Home     Site Map     Village Forum     Search     Help     About us

Home Parish Council Index Index to Minutes

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

Monday 21 March 2016 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall


PRESENT: Cllrs D Sim (in the Chair), M Davies, G Gilmour, J Haile, T Kelly, F Kennedy, J Mellor,

D Millington, M Riley, C Robson, N Smart and the Clerk


In attendance: Cllr I Hill, Ward Councillor, Copeland Borough Council

Cllr H Wormstrup, County Councillor Egremont North/St Bees



Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs P Argyle & N Bettinson



Cllr Kelly declared an interest in the item on St Bees School as Clerk to the Governors and also in the planning application for Sea Breeze as the owner of an adjacent property.



There were no issues raised.



It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 15 February 2016 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.



Cllr Wormstrup explained that he had obtained details of visits by the parking enforcement team in recent months, copies of which had been circulated. It was noted that there had been few penalties issued. The officer in charge had indicated that visits could be targeted at specific times and locations if the parish council supplied details.


Highways would in future be taking gulley cleaning back in-house rather than outsourcing the work. The County Council would also be beginning a programme of installing LED lights to street lights in the parish, although it was noted that some lights were the responsibility of CBC and these would not be included in the CCC programme. There were continuing problems with lights on Station Rd and discussions were taking place between CCC and ENW. Work was about to take place on the Linethwaite road to improve drainage and carry out patching work in advance of surface dressing later in the year.


The offer to make a limited contribution to a possible replacement bus service had been sent to CCC following the last meeting. Costs were being obtained by CCC on behalf of the parishes involved and it was hoped that further information would be available at the next meeting.


It was noted that a reply had been received from Frank Morgan, Chair of the CCC Local Committee, on the issues of strategic traffic planning. The letter recognised the parish council’s concerns and outlined work being done by the Nuclear Transport Group to reduce reliance on the highways network for major new developments and to look at other transport solutions. Mr Morgan actively encouraged the parish council to get involved with the process but did not explain how this could be achieved most effectively.

It was RESOLVED to reply to Mr Morgan to seek further information on the membership and terms of reference of the Nuclear Transport Group and to request clarification on how the parish council could become involved in the process.





It was noted that the Village School was to host a book drop when the library ceased to be staffed by CCC at the end of March. A small stock of books would be provided by CCC and school children and adult volunteers would open the library to the public for an hour per week in term time only. It was hoped to launch the new service on 21 April. The service would be publicised in the parish magazine and the school hoped that the local community would support the children in this initiative.

It was also noted that CCC had agreed that the local studies books could be retained at the library.

Cllr Wormstrup then left the meeting.



Following the last meeting the Clerk had made further enquiries about the CBC review of surplus land and the possibility of part of the beach car park and adjoining grass bank designated as development land. The Senior Planning Policy Officer had confirmed that CBC was still considering the submissions received following the publication of the Site Allocations Preferred Options document a few months ago. New sites had been put forward for consideration including areas of CBC owned land which were deemed surplus to requirements and could be suitable for development. A revised document would then be produced for consultation, probably late in 2016. The final Site Allocations Plan would then need to be formally approved by CBC before being submitted to the Sec of State. Until this process was complete no decisions would be made on the sale of land for other purposes.

It was agreed to ask CBC to ensure that the residents concerned were aware of the timescales and the opportunity for them to comment during the consultation process.

Cllr Hill reported on discussions with the Success Regime on plans for future hospital services and outlined how visa changes could affect the medical school.

Cllr Hill then left the meeting.



(a) Financial Report

A summary of income and expenditure at 29 February was received (copies attached to the minutes). It was noted that the refund of NNDR on the beach toilets had now been received and total income for the year exceeded the budgeted figure. Expenditure was under budget as insurance and grasscutting costs had been lower than anticipated and there had been an underspend on beach regeneration.


(b) Electricity Contract

CCC operated a large contract for electricity supplies to its premises and it was possible for the parish council to join this contract for supply of electricity to the beach toilets. It was noted that the contract would run until 2019.

It was RESOLVED to join the CCC contract.


(c) Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Chq no 002183 Npower- electricity to beach toilets £155.62 + £7.79 Total £163.41
  • Chq no 002184 CALC – course fee Total £5.00
  • Chq no 002185 J Donaldson – postage Total £12.80
  • Chq no 002186 J Donaldson – Clerk salary March Total £614.55
  • Chq no 002187 Post Office Ltd (for HMRC) PAYE Qtr 4 Total £284.55
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service March £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (to be paid by SO)


Payments since last meeting to report

  • Chq no 002182 D Robinson – reimbursement for plants £171.63 + £15.15 VAT Total £186.78
  • Answer 4 You – answering service £8.80 + £1.76 VAT Total £10.56 ( paid by direct debit on 17/03/16)





Cllr Kelly reported that two new board members had been appointed and it was hoped to appoint a further two members with particular expertise in education. The board was now actively looking at possible models for a new school and would be advertising in the Times Ed for possible partners to come forward to support the re-establishment of a school. In the meantime the school would be re-opening the Management Centre on 18 April and was continuing to let other facilities on a short term basis to help maintain the assets. An estate manager had been appointed and a new green keeper had been recruited for the golf course. A second newsletter would follow shortly.

The Chairman reported that he and the Clerk had attended an informal meeting with the Chairman of the Board and a representative of the Old St Beghians. He had reiterated the parish council’s willingness to help with local knowledge and communication networks and had congratulated the school on the excellent newsletter.



The Clerk reported on the last meeting of the North Copeland Coastal Communities Team. The economic plan had been submitted to DCLG and the feedback had been good. There had been some funding left from the initial budget and the team had agreed that £1640 should be given as a grant to both St Bees and Lowca Parish Councils to help with feasibility studies for the first two priority projects.

The team was now considering its membership, terms of reference and structure as the project moves towards overseeing the implementation of the economic plan. The governance structure and arrangements for administrative support would be discussed at the next meeting.

It was RESOLVED that Cllr Riley represent St Bees Parish Council at future meetings.



(a)Beach Regeneration

There had been no developments since the last meeting.


(b) Traffic Calming/Speedwatch

A resident of Main Street had contacted the Clerk about traffic and parking issues after her car was damaged for the third time in five months whilst parked on Main Street. Councillors stressed the importance of reporting all such incidents to the police so the relevant authorities had a full picture of the problems. It was agreed that the Clerk would follow up the issue of disabled parking bays.

Speedwatch sessions were continuing but more volunteers would be welcome. An article would be appearing in the next parish magazine.

(c) Community Events

Cllr Robson outlined plans for an event when residents new to the parish could meet parish councillors and find out about the council’s work. It was agreed that the event should also be open to others who wanted to know more about the parish council.

It was RESOLVED that the event take place on Monday 11 April at 7.30pm in the Village Hall and that a budget of £100 be approved for refreshments.


(d) Tree Planting

Cllrs Bettinson and Kennedy had attended the media launch of the Nu-Gen Green Grants Scheme on 15 March. The promotional video had been shown which included Cllr Bettinson explaining the tree planting project at the Adams Recreation Ground.


(e) St Bees – Whitehaven Cycle Path

This item was deemed confidential as it concerned negotiation of a contract.

Tenders had been received for the feasibility study and the Chairman reported on the recommendations of the project team members who had scored the tenders. Discussions would be taking place with the wider project team including representatives from Whitehaven Town Council.



It was RESOLVED to accept the recommendations subject to satisfactory clarification of certain points.



The contractor had identified the cause of the drainage problem and had laid a new pipe. The pond was now back to normal levels. It was noted that there were no interpretation boards in the Paddock to explain the ethos of the garden and the flora and fauna which could be seen.

It was RESOLVED to purchase interpretation boards for the Paddock at a maximum cost of £300.



It was noted that the Success Regime had published a detailed progress report to inform the public of their current thinking. The report stressed that the document was based on emerging options and no decisions had yet been made. Once firm proposals had been developed, a period of consultation would take place.



The Boundary Commission would shortly be carrying out a review of the number of seats on Copeland Borough Council. CBC had invited parish councils to consider whether they wished to have a review of the number of seats on their parish council as part of the review, as some councils had not been able to fill seats at the last election. It was noted that only one seat on St Bees Parish Council had been unfilled at the last election and that had been filled by co-option a month later.

It was RESOLVED not to take part in the review.



(a)New planning applications

Cllr Millington declared that he owned a property in the vicinity of Sea Breeze, Sea Mill Lane but it was agreed that this was not sufficient to constitute a pecuniary interest.

The Planning Advisory Committee reported on the following applications which had been received for comment:-

  • Ref 4/16/2034/TPO Felling of ash, sycamore & hawthorn trees protected by TPO

3 Fleatham Gardens, St Bees

It was RESOLVED to oppose this application on the grounds that the application form was incomplete and no report had been provided to justify the proposed work.


  • Ref 4/16/2035/0F1 Alterations & extensions

Sea Breeze, Sea Mill Lane, St Bees

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


  • Ref 4/16/2056/0F1 Alterations & extension

35 Seacroft Drive, St Bees

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


(b) Applications approved

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

Ref 4/16/2006/0F1 Extension to existing ground floor with second storey over, single storey

extension to NW elevation - 1 Solway Rise, St Bees

Ref 4/15/2512/0F1 Extension of steel frame barn & approval for new access gate – Field 8872




The Chairman reported on a meeting with Kevin Murphy of West Cumbria Mining on 29 February.

Mr Murphy had confirmed that further off-shore drilling would start shortly and he had outlined the company’s plans for locating the mine buildings at the former anhydrite mine with a cut and cover conveyor bringing the coal down to the railway line.


It was proposed to build a double siding so trains could be loaded without obstructing the line. Mr Murphy had confirmed that the company was liaising with Nu-Gen to ensure that plans for the rail line were co-ordinated.

The Chairman had obtained copies of a document produced by the Local Enterprise Partnership which detailed planned improvements to the rail line and it was agreed that this would be circulated following the meeting.



The draft minutes of the meeting on 16 February were received. It was noted that an Open Gardens fund-raising event was planned for Sunday 26 June and volunteers were needed to open their gardens.



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

  • Seamill – the litter bin at Sea Mill had been moved close to the car park entrance and away from the concrete bridge. CBC had indicated that this was for ease of emptying. However, the bin would be less convenient for walkers and more vulnerable to storm damage so CBC had been asked to reconsider.
  • Recycling bins, Station car park – CBC had taken a decision to remove the recycling bins in Station car park. Residents would now need to use their black recycling boxes or the recycling area at the beach car park.
  • Casual Vacancy – the statutory period for electors to request an election to fill the vacancy on the parish council had ended on 11 March. The parish council had been asked to fill the vacancy by co-option and this would be publicised on the noticeboards and in the parish magazine.
  • NNDR Station car park – the Clerk had requested the necessary forms to claim small business relief on the non-domestic rates for Station car park.
  • Lengthsman scheme - Cllr Bettinson had offered to lead an activity at Priory Paddock in September looking at how to prune large shrubs/trees. The final year of the grant funding would begin in June and options for continuing the scheme would need to be considered in the coming months.



The report from PCSO Watson was received and noted. There had been two logs since the last meeting – one attempted burglary and a report of two thefts from gardens overnight on 16 March.



(a) Information had been received of a Landscape Flood Appeal launched by Friends of the Lake District. Noted.

(b) An email had been received from CALC about plans to update their web-site. Noted.

(c)Minster Parish Council was seeking support for an e-petition to press for the right for parish councils to appeal against planning decisions. Noted.

(d) Nurture Lakeland was seeking donations to improve footpaths on Coniston Old Man. Noted.

(e)Notification had been received from Highways that improvement works would be taking place on the Egremont to Iron Bridge cycleway and at the Yottenfews roundabout beginning on 21 March. Noted.

(f) An email had been received from a local resident about litter along the Whitehaven road which he had reported to CBC. He had also asked about replacement of the bin outside the Post Office. The Clerk had replied on behalf of the council.

(g) A letter had been received from St Bega Lodge to explain that the Freemasons hoped to participate in the celebrations of the Queen’s 90 th birthday on 21 April by lighting a beacon and wished to confirm that this would not conflict with any plans made by the parish council. The Clerk had informed them that the council had no specific plans and suggested they contact the Scouts to check whether they were planning an event.



(h) Details had been received from Sellafield Ltd of the beach monitoring programme for the coming year. It was noted that there would be no monitoring during the main school holiday periods.



Cumbria Wildlife Trust –eNewsletter March 2016

CALC Circular March 2016

NW Coastal Access Project –March update

ACT Gazette Spring 2016



(a)The garden at Fern Bank, High House Rd would be open for charity as part of the RHS Open Gardens Scheme on Sunday 10 April.

(b)Mark Kirkbride would be giving a talk on the history of coal mining on Tuesday 12 April at 7.30pm in the Management Centre at St Bees School.

(c) The event organised by the Triers on Friday 18 March in aid of Sport Relief and WCH had been a great success and participants had completed the equivalent of 12 cross-England walks.



It was RESOLVED that the Annual Parish Meeting be held on Mon 16 May, immediately before the annual parish council meeting.


It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 18 April 2016 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall.