MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS -  6th November 2012      


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

41. Apologies for Absence: Cllr E Critchlow, L Craig and L Welch

42. Declarations of Interest on the Agenda – Cllr Budge on Ministry of Justice email.

43. The minutes of the Meeting 4 September 2012 were agreed and signed as a true record.

44. Standing Item – Public Questions – None

45. Matters Arising from the meeting on 4 September 2012:

a. Street light outside Village Hall – NCC has responded stating there are no electricity cables in front of the village hall so new cables would need to be installed in the footpath so the cost to install a light would be £2,750 plus VAT. A suggestion was made to link a light to the outside post from the Village Hall. Cllr Sharpe to take this back to the Village Hall Committee for consideration.

b. Footpath Issues – Clerk is awaiting a response as to whether Mr Derbyshire of NCC has managed to review the footpaths. A complaint has also been received from a resident requesting the Parish Council maintain the footpath however Cllr Newton has responded to state that NCC are looking into this issue and the Parish Council does not have the budget to undertake works on footpaths.

c. New posts for new signs request – CC Watson reported that Lee Baxter of NCC has stated these will be replaced.

d. BDO response re audit charges – BDO Auditors were contacted to request a reduction in the charges for the annual audit however they have stated that the fees are set by the audit commission and as income/expenditure was within the £50,000 to £100,000 band the charges of £400 stand. The Clerk therefore paid the bill.

e. Guyzance Hall access road update – NCC responded to the letter sent in relation to the access to Guyzance Hall via the West Lodge bridge. When this was discussed at Planning Committee and it was agreed that additional notes be added to the planning approval stating “The applicant is reminded that Condition 11 restricts vehicular access to Guyzance Hall required in connection with the change of use hereby permitted to use the vehicular access to the west from the C100 highway adjacent to the West Lodge. The Applicant is advised to ensure that the road and bridge crossing over the Quarry and Westwood Burns on the access drive are of sufficient standard and structural stability to accommodate the increase in traffic for guest and service vehicles required in connection with the use hereby permitted”. The clerk advised these are notes to the applicant, not planning conditions that can be enforced by NCC. They cannot therefore enforce any work to strengthen the bridge. However if condition 11 is not being adhered to then this is something that NCC can pursue with the owner and it would therefore be in the owners’ interests to undertake any works necessary to ensure compliance with the condition. It should also be noted that not all vehicles driving through Guyzance are connected with functions/events associated with the Hall but may be in connection with other general uses for the operation of the hall and associated holiday lets. NCC will write to the owner to remind him of the requirements of the condition and will highlight the note regarding the adequacy of the bridge on the private drive.

f. Resurfacing of entrance to Churchill Way – This request has been put to NCC, they have repaired the pot holes and have submitted a resurfacing request for the financial year 2013/14 however this does not guarantee funding will be made available.

g. Pot Hole outside 12 Acklington Drive – This has been repaired.

h. Drain cleaning and road sweeping – NCC reported that Acklington was mechanically swept on schedule towards the end of September. NCC be visiting again on schedule and it should be noted that NCC mechanically sweep a minimum of 4 times per year as per instructions from our service head. The gullies are on an annual cycle unless there is a specific problem where NCC would then come off schedule and attend the issue which they have on two occasions this year; St Omer Rd in January and outside the Railway Inn in April.

i. Signage at cross roads – The removal of the Cart Shed sign also resulted in the removal of Morwick Ice Cream signage due to these being sited illegally on NCC land. Morwick Ice Cream has been informed of this by the Clerk.

46. Report by County Councillor and other meetings attended –

CC Watson reported that Council Tax should remain the same next year due to the grant funding initiative.
Joint PC and NCC Meetings
• The Clerk attended two meetings with NCC where an update was given on the unsatisfactory service given by Highways and Neighbourhood Services in relation to grass cutting and weed spraying. NCC has apologised for the lack of service this year this was due to the weather situation and also sub-contracting issues. New gulley cleaning machines have been purchased and a schedule of gulley cleaning and weed spraying will be provided to PCs for next year.
• Development Management Team update – planning applications will be in electronic format only from January. A number of PCs were against this due to lack of broadband speed and Cllr Tebbutt agreed alternative arrangements will be put in place for PCs who are unable to access applications successfully. The Core Strategy is progressing and workshops are taking place. PCs will be consulted again before the final version is adopted.
• Elections – election briefings will take place early next year for candidates and clerks in preparation for elections. Help will be required from Clerks on circulating information. Fees will be charged if an election is held by Parish Councils to cover costs of postal votes and ballot papers.
• Budget - once again NCC are facing budget cuts and they hope to inform the PCs of funding issues before precepts are submitted. It is not anticipated that there will be any services transferred to the PC next financial year.

47. Finance

a. Financial Summary
The balance on account at 6 November is £4,609.22
b. Payments
The following list was put before members and approved for payment:
000310 L Hamlin 112.18
000311 Geko Landscaping – September & October 357.00
000312 British Legion Poppy Appeal 25.00
c. Receipts – HM Revenue & Customs £163.95

48. Planning

a. To report on any planning decisions:
12/01848/FUL – The Hemmel – photovoltaic Panels and Shelter/Wall gate - APPROVED
12/02305/LBC – 37 The Village – internal alterations & orangery to rear - APPROVED
b. To consider any planning matters:
12/01718/RENE – Lane East of East House Farm, Warkworth - 67m single wind turbine

49. Requested Agenda Items

Budget Review – The budget was approved after some minor amendments to the projects costs. It was agreed to use NCC for grass cutting of the play area and outsource any repairs or maintenance of equipment. NCC’s quote for grass cutting was considerably cheaper and also the feedback on the level of service from NCC on grass cutting is superior to the play area grass cutting.
The Clerk budgeted another £500 towards election costs to make the total ring fenced as £1,000. This should cover the cost of an election should one be necessary in May.
The Precept will remain at £4,500.

50. Correspondence Received

• Email from Ministry of Justice re Land for development – The land at the end of Churchill Way has been identified as an area that could possibly be built on. The MOJ is considering selling the land at auction leaving planning to prospective purchasers should they wish to progress this route.
• NCC – Emergency Contact numbers request – Cllr Sharpe agreed to be a contact along with the Clerk.
• NCC – Electronic Planning Application notification – Covered above.
• NCC – Summer/Autumn update from Highways & Neighbourhood Services
• Amble Town Council email re election workshops transportation – it was agreed not to become involved in this.
• Letter of thanks from Parochial Church Council for donation
• Donation request from Air Ambulance – It was agreed to donate £20.00
• Citizens Advice Leaflets and information – to be put in notice boards
• Clerks and Councils Direct – on circulation
• Northumberland Rivers Trust Newsletter – on circulation
• CPRE Newsletter – on circulation
• CAN News – on circulation
• Northumberland and Newcastle Society request for support for fixed separation distances between houses and turbines – it was agreed Councillors would respond individually.
• Thank you letter from Acklington Village Hall for the donation towards works.

51. Urgent Items

• Christmas Tree – due to the works being undertaken on the Village Hall it is not practical to have a tree this year.
• Cllr Barras asked if people were experiencing difficulty with broadband the last few weeks. Clerk to investigate with BT if there is an issue.
• Cllr Barras asked if details of Credit Unions in the area could be sought to inform residents of where they are should they be required.
• Cllr Corson reported that the hedge from Churchill Way to the bus stop and the grass along this hedge line had not been cut. Clerk to contact NCC.
• It was also reported that the hedge around the newly acquired land is not being cut. Clerk to ask NCC for quotes for cutting the hedge.

52. Items for Next Agenda – None

Chairman closed the meeting at 8.45pm
Next meeting: Tuesday 8 January 2013 at 7.30pm in Acklington Village Hall