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

Monday 24 April 2017 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, D Millington, H Monaghan, C Robson, N Smart & the Clerk

 

Also present: 1 member of the public

 

In attendance: Mark George, Chair of Trustees of St Bees School

Danny Wang, Frank Lu, Roger Sinnett, Lawrence Gribble of Full Circle

53/17 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs J Mellor and M Riley. Apologies were also received from Cllr Wormstrup, County Councillor for Egremont North/St Bees

 

54/17 DISPENSATIONS & DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

There were no declarations of interest.

 

55/17 ST BEES SCHOOL

It was RESOLVED to bring forward this item on the agenda. Cllr Kelly declared a non-pecuniary interest as Clerk to the Trustees of St Bees School.

The Chairman welcomed Mr George and the representatives from Full Circle who introduced themselves, outlined their roles within the organisation and the synergy between St Bees School and the group’s other educational interests.

Mr George outlined how the contact had first been made with Full Circle. The detailed discussions had quickly shown that both parties shared the same educational philosophy. Following the formal agreement between the Trustees and Full Circle the reopening of the school in 2018 had been announced and a Headmaster had now been appointed. Over the coming months the senior leadership team would be appointed. An Open Day had been held over the weekend which had been well attended and feedback had been very positive.

The representatives of Full Circle explained that the school would offer a ‘fusion curriculum’ combining the best elements of the national curriculum and of Asian education. The curriculum would be the same in both St Bees and Shenzhen so there could be an exchange of pupils and staff. The educational philosophy was that academic studies and character building should have equal importance and the aim was to turn out pupils who were well-rounded, with good language skills, able to work in any part of the world. Mandarin would be taught as a foreign language to prepare pupils for the modern commercial world.

In answer to questions it was confirmed that the school would have a Christian ethos although pupils of any/no religion would be welcome. The new vicar had been invited to have discussions with the School about how the relationship between School and Priory might work.

The intention was that there should be a close link between the school and local community. For instance, it might be possible for local people to act as guardians for the non-UK pupils. It was pointed out that former pupils had benefited greatly from being educated alongside pupils of other nationalities but it was important that the balance was right. Mr Sinnit assured councillors that this would be carefully managed.

Councillors asked whether the school would be seeking to create links with the local business community. Mr George replied that several of the Trustees had links with local businesses and the new Headmaster was keen to build on these contacts, as the school would have a business/commercial focus. The Management Centre would continue to have a major role. Mr George acknowledged that in the past there had been issues with the way in which non-teaching staff had been treated but he assured councillors that this would not be the case in future.

 

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The Chairman thanked Mr George and the representatives of Full Circle for coming to speak to the council and expressed the hope that this would be the start of a new era of links between the school and local community.

56/17 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

A member of the public raised concerns about the possibility of the former County Council depot in Orgill being used as a park and ride facility for the nuclear industry. The site had been cleared and it appeared that the site was to be used as a base by a local bus operator. There were concerns that a park and ride facility would lead to additional traffic using Outrigg where there were already concerns about congestion and pedestrian safety.

It was agreed that the Clerk would make enquiries to ascertain the position with plans for this site.

57/17 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 20 MARCH 2017

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

 

58/17 CCC & HIGHWAYS ISSUES

It was noted that there had been two recent traffic accidents on roads around the village. Whilst the monthly police report recorded the number of traffic collisions it did not give sufficient information to enable the Traffic Calming Committee to keep an accurate record of locations etc.

It was RESOLVED to ask the PCSO to include more information in the monthly report.

 

59/17 FINANCE & RISK MANAGEMENT

(a) Finance Report

The account summary at 31 March was received and noted (copy attached to the minutes). Income for the financial year 2016/17 was £56927.92 and expenditure totalled £54159.67. In addition, there were planned transfers of £2000 to earmarked reserves.

It was noted that a donation of £600 had been received from Mr D Brownrigg from the proceeds of the sale of calendars. £300 would be allocated to Village in Bloom and £300 to other parish council activities. It was noted that the Parish Council’s printer had recently failed. The Chairman had authorised the purchase of a new printer before the meeting as an urgent matter.

 

(b) Donation Request

Further information had been received from St Bees & District Garden Society in support of their request for a donation towards the replacement of tables. The tables would be used for the annual show but would also be available for use by other village groups and organisations.

A wide-ranging discussion took place on the possible options available for sharing resources with other groups and organisations, phasing the replacement programme and finding suitable storage facilities.

It was RESOLVED to postpone a decision to enable all options to be explored.

 

(c) Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Chq no 002293 CBC – play area inspections Qtr 1 £310.20 + £62.04 VAT Total £372.24
  • Chq no 002294 CBC – emptying bins Qtr 1 £271.70 + £54.34 VAT Total £326.04
  • Chq no 002295 Npower – electricity to beach toilets £41.95 + £2.10 VAT Total £44.05
  • Chq no 002296 Voluntary Action Cumbria (ACT)– annual subscription Total £75.00
  • Chq no 002297 J Donaldson – salary (net) April 2017 - £635.48
  • Chq no 002298 J Donaldson – reimbursement for printer & cartridges £ 174.13 + £34.82 VAT Total £208.95

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  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service April £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (to be paid by SO)

Payments since last meeting to report

  • Chq 002292 Petty Cash top-up (VIB) £56.88
  • Answer4 You – answering service £8.80 +£1.76 VAT Total £10.56 (due to be paid by direct debit on 17/04/17)

 

60/17 PROJECT REPORTS

(a)Beach Regeneration

The Chairman reported that the Mayor had asked for some backgound information on the groynes at the main beach which he had been able to supply. He had also asked the Mayor for an update on the situation with rock armour at Sea Mill.

 

(b) Traffic Calming/Speedwatch

It was noted that the letter to Dr Weston of Sellafield Ltd had been sent but no reply had yet been received.

Cllr Mellor had provided a short report on the first meeting of the A595 Group which had been set up to lobby for improvements to the A595 on behalf of communities affected by the Sellafield ‘rat run’. The next meeting of the Group would be on 27 April. If Cllr Mellor was not able to attend, Cllr Millington would forward apologies and ask that the Parish Council be kept informed of progress.

The Chairman reported having seen the driver of a large tractor travelling through the village whilst using a mobile phone. This was not an isolated incident and the police had advised that action could be taken if there were two independent witnesses or if a photograph was taken.

 

(c) Community Events

A representative of the Old St Beghians had approached the Parish Council about a possible collaboration between the OSBs and Parish Council to mark the centenary of the end of WW1 in November 2018. It was hoped that St Bees School might also wish to join in the commemoration, although this would need to be confirmed when the new Headmaster took up post.

A joint event to remember those from the School and the parish who lost their lives in WW1 was warmly welcomed and it was agreed that Cllrs Robson, Kelly and Bettinson would liaise with the two nominated representatives of the Old St Beghians on preliminary plans for the event.

 

It was noted that the Village Hall Committee had recently organised a series of events including a hanging basket demonstration, film night and Blues night.

The Village School Association would be holding their Family Fun Day on Saturday 17 June.

 

(d ) Tree Planting

It was noted that some minor maintenance had been done on the tree shelters at the Adams Ground but the newly planted trees and gorse appeared to be doing well. The final stage of planting would take place in the autumn.

Several ash trees had been planted within the grounds of St Bees School where the previous planting had been disturbed by Network Rail’s work on the bridge.

 

(e) St Bees – Whitehaven Cycle Track

The grant completion report had been sent to Copeland Community Fund. The Chairman gave a progress report on discussions with landowners and stakeholders and stated that the Project Team would be meeting again shortly.

 

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(f) Priory Paddock Pond Project

Cllr Bettinson and the Clerk had attended a meeting with representatives from Nu-Gen to discuss plans for the project. The grant was expected to be paid into the Parish Council’s account in early May. Some spraying had taken place last week to begin the process of eradicating the invasive plants with the main work taking place in the autumn.

 

61/17 STATION CAR PARK

A request had been received from the owners of Stonehouse Farm for permission to put scaffolding in Station car park while work was taking place on the adjacent barn over the summer. The scaffolding would encroach on some of the car park spaces but with appropriate warnings/barriers it would not prevent the car park being used.

It was RESOLVED that there was no objection to the request providing that the contractor had appropriate insurance cover and erected warning signs/barriers.

 

62/17 CLERK’S REPORT

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

  • National Grid would be continuing to carry out ecological surveys at various locations in the area including St Bees Common for the next two months
  • The annual inspection of assets was almost complete. Some maintenance issues had been noted which would be included in a list for the lengthsman.
  • CBC had indicated that in principle they would agree to a new noticeboard on the toilet block but wished to approve the size and materials before giving final approval.
  • A new electricity meter was being fitted at the beach toilets to provide automatic readings and avoid the need for meter readings to be taken manually.

 

63/17 PLANNING

(a)New planning applications

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

 

  • Ref 4/17/9006/0F2 Single span footbridge over Pow Beck with stone surface ramps at

each end. To include diversion of public footpath (423012) onto

new footbridge & temporary compound to the car park.

Sea Mill, St Bees

It was RESOLVED that there were no objections to the construction of the new bridge but it

was essential to ensure that the diversion of the footpath did not prevent walkers from having

access to the beach on the north side of the beck.

 

  • Ref 4/17/2130/0F1 Erection of smoking shelter to the rear of the Management Centre

St Bees School, St Bees

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

 

  • Ref 4/17/2141/0F1 Repositioning of existing static holiday caravens and touring pitches to a

small area and erection of replacement fence to western boundary

Seacote Park, St Bees

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

It was noted that, in consultation with the Planning Advisory Group, the Clerk had submitted the following comments to CBC on the two applications received immediately before the last meeting:-

  • 4/17/2097/TPO Removal of self seeded ash tree in conservation area

76/77 Main Street, St Bees

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Reservations expressed as the tree did not appear to be as close as stated to the property

boundary and there did not seem to obvious damage to the wall or concrete.

 

  • 4/17/2098/0F1 Demolish existing kitchen extension & garage, replace with new kitchen/diner/snug, garage & bathroom extension

76 Main Street, St Bees

No objections to the application.

(b) Applications approved by CBC:-

4/17/2097/TPO Removal of self-seeded ash tree 76/77 Main St, St Bees (report provided)

 

64/17 LENGTHSMAN SCHEME

The scheme was set to continue for a further two years from June 2017 as all parishes had agreed to contribute. The exact costs were not yet known as it has been agreed that there should be provision for a modest pay rise for the lengthsman and a decision was awaited from West Copeland Partnership on its contribution to the scheme.

In the meantime the current lengthsman had resigned and the post was being advertised. The apprentice was due to complete his training period very shortly. Nu-Gen had agreed to fund an apprentice to work with the lengthsman under the new scheme.

 

65/17 COASTAL FOOTPATH

The Chairman reported on plans by Natural England for a temporary diversion of the coastal access route. The proposed diversion would take the route further inland to avoid the path across the golf course where the cliff was being eroded and the path was now very close to one of the greens. It was proposed to hold a meeting of all the parties involved shortly.

It was noted that the path along the golf course was not a public right of way but a permissive path. It was a very popular walk for local residents but local people would still be able to use the path with the landowner’s consent. However, legislation prevented the coastal access route running through a golf course and this was the reason for the proposed temporary diversion.

 

66/17 CBC ISSUES

Cllr Hill had provided copies of the CBC Members’ Update and these had been circulated by email. He had also met the elected Mayor to discuss a number of issues affecting St Bees, including repairs to the groynes and the future of land adjacent to the beach car park.

 

67/17 REPORT FROM COMMUNITY POLICE OFFICER

The report from the PCSO for the month of March was received and noted.

 

68/17 CORRESPONDENCE

(a) CALC was inviting bookings for a course on common land and village greens 17/18 July. Noted.

(b) A letter had been received from Connecting Cumbria asking parish councils to promote the uptake of superfast broadband in order to help finance work to connect remaining more remote areas. Noted.

(c) NALC had issued several revised Legal Topic Notes which were available on their web-site. Noted.

(d) The Environment Agency had confirmed the design acceptance of the AP1000 nuclear power station design. Noted.

(e) The Environment Agency had provided a link to the Scrutiny of Radioactive Waste Management Annual Report 2015/16. Noted.

 

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(f) Details had been received of Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Cross Bay Walk Challenge 2017 to take place on 20 May. Noted.

(g) CCC had provided an update on the Main Modifications and Sustainability Appraisal of the draft Cumbria Minerals & Waste Local Plan. Noted.

(h) CALC had provided details of CCC’s improved system for on-line reporting of highways faults. Details would be included in the next edition of St Bees News.

(i) Channel 4 was inviting applications from villages interested in taking part in a new series of programmes designed to find the Village of the Year. It was agreed to respond to the invitation.

(j) National Grid had provided an update on the North-West Coast Connections Project. The consultation a few months ago had identified a number of modifications which could potentially be made to the design for connections in certain areas. Additional surveys were being carried out to determine the potential environmental and technical effects associated with these possible changes. Noted.

(k) NALC had updated Governance & Accountability for Smaller Authorities to take account of changes in audit requirements for 2017/18. Noted.

(l) Nu-Gen was holding a Members’ Briefing on 9 May 6-7.30pm at Whitehaven Golf Club. The Parish Council was invited to send a representative. Details had been circulated by email

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

Cumbria Wildlife Trust –e-Newsletter April 2017

CALC Circular April 2017

Coastal Access Monthly update – March 2017

FLAG Newsletter 97 (April 2017)

Healthcare for the Future update 11

LEP Newsletter – Spring 2017

West Cumbria Mining March Newsletter

 

69/ 17 ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

(a) The next meeting of the Arts Society would be on Wed 26 April when Russell Bowes would give a talk entitled ‘The Painted Garden’.

(b) The bunting would be put up on 11 June for the Village School’s Family Fun Day. Volunteers were needed to help.

(c) It was noted that new way mark signs were needed on the footpath by Fleatham Farm. Cllrs Bettinson and Robson would arrange to put up new way markers.

 

70/17 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

It was RESOLVED that the Annual Parish Meeting take place on MONDAY 15 MAY 2017 at 6.30pm with the Mayor invited to speak. The annual meeting of the Parish Council would take place at 7.15pm approx., immediately following the Annual Parish Meeting.