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

Monday 16 January 2017 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall

 

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

J Mellor, D Millington, H Monaghan, M Riley, C Robson & the Clerk

01/17 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs N Bettinson, J Lockie, J Mellor and N Smart. Apologies were also received from Cllr H Wormstrup, County Councillor for Egremont North/St Bees.

 

02/17 DISPENSATIONS & DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

There were no declarations of interest.

03/17 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

There were no issues raised.

04/17 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 19 DECEMBER 2016

It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 19 December be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.

 

05/17 FINANCE & RISK MANAGEMENT

(a) Finance Report

A summary of the accounts at 31 December was received and noted.

 

(b) Budget/ Precept 2017/18

The Finance & Risk Advisory Group had met on 10 January and had drawn up a draft budget based on the discussion at the last meeting. However, since that meeting there had been a response from Network Rail about the possible extension of Station car park which meant that it would not be necessary to include funding for the project in the budget. This would reduce the precept required for next year.

It was RESOLVED that the budget (as amended) be approved and that the precept for 2017/18 be set at £40351, unchanged from the current year.

 

(c) Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Chq no 002263 CBC– emptying bins qtr 4 £271.70 + £54.34 VAT Total £326.04
  • Chq no 002264 CBC – Play area inspections qtr 4 £218.58 + £43.72 VAT Total £262.30
  • Chq no 002265 United Utilities Water – water charges (allotment field) Total £9.37
  • Chq no 002266 United Utilities Water – water charges (beach toilets) Total £217.31
  • Chq no 002267 J Donaldson – reimbursement for anti-virus renewal £20.83 + £4.16 VAT, postage £13.20, contribution to Broadband costs £50 Total £88.19
  • Chq no 002268 J Donaldson – salary (net) Jan 2017 - £621.39
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service Jan £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00

 

Payments since last meeting to report

  • Chq 002262 Post Office Ltd (for HMRC) PAYE Qtr 3 - £256.12
  • Answer4 You – answering service £9.68 +£1.94 VAT Total £11.62 (due to be paid by direct debit on 18/01/17)

 

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06/17 STRATEGIC TRAFFIC ISSUES

A meeting of the working group had taken place on 9 January and the notes of the meeting had been circulated. The meeting had identified the main issue as the inadequacy of the A595 to cope with the volume of traffic travelling to and from the Sellafield site with the result that drivers used minor roads through villages to avoid the congestion. It was noted that a report for Cumbria LEP called “West of M6 Strategic Connectivity study” had recognised the A595 congestion problems but did not take account of similar problems off the main road, such as through St Bees. A priority list had included a single carriageway by-pass for Whitehaven, and the same for Bigrigg, on a 7-year timescale, and at a cost of £150-200M. On shorter time scales, there were only minor improvements to junctions & roundabouts in Whitehaven and Egremont at a cost of £2-3M. There is currently no funding for any of these schemes.

 

The conclusions and recommendations of the working group were discussed.

It was RESOLVED :

  • to press for a major upgrade of the A595 from Howgate to Sellafield as the only effective long-term solution and also to support the immediate improvements south from the Pelican Garage as prioritised in section 5 of the LEP plan to improve A595 traffic flows in the short term, and thereby alleviate some pressure on St Bees.
  • to support all initiatives to reduce the number of vehicles travelling to/from the Sellafield site.
  • to do everything within the council’s powers to raise the profile of the issue with those who have influence over strategic infrastructure decision-making and funding
  • to authorise a small group of parish councillors to meet appropriate elected members at County and District level to draw on their knowledge and experience before drawing up a plan of action for consideration by the Parish Council.

 

07/17 ST BEES SCHOOL

Cllr Kelly declared a non-pecuniary interest as Clerk to the Trustees of St Bees School.

Cllr Kelly reported that discussions were on-going between the Trustees and the SE Asian consortium with a target date of March to complete discussions. A further report would be made at the next meeting.

 

08/17 PROJECT REPORTS

(a)Beach Regeneration

There was no progress to report.

 

(b) Traffic Calming/Speedwatch

A reply had been received from the Strategy & Technical Director at Sellafield Ltd to the letter sent by the council about the number of contractors’ vehicles travelling through the village. The reply acknowledged the council’s concerns and the Director had undertaken to take up the matter with the contractors concerned. She had also pointed out that the Sellafield Travel & Transport Plan was in the process of being approved for publication and members of their staff would come to a meeting of the Traffic Calming Committee to explain the plan.

Councillors reported recent instances of contractors’ vans travelling in convoy through the village. It was agreed that al reports would be passed to Cllr Millington who would pass on the information to Sellafield Ltd.

 

 

 

 

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(c) Community Events

Arrangements were well in hand for the pantomime to take place in the Village Hall over the weekend of 27-28 January. Ticket sales were going well and a number of local businesses had offered sponsorship. All proceeds would go towards improvements to the Village Hall.

A letter had been received from the Village School Association asking for the Parish Council’s support in attracting volunteers to help with the planning and preparations for the Family Fun Day in June. It was agreed that the Fun Day (the successor to the Village School Fete) was a popular

village event and the Parish Council would be happy to encourage local residents to become involved.

 

(d ) Tree Planting

It was noted that the plants for the next stage of planting at the Adams Ground would be ordered shortly.

(e) St Bees – Whitehaven Cycle Path

Sustrans had provided a suite of documents which supported the feasibility study. The costings of the preferred route were higher than anticipated and there remained an issue with obtaining all the landowner consents that would be required. The alternative route was still a possibility and much of the data from the feasibility study would still be relevant if the route were changed.

An invoice had been received from Sustrans for the fixed price element of the work (£12500 + VAT) and a final invoice for the cost of search fees and ecological survey was due shortly. It was expected that the total costs would be within the approved budget.

It was RESOLVED that payment be authorised (up to a maximum of £13200 + VAT).

 

(f) Station car park extension

A reply had been received from the Office of the Chief Executive of Network Rail in response to the Parish Council’s request for an easement to allow right of access from the existing car park to the land currently owned by CBC. Whilst Network Rail would allow an access to be created, they were not willing to grant any right to continued use of the access as this would compromise their ability to regain the land if it were required for railway use in the future. Without a legal right of access it would not be possible to obtain grant funding for the project.

It was RESOLVED not to proceed with the project in light of the reply from Network Rail.

09/17 RETIREMENT OF VILLAGE POSTMAN

The public collection to mark the retirement of Don Mackay had raised £435 which had been paid into the Parish Council’s account.

It was RESOLVED to send a cheque for this amount to Don Mackay with a covering letter from the Chairman thanking him for the excellent service he had provided over many years.

 

10/17 CLERK’S REPORT

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

Street lights – two of the footway lights on Station Rd were now back in operation after CBC authorised repairs. However, the problems were not completely resolved and the Clerk would continue to press CBC to complete the repairs.

New lap -top – the new laptop computer was now in use and the new software (including up to date anti-virus protection) had been installed.

Noticeboard on Firth Drive – the noticeboard had suffered some damage in the gales on Christmas Eve and had to be removed. Its general condition was poor and a new board would need to be purchased. It was agreed to investigate the possibility of purchasing a new board to be fixed to the wall of the toilet block where it would be less exposed to the wind.

 

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11/17 PLANNING

(a)New planning applications

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

Ref 4/16/2439/TPO Felling of six sycamore trees & pruning of one tree within the conservation

area

10 Seacroft Drive , St Bees

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

 

Ref 4/16/2442/0F1 Installation of an Edwardian-style orangery

1 Fairladies. St Bees

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

 

Ref 4/16/2451/TPO Felling of two trees within the conservation area

Fleatrigg, High House Rd, St Bees

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

 

Ref 4/17/2007/0F1 New stairs and alterations to elevations

Stone House Farm, Main St, St Bees

It was noted that this application had only just been received and it was agreed that more time was required for the Planning Advisory Group to review the application.

 

(b) Applications approved/refused by CBC

There had been no decisions made on applications relevant to St Bees since the last meeting.

 

12/17 CCC & HIGHWAYS ISSUES

A request had been received for warning signs to be erected on the Outrigg Rd close to the junction with the bridleway at Green Lonning to warn drivers of horses on the road. Traffic was often travelling at speed along this stretch of road and horse riders were concerned for their safety.

It was RESOLVED to forward the request to Cumbria Highways for their consideration.

 

13/17 CBC MATTERS

Cllr Hill had no report to give this month but was continuing to forward updates on relevant CBC news. Cllr Hill had passed on concerns expressed by a local resident about parked cars limiting visibility in the area of Abbey Farm. Cllr Robson agreed to follow this up on an informal basis in the first instance.

It was noted that there had been staff changes in the Parks & Open Spaces Dept and the Clerk was seeking information on who would be the point of liaison on play area repair issues.

 

14/17 REPORT FROM COMMUNITY POLICE OFFICER

No report had been received since the last meeting.

 

15/17 CORRESPONDENCE

(a) Highways England had sent an update following the consultation a few months ago on future plans for the strategic road network. Eighteen Route Strategies would be published in March as part of the research stage informing the government’s next Road Investment Strategy. Highways England had also published a discussion paper on progress with their strategic economic growth plan. Noted.

(b) Details had been received of a training event organised by Cumbria CVS on Emergency Planning & Resilience on 31 January. Noted.

 

 

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(c) An invitation had been received from Nu-Gen for a representative from the Parish Council to attend a briefing being held on 25 January at Whitehaven Golf Course. It agreed that Cllr Monaghan would attend on behalf of the council.

(d) The agenda had been received for the next 3 Tier Meeting on 26 January at 6.30pm in Egremont Market Hall. Noted.

(e) The notes had been received of the meeting held in Egremont to consider the Health Impact Assessment for the Moorside Project. Noted.

(f) An invitation had been received from CALC to nominate past Chairmen to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Noted.

(g) Details had been received of an event to take place in 2018 to commemorate the end of WW1 and would involve communities across the country in lighting beacons on 11 November. Noted.

(h) CBC had provided details of a series of meetings across the area to consult on their budget plans. Cllr Gilmour had agreed to represent the Parish Council at the event on 19 Jan but all the events were open to members of the public and local businesses. The dates had been publicised on the St Bees Facebook page.

(i) Open Spaces Society was holding a course in Darlington on 4 March to assist with applications for definitive way modification orders to ensure that rights of way which would be extinguished in 2026 are saved before the cut-off date. Noted.

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

Cumbria Wildlife Trust –e-Newsletter Jan 2017

CALC Circular Dec- Jan 2017

Healthcare for the Future Newsletter 8

West Cumbria Mining Newsletter

Nu-Gen Newsletter Winter 2016

 

16/ 17 ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

(a) The next Arts Society meeting would on 25 January when Margaret-Louise O’Keefe would present a lecture on the work of Caillebotte.

(b) The History Group would be holding an event in Old College Hall on 14 February focussing on photographs and stories of the numerous shops in the village in the 1930s.

(c) It was noted that the licensing of Rev Becky Gibbs as Curate-in-Charge would take place on 3 March in the Priory. All parish councillors were invited to attend.

 

17/17 DATE OF NEXT MEETING

It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on MONDAY 20 FEBRUARY 2017 at 6.30pm.

It was further RESOLVED that the date of the April meeting be changed to Monday 24 April to avoid the Easter Bank Holiday.