Parish Council Minutes May 2011

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting and AGM, held on 9th May 2011 at 7.45 in the Parish Hall, Millfield Road.

Present: Cllrs Mills (Chairman), Reid, Eakins and Dunhill. Cllr Dale was present with 11 members of the public.

1. Apologies: None

2. Adoption of Standing Orders: The Long form and Short form of standing orders were adopted. The following addition to both forms was agreed to be included:“Draft minutes of confidential meetings will be circulated to those who attended the meeting. The draft, with any amendments, should be formally approved (without the contents being publicly revealed) at the next Council meeting”. Cllr Reid proposed the motion and Cllr Eakins seconded it. It was agreed.

3. Elections: Cllr Eakins proposed Cllr Mills as Chair and Cllr Reid seconded the motion. All agreed; Cllr Dunhill proposed Cllr Reid as Vice- Chair and Cllr Mills seconded the motion. All agreed;Cllr Eakins agreed to continue to represent the Council on the VHT management committee – proposed by Cllr Mills and seconded by Cllr Reid – all agreed;It was agreed that the Planning sub-group should continue to be Cllrs Mills and Dunhill (proposed by Cllr Reid and seconded by Cllr Eakins). All agreed.

4. Declarations of interests: None

5. Minutes of the last meeting: All agreed as a true record.

6. Matters arising: a) Trees: The big stump on the amenity land had been successfully moved. It was recognised it would be important to keep the Burn clear, especially if the work on the Weir goes ahead and Councillors agreed to keep an eye on the situation.

b) Road matters: Cllr Dale said that small potholes would be filled in as the machines became available.

c) Double yellow lines: Cllr Dale queried how far the proposed lines in Church Lane should go. Cllr Dale would ask an officer to come out from County Hall and discuss with councillors before the matter is put to consultation.

d) Sandy Bank trees: Overhanging trees were a problem raised at the recent Sandy Bank Residents Association meeting. The Clerk would ask Mr Daffern (Chair of the SBRA) for the names of the homeowners so the parish council could write to them asking for the trees to cut back. Cllr Dale would also ask the County to cut back trees on the Main Road near the Old Tavern and Dere Hollow.

7. Handyman report: substantial tree clearing and tidying up had been carried out on the amenity land and in the play park. In the play park – strips had been affixed to the small apparatus to prevent rotting and some saplings and tree stumps were removed. Detailed reports are available from the Clerk.

8. Speed Signs: Having had three quotes and consulted with other parishes who have similar signs, it was agreed to take the lowest quote from Dambach. The Clerk would order the signs, ensuring that Cllr Dale is kept informed and liaise with Highways at County Hall. Cllr Dale had kindly found £4,500 towards the cost of these from her capital fund. The public near the proposed sites for the signs had been consulted and the two comments that were critical had been replied to explaining in more detail the reasons for the recommended positions for siting the signs. Clerk

9. Weir: A meeting had been held attended by Councillors, 14 members of the public, Professor Newson of the Tyne Rivers Trust and Gareth Pedley from the Environment Agency. There is considerable wear at the bottom of the Weir’s side walls in particular. One option is to repair the weir but that is expensive and there was little interest when this was proposed to members of the public earlier in the year and a fish pass would need to be included which can cost up to £200,000. It could be left alone but the consequences are unknown, Prof. Newson’s survey suggested two options: to remove the Weir in one go which could send a lot of sediment downstream or to remove a course of stonework either 16cm or 30cm from the top. Whatever happens, the flood risk cannot be increased and must be manageable and acceptable to the Environment Agency and the Tyne Rivers Trust. Cllr Eakins felt it was too expensive to upgrade but the side walls need repair. He supported the staged removal. Clarification from Prof. Newson as to the shape of the slabs in the Weir is needed. Work can only be done between the end of May and the end of September. Permission from the Environment Agency would also be needed for improvement works but not for a down grade although it would be desirable to liaise with them in all actions undertaken. Cllr Eakins suggested that they be asked to do a hydrological model of the effects of releasing water downstream of removing the Weir in one or two stages and the possible impact of flooding downstream. It was noted the banks at the Weir may need shoring once the work was completed. Costs of such a survey, if any, would be sought by Cllr Reid with the possibility of sharing them with Tyne Rivers Trust. MR

Tree management, which has been mentioned earlier in the council meeting should be monitored. Cllr Dunhill favoured the staged approach. Cllr Reid pointed out that as making good a satisfactory sill may be a significant part of the cost, removal of a single 30cm stage would be desirable. Cllr Reid proposed authorisation to look at the  removal of a 30cm stage in more detail; and commission the hydrological survey on the impact of removing the 30 cm. level. This was agreed.

10. Planning:  Considered by Northumberland County Council: The following was granted consent under delegated powers:

20110059 Minor changes at Beauclerc

The following was refused consent under delegated powers:

20110123 Extension at Hopton House, Riding Hills

Considered by the Parish council, with no objections:

11/0128 Certificate of lawfulness at 2 The Bungalow

11/00459/FUL New junction entrance at Shepherd’s Dene from the Slaley Road

11/00456/VARYCO: BRPC Parish Hall Car Park

11. Correspondence: File circulated – no consultations.

12. Finance:

a) Financial statements for March and April were accepted. There were no variations in the budget at this early stage of the financial year.

b) The following payments were authorised:

Stuart Burns (trees) – £200.00
Darren Johnson, Handyman – £70.00
MF Anderton/March/Salaryand expenses – £514.54
VHT – rent – £24.00
MF Anderton/Salary- April – £433.64
Wardhadaway (FOIA advice) – £342.00
Darren Johnson, Handyman – £70.00
L Stephenson, expenses re H’man – £11.63
AON, annual insurance premium – £2,581.48
BT Bell, bridge survey – £1,188.00
VHT – annual grant – £2,000.00
J Mills, expenses(key) – £4.95
SLCC/branch conference – £48.00
P.Basnett- internal auditor – £182.40

c) Fixed Asset list –Noted by Councillors

d) The Annual Audit Governance Statement was agreed by Councillors.

e) 2010/2011 Annual accounts: A £50 cheque issued to Mencap in June 2010 had not been cleared. It was agreed to write it off the new year’s accounts. (Proposed by Cllr Reid and seconded by Cllr Dunhill). The Accounts were approved.

13. Minor Matters:

a) Cllr Dunhill asked that the bin in the Play park be referred to the County council as it had not been emptied for several weeks;

b) Some older teenagers had been playing football in the Old Playground, which is not very safe. They indicated they had been told not to use the grass next to the Tennis Courts though there was no reason the Council could see for such a refusal. It was also agreed to ask the cricket club if they can use the top area of the cricket field which used to be the football pitch. Clerk

The meeting closed at 9.15pm

Confidential matters: Pursuant to section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) act 1960, it was resolved that, because of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted, the public and press leave the meeting during consideration of these items: To discuss various quotes relating to the car park and the Weir.