Parish Council Minutes October 2008

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 13th October 2008 in the Supper room of the Parish Hall at 7.45pm

Present: Councillors Tulip, Williams, Heslop, Reid, Dunhill and Stephenson. Also present were County Councillor Dale, District Councillor Latham (for part of meeting), 4 members of the public and one member of the Press.

1. Apologies were received from Cllr Mills.

2. Cooption of J. Eakins: Dr. Eakins gave a brief presentation as to why he wished to be a Councillor and was co-opted unanimously onto the Council.

3. Minutes of last meeting: The minutes were agreed as a true record.

4. Matters arising: Cllr Tulip thanked Cllr Dale for asking the County Council to inspect Millfield Road bridge following the floods. They pronounced it safe and as at their last inspection. Cllr Stephenson reported that Northumbria Water were checking a bracket which had come loose after the flooding which held a large pipe, which was also leaking, under the bridge. Cllr Dale offered some of her funding to a light on the footpath between the Station and Broomhaugh but Cllr Tulip suggested, and it was agreed, that an inspection should be carried out to ensure it was value for money. Cllr Reid also commented on the fact that Mr Rowntree had photographed the bridges at the Station and over the railway near Wentworth Grange and asked Network Rail when they were to be repaired. It was pointed out the Station Bridge is a Grade 2 listed building. The reply from Network Rail intimated they would be repaired as part of the 2010/2011 workload.

5. Playpark: Cllr Tulip thanked all who had helped clean up after the floods. The report from Playdale had highlighted most of the same points as the ROSPA report. Their engineer had adjusted the gate. The main item of concern was the two roofs on the smaller climbing frame. Quotes had been received from Playdale for replacing these. It was also agreed to ask the Parish’s fencer to quote to replace them as well. Cllr Reid specifically noted thanks for all the work Cllr Dunhill has done in the park. The fence had been repaired and Cllr Dunhill offered to adjust the bottom line of the fence to prevent dogs entering. On related flood issues, Cllr Stephenson noted that the occupiers of the former Police House were raising the levee on their property to prevent the flood water rising so high in future. It was also suggested the homes nearby register with the Floodline. Cllr Stephenson agreed to visit those homes and facilitate that. A letter to the County requesting that gullies be cleared more frequently should also be sent. Cllr Reid asked if it was known which areas are liable to flood and it was pointed out to him that Tynedale and the Environment Agency keep such details which are available through their websites.

6. NALC AGM: The Clerk had attended the NALC AGM and provided copies to Councillors of the presentation made by Dr Francis of the changes to date relating to Unitary status. In particular, she highlighted some of the details for them to note of the proposed Charter between the Unitary Authority and Parish and Town Councils.

7. Remembrance Day: Cllr Heslop agreed to lay the wreath at the Remembrance Day service and would check the war memorial to see that it is tidy. He also expressed the hope that some of the other Councillors would be able to attend as well.

8. Correspondence:
a) General – for circulation. Concern was expressed that the items were not getting to everyone when possible and Councillors were asked to be more prompt. The Clerk would include a sheet of paper for Councillors to draw each-other’s attention to items of interest.
b) Notice board: Cllr Tulip had talked with representatives from the Methodist Church who were keen to replace their notice board in Broomhaugh. Once some quotes had been obtained, then the Parish Council might be asked to contribute.
c) South Broomhaugh: the County were looking at the problem of parking and had suggested bollards. It was felt these might not go down too well as it is recognised there is a lack of parking space. The Clerk would write to the County suggesting the problem might be partially resolved by delineating the footpath more clearly.
d) Dipton Foot Bridge: it was noted the County has listened to objections to this road being closed and were putting in a temporary one-way road to help the traffic flow.

9. Finance:
a) The financial statement and receipts were accepted by all Councillors.
b) The following payments were authorised by all councillors:-

MF Anderton / Salary /September – £382.13
MF Anderton / Expenses /September – £119.05
Carter Business Sytems – £18.41
Playdale – £229.13
T. Smith/bridge repair/fencing – £513.76

c) Bank of Ireland: In the current financial climate, Cllr Tulip had asked the security of the savings accounts be checked. It was agreed that they were as safe as any at present and they be left as is.

10. Minor matters: The bench in the Supper room needs putting in the Play park. Cllr Dale agreed to chase up as well as the Clerk. Cllr Reid raised the matter of recording meetings again. It was agreed to look into the legalities of taping meetings. Cllr Stephenson queried whether the new bus shelter would be non-smoking. It was agreed that all the shelters should be and the Clerk would buy four ‘No Smoking’ notices to be put up. Cllr Dale asked that Councillors comment on the housing allocations policy review document in the circulation file.

The meeting closed at 8.55.

Parish Council Minutes September 2008

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 8th September 2008 in the Supper room of the Parish Hall at 7.45pm

Present: Councillors Mills, Tulip, Williams, Heslop, Reid and Stephenson. Also present were County Councillor Dale, District Councillor Latham (for part of meeting), 4 members of the public and one member of the Press.

1. Apologies were received from Cllr Dunhill.

2. Minutes of last meeting: The minutes were agreed as a true record subject to small grammatical changes.

3. Matters arising: There was nothing to report on either the Village Green application or Millfield Road. Cllr Tulip noted that there was to be a meeting at County Hall on Millfield road the following week.

4. Playpark: Cllr Tulip gave the report in the absence of Cllr Dunhill. The annual safety inspection from ROSPA had highlighted a couple of concerns. It was agreed to ask Playdale to visit (as the installers of the equipment) to conduct a thorough inspection as well and recommend any actions which should be taken, or what might be safely left alone but monitored. The inspector adjusted the gate which was one of the main comments ROSPA had made. Cllr Mills noted that a number of children were playing over the stile and sliding down to the Burn. It was agreed to note that although this could be risky, it was an acceptable risk in children’s play. The gaps in the fence are to be repaired.

5. Bridge over Railway at Wentworth Grange: in response to the proposed closure of this bridge, Cllrs Reid and Mills had written in their personal capacities objecting. The Parish Council had also written in support but had not had a reply. Cllr Reid had received a confusing reply. There is no public ROW across the bridge, confirmed by the County Council. Network Rail suggest the public could use the public road more (the one not going over the bridge). Cllrs Reid and Mills have researched the matter showing that in 1828, 5 months before assent to the railway was given, the proposed railway line cut an existing road at this point and the bridge must have been a requirement for this route to be taken. Furthermore the next map of 1842 shows both the bridge and the lane so they must have coexisted for more than 150 years without it being considered that one could supplant the other. Cllr Mills has paperwork to apply for the rest of the road to become a PROW. It was agreed to wait and see what response Network rail made before considering the PROW application. The Clerk would chase up the matter of parking on the line of sight on the main road.

6. NALC Committee/AGM: It was agreed to nominate the Clerk to continue to sit on the County Committee. Cllr Reid expressed a possible interest in attending the AGM on 4th October subject to other commitments, and it was believed that Cllr Dunhill might also be interested. The Clerk would forward their names. She also reported very briefly on two points from the recent meeting:1) that there would only be 3 Area committees in the new Unitary Structure, and 2) that there was a concern about inequities in possible charging methods for services such as grass cutting for example across the County. NALC would be writing to comment on this.

7. Planning:
08/00086/TPO 3 Meadow Park Consent given
2008/0531 Freshfield, Sandy Bank (extension) Conditional permission
2008/0491 Oaklands Lodge, extension Conditional permission
2008/0437 Broomhaugh House, portacabin Conditional permission
2008/0501 Shepherd’s Dene, listed consent for internal works, Consent given under delegated powers
2008/0560 Shepherd’s Dene, external changes Consent given under delegated powers

8. Correspondence:
a) General – for circulation.
b) Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership/AGM: Cllr Reid expressed interest in attending and possibly Cllr Dunhill as well. The Clerk would write to acknowledge this and include that items for consideration should include reopening Gilsland Station and that timetables should be better scheduled so that connections to mainline services can be better achieved.

9. Finance:
a) The financial statement and receipts were accepted by all Councillors.
b) The following payments were authorised by all councillors:-

M F Anderton/Sal/August – £382.13
M F Anderton/Exp/July – £46.32
M F Anderton/Exp/Aug – £57.70
VHT/rent – £77.00
ROSPA/Ann. Inspection – £77.55
Wardhadaway – £587.50
Northumbrian Water – £12.85
CWC/knotweed – £176.25

10. Minor matters: Cllr Stephenson talked with Tynedale to ascertain our inclusion in a windfall sum of money in the absence of the Clerk and Chair on holiday. This would be ~ – £1700 and would have to go to infrastructure such as bus shelters. It was also agreed to add on a stretch of grass cutting on Millfield Road as per a map supplied by Cllr Stephenson. Cllr Heslop reported that Mrs Niven is standing down as Chair at the VHT AGM. It was agreed the Parish Council should write and thank her in appreciation of her hard work. Because of the recent flooding it was agreed to ask the Environment Agency if there is anything the Parish Council and the village could do to mitigate future problems. The matter of the light on the footpath from Broomhaugh to the station was raised again and Cllr Dale agreed to follow this up at County Hall as it is a Public Footpath. It was noted that thanks should go to Michael Hinds for his grasscutting efforts round the planters and beyond.

Cllr Reid asked to see the correspondence on the bus shelter and to be consulted on its siting. The Chairman and Clerk were congratulated on the new clearer presentation of the accounts and the arrangements to post them publicly.

The meeting closed at 8.30

Parish Council Minutes July 2008

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 14th July 2008 in the Supper room of the Parish Hall at 8.00pm

Present: Councillors Mills, Stephenson, Tulip, Dunhill, Williams, and Heslop. Also present were County Councillor Dale, District Councillor Latham, 8 members of the public, one member of the Press and Stephen Rickitt, Principal Solicitor for Northumberland County Council was in attendance before the meeting.

1. Apologies were received from Cllr Reid.

2. Resignation of Councillor: Peter Nitsch had written to resign, owing to pressure of work. It was agreed to write and say thank you on behalf of the Parish Council.

3. Minutes of the previous meeting: The minutes were agreed as a true record.

4. Village Green: Mr Rickitt gave a brief presentation to Councillors and to the public about the processes involved once a Village Green application was submitted. After answering some questions, he left before the Parish Council meeting began. Councillors do not have a problem in principle with the idea of a village green but it was felt that a meeting should be held with the Tennis Club representatives to find out their intentions. It was noted that the Tennis Club were dropping their proposals to move to Broomhaugh for the time being. Cllr Dunhill noted that he had supported the sale of the amenity land originally but rested on the will of the majority following the consultation.

5. Millfield Road: Cllr Tulip reported that a useful meeting had been held at County Hall with the head of Highways and Cllr Dale. Cllr Reid and the Clerk were in attendance. Mr Walton has agreed to look closely at other options under which they would adopt both the road and the bridge. It would be necessary to await their response. Cllr Heslop thanked Cllr Tulip and Cllr Dale for their efforts.

6. Pedestrian Crossing: A meeting had also been held at County Hall on the matter of the Pedestrian Crossing. There is a serious problem with the configuration of the road making the location a problem. According to the survey done, the desired crossing point does not meet the strict criteria. The school were also supporting a crossing from a safety point of view. There are three options, a refuge in the middle of the road, a Belisha Beacon crossing and a Pelican crossing with signals. There are increasing costs associated with each category. The County have agreed to do further studies to check the viability of the simple crossing versus the Pelican crossing. Cllr Dale will look into the problem that the proposed crossing does not meet the County Council criteria.

7. Trees, Weir and Fence: Following the comments made at the previous Council meeting, Cllr Tulip had met with both representatives of the Forestry Commission and the Environment Agency. Their views were that the wood should be left as it is with the exception of the two trees across the footpath. With respect to the trees in the Burn and the stones, it was the view of the Environment Agency that both could be safely left Cllrs Stephenson and Dunhill expressed a wish to have the retaining wall repaired but the majority decision was to leave it for the time being. The bridge over the Weir needs some repairs and these would be organised. Additionally the fence within the hedge on the Parish Hall side of the Playpark has breaks in it. It was agreed to repair these and extend the fence to the tree line.

8. Planning:
2008/0138 Change of use of Post Office Conditional permission
2008/0404 5 Oaklands Conditional permission

9. Correspondence:
a) General – for circulation.
b) Safety mirrors: It was agreed to purchase two safety mirrors, one to go opposite the westerly lane leading to Wentworth Grange and the other to replace the one opposite Hollin Hill Terrace as the current one is in poor condition. It is hoped that Wentworth Grange might contribute either financially or by supplying labour.
c) Community Policing: PC Robertson had requested that the Parish Council help, in the short term, by allowing the use of the Supper room for an occasional surgery, at their expense. It was agreed to try this for a period of 12 months.
d) Knotweed: The current course of treatment was finished but there were still traces of rhizomes which could take hold again. CWC’s letter would be circulated to Councillors and a decision be taken afterwards on the continuing of treatment, albeit at a much lesser cost and frequency.
e) A report from Cllr Williams was noted following his attendance at a meeting at County Hall on Boundary Commission changes.

10. Finance:
a) The financial statement and receipts were accepted by all Councillors.
b) The following payments were authorised by all councillors:-

M F Anderton/Salary/June – £382.13
M F Anderton/Salary/July – £382.13
M F Anderton/Expenses/June – £91.74
Allianz/addnl premium – £51.97
Carter Bus.Syst. – £18.51
RM Allotment Ass.insurance – £58.50
M Stewart/benches – £260.00
J Harding/Spinney – £235.00
F. Tulip(exp) – £6.20
CWC/knotweed – £323.13

c) It was agreed that from September, a summary of the financial statement would be put up on the notice board.

11. Minor matters: The date for the Councillors village walk was changed to 23rd July. The name sign at the west end of the village had been damaged. The County would be informed. Cllr Dale noted that she had suggested an outreach Post service for Riding Mill. Mr Young asked whether questions would be allowed at this stage. The Chair agreed. Mr Young asked about copies of the relevant conveyances etc. relating to the Council’s purchase of the proposed ‘village green site’. It was agreed to forward the information. Mr Young then requested the Council to take action to solve intermittent flooding on Millfield Road. Cllr Dale offered to take this matter up with the relevant authority at County Hall.

The meeting closed at 9.00

Parish Council Minutes June 2008

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 9th June 2008 in the Supper room of the Parish Hall at 7.45pm

Present: Councillors Mills, Tulip, Dunhill, Williams, Heslop and Reid. Also present were County Councillor Dale, District Councillor Latham, 5 members of the public and one member of the Press.

1. Apologies were received from Cllr Nitsch.

2. Cooption of Councillor: Mrs Linden Stephenson was co-opted onto the Council. Cllr Stephenson said that she had attended Parish Council meetings since 1999 and felt that she was now in a position to be able to offer her services to the community to the best of her ability.

3. Minutes of 12th May: The minutes were agreed as a true record.

4. Matters arising: with a nearly full Council now available, it was proposed that Cllr Reid be nominated as Vice-Chair of Council. This was agreed. It was noted that the usage of the public phone boxes possibly being closed were: one call in the last 12 months at the Broomley one and 440 at the Riding Mill PO box which was considered be significant. Letters had gone to Network Rail about the bridge downgrade; to the County Council about roadside mirrors and also to the County about the crossing.

5. Matters arising from the APM: It was agreed to publish the provisional minutes onto the web-site and also to give them to the Parish News who could publish sections as space allowed over the next few months.

6. Millfield Road: As was noted from the Hexham Courant, followed by a formal letter, Tynedale Council had turned down the request to turn the loan into a grant. They suggested forwarding the matter to the County for consideration. Cllr Tulip suggested that a direct appeal to the County be made and a meeting be set up at County Hall with the help of Cllr Dale. Cllr Heslop reinforced the idea that the County should deal directly with the matter, at their expense. In the meantime, the loan is ring-fenced at Tynedale should the Parish Council wish to take it on. It was also noted, in response to a specific question, that the Parish Council’s public liability insurance of – £5,000,000 still covered the bridge, providing that adoption proceedings were still being pursued.

7. Trees: Two confidential quotes had been received to undertake significant management of the woods behind Long Rigg known as Millbanks Wood. No work has been done in there in recent times and many trees are in a dangerous state. Councillors felt they would like to have an expert overview of the two quotes in terms of work and costs and the clerk agreed to approach the expert Tynedale Council were using and also to approach the Forestry Commission. Cllr Stephenson offered to liase with the experts when they came to view the woods. It was also agreed that a small cost to the expert would not be unreasonable should it be necessary at this stage.

8. Planning:
2008/0212 Parish Hall Consent under delegated powers
2008/0121 Kingmead, Sandy Bank Consent under delegated powers

9. Correspondence:
a) General – for circulation.
b) LGR: The Clerk reported on two meetings she had recently attended which related to changes in Governance structure and Belonging Communities and the forums. The picture is still very confused and with the deadline for changeover approaching rapidly there are concerns. The highlighted points are attached to the minutes for reference.
c) Planters: A letter had been received from the WI concerning grass cutting round the planters. It was noted that more regular cutting than that provide by Tynedale was needed. A member of the public, Mr Michael Hinds, very kindly volunteered to take the job on.

10. Finance:
a) The financial statement and receipts were accepted by all Councillors.
b) The following payments were authorised by all councillors:-

M F Anderton/Salary/May – £382.13
M F Anderton/Expenses/May – £9.26
Grant to VHT Development Fund – £3,200.00
Spares for Playpark – £29.38
Internal Audit – £128.40
W. Robe (planters) – £31.55
Northumbrian Water – £14.03
Mills glass – £91.69
Viking – £57.49

c) Approval of 2007/2008 Accounts and governance statement: Cllr Reid had some queries concerning Parish Council policies which he felt were relevant to approving the governance. It was pointed out that his concerns did not apply to these accounts. The accounts were approved together with the governance statement.

11. Minor matters: Cllr Heslop suggested writing to the VHT development Committee to congratulate them on the Garden/Scarecrow event as it was a huge success. The trees on the station footpath still need cutting back and a light is needed. The Clerk would write again on these matters and also let Cllr Dale know the details so she could chase matters up at County Hall. The footpath by the river also needs clearing and Cllr Dunhill mentioned another one past Red Hemmels. The footpath alongside the railway line is probably the responsibility of Network Rail. There are holes in the Playpark hedge, Councillors will look at the problem. A complete new fence is not needed. The Clerk would contact the Environment Agency about moving the stones in the weir. Cllr Heslop suggested new councillors should walk the Parish to familiarise themselves.

The meeting closed at 9.00

Annual Parish Meeting 2008 Minutes

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the Annual Parish Meeting held on Thursday 15th May 2008 at 7.30 in the Parish hall.

Present: Councillors Tulip and Reid, District Councillor Latham, County Councillor Anne Dale (except for item1), 10 members of the public and in attendance, Nick Petty and Brian Atkinson from CE-Electric, and PC Iain Robertson.

1. Apologies were received from Cllrs Heslop, Mills, Williams, Nitsch and Dunhill and Jen Stephenson from Broomhaugh & Riding C of E First School. The new Chairman, Cllr Tulip welcomed all to the meeting.

2. CE-Electric: In response to a number of recent interruptions to the power supply in the village, Brian Atkinson, NEDL’s restoration Manager, gave a very detailed presentation of the changes already made to improve the situation, why it was still happening, and the proposed solutions. Although the main power line from Wylam to Hexham has been rebuilt, the supply in Riding Mill is from one source only so that if a fault occurs, everything goes off. A new cable from Beauclerc at the western end of the village gives greater flexibility and there is new switch gear at Station Close. This does not improve the reliability of the system but the off times are shorter and fewer. The transformer which failed in Broomhaugh is to be rebuilt and the overhead lines are being refurbished, with a new larger conductor – some £300,000 worth of work. To date, £1.3 million pounds has been spent in recent improvements. All home owners will be notified when the new work begins in the summer. A number of questions from the floor were answered in more detail. In response to a query about the low voltages experienced by some residents, it was suggested that when this occurs again, NEDL be informed and if necessary they will monitor the situation for a period of time to see if the there is a fault or if it is high usage as often occurs in the winter. Nick Petty from Customer Services explained that the recent spate of problems and complaints had raised Riding Mill to ‘hot spot’ status which means a high level of monitoring and awareness. Even with the improvements made, the area would still be monitored and he requested that any person who might be at risk during an interruption should be notified to them to go on a special register.

PC Robertson introduced himself to the meeting as the new neighbourhood beat manager. He reiterated what had been said by the speakers from CE-Electric about the theft of cable. He would be holding occasional surgeries in the village in the future and the Community Police van would also call. He has written a short piece to go in the Parish news with his contact details.

3. Minutes of the 2007 APM were agreed as a true record and there were no matters arising. It was noted that a member of the public had objected to them.

4. Chairman’s report: The Chairman acknowledged the work of councillors who have resigned during the part of the year in which he had been involved – Alison Howey and Bob Horton. Both gave considerable time and energy to their duties as councillors. At the Parish Council meeting two days earlier, Cllr Tulip found himself voted in as Chairman. He then went on to note that for last year, there is now an even better web site, the village walks are included. Having gone through the last year’s minutes, he decided not to list the dozens of small yet important items which have been raised and in the main resolved. He did however wish to update the public on the two major issues which have involved so much time and energy – Millfield Road and the Tennis Courts.

On the question of Millfield Road the two polls which were undertaken clearly showed that the village did not support the proposal to cover the cost of the adoption by borrowing money from Tynedale and repaying this via the local rates. All action in this regard ceased. A proposal document seeking a grant from Tynedale was formulated, largely by Ray Tully and Brian Young who are thanked for their efforts. This was submitted a few weeks ago by a small delegation, including Councillors, at a meeting with the Finance Director of the authority. Their response is awaited.

The Tennis Club have informed the Parish Council that it is their wish to relocate to the Sports field at Broomhaugh sharing facilities with the Cricket Club. Plans have been drawn up. And they are actively seeking funding but confirm their proposals are in no way dependant upon financial support from the Parish Council. It is clear that such a scheme will take a considerable time to come to fruition. Until that time the tennis courts remain and no further action is required.

Finally the Council would like to congratulate all who have worked so hard to create the Mill Race Garden, an asset for us all.

The Chairman stated that he and his fellow councillors will endeavour in the coming year to serve the community to the best of their ability.

5. Financial Statement: this was prepared and handed out for members of the public to be aware of the movement of funds over the last 12 months. The Clerk drew the attention of members of the public to the fact that the previous year’s accounts had not yet been signed off by the auditors, owing to a formal complaint by a member of the public. It was noted the cost to the Parish Council of the complaint was likely to be around £3000 which would have to be paid out of the precept. In answer to a question, the matter had not affected the payment of the current year’s precept.

6. Report of the Village Hall Trust: The function of the Management Committee of Riding Mill Village Hall is to manage and maintain the two village halls so that activities can take place which will improve the quality of life for residents of Riding Mill and Broomhaugh. Consequently we try to offer the halls at reduced rates for affiliated societies and in the current year, the rates have been maintained despite rising costs. Improvements in the year include more comfortable chairs due largely to the Pritchard family, a commercial dishwasher thanks to the generosity of Liz Patterson, and a more welcoming fire in the Supper Room. Taking the welfare of staff to heart, a heat detector in the kitchen linked to an alarm in the caretaker’s flat above has been installed. During the year to November 2007, a surplus of £1327 was made which added to the retained surplus gave a sound financial start to the year of £10190.

The organisations using the halls provide opportunities for education ( Pre-School, Sunday School and Cubs) ; for improving health and fitness through exercise and sport ( Badminton, Bowls, Table-tennis and Exercise Classes) ; for culture ( Art and Drama) and for socialising. That there have been even more social events of a varied nature is largely due to the hard work of the committee for the Development of the Parish Hall, who have been working assiduously to raise money towards the improvement of the Parish Hall (a craft fair, a Burns Night Ceilidh, a bridge evening, an evening of Northumberland song and music and the Flower Festival). Under the leadership of Dr David Harle, the group comprising Andy Pryor, David Kilner, Myra Dixon, Fred Tulip, Janet Proud, Eric Roseby, Linda Shepherd, Val Thompson, Bob Tully and Bobby Turner, has raised a total, after deducting professional fees, £59, 641 and have obtained pledges, including from the Parish Council of £3200 and from Northumberland County Council of £9000, amounting to £23700. In two and a half years, approximately £83000 has been raised, a remarkable achievement. The refusal of the National Lottery and the unlikelihood of funding from Northern Rock are setbacks but the committee persevered. Some pledges are dependent on gaining planning permission or starting work. The planning permission is in the pipeline and the result should be heard soon. The Chairman wholeheartedly thanks the Development Committee for their commitment to the Community.

This has not been the only project undertaken in the year. The restoration of the Mill Race Gardens has been undertaken to create a wildlife area which could be used as an outdoor classroom and a pleasant area for the community to enjoy. The driving force behind the project is Elaine Raeburn. Both she and her husband Martin have given much of their time and effort. Through Councillor Thompson a grant of £1600 was given to the project from Northumberland County Council. Many others have volunteered their labour, clearing undergrowth, spreading chippings and the compost donated by Tynedale Council, planting etc. Special mention should go to Norman Heron, Derek Blair and David Niven who have tackled particular jobs – building walls and steps and seat and of Linda Shepherd who handled sponsorship of the plants. The Children donated bird boxes and feeders and all those who sponsored plants are thanked. The gardens will need to be maintained and the community are asked to support this.

The Chairman asked that everyone continue to support the Management Committee and in turn they will maintain and manage the halls to the best of their ability.

7. Report from Broomhaugh & Riding C of E First School: Head teacher, Jen Stephenson sent the following report which was read by the Chairman: Huge apologies to you all as I am not able to attend this meeting in person due to a Governors meeting in School. I hope this report gives you an idea of school life at the moment. Our numbers remain stable at 62. Although we do not have a full quota of children coming into Reception Class (mainly due to a couple of years of very low birth rates) our numbers will remain at 62 as some children are joining other year groups in September. We always try to make school an interesting learning environment and this year we have invested a great deal of money in improving school furnishings and the look of the school. Some of you may have noticed building work going on last summer as we changed the inside of the reception area. The Children have also been excited about our Wild Garden being turfed and tidied.

Some new introductions to our curriculum include Ukelele lessons for all of our Years 3 and 4, and a new Government initiative Let’s get Cooking. We continue to strive to make the ‘bread and butter’ curriculum as interesting as possible for the children through the use of Drama, Artwork and Music in our Literacy and Numeracy lessons. We had an exciting week of Outdoor Maths where all year groups held their Maths lessons outside for an entire week. This proved to be very popular with both teachers and pupils, although the mathematical treasure hunt at the end of the week proved a challenge for some parents! The Children have greatly enjoyed being involved with different activities in the village, for instance reading in Church at Christmas Eve Service and contributing to the Mill Race Garden. They are also looking forward to creating our Scarecrow for the Scarecrow Festival this year, so we are grateful to the village people for asking us to join in with anything that will help develop our links with the community. You may well have seen our ‘Walking Bus’ on Friday morning – as a school we are very concerned at how difficult it is for children (and grown-ups) to cross the busy main road here. One task that I have is to construct a school Travel Plan for the LEA so this may lead to the school helping the village to gain some kind of safe crossing if the Parish Council and village people felt this would be beneficial.

We are continually grateful to the support and interest that the parents of our children, governors and villagers pay in the school and are always willing to listen to new suggestions.

8. Minor Matters: A member of the public raised the issue of digital television reception in the village being very poor currently with the change due in 2012. It was also agreed to circulate parts of the minutes for information to members of the public. PC Robertson agreed to write a brief article for the Parish News giving his contact details.

The meeting closed at 9.00pm

Parish Council Minutes May 2008

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 12th May 2008 in the Supper room of the Parish Hall at 7.45pm

Present: Councillors Mills, Tulip, Dunhill and Reid. Also present were District Councillor Latham, 5 members of the public and one member of the Press.

1. Apologies were received from Cllrs Nitsch, Williams and Heslop.

2. Resignation & Standing Orders: It was noted that Cllr Horton had resigned owing to the pressure of work. Councillors readopted Standing Orders for the coming year.

3. Elections: Chairman: it was proposed and agreed by all that Cllr Tulip be elected Chair.
Vice-Chair: this was deferred until more Councillors were present.
Planning sub-committee: It was agreed that Cllrs Dunhill, Tulip and Mills would form the sub committee.
Play Park: Cllr Dunhill agreed to continue the inspections for the time being.
VHT: Cllrs Williams and Heslop would remain as representatives to the Management Board.
Correspondence Officer: Cllr Tulip agreed to continue in this role. (It was noted that the correspondence file had gone missing; the Clerk would check on its location).
Local elections: It was agreed to formally write and thank Prof. Ray Thompson as outgoing County Councillor for his hard work. It was noted that the District councillors would continue in their role until April 2009.

4. Minutes: The minutes were agreed as a true record with the amendment of Resolution 2 being written in full. The following brief points were noted as Matters arising: There was nothing to report on Millfield Road but it would be kept on future Agendas; Nothing had been heard about the pedestrian crossing but Cllr Reid agreed to chase that up; the letter to the PCC had been sent re the Pack Horse Bridge but a reply had not yet been received; the current Covenants Policy which is due to be rewritten will be circulated, for information, to the new Councillors; Councillors agreed to look at the trees along the station approach as there was some confusion as to whether the Wellington had had them cut back.

5. Planning
2008/0152 Hill House Conditional permission granted
2008/008 Wentworth Grange Conditional permission granted
2008/0143 Woodside, Sandy Bank Conditional permission granted

There was a brief discussion about the new Planning application for the Post Office. Cllr Latham declared an interest at this point and left the meeting. Councillors had been briefed on the previous application and the outcomes. It was noted they could only comment on planning points specifically but if Tynedale granted approval then the issue of the covenant would have to be considered as the deeds of the property were very specific relating to only retail use of the premises. It was agreed that the Planning subcommittee would look at the application and the outcome from Tynedale would be awaited before any decisions were made.

6. Correspondence:
a) General – for circulation.
b) Stocksfield Post offices: All the neighbouring Parishes had received a letter from Stocksfield PC concerning their two Post Offices, either of which might be up for closure. The PC was trying to estimate usage of either of them by non-residents of Stocksfield. It was agreed that the Clerk would put a note into the Parish News and also a tick questionnaire into Bobby’s for a short time.
c) PlayPark: A letter had been received from Mr Young concerning some shards of glass he’d found when playing there with his grandson. This was drawn to the Parish Council’s attention and he had asked to view the inspection sheets for the last year which Cllr Dunhill brought for him to look at. It was noted that inspecting Councillors kept an eye out for such hazards but it was difficult to spot glass in a molehill. Cllr Tulip thanked Mr Young for his letter.
d) Tynedale Council: Telephone Boxes: Tynedale are coordinating responses to BT about a number of public phone boxes they intend to close. The one outside the Post Office and the one up at Broomley were in our Parish. From a safety point of view it was felt they should stay for break downs, emergencies which might occur after the shops and the pub are closed for instance. It is known there is not a good mobile signal from some networks either in Riding Mill or in Broomley. The Clerk would also attempt to find out the numbers of times the phones have been used in the last 12 months.
e) Tynedale Planning Forum: no Councillor was available to attend and apologies would be sent.

7. Finance:
a) The financial statement and receipts were accepted by all Councillors.
b) The following payments were authorised by all councillors:-

M F Anderton/Salaryl/Apr – £382.13
M F Anderton/Expenses/Apr – £40.40
Radiopages – £224.00
NALC/Ann.subs – £139.50
Allianz Insurance prem. – £1,883.56
APM/notice – £342.59
Playpark reserves – £500.00
VHT – annual grant – £2,000.00
VHT – rent – £22.00
Ward Hadaway – £470.00
Sandy Bank RA/Ins. – £210.00
Mills Glass – repair – £100.00

c) It was agreed that Cllr Dunhill and Cllr Tulip be the additional signatories, with the Clerk on the bank accounts and the mandates would be changed accordingly.

8. Minor matters: It was agreed the Clerk would look at the costs of a tape recorder with a view to purchase in accordance with the decision of an earlier meeting.
Cllr Reid raised the matter that Network Rail was suggesting downgrading the road/bridge over the railway next to Wentworth Grange. This is the safest route from there at present. The footpath is frequently used by residents from Broomhaugh. It was agreed the Clerk would write to Northern Rail objecting on safety grounds and she would also check if there was a PROW on the road. It was agreed to copy the letter to the County Council as it was believed the road was put in in the 1860s as a condition of receiving permission to run the railway on that route.
The Clerk would also write to the County about the possibility of placing a mirror opposite the other exit from Wentworth Grange and look into the costs; and ask that they look at keeping the footpath clear in some manner to improve the line of sight at the exit from Wentworth Grange opposite Broomhaugh.

The meeting closed at 8.50

Parish Council Minutes April 2008

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 14th April 2008 in the Supper room of the Parish Hall at 7.45pm

Present: Councillors Horton, Heslop, Mills, Tulip and Reid. Also present were County Councillor Thompson, 8 members of the public and one member of the Press.

1. Apologies were received from Cllrs Nitsch, Dunhill, Williams and Cllr Latham.

2. It was noted that Cllr Howey had tendered her resignation owing to a change of location. Cllr Horton formally noted her hard work on behalf of the Parish Council. There were two members of the public interested in taking the one place and the Clerk would check the best procedure with Tynedale election office.

3. (Item 8b):NCC: Closure of Dipton Foot Bridge road from Slaley to Riding Mill: Cllr Thompson asked that this item be taken early. It was noted that the County propose to shut the above road for some 10 weeks to upgrade the bridge to 40 tonnes. They were asking for any specific points that should be noted which Cllr Thompson would respond to County Hall. The Clerk had also received a copy of the letter and would respond similarly. The usage of the road during the County Show season was highlighted, in particular, the Slaley Show in August. It was also suggested that the main homeowners and farms along the route be informed individually of the proposal.

4. Minutes: The minutes were agreed as a true record.

5. Matters arising
a) Millfield Road update: Cllr Tulip reported on the meeting held with Tynedale Council ( Mr Larry Dawson) with the document recommending the conversion of the loan to a grant. Not much encouragement was given at the time but Cllr Tulip raised the possibility of handing over an addendum which the delegation believed was important. Since he had missed much of the preparation time this was agreed. The Addendum concerned the 1981 Meadow Park application which resulted in Church Lane being connected to Millfield Road and whether, prior to the application, approval was sought and obtained from the frontagers of Millfield Road given they were responsible for the road surface maintenance at that time. This had a huge bearing in the traffic on the road then and even more so now. Since the addendum was sent in we are led to believe that Tynedale Council are seeking a legal opinion on the matter. Cllr Reid reported a conversation with Dick Fraser concerning the siting of turning circles if the lesser option is undertaken. The specifications about the size of the circles are being sent by Dick Fraser to Cllr Reid. In principle, the County would be happy with such an action but this option was put into abeyance until a response from Tynedale Council had been received.
b) Pedestrian Crossing: It was unclear whether the traffic census had been carried out yet. Cllr Thompson agreed to chase this up.
c) Trees at the Wellington: According to Cllr Nitsch these have now been cut back.
d) Tree at Pack Horse Bridge: although action had been taken by the PCC regarding some of the trees, the one that was leaning over the bridge is still of concern and a couple of informal assessments by tree surgeons have suggested the tree is dead. If it falls, it could damage the bridge seriously. The Clerk would write to ask the PCC to review their policy on this matter and to check on their liability insurance.
e) VHT Development fund: The Parish Council concerns had been noted to the Village Hall Trust, They have been taken on board and will be pursued by the Trust with the Diocese once the current Planning Application for the first stage of work has been approved. Thanks were particularly noted to Cllr Thompson at this point as it was made known that he had been able to find – £9000 towards the costs of the disabled toilets and access.
f) Belonging Communities: the Clerk, as well as Cllr Dunhill, had been at one of the meetings organised by Tynedale Council which were being held to debate the structure of the forum which would be the link between the Belonging Community and the Area Committees. Discussion was somewhat nebulous as no one could answer specific questions about who would be responsible for what. The findings were to be summarised and act as the basis of further consultations after the County elections.
g) Annual Parish Meeting: This had been agreed to be held on the 22nd May in the Parish Hall. As some of the Councillors could not make this date, it was agreed to see if the CE-Electric representatives could make the 15th May instead as it was known the hall was available then.

6. Resolutions: The following three resolutions were presented against the Clerk’s advice.

Res.1: That no member of the Parish Council (PC) shall do or say anything on behalf of the PC without the prior agreement of the PC duly minuted. Proposed by Cllr Reid and seconded by Cllr Mills. Cllr Horton felt this was largely unworkable as there were often times when the Chairman or the Clerk had to make responses to outside bodies, such as the Press. This is a procedural matter covered by most practical advice to Councils as was the Code of Conduct to Councillors but Cllr Reid felt it was important to show public solidarity. Cllr Tulip suggested the other Councillors wait until they have had their training sessions which would explain procedures better. However, it was felt that there was no harm in the motion and it was carried by 3 votes.

Res.2: It shall be a condition of any application for financial or other support from the PC that the body making the application provide information on its aims, membership, Parish membership, constitution, approved accounts, arrangements for maintenance of its facilities and such matters as he PC shall consider to be relevant.full. The PC may waive these requirements for what it deems minor matters. Proposed by Cllr Reid and seconded by Cllr Mills. It was pointed out that these requirements already exist within the financial requirements and the resolution was carried.

Res. 3: The PC shall inform the Parish on the Parish notice boards and in the Paris news of the principles it has adopted in relation to the benefits of the covenants accruing from the land held by the PC. Proposed by Cllr Mills and seconded by Cllr Reid. The Policy had been distributed two years ago to covenant holders only and was available on request to anyone else. It was currently undergoing review pending the outcome of an Audit commission enquiry. Cllr Tulip suggested awaiting that outcome before deciding on detailed actions. This was agreed

7. Tennis Club: Clls Reid and Tulip and the Clerk attended a meeting arranged by the Tennis Club to discuss the detail of their proposals. Representatives were there from the Tennis Club, the Cricket Club, Tynedale Leisure, the Engineering Business and the Architects. Mr. Morill rehearsed the reasons for requesting the move of the Tennis Club. The architects went through the detailed plans they had drawn up pointing out in particular, possible access points on the site and possible layouts of the tennis courts, the 5-a –side courts and a new joint clubhouse and parking. Total costs were estimated at about – £750,000 which could be obtained from the main Sports Funding bodies, even allowing for match funding (which would be acceptable as coming from other funding sources). Mr Morill stated that the proposal did not require any funding from the Parish Council. In principle the organisations at the meeting approved the outlines presented. The Tennis Club would organise a public meeting to discuss the issues and they would start talking to the funding bodies with Tynedale’s help. Cllr Heslop expressed some concerns related to him by some of the people in the village. It was also noted that the Tennis Club would talk to the Dickinson family about the proposals.

8. Bus Shelter: A quote had been received for a stone bus shelter to be built by the Northumberland Training Agency. The figure of – £3365 plus VAT was only a little higher than for the last shelter. Councillors agreed to accept the quote. It was noted that siting of the shelter would require a little thought. The shelter could be paid for out of the deposit account and repaid from the current account over a number of years. The details of the repayment can be considered at the next budget meeting.

9. Correspondence:
a) General – for circulation. Cllr Reid asked that some method be sorted out to select items which might need special attention. Cllr Tulip volunteered to go through the general correspondence file to do this.
b) See above
c) Permission
was requested by the VHT to place some stalls on the Play Park area for the Village day in June. This was agreed.
d) Sandy Bank: Mr Daffern briefly asked for the Parish Council’s support in objecting to a possible decision by the County Council to turn the Nick into a BOAT. This was agreed.

10. Finance:
a) The financial statement and receipts were accepted by all Councillors for February and for March. b) The following payments were authorised by all councillors:- For February:

M F Anderton/Salary/Feb 370.69
M F Anderton/Expenses/Feb – £112.83
Northumbria water – £20.01

For March:

M F Anderton/Salary/Mar – £370.69
M F Anderton/Expenses/Mar – £63.94
J Harding/trees – £94.00
Carter Bus. Systems – £17.80
Viking – £107.07

11. Minor matters: Cllr Reid asked that the Estate Agents be informed their board at the end of Broomhaugh was on public land and should not be there.

The meeting closed at 9.30

Parish Council Minutes February 2008

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

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.

7. Correspondence:
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.

8. Finance:
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.

Parish Council Minutes January 2008

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 14th January 2008 in the Supper room of the Parish Hall at 7.45pm

Present: Councillors Horton, Dunhill, Nitsch and Howey. Also present were District Councillor Latham, 10 members of the public and one member of the Press. Also in attendance was Richard Powell, Chief Executive of Tynedale Council.

1. Apologies were received from Cllr Heslop and Cllr Thompson.

2. Co-option: Following last month’s provisional agreement, Councillors agreed to the co-option of Jill Mills, Richard Williams, and Malcolm Reid. The necessary paperwork was filled in and the new councillors were welcomed. Apologies were noted from Prospective Cllr Tulip.

3. Belonging Communities: Mr Powell had agreed to attend the meeting following a phone call with Cllr Horton. Tynedale are keen to have as broad a discussion with parishes on the shape of future government as possible. He summarised the potential shape of new government in the County with the three large characteristics communities and then the 26 Belonging communities which are groupings of parishes into what should be natural groupings. There are still some parishes which are unsure of where they should belong. Broomhaugh & Riding had responded formally in November that it was felt there was not enough information to make a balanced judgement. The idea is also to invigorate local democracy but the way things are to be set up is, as yet, totally unclear.

One of BRPC’s main concerns was on schools but Mr Powell felt that schooling would be outside of the remit of the Belonging communities. Mr Young queried from the floor as to the legal and administrative status of the new communities. The situation in Corbridge is unclear and this is being followed up directly by Cllr Dunhill. Cllr Howey asked about the likely increase in workload on Councillors and also asked if we could move community group if it was felt that matters were unsatisfactory. Mr Powell felt that was possible. There was some discussion on the critical mass necessary for reaching decisions and whilst it was felt that Hexham Town council could control decisions, if all the parishes worked together, a balance could be achieved.

Mr Powell also mentioned that the Boundary Commission might make changes in the future as well. There is a follow-up public meeting on 29th January which a Councillor will attend. There was another query about the legal department in Tynedale which is used a great deal at present. Cllr Horton thanked Mr Powell for attending and trying to clarify some doubts. The Councillors agreed unanimously to stay with the Hexham group for now.

4. Minutes: The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a true record with two small errors corrected on the master copy. The changes were made to the e-copy for printing and the website.

5. Matters arising:
a) Millfield Road: Because of the holiday period, not too much had been achieved since the December meeting. Cllrs Nitsch, Dunhill and Reid would be dealing with Dick Fraser of NCC re turning circles etc. The history of the bridge was being reinvestigated and a meeting regarding funding from Tynedale had been set up with Mr Tully, Mr Young, Cllr Thompson and Cllr Horton. Cllr Heslop might be late but would also try to attend. In response to a comment from Mr Bryson, the Chairman said he would personally recommend that the PC would obtain majority approval of the parish before selling the old tennis courts site. In the meantime they would be marketed to assess their value.
b) Recorder: the possibility of recording meetings had been looked at. It was legally acceptable providing the meetings were informed. It was agreed to keep tapes for a three month period only. Cllr Horton would cost the system.
c) Minor Matters update: The wall at Dene Terrace was now done. There had been no movement on the Wellington trees and the Clerk would copy the letters already sent to the Spirit Group to Cllr Nitsch. The damaged bench had been reported to Milecastle and a quote is being obtained for a new bus shelter.

6. Planning: The application to modify footpath 16 was refused because of insufficient evidence by Northumberland county Council. The Clerk would email the footpath officer on the matter.
2007/1231 White Court, Church Lane Conditional permission

7. Correspondence:
a) General – for circulation: It was agreed that Councillors would endeavour to transmit the papers as quickly as possible.
b) Tynedale Planning Forum: Cllr Mills agreed to sit on this. The clerk would forward documents when they appeared.
c) Fire & Risk Management: Cllr Dunhill will re-circulate the document in case there is anything to comment on.
d) A complaint had been received about dog mess on one of the rural footpaths and a request had been made for another waste bin. A sign asking people to take care would be useful but it was felt the expense of bins and collection was not justified on a rural footpath.

8. Finance:
a) The financial statement and receipts were accepted by all councillors.
b) The following payments were authorised by all councillors:-

MF Anderton/Salary/Dec – £370.69
MF Anderton/Expenses/Dec – £52.08
VHT – rent – £55.00
Tynedale Council /grass cutting – £1,071.05

9. Minor matters: A blocked drain had been reported. The Crossing census had not yet taken place and would be chased again. (Copy of letter to Cllr Nitsch). Cllrs Reid and Williams agreed to be the representatives to the VHT Management Committee. A clean up in the Playpark was needed again. Councillors to set up.

The meeting closed at 9.45.

Parish Council Minutes December 2007

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on10th December 2007 in the Supper room of the Parish Hall at 7.45pm

Present: Councillors Horton, Dunhill, Nitsch, Howey and Heslop Also present were County Councillor Thompson, District Councillor Latham, 25 members of the public and one member of the Press.

1. There were no apologies.

2. Co-option: Mrs Stephenson had withdrawn her interest in becoming a councillor until such time as the Millfield Road problem was solved. However, four more people expressed an interest and Cllr Horton asked them each to give a thumbnail sketch. The four are Malcolm Reid, Fred Tulip, Jill Mills and Richard Williams. Councillors agreed to consider the co-options and the necessary paperwork will be forwarded prior to the next council meeting. Cllr Horton expressed concern that new councillors would be willing to take on their fair share of the workload and were not coming on to pursue their own agendas. The four prospective councillors agreed that this was not their intent. Cllr Horton then stated that it would be very good to have a full strength council after nearly two years, and thanked the present councillors for all their hard work during that time.

3. Minutes: The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a true record. However, Cllr Heslop wished it to be noted that he had mentioned that a call had been made for a referendum at the October Council meeting.

4. Matters arising:
a) Millfield Road: Cllr Horton summarised the status to date. Having circulated 828 consultation sheets, there were 486 returns (~58%); 199 were in favour of the proposals (24%); 278 were against the proposals (~33%); and there were 9 spoiled/nonvoting papers.

The consensus of this is that about 33% did not want the council to accept the interest-free loan to upgrade the road and bridge for adoption. There were also alternatives to consider that had been suggested at the last meeting. Mr Rosby’s bridge narrowing scheme, which is being taken forward by Cllrs Dunhill and Nitsch. The PC’s insurers are considering the effects of this, and the County Council have indicated that they would probably adopt the road either side of the bridge if it was brought up to standard, but were insisting on turning circles. These could be expensive, although Marchburn Lane entrance could possibly be used for the southern side, and a proposed car park area to be built at the Parish Hall is a possibility for the northern side. There had also been a petition in the village in support of narrowing the bridge, which had received 363 signatures (44%). Mr Ray Tully had also suggested asking Tynedale council for a direct grant to do the work. It was agreed that Mr Tully would head a delegation, including representatives from the Parish Council and Cllrs Thompson and Latham, to approach Mr Atkinson (MP), and then to approach Tynedale council with the supporting evidence.

Cllr Horton proposed to his fellow councillors that all the above options be followed through, including narrowing the bridge on a temporary basis, upgrading Millfield Road to adoption standards without increasing the precept; marketing the tennis club site and trying to obtain a grant from Tynedale. Mr Reid commented that he believed no one would object on the upgrading of Millfield Road if this did not involve an increase in Council tax. Mr Young pointed out his report had commented on the ground conditions of the tennis club site. Cllr Horton then mentioned that he had done some research into the history of Millfield bridge, and had evidence that it was in existence in 1911, and if it could be proven that it had carried vehicular (horse and carts) traffic prior to 1910, then the County Council would have to adopt the road and bridge at their expense under the 1930 Road Traffic Act. He knew that a lot of research has been carried out on this by previous Councils, but felt it was worth pursuing further. Dr Young also commented on the potential dangers if traffic increased past the school because Millfield Road was closed off to commercial vehicles. Councillors agreed to all the proposals on the table.

b) Ward Hadaway: Cllr Horton mentioned that following discussions, Ward Hadaway agreed to reduce their bill.

5. Planning:
07/00159/TPO Hollin Hill Terrace Granted
07/00169/TPO 4 Oaklands Granted
Farnely Haugh Quarry – amendments, no response considered necessary
Kiln Pit Hill wind turbine application: It was decided not to comment further on this matter as it is not in our Parish and the present Councillors felt unqualified to discuss the pro’s and con’s of alternative energy sources. Mr Reid said that he would be pleased to advise the Council on this in due course.

6. Correspondence:
a) General – for circulation
b) Hexham Courant: a request was received for 200 words to go into next year’s Tynedale Visitor. Mrs Stephenson kindly agreed to do this.
c) Hexham Town council: A letter had been received concerning a meeting to discuss Belonging Communities issues. Cllr Dunhill agreed to try and get to this.

7. Finance:
a) The financial statement and receipts were accepted by all councillors.
b) The following payments were authorised by all councillors:-

M F Anderton/Salary/Nov – £370.69
M F Anderton/Nov/Back pay – £55.37
M F Anderton/Expenses/Nov – £67.04
Tynedale council/election costs – £271.50
Tynedale council/dog waste bin – £293.97
Northumbrian Water – £8.05
Carter Bus. Systems/photocopier – £17.24
SLCC/Annual subs 2008 – £80.00

c) Budget: The Clerk presented the probable budget for 2008/2009. It was essentially the same as the previous year. Although the Youth Club was not currently in action, the amount was left in the budget as the Squirrels pre-school was having problems. There were some inflationary costs such as for insurance and the estimated precept was – £20904. Because of slight under spending in the current year it was agreed to ask for – £18000 as the precept for 2008/2009.

8. Minor matters:
Cllr Horton pointed out that minutes were drafted by the Parish clerk, reviewed by him and then sent to other councillors so that any errors should be picked up well before the next meeting. He was aware however that without shorthand skills, it was difficult to ensure complete accuracy and suggested investing in a tape recorder for future meetings. This was agreed, and the Clerk would check the legal implications.

Cllr Howey pointed out the growth on the wall in Dene Terrace was in urgent need of treatment. The wrecked bench would be reported to Milecastle Housing. Cllr Howey also noted that there had been no-one interested in taking on the Neighbourhood Watch scheme. Councillors would talk to the manager of the Wellington about the trees again and Cllr Heslop asked if another bus shelter could be built at Broomhaugh, this time on the North Side of the road. The Clerk would look into the costs.

The meeting closed at 9.10.

Parish Council Minutes November 2007

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on19th November 2007 in the Supper room of the Parish Hall at 7.45pm

Present: Councillors Horton, Dunhill, Howey and Heslop. Also present were County Councillor Thompson, District Councillor Latham, 18 members of the public and one member of the Press.

1. Apologies were received from Cllr Nitsch.

2. Minutes: The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a true record. However, Cllr Heslop wished it to be noted that he had mentioned that a call had been made for a referendum some 18 months ago.

3. Matters arising:
a) Millfield Road: Following general discussion by members of the public in the pre- council meeting, it was continued in this item with members of the public being allowed, where relevant, to offer opinions or questions. Mr Rosby from Sandy Bank suggested an option that could be considered by the council. He pointed out that the problem with the issue was mostly one of liability. He has independently talked with Mr Fraser of the County’s Highways department about reducing the bridge to a lesser weight limit (3 tonne) so that only small private vehicles could use it. There are a number of issues attached to this option – will the county adopt the bridge and road under these circumstances, will this be a long standing problem for service vehicles and so on. The Council agreed to look further into the matter. There was some disquiet as some members of the public had not clearly understood the document circulated for consultation and the linkage between the sale of the amenity land and the upgrading of Millfield Road. It was emphasised that the sale of the land could pay off the loan for the road work and cover the costs of relocating the tennis club and that if the road was closed, turning areas would be needed either side of the bridge. Cllr Heslop pointed out that the continuous circle of the road was desirable from the point of view of emergency services. The consultation would continue to the end of the month and the results would be reviewed and shared with the public. It was also pointed out that only 16 members of the public had written with queries and comments on the proposals to date. If the outcome was not in favour of the proposals, further solutions would be sought. In the meantime, the council will follow up the details of alternative options discussed.
b) Planters: Mrs Goddard, President of Riding Mill WI, presented a petition on behalf of the WI concerning the planters, and in particular, the grass cutting associated with the areas around the planters. The parish council had agreed at earlier meetings to keep the grass down where possible and when asked. This would reduce costs. Grass cutting is generally the responsibility of Tynedale council and they had been asked to put the two areas onto their list of paid grass cutting. A copy of the petition would be forwarded to them as well. The council agreed to continue cutting in the interim, although it would help if members of the WI could remind councillors when this was needed.

4. Belonging Communities: Cllr Dunhill brought members up to date with the thinking behind the Belonging Communities. It is tied up with the unitary status that is being developed for the region and refers to groups of parish councils which can work together to facilitate problems. Each parish council will still have a direct relationship with the new Unitary authority and the Area committee at the next level down. However it is anticipated that parish councils will have greater freedoms. Broomhaugh & Riding already has a good working relationship with the East Tynedale forum Group which includes Stocksfield and parishes to Newcastle. According to the map of Belonging Communities put out by the Northumberland Strategic Partnership, our parish is in the Hexham grouping and this is the area to which our school feeds. There was a lot of discussion about the merits of each area and a decision is supposed to be given by the end of the month. It was agreed that a letter would be sent with a series of questions as it was felt that there was not enough information to make sensible decisions and the parish reserved the right to change its mind. Does the rural area have enough say?, what funds will be available? Any questions to be sent to the Clerk in time to respond by the deadline. Questions would also be copied to Cllr Latham who would ensure they would get asked at a public meeting in Hexham next week and to Cllr Thomson who would also forward to the right persons at the county level.

5. Planning:
2007/0776 Riding Hills Farm Conditional permission
2007/0966 Ash Lee, Church Lane Conditional permission
2007/0874 Eastfield, Millfield Road Withdrawn
2007/1058 Low Shilford House Conditional permission
Red Hemmels: Planning appeal Upheld

6. Correspondence:
a) General, for circulation
b) Website: A member of the public had emailed asking if they could add to the walks information with stories. They had been told there was no discussion forum because of the security issues. It was suggested that if people wish to make additions, they should send them through to the Clerk and the councillors would see if they are suitable to be added to the site.
c) The representatives from the Parish council to the VHT Management committee were confirmed as Cllrs Heslop and Nitsch.
d) The county have agreed to place new weight limit signs for Millfield Road at the ends of the road. Thanks were noted to Cllr Thompson for his help on this.
e) A letter from Corbridge Parish Council had been received informing adjoining parishes that they have set up a working Group to oversee access and public rights of way in their parish. Occasionally this would require consultation with neighbouring parishes and the letter was to inform.
f) Funding to light up a building in the parish was available. This is for one night only and it was agreed the parish would not participate.

7. Finance:
a) The financial statement and receipts were accepted by all councillors.
b) The following payments were authorised by all councillors:-

M F Anderton/Salary/Oct – £362.23
M F Anderton/Expenses/Oct – £227.17
CWC/knotweed – £323.13
M Stewart/benches – £250.00
Viking/statny – £58.12
Savages Solctrs. – £176.25
J Robinson/printers – £129.00
Poppy Appeal – £40.00

It was agreed to defer payment to Wardhadaway pending queries on the account.
c) Copies of the current budget were circulated to councillors for consideration prior to next month’s discussion on it. It was suggested by the Clerk that little change would be needed although it was noted the Youth Club was not currently functioning.

8. Minor matters:
It was noted the trees behind the Wellington had still not been cut back and a further letter would be written. Cllr Heslop reminded of the need for a Skip for the Christmas trees.

The meeting closed at 9.45.

Parish Council Minutes October 2007

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on 8th October 2007 in the Supper room of the Parish Hall at 7.45pm

Present: Councillors Horton, Dunhill, Howey, Nitsch and Heslop Also present were County Councillor Thompson, District Councillor Latham, 6 members of the public and one member of the Press.

1. No apologies were received.

2. Minutes: The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a true record.

3. Matters arising:
Brambles: Cllrs: Howey, Dunhill and Horton walked around the village in particular up Sandy Bank. Although they felt there was not a significant problem, some serious trimming was deemed necessary and it was agreed to write to the home owner most concerned. We will also request the County Council to keep a better overview on trees/branches etc. in some dangerous areas.

4. Millfield Road update: Cllr Horton explained the options for financing the work to be done. If the land where the tennis club is based is sold, the money raised would cover the road/bridge works and the move of the tennis club. The solicitors were looking into this but it was decided to talk directly with the Charity Commission to clarify what could be done under the Open Spaces Act which is germane to the land. It is in order for the land to be sold as long as it is done with due respect to public consultation, notice over 30 days and fair and impartial advertising of the land. The loan from Tynedale Council is probably going to be agreed but they have not officially informed the Parish Council as yet. There would be a delay of 12-18 months before the loan repayments would begin, which would allow for other options to be implemented. These options, the costs to the public where relevant, etc. will be sent to all members of the Parish in the form of a fact sheet, with a return slip allowing individual preferences to be accounted for. There are also possible changes to consider to the local councils which could derail any actions if there is a long delay. A draft document will be developed by the councillors for circulation before the end of the month. The question of security to prevent fraud will also be addressed. The clerk will consult with Tynedale’s electoral office regarding this. It is also possible the land would accrue greater value with outline planning permission and it was agreed to get three quotes for Estate Agents and three for planners to look at the issue. The cost of obtaining such permission would be small relative to the final gains.

5. Trees: When the councillors walked round they looked at some of the other areas of amenity land. Some trees in the Playpark needed cutting down and large branches were also causing a problem near the weir. Quotes were obtained and the work done. (Mrs Soulsby interjected about the witch elms that would also go bad, and this would be looked into.) The Marchburn Woods need major management and quotes for that work would also be sought. The suggestion of including a picnic area in the big wood was also discussed. The trees in Dene Terrace and those belonging to the Spirit Group (the Wellington) were likely to cause damage. Further letters would be written and councillors would also talk with the landlord. Milecastle would be contacted concerning the cherry trees.

6. Weir stones: Amongst all the tree quotes, one was received for recovering and re-fixing the big stones in the Weir. At – £240, this was considered good value for money and would be accepted.

7. Planning:
2007/0857 6 Meadow Park Conditional permission
2007/0534 Land at sewage plant Conditional permission

8. Correspondence:
a) General, for circulation

9. Finance:
a) The financial statement and receipts were accepted by all councillors. (This was based on Current account changes only because of the postal strike)
b) The following payments were authorised by all councillors:-

M F Anderton/Salary/Sep – £362.23
M F Anderton/Expenses/Sep – £52.33
CWC/knotweed – £323.13
Whiteacre tree surgs. – £275.00
Viking/statny – £43.36
Quote for Weir stones – £240.00

10. Minor matters:
Cllr Howey has looked at Neighbourhood watch stuff and will act as coordinator for Dene Terrace area. A request for other interested parties to contact Alison will go in Parish News and on the website. (When delivering the consultation document, it would be useful to use the opportunity to include items such as Neighbourhood watch leaflets). The delivery of the leaflets will be undertaken by the Councillors, to ensure that all residents receive the document. Mowing around the planters was discussed, and whose responsibility it was, and Councillor Horton volunteered to strim around them for the time being. It was also noted that the plants in the East planter did not get much sunlight, and the W.I. would be approached to replant with shade loving plants. The Parking letter in Broomhaugh had been circulated but it is felt necessary to also contact the Methodist Church and the Drama club as they caused much of the parking problem. During the course of the meeting a formal warning was given to Mr B Young regarding his disruptive behaviour. The next Parish Council meeting would be moved from 12th November to 19th November.

The meeting closed at 8.55.