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Copeland Cutbacks

As highlighted in the December St Bees News, Copeland Borough Council has been forced to make large cutbacks on discretionary spending, some of which will have an effect on St Bees. The parish council has been discussing these with CBC and budgetary plans have been made to prevent a loss of service.

The key issues are at the beach and the station car park. As from the 1st April, CBC will no longer maintain the toilets at the Seacote beach, and CBC grass cutting of the foreshore will be reduced to twice a year. The loss of toilets would be a major blow, both for visitors and village users of the beach. Likewise the grass would soon become very untidy and the whole area would start to run downhill. To keep the toilets open and maintain the grassed foreshore, the parish council is negotiating a Community Asset Transfer with CBC. This would mean we would take over running and maintaining the toilets, and extend our existing grass cutting contract to keep the grass tidy.

All this comes at a price, and it is going to cost an estimated £11,000 extra to protect these services. For this reason the parish component of the council tax will have to increase. However, by making savings elsewhere and cutting our projects budget we will be able to limit the increase to £8,000. This will result in an annual increase of £11.92 on a “Band D” property's council tax, or about 23p a week.

CBC may also terminate their lease on the station car park. This has been a great help in providing much needed off-street car parking, and for some years we have paid an annual fee to waive the parking fees that CBC used to charge. We hope to continue offering the car park for free use, but it will require the Parish Council taking responsibility for running it.
Therefore this is a time of great change as the parish council is being obliged to take responsibility for activities we have not undertaken before, and we are contemplating some of the biggest changes to our budget and responsibilities for 50 years.
We will keep you updated on developments on how we will be managing these services in the future via the St Bees News, the council minutes and the St Bees web site.

We always welcome feedback from the public on how we can best manage these cutbacks and make other improvement s in the village. Just contact the clerk or any of the councillors.


Doug Sim, Chairman, St Bees Parish Council