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

Monday 18 September 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, D Millington, H Monaghan, M Riley, C Robson, N Smart & the Clerk


In attendance: Mr J Hallows, Headmaster, St Bees School

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

Also present: 1 member of the public


There were no apologies for absence.



Cllr Kelly declared an interest as Clerk to the Trustees of St Bees School.


No issues were raised.


It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 17 July be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.



The Chairman welcomed Jeremy Hallows, the newly appointed Headmaster of St Bees School, and invited him to talk about progress towards the reopening of the School in Sept 2018.


Mr Hallows explained that he had been appointed in April and had now taken up the post full time. A Director of Finance and a Director of Marketing had also been appointed who both brought specialist skills and local knowledge to their roles. The focus now was on making the buildings ready for pupils and obtaining registration with the Dept for Education. The buildings had been maintained since the School closed but surveys were being carried out to establish what further work was necessary to bring the facilities to the required standard.


Mr Hallows believed that there was a demand for independent education in this area and St Bees had much potential, both in terms of its setting and its place in the local community. The reopening of the School would bring employment opportunities and make a valuable contribution to the local economy. He was working to establish partnerships with local employers as this could be mutually beneficial, with the reopening of the School helping businesses to attract senior staff to the area.


Parish Councillors welcomed the opportunity to meet Mr Hallows and stressed the council’s willingness to offer help and support. Councillors had a great deal of local knowledge and experience of local issues which could be of use to the School.


In answer to questions, Mr Hallows stated that it was hoped to recruit approximately 105 pupils for Sept 2018 in years 7, 9 and 12. Expressions of interest had already been received from parents of prospective pupils and it was expected that numbers would increase next spring. Plans were still being finalised but boarding facilities were likely to be concentrated initially in School House with Grindal being brought back into service later. Decisions would then be made about the best use of Lonsdale Terrace. The registration process could take up to six months but Mr Hallows was confident that this would not affect the timescale for the reopening of the School.


In conclusion Mr Hallows said that the reopening of the School represented a unique challenge and he looked forward to maintaining contact with the Parish Council as plans progressed in the coming months.

The Chairman thanked Mr Hallows for coming to speak to the council. Mr Hallows then left the meeting.



(a)Road Markings on Outrigg

Cllr Whiteside explained that contractors had returned to paint the markings on the correct side of the road but unfortunately the markings were still not in the position agreed. Highways were aware of the issue and would rectify the problem shortly.


(b) Other Traffic Issues

It was noted that there had been problems with school transport at the start of term. On the first day the bus had failed to collect children from the bus stop by Fairladies. Parents had also expressed concern about a double decker bus using Outrigg. Following Cllr Whiteside’s intervention the route had been changed but residents of Fairladies had reported that in the morning the bus was parking in such a way that it prevented vehicles from leaving Fairladies. The bus often arrived early and waited in the turning circle for up to 10 minutes. Residents were resorting to driving the wrong way around the roundabout in frustration. Cllr Whiteside agreed to speak to the appropriate officers at CCC to ask that discussions take place with the bus company to find a solution to the problem.


Residents of Fleatham Croft had reported that parked vehicles were obstructing visibility for cars trying to pull out into High House Road. There were double yellow lines on the minor road but not on High House Rd and vehicles were parking right up to the junction.

It was agreed to seek the advice of Highways on this matter.


A request had been received for new signs warning of horses in the Rottington area. It was agreed to seek further information on the proposed locations before making a request to Highways.


(c) Other Highways Issues

It was reported that the pavement opposite Abbey House was subsiding where the sides of a manhole appeared to be collapsing. This was a recurrent problem and Highways staff had carried out several repairs but each time the repair provided only a temporary solution. Cllr Whiteside agreed to take the matter up with Highways.


Cllr Whiteside explained that CCC was reviewing priorities for its highways budget. He asked that any issues for inclusion in the plan should be passed to him as soon as possible. It was noted that the B5345 by Abbey Corner was in need of repair where pot-holes were developing. Water was flowing down from Byersteads Rd as the gulleys were completely covered, causing erosion of the road surface.


(d) Sea Mill Bridge

CCC officers had indicated that work on the new bridge was likely to begin later this autumn. CCC was aware of the Parish Council’s wish to name the bridge after Henry Wormstrup, the former County Councillor, but it was not their policy to allow plaques etc to be fixed to bridges. It was agreed to investigate the possibility of placing an engraved piece of sandstone on the parish council’s land near the bridge.

Cllr Whiteside then left the meeting





(a) Financial Report

The summary of accounts at 31 August was received together with the notes of the FRAG meeting which had taken place on 14 September (copies attached to the minutes). The income for the year was higher than anticipated and some changes were proposed to the expenditure budget.

It was RESOLVED to approve the changes to the budget as recommended in the FRAG report.


(b) External Audit

It was noted that BDO LLP had completed the external audit of the accounts for 2016/17 and had given an unqualified opinion with no matters drawn to the council’s attention.


(c) Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Chq 002329 CALC– course fee for Common Land course Total £75.00
  • Chq 002330 Information Commissioner – data protection registration renewal £35.00
  • Chq 002331 Water Plus Ltd – allotment water supply June-Sept £19.02
  • Chq 002332 J Donaldson – salary (net) Sept- £635.28
  • Chq 002333 J Donaldson – reimbursement for postage Total £11.58
  • Chq 002334 Fenwick Electrical Ltd– power supply to new VIB shed - £70.00
  • Chq 002335 Npower- toilets electricity May- Aug £63.04 + £3.15 VAT Total £66.19
  • Chq 002336 HMRC – PAYE qtr 2 - £268.55
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service September £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (to be paid by SO)

Payments since last meeting to report:

  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service August £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total

£700.00 (SO)

  • Chq 002319 Egremont Town Council – contribution to lengthsman scheme - £1199.00
  • Chq 002320 Blomfields Ltd – planting up troughs/baskets £460.00 + £92.00 VAT Total £552.00
  • Chq 002321 St Bees PCC – donation to NCH appeal £700.00
  • Chq 002322 Harrisons Packaging Ltd – poop scoop bags £171.99 + £34.40 VAT Total £206.39
  • Chq 002323 J Donaldson – salary Aug £635.48
  • Answer4 You -answering service Aug £8.80 + £1.76 VAT Total £10.56 (paid by direct debit 18/8/17)
  • Chq 002324 YNH Ltd – domain name renewal £22.00
  • Chq 002325 D Robinson – reimb for plants (VIB) £45.78 + £9.16 VAT Total £54.94
  • Chq 002326 A Todd – reimb for purchase of shed £124.99 + £25.00 VAT Total £149.99
  • Chq 002327 BDO LLP – audit fee £300.00 + £60.00 Total 360.00
  • Chq 002328 Playsafety Ltd – RoSPA inspections £178.50 + £35.70 Total 214.20
  • Answer4 You – answering service Sept £8.80 +£1.76 VAT Total £10.56 (due to be paid by direct debit on 18/09/17)



Cllr Kelly explained the respective roles of the Trustee Board and the management company which would be responsible for the operation and management of the School. The Trustees would be responsible for ensuring that the necessary finance was in place as well as holding to account those

operating the School. Responsibility for managing land and other assets would lie with the Trustees.


Cllr Kelly reiterated the Trustees’ commitment to being open and transparent in dealing with any land sales or developments. The Trustees would continue to provide regular reports to the Parish Council and the Headmaster and his staff would keep the council informed of matters related to the educational aspects of the School.



(a)Beach Regeneration

The RoSPA inspection of both the beach and Outrigg play areas had taken place in August and no high risk issues had been identified. At the beach play area some work was recommended on the ground surfaces which had become worn. CBC had been asked to quote for remedial work.

The repairs to the gate to the toddler area had been completed. Over the summer the spring on the donkey had snapped but Wicksteed had agreed to replace it free of charge as it was only just outside its guarantee period. The basket swing had been taken out of service temporarily as one of the ropes had become frayed. A quote for new ropes was awaited.

It was noted that people were still bringing dogs into the toddler area despite the signs prohibiting dogs from the play area.

It was RESOLVED to purchase some small signs to be mounted on the gates of the toddler area.


(b) Traffic Calming/Speedwatch

Cllr Millington reported that he had written to Shepley Engineering about the number of their vans travelling through the village. A similar letter would be sent to other contractors whose vehicles were regularly seen travelling through St Bees.

A reply had been received from Dr Weston of Sellafield Ltd answering some of the points arising from the parish council meeting attended by Howard Rooms and Keith Gibson. It was noted that it was not Sellafield’s policy to move to a situation where no vehicles were allowed onto the Sellafield site. The Chairman would raise this subject at the next parish forum. In the meantime the Speedwatch team would continue to monitor numbers of contractor vans using the B5345 and the council would keep Dr Weston informed of the response to the letters to contractors.


It was reported that drivers of large agricultural vehicles were regularly seen driving through the village whilst using mobile phones. The police had indicated that action could be considered if a photograph and statements from two independent witnesses were received.


Cllr Mellor reported that Speedwatch sessions would continue in October. It was suggested that the speed gun could be sent for recalibration in November.

It was RESOLVED to arrange recalibration of the speed gun in November at a cost of £223 + VAT


(c) Community Events

  • Plans for the Open Evening on 2 October were discussed. 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. The exhibition would be open from 6pm with the Open Evening from 7 -8.30pm. Although aimed particularly at those relatively new to the parish, all would be welcome.
  • Preliminary plans were discussed for the Christmas event. The RNLI carol concert would be taking place on Tues 5 December and the Santa Parade and switching on of the tree lights would take place earlier that evening. Councillors thanked Mrs James for her offer of assistance in organising the event and Cllr Bettinson agreed to review the risk assessment.

It was RESOLVED to place an order for the Christmas tree and to purchase new lights for the tree.

It was further RESOLVED to make a donation of £100 to the RNLI to cover the cost of refreshments at the carol concert.



(d ) Tree Planting

An order would be placed in the next few weeks for bare-rooted trees to complete the final stage of the project at the Adams Ground.

A new tree had been planted in the School grounds to replace the tree planted in memory of Bill Barker.


(e) St Bees – Whitehaven Cycle Track

Discussions had taken place with officers at CCC about how West Cumbria Mining’s plans might assist with the cycle track project. It was noted that the planning application was now expected to be considered by the County Council in early November.


(f) Priory Paddock Pond Project

Cllr Bettinson reported that some of the invasive species had been cleared from the pond and surrounding area. He would be meeting the lengthsman shortly to discuss possible help with the next stage of the project.



Following public pressure United Utilities had announced that they would be changing the blend of water and would reduce the proportion taken from boreholes. However, this would require work which would not be done until Sept and more water might need to be drawn from boreholes during periods of very dry weather.



United Utilities were proposing to carry out work to improve the resilience of the water supply. The work would involve installation of a pressure management valve below ground at Rottington Common. Mitchells Land Agency had been asked to represent the parish council’s interests as guardians of the Common and all costs would be met by United Utilities.



CBC was consulting on plans to create Public Spaces Protection Orders to replace the existing dog control orders and orders banning alcohol in some public areas. It was noted that it was not proposed to make any significant changes in the coverage of the orders and this was essentially an administrative change.



(a) New Planning Applications

(i) The Planning Advisory Group reported on the following application received for comment:


Ref 4/17/2266/0F1 Replace existing balconies, balustrades & decking with new glass, steel,

Upvc balustrades, balconies & decking

Seacote Hotel, St Bees

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


(ii) It was noted that a number of further documents had been submitted by West Cumbria Mining in support of their planning application. All the documents could be found on the CCC web-site. The application was expected to be considered in early November and CCC had asked for any further comments by 11 October. However, it was likely that they would accept comments after that date, if more time was required to study the documents.




(b) Applications approved/rejected:

It had not been possible to obtain details of decisions made by CBC due to the current problems with the IT system at CBC.


(c)CCC Design Guide

It was noted that CCC had produced a draft Design Guide for new commercial and residential developments.


(d) Other Planning Matters

  • CBC had reported that no planning application had yet been received for work to the rear of The Barn, 4 Blythe Place. It was noted that work was now underway at the front of the property to erect a new garage for which planning approval had been given last year. However, some concerns were expressed about whether the work was in line with the approved plans.

It was RESOLVED to ask CBC to confirm whether the work taking place was in line with the plans approved in 2016.

  • A letter had been received from GP Planning explaining their intention to seek a further extension of time for the operation of the Household Recycling Centre at Yeathouse, Frizington. The plans to create a new site at Lillyhall had not yet come to fruition and the current licence at Frizington was due to end in March 2018.

It was agreed that the site at Frizington was an essential local amenity and needed to be retained to avoid fly tipping becoming more prevalent.



The Clerk’s report was received. It was noted that there had been a complaint that cars were parking on the pavement on Firth Drive/Priory Rd, preventing pedestrians with prams from getting past without walking into the road. The police had been asked to monitor the situation.



Cllr Hill had provided information on a number of issues which had been circulated to councillors. He had also provided a written report for the meeting explaining the effects of the recent cyber attack and informing the parish council of the issue of the Local Plan 2017-2037.

A request had been received from a local resident for a dog waste bin to be installed on Nethertown Rd which was a popular route for dog walkers. The current policy of CBC was not to install new dog waste bins if there was a general litter bin within reasonable distance. However, there was no litter bin of any sort on Nethertown Rd.

It was RESOLVED to ask CBC to consider installing a bin on Nethertown Rd.



The report of logs for August had been circulated. Cllr Gilmour drew attention to the Police & Crime Commissioner’s survey seeking comments on policing matters and encouraged others to consider using this channel of communication as there was no longer regular police presence at parish council meetings.



(a)A copy had been received of the Colourful Coast response to the West Cumbria Mining planning application. Noted.

(b)The Police & Crime Commissioner had organised a Public Consultation Survey to seek views on topics of concern to local people. Details had been circulated by email.

(c)Details had been received from Age UK of a project to raise awareness of elder abuse, including financial abuse and to promote healthy drinking habits. Noted.


(d)Correspondence had been received about the threat of closure of Lowes Court Gallery in Egremont. Local people were being invited to sign up as Friends of Lowes Court for a small subscription to save the gallery from closure. Details had been posted on the noticeboards.

(e)Agenda and minutes had been received for the Three Tier Meeting in Millom on 14 Sept. Noted.

(f)West Cumbria Mining had provided details of a planned geophysical survey on St Bees Head but this has now been postponed until 2018. Noted.

(g)CALC had circulated some preliminary information on changes to data protection legislation due to come into force next year. Noted.

(h)The Inspector’s report on the Cumbria Minerals & Waste Local Plan had been published and the County Council had now formally adopted the Plan. Noted.

(i)CBC had published an Empty Homes Guide available on the CBC web-site. Noted

(j)CBC had provided posters giving advice on two beach related issues - BBQs and dealing with seagulls. Noted.

(k)CBC had provided details of the launch of its Facebook page. Noted.

(l)Details had been received of a conference on Sustainable Tourism and the Public Value of Nature to be held at Westlakes Science Park on Friday 29 September. Noted.

(m)Nu-Gen had issued an invitation to parishes to send a representative to a Members’ Briefing on 21 Sept 5.30 – 7.30pm at Whitehaven Golf Course. Noted.

(n) The CALC AGM would take place on Saturday 18 November at Carlisle Racecourse. The guest speaker would be Peter McCall, Cumbria Police & Crime Commissioner. Noted

(o)Details had been received of a series of public meetings being organised by the Elected Mayor. Cllr Gilmour would attend the meeting on 26 September.

(p) St Bees PCC had confirmed that Phase 1 of the appeal to repair NCH has reached its target and further fundraising would take place to meet the costs of internal redecoration. Noted.

(q)Arthur Millie had provided a copy of his email sent to the local MP, Transport Secretary and others about improvements required to the A595. Noted



Cumbria Wildlife Trust –e-Newsletter August & Sept 2017

Connecting Cumbria Newsletter

OSS Ezine Aug 17

North West Coastal Access Update July & August 2017

Copeland Matters

LDNPA Business Plan April 2017 – March 2020

Copeland Coastal Network Newsletter

CALC Circular Sept 17



(a)It was noted that a fence had been put up on the playing field at the Village School. Residents living nearby had asked whether there was a right of way over the field. The Chairman confirmed that there was no right of way recorded on the Definitive Map. Cllr Kennedy explained that the fence around the Pre-school and reception areas was necessary to meet Ofsted’s safeguarding requirements.

(b) The next meeting of the Arts Society would be on 27 Sept at 8pm in the Management Centre and the subject would be the Bayeux tapestry.

(c) A talk on mining history was due to take place at the Management Centre on 19 Sept but there was some uncertainty about whether the speaker, Mark Kirkbride, would be able to attend due to illness. If he was unable to attend, Chris Robson would give a talk on St Bees School & the Great Mining Scandal.

(d) It was noted that the grassed area between the path and the fence near the lifeboat station was in need of cutting. The Clerk would follow this up.


(e) The Village Hall would be hosting a wine tasting evening on Friday 29 September. It was also planned to have a showing of a children’s film on Sat 7 October.



It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on MONDAY 16 OCTOBER 2017 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall.