Parish Council Minutes March 2011

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 14th March 2011 at 7.45pm

Present: Cllrs Reid (in the chair), Dunhill and Eakins. County Councillor Dale was present and 6 members of the public.

1. Apologies: Cllr Mills

2. Declaration of Interests: None recorded.

3. Minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a true record subject to the following changes: to note that Cllr Dale left the meeting with the public before confidential matters and that an average of 21 letters per year had been received between 2003 and 2010 in item 10.

4. Matters arising: a) Road matters: Cllr Dale updated members and the public that work is now ongoing on repairs to potholes on the A695 and that there is to be a major exercise to look at the water problem on the same road. All strategic roads are being done first, followed by the minor roads. Some concern was expressed that deep but narrow potholes were not being dealt with at the same time as neighbouring wide ones.

b) Trees: Mrs Stephenson had obtained a quote to remove the tree stumps in the Burn which was fixed at a maximum of £300. It was agreed she would contact the woodman. The tree in the garden had now been removed. The tree in the stepping stones will probably be set free at the next high flood after some trimming by Cllr Reid. Cllr Dunhill also drew members’ attention to two large trees on the amenity land behind Long Rigg properties which had been cut and left.

c) Parish Hall Car Park: Cllr Reid updated members on several points: that the work might be more expensive than expected; that the VAT could only be reclaimed if the Parish Council awarded the contract and that two further quotes were to be obtained so that a decision could be made. Fred Tulip had agreed to provide the specifications for the work. It was noted that a public consultation might be necessary. MA/MR

5. Handyman Report: Mrs Stephenson raised several issues for future work and asked the Council for their priorities. It was agreed that the Handyman would 1) clear growth between the fencings of the single tennis court and the play park; 2) inspect part of the big slide in the Play Park to look at possible repairs; and 3) continue with cleaning benches. In the meantime, the Clerk would write to the Allotment association asking their view about the ivy being cut from the wall between the allotments and the station footpath. Cllr Eakins declared an interest as a member of the Association.

6. Speed Signs: Four quotes had been obtained. Cllr Dunhill wishes to talk with the County Council about the best options before recommending one to Councillors. AD

7. Weir: Cllrs Reid and Eakins had had meetings about the options for the Weir with Rory Hunter, an engineer from the Environment Agency, and with Malcolm Newson, Director of Tyne Rivers Trust. The options are: to do nothing, to reinstate the weir putting in a fish pass (which is very expensive), or to take it down in stages. It was arranged that Malcolm Newson would conduct a study before Easter of the particulates in the sediment upstream of the weir so that he could make projections about their movement should the weir be downgraded or washed out, and that the PC would call a meeting of residents of all properties along the burn which may be affected by any changes for Tuesday 3rd May, when Prof. Newson would report his findings and the PC would invite the views of residents. A decision would then be taken at the PC meeting on 9th May. (The window for doing work on the Burn is 1st June to 1st September). This programme was agreed. MR

8. Electricity Monitors: A number of these have become available for members of the public to borrow so they can check their household appliances with a view to reducing energy consumption. They can be borrowed for a 3 week fixed period and a deposit of £5 is required which is refunded on return. Some sort of booking system is needed with them being checked before handing over. Although the Parish Hall was suggested as a suitable storage place and distribution point, it was felt a specific person needs to be designated to the task. It was agreed to check the details and defer the arrangement for a few weeks, possibly asking for a volunteer through the Parish news.

9. Door to Door salespeople: Cllr Dale pointed out that they were not necessarily young offenders involved with the Probation Service but were in reintegration programmes which were run by many services. It was important for members of the public to be vigilant and to find out which service is responsible for the people if they are thought to be a nuisance. The police have advised that this is the best way forward. If the organisation responsible is known, the Parish Council can write asking them not to visit a village with many empty houses and a high proportion of elderly residents. It was agreed to put a brief article into the Parish news about the matter. AD/MA

10. Planning: Considered by Northumberland County Council: the following were granted consent under delegated powers:

20100932 Retrospective Advert consent for The Wellington

20100940 Retrospective listed consent for The Wellington

20100703 Detached dwelling at Grovefield  – Withdrawn

Planning Appeal at Broomhaugh Farm. Re windows: dismissed

Considered by the Parish council:

20110059 Minor changes at Beauclerc – No objections

20110076 Bungalow at Grovefield – objected

11. Correspondence: General file, including a list of correspondence received in the last month.

12. Finance: a) The receipts and financial statement were accepted. The budget was similar to the previous month and is break even. It was noted there were several uncleared cheques. The Playpark account had been closed and transferred to the reserve account.

b) The following payments were authorised:

Radiopages (website maintainance) – £234.00
Darren Johnson(handyman/March ) – £70.00
MF Anderton/Salary/February – £420.36
MF Anderton/Expenses/February – £90.00
Northumbria Water – £8.21
Communicorp/annual subscription – £1.00
Dennis Castelow/mirror replacement – £75.00
Reauthorisation of Insurance contribution to Sandy Bank residents Ass, from June 2009 to note in the minutes. – £220.00

c) Risk Assessment: The Annual Risk Assessment was approved subject to two small amendments. It was also decided to add the weir to the Insurance Policy. Cllr Eakins had  produced draft accounts to be looked at by members for any changes that might be necessary prior to the Accounts being finalised in April/May.

13. Minor matters: 

a) PAYE – new rules for Councils registering Clerks as employees will come in from  6th April. There is no clear ruling yet as to registration and clarification is still being sought from NALC and the SLCC.

b) Tyne Valley Rail Community Rail partnership – no one is available to attend the next meeting. It is hoped that Mr Chainey will note anything of concern.

c) Date of the next meeting: Monday 9th May.

The meeting closed at 9.00pm. The public and the County Councillor left the meeting.

Confidential matters: Pursuant to section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 it is resolved that, because of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, the public and the press leave the meeting during consideration of these items: 1. Quotes for the proposed parish hall car park, and 2) quotes for Millfield Road Bridge inspection.