Annual Parish Meeting 2012 Minutes

You can download a copy of these minutes here (PDF file).

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Annual Parish Meeting, held on 12th May 2011 at 7.30pm in the Parish Hall, Millfield Road

Present: Cllrs Mills (in the Chair), Reid and Eakins. County Councillor Anne Dale was present with 11 members of the public including Mrs Linda Shepherd for the VHT and Ms Jen Stephenson for the First School. One member of the public made a brief appearance towards the end of the meeting.

1. Welcome and Apologies: Cllr Mills welcomed all present and reported that Cllr Dunhill had offered his apologies.

2. Cllr Reid gave a demonstration of the use of electricity monitors. It is hoped that members of the public will avail themselves of these monitors which can be borrowed, with a surety of £5, so that energy expenditure levels can be checked in homes and offices to help identify potential economies.

3. The minutes of the APM of 2010 were approved.

4. Chairman’s Report:
She commented on the busy year – due partly to the low number of Councillors – and thanked the Councillors for their work and also other members of the village for the help given to the Council. She referred to the Millfield Road bridge and the decision of the County Council (now made permanent) to impose a weight limit of 3 1/2 tonnes. She reported that the Parish Council had obtained and was publishing a survey of work to be carried out on the bridge both immediately and also in the long term.

The Council was considering alternatives in respect of the Marchburn weir. These included no action, expensive restoration of the weir and reduction of the weir in either one or two stages. The Council had been advised by the director of the Tyne Rivers Trust and a member of the Environmental Agency at a meeting attended by some of the riparian owners and would give further consideration to the implications as to cost and liability of reducing the weir by 30 cm.
The Council had submitted a revised planning application for a smaller car park at the village hall, reducing the loss of amenity grass area beside the hall, which was used for village activities and weddings etc
The Spinney, ie the little wood opposite the Church, which belongs to the Council, had been opened up by cutting back weeds, and tree stumps. A path had been covered in wood chippings to suppress weeds. The suggestion that a path through the Spinney be used to enable schoolchildren to walk to school from the Old Playground had been dropped.
The Council had been concerned that some of the traffic passing through the village appeared to exceed the speed limit, endangering people crossing the main road near the corner of the Wellington. The Council therefore decided to install two interactive solar powered speed warning signs as a reminder when a vehicle exceeded the speed limit one at the foot of Whiteside for West bound traffic) C. Cllr Anne Dale kindly offered to provide much of the funding from her County Council allowance.

The Council had asked the County Council to re-site the existing sign at the main road entrance to Millfield Road and to provide a second sign to improve visibility to a driver turning into the road. It wished the double yellow lines at the east end of Church Lane . and at the main road end of Millfield Road to be extended. The Council had asked the County Council to install a new street light at the west end of Millfield Road bridge.
The newly installed mirror at the exit to Hollin Hill Terrace that had been stolen and the mirror at the foot of Sandy Bank had both been replaced.
The playpark was monitored on a weekly basis; bushes between the single tennis court wire netting and the playpark had been severely cut back. Although the damage from moles continued throughout 2010, the position in 2011 had been better.
The planning group of the Council had considered 22 planning applications during the year and its recommendations had been reported in the minutes of the Council meetings
The following policies had been introduced and approved during the year, (a) a Covenants policy (b) a formal complaints policy for any member of the village not satisfied with the way the PC had handled a particular matter and (c) a vexatious correspondence policy to enable the PC to attend to its work without entering into repetitious correspondence.
The Chairman concluded with the comment that the Councillors had given a considerable amount of time and thought to the work of the Council, but were aware that some of the decisions reached may not have pleased all members of the Parish. She reminded the village that If they were not happy with the work, they should apply to join the PC and contribute to the decision making.

There was some discussion from the floor on the Chair’s report, much of which had already taken place at the recent Council meeting concerning the survey on the bridge, the problem of emergency vehicles having access to Marchburn Lane and the priority of bridge repairs versus Weir repairs. One member of the public agreed however that the Council should be looking after the interests of the whole village and not those of a few residents.

5. Cllr Dale’s report:
She reminded people that she was responsible for Mickley, Stocksfield and Riding Mill. The cuts of £45 million to the revenue budget were causing great problems to service deliveries. She mentioned concerns about grit bins in the snow, flooding on the Corbridge road and potholes being slowly repaired. She was concerned about speeding and would contribute £4, 500 towards flashing speed signs. She was working with the Sandy Bank residents to improve access/egress at the Nick. She is contactable by email and phone but has to fit responses into County policies. Locally, major concerns are school buildings and hospitals.
Cllr Dale was thanked for always attending meetings and helping whenever she could.

6. The Financial report was circulated for information. There were no questions.

7. Broomhaugh C of E First School Report:
There are 65 in the school at present with a full quota coming into reception this Autumn. Improvements to and maintenance of the buildings were a high priority with funding affected by the cuts. The school was only closed 2 days during the snow. The PTA remains very active, helping with school trips and buying books in particular. The Squirrels Club is essential but again, funding remains tight. Support teams for special needs children have been severely affected but there is a low impact in Riding Mill. 41% of the children are from inside the village. The Church school admissions policy prioritises siblings, then Church and then the catchment area. Of the 65 children, only 16 bring packed lunches. The furthest child comes from Prudhoe and others are from Healey, Whittonstall Corbridge and Stocksfield. At the moment there is also one bilingual Flemish speaker and a bilingual Norwegian child starts in the Autumn.

8. Report from the Village Hall Trust:
The Village Hall Trust and in particular The Parish Hall, is very busy. To the usual societies and groups using the Hall, have been added The Bridge Club, The Photographic Society and The Yoga Group, with many additional casual bookings. Monday and Friday mornings are very popular in The Foyer Cafe and huge and sincere thanks must to go Val Thompson, Elaine Raeburn and their willing helpers for ensuring its success.
The Parish Hall Flat continues to be rented out. We have had the entrance to the new foyer block paved, a patio built and the drive tarmacadamed. We intend to purchase a TV licence which will offer another dimension for those who want to watch events on a big screen (we are not providing the equipment). The Royal Wedding was the first event to be televised and, with the Cafe facilities running alongside, was a wonderful, sociable occasion.
Fund-raising was active in 2010 and we received large donations from The Bridge Club, The Photographic Society, the proceeds from Judith Anderson’s musical weekend, the James Knott Foundation and the Parish Council. As we expect the roof to need replacing within ten years, we are always grateful for and actively looking for funds from other sources.
Fund-raising in 2011 has not been so concentrated, simply because we worked so hard last year. Having said that, we will be holding the Village Show in September, a jumble sale in October and the Craft Fair in November. Throughout the year, we have had several catering assignments, the Vicar’s installation buffet, a Christening, meals for groups of hall users and a wedding at the end of this month. All of this requires energy and enthusiasm but especially lots of help – we are always looking for volunteers.
We have donated a day’s money from the Cafe to Red Nose Day, hosted a Macmillan coffee morning and are about to have a coffee morning in aid of Multiple Sclerosis. Whilst it is commendable to support and give our facilities for these charities, I do think we have to be careful not to lose sight of our true purpose.
On Village Show Day, to obtain £750 matched funding from Barclays Bank, Pam Pryor is proposing to run a giant tombola (it is becoming increasingly difficult to sell lots of raffle tickets) so we are asking all hall users to donate something for the stall.
Lastly, may I say a huge thank you to everyone who supports us, offers help in any way, or is their organisation’s representative on the Trust. Also, my thanks go to Rosie Cummings, Treasurer to the Trust, Val Thompson and her husband, Alan, who both do lots of extra work on top of Val’s contracted hours, and to Pam Pryor, the Secretary of the Trust, who works hard trying to juggle bookings, working with the Charity Commission on our behalf and who gives me 100% support. Thank you all.
Mr Gibson congratulated Mrs Shepherd on the Parish Hall and the Trust. Cllr Eakins confirmed that the VHT would like a Car Park and Mrs Shepherd agreed as parking is an increasing problem.

9. Minor Matters: None


Parish Council Minutes March 2012

You can download a copy of these minutes here (PDF file).

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of meeting held on 12th March 2012 at 7.45 in the Parish Hall Supper room

Present: Cllrs Mills (in the Chair), Reid, Howe, Dunhill, Eakins and Carew. County Cllr Dale was present with 4 members of the public and a member of the Press. In attendance were Professor Malcolm Newson of Tyne Rivers Trust and Dave Porter (Radiopages).

Prof. Newson gave a brief presentation to Councillors explaining why, after further consideration, the original proposal to place a notch in the Weir was not a good idea. The better idea is to maintain the Weir crest and put in place rock ramps to improve stability. DEFRA will fund most of the work and the Parish Council will have no increased liability in the short or long term future. The whole matter will be explained to the village at a public meeting at a later date. The Chairman thanked Prof. Newson for his time and for the explanation.

1. Apologies : None

2. Declarations of interest: None

3. Website: Dave Porter, who manages and designs the Riding Mill website gave a brief demonstration to the Council, explaining the need to update the site and also to make it easier to use and run. Updates will be automatic when entered and there can be limited pass word access by the Clerk, Councillors and even some Club committees. The whole site will be more modern and cheaper to run. Radiopages will continue to host the site and pay for the domain name (which is renewed every 2 years) and can, if preferred, make editing changes to the site for the Council. Councillors agreed to the updates and asked that the work progress. DP

4. Minutes of the meeting of 13th February 2012 were agreed as a true record.

5. Matters arising: a) Tennis Club: the letter of support for the grant application had been signed and sent;
b) Car Park: the sign had been re-sited; the VHT are paying for the planting which has been completed and donations are being sought for the benches;
c) Double yellow lines: A few comments had been received by the County Council following the consultation. It will be about 6 weeks for the committee and NCC to make a decision;
d) Millfield Road Bridge: Invitations to tender for the short term repairs to the bridge have gone out and the results will be back in several weeks;
e) Flashing lights: these are working now but will be monitored;
f) Fence at Play Park: repairs are in hand;
g) Mobile Post Office: Cllr Dale offered to find a contact from the County and the Clerk would deal directly with the Post Office;
h) Trees: The trees at the Weir have been cut down. The Council offered help to resolve the problem of a tree from the Wellington’s land falling across the Burn and onto land at Dere Hollow. Mrs Stephenson offered to ask the home owners to cut the ivy back on the outside of the wall of the road leading to the station as it was obstructing the pavement.

6. The Nick: The Chairman would write to Mrs Stevenson pointing out her prima facie liability for water flowing from her garden next to the Nick causing a hazard on the Nick, the Slaley road and the A695, suggesting her insurers should look at the problem. Advice from the County’s legal team included suggesting asking the Water Company to allow the run off into their sewage drains. This will also be followed up. JM/MA

7. Weir: Prof. Newson’s presentation and approval by DEFRA and the Environment Agency of the new plans enabled the Parish Council to make an informed decision. Cllr Eakins indicated that he was disappointed that no solution could be found which removed all the Parish Council’s liability for maintenance of the weir but accepted that the proposed solution was the best that could be achieved in the circumstances. The Council agreed that Cllr Mills should sign the agreement between the Council and the Tyne Rivers Trust subject to some wording changes. JM

8.Celebrations/Events: The Cricket Club have agreed to use of the pitch for the Sports event on Torch Day. The village will be decorated with bunting and scarecrows and the ladies from the Foyer cafe have offered extra catering. Cllr Reid would organise parking up Whiteside Bank and in the grounds of the Engineering Business. It was agreed that residents of Whiteside Bank be informed of the parking plans. Parishes not directly involved with the relay such as Slaley, Healey and Corbridge would be invited. MA

9. Handyman Report: This was accepted. It was noted the bin in the Play Park had not been emptied for some time. The County would be informed. MA

10. Vexatious Correspondence: The Council’s Policy was invoked in respect of vexatious correspondence from two named people meaning only the first fresh item in the first letter, email or other form of correspondence would be dealt with by the Parish Council between successive meetings for the following six months. Cllr Mills read out a draft letter for the Clerk to send which stated the reasons for the Parish Council’s actions in line with the Policy and she proposed that Mr Young be made the subject of a resolution; this was agreed by the Council. A second letter detailing reasons was read out relating to Dr Young. Cllr Mills also proposed this and the Parish Council agreed. The Clerk would send the letters. JM/MA

11. Affordable Housing: Cllr Dunhill raised the issue following a report he had seen in the Journal. It is some time since a Housing needs survey has been done for the village and Cllr Dale suggested writing to the County Council Housing Department who would have more recent assessment as a basis for further consideration. It was noted there was no more public money for a renewed Village Plan or survey and that setting up a scheme was very expensive. MA

12. Planning:
1. Considered by Northumberland County Council:
a) the following are pending decisions:
11/00903/FUL – House at land west of Kingmead: decision still pending, subject to a S.106 statement;
b) 12/00062/FUL – extension at Lyn-Dene, Millfield Road
2. Considered by the Parish Council with no objections:
a) 12/00260/FUL – Window at Beauclerc
b) 12/00247/PRUTPO – tree at Hazel Rigg, Millfield Road
c) 12/00349/FUL – Extension at Underwood Lodge

13. Finance: a) the financial statement was accepted.
b) The following payments were authorised:

MFAnderton salary/Feb./March/Expenses – £923.80
Sign & Design (move car park sign) – £30.00
NCC/grass cutting – £1,453.32
Northumbria Water – £8.88
Homevend (Handyman) – £70.00
Stuart Burns (trees) – £500.00
Dennis Castelow (repairs) – £150.00
Clerks and Councils Direct (Ann. Subs) – £12.00
Radiopages (website)  -£169.00

14. Minor Matters: a) Long Rigg Residents Association had approached the Council to discuss transferring the road to them.
b) The status of the footpaths near the rivers was queried; it was confirmed that the path from the end of the station was only permissive while the path along the river was a Right of Way;
c) a more detailed statement about the Parish Council’s proposals for Millfield Road Bridge would be drafted for the web site;
d) it was acknowledged that the new easterly sign for Wentworth Grange appeared to solve the traffic problems with lorries there.
The meeting closed at 9.55pm