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.