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Minutes for September 2011

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

Monday 19 September 2011 at 7.45pm in the Village Hall

PRESENT: Cllrs S Moules (in the Chair), N Bettinson, G Gilmour, J Haile, B Hewetson, I Hill,

K James, T Kelly, F Kennedy, D Millington, D Sim, H Strong and the Clerk


Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Davidson and Robson.


Cllrs Bettinson, Sim and Strong declared an interest in agenda item 21 as trustees of the Pagan Trust which owns the Village Hall.


No items were raised.


It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 18 July be accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.


(a) Possible obstruction – Seamill car park – The Clerk had spoken to the property owners following the last meeting. The ownership of the land remained unclear. It was agreed that further discussions take place with the owners of the property and the matter be adjourned to the next meeting.

(b) Bega Statue Repair – The estimate for repair of the damage was £250 with a further £150 to make good the general wear and tear. As the cost of repairing the damage exceeded the excess on the insurance a claim had been made and approved and the bill had been submitted for re-imbursement.

(c) Broadband Project – The Chairman reported on the recent project meeting. The tendering exercise for the infrastructure was now almost complete but it was not yet clear how much of the work could be covered by the funding available.

(d) Other items from the action list:-

  • Allotments – One tenant had given up his plot and the plot had been offered to the tenant whose allotment had been repeatedly affected by flooding from the blocked drain.


CBC had agreed to the specification and wording of the sign to be erected at the common. It would now be necessary to make a formal application to have the condition discharged.

It was RESOLVED to order the sign at a cost of £105 + VAT and to submit the application to CBC with the appropriate fee.


(a) Fireworks Event

This would take place on Monday 7 November at the public school. Letters would be going out shortly to parents of the village school children and posters would be on the notice boards. Cllrs Millington, Kelly, Kennedy, James, Hewetson and Gilmour agreed to act as marshals.

(b) Santa’s Sleigh

Date to be arranged.

(c) Beach Play area

The Chairman had recently met representatives from CBC to discuss a possible joint project. A number of funding sources had been identified. The Chairman would contact Rachel Osborn at CBC about the possibility of funding from the coastal initiative. It was hoped that the project


would also incorporate other improvements at the beach including landscaping and screening of the recycling bins. Local children were to be asked for their ideas on what play equipment should be included. Once outline plans and costings were available, the Beach & Events Group could take the project forward.

(d) Seamill car park

An estimate of £300 had been obtained for levelling the surface of the car park and additional materials could be supplied, if necessary, at a small additional cost. It was suggested that the millstone could be relocated whilst the contractor was on site.

It was RESOLVED to proceed with the work including the relocation of the millstone at a cost not exceeding £450.

(e) Other projects

Cllr Hill explained that CBC was intending to produce a leaflet about St Bees. Cllr Sim agreed to provide the text.


Cllr Kelly presented a report from the Planning Advisory Group which had been asked to look at the possibility of producing a design statement for the village. He had been involved in producing a plan of this type in another area and he explained the process and the importance of working with the local planning authority. Under the existing planning system such plans had little status but the legislation now before parliament would place much greater emphasis on neighbourhood planning. Cllr Sim reminded councillors that a similar plan had been produced in the 1970s and this could be used as a starting point for developing an updated plan.

It was RESOLVED to proceed with a design plan for the parish and to seek a meeting with CBC officers with a view to working together on the project.


It was RESOLVED to bring forward this item on the agenda.

Cllr Hill gave an update on the Localism Bill which was expected to receive the royal assent before Christmas. The final details were still unclear but major changes were proposed to the planning system and the system of standards regulation.


The Chairman reported a questionnaire had been devised and would go out with the next edition of the parish magazine. Completed questionnaires could be returned via the Village School, the library or at 31 Main Street. It was suggested that a venue in the beach area would also be useful and the Chairman agreed to check whether there was time to make an amendment to the wording before the questionnaire was printed.


The minutes of the meeting on 18 August were received, together with suggested changes to the terms of reference. Cllr Millington explained the options which were being considered for the Outrigg and Fairladies areas. The committee’s final recommendations with costings would be brought to the next meeting.

It was RESOLVED that the terms of reference be amended with one change. A copy of the revised terms is attached to the minutes.


(a) Power of well-being

A list of possible dates had been circulated. It seemed unlikely that any one date would be convenient for all councillors.

It was RESOLVED that a training session be organised to suit as many councillors as possible and a second session be organised for those unable to attend.


(b) Code of conduct

It was noted that CBC had a training DVD which was available on loan, covering the main aspects of the code. It was agreed that where a councillor had a query relating to a matter covered by an advisory group or committee the query should be referred to the appropriate group in the first instance. Where it was considered necessary to visit private property, permission would be sought from the property/land owner.

(c) CALC Training Calendar

The list of forthcoming courses was available on the CALC website or from the Clerk. It was noted that training sessions on neighbourhood planning would be organised once the final details were known.

It was RESOLVED that course fees of £29.00 be approved for the course for new chairmen to be held on 13 October.


Cllr Hill reported on the last meeting of the West Copeland group. One proposal which was being considered was the employment of a parish lengthsman.


PCSO Bradley had submitted a written report of logs during August. There had been a total of 23 calls for service including 3 concerning parking outside the Adams Recreation Ground. Cones were to be put out on match days and enforcement action would be taken if the problem persisted.

It was RESOLVED that a police representative be invited to the next Traffic Calming Committee meeting.


There were no items requiring the council’s attention.


It was noted that the yellow markings outside the village school had still not been repainted and no action had been taken on the report of a street light leaning at an angle on Pow Beck bridge. The Clerk would contact Cumbria Highways to check the position.


(a) New applications

The Planning Advisory Group reported on the following applications which had been received for comment since the last meeting:-

  • Ref 4/11/2380/0F1 Amendment to approved scheme 4/06/2540 to include single storey

extension to eastern gable - Unit 7, Fleatham Farm, St Bees

It was RESOLVED that there were no objections to this application

  • Ref 4/11/2381/0F1 Conversion of 4 bed-sits to 2 dwelling houses

Bega Flats, 119-120 Street, St Bees

In view of the time-scale for comments, preliminary objections had been submitted on the

grounds that the application would result in a loss of single person accommodation for

elderly people in the village and that no evidence had been produced to show that there was

no demand for such properties. Two letters of objection from local residents had been


It was RESOLVED that the objection be ratified and that an urgent meeting be sought with

Mitre Housing Association to discuss the proposal.


  • Ref 4/11/2393/0F1 4 bedroomed dwelling – revised scheme for 4/10/2384/0F1

Plot 3, Wyndhowe, Seamill Lane, St Bees

It was noted that this application related to the site of the former barn adjacent to


It was RESOLVED to object to the proposed development on the grounds that the drainage

system was inadequate to serve further properties.

  • Ref 4/11/2404/0F1 Construction of new dormer on front & rear elevations to convert

loft to habitable space - 3 Abbots Way, St Bees

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

  • Ref 4/11/2437/0F1 Change of use from domestic dwelling to commercial (hair & beauty

salon) – Flat 3A Tomlin House, Beach Road, St Bees

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

(b) Applications approved/refused:-

The following decisions by CBC were noted:

  • Reserved matters application for one dwelling- Lansmere, Sea View, St Bees – APPROVED
  • Conversion of main building to 5 flats & rebuild rear single storey building to form 3 storey building containing 6 flats, Eaglesfield, Beach Road – APPROVED with conditions
  • Erection of a dwelling, Plot 3, Wyndhowe, Seamill Lane – REFUSED
  • Change of use from residential on part of ground floor to pre-prep school, Abbots Court, Abbey Rd – APPROVED
  • Conversion of part of Post Office to fish and chip shop, Post Office, Main St, St Bees - REFUSED

(c) Appeal – Erection of 2 wind turbines, Fairladies Farm

Although formal notification had not yet been received, it was reported that the Planning Inspectorate had upheld the appeal against the decision by CBC to refuse permission for two Gaia wind turbines.

154/11 FINANCE

(a) Finance & Risk Advisory Group

The notes of the meeting on 15 September were received, together with proposed changes to the terms of reference. Cllr Strong gave a report on the matters considered by the group:

  • Qtr 1 review - the income and expenditure figures had been reviewed and variances from the budget analysed. There were no variances which gave cause for concern and it seemed likely that income this year would exceed the budget figure.
  • Reserves – the group had reviewed the council’s reserves and Cllr Strong presented a breakdown of reserves for the last 5 years. It was noted that there had been a reduction in the general reserve. Specific earmarked reserves were held for Village in Bloom and major asset repair/replacement.
  • Budget 2012/13 – the group would shortly be working on a draft budget. Proposals for inclusion in the budget were required as soon as possible and the Clerk would circulate a form for completion. A draft budget would be available for discussion at the next meeting with the final budget being presented for approval in November.
  • External audit 2010/11 – the audit report had now been received and this gave an unqualified opinion. No matters requiring action had been drawn to the council’s attention.

It was RESOLVED that the proposed changes to the terms of reference be approved.


(b) Payments to be approved

It was RESOLVED that the following accounts be approved for payment:-

  • Cheque no 001641 Playsafety LtdAnnual playground safety check £66.00 + VAT Total £79.20
  • Cheque no 001642 CBC – Playground Inspections September £39.91 +VAT
  • Total £47.89
  • Cheque no 001643 CALC - course fee £29.00
  • Cheque no 001644 The Information CommissionerData Protection renewal £35.00
  • Cheque no 001645 Greenlands Ground Maintenance – grasscutting contract 2 nd qtr £637.00
  • Cheque no 001646 United Utilities– allotment water charge £22.35
  • Cheque no 001647 St Bees Priory – hire of NCH for traffic calming meeting £12.00
  • Cheque no 001648 J Donaldson – Clerk salary Sept 2011 £504.30 + postage £5.90 Total £510.20
  • Cheque no 001649 BDO LLP – external audit fee £285.00+ VAT Total £342.00
  • Cheque no 001650 NSALG – subscription renewal £20.00

Payments to report since last meeting:-

  • Cheque no 001636 CBC – playground inspection Aug £39.91 + VAT Total £47.89 (payment due before next meeting)
  • Cheque no 001637 Vincent Brown – repair to statue £400.00 (payment due before next meeting)
  • Cheque no 001638 D Robinson – reimbursement for purchase of bulbs £27.66 + VAT

Total £33.19 (authorised by Village in Bloom Committee)

  • Cheque no 001639 J Donaldson – Clerk salary August £504.30
  • Cheque no 001640 YNH Ltd – domain name renewal £17.00 + VAT Total £20.40 (payment required before next meeting)


(a) The report on the annual playground safety inspection had been received from ROSPA. No significant issues were raised. Clerk would forward a copy to CBC maintenance team for their information.

(b) A letter had been received from Network Rail outlining plans to erect a 15m communication mast & equipment cabin alongside the line in St Bees as part of a national programme to improve communications between trains and signallers. Noted.

(c) A letter had been received from Cumbria Police Authority explaining that the quarterly Police Community Liaison meetings were to be discontinued.

(d) A letter had been received from CCC about plans to modernise the system for registering births, marriages and deaths in Cumbria. Noted.

(e) Information had been received from CALC about a series of meetings they were organising about MRWS. There would be a briefing about the forthcoming major consultation process for all Copeland parishes on Tuesday 4 th October at 7.00pm in Drigg Village Hall. Cllr Gilmour agreed to attend on behalf of the council. There would then be a CALC conference for all Cumbria parishes on Sat 5 November at Hunday Manor. Cllr Moules agreed to attend.

(f) A NALC Legal Briefing had been received on the impact of the new Bribery Act for parish councils.

(g) Information had been received from CALC on proposals to allow more business rates to be retained by councils. Noted.

(h) A summary of the Draft National Planning Policy Framework had been received from CALC. Noted.


(i) Preliminary information had been received about the CALC AGM to take place on Sat 12 November at 10.30am in Kendal. Noted.

(j) Information had been received from Sellafield Ltd about the Environment Agency’s plans for trials of offshore monitoring of seabed sediments. Noted.

(k) A consultation document had been received from CCC about adult day services. Noted.

(l) Information had been received from CCC about plans to centralise fire control room facilities in Warrington. A letter had also been received from Cumbria Control Room staff expressing their concerns about the proposals. Noted.

(m) An email had been received from a company seeking villages interested in piloting a bio-mass heating scheme. It was RESOLVED that no action be taken.

(n) Information had been received from CALC about the arrangements for external audit following the abolition of the Audit Commission. Noted.

(o) An invitation had been received to attend a workshop organised by Cumbria LINk, CVS, NHS Cumbria and local GPs to develop ways of communicating and making decisions together on Thurs 22 Sept at the Harbour Youth Project, Whitehaven 10.30am – 3.30pm Noted.


  • Brochure outlining the proposed partnership between Newcastle Hospitals and the Cumbria Partnership which is bidding to run services at the Cumberland Infirmary and WCH.
  • MRWS e-bulletin
  • Dispatches (CBC Newsletter) August 2011
  • Neighbourhood Forum Update
  • CALC Circular Sept 2011
  • FLAG Newsletter August 2011
  • Cumbrian Wildlife Sept 2011
  • Fieldwork Summer 2011
  • Countryside Voice Summer 2011


(a) Cllr Hill reported on a recent meeting which had taken place about the future of services at WCH. Changes in the pathology services were in line with national recommendations and were not a cause for concern.

(b) Cllr Kennedy announced the results of the allotment competition which had been judged by Peter Graham. The winner of the Best Plot was Mrs K James and the prize for Most Improved Plot went to Mr H Strong. Cllr Kennedy presented the winners with their prizes.


It was RESOLVED that meetings continue to be held in the Village Hall and that the next meeting be held on Monday 17 October 2011 at 7.35pm.