Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council
Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 25th February 2008 in the Supper room of the Parish Hall at 7.45pm
Present: Councillors Horton, Dunhill, Heslop, Mills, Williams, Reid and Howey. Also present were County Councillor Thompson, 8 members of the public and one member of the Press.
1. Apologies were received from Cllr Nitsch and Cllr Latham. Cllr Tulip was formally co-opted onto the Council.
2. Minutes: The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a true record. Cllr Heslop queried whether there had been an apology from the Drama Club for the problems on the original date of the above Parish Council meeting. A letter had been received from the Village Hall Trust, apologies had also been received verbally from Mrs Niven and an apology had been placed in the Parish news. Cllr Heslop said he would raise the matter anyway at the next meeting of the Village Hall Trust Management committee.
3. Matters arising:
a) Millfield Road update: A paper had been prepared with help from Mr Young which was due to be presented to Tynedale Council this week by a delegation of Mr Tully and Cllrs Tulip, Reid, Thompson. Mr Young had given apologies owing to a prior engagement. The paper requests that the loan approved by Tynedale be converted to a grant. Cllr Williams queried the wording of the accompanying letter and its reference to the wider than Parish use of the road. This was explained by Cllr Reid as relating to the fact that, amongst other things, three times as many children at the First School came by car from outside the parish as those from within it. The County Council were to be queried about the acceptability of upgrading the road, using existing areas as turning circles and then adoption. Cllr Thompson was of the view that the Highways people had indicated willingness on this matter. A meeting had yet to be set up owing to holidays. Cllr Dunhill would chase this up. The Clerk had also checked out the 1910 Land Valuation maps to see if any road /bridge was marked. Only a partial road was indicated. Cllr Williams also wished it to be noted that no firm commitment to taking up the loan had been made, nor did he think it was appropriate to use such a loan for income investment. As a point of order, it was clarified that the representatives for the council to the management committee of the Village Hall Trust were Cllrs Heslop and Williams.
4. Village Hall trust: A letter had been received from the VHT Development Committee requesting assistance with funding. They have raised £60,000 so far and paid out about £9,000 to architects. A further £65,000 is needed to complete the first stage of their plans to improve the facilities. They have applied to the District, the county and to many other Charitable Trusts. Cllr Thompson hoped that some funding would be available from his resource, though it had to be used for capital work. Cllr Tulip commented, noting his involvement with the Development Committee, that many offers of help in kind had also been received. It was pointed out that the Parish Council do not own the building or the land and donations could backfire. Cllr Tulip was invited to pursue that area. Larger sums could be raised under S.19 of the Local Government Act by the Parish Council but loans would have to be repaid. Cllr Heslop proposed making a grant of £2000 out of reserves, followed by a further £1200 ( originally budgeted for the Youth Club). This was agreed in principle but Cllr Dunhill suggested that the lease position should be clarified by the VHT as 30 years is a short time for significant capital spending. The Parish Council will help where possible and will write to the Development Fund committee in the first place, explaining their views and concerns.
5. Millrace Gardens: The request for funds was no longer necessary as the work had been completed thanks to financial help Cllr Thompson’s fund and the hard work of volunteers.
6. Trees: The Clerk would chase up with Cllr Nitsch about the trees at the Wellington which had not yet been seen to. Although Councillors expressed concern about the angled tree at the Pack Horse Bridge, this was not the Parish Council’s responsibility and assurances had been obtained that it was quite safe. The few fallen trees near the weir would be removed. Quotes are now coming in for the big wood behind Long Rigg.
a) General – for circulation.
b) Internal Auditor: the internal auditor to the Parish Council, who had been offering the service pro-bono, had regretfully withdrawn their services. The Clerk was authorised to seek a new internal auditor. It was recognised that the service would now have to be paid for.
c) Dog Waste Bins: further to the discussion at the last meeting, a quote from Tynedale for the costs had been received. It was agreed that the requested site was not appropriate for this expenditure.
d) Tynedale Council: A meeting to discuss more detail about the Hexhamshire Belonging Community is to be held on 12th March . Cllr Dunhill agreed to attend if possible.
a) The financial statement and receipts were accepted by all councillors.
b) The following payments were authorised by all councillors:-
MF Anderton/Salary/Jan – £370.69
MF Anderton/Expenses/Jan – £3.49
RM Cricket Club re grass cutting – £300.00
Tynedale Council re postage for Consultation – £112.70
Marchburn Lane Res. Ass. – £30.00
Ward Hadaway, amended acc. – £1,175.00
Clerks Direct/annual subs – £9.50
c) S.137 Donations: the provenance of these was explained to the new Councillors. Because of problems, the loan given to the Squirrels’ Club last year was converted to a donation. This meant repaying the Deposit Account £1000. Other donations made were as follows:
Community Action Northumberland – £15.00
Age Concern – £50.00
Tynedale Sports Council – £50.00
The above were agreed.
9. Minor matters: Cllr Reid asked whether the invited District and County Councillors for the Parish should have full committee speaking (but not voting) rights. The concensus was the current approach was working well. Cllr Heslop raised the problem with the light on the Station footpath again. He also asked if the Parish Council would run a second-hand bookstall on the Village day on June 29th. Cllr Horton agreed to do that. The problem of power cuts came up again in view of the two recent ones. A petition was being raised in Bobby’s shop to go to Peter Atkinson MP. It was also asked that NEDL be contacted to explain matters and to request a listing of recent power cuts. Ofgem would also be contacted. Cllr Mills had circulated a report on the Tynedale Planning Forum.
Because of the delay in holding this meeting, there being only two weeks to the next official date and the unlikely prospect of hearing any results from the various meetings that were being held, it was agreed to cancel the March meeting and to go to the 14th April 2008 date.
At this point, the Chairman asked that the meeting be continued in camera to discuss a late confidential matter. He used the Agenda-based format of wording, but a member of the public objected to this so the meeting was closed.
The meeting closed at 9.45.