MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS - Tuesday
2nd July 2013
Present: Cllrs J Newton, D Barras, E Critchlow, T
Corson, I Monkhouse, G Orr, A Sharpe and L Welch.
Councillor Watson The Parish Clerk in
attendance – Mrs L Hamlin
1. Apologies for Absence: Cllrs Budge and Craig
2. Declarations of Interest on the Agenda - None
3. The minutes of the meeting 8 May 2013 were
agreed and signed as a true record.
4. Standing Item – Public Questions - None
5. Matters Arising from the meeting on 8 May 2013:
a. Replacement Seat – this is on order and will be
delivered in the next 2-3 weeks. The seat at the
crossroads has also been damaged beyond repair and
unsafe and was removed by Cllrs Barras and Newton. It
was agreed to order another seat to replace this. Clerk
to place order.
b. Repairs to flower tubs – Two new tubs have been
placed at Millennium Walk, one tub is remaining which
will be located once the new seat is installed. The
rings around some of the tubs need replacing and Mr
Mezza kindly offered to look into this if the size of
the rings can be forwarded to him. Cllr Critchlow will
measure the tubs.
c. New posts for signage – Clerk has spoken to Lee
Baxter of NCC who states this is not in his remit and
have forwarded to Neighbourhood Services. Mr Garnick
responded stating this would be undertaken but should
come from CC Watson’s Members Scheme money. It was
agreed the Clerk respond stating that these are a safety
issue and need to be replaced at NCC’s expense.
d. Millennium Walk Footpath – hedge cutting back and use
of horses on this footpath – NCC has reported that the
ground vegetation will be cut this year and the hedges
will be trimmed in the winter. NCC will also look at the
problem of the gate as horses are not allowed along the
footpath. The gate used to be locked and NCC will look
to putting a chain on it again. It was agreed to put an
item in The Pelican on this.
e. 20mph in Acklington by play area – The Clerk raised
the issue with CC Watson as the costs of £6k would have
to be sought from his funds or Parish Council funds. CC
Watson thought he had already funded signs for “children
slow” and would check into this. Cllr Corson asked the
Clerk to find out how much it has cost to install the
20mph areas in Ashington and Blyth.
f. Replacement notice board – This has now been
installed and has received a number of compliments.
Clerk to relay to the joiner.
g. S106 agreement in relation to Warkworth Farms Ltd
developments – The S106 linked to this development is
the actual Affordable Housing so there will be no
further financial benefit to the community.
h. Situation with roads and pot holes – Still a number
of potholes need filling and Clerk is chasing NCC on
i. Trees in Quarry Avenue and St Omer Rd - Clerk to
arrange for a risk assessment to be taken of the trees
along with a location map of each tree. Cllr Barras
offered to liaise with the tree surgeon on tree review.
j. Hedge cutting in Acklington – Once again the Clerk
has been contacted in relation to cutting of hedges at 4
properties in Acklington. The resident is adamant that
NCC has cut these hedges in the past. NCC is adamant
that they have never cut these hedges. The Clerk has
again asked NCC if they will cut these hedges however
NCC has still not responded to this request despite
numerous reminders from the Clerk. It was agreed that
this was an issue that the residents need to take up
k. Ball play in childrens’ play area – The Clerk has at
last received confirmation from Ministry of Justice that
a “no ball” sign can be installed by the play area as
long as they are installed in a suitable place that will
not cause upset or a danger to people using the site.
Once this was received the Clerk contacted property
owners by the large grassed area to see if they have any
objections to goal posts being installed. To date two
responses have been received both in favour of goal
posts. One resident has also raised the issue of the
grass not being as well cut over the last few years and
also the issue of people allowing their dogs to foul
this grassed area. Clerk to source “no ball” signs and
if no response has been received from the remaining
residents contacted by mid-July then to source football
posts. It was agreed that the grass cutting had not been
undertaken on a regular basis and Clerk to report to NCC.
The Clerk has confirmed she has responded to the
resident stating any information they have in relation
to offenders with dogs can be forwarded to the Clerk or
NCC with as much detail as possible so they can tackle
offenders. The Clerk also reported that NCC has made
more prosecutions in the last 6 months than previously.
CC Watson to report this in his report in The Pelican.
l. C100 update and weight restriction request
C100 update - In relation to the request put to NCC for
a copy of the letter sent to residents about the C100
update NCC responded by stating “The letter in question
was to one resident only and addressed the issues of the
landslips and the closed road, which will have been of
interest to the Parish Council. It also responded to
specific concerns regarding school transport. Yes, it
was remiss of me to not inform you of the landslip
update. However, some of the material was pertinent to
the addressee only. The letter was not intended for
general circulation, although that appears to have been
I understand further correspondence, in the form of a
circular letter, is due from the Highways Area Office.
This will provide an update on the work to repair
Factory Bridge slip and Guyzance Bank/Cottage, the C100.
At the time of writing, Factory Bridge is being designed
with a view to being on the ground in September, subject
to third party consents, Environment Agency etc.
Following which design work will be undertaken to repair
both Guyzance Cottage and the Bank (C100). As both of
these slips have to be addressed before opening the
road. Because of the need for access for the two
dwellings, it is likely the Bank will be repaired first.
Followed by the Cottage section. Having spoken with
Guyzance Hall their access will have to be via Warkworth
during works on the C100. They are able to accommodate
us in this respect, with the proviso they have adequate
Weight Restriction - NCC do not wish to impose a weight
restriction at Factory Bridge nor Cooksburn Bridge (over
the Hazon Burn). As the road layout stands, restricting
these bridges will prevent access by the Council’s bin
wagons, private delivery vehicles and farm traffic which
is deemed unacceptable. NCC understand the reasons
behind the Parish Council’s request in order to preserve
access for private cars and smaller vehicles. However,
at this point in time, it is not a suitable solution.
6. Report by County Councillor
CC Watson has been approached by the farmer from East
House who has expressed concern about his farm vehicles
needing to come down Hartlaw due to the road closures
and this will prove difficult for oncoming cars to pass.
The Parish Council could not see a resolution to this
problem as the road cannot be reopened and it is
problematic for all road users.
Speeding in Acklington is still an issue and the
chicanes do not appear to be slowing drivers down. CC
Watson did ask for suggestions via The Pelican but no
ideas were forthcoming. CC Watson has asked that if any
Councillors or residents have any suggestions please
email them to him. He also will look into the Speed
Watch Initiative that the police are running for
volunteers to undertaken speed checks.
Some complaints have been received about the fencing
around the new land which is not in a good state of
repair. This was discussed at the last meeting and it is
not possible to access the fencing to repair or remove
it due to the hedging.
A request has been put in for a bus stop at the bottom
end of Acklington Road. CC Watson stated that the Parish
Council is now responsible for the cost of bus shelters
and they do not have the funds to buy one outright so he
will see if his Members Scheme money can be used for
this, however it would help if the Parish Council would
support this request and also make a financial
contribution if possible. The Parish Councillors were in
agreement with this.
a. Financial Summary
The balance on account at 8 May 2013 is £4,974.76
The following list was put before members and approved
000329 L Hamlin £100.77
PAYE to be ring fenced for end of year payment £25.20
000330 Steven Thirlwell (noticeboard) £437.51
000331 Zurich Municipal £243.80
000332 Felton PC Recharges £9.20
000333 NALC £93.80
000334 L Hamlin – Claim for Seat purchase £301.32
c. Receipts – None
a. To report on any planning decisions:
13/00938/VARYCO - Mill House Guyzance – extend time
limit on approved application – APPROVED
13/00683/LBC – 11 Bank House Farm – ground floor single
storey extension - APPROVED
13/01111/FUL – 1 Brainshaugh – Retrospective – demolish
and rebuild existing cottage – The Councillors undertook
a site visit and had no objections- APPROVED
b. To consider any planning matters:
12/01718/RENE – Land East of East House Farm, Warkworth
- 67m single wind turbine – this has been revised to
reduce the size of the turbine and also locate it in a
more appropriate location – new plans to be submitted.
Clerk to check as the 12 month approval for this
application should be due for renewal.
13/01508/DISCON – Building adj 5 Guyzance Village -
Discharge of Conditions 1 – 6 – objections have been
submitted by the Parish Council
13/01482/DISCON – Building adj 5 Guyzance Village -
Discharge of Conditions 1–17 – objections have been
submitted by the Parish Council
9. Requested Agenda Items
Neighbourhood Plan – This was once again raised
following a suggestion from NCC that this would have
been beneficial to have in place when the application
was submitted for affordable housing. CC Watson also
stated that any plans would be subject to change in
which party was leading NCC and also that the Core
Strategy is not yet complete but would likely to be out
of date once it is completed. Also if the PC were to
progress with this it could cause conflict within the
parish in terms of where future developments could take
place. The Councillors agreed that this was not
something they wish to progress due to the costs
involved and the limited affect it would have in terms
of future planning and development within the parish.
Broadband provision – Cllr Critchlow was speaking with a
BT engineer who stated that if there is enough demand in
the parish for superfast broadband then the council
should be proactive in seeking this as there is funding
available. The Clerk confirmed that NCC has investment
to cover 90% of the county with superfast broadband and
that Acklington is likely to come under this 90%
coverage. Alternative funding is being sources for the
remaining 10% in more rural areas. The Clerk to contact
NCC to progress this for Acklington and also to contact
Mr Sayers who may be able to advise more on this. Cllr
Critchlow to forward Mr Sayers contact details to the
Trees overhanging at Bank House Farm Holiday Lets – The
Clerk has reported that the overhanging trees at Bank
House Farm holiday lets need cutting back. This has been
reported and the managing agents are waiting to hear
back from the owners with instructions. It was agreed to
pursue this if no action has been taken by mid-July.
Cavil Head – asbestos reports – Reports have been
submitted to NCC about asbestos removal at Cavil Head
development. The Clerk has been informed that asbestos
sheeting is being left lying around the site and
potentially not being disposed of in the correct manner.
NCC referred the Clerk to The Health and Safety
Executive (HSE) where a report has been logged along
with similar concerns expressed by residents.
Road sweeping complaint – A resident complained that the
road sweeper went through Acklington but did not sweep
the roads correctly as there was still blossom left on
the road. The Clerk reported this to NCC to be told that
the operator was actually weed spraying the channels,
not road sweeping. This information was relayed to the
10. Correspondence Received
NCC – Settlement Services and Facilities Audit update –
a request has been received for the Parish Council to
update the information held by NCC for the Core
Strategy. The only section that appears to need updating
is the “pub” section which has recently been added.
Clerk to send in the return to NCC.
NCC – Proposed changes to planning system (Already
circulated) - The Clerk reported that one days notice
has been given on the changes in the planning system and
for plans covered under “permitted development” will
only be advised to direct neighbours and not Parish
Councils. NALC were unaware of this situation and have
opened dialogue with NCC on this issue as they believe
Parish Councils should still be informed of any proposed
NCC – Free Parking For All – for information only as the
Parish does not have any parking areas they charge for.
However when the consultation does take place the Parish
Council may wish to have a say over Alnwick and Morpeth
NCC – Proposals to support areas at risk of flooding –
NCC wish to work with Parish Councils and other flood
risk authorities such as the Environment Agency and
Northumbrian Water to develop Community Agreements for
areas that are at risk of flooding. This would outline
roles and responsibilities, improve communication and
assist the community to take action in the early stages
of a flood event. NCC is intending to hold a launch
event in early summer to explain the proposals and is
asking if the Parish Council would be interested in
being involved in this initiative. Date of proposed
meeting to be circulated so Councillors can attend if
NCC – Joint County Council and Parish/Town Council
meeting to be held on 14 October at 6pm Venue to be
confirmed. NCC is asking how they can improve their
interaction with the Parish and Town Councils for these
meetings and how the meetings content/format could be
improved. It was agreed that a Q&A session is the best
way forward with Councils submitting their questions in
advance so the meeting is not dominated by any one
Police survey on Parish Council Policing Updates – It
was agreed that there is little or no contact with the
police and updates on what is happening in the area are
not being received. Cllr Welch stated he receives Farm
Watch updates and will forward the information to the
Clerk so the PC can receive these. Clerk to complete
this form. Mrs Lillie also stated that there had been an
attempted break in at Inglenook in the last month.
Acklington First School funding request to assist in
start-up of a Toddler Group in Acklington – the trial
period is for 6 weeks from 11 June to 16 July and the
hall hire will be £90 for these 6 weeks and the group is
looking to the Parish Council to fund the hall hire. The
Clerk to respond stating that the Rotary Club has
already provided the funds for this however the Parish
Council would consider any future requests to support
Mid-Northumberland Scouts request for help both as
uniformed and non uniformed leaders and helpers. Clerk
to put an item in The Pelican and also on the web site.
Lloyds TSB – Following an EC ruling in 2009 Lloyds TSB
is forming a separate bank called TSB. The letter was to
inform the Parish Council that they will not be moved
over to the new bank but will remain with Lloyds TSB.
Clerks and Councils Direct – on circulation
11. Urgent Items
Cllr Sharpe raised the issue that the post box is being
obscured by an overgrown tree. Clerk to contact the
occupier of the property to request this be cut back.
It was reported that Rose Cottage has fallen into a bad
state since the tenant passed away. Clerk to request
Northumberland Estates look to tidy up this property.
12. Items for Next Agenda - None
Chairman closed the meeting at 9.12pm
Next meeting: Tuesday 3 September at 7.30pm in
Acklington Village Hall