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

Monday 19 December 2016 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall


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

J Lockie, J Mellor, D Millington, M Riley, C Robson, N Smart & the Clerk


In attendance: Cllr H Wormstrup, County Councillor Egremont North/St Bees

Mr M George, Chairman of Trustees of St Bees School

Also present: 1 member of the public


Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs J Haile & H Monaghan.



Cllr Kennedy declared a pecuniary interest in the planning application for tree work at 4 Finkle St.


The member of the public present indicated that he did not wish to speak but was interested in the item about St Bees School.


It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 21 November be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.



The Chairman welcomed Mark George, Chairman of the Trustees of St Bees School.

Mr George explained the progress made so far towards the aim of reopening a school. The Governors had received a number of approaches from companies & organisations but most had been unacceptable as they were primarily interested in the assets of the school and did not meet the Trustees’ aim of reopening a school. The Trustees had proactively sought expressions of interest through the Times Educational Supplement and had appointed independent consultants to assess the options. In April/May an approach had been received from a S.E. Asian consortium and initial discussions had led to a formal expression of interest. Last month an exclusivity agreement had been signed which prevents both parties from looking at other options whilst detailed discussions are taking place. These discussions would be complete by March 2017 but at this stage it was impossible to be sure whether they would result in a firm agreement.

If the negotiations were successful, the plan would be to reopen an independent school on the site from Sept 2018 with at least half of the pupils coming from the UK and the remainder coming from abroad. The Trustees would retain an input into the curriculum and ethos of the school. At this stage there were no plans to sell any assets, and plans to sub-divide Lonsdale Terrace had been put on hold until discussions were complete.

In answer to questions Mr George stated that the Trustees were fully aware of the challenges which lay ahead if the current discussions resulted in the reopening of the school, not least in finding new pupils. The Trustees would also want to establish a bursary fund and to ensure that there was a sound financial plan to deal with any eventuality. Mr George undertook to keep the Parish Council informed as the situation developed.

The Chairman thanked Mr George for coming to speak to the Council and for sharing as much detail as he could of the current plans.

Mr George then left the meeting.






Cllr Wormstrup reported that gullies had been cleaned and CBC had also swept the roads to remove leaves etc to prevent gullies becoming blocked.

Electricity North West had carried out repairs to the cable serving the street lights on Station Rd and CBC had now authorised Highways to go ahead with further repairs to the lights. It was hoped that the work would be done in the next few days.

It was noted that the Sellafield Travel Plan had been issued in draft form together with the draft Green Travel Plans for Albion Square and the Copeland Centre.



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

Cllr Millington reported that a letter had been sent to Sellafield Ltd about the number of contractors’ vehicles travelling through the village. Councillors confirmed that from their own observations the numbers of such vehicles were higher than quoted in the letter.

It was noted that there had been recent coverage in the local press of the problems caused by the inadequacy of the A595, which was the underlying cause of Sellafield commuters using minor roads through villages. A recent report for LEP on traffic issues west of the M6 had identified the problem but it appeared that improvements had not been categorised as a priority issue. There was discussion of how the parish council could best raise the profile of this issue.

It was RESOLVED that a working group be set up to consider a strategy, with membership open to any parish councillor who wished to take part.

Cllr Wormstrup then left the meeting



Cllr Argyle reported on a workshop organised by CALC on 22 November when parishes were able to seek advice from an independent planning consultant. Following the workshop a draft response had been prepared based on discussions at previous parish council meetings.

It was RESOLVED that the draft response be approved and submitted to National Grid.



(a) Finance Report

A summary of the accounts at 30 November was received and noted. The invoice for the cycle track feasibility study was now expected for payment in January.


(b) Budget/ Precept

A draft 3 year budget had been prepared for discussion. It was agreed to amend elements of the Project budget as the timing and costs of the traffic calming improvements and the extension of Station car park were uncertain at this stage. FRAG would produce an amended budget for approval at the next meeting when a precept for 2017/18 would be set.

(c) Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Chq no 002258 Harrisons Packaging Ltd– poop scoop bags £171.99 + £34.40 VAT Total £206.39
  • Chq no 002259 J Donaldson – reimbursement for new lap-top and software £391.62 + £78.32 VAT Total £469.94
  • Chq no 002260 J Donaldson – salary (net) Dec 2016 - £621.39
  • Chq no 002261 CPRE – annual subscription Total £36.00
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service Dec £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00


Payments since last meeting to report

  • Chq 002247 C Lewis –donation to RNLI Carol Concert £100.00 (agreed at last meeting)
  • Chq 002248 Village Hall Committee – donation £550.00 (agreed at last meeting)
  • Chq 002249 St Bees PCC – donation to parish magazine £675.00 (agreed at last meeting)
  • Chq 002250 Royal British Legion –donation £125.00 (agreed at last meeting)
  • Chq 002251 Calderwood House – donation £75.00 (agreed at last meeting)
  • Chq 002252 Friends of the Priory – donation £50.00 (agreed at last meeting)
  • Chq 002253 FLAG –donation (£25) & annual subs (£10) Total £35.00 (agreed at last meeting)
  • Chq 002254 CBC –play area repairs £410.46 + £82.09 VAT Total £492.55 (payment due before next meeting)
  • Chq 002255 CBC – litter bin (Post Office wall) £135.19 + £27.04 VAT Total £162.33 (payment due before next meeting)
  • Chq 002256 F Kennedy – donation to village pantomime £250.00 (agreed at Oct meeting)
  • Chq 002257 G Gilmour – reimbursement for Christmas tree £72.50 (purchase previously approved)
  • Answer4 You – answering service £8.80 +£1.76 VAT Total £10.56 ( paid by direct debit on 19/12/16)


(a)Beach Regeneration

There was no progress to report.


(b) Community Events

The Santa Parade and switching on of the tree lights had gone well and there had been excellent feedback from those attending. The tree lights were now several years old and would require replacement before next Christmas.

The preparations for the pantomime were going well. All the costumes had now been obtained apart from the Dame’s outfit which was being hand-made.


(c) Tree Planting

The next stage of planting at the Adams Ground would take place after Christmas.

(d) St Bees – Whitehaven Cycle Path

Sustrans had provided a number of documents which would form part of the feasibility study and the outstanding work was almost complete. The costings of the preferred route were higher than anticipated and it had not been possible to get agreement from all the landowners. Much of the information in the report would still be relevant if some changes had to be made to the route and Sustrans had been asked to outline what additional work would be required in that eventuality.


(e) Station car park extension

Cllr Millington had drafted a letter to the Chief Executive of Network Rail as agreed at the last meeting. West Cumbria Mining had also passed on details of an officer at CCC who had links with Network Rail and the Clerk was following this up.

It was RESOLVED that the letter to the Chief Executive of Network Rail be approved.


It was noted that the government was consulting on proposals to remove sites from regulation as licensed nuclear sites once decommissioning and clean up reached an advanced stage.



The general terms of the council’s response were agreed and the final response would be circulated to councillors before submission.

It was RESOLVED that the Clerk be authorised to submit the response to meet the deadline of 29 December.



Cllr Smart gave a brief report on the meeting of the West Copeland Partnership on 28 November. The meeting had not been well attended and a further meeting would be organised in January.



The Clerk’s report was received and the following points were noted:

Grit bin – a request had been sent to Highways for a new grit bin to be provided at the top of Outrigg.

Recycling area, Beach car park – a report had been received that the cardboard recycling bin was overflowing. The report had been passed to Waste Management at CBC for action.

Minor repair, Beach toilets – a problem had been reported with a tap at the beach toilets which could not be turned off. The contractor’s staff had attended immediately and carried out repairs.

Training – Cllr Monaghan had attended the recent Good Councillor course in Cockermouth and the Clerk had attended the Clerks’ Forum in Cleator Moor.



(a)New planning applications

Cllr Kennedy left the room during consideration of the application for 4 Finkle Street.

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

Ref 4/16/2414/TPO Felling of three sycamore trees within the conservation area

10 Seacroft Drive , St Bees

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


Ref 4/16/2420/TPO Removal of one laurel, one hazel & one holly tree within the

conservation area

4 Finkle Street, St Bees

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


(b) Applications approved/refused by CBC

It was noted that the following application had been approved by CBC:-

Ref 4/16/2364/TPO Felling of four poplars & removal/reduction of branches on sycamore

& ash trees within the conservation area – The Priory, St Bees


The written report from Cllr Hill was received. It was noted that there had been problems with refuse collections during road works on Nethertown Rd and complaints from a resident were being investigated by CBC officers.



The latest update from the Copeland Hub was received. It was noted that PCSO Watson was moving to another area and St Bees would now be covered by PCSOs Rafferty and Brown.



(a) Details had been received of the inspection of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust by the Care Quality Commission. The inspection began on 6 December. Noted.



(b) Information had been received on a scheme to promote the use of food digesters. Details were available on the Recycle for Cumbria web-site. Noted.

(c) Information had been received about a community health questionnaire which had been developed to inform the Health Impact Assessment for the Moorside Project. Noted

(d) CALC had forwarded a request for councillors to sign up to a letter to Steven Childs, Chief Exec of Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, about flaws in the Success Regime consultation This had been previously circulated to councillors.

(e) A briefing had been received from the Environment Agency about the consultation on the assessment of the design for Hitachi-GE’s UK Advanced Boiling Water Reactor. Noted.

(f) Letters of thanks for recent donations had been received from The Friends of the Priory, St Bees PCC, RNLI, British Legion, Calderwood House and FLAG. Noted.

(g) A letter had been received from Open Spaces Society seeking donations for their ‘Save our Spaces’ campaign. Noted.

(h) A letter had been received from Friends of the Lake District asking for support for their campaign to have underground lines rather than pylons outside the National Park in areas which are visible from the Park. Noted.

(i) Outreach Cumbria had sent a copy of their publication ‘Between Fell and Sea’ which marks the end of their West Lakes residency. Noted.

(j) An invitation had been received from the Mayor’s office to a budget consultation meeting on Thurs 19 January. Cllr Gilmour would attend on behalf of the parish council.

(k) CBC had provided a copy of its formal response to the Success Regime consultation. Whilst it had been agreed that councillors would make individual responses to the consultation, it was RESOLVED that the parish council would submit a response supporting in principle the concerns raised by CBC about the loss of services in West Cumbria.


Cumbria Wildlife Trust –e-Newsletter Dec 2016

Copeland Coastal Partnership & Coastal Communities Network Newsletter

CALC Training Programme Jan – June 2017

Healthcare for the Future Newsletters 4,5 & 6

Countryside Voice Winter 2016

FLAG Newsletter Dec 2016

North West Coastal Access Monthly Update – December

Nu-Gen Newsletter – Winter 2016



(a) It was noted that the collection to mark the retirement of Don McKay, the village postman, had now closed. Cllr Gilmour had contacted Mr McKay who had indicated that he would appreciate a voucher/cheque towards a holiday.

(b) Cllr Bettinson had established that the sign at the railway station was owned by the History Group. He would make further enquiries about funding to renovate the sign.

(c) It was noted that part of the wall alongside Beach Rd had been damaged, possibly by a vehicle. Highways had been asked to inspect and make it safe.



It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on MONDAY 16 JANUARY 2017 at 6.30pm.




Signed…………………………….. Date……………………..