Parish Council Minutes – September 2013


Parish Council Meeting held on Monday 9th September

at Riding Mill Parish Hall.


Councillors present:


Cllr. Malcolm Reid (Chairman)

Cllr. Jill Mills

Cllr. Eileen Carew

Cllr. Andy Dunhill

Cllr. Brian Singer



In attendance:

Cllr. Anne Dale – Northumberland County Council

Ms. Yvonne Probert – minutes secretary

Public(14): Linda Shepherd, Jean Rowntree, June Newton, Eve Downs, Barbara Purvis, Craig Mitchell, Carole Green, Jack Hannon, Sue Soulsby, Steve Plaskitt, Magdalene Letswaart, Rob Archer, Bill Law, Linden Stephenson



Cllr Reid as Chairman opened the meeting at 7.48pm.

  1. Apologies – None given


  1. Peter Howe’s resignation and the Council’s thanks

Cllr Reid commended and thanked the former Vice Chairman, Peter Howe for his contribution to the Parish Council.

Action – Cllr. Reid to write press release for Parish News.


  1. Declaration of interests – None given


  1. Approval of the minutes of the meeting of 8th July 2013

Item 9a. was changed to read ‘it was reported that the Methodist hall noticeboard appeared to be inadequate’. The minutes were then agreed as a true record, and duly signed off by Cllr Carew and Cllr Reid.


  1. Minutes of the confidential meeting of 11th March 2013

The Chairman confirmed that these minutes had been approved at the April meeting but missed off the minutes.


  1. Matters arising from the July meeting other than listed on agenda

b. cheque for the Village Hall Trust remains unpaid (£40)

c. grass cutting -It appears we have not had the contractual number of cuts & the position is being checked with NCC

Action – Cllr Reid to follow up on the cheque and we are awaiting a response from NCC regarding the grass cutting.


  1. Report on Weir plaque

Cllr. Reid reported that a plaque contributed by the Tyne Rivers Trust would be installed by the March Burn weir cascade on 3rd October 2013.




  1. Tennis Club draft management plan

A report was given to the meeting by Rob Archer on the progress being made by the Tennis Club with online bookings, security, events, maintenance, pedestrian and disabled access. The Parish Councillors commended the committee for their work; they looked forward to receiving the final version of policies and procedures after consideration had been given to constructive proposals put by the neighbouring residents, so that the PC could amend the lease appropriately; also so that ideas on planting or screening could be implemented.


  1. Report on pavement widening on Main Road

Cllr Dunhill reported that works were ongoing to improve pedestrian access from Sandy Bank to the village and to improve crossing provisions of the Main Road, These were due to be completed within a week.


  1. Update on speed activated signs

The Chairman reported that the signs appeared to have been set at 34mph and should be at 30mph.

Action – Cllr Reid to review with installers.


  1. Local Transport Plan (LTP) – 3 priorities to be agreed

Cllr Dunhill reported that ideas had been discussed.

County Cllr Dale suggested:

  1. Resurfacing of the public footpath from the Slaley Road to the ‘Blue Bridge’ on the March Burn
  2. Junction improvements on A68 into Healey and Broomley

Deadline is the 27th September 2013. Cllr Dunhill would invite other suggestions through the website Cllr Singer proposed a planning committee meeting and this was agreed.

Action – Cllr Dunhill to implement the consultation and to submit the agreed 3 priorities


  1. Update on west end bus shelter progress

Cllr Carew informed that the quotes for a shelter were £3,399 and £5,048 plus around £4,000 for the concrete base. The 1952 bench would be retained and a budget of £10,000 has already been allocated.

Action – Cllr Carew to continue with plans for the shelter


  1. 13.             Longrigg update

Cllr Mills had written again to the valuer but had no reply.

Action – Cllr Mills to contact valuers again.


  1. Confirmation of external audit

The external auditors had required that 3 sets of figures on the financial statements, to include 2 cheques that had been issued but not cleared within the financial year, should be amended by the Clerk; Cllr Reid had checked this with the external auditors. Councillors confirmed the amendment.



  1. Arrangements for deposit account and signatories for current account

The Chairman suggested that funds are spread between bank accounts to reduce risk. It was agreed that the Council should place deposits in two different bank groups. Three banks (Nat West, Lloyds and Triodos) were suggested. The Council would investigate further on choice of banks. All Councillors would be signatories, with a minimum of two signing any cheque.

Action – Further research.


  1. Handyman’s report

Report circulated.

Action – Parish Council to review the need for further tree cutting.


  1. Dene Close wall

The Chairman reported that the actions of the Parish Council in removing ivy and pointing the roadside of the wall of Dene Terrace to remove obstruction to the pavement emanating from a wall with uncertain ownership were ex gratia (ie. good will and not establishing precedent). During that work a gap in the wall was created with the agreement of neighbouring properties to allow safer access to the station for residents of Station Close. The minuted record of the previous dispute (1999) about a gateway, for which the District Council’s opinion was that the wall belonged to the properties, had not included seeing the deeds to the properties adjoining the wall. The PC will continue to try to establish the ownership of the wall.

Action – Cllr Reid to write to neighbouring properties.


  1. Remembrance Day arrangements – Cllr Mills to be the PC representative.


  1. Planning – A report on recent planning applications was circulated; confirmation on how the Parish Council receives notifications is needed.

Action – Planning application notifications to be confirmed by new Clerk.


  1. Finance – Additional items were added; £58.58 for Cricket pavilion water rates; £42.70 to the WI for floral arrangements at the entries to the village; final payment to previous clerk. Agreed by all Councillors.

Cllr Dunhill proposed that a letter is written to thank Mr Thompson for his excellent voluntary grass cutting service work; this was agreed.

Action – Chairman to write letter of thanks to Mr Thompson


  1. Any correspondence issues not covered by item 6 – A formal ‘in confidence’ complaint had been received against Cllr Reid but the Parish Council cannot proceed unless the confidentiality condition is removed or the complaint is withdrawn.


  1. Minor matters
    1. 1.      Future agenda format – Cllr Singer proposed that the future agendas should include the correspondence and any public consultations/consultative reports (e.g. LTP). This was agreed by all Councillors and to be included on the website too.

Action – New clerk to ensure new format is adopted

  1. Report from County Cllr Dale – The County Council propose to install a post at the East end of the village as an alternative location for the speed activated sign, and a nearby sign at the entrance to the road leading to the 3 tonne limited bridge over the railway warning of the restriction. These were welcomed.
  2. Cllr Dale has also requested that the hand held speed gun be be used in the area.
  3. Pavement slabs outside Wellington pub – This pavement has been replaced and bollard installation will follow.
  4. Railway station foot bridge – Cllr. Andy Dunhill expressed concerns about water collecting on the half landing on the foot bridge as a potential hazard in icy weather. The Parish Council agreed to write a letter.

Action – Cllr Andy Dunhill to write to Network Rail.


  1. Date of next meeting – 11th November 2013


With no further business the Chairman closed the meeting at 9.28pm.



Actions from 09/09/13   meeting: By whom:
2. Vice Chairman thanks – press release for Parish   News Cllr Reid
6. Grass cutting – contact NCC Cllr Reid
10. Speed activated signs – review instalment   specifications Cllr Reid
11. LTP – planning committee meeting Cllrs Dunhill and Singer
12. Bus shelter – continuation of project Cllr Carew
13. Longrigg – contact valuers again Cllr Mills
15. New bank accounts – further research Cllr Reid and new Clerk
16. Handyman Report – further tree cutting Cllr Dunhill
17. Dene Close Wall – letters to neighbouring   properties Cllr Reid
18. Remembrance Day – representation Cllr Mills
19. Planning – Future notifications New Clerk
20. Finance – letter of thanks to Mr Thompson Cllr Reid and new Clerk
22. Minor items – New agenda format and updating   website New Clerk
22. Minor items – Railway foot bridge letter to   Network Rail Cllr Dunhill






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