.

20/15 CORRESPONDENCE

(a)Notice Of Transitional Period for Amendment to the Registers of Common Land and Village Greens had been received from CCC. A copy had been posted on the main noticeboard.

(b) A reminder had been received for the Community Building Event at Calderbridge on 11 February. Noted.

(c) Details had been received of the Secretary of State’s decision on United Utilities Water Resources Management Plan following the recent public inquiry. Noted.

(d) CCC Copeland Area Support Team Winter Newsletter had been received. The appointment of a new Area Manager for Copeland was noted.

(e) An email had been received from CALC seeking nominations of Chairmen to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.

(f) A NALC Briefing had been received on the report of the Communities & Local Government Select Committee on the operation of the National Policy Planning Framework. Noted.

(g) CALC had circulated details of new Sec 137 limits and also the comments by Eric Pickles to Parliament on possible future capping of parish precepts. Noted.

(h) Rural Services Network had provided results of their Parish Sounding Board Survey. Noted.

(i) Healthwatch Cumbria was conducting an on-line survey to gather views about its work. Noted.

(j) Details had been received of Cumbria Community Energy Conference on 31/1/2015 at Penrith. Noted.

(k) An email had been received from ACT asking members to protest against the proposal to withdraw government funding from ACRE. Noted.

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

Cumbria Coastal Access Monthly Update – Dec 2014

NALC Newsletter – 22 December 2014

 

21/15 ITEMS FOR INFORMATION / NEXT AGENDA

It was agreed to include a report from the Governors of the Village School on the agenda for the next meeting.

 

22/15 DATE & TIME OF NEXT MEETING

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