Broomhaugh & Riding Parish Council
Minutes of the Parish Council held on 21st June 2010 in the Supper Room of the Parish Hall at 7.45pm
Present: Councillors Reid, Dunhill, Eakins, Heslop and Stephenson. Also present were Cllr Anne Dale, 3 members of the public and one member of the press.
1. Apologies: Cllr Mills
2. Minutes of last meeting: These were agreed as a true record.
3. Matters arising: a) Clean Up day: 10 people took part with some others cleaning up their own frontages. Cllr Stephenson was thanked for her work in organising.
b) Spinney: A circular path has been mown and Cllr Reid has arranged for wood chippings to go on the path. There was discussion about putting a layer of specialised pervious material under the chips at a small cost and it was agreed to do this. MR It was suggested that a small plaque be placed on the gate of the Spinney, noting the original donors and that it is open for members of the public to walk through. The costs of such a plaque would be brought to a future meeting. Clerk
c) TPOs: Cllr Dale had raised the matter again at the Development committee meeting and the response indicated that Parish and Town Councils should be consulted on all TPOs. It is not expected to read about the matter in the Hexham Courant. Cllr Dale would check on the matter again. ADe
d) Potholes: further potholes in Sandy Bank, and on the pavement there, have been repaired.
e) Flashing road sign: Cllr Dale had followed up on this with Stefan Bell from Highways and he had given his opinion that such a sign would not be of any significant value. It might be that the best way forward is to ask the homeowners on either side of the Nick to consider changing the access to the Nick by adjusting the edges of their land. This should be done in consultation with the Highways department and Cllr Dale agreed to continue liaising with the Residents Association on this matter. ADe
f) Northumbrian water: Northumbrian Water had both telephoned and written that in their view the water pipe under the bridge in Millfield Road was a low risk and would not be repaired soon. It was agreed to write again to tell them of imminent work on the bridge which might affect the risk and ask them to reconsider the matter. Clerk
g) VHT committee: Cllr Heslop agreed to continue to represent the Council on the VHT Management committee and noted that he had attended the recent meeting.
g) Millrace Gardens: Cllr Reid had received a request from the Gardeners to restore a downcomer from the Parish Hall to feed the water butt in the Millrace Gardens. Cllr Dale offered some funding but the request would have to go through the Village Hall trust. Mrs Shepherd agreed.
h) Himalayan Balsam: There was discussion on the effect of clearing the Balsam after the talk on bees at the APM. Cllr Heslop said the matter had already been agreed. Cllr Eakins suggested that although clearing the Balsam might be detrimental to the Bee population, the effect would be minimal. Cllr Reid would put up new notices to deal with the Balsam on 25th June.
i) Handyman: Cllr Stephenson had drawn up a list of potential jobs. Cllr Heslop pointed out that some of the suggested tree and fencing work was not the Parish council’s responsibility. Care would be needed that each job was checked in this respect. Cllr Dale said that if overhanging trees were dangerous the County Council had power to remove them. The total cost of £850 plus expenses was not budgeted but could readily be met from expected surpluses under other headings. It was agreed to try the scheme for a year. A simple contract would be drawn up and the insurance documents supplied by the handyman would be checked. Cllr Stephenson agreed to supervise the work and check that the jobs done are the necessary ones. Clerk/LS
j) Weir: Cllr Reid had contacted the Environment Agency engineer for advice on the best of three options: to leave the weir alone; to improve it spending what could be a lot of money; or to reduce the height of the weir with the subsequent consequences for the river downstream. No work can be carried out until May – September next year, but the decision to proceed must be made this year. It was agreed to ask that the Parish news include an item on the weir so that members of the public could express their views on it.
A quote for major repairs to the Weir bridge would be sought. Clerk/MR
k) Dog waste: The County Council has now put out a discussion document which seeks to introduce a number of standard bye-laws on dog waste.
4. Covenant Policy: The two final parts of the Policy which had needed reviewing were ready to be ratified: change of use and Valuations. Cllr Reid proposed the changes; Cllr Eakins seconded them. Cllr Stephenson declared an interest. There were three in favour and one abstention. Subject to a two word change in one sentence the new Policy would be included on the website.
b) Letter from First School: This concerned a 20mph speed limit past the school being put in place to improve safety.
Cllr Stephenson queried the time it took for some correspondence to circulate all Councillors. Some suggestions were to list all items of correspondence either on the Agenda, inside the circulation file or for the Chair/ Vice-Chair to highlight any matters. To be considered.
a) Budgetary review: The financial statement and receipts were accepted. All categories were within budget except for the insurance which would go only a few pounds more over the limit. It was agreed that including last year’s year-to-date expenditure on each current month’s spreadsheet would be useful. Cllr Eakins would look into this. JE
b) The following payments were authorised:
M F Anderton – Salary/May – £420.36
M F Anderton – Expenses/May – £104.67
NALC Annual subs. – £162.51
VOA/valuation – £399.50
P Basnett/internal audit – £93.20
Northumbrian Water – £17.73
Wendy robe/planters – £38.00
VOA/valuation – £352.50
M F Anderton – Salary/June – £420.36
M F Anderton – Salary/July – £420.36
RM Methodist Church – £100.00
c) Donations: Cllr Eakins reviewed the list of requests and it was agreed after some discussion to give £50 each to the following organisations: Tynedale Hospice at Home, West Northumberland CAB, Community Action Northumberland, GNAir Ambulance, Mencap, Victim Support, Age Concern Northumberland, Core Music, Northumberland Wildlife Trust and Northumberland Theatre Company. It was also agreed to sponsor a beehive for the First School.
7. Minor matters:
Bank of Ireland: concerns were expressed about the security of the funds in the Bank of Ireland accounts. These had been guaranteed through Bank of England warranties and the accounts were set up through NALC. The Clerk would check the ratings however and also query the poor rate of interest;
A request had been made to move the dog-waste bin from its’ place at the entrance to the Parish Hall to the junction of Millfield Road and the A695. This would be looked at;
Complaints had been received of rubbish left by smokers from Wentworth Grange. A letter of concern would be sent to the owners of the Grange;
Cllr Heslop suggested moving the Council meetings to the Millenium Hall because of poor bookings there. It was noted that Mondays there are busy and any other day of the week the Council would not have the advice available from Cllr Dale;
Cllr Heslop also asked if the Council would contribute to the Village Day on the 4th September. It was felt that individuals should contribute if they wished.;
Cllr Dunhill suggested that two more traffic counts should be held and he would liaise with other councillors on the matter;
The date of the next meeting will be September 13th.
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 press leave the meeting during consideration of these items.
Meeting closed at 9.40pm