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

Monday 17 July 2017 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall

 

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

J Lockie, J Mellor, M Riley, C Robson & the Clerk

 

In attendance: Mrs Jane Taylor, Planning Policy Unit, CBC (agenda item 5 only)

Cllr C Whiteside, County Councillor for Egremont North/St Bees

109/17 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs D Millington & H Monaghan.

 

110/17 DISPENSATIONS & DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Cllrs Gilmour, Haile and Robson declared a non-pecuniary interest in agenda item 7b - Donations as members of St Bees PCC.

111/17 PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

No issues were raised.

112/17 MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 19 JUNE 2017

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

 

113/17 DRAFT CONSERVATION AREA DESIGN GUIDE

The Chairman welcomed Jane Taylor of CBC to the meeting. Mrs Taylor explained that she held the post of Whitehaven Townscape Heritage Officer. Whilst the focus of her work was on Whitehaven, stakeholders wanted to see some funding used to provide a legacy which would benefit a wider area. The draft Conservation Area Design Guide was the project chosen. Consultants had visited the area and made recommendations to guide the repair and renovation of properties within conservation areas across Copeland. The draft document was the culmination of this work and a 6 week public consultation period was now underway. It was hoped that the public would take the opportunity to comment on the proposals before the document was submitted to CBC for approval as a Supplementary Planning Document supporting the Local Plan.

Mrs Taylor acknowledged that in the past there had been insufficient attention paid to work done on properties in conservation areas but the new document would be an opportunity to set out what was/was not acceptable.

The Chairman thanked Mrs Taylor for giving the council the opportunity to see the draft document and encouraged councillors to respond to the consultation.

 

114/17 CCC & HIGHWAYS ISSUES

(a)Road Markings on Outrigg

A meeting had taken place on 13 July with Kevin Cosgrove of Cumbria Highways to discuss possible changes to the road markings on Outrigg. It had been agreed that the zig zag markings would be placed across the school entrance on Outrigg rather than on the opposite side of the road, and yellow lines would be provided around the junction with Hillside. The Village School did not support the suggestion of parking restrictions alongside the pavement and Mr Cosgrove was also opposed to this, as the pavement provided the safest place to drop off children.

Mr Cosgrove had also agreed to enhance the road markings around the entrance to Outrigg Close, subject to agreement of the residents.

Unfortunately, contractors had been in the village reinstating the road markings following recent resurfacing work before there had been an opportunity to action the changes agreed at the site

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meeting but Mr Cosgrove had assured Cllr Whiteside that the changes would be implemented as soon as possible.

 

(b) Traffic Issues

Cllr Whiteside reported that the Sellafield Travel Plan was now complete and waiting to be signed off by the NDA. Whilst it would not necessarily provide solutions to the traffic issues it would allow communities to compare the situation on the ground with the planned measures. Councillors expressed the view that principal authorities needed to be robust in challenging Sellafield Ltd’s plans for a gradual reduction in traffic.

 

(c) West Cumbria Mining

Cllr Whiteside explained that planning gains as a result of the application by West Cumbria Mining might help with plans for the St Bees – Whitehaven cycle track. The Chairman explained that discussions had already taken place with West Cumbria Mining who were supportive of the project. Cllr Whiteside undertook to let the Chairman know the most appropriate contact in CCC.

A question was asked about whether any planning approval would require social impact clauses to be included in procurement contracts. Cllr Whiteside agreed to follow this up.

 

(d) Highways Work

Cllr Whiteside had followed up the concerns raised at a previous meeting about the lack of notice of resurfacing work on Outrigg. As this was not emergency work, more notice should have been given and officers had been made aware of the position.

Councillors noted that the defective gulley in Sea Mill Lane had been replaced and asked Cllr Whiteside to pass on their thanks to the officers concerned.

 

(e) Improvements to A595

Cllr Whiteside explained that central government had confirmed that funding was to be made available to fund road improvement schemes including a Whitehaven Relief Road. Plans were under consideration by partners in Cumbria. This represented a very important opportunity for the area but it was vital to ensure that the scheme put forward was the right one for local communities. There would be public consultation on any proposed scheme. Once approved, it would take some years to implement the scheme and some limited works would be necessary in the interim.

Cllr Whiteside then left the meeting.

 

115/17 FINANCE & RISK MANAGEMENT

(a) Financial Report

The summary of accounts at 30 June was received and noted together with the analysis of variances from budget for qtr 1 (copies attached to the minutes). It was noted that the invoice for the contribution to the lengthsman scheme had not yet been received and would now fall in qtr 2.

 

(b) Donation request

St Bees Garden Society had confirmed that their bid for Lottery funding had been successful and they would not now require the donation offered by the Parish Council. The new tables had arrived and would be stored at the Village Hall and could be used by other groups within the village.

A letter had been received from St Bees PCC seeking a donation towards the appeal to raise funds for essential repairs to New College Hall. It was noted that the hall was used by a number of local groups including the Brownies and Guides.

It was RESOLVED to donate £700 to the appeal.

 

(c) Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

 

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  • Chq 002313 CALC– booklets Total £10.00
  • Chq 002314 CBC – play area inspections qtr 2 £310.20 + £62.04 VAT Total £372.24
  • Chq 002315 CBC – emptying litter bins qtr 2 £271.70 + £54.34 VAT Total £326.04
  • Chq 002316 J Donaldson – salary (net) July- £635.48
  • Chq 002317 J Donaldson – reimbursement for postage Total £9.81
  • Chq 002318 P Argyle – travel expenses for training course Total £64.35
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service June £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (to be paid by SO)

Payments since last meeting to report

  • Chq 002311 St Bees & District Garden Society – donation to Annual Show £150.00 (agreed at last meeting)
  • Chq 002312 Npower – electricity to beach toilets 1/4 to 8/5 £20.59 + £1.03 VAT Total £21.62
  • Answer4 You – answering service £8.80 +£1.76 VAT Total £10.56 (due to be paid by direct debit on 17/07/17)

 

116/17 ST BEES SCHOOL

As Cllr Kelly was not present, there was no report available from the Trustees of St Bees School. However, it was understood that appointments had been made to the finance and marketing posts and that the School would be issuing another newsletter shortly outlining progress to date and future plans.

 

117/17 PROJECT REPORTS

(a)Beach Regeneration

It was noted that a toddler swing and one of the zip wires were out of commission pending repair. CBC had been asked to order the necessary parts to repair the self-closing mechanism on the gate. It was also noted that Harry Strong had withdrawn from the inspection rota.

 

(b) Traffic Calming/Speedwatch

Cllr Mellor reported that the Speedwatch rota was now in place until October. Contractors’ vans were still regularly travelling through the village and abusive behaviour by a driver had been noted. It was agreed that this would be reported directly to senior staff at Shepley Engineering.

It was also noted that some parking enforcement had taken place recently around the Finkle St/Cross Hill area.

 

(c) Community Events

Plans for the proposed Open Evening were discussed and a provisional date of 2 October was agreed subject to the availability of the Village Hall. As well as an opportunity to meet the Parish Council and discuss local issues, there would be an exhibition of old maps of the village and an opportunity to learn more about the history of St Bees.

 

(d ) Tree Planting

Some routine maintenance had been done on the trees at the Adams Ground. The lengthsman had been asked to strim the weeds in the next few days.

 

(e) St Bees – Whitehaven Cycle Track

Following discussions with West Cumbria Mining and in light of problems in securing consent of all landowners on the eastern route, attention was now focussed on a route on the western side of

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the valley. The exit point in St Bees was yet to be discussed with St Bees School as owners of the land.

 

(f) Priory Paddock Pond Project

A letter of thanks had been sent to the Friends of the Priory. It was planned to ask the lengthsman to carry out some work in the Paddock.

 

102/17 COASTAL ACCESS

The Chairman reported that he had attended a recent meeting of the Local Access Forum (a county-wide statutory consultation group). Cllr Kelly had also attended in his capacity of Clerk to the Governors of St Bees School. The proposed diversion of the Coastal Path had been discussed but it had been decided it would be more appropriate to hold a separate meeting between Natural England and local representatives on 19 July. The Chairman would provide a further report after that meeting.

 

103/17 REPORTS FROM REPRESENTATIVES TO OUTSIDE BODIES

Cllr Gilmour reported on the recent meeting of West Copeland Partnership. The costings for the lengthsman scheme 2017/19 had been confirmed and the Partnership’s contribution agreed. It had been decided not to implement the higher wage rate proposed at the previous meeting in view of issues of differentials with other workers.

Diane Ward of CBC had presented the Draft Egremont Masterplan. CBC’s Town Centre Regeneration Scheme, which offered financial assistance to local businesses wishing to improve their premises, had also been discussed.

.

104/17 PLANNING

(a) New Planning Applications

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

 

Ref 4/17/2204/0F1 Notification for prior approval for a proposed change of use of

agricultural building to two detached dwellings

Barn adj to Bell House Farm, Sandwith, Whitehaven

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

 

Ref 4/17/2206/TPO Cutting back 3 holly, 7 sycamore, 1 silver birch, 1 walnut and

1 conifer within the conservation area

The Retreat, High House Rd, St Bees

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

 

Ref 4/17/ 2193/0F1 Demolition of barn and construction of new dwelling – new plans

116A Main Street, St Bees

It was RESOLVED that there were no additional comments to add to the response sent after the last meeting.

 

Ref 4/17/2227/0F1 Forming of new farm access road

Low Walton Farm, St Bees

It was RESOLVED that there were no objections to this application, if the scheme was acceptable to Cumbria Highways.

(b) Applications approved

The following applications had been approved by CBC:-

 

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  • Ref 4/172141/0F1 Repositioning of static holiday caravans & tourer pitches to a small area and erection of new fence to western boundary – Seacote Park, St Bees
  • Ref 4/17/2165/TPO Work to trees in conservation area – Fern Bank, High House Rd

 

(c) Other Planning Matters

  • Following concerns reported at the last meeting, CBC’s Planning Enforcement Officer had visited the site of works at the rear of 4 Blythe Place and concluded that the work was unauthorised. He had met the property owner who was now aware that a planning application would be required if he wished to proceed with the work.
  • A planning application had been submitted to CBC to allow the former Highways depot at Orgill to be used as a base for a bus/coach company. The Clerk would check that this would not include its use as a park & ride facility.
  • The publication of CBC’s Site Allocations Plan had been delayed and it was believed new development sites would be included. The Clerk would make enquiries about the timescales for its publication and its implications for St Bees.

 

105/17 CLERK’S REPORT

The Clerk’s report was received. It was noted that it was now CBC’s policy not to replace worn out/damaged dog bins if there was a general litter bin close by, as litter bins could also be used for dog waste.

A reply had now been received from United Utilities about changes to the water supply. United Utilities confirmed that the use of water from boreholes would be necessary until the link to Thirlmere was completed in 2021. They were unable to say whether the mix of water would remain the same but stressed that the water was still classed as soft.

Two public drop-in sessions had been organised last week to address residents’ concerns.

The Clerk was asked to find out the mineral content of the current supply.

106/17 CBC ISSUES

Cllr Hill had provided information on a number of matters including the Town Centre Regeneration Scheme which provided grants for businesses in towns and villages to improve the appearance of their properties. CBC was also asking residents to identify empty properties in their neighbourhood. CBC had an Empty Homes Officer who was able to work with property owners to bring homes back into use.

 

107/17 REPORT FROM COMMUNITY POLICE OFFICER

The report for June had not yet been received but would be forwarded to councillors in due course.

 

108/17 CORRESPONDENCE

(a)CBC was arranging a series of briefings open to parish councillors to discuss the Local Government Boundary Commission review. Dates had been circulated by email. Noted.

(b)Two meetings had been arranged by CALC to discuss feedback on the consultation by National Grid last year but neither meeting would be in this area. A questionnaire had been provided for parishes to complete which WYG (the consultants who worked with CALC during the initial consultation) would use to provide feedback to National Grid. Noted.

(c)Information had been received on recent changes which allow businesses to change water supply companies. Noted

(d)CALC had forwarded details of a survey being undertaken to collect views of parish councillors on the rural agenda. Details were available from the Clerk.

(e)Details had been received of the last round of funding for help with drawing up neighbourhood plans. The deadline for applications would be 31/1/2018. Noted

 

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(f)Northern Gas Networks had circulated a stakeholder engagement survey. Details were available from the Clerk. Noted.

(g)An email had been received from the Open Spaces Society announcing the publication of the 2 nd edition of the book, ‘Restoring the Record’, aimed at councils and local groups who want to ensure that footpaths not currently registered would not be lost at the cut- off date in 2026. Noted.

(h)CBC had provided information on a £1m town centre regeneration scheme to improve business premises. It would be aimed at the main centres of Whitehaven, Egremont, Cleator Moor and Millom but a proportion of the money would be available for businesses in villages. Noted.

(i)Notes had been received of the Three Tier Meeting on 12 June. Noted.

(j)Correspondence had been received from another local resident on the subject of changes to water quality. Noted.

(k) A letter had been received from a local resident enclosing a copy of his submission to CCC on the planning application by West Cumbria Mining. He had expressed concern that the Parish Council might not have been aware of the exact location of the loading facility and sidings when deciding its response to the application in June. The Chairman had acknowledged the letter and pointed out that large scale maps had been available during the discussions at the last meeting.

(l)A letter had been received from Friends of the Lake District welcoming the granting of World Heritage Site status but warning of the possible damaging impact of more tourism and suggesting that an independent guardian should be appointed to protect the area. Noted.

 

ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

ACT Gazette summer 2017

North West Coastal Access Update June 2017

United Utilities Annual Water Resources Review 2016/17

Cumbria Wildlife Trust –e-Newsletter July 2017

Connecting Cumbria Newsletter

CALC Circular July/August


109 / 17 ITEMS FOR INFORMATION

(a) It was reported that horses were being ridden on the pavement on Beach Rd and horse droppings were causing a nuisance for pedestrians. It was agreed to put an item in the parish magazine asking horse riders to do their best to clear up after their horses.

(b) Two instances had been reported of tractors being driven recklessly on the bridleway at Green Lonning with no consideration for horse riders or other users of the lonning.

 

110/17 DATE & TIME OF NEXT MEETING

It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on MONDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2017 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall.