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

Monday 18 January 2016 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall


PRESENT: Cllrs D Sim (in the Chair), P Argyle, N Bettinson, M Davies, G Gilmour, T Kelly,

F Kennedy, J Mellor, D Millington, M Riley, C Robson, N Smart, H Strong and the Clerk


In attendance: Cllr I Hill, Ward Councillor, Copeland Borough Council

Cllr H Wormstrup, County Councillor Egremont North/St Bees


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr J Haile.



No declarations of interest were received.



There were no issues raised.



It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 21 December 2015 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.



Cllr Hill reported on current developments at West Cumberland Hospital. The move to the new building had been achieved with only a few minor teething problems. The increased number of single rooms was proving popular with patients. He also explained his remit in respect of public health matters including issues such as childhood obesity and alcohol-related illness.

Many CBC staff had moved to new accommodation in Whitehaven Market Hall after New Year and customer services would now be based there.

In answer to questions, Cllr Hill explained that the review of surplus CBC land was still taking place but he would endeavour to find out when this was likely to be completed.

Cllr Hill then left the meeting.



It was noted that CCCwouldbe carrying out work to install a new ramp and repair the abutments on the concrete bridge which gives access to the beach from the Seamill car park. The work was scheduled to take place from 7 March and the footpath would be closed whilst the work was taking place. Some work would also be done on the footpath by Stoney Croft House as part of the Coastal Access scheme.



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

(a) Congestion

It was reported that emails had been received from two residents about congestion in the Main Street area, particularly in the afternoon when traffic was leaving Sellafield. There had been a significant problem just a few days earlier when a car had become stuck on the raised kerb. This had prevented the school bus from travelling through the village and children had been dropped at the Fairladies bus stop. There was concern that an emergency vehicle would have been unable to get through the village.

Cllr Kennedy reported that the Governors of the Village School were very concerned about the safety of children and were considering school crossing patrols at both entrances. The Governors would be contacting the parish council shortly to gain its support.



It was RESOLVED that:-

  • a letter of thanks be sent to the local resident who had taken action to prevent more traffic entering the village during the recent incident and
  • a letter be sent to CCC Traffic Engineer asking him to look particularly at congestion during the afternoons as part of his review as well as the other issues identified at the last meeting of the Traffic Calming Committee ( parking around the school entrance on Outrigg, extension of double yellow lines around the junctions of Seacroft Drive and Nethertown Rd).


(b) Sellafield Traffic Issues

A reply had been received from George Beveridge of Sellafield Ltd to the letter sent following the last meeting of the Traffic Calming Committee. The reply confirmed that an overarching plan which would include travel and transport issues was being prepared and would be shared with local councils when it was completed at the end of the financial year. Mr Beveridge did not support the suggestion of parking charges or restrictions on contractors’ vehicles but did confirm that Sellafield Ltd was actively working with other companies and statutory authorities on traffic issues.

It was agreed that the underlying issue was the inadequacy of the A595 to deal with such traffic volumes and that this was the reason why drivers sought alternative routes. The division of responsibility for strategic transport planning was unclear between the County Council and Local Enterprise Partnership but the County Council was the Highway Authority.

It was RESOLVED that:-

  • a reply be sent to Mr Beveridge thanking him for his response and welcoming his commitment to share the plan with the parish council by the end of the financial year and
  • a letter be sent to the Leader of the County Council outlining the issues and seeking clarification of responsibilities.

Cllr Wormstrup then left the meeting.



(a) Financial Report

A summary of income and expenditure at 31 December was received and noted. It was noted that invoices for the repairs to the equipment and safety surfacing at the Outrigg play area had still not been received. The Finance & Risk Advisory Group would be meeting on 27 January and would provide a full report at the next meeting.


A copy of the approved budget for 2016/17 had been circulated to all councillors and the precept had been notified to CBC. Although the consultation on the CBC budget had now ended, it was suggested that a response should be sent pointing out the impact of changes in CBC services on parish councils and asking that some relief should be considered for parish councils which had taken on significant additional responsibilities in recent years.

It was RESOLVED that a response be sent in the above terms.


(b) Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Chq no 0021 Network Rail–annual rent for Station car park £400.00 + VAT Total £480.00
  • Chq no 0021 CBC – bulbs £40.00 + £8.00 VAT Total £48.00
  • Chq no 0021 J Donaldson – reimbursement for anti-virus software £ + £ VAT & contribution to broadband costs £50.00 Total £99.99
  • Chq no 0021 J Donaldson – salary (net) Jan 2016- £614.55
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service Jan £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (to be paid by SO)


Payments since last meeting to report

  • Chq no 002163 Post Office Ltd (for HMRC) – PAYE Qtr 3 £284.35
  • Chq no 002164 United Utilities – allotment water charge Total £10.15




  • Answer 4 You – answering service £8.80 + £1.76 VAT Total £10.56 ( paid by direct debit on 18/01/16)



It was noted that Cllr Kelly had a non-pecuniary interest in this item as Secretary to the Board of Directors of St Bees School.

Cllr Kelly reported that five new directors had joined the Board in January and full details would be posted on the web-site. One of those appointed was Harry Strong and it was noted that he and Cllr Kelly were appointed as individuals and were not nominees of the Parish Council. Both would declare their non-pecuniary interest whenever matters involving the School were discussed at parish council meetings. The Articles of Incorporation had been amended and the ex-officio members who had previously served on the Board had now resigned. It was planned to appoint further directors in due course with specialist expertise in finance and education.

The immediate focus was on letting buildings/facilities as a short term measure to generate income while options for re-establishing a school were investigated. It was stressed that all options were being considered and no decisions had been made. The charitable objectives remained unchanged.

Councillors emphasised the importance of openness and transparency if the trust of the local community was to be retained.



Cllr Strong reported that the draft of the 5 year economic plan was nearing completion. It would include the St Bees - Whitehaven cycle track project as well as a number of other schemes in St Bees which had been suggested during the public consultation. The Clerk would circulate copies of the plan to councillors when it became available. It was hoped that the plan would attract funding from central government’s Coastal Communities budget and from other funders.



(a)Beach Regeneration

The Committee had not met since the last meeting. It was noted that a new officer had been appointed to lead the Colourful Coast project. She would be invited to come along to the next meeting of the Beach Regeneration Committee.


(b) Speedwatch

It was reported that volunteers were continuing with the speedwatch sessions.

(c)Community Events

A letter had been received from the RNLI thanking the council for its support for the annual Carol Concert.

Details had been received of plans to light a series of beacons across the country to mark the Queen’s 90 th birthday in April.


(d)Tree Planting

A meeting had taken place earlier in the day with representatives from Nu-Gen to discuss the scheme to plant trees along the bank at the side of the Adams Recreation Ground. It was hoped to begin the first phase in the next few weeks if bare rooted stock was still available. The scheme would also feature in a promotional video being made by Nu-Gen and filming would take place on 20 January.

It was RESOLVED that trees and shelters be ordered for the first phase of planting once approval was received from Nu-Gen.

(e) Outrigg Play Area

It was noted that invoices had not yet been received for the repairs to the equipment and safety surfacing.




(f) St Bees – Whitehaven Cycle Path

A project plan had been written and a grant application was being prepared for 50% of the costs of the feasibility study. It was understood that Whitehaven Town Council would be discussing their contribution at its January meeting. An invitation to tender had been prepared to go out shortly.



The Chairman reported that since the last meeting he had attended a meeting with the clinical head of the Success Regime at the invitation of West Cumbrian Voice for Health  Care and it was clear that the issues were complex but the timescale for developing a plan for the future of health services was very short. He had subsequently met a representative of PR consultants, Freshwater, who had been engaged by the Success Regime and had stressed the need for the involvement of local communities in formulating plans.

In light of these developments the letter agreed at the last meeting had not yet been sent but a circulation list would now be agreed.


Cllr Gilmour reported on the meeting of the West Copeland Partnership on 12 January when the future of locality partnerships and their officer support had been discussed. Members of the Partnership had agreed that it offered a useful forum for discussion of matters of local interest and the lengthsman scheme had been very successful.

Cllr Gilmour would attend the Moorside Main Site Planning Reference Group on 26 January and Cllr Kennedy volunteered to attend the Egremont meeting the following day.


(a)New planning applications

The Planning Advisory Committee reported on the following application which had been received for comment:-

4/15/2512/0F1 Extension of existing steel frame barn & new access gate (retrospective)

Field 8872, Linethwaite

It was RESOLVED that there was no objection to this application.


(b) Applications approved

It was noted that the following application had been approved by CBC:-

  • 4/15/2381/0O1 Outline application for new dwelling – Plot 2 Wyndhowe, Seamill Lane



CCC had confirmed that the footpath closure order had been issued in readiness for work to start in March. Revised costs and timescales had been sent to Copeland Community Fund and their formal agreement was awaited.



The Clerk’s report on on-going matters was received. The following points were noted:

  • Beach Toilets – The lengthsman had been preparing the toilets for repainting. It was hoped to start the painting as soon as the weather permitted.
  • Potential flooding risk, B5345/ Seamill Lane junction - following a concern raised by a member of the public Highways had agreed to carry out work to raise the kerb early in the next financial year.
  • NNDR Exemption – Formal notification had been received that the beach toilets had been deleted from the rating list with effect from 1 Oct 2013. The refund due would be paid by the billing authority (CBC).
  • Clerks’ Forum – CALC had organised a forum for Clerks on 18 Feb at Cleator Moor. It was RESOLVED that the Clerk should attend (course fee £5).



  • Reference book –It was RESOLVED to purchase a copy of the latest edition of Local Council Administration and to ensure that up to date reference books were routinely purchased in future.



The written report from PCSO Kane was received and noted. There had been 3 logs since the last meeting including one report of a disturbance at the Albert Hotel, one road traffic collision, and a report of bones being found by the cliff at Rottington. It was later confirmed that these were seal bones.



(a) It was noted that Reay’s had made an application to discontinue the service 6 (Seascale- Egremont- St Bees – Whitehaven) with effect from 19 February. The only alternative for those who relied on the service would be the Rural Wheels Scheme, details of which were available from the Clerk.

(b) Details had been received from CALC of the Interactive Community Rights Usage Map launched by DCLG. Noted.

(c) Initial information had been received from Smaller Authorities Audit Appointments Ltd about the new scheme. Noted.

(d) An e-bulletin had been received from Radioactive Waste Management Ltd. Noted.

(e) The latest Neighbourhood Planning bulletin had been received from DCLG. Noted

(f) Details had been received of the proposed coverage of the Walney Extension Community Fund. It was noted that the area to be covered extended only as far north as Seascale.

(g) A letter had been received from the PCC thanking the council for its contribution to the costs of publishing the parish magazine. Noted.

(h) CALC had informed local councils that the consultation by National Grid on detailed plans for the North West Connections Project would now be delayed until early summer 2016. Noted.


CALC Training Programme– January- June 2016

LGA Leadership Programme

North West Coastal Access monthly update January 2016

Copeland Open for Business Issue 1

United Utilities Winter Wise campaign leaflets



(a)The next Arts Society Lecture, entitled The Art of Winter, would take place on Wed 27 January at 8pm in the Whitelaw Building at St Bees School.

(b) It was agreed to include an item on the next agenda to discuss arrangements for an event for residents who had recently moved into the parish.


It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on Monday 15 FEBRUARY 2016.