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

Monday 18 May 2015 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall

 

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

N Smart, J Mellor, D Millington, H Strong and the Clerk

 

In attendance: Cllr I Hill, CBC Ward Councillor

Mr T Kelly

Mr A Oldham (agenda item 7)

Also present: 1 member of the public

 

94/15 ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN & VICE CHAIRMAN

Nominations were sought for the office of Chairman for the coming year.

It was RESOLVED that Cllr Sim be elected as Chairman for 2015/16 (proposed by Cllr Kennedy, seconded by Cllr Strong).

Cllr Sim then signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office as Chairman.

There were no nominations for the office of Vice-Chairman.

It was RESOLVED to reconsider the appointment of a Vice Chairman at a future meeting.

 

95/15 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs G Grant, M Riley and C Robson.

 

96/15 DISPENSATIONS & DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

No declarations of interest were received in advance of the meeting.

 

97/15PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

There were no matters raised.

 

98/15 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 20 APRIL 2015

It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 20 April 2015 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

99/15 CBC ISSUES

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

The Chairman congratulated Cllr Hill on his re-election as ward councillor. It was noted that there had been a contested election in only three parish councils in Copeland but with the mayoral, borough council and general elections on the same day it had proved a long night for those counting the votes.

Cllr Hill reported that the CBC computer system was being upgraded and there might be some disruption to email services. He also drew attention to the high levels of child poverty in Copeland and the marked difference in life expectancy between wards.

 

It was noted that a request had been received from CBC to site a new bathing water quality sign on the side of the toilet block at the main beach.

It was RESOLVED to agree to the request subject to clarification of whether an electrical connection was required.

Cllr Hill then left the meeting.

 

100/15 GENERAL POWER OF COMPETENCE

In order to adopt the General Power of Competence a council must have at least two-thirds of seats filled by election and have a qualified Clerk.

 

 

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It was RESOLVED that the council met both qualifying criteria and would adopt the General Power of Competence.

 

101/15 FINANCE & RISK MANAGEMENT

(a)Internal Audit Report 2014/15

The Chairman welcomed Mr Oldham and invited him to present his internal audit report for 2015/16.

Mr Oldham reported that he was satisfied that the objectives of internal control were being achieved throughout the year to the standard adequate to meet the needs of the council and noted that the recommendations in last year’s report had been completed. His report included some further minor recommendations for the council to consider in the coming year.

The Chairman thanked Mr Oldham for his report which would be considered in detail by the Finance & Risk Advisory Group.

 

(b) Asset Register

The asset register at 31 March 2015 was received. It was noted that the total value of fixed assets was considerably higher this year due to the new play equipment.

 

(c) Accounts 2014/15 & Annual Return

(i) The summary of accounts for 2014/15 was received.

It was RESOLVED that the accounts for 2014/15 be approved and signed by the Chairman.

(ii) The Annual Governance Statement was considered.

It was RESOLVED that the Annual Governance Statement be agreed and signed by the Chairman.

 

(d) Appointment of Internal Auditor for 2015/16

It was RESOLVED that Mr Andrew Oldham be appointed as Internal Auditor for 2015/16.

 

(e)Insurance

A quotation had been received from AON for the renewal of the insurance from 1 June. The quotation provided an appropriate level of cover for play equipment and safety surfaces and also allowed a 5% discount as the council has accreditation under the Local Council Awards scheme. The policy also included new conditions relating to certain activities. The premium would be reduced if the council agreed to enter a three year long term agreement.

It was RESOLVED that the policy be renewed on the basis of a three year long term agreement.

 

(f) Bank Mandate

The bank mandate was reviewed in light of changes in elected councillors following the election.

It was RESOLVED that Sean Moules’ name be removed from the mandate and that the cheque signatories be Cllrs Sim, Millington, Kennedy, Strong and the Clerk.

 

(g) Review of Risk Register

The risk register had been circulated for review. It was agreed that the register would be updated to take account of new risks and opportunities following discussions later in the meeting concerning Outrigg play area and the closure of St Bees School.

 

(h) Accounts 2015/16

A summary of the accounts at the end of April was received. It was noted that the precept and council tax reduction scheme grant had been received in full.

It was RESOLVED that a sum of £34,000 be transferred to the reserve account.

 

(i)Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Cheque no 002076 CBC-NNDR Beach toilets 3 rd instalment Total £153.00
  • Cheque no 002077 CBC- NNDR Station car park 3 rdinstalment Total £77.00
  • Cheque no 002078 CALC- Annual subscription Total £282.00

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  • Cheque no 002079 J Donaldson - weedkiller £49.13 + £9.83 VAT Total £58.96
  • Cheque no 002080 J Donaldson –Clerk Salary May 2015 £614.55
  • 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 002075 I C Robson - paint for beach shelter £12.46 + £2.49 Total £14.95
  • Answer 4U – answering service £8.80 + £1.76 VAT Total £10.56 (direct debit)

 

102/15 CO-OPTION OF COUNCILLOR

There had been no nominations at the election for the seat for Rottington Ward and it was now open to the council to fill the vacancy by co-option. An expression of interest had been received from Mr T Kelly.

It was RESOLVED that Mr T Kelly be co-opted as a parish councillor to serve until the next election.

Mr Kelly then signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office and joined the meeting.

 

103/15 APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEES/ADVISORY GROUPS & REPRESENTATIVES

TO OUTSIDE BODIES

It was RESOLVED that committee/advisory group membership for 2015/16 be as follows:

Allotment Committee

F Kennedy, P Argyle, N Bettinson + K James (allotment holder)

Traffic Calming Committee

D Millington, D Sim, F Kennedy, J Mellor + community representatives

Beach Committee

D Sim, P Argyle, F Kennedy, C Robson,

H Strong + community representatives

Village in Bloom Committee

N Smart + community volunteers

Planning Advisory Group

P Argyle, G Gilmour, F Kennedy, M Riley

Finance & Risk Advisory Group

T Kelly, F Kennedy, M Riley, D Sim

Beach Play Area Inspection Team

H Strong, P Argyle, M Davies, M Riley,

C Robson, D Sim

Beach Toilets

C Robson, N Bettinson, P Argyle

 

It was further RESOLVED that the following representatives be appointed to other bodies:

Adams Recreation Ground Committee

F Kennedy

Shepards & Whitehead Charity

N Bettinson

Friends of the Priory

N Bettinson

West Copeland Partnership

G Gilmour

Village Hall Committee

F Kennedy, M Davies

 

104/15 LEAD RESPONSIBILITIES

It was RESOLVED that the lead responsibilities for 2015/16 be as follows:

Nuclear Issues

G Gilmour, N Smart

Commons

D Sim

Footpaths

C Robson

Web-site

D Sim

Priory Paddock

N Bettinson

Media relations

C Robson

Speedwatch

To be reviewed

Station car park

D Millington

Drainage & Flooding

N Bettinson

 

 

 

 

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105/15 CLOSURE OF ST BEES SCHOOL

Following the last meeting a letter had been sent to Prof Woods and a reply had been received recognising the parish council’s role as representatives of the local community and promising to set up a meeting with stakeholders in the near future.

The Chairman referred to the discussions at the Annual Parish Meeting earlier in the evening which had looked at the wider community impact of the closure of St Bees School. Since the last meeting he had maintained contact with both the Rescue Team and the Save St Bees School Group and had been invited to a meeting with them on 16 May. As he had been away, Cllr Strong had attended on behalf of the parish council.

Cllr Strong gave a report on the meeting at which those present had exchanged information. The parish council had a broader remit than the other two groups as its role was to represent the interests of the whole parish. Cllr Strong presented his analysis of the positive impacts which St Bees School brought to the parish and how these would be affected by the closure of the school. It was noted at this point that many members of the parish council had links with the school, either personally or through family members. Cllr Strong proposed that the parish council engage with the Governors, Old St Beghians Association and other stakeholders and establish two small groups to consider issues arising from discussions about the future of the school and its assets. One of the groups would focus on the business issues, the other would focus on the educational issues but the groups would work closely together.

Since the meeting on 16 May a press release had been issued by the Governors of St Bees School stating that options were being explored to reopen the school in Sept 2016 and a meeting with stakeholders would take place by mid-June at the latest. Councillors welcomed the news that a meeting with stakeholders would be organised shortly and stressed the importance of openness and transparency if discussions were to be constructive.

The lack of prior consultation with stakeholders had been raised as an issue at the earlier parish meeting and questions had been raised about the Charity Commission rules on consultation. As the Clerk to the Governors was present as a member of the public the Chairman invited him to comment on this matter. Mr Erskine outlined the Charity Commission’s rules and stated that he believed the Governors had complied with the requirements. Charity Commission staff had visited the school recently and their report was awaited.

It was RESOLVED that a letter be sent to the Governors of St Bees School welcoming the commitment to meet stakeholders no later than mid-June and confirming the parish council’s willingness to work with the Governors and other stakeholders.

It was further RESOLVED to establish two working groups with the following membership:

Business Group –Cllrs Sim, Strong, Smart, Gilmour and Kelly

Education Group – Cllrs Kennedy, Bettinson and Robson.

 

106/15 VILLAGE HALL LEASE

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

The Chairman reported that negotiations had taken place between the Pagan Trust and Village Hall Committee to agree the terms of a new 50 year lease of the Village Hall. The Village Hall Committee would be meeting shortly and would formally ask the Parish Council as Custodian Trustee to complete the formalities of the lease on behalf of the Committee.

 

107/15 PROJECT REPORTS

(a)Beach Regeneration

It was noted that all the play equipment was now back in service. A meeting of the Beach Committee would be organised shortly.

(b)Traffic Calming/Speedwatch

Cllr Millington reported on a recent meeting of parish councils with Sellafield Ltd at which traffic issues had been discussed. More traffic movements were predicted as the Nu-Gen project progressed. The focus of Sellafield Ltd was on improving the flow of traffic into the site rather than on reducing

 

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traffic through villages but they hoped that initiatives such as car sharing and relocation of staff would also reduce the impact on local communities.

 

(c)Community Events

The charity run organised by Mark Wear would take place on 19 July. Cllrs Kennedy and Argyle would contact organisations who had stalls last year to see whether similar arrangements could be made this year.

 

(d)Tree Planting

There was no further progress to report.

 

(f)Outrigg Play Area

A quotation had been received from Wicksteed for repair/replacement of the play equipment. This would be a large project which would require grant funding. In the meantime some immediate repairs would be necessary to keep the equipment in use. Cllrs Kennedy and Kelly agreed to undertake regular inspections of the equipment.

It was RESOLVED to carry out the repairs necessary to keep the equipment in operation until a plan could be developed for a major replacement project.

 

108/15 TRAVELLERS

It was noted that the travellers parked on the CBC car park had been evicted but had moved on to the Adams Recreation Ground. They had now left the parish. The second group of travellers on Tom Milburn’s car park had also moved on. Whilst the problems were resolved for the moment, it remained a concern that there could be similar problems in the future. Cllr Kennedy agreed to discuss the regular locking of the gate with the Adams Recreation Ground Committee.

109/15 CLERK’S REPORT

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

  • The beach play area project would be one of those featured in Copeland Community Fund Annual Report.
  • A grant application had been made to Copeland Community Fund for funding towards the resurfacing of the Abbots Way – Beach Rd footpath. Letters/emails from residents of the estate explaining their support for the project would be necessary to support the application and it was hoped that residents would be prepared to contribute a sum towards the overall costs to supplement the contribution from CCC and the parish council.
  • The grant funding had been confirmed so the lengthsman scheme would continue for a further two years from 1 June.
  • There was now no-one on the allotment waiting list. The Clerk would invite expressions of interest from anyone interested as at least one plot was likely to become free in the near future.

 

110/15 PLANNING

(a)New planning applications

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

Ref 4/15/2150/TPO Felling of 3 trees within conservation area

Land at Meadow House, High House Rd, St Bees

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

 

Ref 4/15/2136/0F1 Installation of 42no 10kW PV solar panels

SE corner of field north of Long Meadow, Rottington

It was RESOLVED to object to the application on the grounds that it would have a detrimental

visual impact despite the screening proposed in the plans.

 

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(b)Moorside Project

Details had been received of the Development Consent Order Stage 1 consultation for the Moorside project. It was noted that the consultation period ended on 25 July.

Nu-Gen had organised a number of public events across the area to explain their plans, including an open day at the Seacote Hotel on 20 May. It was agreed that councillors would endeavour to visit one of the events prior to a further discussion at the next parish council meeting.

(c)Applications approved/refused

No notifications had been received from CBC.

 

111/15 REPORT FROM COMMUNITY POLICE OFFICER

A written report had been received from PCSO Kane. There had been a series of thefts from rural properties, mainly targeting quad bikes and power tools, and there had been one report of theft from a property in St Bees. Residents were reminded of the importance of ensuring that doors and windows are secured at night.

112/15 CCC MATTERS

Cllr Wormstrup had confirmed that speed monitoring would be starting shortly in St Bees.

Following the last meeting the Clerk had submitted a response to the consultation on the draft Minerals and Waste Local Plan.

 

113/15 CORRESPONDENCE

(a) Details had been received from CBC of free training events for the public in skills required for heritage restoration projects. Noted.

(b) Copeland Community Fund was holding an event to celebrate the work of volunteers during Volunteer Week which runs from 1 – 7 June. Noted.

(c) Details had been received from ACT of the government’s Affordable Warmth scheme. Noted.

(d) A progress report had been received from West Cumbria Mining. Funding had been secured for phase 2 of the project which would consist of on-shore and off-shore exploratory boreholes and some preliminary environmental assessment. Noted.

(e) A letter had been received from the Open Spaces Society seeking a donation to support their ‘Lost Commons’ campaign. It was RESOLVED to make a donation of £25.

(f) Details had been received from Nu-Gen of a series of public events as part of the 10 week public consultation on the proposed Moorside Project. There would be an event at the Seacote Hotel Wed 20 May 11am-7.30pm and at Egremont Market Hall on Wed 3 June. Noted.

(g) A letter had been received from WREN drawing attention to a government consultation on the landfill tax which could result in less funding for community projects. It was RESOLVED to respond to the consultation stressing the importance of such funding for local projects.

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

Cumbria Coastal Access Monthly Update –May 2015

CALC Newsletter –May 2015

Cumbria Wildlife May 2015 & May e-newsletter

Conserving Lakeland (Friends of the Lake District)

114/15 ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

It was noted that a volunteer was required to put notices and posters on the Rottington noticeboard.

 

115/15 MEETING CALENDAR 2015/16

It was RESOLVED that meetings continue to be held on the third Monday of each month (excluding August) and that the next meeting take place on Monday 15 JUNE 2015 at 6.30pm