MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS -  Tuesday 15th January 2013      

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

53. Apologies for Absence: Cllrs L Craig, D Barras and L Welch

54. Declarations of Interest on the Agenda – None

55. The minutes of the meeting 6 November 2012 were agreed and signed as a true record.

56. Standing Item – Public Questions

The Clerk reported that some residents were unhappy that there was no Christmas Tree outside the Village Hall this year and could an alternative site, i.e. the garden or the other side of the Hall not have been considered. It was reiterated that this was a one off due to the building works and it would not have been possible to re-site the tree.

57. Matters Arising from the meeting on 6 November 2012:

a. Light outside Village Hall – Cllr Sharpe reported that the Village Hall Committee are looking to install a light by the front door which will be on a timer to switch off a few minutes after the last person has left the building.

b. Footpath Issues – Mr Derbyshire has stated that NCC will undertake ground works on footpath 8 and will contact Mr Clippendale as he cuts the hedges.

c. New posts for new signs request – NCC has confirmed that the new posts will be installed where new signs have been erected.

d. Guyzance Hall access road update – passing places have now been installed in this road however they are at a lower level than the road and have damaged the verges. Clerk to contact NCC and get them to check the work.

e. Broadband Difficulties update – The Clerk checked with BT and there are no underlying issues, BT claim that if residents are experiencing difficulty it could be due to increased use at certain times of the day Residents should report issues direct to BT.

f. Credit unions within Acklington area – The Credit Unions closest to Acklington are Credit Union for South East Northumberland in Ashington, Northumberland Credit Union in Morpeth and Amble Youth Project. It was agreed the Clerk ask that details be put on the web site for residents information.

g. Hedge from Churchill Way to the bus stop – This hedge is to be cut by NCC in future at the appropriate time for hedge cutting to take place.

h. Hedge cutting around the newly acquired land – A quote has been received from NCC to cut the inside of the hedge around the new land at a cost of £175. It was agreed to go with this service. NCC is still to confirm if they will undertake the outside cutting under their budget or if the PC will be charged for this. Cllr Corson stated residents were unhappy about the area by the substation and this needs cutting back. The Clerk confirmed this is part of the NCC contract and will ensure this work is undertaken.

58. Report by County Councillor and other meetings attended –

• CC Watson stated the budget process has not been finalized due to delays from Central Government.
• CC Watson said he was very aware of the poor state of the roads and there are three areas of landslips – Factory Road, Guyzance and Brainshaugh. NCC are aware of the issues and CC Watson is trying to get allocated funds moved forward so work can be undertaken earlier. However, the major landslip at Rothbury takes priority and NCC are unsure as to whether they will receive funding from Central Government or have to find the capital funds from within its own resources to carry out the necessary works which are expected to cost £2-3 million.

59. Finance

a. Financial Summary
The balance on account at 15 January is £4,151.44

b. Payments
The following list was put before members and approved for payment:
000314 L Hamlin 112.18
000315 Northumberland County Council – grass cutting 75.78
000316 Geko for November 178.50
000317 The Pelican – Donation 50.00
000318 Felton Parish Council – recharges 8.34
000319 Geko for December 178.50
000320 Acklington CofE First School Donation 100.00

c. Receipts – £56.40 from Adam Douglas Solicitors from a credit balance on land transfer.

60. Planning

a. To report on any planning decisions:
12/03371/FUL – 1 Brainshaugh Farm Cottages – Alterations and extension to cottage with detached double garage and hard and soft landscaping - REFUSED

b. To consider any planning matters:
12/01718/RENE – Land East of East House Farm, Warkworth - 67m single wind turbine
12/02766/FUL – Warkworth Farms Ltd – conversion of farm buildings to 11 houses
12/03345/FUL – Warkworth Farms Ltd – 4 affordable houses
12/03493/FUL – Brainshaugh House – conversion of outbuilding for form garage, erection of orangery within walled garden – no objections
12/03812/LBC – Guyzance Hall – convert lounge and kitchen to bedroom with disabled access, covert 3 beds and bathroom into two beds with en-suites - no objections

61. Requested Agenda Items

• Guyzance – Old Wooden Memorial – at the Remembrance Day Service it was noted that the old wooden memorial, hand carved by Charlie Dick a former soldier from Swarland, had disappeared. The Clerk contacted the land owner to see if he knew where this may have gone but he had no knowledge of its whereabouts. It would appear that the memorial has been washed away in the flood waters.

• Precept Review in light of NCC’s announcement on Council Tax changes – The Clerk has raised the issue that whilst the Precept has not been increased the change in the way council tax is collected will mean that residents will see a slight increase in their bill. This is due to those residents receiving benefits not being included in the council tax collection. A grant is being provided this year by NCC to cover the difference and it was agreed not to amend the precept.

• Councillors are also required to sign a dispensation to prevent complaints under the Localism Act as members have a financial interest when setting the Precept. This document was circulated for signature.

62. Correspondence Received

• NCC – Core Strategy forthcoming consultation on preferred options – circulated for information
• NCC – Winter Services Information and details of grit bin and grit piles
• NCC – Local Transport Plan News leaflet informing the Council of the achievements this year
• Donation request – Alnwick Playhouse – no donation to be made
• CAN News - distributed
• CAN Annual Report – on circulation
• GRACE – Northumberland Sexual Violence Project volunteer request – notice to be placed in noticeboard
• HM Revenue & Customs – PAYE Real Time Information – From April 2013 Clerks pay will have to be submitted monthly to HM Revenue & Customs on line. The Clerk is investigating how to do this.
• Clerks and Councils Direct – on circulation
• NCC – Public Access Live – planning applications will continue to be received in paper format until NCC instigate a new IT system to enable Parish Councils to view applications more effectively online.

63. Urgent Items

• Pot Holes – The following potholes have been reported to NCC and they are trying to meet all requests for repairs. They give assurances that they will get all holes filled however priority are being given to those that are deemed most dangerous:
Acklington to Guyzance Bridge in the vicinity of Acklington Park Farm
Main road adjacent to HMP Northumberland near North Broomhill Junction
Acklington crossroads to HMP Northumberland
C100 to Guyzance
Acklington to Guyzance Road on the western approach to the Bridge.
Railway Bridge to Acklington Park Farm
NCC state they have filled in the holes by Guyzance Bridge, by Guyzance Mill and up to the
Prison at the time of this meeting.

• Fence at St Omer’s Road – Cllr Corson stated this needs repairing. It was agreed that Cllr Newton would look at the fence as it could be removed instead of repairing now the hedge is fully established.

• Cllr Critchlow stated residents had been asked for take part in a broadband speed consultation to enable rural communities to benefit from improved services however the funding is going to major towns – Amble, Rothbury and Alnwick – who already have good broadband capability and these are not rural locations. Clerk to contact NCC to see why money is being spent in these areas and not rural locations.

• Cllr Corson asked what the situation is with regard to empty properties and if there is a new legislation where the County Council can take on empty properties. The property in St Omer Road is getting in a bad state of repair again. Clerk to inform NCC of the issue with the property in St Omer Road and also investigate the legislation issue.

• Cllr Corson stated surveyors were in Churchill Way and were taking photos of properties. It was thought this may have been in relation to the land that the MoJ put up for auction recently. Clerk is to contact MoJ to see if this land is available for the Parish Council to take on (Note: it has subsequently been confirmed that the land has been sold and therefore unavailable for transfer to the parish council).

• Cllr Corson asked if there was any progress in getting a 20mph limit by the Children’s Play Area and signs warning of the area. The Clerk stated that no progress had been made with NCC but would address the issue with them again.

• Cllr Sharpe reported that the light opposite the school had been replaced however the light is not functioning. Cllr Sharpe was informed there is normally a 6 week delay in connecting the lights but the Clerk will contact NCC about the urgency of this light as it is by the school. (Note: it has subsequently been confirmed the light will be connected during the week commencing 11 Feb but not before as it is not an emergency case).

64. Items for Next Agenda – None

Chairman closed the meeting at 9.00 pm
Next meeting: Tuesday 5 March 2013 at 7.30pm in Acklington Village Hall