Annual Parish Meeting 2013

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

Broomhaugh and Riding Mill Parish Council

Annual parish meeting held on 23rd April 2013 in the Millennium HalL, Church Lane at 6pm

Present Cllrs Mills (chairperson) Reid, Dunhill, Carew (taking minutes) and County Cllr Dale and 4 members of the public

1. Apologies

Brian Singer, Peter Howe, and Jen Stephenson

2. Minutes of the 2012 Annual Parish meeting were agreed to be a true record

3. Chairman’s report

1. The PC has had another busy year. Although the number of councillors rose to 7 through co-option during the past year we already know as the date for nominations has passed that we will only have 6 councillors for the next 3 years. Lucy Sehgal has decided not to stand for re election and John Eakins resigned due to his move to Cumbria.

The PC will welcome any applications for co-option as there will be 3 places available to bring the strength up to 9, the full number of Councillor places on the council.

2. After 2 years of co-operation between the PC and the Tyne Rivers Trust the works to the Weir were completed in 2012 by the contractors working under the guidance of Prof Malcolm Newson, Chairman of the Tyne Rivers Trust. The area looks very picturesque and conforms to the requirements of the Enviroment Agency in respect of fish, and eels. Shortly there will be an interpretation board set up specifying the wildlife that can be seen there. The temporary fencing has been removed and a new seat has been installed to facilitate enjoyment of a quiet corner of the village .

3. The PC has had remedial work carried out by Dobson Brothers to the Millfield Rd Bridge, which should carry the bridge forward for some 10-15yrs. This requires the maintenance of the weight limit on the bridge of 3 tonnes.

On the website the PC had invited comments from the village on the long term options for the bridge, but none were received.

4. The PC together with the help from the County Council and in particular with help and financial support from the County Councillor has dealt with a problem of water running down the Nick.

A contribution was also given by Sandy Bank Association.

The PC had potential liability for any water freezing that could cause a hazard on the Nick, the Slaley Rd and the A695.Water running down the Nick now drains through the Nick and into Highways drains.

5 (i) The Interactive Solar powered speed warnings to remind traffic of the speed limit through the village were very disappointing only working intermittently. Perseverence with complaints to the suppliers has revealed that incorrect parts were installed originally, and this has now been rectified.

The solar warnings now appear to be functioning correctly

(ii) The County Council has had double yellow lines painted on Church Lane near the Millennium Hall and onto Whiteside Bank as well as at the main road end of Millfield Rd “Slow” signs to be painted on the Main Rd at Broomhaugh have been promised but have not yet been done.

(iii) Bicycle stands have been installed at the Village Hall and in the Old Playground.

6. The Main event of the year was the Olympic Torch journey through the village in June. There was a good turnout for the day with co-ordination by the PC and the VHT. The village held a sports day, and scarecrow competition as well as providing refreshments throughout the day for all the visitors.

The village was decorated with Bunting and a tricolour of flowers to coincide with the Queens Jubilee celebrations enjoyed by many at the Village Hall and organised by the Village Hall committee.

7. The Tennis Club’s application for a grant to improve its double courts and to turn the single court into an all purpose games area has been successful. The Tennis Club committee have put forward the plans to the PC who as landlords have supported the club’s application and have also given financial support.

8. The Residents of Longrigg have approached the PC re the possibility of taking over the road to enable them to manage its maintenance.

9, The Northumberland County Council has drafted a Core Strategy document for the County and a working party prepared a thorough response which the PC approved. The village plan is to be reviewed both as a routine and in the light of the Core Strategy.

10. The Handyman has continued to maintain the PC’s assets and carry out work on the trees, benches etc. All the PC’s many benches have now been renovated, and work has been carried out on trees, quite a few of which have had to be felled or trimmed.

11. The Planning sub- committee has considered 9 applications referred by the CC Planning Dept.

The PC itself has applied to the Planning Dept for permission for the village hall car park sign to be amended to delete the reference to flooding.

12. Monitoring of the Play park continues each week; one ongoing problem is molehills which spoil the grass surface of the park. Unfortunately very wet weather earlier in the year has increased activity of the moles.

13. Finally there is a list of people whom I would like to thank for their help and work for the village, in particular Linden Stephenson for her work with organising the Handyman.

She has spent much time and researched the cost of various necessary works including felling trees and repairs to walls on the Old Playground and in Dene Close

Once again I must mention a debt of gratitude owed to Anne Dale our County Councillor over the past year. She has always been quick to take up problems in the village where the County Council are involved, ready with funds to support the village plans and punctilious at attending our meetings. Apart from matters already mentioned Mrs Dale provided the funds to restore the Millfield Rd street lamps.

And of course I would like to thank my fellow councillors for their hard work and support given this year. Without them the achievements of this year would not have been realised.

4. Report from the Village Hall Trust 2013

Linda Shepherd, Chairman of Riding Mill Village Hall Trust

The Village Hall Trust continues to thrive thanks to the support and help we receive from lots of people, both in and out of the Village.

Use of the Hall has grown yet again. The Millennium Hall has 2 extra regular clubs and the Parish Hall has 3! We have had 2 weddings, both in the same week, and the halls have been used for many other functions too.

St James used the halls more frequently last summer in their Year of Eventfulness

Pam Pryor keeps busy taking bookings and very few days go by when both halls are not occupied.

The Cafe in the Foyer is as popular as ever and thanks must go to all of our volunteers

Later in the year we will be having a Garden walk about, a Village Show and a Craft Fair.

A jumble sale will be held on the 11th May

The flat is still rented out successfully and this money pays Val Thompson’s ( The caretaker) wages.

Finally I would like to thank Val and Alan Thompson, Elaine and Martin Raeburn, Rosie Cummings who is the treasurer, Pam Pryor who is the Trust secretary, the Trustees, a growing band of people who help to make our halls as good as they are and any organisation which helps financially towards the upkeep of the Halls

5. Broomhaugh CE First School April 2013, Jen Stephenson

I hope this report gives you an idea of school life at the moment and I must apologise for not being able to attend the Meeting in person—Parents evenings and Governors Meetings have unfortunately taken over my time.

At present the number on the roll is 72 children. The capacity for school is 75 and I feel that to only have 3 spare places is quite an achievement. Obviously though things in a small school can change very quickly and just one family leaving school can have a huge impact. In September as far as predicted numbers go we are full.

As a lot of the funding from Northumberland County Council is dependent on pupil numbers we are pleased that the numbers will be healthy. However it is a continual worry that funding is reduced costs are rising and schools are being asked to pay more and more for services.

We continue to provide the children with a stimulating interesting curriculum that includes visits to other establishments e.g. Seven Stories in Newcastle, Discovery Museum, Roman Wall etc.etc. We feel that these visits can enhance the children’s learning however ,we are always aware that these trips do cost families a fair amount .

The School also participates with other events that are held with other schools in the area, for instance next week we are taking part in a Music Festival that is being held at Hexham Abbey one evening. Children seen very happy at school- in fact we always seem to have a problem of children not wanting to go home in the evenings and wanting to come to school when they are poorly!

School Staff do provide clubs for the children to join in after school activities such as Choir, Craft clubs , Sports club etc which are also well attended

The PTA work hard for us and this year they have offered to pay for new markings on the playground and will need to raise more than £2000 to fund this.

The Squirrels after school club continues to run, providing the services of after school care for working parents.

We are continually grateful for all the support and interest that the parents of our children, Governors and villagers show in the School and would like to thank the Parish council for their continuing interest.

6. County Councillor Report (TO FOLLOW)

7. Financial Statement

A Draft Financial Statement was presented

Mr Brian Young asked as to where and how many Bank Accounts were held by the Parish council.

As the PC is in the process of changing the bank Accounts clarification will be given by the Parish clerk.

Mr Young also asked if the Parish Council had waved any fee re the Release of covenants in the past year. The reply was that no covenants had been released.

The Meeting closed at 6.45pm