Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council
Minutes of the Parish Council held on 14th September 2009 in the Millennium Hall at 7.45pm
Present: Councillors Tulip, Mills, Reid, Dunhill, Heslop, and Stephenson. Also present were Cllr Anne Dale, and 5 members of the public and one member of the Press.
1. Apologies: Apologies were received from Cllr Eakins and from Cllr Williams who had tendered his resignation. Cllr Tulip apologised if his email on the resignation had been lost.
2. Minutes of last meeting: These were agreed as a true record.
3. Matters arising: a) The Spinney footpath: There had been much discussion in the public part of the Parish Council meeting on this, much of which was against the idea. Some correspondence had been received by both the Chairman and the Clerk and was included in the correspondence file. The comments and suggestions made had been noted by Cllr Reid and the other Councillors. Cllr Reid made it clear that there is a long consultation period. Any decision regarding church land rests with the Diocesan Board and it would only consider a recommendation from the PCC (Parochial Church council) that has general support.
It was noted that no Councillors would be available to manage the proposed Spinney clean up. Some concern was expressed that the Council’s insurers would require risk assessments etc. for work done by someone else. It was agreed to ask the Clerk to remind Mr Lockey and Mrs Stephenson from the school about these matters.
b) Footpath light: a spotlight type of light was not feasible according to the County. Cllr Dale would enquire further about a solar light and Network Rail would be contacted about the matter as well.
c) Alder Tree: this was the responsibility of the Tennis Club. However, the Clerk would let them know that Cllr Stephenson had three quotes available for the work. Access to the tree over the bridge is difficult and the costs are high because small pieces are required for removal.
4. Verge Treatment: some Councillors had walked the village to note where weed killer had been used. There was much discussion as to how to approach the problem. Certain areas not adjacent to hedgerows, grass or woodland were safe and sensible to use weed killer on but other areas should not have it used. The list of areas cut by the County would be checked over before a decision is made.
5. Pack Horse Bridge: during the summer, a member of the public had expressed concern about the state of the Bridge and the County had been informed. They considered it not much worse than when it was resurfaced but agreed some work should be done. The Clerk would chase this up.
20090252 Woodside, Sandy Bank, access Conditional permission
20090437 The Lodge, Shepherds Dene, extension. Conditional permission
20090438 The Lodge, Shepherds Dene, listed consent. Conditional permission
7. Correspondence: a) General
b) Mrs Rowntree/Himalayan Balsam: Mrs Rowntree had asked whether anything could be done about this down by the river. She was suggesting we get a party of probationers possibly to join in the river –long project undertaking in the Spring of ‘Balsam Bashing’. The land however belongs to the Dickinsons so their permission needs to be sought. The Clerk would follow up on this. (Cllr Dale also agreed to check the permissive footpath notice).
c) Mr Niven’s letter related to the proposed spinney footpath and was added to those in the correspondence file.
a) The financial statement and receipts were accepted by all Councillors.
b) The following payments were authorised by all councillors:-
M F Anderton Salary/June/July – £804.80
M F Anderton Expenses/June – £114.32
T Smith Playpark gate – £224.32
W. Robe planters – £38.94
Northumbrian water – £1.26
M Stewart benches – £270.00
Cricket Club grass cutting – £320.00
MFAnderton Exp/July – £44.34
CWC(June) knotweed – £172.50
Playsafety (ROSPA) – £79.35
CWC(Aug.) knotweed – £172.50
Northumbrian Water – £15.65
M F Anderton Salary/Aug – £403.90
M F Anderton Expenses/Aug – £68.45
VHT Rent – £55.00
J. Mills Mirror expenses – £154.25
Dennis Castelow Fixing mirror – £75.00
9. Minor matters
a) A Councillor asked that a letter be sent to a household about rubbish piled in their garden as it spoiled the appearance of the village;
b) Cllr Heslop noted a loose kerb stone in Broomhaugh;
c) There was a reminder about the grant to the VHT which had been deferred. This would be on the next Agenda;
d) Cllr Heslop queried whether a letter could be sent about the Brown bins for the Parish Hall being FOC: Cllr Dale advised that the County would not allow this;
e) Cllr Heslop also noted overgrown trees on the Main Road which were impeding travel by pedestrians. This would be investigated; A request to homeowners could go in the Parish News;
f) Parking at the end of the lane leading over the iron bridge to join the lane to Wentworth Grange was also raised by Cllr Mills. This had been raised some time ago. A request to reinstate the footpath would help. The Clerk would find the old correspondence to forward to Cllr Dale.
10. Covenants Policy: Cllr Stephenson declared an interest but remained to listen to the discussion. Cllr Reid summarised that there were now two papers: a solicitors letter of legal advice to clarify points raised by the District Auditor in response to a complaint; and a draft new Policy document. Cllr Reid noted there had been lots of controversy since 1973; the Parish Council has a legal obligation to maximise its assets and a moral obligation to be fair to parishioners. The First policy was developed in 2005 following the Counsel’s Opinion and with a lot of additional legal and professional advice. The new Policy, taking the letter of legal advice into account, broadly agrees with the existing Policy. The draft covenants Policy and the letter are available to look at on the website and a copy is available for viewing at Bobby’s shop. The Working party believe it would be wrong to release a covenant without neighbours having an option to object, therefore planning permission would be a requisite before a release of covenant. If planning permission is given and if any neighbour still objects, he or she would have a month to apply for an injunction; otherwise the covenant release process will continue. Comments on the Policy will be considered so the final version can be approved at the next meeting.
11. Confidential Item: to discuss legal advice from the County Council:’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 the above item 11 of the agenda.’
The press and the public and Cllr Stephenson, (having declared a prejudicial interest), left the meeting. Cllr Heslop also left the meeting. The matter was satisfactorily discussed.
The meeting closed at 10.45pm.