Home     Site Map     Village Forum     Search     Help     About us

Home Parish Council Index Index to Minutes




Draft Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Monday 16 May 2016 at 6.30pm

in St Bees Village Hall

PRESENT: Cllr D Sim (in the Chair), N Bettinson, J Haile, F Kennedy, J Mellor, W Mellor,

H Monaghan, A Oldham, M Riley and N Smart

In attendance: Cllr H Wormstrup (County Councillor for Egremont North/St Bees division)

Mrs K James, St Bees Village School

Mr M Starkie, Mayor of Copeland


The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that the monthly meeting of the parish council would take place immediately after the annual parish meeting.



Apologies for absence were received from Doug Millington, Grant Gilmour, Tom Kelly and Chris Robson.



It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the last Annual Parish Meeting held on 18 May 2015 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.



At the last parish meeting questions had been asked about the extent of St Bees School’s ownership of land and property in the area. The Chairman reported that a new Board of Governors had been appointed since the school closed and they were now working on compiling an accurate register of assets.


Mrs James presented a report on the library service being provided by the Village School following the decision by CCC to close the library in March.

The Village School was very keen to offer a library service for both children and the wider village community. A limited stock of books was being provided by CCC which would be changed every few weeks. The CCC stock had been supplemented by books which had been donated. The library was open on Thursday afternoon each week during term time from 1.30pm to 4.30pm and children from Year 5 were issuing books and reading to younger children. The children had prepared a folder explaining the work they do in the library which clearly showed their enthusiasm for providing a service for the village.

The school was anxious to publicise the service to increase the use by members of the public. Offers of help from adult volunteers would be very welcome.

In answer to questions Mrs James said that the library was currently not open during school holidays but that it might be possible to extend the opening to holiday periods if adult volunteers were available. The Chairman undertook to publicise the service and the request for volunteers through the parish council’s community Facebook page.



The Chairman presented his report on Parish Council activities for 2015/16 (copy attached to the official copy of the minutes). The report and summary of the accounts would be published in the next edition of the parish magazine and would also be available on the web-site.

The Chairman explained that this had again been a very busy year. A number of major developments were planned which would affect the parish.

  • West Cumbria Mining was planning a new mine to extract coking coal. Although the pit head was likely to be located outside the parish at the former anhydrite mine, the coal would be moved by rail and a new railway siding would be constructed within the parish. Regular discussions were taking place with the company.
  • Nu-Gen was launching a stage 2 consultation on plans for accommodation and transport links for the construction of a new nuclear power station. The plans included accommodation for contractors in the Mirehouse area and an extension to the passing loop on the railway at St Bees to allow longer trains to pass. The parish council was actively involved in on-going discussions with Nu-Gen about their plans and the West Copeland Partnership was currently looking at the legacy it would wish to see from the project.
  • The parish council had continued to maintain links with the Board of St Bees School following the closure of the school last year. The parish council was supportive of the Board’s attempts to re-open a school on the site.
  • The parish council was working on a major project to develop a cycle track link between St Bees and Whitehaven. A feasibility study had been undertaken in 2000 but the project had not proceeded. The parish council was working with the new Whitehaven Town Council to raise funding for an updated feasibility study which would look at alternative route options and give estimates of project costs which could be used as the basis of funding applications to deliver the project. There had been huge public support for the project with almost 80 people joining the mailing list to receive updates.
  • The footpath connecting Abbotts Way to Beach Road, which had a rutted grassy surface, had now been resurfaced as a result of a joint project between the parish council and CCC with grant funding from Copeland Community Fund. A flexi-pave surface had been used which was porous and would allow the footpath to be used in all weathers.



No motions had been received.



Mr Starkie, in his capacity as Mayor, explained that CBC and the LDNP were considering whether they could develop a joint position on plans by National Grid for the NW Coast Connections Project which would link the new nuclear power station with the grid. The two bodies were keen to hear the views of those who represent their local communities at parish level. He and Mike McKinley, Chairman of the LDNP, would be interested to meet St Bees Parish Council and hear its views on the plans and the sustainable benefits it would want to see.

The Chairman agreed that this would be put on the agenda for the meeting of the parish council on 20 June.

As no other issues were raised for discussion the Chairman declared the meeting closed.