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Draft Minutes of the Meeting of St Bees Parish Council held on Monday 19 September 2016 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall

 

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

F Kennedy, J Lockie, J Mellor, D Millington, H Monaghan, M Riley, C Robson, N Smart & the Clerk

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

Mr M Starkie, Elected Mayor

Mr M McKinley, Chairman of the Lake District National Park

151/16 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

There were no apologies for absence.

 

152/16 DISPENSATIONS & DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Cllr Sim declared an interest in the agenda item on Allotments as his wife is an allotment holder.

153/16 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

There were no matters raised.

154/16 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 18 JULY 2016

It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 18 July 2016 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

155/16 NORTH WEST COAST CONNECTIONS PROJECT

The Chairman welcomed Mr Starkie and Mr McKinley to the meeting.

Mr Starkie explained that CBC would shortly be holding a briefing for all its councillors to agree its response to National Grid’s consultation on its plans for the NW Coast Connections Project. It was hoped that it might be possible to agree a joint position with the Lake District National Park.

Mr McKinley then explained the LDNP’s view of the plans by National Grid. The new connections for Moorside would run north and south. The south section would cross the National Park to Silecroft. The northern section would run to the east of St Bees and on towards Carlisle. The final consultation document was likely to be published in late October and, whilst some lines were likely to be laid underground, most would run overhead. There was particular concern about the visual impact on the Duddon Estuary and local councils south of Seascale had banded together to press for cables to be put underground.

Mr McKinley drew attention to the Holford Rules, drawn up by the former CEGB and later adopted by National Grid, which set out guidelines for new connections. The Rules suggest that new overhead lines should be avoided in areas of high amenity value including the Heritage Coast. Whilst the new lines would run to the east of St Bees the new larger pylons would be visible from the Heritage Coast. CCC shared the LDNP’s concerns about visual impact of overhead lines and Mr McKinley hoped that St Bees Parish Council might also support this view.

In answer to questions Mr McKinley stated that it was not yet known whether the new lines would replace the existing lines and pylons or whether they would be in addition. It was not clear why the possibility of undersea lines had been rejected by National Grid. It was known that National Grid was installing underground lines in other areas of the country where there were landscape considerations.

 

 

 

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It was suggested by councillors that underground lines would be more costly and that it might be possible to achieve financial compensation for communities if overhead lines were installed. It was also pointed out that it would be a major boost for the local economy if pylons were fabricated here.

It was noted that National Grid were proposing to hold consultation events for parish councils in October and it was agreed to await the details of the proposals before agreeing the parish council’s position.

The Chairman thanked Mr McKinley for attending the meeting and took the opportunity to raise another issue of mutual interest – the LDNP’s West Cumbria Corridor Travel Plan project which aimed to attract more visitors to West Cumbria. Cllr Monaghan had represented the parish council at a meeting some weeks ago at Muncaster but it appeared that there was no clear strategy in place. Mr McKinley undertook to raise this with appropriate officers in the LDNP.

Mr Starkie and Mr McKinley then left the meeting.

156/16 CCC & HIGHWAYS ISSUES

Cllr Wormstrup reported that he would be attending the meeting of the Parish Council’s Traffic Calming Committee on 27 September along with the CCC Traffic Engineer. The meeting would hear the Traffic Engineer’s report on possible further traffic calming measures and consider priorities. The committee’s recommendations would then be brought to the next Parish Council meeting.

Councillors expressed some concern about the poor reinstatement of the roads and pavements by United Utilities contractors following recent work.

It was RESOLVED to write to United Utilities about the issue with a copy being sent to Cllr Wormstrup and Cumbria Highways.

 

157/16 SEA MILL BRIDGE

The Chairman outlined the current position. The County Council had drawn up plans for a new bridge but there was currently no funding for the project. In the meantime the Parish Council had been pressing for some temporary repairs to the old bridge so that it could be used until a new bridge could be provided but County Council officers had stated that this was not possible and an order had been made closing the bridge for a further 12 months. Local residents had expressed concern and frustration at the lack of a temporary solution and it was noted that, despite the closure order, walkers were risking injury by moving the barriers to use the bridge.

Cllr Wormstrup confirmed that the County Council had no funding at present to provide a new bridge but agreed to investigate the situation with temporary repairs to the old bridge.

It was RESOLVED that the matter be raised with the Chief Executive and Leader of CCC to press for a pragmatic temporary solution.

Cllr Wormstrup then left the meeting.

 

158/16 FINANCE & RISK MANAGEMENT

(a)Finance Report

The summary of income and expenditure to 31 August was received (copy attached to the minutes). It was noted that income was higher than budgeted because of increased grants and refund of non-domestic rates but expenditure appeared low. However, a number of large payments would be due in Qtr 3 including payment for the cycle track feasibility study and grasscutting.

 

(b) External Audit 2015/16

It was noted that the external audit of the accounts for 2015/16 had been completed. An unqualified opinion had been given with no matters drawn to the council’s attention.

 

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(c) Contract for beach toilets

The Chairman and Clerk had met the contractor to discuss terms for a new three year contract to open/close and clean the toilets.

It was RESOLVED that a new contract be made with Thomas Milburn Property Ltd for the period October 2016 to Sept 2019 at the same price and on the same terms as the current contract.

 

(d) Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Chq 002227 Information Commissioner – data protection renewal Total £35.00
  • Chq 002228 J Donaldson – reimbursement for postage £10.44/noticeboard magnets £11.73+ £2.35 VAT Total £24.52
  • Chq 002229 J Donaldson – salary (net) Sept 2016 - £621.39
  • Chq 002230 United Utilities Water Ltd – allotment water June to Sept Total £21.27
  • Chq 002231 United Utilities Water Ltd – water/wastewater beach toilets June to Sept Total £440.74
  • Cheque no 002232 D Sim –reimbursement for name badges £6.74 + £1.35 VAT Total £8.09
  • 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

  • Answer4 You – answering service £8.80 +£1.76 VAT Total £10.56 ( paid by direct debit on 17/08/16)
  • Chq 002221 Blomfields Ltd – plants £499.00 + £99.80 VAT Total £598.80(VIB)
  • Chq 002222 J Donaldson -Clerk salary August £621.39
  • Chq 002223 BDO LLP – audit fee £200.00 + £40.00 VAT Total £240.00
  • Chq 002224 YNH Ltd – domain name renewal (stbees.info) £17.00 + £3.40 VAT Total £20.40
  • Chq 002225 Playsafety Ltd – RoSPA inspections £178.50 + £35.70 VAT Total £214.20
  • Chq 002226 Npower – electricity to beach toilets £46.11 + £2.31 VAT Total £48.42
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service Aug £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00
  • Answer4 You – answering service £8.80 + £1.76 VAT Total £10.56 (paid by direct debit on 19/09/16)

 

159/16 ST BEES SCHOOL

Cllr Kelly declared a non-pecuniary interest in this item as Clerk to the Governors of St Bees School

Cllr Kelly reported that options for re-opening the school were continuing to be explored and discussions had taken place with an Asian consortium. The group had asked to meet the Parish Council Chairman and some former members of staff over the summer. In the meantime the school was letting out its facilities as much as possible. It was noted that the Civil Nuclear Constabulary would be holding firearms training at the school in the coming weeks. Signs would be posted to ensure local residents were not alarmed by the increased police activity.

The school would be holding an open day on 24 September for members of the public which would coincide with the Parish Council’s ‘What’s on’ event. The Chair of Governors would be giving an update on progress towards re-opening a school on the site and visitors would be given a tour of the site.

 

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160/16 PROJECT REPORTS

(a)Beach Regeneration

It was noted that the play area continued to be well used and a number of repairs had been required to the play equipment over the summer as a result of wear and tear. The repairs to the bowl spinner and surf board had now been completed and the repairs to the swings would be carried out by CBC at the next quarterly visit. A quote for repairs to the zip wire was awaited. The weekly inspections by volunteers were continuing but it was suggested that more frequent inspections by CBC might be required.

It was RESOLVED to ask CBC to carry out inspections on a monthly basis.

 

(b) Traffic Calming/Speedwatch

Cllr Millington outlined the arrangements for the meeting of the Traffic Calming Committee on 27 Sept. The meeting would take place at 7pm in the Management Centre at St Bees School and was open to all residents.

The Speedwatch volunteers had carried out an early morning session monitoring the speed of traffic

as it entered the village from the north. This had resulted in a number of drivers being reported for exceeding the speed limit. Further sessions were planned.

It was RESOLVED that arrangements be made for the speed gun to be recalibrated.

 

(c) Community Events

Arrangements were in hand for the ‘What’s On’ event to be held on 24 Sept in the Memorial Hall at St Bees School. Almost 30 local groups had requested tables. The hall would be open in the morning to allow groups to set up their displays.

Arrangements would need to be made shortly for the purchase of a Christmas tree for the village. Cllr Gilmour volunteered to source a suitable tree.

It was RESOLVED that an order be placed for a large tree.

 

(d) Tree Planting

Cllr Bettinson reported that the trees planted alongside Wood Lane were doing well. The next phase of planting at the Adams Recreation Ground was planned for the autumn and an order would be placed shortly for gorse and other native shrubs, funded from the Nu-Gen grant.

 

(e) St Bees – Whitehaven Cycle Path

Sustrans was well advanced with the feasibility study and a mid-project meeting had taken place. Sustrans staff were making contacts with landowners and the final report would identify a preferred route. A meeting had taken place with Karl Melville of Cumbria Highways which had proved very useful in learning from the experience of other similar projects. There was still no news about whether the stage 1 application to the Coastal Communities Fund had been successful. Discussions were taking place with Copeland Community Fund about the submission of a further application.

 

(f) Station car park extension

There had been no response yet from Network Rail.

 

161/16 ALLOTMENTS

Allotment Committee members had visited the allotment field and met allotment holders to discuss what work was required to improve the common areas and vacant plot.

 

 

 

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The Clerk had met the Manager of Works 4 You who provide the parish lengthsman to agree how much of the work could be done free of charge under the lengthsman scheme and what the costs would be for the additional work involved in tidying the site and providing a path from the Sea View gate. An estimate had also been obtained for ground cover fabric to help with weed control.

It was RESOLVED that the quote from Works 4 You be accepted (£1262) and that ground control fabric be purchased at a cost of approx. £160 with the costs to be met from the Major Asset Repair Fund.

 

162/16 RETIREMENT OF VILLAGE POSTMAN

It was noted that Don McKay had recently retired after many years as the village postman. He was well-known throughout the village and it was felt that it would be appropriate for the Parish Council to recognise his contribution to the village with a retirement gift.

It was RESOLVED that the Clerk make enquiries of CALC about how this could best be done.

 

163/16 CLERK’S REPORT

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

  • The two new lighting columns at Rottington had still not been connected. CBC had been asked to follow this up with ENW.
  • The ROSPA inspection had been completed at both play areas. Urgent work had been required to make safe an exposed concrete slab near the zip wire and the Clerk had authorised CBC to carry out the work following consultation with the Chairman.
  • The seat on the public footpath from Sea Mill Lane to the railway was noted to be in poor condition at the asset inspection. The lengthsman had advised that a repair was worthwhile as the frame itself was still solid. New wooden slats had been ordered and would be fitted by the lengthsman.
  • The new CALC training programme included a Good Councillor course and a Clerks’ Forum in November. It was RESOLVED that places be booked for Cllr Monaghan and the Clerk.

164/16 PLANNING

(a)New planning applications

The Planning Advisory Group reported on the following applications which had been received for comment. Comments had been required before the Sept meeting and, following consultation with the Planning Advisory Group, the Clerk had acted under delegated authority to offer no objection to either of the following applications:

  • Ref 4/16/2265/TPO Felling of a sycamore tree protected by a TPO

1, Fleatham Gardens, High House Rd, St Bees

 

  • Ref 4/16/2270/0F1 Erection of office building & open fronted agricultural building

Whin Bank, Rottington

 

(b) Applications approved/refused

It was noted that the following decisions had been made by CBC:-

  • Ref 4/16/2041/0F1 Rear dormer extension & conversion of attic to bedroom – 26 Main Street APPROVED
  • Ref 4/15/2471/0F1 & 2472/0L1 Removal of a non-traditional building & conversion of 2

traditional buildings to form 2 residential units – Town Head Farm APPROVED

 

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  • Ref 4/16/2180/0F1 Erection of garage with patio roof and garden store – 4 Blythe Place APPROVED
  • Ref 4/16/2265/TPO Felling of sycamore tree – 1 Fleatham Gardens, St Bees APPROVED
  • Ref 4/16/2147/0F1 Replacement dwelling type – 4 Fleatham Gardens APPROVED
  • Ref 4/16/2219/0F1 Erection of detached dwelling – Plot 1 Fleatham Farm, REFUSED

 

165/16 CBC MATTERS

Cllr Hill’s written report was received. It was noted that there had been a problem in some areas with a brown bin collection being missed but CBC had agreed to continue brown bin collections until 11 November.

 

166/16 REPORT FROM COMMUNITY POLICE OFFICER

A written report had been received from PCSO Watson detailing the reports logged since the last meeting. It was reported by a councillor that there had also been several incidents of cats going missing, believed stolen, from the local area.

 

167/16 CORRESPONDENCE

(a) An email had been received from Cumbria Tourism promoting the MyCumbria card which gives local residents offers and discounts at local attractions. More details can be found at www.mycumbriacard.co.uk Noted.

(b) The latest newsletter from St Bees School had been received giving an update on progress towards re-opening a school on the site, availability of facilities for hire and open day on 24 Sept. Noted.

(c) Information had been received from CALC about the Cumbria Victims Charitable Trust which has been set up to supplement the funding for victims services provided by the Ministry of Justice. Noted.

(d) Correspondence had been received from a local resident about the need for a litter bin on Main Street near the Manor House Hotel. Noted.

(e) A stakeholder update had been received from the Success Regime. Noted

(f) Details had been received of a public consultation by Cumbria Constabulary. Copies had been circulated to all councillors.

(g) Details had been received of DEFRA’s Food Tourism Grant Scheme. Noted.

(h) Details had been received from CCC of further exploratory drilling operations by West Cumbria Mining. Noted.

(i) An email had been received from the Mayor seeking support for an on-line petition to press for upgrading of the A595. The petition can be found at petitions.parliament.uk/petitions/165517 Noted

(j) Notification had been received from CCC that the Minerals & Waste Plan had now been submitted to the Secretary of State. Noted.

(k) Information had been received from CALC that the Cumbria LEP Annual Report was now available on the Cumbria LEP web-site. Noted

(l) The next round of applications for Nu-Green grants had been announced with a deadline of 17 November. Noted

(m) A letter had been received from the Dept for Communities & Local Government outlining the contents of the new Neighbourhood Planning Bill. Noted

(n) An email had been received from CALC encouraging parishes to consider setting up emergency plans for their area. Noted.

(o) Information had been received from Age Concern about a new Community Connections Project to alleviate loneliness and social isolation.

 

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ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

Cumbria Wildlife Trust –eNewsletters Aug & Sept 2016

OSS summer Ezine

North West Coastal Access Monthly Update Aug & September

Countryside Voice (CPRE) – summer 2016

CALC Circular September 2016

FLAG (Furness Line Action Group)Newsletter Aug 2016

Northern Gas Networks Stakeholder Report

ACT Gazette Summer 2016

 

168/16 ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

(a) It was noted that the TV programme on St Bees Man had recently been shown on German TV.

(b) The recent Heritage Open Day at the Priory and Foundation had attracted large numbers of visitors.

(c)The next meeting of the Arts Society, entitled The Building of Rome, would take place on Wednesday 28 Sept at 8pm in the Management Centre at St Bees School.

(d) A Gardeners Question Time event would be held on 7 October at 7.30pm in the Village Hall to raise funds for kitchen improvements at the Village Hall.

(e) Rev Becky Gibbs had been appointed as Curate in charge with effect from March 2017.


169/16 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on MONDAY 17 OCTOBER 2016 at 6.30pm.