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

Monday 21 September 2015 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall

 

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

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

 

In attendance: Cllr I Hill, CBC Ward Councillor

Insp M Wear, Cumbria Constabulary

Mr M Starkie, Elected Mayor CBC

Mr M Graham, Mayor’s Political Advisor

Mr S Kelso, Director, St Bees School

Also present: 2 members of the public

 

155/15 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs M Davies and F Kennedy.

Apologies had also been received from Cllr H Wormstrup, County Councillor for Egremont North/St Bees.

 

156/15 DISPENSATIONS & DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Cllr Sim declared a pecuniary interest in the item concerning the planning application for 31 Main Street as owner of the property.

 

157/15 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 20 JULY 2015

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

 

158/15 ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR – LICENSED PREMISES

The Chairman welcomed Insp Wear to the meeting.

Councillors explained the problems that had been experienced over recent months with anti-social behaviour in and around licensed premises. The parish council was keen to support the local pubs and was looking for advice from the police on how to prevent these problems recurring.

Insp Wear outlined the steps which were being taken. Some of the problems were associated with large numbers arriving by train on Friday afternoons before moving on to Whitehaven later in the evening. Cumbria police officers were travelling on some trains and monitoring behaviour in the pubs and additional mobile patrols were in place. Other problems were linked to bank holidays and in advance of the Christmas period the police would be speaking to all licensees about ways of preventing incidents, including the use of door staff. If problems continue, the police have powers to oppose requests for extended opening hours.

Councillors thanked Insp Wear for coming to meet the council and Insp Wear then left the meeting.

 

159/15 DISCUSSION WITH ELECTED MAYOR

The Chairman welcomed Mike Starkie and Mike Graham to the meeting and invited the Mayor to outline how the election of a Mayor had changed the way in which CBC operated.

Mr Starkie explained that the election of a Mayor with no political affiliation made the council more democratic and less political. He was holding meetings with the public across the borough listening to the issues which concerned people. He was determined that the council’s work should be as transparent as possible and council meetings would take place across the borough with the public encouraged to attend and ask questions.

His aim was to ensure that CBC maximised opportunities to promote the area by engaging with all levels of government, bringing in grants and building on the opportunities offered by major developments in the nuclear industry. He was organising a major conference entitled Copeland Open for Business at the end of October with a wide range of partners to look at housing provision and

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regeneration of local businesses. If the area could be made more attractive to professionals this could also assist WCH in recruiting senior medical staff.

He was keen to engage councillors more fully and intended to have more frequent briefings. After looking at the management structure within CBC and in other councils which had an elected Mayor he had decided that the post of Chief Executive was redundant in the new structure. He had also invited all the authorities which had elected Mayors to a conference in Whitehaven.

In answer to questions about transport and infrastructure issues, Mr Starkie explained that all seven local authorities in Cumbria were co-operating on a joint plan – The Cumbria Deal – to put to government. He would be representing Cumbria on the North West Leaders Board and would be pressing the case for infrastructure improvements.

Mr Starkie and Mr Graham then left the meeting.

 

160/15 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

A member of the public raised concerns about traffic congestion in the village in the afternoons when traffic from the Sellafield site was travelling through the village. Main Street was often completely gridlocked and the situation seemed likely to get worse if the new build at Moorside went ahead. She asked the Parish Council to press for measures such as traffic lights to control traffic flows.

The Chairman explained that traffic issues were a County Council responsibility. The Parish Council had a Traffic Calming Committee which could look again at the issues, although the County Council had previously indicated that it could not consider major expenditure.

It was agreed to convene a meeting of the Traffic Calming Committee to look at the issues and to invite the Traffic Engineer to attend.

 

161/15 FINANCE & RISK MANAGEMENT

(a) Financial Report

A summary of the accounts at the end of August was received and noted. A meeting of the Finance & Risk Management Group would take place shortly to review income/expenditure at the half year point.

It was noted that the Valuation Office Agency had agreed to accept the appeal against the NNDR liability for the beach toilets. The toilets would be exempt from non-domestic rates from 1 Oct 2013 so rates paid since that date would be refunded.

 

(b) Donations

A request had been received from the Mother & Toddler Group for a donation to purchase new toys and the Scout Committee had asked for a donation towards the project to build a new community youth centre.

It was RESOLVED that a donation of £40 be made to the Mother & Toddler group and a donation of £100 be made to the Scout Committee.

 

(c) Audit 2014/15

The external auditor had requested that a change be made to the value of fixed assets at 31 March 2015. The change was necessary because the new play equipment was regarded as an asset transfer from CBC and should therefore be valued only at its marginal cost of £8000. As this was regarded as a minor technical issue the Clerk had made the alteration on the Annual Return and sent it back to the auditors.

It was RESOLVED that the change in value of fixed assets be ratified.

 

(d) Beach Toilet Contract

The Vice Chairman reported on discussions held with the contractor about a possible extension of the contract for a further year from October 2015.

It was RESOLVED that the contract be extended for a further year on the existing terms and conditions and that thanks be expressed to the contractor for the excellent service provided in difficult circumstances over the last year.

 

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(e) Insurance

A quotation of £26.50 had been received from Aon to include the Village in Bloom ‘den’ on the policy.

It was RESOLVED to include this in the policy.

 

(f) Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Chq no 002110 CBC – NNDR Beach toilets 2015/16 7 th instalment £153.00
  • Chq no 002111 CBC – NNDR Station car park 2015/16 7 th instalment £77.00
  • Chq no 002112 CALC – Course fees Total £150.00
  • Chq no 002113 Information Commissioner – data protection renewal Total £35.00
  • Chq no 002114 Npower – Electricity – beach toilets £161.35 +£8.07 VAT Total £169.42
  • Chq no 002115 United Utilities– water charges –allotments Total £10.48
  • Chq no 002116 United Utilities- water & wastewater charges - toilets Total £748.29
  • Chq no 002117 J Donaldson – reimbursement for postage £9.86
  • Chq no 002118 J Donaldson – salary (net) Sept 2015 - £614.55
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service Sept £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (to be paid by SO)
  • Payments since last meeting to report
  • Chq no 002105 CBC – NNDR beach toilets 6 th instalment £153.00
  • Chq no 002106 CBC – NNDR Station car park 6 th instalment £77.00
  • Answer 4 You – answering service £8.80 + £1.76 VAT Total £10.56 ( paid by direct debit on 17/8/15)
  • Chq no 002107 J Donaldson – reimbursement for printer cartridge £24.16 + £4.83 VAT Total £28.99
  • Chq no 002108 J Donaldson- Clerk salary August £614.75
  • Chq no 002109 YNH Ltd – domain name renewal £17.00 + £3.40 VAT Total £20.40
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service Aug £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (paid by SO)
  • Answer 4 You – answering service £8.80 + £1.76 VAT Total £10.56 (paid by direct debit on 17/9/15)

 

162/15 ST BEES SCHOOL

The Chairman welcomed Shaun Kelso, one of the newly appointed Board members of St Bees School.

The Chairman gave a report on the meeting which he and the Clerk had attended on 4 Sept with Anthony Fox, Shaun Kelso and the Headmaster. Mr Fox had explained that the former governors had stepped down on 31 August and a new Board was now in place. Its first priority was to ensure that arrangements were in place to safeguard and maintain the assets of the school and the Board would then turn its attention to longer term plans. The long term objective was to see the site used again for educational purposes and a range of different models would need to be considered.

The school’s facilities would continue to be available to rent for community use and some of the school’s buildings would be let as temporary office space to generate income to cover maintenance costs. The Chairman had reiterated the parish council’s willingness to help using its local knowledge, the expertise of its members and its established channels of communication.

Mr Kelso explained that the Board was currently carrying out a skills audit and would recruit new Board members to fill any identified gaps. He welcomed the parish council’s offer to publicise updates and information on lettings via the St Bees web-site and Facebook page.

The Chairman thanked Mr Kelso for his attendance and hoped that he would attend future meetings to maintain the dialogue between the school governors and the local community.

 

163/15 CBC ISSUES

Cllr Hill reported on a briefing he had attended on the geological disposal of nuclear waste.

 

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It was noted that work was underway at Rottington Beck. Work was also required on the north side of the Beck but no funding was available.

An Open Day was planned at West Cumberland Hospital on 24 September to mark the opening of the new hospital. It was noted that several parish councillors would attending.

Cllr Hill then left the meeting.

 

164/15 PRESENTATION OF BRITISH EMPIRE MEDAL

The British Empire Medal awarded to the Chairman in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list would be presented by the Lord Lieutenant. It was suggested that this could form part of a community event which would publicise the work of the parish council.

It was RESOLVED that the Parish Council take responsibility for organising the event and that

Cllrs Gilmour, Argyle and Kelly liaise with the Clerk on detailed plans.

 

165/15 COASTALCOMMUNITIES PROJECT

CBC had been successful in a funding bid for coastal communities and had set up two Coastal Communities Teams covering North & South Copeland. Cllr Strong reported on the meeting of the North Copeland Team at which he had represented the parish council. An initial £10K grant was available for the development of an economic plan covering infrastructure improvements, tourism etc with more substantial funding being available to implement plans which were accepted by central government. The plan would need to be prepared quickly to allow time for public consultation before being submitted to central government by 31/1/2016. It offered the opportunity to include projects such as the St Bees-Whitehaven cycle track.

 

166/15 PROJECT REPORTS

(a)Beach Regeneration

A meeting of the Beach Regeneration Committee would take place on 8 October at 6.30pm in New College Hall. The cycle track and other possible projects would be discussed.

(b)Traffic Calming/Speedwatch

The speed gun had been sent back to the manufacturer for recalibration. One new volunteer had come forward to join the Speedwatch team.

 

(c)Community Events

A number of residents had enquired whether the parish council would be taking over the organisation of a Fireworks event following the closure of St Bees School. As large community events of this kind needed to be planned well in advance it was decided that the parish council could not organise such an event in November.

Arrangements for Christmas were discussed. Cllr Gilmour had already indicated that he was not able to act as organiser of the Santa parade this year. As no other councillor was able to take on the commitment it was agreed not to have a Santa parade this year unless another organisation in the village was willing to take over the event.

It was RESOLVED to proceed with the order for a Christmas tree and to continue to provide financial support for the carol concert organised by the RNLI.

 

(d)Tree Planting

The trees planted last year were doing well. Some of the trees planted near the bridge the previous year had been lost due to work by the contractors working nearby.

(e) Outrigg Play Area

Cllr Riley had obtained some estimates for the urgent repairs and was awaiting further quotes for comparison.

 

 

 

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(f) Cycle Path to Whitehaven

A meeting of the project group was due to take place on 29 Sept to get the planning underway. There had been considerable interest from local residents and it was hoped to have some public drop-in events in the coming weeks to consult on the plans with a view to including the project in the North Copeland Coastal Communities economic plan. It was planned to purchase some display boards from the project funds set aside in the budget.

 

167/15 BEACH RD FOOTPATH

The funding application to Copeland Community Fund had been successful. CCC would act as project managers and it was hoped that work would take place later this autumn. Some volunteers would be needed to help with preparation and reinstatement and to act as banksmen while work was taking place.

 

168/15 CLERK’S REPORT

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

  • Footway lighting – A letter had been received from CBC stating that there were sufficient funds from the ENW grant to replace the two lights in Rottington. However, the parish council would need to assume responsibility for the on-going costs of electricity and maintenance, estimated at £120pa per column.

It was RESOLVED to accept responsibility for the on-going costs for both lights and include the costs in the precept calculation for future years.

  • Local Council Award Scheme – the council’s transitional award at the Foundation level of the new scheme would end in January. It was RESOLVED not to apply for re-accreditation as there was no clear benefit from the award to offset the costs of staff time and registration fees.

 

169/15 PLANNING

(a)New planning applications

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

 

Ref 4/15/2365/0F1 Prior approval for change of use of agricultural building to dwelling house

Part barn adj to Bell House Farm, Sandwith

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

 

Ref 4/15/2376/0F1 Change of use of traditional barn to create B&B accommodation

Stone House Farm, St Bees

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

 

Ref 4/15/2381/0O1 Outline application for a detached dwelling

Plot 2 Wyndhowe, Seamill Lane St Bees

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

 

Ref 4/15/2382/TPO Crown reduction/felling of various trees protected by a TPO

3 Fleatham Gardens, High House Rd, St Bees

It was RESOLVED to object to this application on the grounds that the application did not show that the trees were diseased or causing damage to property.

 

Ref 4/15/2383/0F1 Crown reduction of a beech tree within a conservation area

31 Main Street, St Bees

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

 

It was noted that the Clerk had submitted comments on the following applications since the last meeting under delegated authority in order to meet the deadline:-

 

 

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Ref 4/15/2343/0L1 Listed building consent for erection of front railings; removal of chimney stacks, replacement rear windows and new patio door

Orchard House, Main Street, St Bees

Comment submitted: the Parish Council was content to rely on the advice of the Heritage & Conservation Officer on this application.

 

Ref 4/15/2357/0F1 Change of use from workshop/garage to one bedroomed dwelling

Former telephone exchange, High House Rd, St Bees

Comment submitted: No objection

 

Ref 4/15/2264/0F1 Amendment to application to remove rather than reduce height of chimney

& new detached garage

3 Richmond Crescent, St Bees

Comment submitted: No objection

 

(b)Applications approved/refused

Recent decision made by CBC were noted (list attached to the minutes).

 

170/15 CCC ISSUES

Cllr Wormstrup had carried out an inspection of drains and had passed his comments to Highways so that problems could be rectified before winter.

Highways had also provided information on the work being undertaken by Network Rail near Grindal. The bridge work was expected to take 8 weeks in total and there were no road closures planned. The wall and highway would be fully reinstated by the contractor on completion of the work.

 

171/15 CORRESPONDENCE

(a) An email had been received from a young resident asking the parish council to consider helping to achieve an astroturf pitch or other facilities for local children to practise football skills. The Clerk had replied on behalf of the parish council.

(b) Details had been received of the exhibitions being organised by National Grid. Noted.

(c) Information had been received from NatWest about changes to the FSCS compensation scheme. It was noted that the scheme would now cover small councils.

(d) Details had been received of road closures affecting Rottington and Sandwith. Noted.

(e) Details had been received of minor changes to the Sellafield beach monitoring programme. Noted

(f) Details had been received from CALC of a video designed to assist councils interested in preparing community emergency plans. Noted.

(g) Notification had been received of changes to the speed limit on A595. A mandatory 50mph limit would be introduced from the Mirehouse junction to Bigrigg. Noted.

(h) Preliminary notification had been received of the date of the CALC AGM to be held on Sat 14 November at the Samuel Lindow Theatre, Westlakes Science Park. Noted.

(i) Draft Statement of Licensing Policy - Gambling Act 2005 had been received for comment from CBC. Noted.

(j) GDF - The Draft Geological Screening document had been published for comment. Noted.

(k) A letter had been received from the Open Spaces Society urging local councils to support the Friends of the Lake District’s opposition to new pylons and overhead lines as part of the North West Connections Project. Noted.

(l) Notification had been received of plans by BT to remove telephone equipment from under-used payphone kiosks and allow them to be used to house community use defibrillators. One of those affected would be the kiosk by the station. It was agreed to seek the views of the First Responders.

(m) An invitation had been received from Nu-Gen for a representative to attend a meeting on 14 October. Cllr Gilmour would attend on behalf of the parish council.

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

Cumbria Coastal Access Monthly Update – Sept 2015

CALC Newsletter – September 2015

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Cumbria Wildlife Trust – August e-newsletter

Fieldwork & Update on CPRE Our Green Belt Campaign

OSS Anniversary E-zine

West Cumbria Mining update & newsletter

August Tourism Research Newsletter

FLAG Newsletter August 2015

Conserving Lakeland (Friends of the Lake District)

 

172/15 ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

It was noted that Mrs Emma Sharp had taken up her new post as Headteacher of the Village School.

 

173/15 DATE & TIME OF NEXT MEETING

It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 19 OCTOBER 2015 at 6.30pm