Parish Council Minutes September 2011

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the above Parish Council meeting, held in the Supper Room of the Parish Hall on 26th September 2011 at 7.45pm

Present: Cllrs Mills, Reid, Howe, Dunhill and Eakins; County Councillor Dale; 8 members of the public and one member of the press.

1. Apologies: None.

2. Declarations of interest: None

3. Minutes of the previous meeting: Agreed

4. Tennis Club: Steve Plaskitt, the Treasurer of the Tennis Club spoke to the letter that had been sent by the Tennis club to the Council. The Club is in a healthy position financially, however the courts are in a bad state of repair and new surfaces, new fencing etc are needed to enable the club to compete with neighbouring villages’ courts. The Tennis Club is asking for support in applying for grants that would support the proposed programme of work and for suggestions for other uses for surplus grant money to enhance the facilities for the village. Turning the single court into an all purpose facility is one option. If the Club’s sinking fund is utilised, no reserve will be left for maintenance or emergencies . To do the work by the end of next year, application must be made by the end of February. The Council agreed to support the plans in principle and would like to see more research in a draft bid. Cllr Dale suggested the Club  discuss their plans with the school and the village youth community.

5. Handyman and other maintenance works in the village:Mrs Stephenson had prepared a report of the Handyman’s activities and a list of possible new work to go through the next few months, including  quotes for tree work outside his remit. The lesser of 2 quotes, for £120 was accepted – to remove an overhanging tree at the double tennis courts. It was agreed to extend the Handyman’s contract for another 12 months. MAQuotes had also been obtained for replacement cradle seats for the Junior swing in the Play Park. Cllr Dunhill would check this. The problem of saplings between the tennis court and the Play Park was to be addressed by removing the lower part of the netting from the play park fence. The return of Japanese knotweed near the footbridge to the double tennis courts was reported; Cllr Howe had discussed  this with Tyne Rivers Trust who had agreed to come next May to treat it. The Clerk would ask the Housing agency if they wished to replace the old bench at Dene Terrace. If not, it could be used to repair the others in the village. The bench below Bobby’s, which is the most used in the village, needs replacing and it was agreed that a request be placed in the Parish News inviting payment for a replacement. MA

6. Speed Signs: The proposed siting of the sign at the east of the village had created problems and a new location outside the Old Orchard had been suggested to the County Council.  A letter to nearby residents would be delivered, offering a short period of consultation. The Clerk would check with the manufacturers whether the speed settings could be altered  in winter. MA

7. Weir: This had collapsed further whilst information about grants was awaited; work must now be postponed until  next May under Environment Agency regulations. The costs of removing the Weir will be affected by the grants available but should be known before the Council’s budget is set.

8. Millfield Road Bridge: The contractors had prepared tender documents for the work to the bridge.

However, work near the Burn has had to be postponed until next May so the tenders will be timed so that remedial work can begin in May. Members of the public again raised their concern with the bollards on the bridge in case of another bad winter. A suggestion was made from the floor that since the central four beams of the bridge were capable of carrying a weight of 7.5 tons, the bollards should be moved to widen the carriageway so that emergency vehicles could use it.  Cllr Dale agreed to contact the County Highways Dept to see whether this would be allowed. She would look at the possibility of grants for small bridges as well. ADe

Cllr Eakins proposed that, during the inevitable delay in starting work, the Parish Council should bring forward its plans to consult the village on the long term options for the bridge. If these could be researched and costed before next spring, it would be possible to consult the whole village before starting any work. This was agreed. Cllr Reid pointed out that the bridge on Marchburn Lane is of similar construction although, being a cul-de-sac, it does not carry as much traffic. Cllr Dale suggested asking the County Council’s legal department to assist with the wording of the final consultation document. ALL

9. Parish Hall Car Park: Approval has been granted for the car park and a formal submission for discharge of conditions has been lodged and is awaiting approval from the Development committee. Following this approval, the Clerk would notify the contractors accordingly. MA

10. Double yellow lines: At a meeting between Cllr Dale, Cllr Dunhill, a school governor, the school head and Mr McKenna from the County Council, lines outside the school were discussed. The County agreed to monitor the situation outside the school and the school agreed to work with the parents. The results of  this monitoring exercise are awaited.  A map of the proposed changes has been prepared for broader consultation in the village.

Cllr Mills raised a concern about the lack of signage on the A695 where traffic to Wentworth Grange sees the 2 ton weight limit sign on the railway bridge only after turning off the main road. There is then nowhere for vehicles to back or turn safely. Cllr Dale agreed to look and take the matter to the County Council. ADe

11. Local Transport Plan for 12/13: Three safety matters were raised to add to the LTP for the coming year. For children from Sandy Bank crossing the A695 the egress is blind, the pavement on the south side of the road is extremely narrow and walking safely to another crossing point is difficult.

Secondly on the A68 at the cross roads for Broomley Village and Healey, the road markings are not clear for  Northbound vehicles to turn into Broomley or for Southbound vehicles to turn into Healey. There have been two bad accidents recently.

Thirdly the possibility of installing “gateways “ to the village was raised, but it was decided to discuss this first with the County Council MA

12. Bus Shelter: The County Council have received a request from a resident for a bus shelter at the stop at the West of the village at Slaley Road end. The height of the bus stop could be a problem. It was agreed to canvass residents’ views in the Parish News. MR

13. Planning: Considered by Northumberland County Council:

(a) the following were granted consent under delegated powers:

11/01347/FUL Hazel Rigg, Millfield Road, extension/conversion

11/00717/LBC Retreat House, Shepherd’s Dene – replacement roof

11/01722/CCD Solar panels at Broomhaugh First School

11/01612/FUL Extension at Jacaranda, Long Rigg

(b)11/00903/FUL House at land west of Kingmead, Sandy Bank. Referred to the Development committee

14. Correspondence: Confirmation had been received from Network rail that restorative work on the listed bridge at the station would take place in 2012. Network Rail had said they were in close contact with the local authority. This would be clarified. MA

15. Finance: a) the financial statement was noted and accepted. A budgetary heading for items of capital expenditure could usefully be added. At the moment, items such as the road signs have been coded as “maintenance”, which is not really appropriate. JE

b) The following payments were authorised:

MF Anderton – Salary July – £433.64
MF Anderton – Salary August – £433.64
MF Anderton – Expenses July – £51.14
Age UK Northumberland (s.137 donation) – £50.00
Homevend (Handyman)/12 £70.00
Buckley & Jones (new keys and repair to noticeboard) – £77.00
Alan Thompson (Petrol for grass cutting) – £6.90
L Stephenson (materials for handyman – July) – £123.10
BTBell – fee re tendering – £2,400.00
BDO – Audit fee – £510.00
VHT – rents – £60.00
MF Anderton – Salary September – £433.64
MF Anderton – Expenses Aug/September – £126.84
Viking (paper/toners) £154.31
Peter Howe – County Council fee re planning – £85.00
L Stephenson (re materials for Handyman – August) – £43.63

c) Annual Audit: the Clerk reported the completion of the Annual Audit for 2010/11 by BDO. The comments raised were noted; it was agreed to raise the Fiduciary Insurance for the following year.

16. Minor matters: It was agreed to ask Mr Heslop if he would lay the wreath at the War Memorial for Remembrance Day. MA

The Confidential item on the Agenda was not taken. The meeting closed at 10.15pm