Parish Council Minutes – December 2013

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the Council meeting held on Monday 9th December 2013 in the Parish Hall.

Councillors present:

Cllr. Malcolm Reid (Chairman)                            Cllr. Andy Dunhill

Cllr. Jill Mills                                                                Cllr. Brian Singer

Cllr. Eileen Carew                                                       Cllr. Bill Cairns

 

In attendance:

Cllr. Anne Dale – Northumberland County Council

Mrs Catherine Harrison – Parish Clerk

Public (8): Mrs T Craft, Mrs B Davison, Mr G Davison, Mrs S Matheson, Mrs J Rowntree, Mrs L Stephenson, Mr R Walker and Mrs H Yates.

Cllr. Reid opened the meeting at 7.40pm.

1.         Apologies

None given.

2.         Declaration of Interests

No disclosures of personal and prejudicial interests from Councillors on matters to be considered at the meeting were given.

3.         Approval of the minutes of the meeting of 11th November 2013

It was agreed that the minutes of the Council meeting held on 11th November 2013 were a true record and duly signed off by Cllr. Reid.

4.         Matters arising from the September meeting other than those listed on the agenda

(i)         Minutes 5(i) Grass cutting

It was reported that an invoice had not yet been received from NCC for grass cutting.  When it was issued the Clerk would ensure that it was based on the actual number of times the grass had been cut.  Cllr. Dunhill reported that he had contacted the RM Cricket Club who used a firm based in Ovingham.  They warmly recommended this firm for flexibility and reliability and it was agreed to ask them to quote for the grass cutting contract next year together with NCC.

ACTION: CH

  (ii)        Minute 5(ii) – Speed activation signs

Only councillors had reported any problems with the signs to the Clerk.  As both signs were now malfunctioning the Clerk should contact the installers and ask for them to be repaired.

ACTION: CH

 (iii)       Minute 5(iii) – Long Rigg

Long Rigg was discussed in the public pre-meeting in which Richard Walker for Long Rigg had proposed a lease arrangement.  He was asked to investigate a suggested time period and preparedness for valuation fees possibly in the £500 to £1000 range.  See also item 11.

ACTION: RW

 (iv)       Minute 5(iv) – Dene Close Wall

It was reported that the letters would shortly be sent to the residents of Dene Terrace.

(v)        Minute 5(vii) – Railway Footbridge

Cllr. Dunhill reported that that he continued to monitor the railway footbridge and awaited further news from Network Rail as to how they would solve the drainage issue.  Also discussed was the road bridge above the railway line the parapet of which was leaning badly.  Cllr. Singer reported that he had phoned the emergency number back in July and someone from Network Rail had been to view the bridge but no feedback had been received.  It was agreed that the Clerk should write to Network Rail to ask if they planned to repair the wall.

ACTION: CH

 (vi)       Minute 6 – West end bus shelter

It was reported that the order had been placed for the bus shelter and a date for the installation was awaited.

 

(vii)      Minute 8 – Arrangement for deposit account

Cllr. Reid reported that instead of opening a deposit account at a new bank it would be much easier to open a second account at HBOS.  This was agreed unanimously by the councillors.

ACTION: CH

 (viii)     Minute 16 – Damage to verge and footpaths in Millfield Road

It was reported that there were ongoing discussions with both Northern Powergrid and Debmat to repair verges and footpaths in Millfield Road.

(ix)       Minute 18(ii) – Waste bin in Mill Race Garden

The Clerk reported that she had received a quote from NCC to provide and install a waste bin in Mill Race Gardens.  She had also obtained costs for purchasing the bin through an alternative company but if the Council chose this option NCC would charge for emptying the bin.  It was agreed that the Clerk would establish how much the Council is charged by NCC for emptying bins.

ACTION: CH

 5.         Election of Vice-Chairman and additions/changes to responsibilities

Cllr Reid proposed Cllr. Dunhill for Vice-Chairman. This was seconded by Cllr. Mills and agreed unanimously by the other councillors.

It was also reported that a second councillor should sit on the Village Hall Trust’s Committee. Cllr. Cairns had offered to do this and it was unanimously approved by the councillors.

6.         Funding Requests

Gymnastics Club

A request for funding from the RM Gymnastics Club had been received to enable it to restart.  A new committee had been formed and interest had been shown from a number of parents.  The Club asked for funding towards obtaining a CRB check for a new coach, marketing costs to relaunch the club, official registration and stock for funding a tuck shop.

All councillors felt that this was an important village amenity and that financial help should be offered although they felt unable to offer funding towards a tuck shop or for registration.  It was unanimously agreed to offer £194 to cover the CRB check and marketing costs.

ACTION: CH

 (i)               RM Pre-School

A request for funding was received from the Pre-School to help restore their garden by the single tennis court.  An initial application for £150 was made however Mrs Yates reported that they had subsequently had a gardener quote for the work and they had been informed that the fence needed replacing.  The work to the garden and new fence would cost in the region of £2000.

As the PC had already been aware of the problems with the fence this would be dealt with separately by the PC.  The Pre-School were asked to resubmit their request for funding just taking into account the repairs to the garden and this would be considered at the February meeting.  Cllr. Dunhill offered to meet representatives from the Pre-School to discuss the work required.

ACTION: AD/Pre-School

 (ii)              Additional donations

It was reported that funding requests had been received from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and the Great North Air Ambulance.  In addition, the Council normally gave donations to Community Action Northumberland (CAN), Age UK and Tynedale Hospice.  Last year, the Council had also given a donation to Tynedale Sports Council.

It was unanimously agreed to give a £50 donation to each of the following organisations:

Citizens’ Advice Bureau

Age UK

Tynedale Hospice

Great North Air Ambulance

CAN

7.         Tennis Club

(i)  Management Plan

A written response from the Tennis Club to the Mill Close residents had been received which, in summary, suggested that the use of the multipurpose court be limited to 10 hours per week during a one year trial.  Mr & Mrs Davison reported that they and other residents were still unhappy with this – the 10 hours could be any day of the week whilst in earlier proposals two weekdays had been excluded.  They also asked for Sundays to be restricted to tennis only.  Mrs Matheson reported that they had taken advice on how to operate the bookings for the multipurpose courts and they had been advised not to restrict days.

Cllr. Reid summarised the discussion and reported that he felt that the Tennis Club had gone a considerable way to meet the residents’ requests.  He therefore proposed that the PC proceed with instructions for the PC’s solicitors to prepare the lease but requested that the Tennis Club give consideration to the option of restricting the use of the court to tennis only on part of Sunday afternoons.  This was agreed unanimously by the councillors.

Cllr. Mills requested to see a copy of the actual agreement with Sports England so she could review the grant conditions.

ACTION: Tennis Club

 (ii) Screening

The issue of screening was discussed. Cllr. Reid reiterated that the offer to part pay for screening plants applied to it being planted adjacent to the fence bordering the houses and not by the tennis court.  After this clarification, Mr Davison indicated that he would now reply to the Council.

(iii) Disabled Access

It was noted that the Tennis Club should not recommend that disabled badge holders park in Mill Close.

(iv) Tennis Club Committee

Cllr. Reid reported that he would like the Tennis Club Committee always to include at least two Riding Mill residents.  As the Tennis Club’s constitution could be changed at any time he suggested that this stipulation should be inserted in the lease.

8.         Village Shop

(i)         Thank you to the Turner Family

It was reported that a number of gifts from the Parish Council and Village Hall Trust had been arranged for Frank Turner on his retirement.  A photograph of Bobby and Frank would be installed in the Foyer of the Parish Hall on 20th December to which Frank would be invited to attend should he wish.  There was also a proposal to erect a seat in Bobby’s memory but Mrs Stephenson asked the PC to perhaps consider another idea as the village already had 16 seats which all needed maintaining.

(ii)        Future of the Shop

It was reported that the future of the shop would hopefully be resolved once legal issues had been concluded and that the plan was for a tenant to lease the shop.  As soon as any definite information was known it would be publicised.

A discussion was held on how the shop could win back passing trade. Cllr. Dale reported that she had tried on previous occasions to improve parking outside the shop but that this was not possible due to the road layout and that the only possibility was to think about removing the double yellow lines directly outside the shop.

ACTION: ADa if requested.

 9.         Core Strategy

Cllr. Dunhill had circulated a draft response to the Core Strategy in advance of this meeting.  As it considered issues such as housing and green belt development it required a fuller discussion by the PC than this meeting allowed.  It was therefore agreed to convene a working group to meet later in the week to approve or amend the response document.

ACTION: AD

 10.       Fencing Repairs

Quotes for fencing work at the weir, on the footpath from the station to Broomhaugh and at the tennis court had been received.  As it was a large expense further quotes would be required.

ACTION: CH

 11.       Road gritting

It was reported that NCC had indicated that in future it would not be providing grit for unadopted roads.  A green bin would need to be purchased and it would be replenished but at a cost to the residents or the PC.

Cllr. Dale advised the PC to do nothing at the moment as the yellow grit bins had not been removed and were currently full.  She also reported that NCC would no longer clear gulleys or sweep leaves on unadopted roads.  She advised Long Rigg residents to seriously consider having their road adopted and offered to look into what the requirements would be to enable this.

ACTION: ADa

 12.       Marchburn Lane

A request for an ex gratia payment of £50 to the Marchburn Lane Residents’ Association was received and approved unanimously by the councillors.

ACTION: CH

 13.       Handyman

A report was received.  Work had been undertaken to complete the edging on the path adjacent to the single tennis court and the four benches and picnic tables in the play park had been cleaned and painted with wood preservative.  Mrs Stephenson also reported that she would be planting the alder trees by the river bank later in the week.

14.       Budget

The proposed budget for next financial year was circulated.  Capital expenditure projects were discussed and the following were considered:

(i)               Lighting on the footpath from Broomhaugh to the station.

Costs for such a project were unknown but could be very high.  The Clerk should explore different options and report back;

ACTION: CH

(ii)              Wheelchair access from the Parish Hall car park to the play park and tennis courts.

This was considered a high priority.  Possible costs £3000

(iii)            Gateway access at the east end of the village

Cllr. Dunhill had met with representatives of NCC to discuss this and it was a possible measure to reduce the speed of cars entering the village.

This was considered a high priority.  Possible costs £2000

(iv)            Additional speed activation signs either flashing or showing actual speed.

Costs to be advised.

As some of the costs were unknown all the capital expenditure projects would be investigated and if necessary funds from the reserve account would be used.

 

After discussion a standstill precept of £35,000 was unanimously agreed.

ACTION: CH

 15.       Planning

It was reported that the following planning application had been received and was being considered by NCC.  The Parish Council had raised no objections.

13/03491/FUL& 13/03492/FUL Extension to east and west elevations, Hopton House, Riding Hills

It was also reported that the Parish Council had not objected to the planning application for a single storey bungalow development at Broomhaugh.

16.       Finance

(i)  The following payments were authorised:

CAN – Boss Accountancy Training and software              £40

SLCC Subs                                                                                           £101.00

TVRUG Subs                                                                                      £5.00

Northumbrian Water – Cricket Pavilion                               £26.86

C Harrison – November salary and home allowance payment                 £345.82

C Harrison –     Expenses £21.60,

Misc expenditure – Photo and frame £45,

Stationery and photocopying £91.93                                                                                                                                                      Total                                 £158.53

Royal British Legion – Poppy wreath & Donation               £50.00

Mrs L Stephenson – alder trees and linseed oil                   £17.76

Mrs E Carew – present for Frank Turner                              £130.00

Standing Orders:

Homevend – December                                                                         £75

(ii) A copy of the current year to date accounts was received for record which showed the amount spent from each budget.

17.       Minor Matters

 (i)         Edible Riding Mill

Cllr. Reid reported that he had written an article for the Parish News suggesting that use be made of land owned by the PC for commemorative gifts to the village of trees or bushes with edible fruit.  He had asked villagers to make their views known to councillors and proposed that it was an item for discussion at the February meeting.

It was agreed to hold such a discussion in February.

 (ii)        Clerk’s Contract

Cllr. Reid reported that he felt it important that all councillors were aware of the clerk’s conditions of employment and suggested that each member of the Council receive a copy of her contract for information.  It was agreed that the Clerk would send each councillor an email copy which they should store securely and then delete should they step down as a councillor.

ACTION: CH  

 18.       Date of the next meeting

It was agreed to hold the next meeting on Monday 10th February 2014.

With no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 10.21pm