Parish Council Minutes November 2007

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

Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council

Minutes of the Parish Council meeting held on19th November 2007 in the Supper room of the Parish Hall at 7.45pm

Present: Councillors Horton, Dunhill, Howey and Heslop. Also present were County Councillor Thompson, District Councillor Latham, 18 members of the public and one member of the Press.

1. Apologies were received from Cllr Nitsch.

2. Minutes: The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed as a true record. However, Cllr Heslop wished it to be noted that he had mentioned that a call had been made for a referendum some 18 months ago.

3. Matters arising:
a) Millfield Road: Following general discussion by members of the public in the pre- council meeting, it was continued in this item with members of the public being allowed, where relevant, to offer opinions or questions. Mr Rosby from Sandy Bank suggested an option that could be considered by the council. He pointed out that the problem with the issue was mostly one of liability. He has independently talked with Mr Fraser of the County’s Highways department about reducing the bridge to a lesser weight limit (3 tonne) so that only small private vehicles could use it. There are a number of issues attached to this option – will the county adopt the bridge and road under these circumstances, will this be a long standing problem for service vehicles and so on. The Council agreed to look further into the matter. There was some disquiet as some members of the public had not clearly understood the document circulated for consultation and the linkage between the sale of the amenity land and the upgrading of Millfield Road. It was emphasised that the sale of the land could pay off the loan for the road work and cover the costs of relocating the tennis club and that if the road was closed, turning areas would be needed either side of the bridge. Cllr Heslop pointed out that the continuous circle of the road was desirable from the point of view of emergency services. The consultation would continue to the end of the month and the results would be reviewed and shared with the public. It was also pointed out that only 16 members of the public had written with queries and comments on the proposals to date. If the outcome was not in favour of the proposals, further solutions would be sought. In the meantime, the council will follow up the details of alternative options discussed.
b) Planters: Mrs Goddard, President of Riding Mill WI, presented a petition on behalf of the WI concerning the planters, and in particular, the grass cutting associated with the areas around the planters. The parish council had agreed at earlier meetings to keep the grass down where possible and when asked. This would reduce costs. Grass cutting is generally the responsibility of Tynedale council and they had been asked to put the two areas onto their list of paid grass cutting. A copy of the petition would be forwarded to them as well. The council agreed to continue cutting in the interim, although it would help if members of the WI could remind councillors when this was needed.

4. Belonging Communities: Cllr Dunhill brought members up to date with the thinking behind the Belonging Communities. It is tied up with the unitary status that is being developed for the region and refers to groups of parish councils which can work together to facilitate problems. Each parish council will still have a direct relationship with the new Unitary authority and the Area committee at the next level down. However it is anticipated that parish councils will have greater freedoms. Broomhaugh & Riding already has a good working relationship with the East Tynedale forum Group which includes Stocksfield and parishes to Newcastle. According to the map of Belonging Communities put out by the Northumberland Strategic Partnership, our parish is in the Hexham grouping and this is the area to which our school feeds. There was a lot of discussion about the merits of each area and a decision is supposed to be given by the end of the month. It was agreed that a letter would be sent with a series of questions as it was felt that there was not enough information to make sensible decisions and the parish reserved the right to change its mind. Does the rural area have enough say?, what funds will be available? Any questions to be sent to the Clerk in time to respond by the deadline. Questions would also be copied to Cllr Latham who would ensure they would get asked at a public meeting in Hexham next week and to Cllr Thomson who would also forward to the right persons at the county level.

5. Planning:
2007/0776 Riding Hills Farm Conditional permission
2007/0966 Ash Lee, Church Lane Conditional permission
2007/0874 Eastfield, Millfield Road Withdrawn
2007/1058 Low Shilford House Conditional permission
Red Hemmels: Planning appeal Upheld

6. Correspondence:
a) General, for circulation
b) Website: A member of the public had emailed asking if they could add to the walks information with stories. They had been told there was no discussion forum because of the security issues. It was suggested that if people wish to make additions, they should send them through to the Clerk and the councillors would see if they are suitable to be added to the site.
c) The representatives from the Parish council to the VHT Management committee were confirmed as Cllrs Heslop and Nitsch.
d) The county have agreed to place new weight limit signs for Millfield Road at the ends of the road. Thanks were noted to Cllr Thompson for his help on this.
e) A letter from Corbridge Parish Council had been received informing adjoining parishes that they have set up a working Group to oversee access and public rights of way in their parish. Occasionally this would require consultation with neighbouring parishes and the letter was to inform.
f) Funding to light up a building in the parish was available. This is for one night only and it was agreed the parish would not participate.

7. Finance:
a) The financial statement and receipts were accepted by all councillors.
b) The following payments were authorised by all councillors:-

M F Anderton/Salary/Oct – £362.23
M F Anderton/Expenses/Oct – £227.17
CWC/knotweed – £323.13
M Stewart/benches – £250.00
Viking/statny – £58.12
Savages Solctrs. – £176.25
J Robinson/printers – £129.00
Poppy Appeal – £40.00

It was agreed to defer payment to Wardhadaway pending queries on the account.
c) Copies of the current budget were circulated to councillors for consideration prior to next month’s discussion on it. It was suggested by the Clerk that little change would be needed although it was noted the Youth Club was not currently functioning.

8. Minor matters:
It was noted the trees behind the Wellington had still not been cut back and a further letter would be written. Cllr Heslop reminded of the need for a Skip for the Christmas trees.

The meeting closed at 9.45.