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 Co-option: Mrs Stephenson had withdrawn her interest in becoming a councillor until such time as the Millfield Road problem was solved.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.