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Minutes of the Meeting of St Bees Parish Council held on

Monday 19 February 2018 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall


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

J Lockie, H Monaghan, D Millington, M Riley, C Robson, N Smart & the Clerk


In attendance: Cllr C Whiteside, County Councillor Egremont North/St Bees

Also present: 2 members of the public



Apologies were received from Cllrs F Kennedy and J Mellor.



Cllr Kelly declared a non-pecuniary interest in matters on the agenda as a Trustee of St Bees School.


Peter Smith explained that he was a Director and Treasurer of Citizens Advice Copeland and wished to support the letter from that organisation which was one of the items of correspondence to be discussed later in the meeting. He explained that CA Copeland was a charity which provided free and impartial advice on a wide range of issues including welfare benefits and debt. The organisation received no government or central support and only limited core funding from CBC. The service provided to residents across Copeland was reliant on funding from grants and donationsand therefore support was being sought from parish councils across Copeland.


It was RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting on 15 January 2018 be approved as a true record and signed by the Chairman.



Cllr Whiteside explained that the County Council had set its budget for the coming year. This would mean an overall 3.99% increase in its precept, including 2% to fund social care.

The programme of work for highways in Copeland had been agreed for the coming year. The cost of the maintenance work required vastly exceeded the funds available and resources would have to be targeted at the most pressing projects.

The application from West Cumbria Mining was due to be considered by CCC Development Panel next month. It seemed that West Cumbria Mining was seeking to keep work required under Section 106 agreements to a minimum.

It was reported that cars were parking alongside the scaffolding opposite the Priory narrowing the road yet further. Cllr Whiteside offered to speak to the Traffic Engineer about introducing parking restrictions in this area but this would take time to implement. It was agreed that more immediate action was required such as signage asking drivers not to park there whilst work was taking place.



The new bridge was now complete, although the legal formalities of diverting the official right of way would take some months to complete. In the meantime the steps to the old bridge would remain in place.



The Chairman explained the outcome of discussions which had taken place with Natural England, CCC, Trustees of St Bees School and Golf Club representatives about Coastal Access and the cliff path. The cliff was suffering significant erosion and Natural England did not consider the path safe as the designated Coastal Access route. The diversion originally proposed was very long and unlikely to be used. Various alternatives had been discussed. A diversion from the existing path to the Golf Club car park and then joining the path from Sea Mill Lane was considered as an acceptable temporary solution pending investigations into the possibility of changes to the lay out of the golf course. The cliff path would continue to be a permissive route but walkers would use it at their own risk.



Cllr Millington explained that following the last meeting an email had been sent to Highways outlining concerns about pedestrian safety on Abbey Road and suggesting short term and longer term measures to reduce the risk. The response received had not supported the suggestion of a 20mph zone or signage and had stated that the idea of a Section 106 agreement would be kept on file. Cllr Whiteside undertook to speak to the Network Manager about the matter.

The road was too narrow to allow the construction of a pavement but proposals were considered for a safe off-road route to the beach or railway station. This would involve a pedestrian path through the access to the Holly Mews development and down the field to join up with the Dandy Walk. This would require the agreement of all the landowners concerned as well as CCC and was likely to need external funding.

It was RESOLVED to support the proposed route and to continue to press CCC for signage and a 20mph zone.



A reply had been received from one of the residents who objected to any development of land by St Bees School explaining his objections. Councillors welcomed the letter and the opportunity to understand his views. However, to date no specific proposals had been put forward by St Bees School. It was agreed to reply, giving an assurance that, if/when specific proposals were put forward, the Parish Council would consult with village residents to form a consensus view of the best way forward for the village.



Cllr Kelly reported on progress towards the reopening of the School. A Deputy Headteacher had now been appointed and advertisements for teaching posts would be appearing shortly. Recruitment of pupils was continuing. Work was underway on repairs to Foundation and other buildings to ensure the school would be ready to accept pupils in September.

It was reported that there appeared to be a gas leak in the area of Abbots Court. This had been reported to Northern Gas Networks who would be investigating. Cllr Kelly undertook to ensure that the Bursar was aware of the problem.



(a) Financial Report

The summary of accounts at 31 January was received together with the variance analysis at the end of qtr 3(copy attached to the minutes). It was noted that a number of budget headings were underspent including the maintenance budget for the toilets. It was agreed that a report be provided at the next meeting on work required to redecorate the toilets externally and internally.





(b) Grasscutting Contract

Five sealed bids had been received for the grasscutting contract for 2018/19 with extension for two further years by mutual consent. The bids were opened and considered during the meeting.

It was RESOLVED to accept the bid from Works 4 You Ltd.


(c) Payments

It was RESOLVED that the following payments be approved:

  • Chq 002384 YNH Ltd – domain name renewal Total £44.00
  • Chq 002385 D Sim -travel expenses (Community Rail Partnership meeting) Total £9.05
  • Chq 002386 J Donaldson – reimbursement for postage £6.72 & printer ink £9.16 + £1.83 VAT Total £17.71
  • Chq 002387 J Donaldson– salary (net) Feb - £635.28
  • Thomas Milburn Property Ltd – toilet service (Feb) £583.33 + £116.67 VAT Total £700.00 (to be paid by SO)


Payments since last meeting to report:

  • Chq 002379 Unipar Services LLP -recalibration of speed gun £223.00 + £44.60 VAT Total £267.60
  • Chq 002380 Works 4 You Ltd – materials £7.75 + £1.55 VAT Total £9.30
  • Chq 002381 Network Rail – rent for Station car park - £400.00 + £80.0 VAT Total £480.00
  • Chq 002383 Greenurban Technologies Ltd – defibrillators £3190.00 + £638.00 VAT Total £3828.00
  • Answer 4 U – answering service - £11.44 + £2.29 VAT Total £13.73 (paid by direct debit 19/2/18)



Two new consultations had been launched, one dealing with the National Policy Statement for geological disposal infrastructure, the other dealing with proposals for consulting with communities. Cllr Smart outlined the main points of the consultation on defining how communities should be involved. It was noted that the arrangements were complex and would be difficult to implement in practice. The consultation was one of the subjects to be discussed at the Three Tier Meeting on 1 March and it was agreed that Cllrs Gilmour and Smart would attend.



(a)Beach Regeneration

One zip wire had been repaired and the second was under repair. Wicksteed Ltd had now agreed to replace the spring of the donkey under warranty.

Written guidelines had been prepared for the volunteer play inspections and two new volunteers had been completed their first inspection accompanied by an experienced volunteer.


(b)Traffic Calming/Speedwatch

A letter had been sent to Dr Weston of Sellafield Ltd as agreed at the last meeting.


(c)Community Events

Unfortunately, it had been necessary to postpone the Village Pantomime and this would now be performed at a later date.




Cllr Robson reported on preliminary plans for the commemoration of the end of WW1 in November. Representatives of the Priory, the Parish Council, the Priory, Old St Beghians and St Bees School had met to discuss plans. Rev Gibbs would lead plans for the service on Remembrance Sunday and a number of other events had been suggested in the week leading up to 11 November. It was hoped that the Village School would be involved in events and that the play written by Cllr Kennedy could be performed. A further meeting would take place in June to finalise plans.


(d ) Tree Planting

The final stage of the Nu-Gen Green Grant project at the Adams Ground would be completed this week with volunteers planting the remaining trees/shrubs.


(e) St Bees – Whitehaven Cycle Track

The Chairman reported on correspondence with CCC officers about the inclusion of the cycle track in a Section 106 agreement.


(f) Priory Paddock Pond Project

It had not been possible to find a contractor to carry out work in the pond itself. Volunteers had now cleared much of the pond and restored it to open water. It was clear that the north end was more silted up than had originally been thought and this might require a mini digger. However, with spring approaching this would now need to wait until the end of the season to avoid damage to wildlife.


(g) Public Access Defibrillators

The two defibrillators had been delivered. The Chairman would speak to Tom Milburn about the electrical connection at the beach toilets. Further consideration would be given to the location for the second defibrillator.

A demonstration would be organised in the village to show local residents how the equipment could be used and some publicity would be organised.


(h) Station Car Park Extension

The Chairman explained that he had attended a meeting of the Community Rail Partnership in Carlisle and had taken the opportunity to raise the issue of the possible extension of the car park and the intransigent position previously taken by Network Rail. Network Rail representatives at the meeting had indicated that there were prepared to use their internal procedures to determine whether there was any reason why an easement could not be allowed. It was hoped to have a decision in the next few weeks.

Copeland Rail Users Group had been very helpful in facilitating contacts with Northern & Network Rail and the Chairman proposed that the Parish Council become a member of the Group (annual membership £10).

It was RESOLVED that the Parish Council become a corporate member of Copeland Rail Users Group.



The Chairman reported on the meeting of the plenary session of West Cumbria Sites Stakeholder Group. One of the main topics had been changes to travel arrangements to Sellafield site. Employees were being encouraged to use the new park & ride services being set up in various locations and greater restrictions were being introduced on parking on site and at Yottenfews. There had been some suggestion that a park & ride facility might be provided in St Bees and the Chairman was hoping to obtain further information at the Parish Liaison Forum later in the week.


The other topic had been socio-economic plans and Sellafield Ltd had stressed that they wished to see local communities taking the lead in setting priorities.



(a)New Planning Applications

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

Ref 4/18/2032/TPO Felling & Removal of Lime Tree

Croft House, High House Rd, St Bees

It was RESOLVED that there were no objections to this application


(b) Applications approved:

There were no decisions to report.


(c) Other Planning Matters

A further update had been received from CBC on the current situation with the unauthorised works to the rear of 4 Blythe Place. CBC had reported that the owner had not complied with deadlines set and therefore enforcement action would be set in train.



The Clerk’s report was received and noted. It was also noted that there was to be a further round of Coastal Communities funding and it was proposed to convene a meeting of the North Copeland Team to consider a possible bid.



Cllr Hill had provided information on a number of issues which had been circulated to councillors. It was noted that CBC and the Elected Mayor had made separate submissions to the Local Government Boundary Commission on new ward boundaries. Both had suggested that St Bees Ward should be extended to include not only Rottington but also Nethertown, Middletown & Coulderton. The Boundary Commission would publish their recommendations in due course.

It was noted that the new kerbside recycling would begin in April with new boxes being delivered from 26 February. All households would receive a leaflet explaining the scheme but this would not be issued until March. The Clerk would obtain further details from CBC so information could be posted on noticeboards and circulated to councillors.



The report of logs during December was received and noted. No report had yet been received for January.



(a)A request had been received from Brain Tumour Research requesting the council’s help in raising awareness of brain tumours and their Wear a Hat fundraising day in March. Details were available on the group’s web-site braintumourresearch.org. Noted.

(b)A letter had been received from Citizens Advice Copeland explaining the range of services it offers to residents of Copeland and seeking financial support. It was RESOLVED to consider this at the next meeting.

(c)Details had been received of two grant funds set up by United Utilities in recognition of the disruption caused by the installation of the new pipeline in Copeland and Allerdale. The Pipeline Legacy Fund (administered by Cumbria Community Foundation) would give grants to community projects providing activities which benefit people or the environment in Copeland/Allerdale. The second fund would support tree planting. Noted.


(d)An email had been received from a company preparing a new programme for a major UK broadcaster. The programme would fund public art projects which reflect the spirit or history of the local community. Cllr Robson had made an initial expression of interest and had contacted other organisations in the parish.

(e)ACT had provided information on funds available to support Parish Councils/community groups interested in community-led housing projects. Help was also available with housing surveys to establish local need. Noted.

(f)NHS North Cumbria had issued a press release confirming that the 12 month test period for consultant-led maternity services at WCH would begin in April. Noted.

(g)Rural Services Network were asking local councils to take part in a survey to assess how many councils/councillors were aware of the Priority Services Register operated by the utility companies. The Clerk would respond on behalf of the council.



NW Coastal Access Update Jan 2018

Conserving Lakeland (Friends of the Lake District) Winter/spring 2018

CALC Circular Feb 2018

Voluntary Car Scheme – contact details

Solway Firth Partnership Newsletter



(a)The next meeting of the Arts Society would take place on Wed 28 February with a lecture entitled ‘The Art of Dying’.

(b) The Friends of the Priory were organising two talks in March – one on 9 March on Thomas A’Becket and another on 16 March when John Knewstubb and Charm Robson would be giving a talk about Burma.

(c)The History Group would be meeting on 13 March for a talk by Alan Cleaver on Coffin Routes.

(d) It had been agreed some time ago to produce a leaflet explaining the work of the Parish Council and including photographs of parish councillors. Photographs would be taken at the next meeting.

(e)The large ‘St Bees’ sign on the wall at the Station was in poor condition. This was of historic interest and was thought to date from before 1923. It had been rescued by the History Group when the station was modernised and put back in place in the 1990s. The Village in Bloom Committee were the Station Adopters and they had agreed to put forward a proposal to Northern Rail to renovate the sign.



It was RESOLVED that the next meeting take place on MONDAY 19 MARCH 2018 at 6.30pm in the Village Hall.