MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS -  Tuesday 5th March 2013      

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

65 Apologies for Absence: Cllrs L Craig and E Critchlow and County Councillor Watson

66 Declarations of Interest on the Agenda – None

67 The minutes of the meeting 15 January 2013 were agreed and signed as a true record.

68 Standing Item – Public Questions - None

69 Matters Arising from the meeting on 15 January 2013:

a. Light outside Village Hall – Cllr Sharpe reported that the Village Hall Committee are progressing on this issue now.

b. Footpath Issues – NCC are reviewing the footpaths once they have dried out. Cllr Barras reported that the Field House Farm pathway is okay.

c. New posts for new signs request – New posts are still required. Clerk to continue to pursue this issue with NCC.

d. Guyzance Hall access road update - A request has been put in to NCC to check the quality of the work for the passing places. This however has taken a back seat due to the situation with regard to the C100 and C102 roads. The C102 At Guyzance Factory Bridge has traffic lights in place due to road slippage. The estimated repairs are £175k and this has been included on the landslip programme for 2013/14. The C100 at Guyzance Cottage and Guyzance Bank is closed. There are no costs for repairs at present, NCC are investigating improved drainage in this area. Guyzance Bank really requires a significant retaining wall however this would be prohibitively expensive so NCC are looking at additional groundwater drainage and lateral reinforcement of the reconstructed carriageway. Repairs have been undertaken on the diversion route to fill in pot holes following complaints from residents.

e. Broadband funding in rural areas – NCC has reported that the programmes in Alnwick and Amble are commercial investments by BT with no support from NCC. iNorthumberland programme is using BDUK and NCC funds to extend the reach of this investment to cover 90% of the county. This procurement is currently out and by late March NCC will know which parts of the county will be included within this investment roll out. Informal discussions with suppliers suggest that the Red Row exchange that Acklington comes under will likely be part of the 90% coverage. Further funds are being sought through Defra for the remaining 10% of the County. NCC are working to try to ensure the non commercial areas of Northumberland get the same quality of broadband service s the larger settlements and the urban areas of Tyneside.

f. Credit unions within Acklington area – This information is now on the web site.

g. Hedges within the Parish – There have been a number of issues raised in relation to hedge cutting in the parish with some hedges being cut and others not. The Clerk confirmed that the Parish Council are only responsible to the hedges around the land that they have acquired from the Ministry of Justice. This includes the area beside the power station and the large grassed area at St Omer Road. It was discussed that in the past the Ministry of Justice has cut a lot of the hedges in the parish but this is no longer the case which is where the confusion is arising about the cutting of hedges. Clerk to put details into The Pelican as to which areas the Parish Council are responsible for. It was also agreed to leave the fencing around the grassed area of St Omer Road as to remove it would potentially cause damage to the hedges and it is not practical or necessary to replace the fencing.

h. NCC’s policy on empty properties – NCC’s policy is to make use of enforcement powers to address both the problem of empty derelict houses and the shortage of housing in the county. Whilst the power is straightforward there are financial implications – legal works, renovation and repair of property and management charges along with funding a Housing Officer. NCC is planning to use the powers but have not done so as yet. NCC also state it is helpful to be able to demonstrate local community support for the application of such powers.

i. 20mph speed limit at Children’s Play Area – NCC has confirmed that playground warning signs should have been installed by now and are chasing this up. If a 20mph limit is to be implemented it requires funding via the Member’s Small Scheme Programme or the Parish Council, the route needs to pass close to school access points or urban residential in nature, not a main through route or arterial route and 50% of the local residents on the street must be in favour of the proposal. Clerk to ascertain if the Parish or NCC undertake the consultation with the residents.

70 Report by County Councillor and other meetings attended– None

71 Finance

a. Financial Summary
The balance on account at 5 March is £3,448.67

b. Payments
The following list was put before members and approved for payment:
000321 L Hamlin 73.43
000322 PAYE 140.73
000323 Information Commissioners Office 35.00
000324 NCC – Clearing of site by Power Station 155.04
000325 NCC – Hedge Cutting 211.90
000326 Geko Landscaping 357.00
000327 CAN 15.00

c. Receipts – Interest 53p

72 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
12/03539/FUL – 1 Guyzance Bridge – alterations and extension to existing property including improving energy performance - APPROVED

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 residential units – To be heard at Committee on 7 March
12/03345/FUL – Warkworth Farms Ltd – 4 affordable houses - To be heard at Committee on 7 March. It was agreed the Parish Council would request time to speak against the application. Cllr Welch wishes to speak in favour of the application and the Clerk explained that if a Councillor wishes to support this application then they can only attend as a member of the public and not used their title of Councillors as they are not representing the Parish Councils views. Cllr Welch stated the decision to object was not unanimous and the Clerk stated that the decision was a majority decision, it does not have to be unanimous.
12/03878/FUL – 11 Bank House – first floor bedroom extension over ground floor bedroom
13/00130/LBC – 11 Bank House – first floor bedroom extension over ground floor bedroom
13/00187/FUL - 4 Bank House Farm - extension and garden room
13/00189/FUL - 3 Bank House Farm - extension and garden room
13/00191/FUL - 5 Bank House Farm - extension and garden room
13/00389/FUL – Land East of High Park Farm Cottages – change of use of agricultural land and construction of 3 replacement residential dwellings – this was reviewed at the meeting and it was agreed there are no objections.

73 Requested Agenda Items

Hedge Cutting in Acklington Village

S106 Request to NCC – The Clerk is still waiting on further information from NCC on this issue however there has been an inclusion in the Warkworth Farm applications for S106 funding to be provided.

• Purdah – 25 March to 3 May – no quotes or letters to press unless it is due to an emergency and only factual statements to be given.
• Election Packs available now
• Nominations open Monday 25 March, Close 5 April at 12 noon
• Office hours 9am to 4pm
• Nomination Centres – Allerburn House, Alnwick and County Hall, Morpeth
• Papers must be hand delivered to election staff, don’t leave at reception. An appointment must be made for delivering packs on 01670 624 811 but Clerk can arrange to deliver a number at the same time
• If elections take place the count will be Friday 3 May. Clerk will be informed on 10 April if an election is to take place.
• Term of office of councillors commences midnight on Monday 6 May.
• Parish Council must hold Annual Meeting of Parish Council between 6 – 20 May.

74 Correspondence Received

CPRE Newsletter – on circulation
Thank you note from Acklington First School for donation
Morpeth Northumbrian Gathering donation request – no donation to be given
Clerks and Councils Direct – on circulation
CAN donation request – a donation of £15 was agreed upon
Email re raising awareness of dementia – it was agreed the Clerk request information to be put in The Pelican.

75 Urgent Items

• Cllr Welch reported a Jewsons bag that has been dumped full of rubbish by the Black Shed – Clerk to report to NCC for removal.

• Dog Fouling – there has been a considerable increase in dog fouling in the village which has been reported to the dog warden. Also there are issues with bagged excrement being thrown onto the railway platform. The dog warden has been informed as well as Network Rail and the Clerk is to check if the warden has contacted the owners of the pub to urge people using the caravan site to dispose of any dog excrement in a responsible manner. An item to be put in The Pelican informing residents that the dog warden is patrolling and also information on how to report anyone seen not picking up after their dogs.

• Noticeboard – The parish council notice board in St Omer Road has been temporarily removed as it has been badly damaged in the recent high winds. Clerk to ask Steve Thirlwell to quote for repairs.

76 Items for Next Agenda – None

Chairman closed the meeting at 8.50 pm
Next meeting: Wednesday 8 May 2013 at 7.30pm in Acklington Village Hall