Home     Site Map     Village Forum     Search     Help     About us
Home Parish Council Index

Minutes Councillors Declarations of Interest News Council Role Council History Parish Boundaries Neighbourhood Plan Freedom of Information Neighbourhood Forums

 

Jan 2012

St. Bees 2011 Parish Plan Survey Results Summary

Thank you to everyone who returned the survey questionnaires contained in the October St Bees News. All the responses have now been collated and analysed, and this has given us a good insight into the things you like most (and least) about St. Bees and what you want changed or preserved. The Parish Council will use your responses to guide the work we do on your behalf.

You told us the things you like best about St. Bees were its beach, location, people and environment, and that these were the main reasons it is a better place to live compared to other areas. You also told us you made good regular or occasional use of the beach, local shops, pubs and restaurants, the train, the many village clubs and societies and the library.

The things you want changed include more action and enforcement on speeding and illegal parking and dog fouling, more local shops and businesses and a better play area at the beach. You also said you would like to see less new housing development.

A summary of the responses is below, followed by a detailed analysis of the responses.

Question 1: What do you think are the 3 best things about living in St. Bees?

Beach 73%, Location 67%, People 59%, Environment 57%. Other responses included schools, Churches, Clubs and activities.

Question2: Compared to other places you have lived in or are familiar with, how does St. Bees compare?

Top positive responses, where St. Bees was better, include: Beach 79%, As a place to Live 76%, Environment 72%, less anti-social behaviour 64% and community spirit 63%.

The highest scoring responses where St. Bees seemed worse were parking / illegal parking 60%, speeding 51% and dog fouling 43%.

Question 3: How often do you use the village facilities?

Top scores were the beach (84% regular use, 16% occasional), local shops (56% reg, 39% occ), local pubs / restaurants (43% reg, 51% occ), the train (20% reg, 77% occ), village clubs / societies (37% reg, 31% occ), and the library (16% reg, 44% occ).

Question 4: What would you like to see changed?

The things people would most like to see more of were: More litter and dog fouling bins and enforcement 79%, more local shops and businesses – 73%, more traffic speed restrictions and enforcement 71%, and more illegal parking enforcement 71%, and more beach play park equipment and facilities 55%. 63% said they would like to see less new housing development.

In response to the question on raising the precept (this is the small Parish Charge element of the council tax), 85% were in favour of raising it in line with the national average.

Detailed Analysis of the responses received:

Q1 - What do you think are the 3 best things about living in St. Bees?

Rank

Percentage of votes

Description

1

73%

St. Bees Beach

2

67%

Location

3

59%

People

4

57%

Environment

5

21%

Schools

6

11%

Clubs / activities

7

19%

Other (see below)

Other responses included churches (5), services / facilities (4), village life, history, low crime, cheap property and insurance and its small size.

Q2 - Compared with other places that you have lived in or are familiar with, is St Bees better or worse for (listed in order from most favourable to least favourable responses):

Rank

% better

% the same

% worse

Description

1

79

20

1

Beach

2

76

24

0

As a place to live

3

64

33

3

Anti-social behaviour

4

63

31

7

Community spirit

5

47

44

9

Schools

6

36

57

7

Quality of housing

7

24

49

27

Children’s Play areas

8

16

63

21

Littering

9

4

53

43

Dog Fouling

10

1

48

51

Speeding

11

4

36

60

Parking / illegal parking

Q3 - Please indicate how your household use the village in the following areas: (ranked in order of most to least usage)

Rank

Use

Use

Don’t

Unaware

Description

Regularly

occasionally

use it

of it

1

84

16

0

0

Beach

2

56

39

5

0

Local Shops

3

43

51

7

0

Local pubs /restaurants

4

20

77

3

0

Train

5

37

31

31

1

Village clubs / societies

6

16

39

44

1

Library

7

16

27

57

0

Play areas

8

4

29

67

0

Bus services

Q4 Which aspects of the village would you like to see changed? Please indicate your views against each of the topics (ranked from most to least positive response).

Rank

More of

No Change

Less of

Description

1

79

21

0

Litter and dog fouling bins and enforcement

2

73

25

1

Local shops and businesses

3

71

28

1

Illegal parking enforcement

4

71

27

3

Traffic speed restrictions / enforcement

5

55

45

0

Beach play park equipment & facilities

6

45

55

0

Community Events & Celebrations

7

45

53

1

Tourism and visitors

8

12

25

63

New housing development

Respondents also suggested the following: More parking areas, later train service on Sunday and more bus services, more low cost affordable housing for the elderly, fish & chip shop, more trees / retain open spaces, more pavements, stop commercial vehicles using the station car park, GP surgery, less through traffic, road sweeper, bowling green, crazy golf, better broadband speed, better policing and advertising of where local farm produce is available from.

Q5 - Should we increase the precept (Parish charge element of the council tax) in line with the national average to pay for village improvement projects.

Yes: 85% No / other: 15%

We also asked respondents would like to be involved in projects and village improvement initiatives to provide their contact details. Around 12% of respondents provided their details, and a number commented that they are already heavily involved in various other village groups.

Space was provided for other comments and suggestions. Over 50% of respondents either made comments in this section or on earlier questions. A selection of the responses is given below, grouped by main themes:

Speeding / parking / traffic issues and enforcement comments

  • Residents parking permits for beach car park.
  • We need more parking areas if visitors are to be made more welcome.
  • Parking – speeding of cars especially mornings between 6-8 and evenings 4-6 by Sellafield traffic is the main problem in the village. The 20 minute parking by the shops is never adhered to, cars are parked there all day by residents, which means shoppers have no choice but to park on yellow lines if they want to use the post office.
  • Speed restrictions from Seamill Lane to top of Egremont Road, may decrease the nightmare with Sellafield runs morning and afternoon.
  • Sellafield traffic is heavy and generally inconsiderate from 6am onwards. Parking on double yellows done by all without punishment. Traffic calming measures calm nothing past the railway.
  • Possibly try to avoid village being used as a cut through to and from Sellafield. Better off main street parking.
  • I would like to see a 20mph restriction throughout the village, and have it enforced. However, I would like to have the ‘sleeping policemen’ removed as they damage the suspension.
  • More forcible representation of our needs as a community to ensure better provision of needs and services (especially speeding and parking).
  • Traffic problem in the centre feels like its getting worse.
  • I think the one-way system was much better.
  • Pedestrians and cyclists are treated as second class citizens and you cannot walk from one end of the main street to the other without crossing the road 2 or 3 times. This does not encourage a reduction in car use or indeed the youth to move freely to enjoy the facilities.
  • Please keep the station car park free of charge.
  • When collecting children from St Bees School there are limited parking and many restrictions and it is too dangerous for children to cross Main St.
  • Stop Sellafield traffic causing gridlock and aggressive driving.
  • The most effective traffic calming is for all residents to drive at 20mph and that slows everyone else down, so perhaps a polite advert in the Parish Magazine might remind everyone. We always think the footpaths and signs are well kept, and the public seats kept tidy so whoever is esponsible for this please keep up the good work and thank you.

Dog fouling and littering

  • Evaluate the positioning of poop bins – one is needed on the path halfway down Seamill Lane.
  • Walking to school is an obstacle course, having to avoid copious dog mess at the top of Seacroft Drive and along Main St. towards the Post Office; also parked cars and taxis on double yellow lines, on the pavement and even on the grass verges on the entrance to Seacroft. It is very dangerous for parents with toddlers and young children.
  • A cleaner beach with better facilities would be an improvement e.g. less litter.
  • I have a dog and pick up the mess, but more bins would mean I would not have to carry it so far to dispose of it. I think some people do not pick up as there are no bins nearby.
  • Dog fouling is an issue and in most other parts of the country there are restrictions on when dogs are allowed on the beach.
  • Dog fouling is awful.
  • Need bins at the top of School Lane.
  • The play area on the beach would be better with a small fence to keep dogs out.
  • Horse riders should be made to pick the horse muck up. My family find this is a far bigger problem than dog poo. It is all over the paths and pavements near the beach.

Built environment

  • Can the Parish Council put pressure on the company developing Station Garage site to clean up the site. It is an eyesore and creates a poor first impression to visitors arriving by train.
  • I would like the Parish Council to actively pursue the owners of the disgraceful derelict properties on the main street.
  • The Bega flats should be retained in their present form.
  • No reference made to the Priory Church. This is a major historical asset which needs to be supported & advertised. Irrespective of attending church services, this adds major interests and visual impact benefits.
  • Any new housing should be for local, first time buyers, but don’t build ¾ size pokey accommodation for families.
  • More trees, shrubs on entrance downhill from Whitehaven. More rhododendrons and hydrangeas. Better paving stones and no tarmac on footpaths in Main St. Old style lampposts in Main St.
  • More street lighting on Main St. to see where you are walking.
  • Better lighting on Main St as it’s poor and difficult to see the pavement edge and steps to houses.
  • Eroding and collapsing cliffs at Tomlin are a problem and increase with winter storms. Suggest researching ways to stabilise the cliffs to prevent further land slips e.g. fix matting from top to bottom as in ski resorts and seed with grasses.

Village events and facilities and other comments and suggestions

  • We appreciate all the effort made on our behalf by the Parish Council. Thank you.
  • St. Bees is a great place to live.
  • There are quite a few events in the village, but more family events, or ones for teenagers would also be good.
  • It would also be nice to have a well-stocked grocery store in the village.
  • Guided (by leaflet / boards) walks around the whole village.
  • The Seacote hotel is poor and we have few facilities compared with places in the Northeast.
  • What is going on with Hodgetts Hall – no communication.
  • The beach play area could be vastly improved on especially for the amount of visitors – very uninspiring!
  • Keep up the priory too and connect with the rest of the village.
  • This is an historic village and the Priory draws many visitors to the area, yet no mention of this has been made. The community work hard to maintain the grounds and fabric of the Priory but the costs are enormous, not least because the buildings are listed. The beach and St. Bees Head are important features of the village but often visitors require more of an area and want to find out about the history of a place. To attract tourists the assets must be well maintained.
  • Scope for further joint working between the Parish Council and Village Schools VSA.
  • Short leisure courses at Hodgetts or school such as Wine Tasting, Flower Arranging would save people travelling further afield. Band Nights or monthly Film Nights.
  • A regular reading group outside library would be brilliant (for people working 7am to 6-7pm. A writers circle would be equally excellent.

What happens Next?

Thank you for all your responses and comments. These will now be discussed by the Parish Council and form a major input into the production of a revised Parish Plan for St. Bees during 2012. This will detail both the positive views and the areas you want to see further changes, and will identify ongoing and future actions to address the priority areas that have been identified. Further updates will be given in the St. Bees News, on the St. Bees Village website and at the Parish Council meetings, the minutes of which are displayed on the village notice boards.