Parish Council Minutes December 2010

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of Parish Council Meeting held in the Parish Hall on 13th December 2010 at 7.45pm

Present: Cllrs Mills (in the Chair), Reid, Dunhill and Eakins. County Councillor Dale was present and 11 members of the public, including Peter Nitsch, Sally Lockey and Magdalena Ietswaart for the Squirrels Club item.

1. Apologies: None.

2. Declaration of Interests: included to act as a reminder for Councillors: None recorded.

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

4. Matters arising: a) Weir: There have been two offers of interest in preserving the Weir as it is but that is not enough. If the downgrade goes ahead, the Tyne Rivers Trust may contribute some finance. If the village wish to preserve the Weir, the Parish Council must have some positive proposals by the beginning of March.

b) Fly – tipping: This is an ongoing issue.

5. Handyman Report: The bench on Whiteside bank has been done and the rest will be done slowly. The work in the Play park and to the Spinney fence has been done and will be covered financially over the winter period when no work will be done. It was agreed to ask Mr Castelow to put up the new mirror purchased for the bottom of Sandy bank. MA

6. Parking at the Millennium Hall: It appears the parking problems are not just the Pre-school so it was agreed to write to the Village Hall Trust asking that members who use the Millennium Hall be reminded of the parking and safety issues. It was also agreed to ask Cllr Dale to discuss with the Highways Department putting double yellow lines on both sides of Church Lane from the Hall and round the corner of Whiteside Bank. MA/Ade

7. Traffic sub- group: The group had met to discuss a number of issues. They had agreed the provision of pedestrian crossing by the County Council is not realistic. untenable. They looked at other traffic calming measures such as vehicle activated signs to reduce speeds. They have looked at possible locations for the signs – at the bottom of Whiteside Bank for traffic coming from the east and near to Bobby’s shop for traffic coming from the west. Costs etc. will be investigated and a recommendation will be put to the parish council.

8. Squirrels Club: Peter Nitsch summarised the current situation – that there is now a good, interested committee with enough members to share the work load properly. The school now has over 60 pupils and the existence of the Club is a factor with some 10 families coming from out of the village. The school is important to the future life of the village, and the feed in from the Squirrels Club is crucial. On this basis, the committee and the school head, Jen Stephenson, are asking that the Parish Council consider the Club to be as important to the village as the VHT and to award it a regular grant on that basis. 90-95% of the expenses are covered by fees but it would be counterproductive to push the fees too high. A small increase in fees and two new children from January will have a positive impact. Fund raising is more formalised now with the cooperation of the PTA. However, the amounts raised still are small. The biggest expense recently has been the manager’s salary increase considered essential to the success of the Club. The Councillors then discussed the position. Cllr Reid emphasised the importance of the Club to the school and the village’s future. Cllr Eakins wants to see how much fundraising could be done but recognised the need for some interim support. It was noted that SureStart had only helped when the Club was first set up. The Club does not run during the holidays; they have a introduced a system of fines for bookings not taken up. Cllr Eakins proposed a donation of £750 for the current financial year and Cllr Reid proposed a donation of £1000 to be included in the budget for next year to provide some certainty for the club. The payment would be reviewed annually. This was agreed unanimously.

9. Planning:

a) Considered by the Parish Council:

20100932 Retrospective consent for signs at the Wellington Inn no objection
20100940 Retrospective listed consent for signs at the Wellington Inn No objection
20100914 Woodbine House/Cottage, Garage conversion, first floor extension No objection

b) Under consideration by the Parish Council:

20100973 4, Burnside Close extension

c) Considered by County Council;

20100786 Extension at 1 Ford terrace Granted permission under delegated powers

10. Correspondence: General file, including a list of correspondence received in the last month. (List placed on Notice Board with minutes)

11. Finance: 

a) The receipts and financial statement were accepted. The budget was similar to the previous month and is break even. A £50 cheque made under S.137 to Mencap in June has not been paid in. It is presumed lost.

b) The following payments were authorised:

Darren Johnson – handyman – £70.00
Wheelbirks Trees – £787.25
C Fenwick (bus shelter repair) – £11.62
Transfer to Deposit account – £12,000.00
Wardhadaway, release of covenant – £881.25
L Stephenson, materials – £323.25
Marchburn Lane Res. Assn. Ex gratia payment – £30.00
SLCC, annual subs for 2011 – £95.00
MF Anderton, Salary/November – £420.36
MF Anderton, Expenses/November – £71.52
MF Anderton, Salary/December – £420.36
MF Anderton, reimbursement for mirror – £205.86
Northumbrian Water – £16.22
Squirrels Club – £750.00

c) Precept: Cllr Eakins prepared a budget. Currently there is approximately a £3,500 surplus. The budget for next year is negative and shows a figure of £39,500. Cllr Eakins recommended leaving the precept at the same as this year, £28,000 and using the reserves for one-off items of expenditure. Cllr Reid suggested that as well as a specific figure for contingency being included in the budget, the inflation rise should be acknowledged. This would raise the precept to £29,000. It was unanimously agreed to set the Precept at £29,000.

d) Reserve account: Following research it was apparent that other than for personal accounts, there were no reasonable rates of interest better than that currently obtainable, providing the balance is a minimum of £25,000. Some bonds might offer better, but if the money is transferred to one of those and then required before maturity, all interest would be lost. It was agreed to leave the money in the Bank of Ireland for now but review the rates regularly. It was also agreed to merge the Play park account with the Reserve account. MA

12. Minor matters: a) Cllr Reid updated the Council about the Car Park and the turning head following a meeting of the VHT management committee. The suggested revised plan had been accepted by them; the PCC would be formally asked for permission. A new planning application would be made by the PC;

b) Cllr Eakins asked that the Clerk back up the accounts off site at a separate email address;

c) Cllr Eakins also suggested that the Parish Council look at a number of sustainability issues. This would be done through the Environmental Group.

d) The date of the next meeting will be Monday 14th February.

The meeting closed at 9.45pm