MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING -  6th March 2012      

Present:
Cllrs J Newton, D Barras, L Craig, E Critchlow, G Budge, T Corson, I Monkhouse, G Orr, A Sharpe and L Welch.
The Parish Clerk in attendance – Mrs L Hamlin

70. Apologies for Absence: County Councillor J Watson

71. Declarations of Interest on the Agenda – Cllr Budge, Ministry of Justice Land

72. The minutes of the meeting 3 January and 26 January 2012 were agreed and signed as a true record.

73. Standing Item – Public Questions

• Mrs Lillie raised the issue of dog fouling which is getting out of hand especially along Bunny Lane – this is also affecting the residents undertaking litter picking. Clerk stated that this is an issue through the county, the dog warden has been contacted and she has requested that details of offenders be sent to her either direct or via the clerk with as much information as possible so letters can be sent to offenders.

• A mattress has been dumped over the hedge at Bunny Lane which was reported by Mrs Lillie to NCC however as this is on private land NCC will not remove it.

• Ms Lillie raised the issue of the Christmas tree being removed without her knowledge which had caused some frustration as she has taken the trouble to get a permit to allow access to the tip. Cllr Critchlow said he had removed the tree and apologised for any confusion caused. Cllr Critchlow had the ground stakes and ties for the tree.

74. Matters Arising from the meeting on 3 January 2012:

Item 58 – Parking signs at Play Area – NCC has stated that “no parking“ signs cannot legally be put up on the lamp post by the play area, however they have provided residents with stickers to put on offending cars. Mr Mezza, a resident of Churchill Way, confirmed he has received these “polite” notices. Mr Mezza also provided details of a car which had been parked on the footpath. These will be forward to the police.

Item 18 – 20mph limit around Play Area – Cllr Mr Watson is still pursuing this.

Item 23 – Asset maintenance – Cllr Barras asked for volunteers to do some work on benches during the village clean up on March 24th. Cllr Sharpe confirmed that ACT has purchased 4 new barrels which will replace some of the damaged ones.

Item 45 – Bus Shelter repainting – NCC has inspected the bus shelter and confirmed they do not intend to repaint it. The Parish Councillors to arrange painting of this in the near future.

Item 51 – Ministry of Justice Land update – Cllr Budge left the meeting at this point. Mr Loader of MoJ has confirmed this matter goes before the Asset Disposal Team today. Cllr Budge returned to the meeting.

Item 64 – Update following meeting re Warkworth Farm Shop – Mr Clippendale is looking to reopen the shop in the Spring. The farm is working well. He is looking to develop the buildings at the back of the shop which are falling into disrepair. Initially it was proposed these be holiday lets however he would like to convert into residential properties. These will include affordable housing within these properties comprising 12 units of 2 and 3 bedrooms.
Northumberland Estates still have the mineral rights to the land and this area is still being looked at under the consultation.
The Parish Council raised concerns about the future of the Defra Footpath and Mr Garland will go back to Mr Clippendale on this issue and also the opening up of Millennium Walk. Clerk to request an update on the footpath issues.

Item 66 – Road to Guyzance update request – Mr Thorn of NCC has reported that the road to Guyzance is being looked at under the NCC ”land slips” budget however he does state there are other areas in Northumberland also being reviewed which take a higher priority. A permanent repair will be very costly so in the meantime they will continue to carry out “stop gap” repairs.

Item 66 – Update on situation with 30mph flashing sign – there have been issues with the existing contractor and a new contractor is in the process of being appointed. Once the new contractor is appointed Stefan Bell has requested that Acklington be a priority for the sign.

Item 66 – Request for No1 Bus to come through the village – Arriva has confirmed their position has not changed in relation to the No1 Bus – there is no spare time in the schedule to add a diversion without adding an extra bus to the cycle to make the timetable work and the revenue would not be enough to cover the cost and that is before the get into the issue of the turning problems.

Item 66 – A1 junctions meeting - Friday 16 March, 7.30, Swarland Village Hall

Item 66 – Footpath at bottom end of Millennium Walk – The Clerk has reported that cutting back of this footpath is required to NCC. The work has not yet been undertaken so Clerk to pursue.

75. Report by County Councillor

The decision about council tax has been taken. No increase from NCC only increases will be in Parish Council precepts and police costs.
Unfortunately my group could not get support from other parties to hold an increase in the maximum charges payable for home social care to a small increase of £30 making the maximum per day payable of £150. The current administration and other parties actions resulted in charges rising to approx £250 per day maximum to those that pay for their care.
The roads in the area are still a major concern to me and I continue to press for adequate repairs to be carried out particularly in the Guyzance area, I have been assured that repairs are in the plans for next year.
I fully support the idea of taking the land on offer from the Ministry of Justice but would add that the PC needs to take into account the permanent cost of cutting the grass and maintaining the area.

76. Finance

a. Financial Summary
The balance on account at 6 March 2012 is £3,082.99.

b. Payments
The following list was put before members and approved for payment:
000287 L Hamlin 45.34
000288 PAYE 166.64
000289 Information Commissioners Office 35.00
000290 Cancelled – error on cheque
000291 Felton PC – recharges 18.28
000292 Mid-Coquet Cluster 46.80
000293 Community Action Northumberland 12.50
000294 Great North Air Ambulance 25.00
000295 Age UK Northumberland 20.00

c. Receipts – None

77. Planning

a. To report on any planning decisions:
11/01740/FUL - 1 Cheevely Steading - Demolish and reconstruct extension - APPROVED
11/03185/FUL – Adj to 5 Guyzance Village – conversion to form new dwelling and garage - APPROVED
11/03193/FUL – Adj to 5 Guyzance Village – time limit extension to A/2008/0480 - APPROVED
11/03248/TREECA – 7 Guyzance Village – works to ornamental cherry tree – APPROVED
11/03141/FUL – 8 Guyzance Village – restoration of tradition building - WITHDRAWN

b. To consider any planning matters:
11/02908/FUL – 8 Guyzance Village – installation of replacement oil tank – to be discussed at Council Chambers on 1 March
12/00574/FUL – 8 Guyzance Village – resubmission of restoration of building within curtilage of 8 Guyzance Village - circulated for comments

78. Requested Agenda Items

Queen’s Jubilee Celebrations - a couple of meetings have been held and it has been agreed to hold a street party in the garden outside the village hall with a pooled supper, a church service in the afternoon with a ceilidh and BBQ or hog roast in the evening. The children at the school will be making decorations for the village hall. It was proposed that all the children in the parish should receive a commemorative gift and a request for the Parish Council to pay for this was put forward. It was agreed in principle however approximate costings would be required for a decision to be made. Cllr Corson stated that a picture of the Queen should be put in the Village Hall and Cllr Sharpe to take this back to the group.

Neighbourhood Plan for Guyzance – a request has been submitted for the Council to consider developing a neighbourhood plan for Guyzance Conservation Area. The Clerk has responded that a neighbourhood plan must cover the whole of the parish not one specific area, however there is no reason not to progress with a plan for the whole parish. Funding would have to be sought for a plan. The Clerk is attending a neighbourhood plan meeting on 13 March and will report back her findings.

Light outside Village Hall – Cllr Critchlow raised the issue of no street lights being outside the Village Hall and asked if this could be raised with NCC. Clerk to contact NCC. Also light 52AA is still permanently on. Clerk to report to NCC.

Resurfacing of Churchill Way – Cllr Corson has been informed by a resident that Churchill Way is to be resurfaced in the summer and asked why the Parish Council had not been informed. The Clerk stated that as far as she knew there was no work planned but will look into it with NCC. Cllr Corson also stated there are a number of pot holes that need filling and line markings repainted. Clerk to contact NCC however she did state that anyone can report a pot hole and it will be filled by NCC within a week.

Policy Review – The Publication Scheme and Risk Assessment were reviewed and agreed.

Dog Fouling – Reported on above.

79. Correspondence Received

NCC – Joint PC and NCC meetings (North Area 12 March 6pm in Stannington Village Hall)
NCC – Letter in relation to applications to carry out works on protected trees. In future Parish Councils will only be informed if there is a TPO on the tree. Clerk to ask for a list of trees covered by TPOs in the parish.
NCC – Devolution of Local Services – agreement letters has been received for taking on responsibility for bins and bus shelters. It was agreed these letters be signed.
Letter from Mrs Jackson in relation to trees in her garden – a complaint was received from Mrs Jackson stating her trees were dying due to weed killer put on the children’s play area. The Clerk wrote to Mrs Jackson stating that weed killer had not been used and that the weeds had been strimmed which was evident by the continued growth of the ivy along the fence. No further correspondence has been received.
Letter of thanks from Acklington Village Hall Committee and year end accounts
CAN – Donation request – It was agreed to donate £12.50
Great North Air Ambulance – donation request - It was agreed to donate £25
Age Concern – Donation request It was agreed to donate £20
Morpeth Northumberland Gathering – donation request – no donation given
Peel Energy – invitation to discuss planning application for Blue Sky Forest Wind Farm – Cllr Critchlow will try to attend.

80. Items for Circulation

CPRE – Guide to Neighbourhood Planning and Spring Newsletter
Clerks and Councils Direct
CAN News

81. Urgent Items

• Planning Portal – the Clerk reported that she is attending a meeting at NCC with the Head of Planning to discuss the proposal that from 19 March all planning applications will be via electronic form only with responses being sent electronically and the various issues relating to this decision.

• Cllr Sharpe raised an issue relating to 7 motorbikes riding around Rake Lane area and frightening horses. There was a 4x4 parked up with a bike trailer on the back. It was agreed that this is a police matter and the horse rider is the relevant person to report this issue.

• Cllr Corson asked what is happening with the footpath alongside the Village Hall. The Clerk confirmed this was a permissive bridlepath under a Defra scheme which comes to an end in September 2012. The Parish Council has requested the land owner if he is willing to keep this pathway open after this date. However there is no legal right to use to path after September 2012 unless Defra wishes to continue its agreement with the land owner.

• Cllr Orr stated that garden waste is being dumped on the grass verge along Acklington Road in North Broomhill which is causing damage the snowdrop flowers. Also the verge is becoming overgrown and bushes and trees need to be cut back. Clerk to contact NCC.

• Cllr Sharpe reminded Councillors that the Acklington village litter pick is taking place 10am – 12 noon on Saturday 24 March from the Village Hall.

82. Items for Next Agenda - None

Chairman closed the meeting at 8.45 pm
Next meeting: Annual Parish Meeting Tuesday 1 May at 7.30pm in Acklington Village Hall