MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS -  3rd July 2012      


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

17. Apologies for Absence: Cllr J Newton and County Councillor Watson

18. Declarations of Interest on the Agenda – None

19. The minutes of the meeting 1 May 2012 were agreed and signed as a true record.

20. Standing Item – Public Questions

Mrs Lillie raised the question that grass is being cut at the Village Hall and can it be arranged for the grass to be cut in the Churchyard. The Clerk confirmed that the Village Hall grass cutting is not the responsibility of the Parish Council nor is the Churchyard and this request should be put to NCC by the Church direct. Mrs Lillie asked if the Parish Council donates money to the Church and the Clerk confirmed that an annual donation is made for the Church to use but there is no stipulation on how this money is spent. Details of the contacts within NCC were given to Mrs Lillie.

Mrs Lillie confirmed that a soakaway has been installed by NCC at the field opposite the Railway Pub which seems to have alleviated the flooding issue. The Clerk confirmed that she had also request works be undertaken here and will remove this from the pending list.

21. Matters Arising from the meeting on 6 March 2012:

a. Asset Maintenance – temporary repairs have been undertaken on the bench at the crossroads. Planters have been tidied up and repairs undertaken.

b. Ministry of Justice Land update including query on road responsibilities – MOJ has confirmed all the roads are now the responsibility of NCC. The paperwork for the land transfer was sent to MoJ at the beginning of June and we are awaiting the final documents to come through for the transfer.

c. Light outside Village Hall – 3 residents were written to. One did not respond, one had no objections and one did object. It was agreed that the Clerk would speak to Neil Johnson about installing a light on the post outside the hall and see what could be done to alleviate any light issues into residents properties. This is a safety issue for those using the Village Hall and parking along the road outside for events.

d. TPOs within the Parish – NCC has still not responded with this information. Clerk to ask CC Watson if he can progress this issue as the Clerk is not getting a response from NCC.

e. Hedge Cutting along Acklington Road – this has still not been undertaken by NCC however it may be an issue of time of the year for nesting. Clerk to pursue.

f. Issues at The Hemmel – The Enforcement Officer has reported that as far as camping is concerned there is no legal powers for NCC to stop this. It has permitted development rights for no more than 28 day per year. In relation to the Circus NCC were unaware of this last year but again this is covered under the 28 day rule as circuses move around the country. They did ask for details of size and whether it is due to come back to the area. Councillors confirmed that they had called the police last time camping was at the Hemmel due to the noise and a bonfire at the site. It was agreed to inform NCC ever time such an event occurs. It was also agreed that the Clerk ascertain if business rates are being paid here as revenue is being generated from camping etc.

g. 30mph Flashing Speeding Sign – this is once again not working and the Clerk to contact NCC and report this.

h. Standing water outside the Railway Inn – covered in public questions – issue now resolved.

22. Report by County Councillor –

CC Watson has been in touch with NCC about his concerns for the road to Guyzance and its bad state of repair. Orders have been placed for more patching works.

Residents have been contacting CC Watson with concerns of the turbine application – all calls have been negative.

CC Watson would like to know if the light outside the village hall is to be installed as he does have some money remaining from his members scheme. Clerk to update CC Watson on this issue.

23. Finance

a. Financial Summary
The balance on account at 3 July 2012 is £4,323.98

b. Payments
The following list was put before members and approved for payment:
000299 Central Design (for mugs – already paid) 325.20
000301 David Hall Joiner (Already paid) 200.00
000300 L Hamlin 103.58
000302 Zurich Municipal Insurance 225.00

c. Receipts – None

d. Insurance Quotes – the Clerk contacted Zurich, Came and Company and Alliance Insurance. Zurich has maintained cover at a cost of £225.00, the other two organizations were over £300 for the same cover. It was agreed to renew the insurance cover with Zurich.

24. Planning

a. To report on any planning decisions:
11/02908/FUL – 8 Guyzance Village – installation of replacement oil tank APPROVED

b. To consider any planning matters:
12/01502/FUL – Weir on Coquet West of Cauld House – Repair and improve existing fish pass – no objections were raised, it was noted that this is the only one of this design in the country. Fishermen up stream have been critical of the fish pass but the repairs should address this issue.
12/01735/FUL – West House, Guyzance – conversion to 4 bedroom property – concerns were raised and will be forwarded to NCC, these include confirmation of where the septic tank is to be housed, conditions applying to working hours and where deliveries can be made. It was also raised that as yet the conditions for installing passing places had still not been adhered to from previous planning approval. Clerk to report to NCC.
12/01718/RENE – Lane East of East House Farm, Warkworth - 67m single wind turbine – It was agree to object to this application based on the grounds of access to the site along unsuitable roads, impact on the views from Warkworth Castle, interference from telecommunications mast, adjacent to a Conservation Area. Clerk also to write to CPRE to inform them of this proposal and the Councils objections.

In general the Clerk to write to NCC and inform the Gazette over the concerns for all the planning approvals within Guyzance. The village is a conservation area and was given this status due to the character of the village which is being dramatically changed due to all the planning approvals with the result the village will quadruple in size and will change from purely residential to include a large amount of commercial development. With each application being submitted individually there is no need to provide affordable housing and this should be addressed. Also there is a need to repair the C100 which has deteriorated dramatically since the extra traffic from these developments has started to use the road.

25. Requested Agenda Items

• Parish Precept for 2013/14 – Cllr Corson asked that the Parish Council agree not to increase the precept for next year. The Clerk stated that this would be discussed in the November meeting when the precept is agreed. The Council would like to keep the precept the same however as yet no information has come from NCC as to what, if any, extra services will be passed onto the Parish Councils to fund.

• Free parking in Northumberland – Cllr Corson asked why no action was being taken to equalize the parking charges across the whole of Northumberland and that the County Councillors and Sir Alan Beith should be lobbying for the same charges across the County. The Clerk confirmed that these discussions have been ongoing across the County for over a year now and NCC will not be moved on changing the charges.

• Grass Cutting Quotations – Quotes have been sought by the Clerk for maintenance of the play area from August onwards and grass cutting charges for the new land soon to be acquired. It was agreed the Clerk would contact a fourth supplier for quoting on grass cutting and if this quote is higher than the cheapest quote the Clerk has the power to allocate a contract to the cheapest supplier. It was also agreed that Cllr Barras would undertake a site visit with the play area contractor to undertake a snagging list before the contract is finished.

• Meeting with Mr Garland re development at Cavil Head Farm – Mr Garland would like to hold a meeting of Councillors and also public to present the proposals for the development of Cavil Head buildings for housing. It was agreed that they should attend the September meeting to avoid clashing with holidays and ensure that most Councillors can attend. Clerk to contact Mr Garland to inform him of this.

• Church Lych Gate – discussions are progressing on this. Cllr Barras is meeting with church wardens to discuss further. A specialist conservation contractor is needed to provide advice and quotes so that a grant application can be submitted. The aim is to have this work undertaken in time for August 2014 as this was the end of the First World War.

• Speeding through Acklington – complaints of speeding through the village have been received and speeding is getting worse. Speed Watch checks have been undertaken but not at appropriate times. It was agreed the Clerk would contact the speed watch team to request more checks at more appropriate times. It was also agreed that Councillors must take details of those using excessive speed and forward details to the police.

26. Correspondence Received

• NCC – Changes to on and off street parking tariffs structure – there appears to be no thought put into the parking tariffs other than for financial gain. The changes in some areas are illogical, we should be looking to encourage tourists to the area however the parking charges would deter both tourists and residents from visiting some areas. It was agreed that the Clerk look into asking for a Judicial Review of NCC in relation to the inequality of parking charges in the County, this would require the backing and support of the other Northern Area Parish Councils. Clerk to contact relevant Councils.

• NCC – Local Transport Plan Programme 2012/13 – 3 priorities submitted to NCC were 1) Pedestrian safety to have footpath extended to railway station – this has been added to directory of requests for future consideration 2) 20mph zone requested, especially at Churchill Way – added to directory of requests however a 20mph limit with no traffic calming would need to be funded by the PC or County Councillor 3) Rebuild road to Guyzance – passed to Highway Strategy Manager – the road maintenance programme is focused on roads that are shown to be in the greatest need. It was agreed the footpath is a top priority and also it was agreed to undertake a door knock along Churchill Way and St Omer Road to gain residents support for a 20mph limit in this area. Clerk to provide petition for Cllrs Barras, Corson and Sharpe to undertake this door knock.

• NCC – date for next joint NCC/PC meetings – the next meeting is Monday 8 October at 6pm – venue to be confirmed.

• Audit Commission – appointment of external auditor for 2012/13 – no objections to this appointment of BDO.

• NALC Membership Form – It was agreed not to join NALC.

• Northumberland Theatre Company – donation request – none to be made.

• Amble Town Council – Natural Burials leaflets – For information

• CPRE Summer Leaflet and CAN Newsletter – for circulation

27. Urgent Items

• Cllr Corson thanked Cllr Welch for the grass cutting – it makes a huge different to sight lines from Acklington Road to Broomhill.

• Cllr Corson reported that since the field at Bunny Lane is being used for horses there has been a reduction in fly tipping here.

• Cllr Barras reported that the Right of Way to Coal Road is impassible. Clerk to report to Footpath Officer at NCC.

• Cllr Critchlow reported that Green Lane and Rake Lane footpaths are being used by quad bikes which are damaging the footpaths. Clerk to report to Footpath Officer.

• Cllr Barras reported that the permissive path alongside the Village Hall is overgrown as is the footpath to the rear of Mr Pickering’s old property. Clerk to check whether NCC has any influence over getting these pathways cleared.

• Cllr Budge reported there has been some fly tipping at the end of Churchill Way. Clerk to report to NCC.

• Cllr Sharpe informed the Council the final meeting of the Jubilee Celebrations Committee is to take place on 9 July at 7.30pm. The Committee would like to thank the Parish Council for donating the mugs for the celebrations.

• Articulated Lorry Parking In Acklington – A complaint has been received about a vehicle parked in St Omer Road however unless it is causing an obstruction no action can be taken.

• NCC Traffic Regulation Order at Acklington First School – it was agreed the Council has not objections to this regulation change.

• The Clerk reported that HRH The Prince of Wales will be in Warkworth, Amble and Red Row on 23 July. Further details to follow which will be emailed to Councillors.

• A report has been received about a low hanging tree branch in St Omer Road. Clerk to investigate.

• NCC – Local Development Plan Core Strategy – a request has been made to have NCC attend a meeting. Clerk to arrange a meeting for a number of Parish Councils to attend a special meeting if NCC will agree.

28. Items for Next Agenda – Adoption of Code of Conduct

Chairman closed the meeting at 9.25pm
Next meeting: Tuesday 4th September at 7.30pm in Acklington Village Hall