Parish Council Minutes June 2011

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting, held on 13th June 2011 at 7.45 in the Parish Hall, Millfield Road.

Present: Cllrs Mills (Chairman), Reid and Eakins. Cllr Dale was present with 7 members of the public.

1. Apologies: Cllr Dunhill

2. Declarations of interests: None

3. Minutes of the last meeting: all agreed as a true record.

4. Matters arising: a) Trees: The County Council will evaluate the state of trees on the Main Road and the horse chestnuts and will report back.b) Double yellow lines: Cllrs Mills and Dale had met with Mr McKenna from the County Council about siting the double yellow lines previously discussed. The County Council are reluctant to paint more than are necessary. None of the changes will be done without Cllr Dale offering to pay for the work. The consultation would be referred in draft form to Cllr Dale and the Parish Council to check for detail. NCC

5. Handyman report: The footpath sign has been moved and the bench at Broomhaugh has been restored. Mrs Stephenson asked the Council to consider a programme of tasks which could be considered on a regular yearly, quarterly basis for example. It could be done within the 4 hours per month agreed with the Handyman. Cllr Eakins suggested that a list be made and thanked Mrs Stephenson for her continuing work on this matter.

6. Speed Signs: The order had been placed for these and they would be ready for installation in 2-3 weeks. Cllr Dale has authorised the net cost of these to be paid out of her allowance.

7. Weir: A report had been commissioned from Peter Kerr for £800 (which the Tyne Rivers Trust may pay for). It was agreed to place it, as a draft, onto the website. It recommended a stepped notch of width 4m and depth 30 cm and a further drop of width of 3m and depth of 30 cm below that, which would have minimal silt implications. Removing the whole weir was a possibility but would be much more expensive and would cause considerable silt movement. The weir itself is safe but the walls are poor and a safety fence should be placed on the opposite side of the weir to the existing one in the interests of Health & Safety as a matter of urgency. Cllr Eakins felt that before any decision was made the relative costs of the two options need to be known and confirmation sought that gravel and silt would not be a long term problem. The report concluded that removal of the notch or whole weir would not affect any risk of downstream flooding. It was agreed the fence would be ordered and Cllr Reid would ask for specifications of the work needed so that the possibility of grants towards the main work could be explored. It was noted that the Tyne Rivers Trust could contribute financially and that the Environment Agency also have some grants. MA/MR

8. Car Park: an amended cost of just under £13,000 had been received and the variation in the Planning permission had been approved. Cllr Reid proposed and Cllr Eakins seconded the motion that the work should go ahead. This was agreed. Funding would be discussed after the next item. MA

9. Millfield Road Bridge:A quote had been received from BT Bell to draw up a specification for repairs and to supervise the tendering process and oversee the project. Following discussion the option of using a preferred contractor was not agreed to. The Council has a duty of care regarding the bridge and it was agreed to have the short term repairs done which would allow for a 5 year span in which to decide on the long term solutions. The fees for the work specification and supervision were agreed.Discussion then followed on using a loan facility from the County Council to pay for the bridge work and/or the car park. It was decided not to use this for the time being but to use reserves instead. However, it was also agreed that the Village Hall Trust would try and apply for grants from the Community Chest etc. to help with the costs of the car park. Applying for grants for the weir repairs may mean that the repairs for that cannot be completed in the window for this year. MA/MRAny long term repairs to the bridge would have to be considered by the village with three probable options of upgrading at high cost, reducing to 3 metres width or limiting to pedestrians.

10. Squirrels Club: It was noted that fund raising was being pursued successfully and that the Club was considering changes to meet parents’ requirements.

11. Tyne Valley Rail Users Group: The Parish Council agreed to become members of this organisation. MA

12. Freedom of Information Act: Cllr Eakins had collated a procedure for responding to FOIA requests. This was unanimously approved. It would be put up on the website.

13. Network Rail would be queried about the repairs on the rail bridges in the village. MA

14. Planning: Considered by Northumberland County Council: The following was permitted:

11/00456/VARYCO Changes at Riding Mill PH Car Park

The following were considered by the Parish Council with no objections:

11/00471/VARYCO Staward, Long Rigg

11/00695/FUL Beauclerc – Double garage

15. Correspondence: Previously circulated emails are to be listed only and any date – sensitive material will be highlighted.

16. Finance: a) The financial statement for May was accepted. There were no variations in the budget at this early stage of the financial year although it was agreed to write off an unpresented cheque made out to Mencap from the previous financial year.

b) The following payments were authorised:

Squirrels Club, S.137 grant – £1,000.00
Wardhadaway, annual fees 10/11 – £1,470.60
Sandy Bank RA, insurance contribution – £226.00
NALC Annual subs. – £161.82
Darren Johnson (Inv.10) – £70.00
M F Anderton, Salary/May – £433.64
M F Anderton, expense/May – £196.38
Northumbrian Water – £13.94
Dambach/speed signs – £6,639.02
Transfer from Reserve account to C/A – £5,000.00
Tyne Valley rail Users group, membership – £5.00
Linden Stephenson, materials – £12.99

c) Annual return and assets: There has been a problem with the statement of assets to the auditors, requiring a restatement based on last year’s figures. The basis of calculation for assets, taken from insurance valuations as advised by the Clerks Society, is not preferred by the auditors. A letter querying this has been sent to the Auditors and to the SLCC for them to raise with the Audit Panel.

17. Minor Matters: a) Peter Howe has volunteered to be co-opted as a councillor. He would be formally co-opted at the next meeting after reading relevant paperwork;

b) Cllr Mills suggested replacing horse chestnuts along the A695 in the gaps to celebrate the Queen’s diamond Jubilee;

c) The possibility of a lay – by at Bobby’s was suggested. This has been looked at before and the Clerk would find what paperwork was available; MA

d) Cllr Dale had noted a number of blocked drains in the village to report to the County Council;

e) The safety mirror and light at Sandy Bank have been replaced.

The meeting closed at 9.30pm