Meeting of the Council 4th March 2009

Present: Cllrs H Forster (Chair), Cllr RS Robson, Mrs H Brooks and PJ Johnston.  Also present: Clerk R Macfarlane, Cllr E Heslop (NCC) and one member of the public.


Apologies: Cllr MW Gibson and EL Dixon


Declaration of Interest: None

Minutes:  The Minutes of the meeting of NPC which was held on 7th January 2009 were approved and signed. (The Declaration of Interests was amended.)

Matters Arising:

Clerk’s status re HMRC

Cllr Johnston is not happy with the Tax status of the Clerk and believes that the Clerk should apply PAYE.  The Clerk has been advised by HMRC that the arrangements that have been in place for the last six years are appropriate and still apply with national agreements.  The Clerk is very concerned that approaches were made to HMRC by Cllr Johnston and these were not sanctioned by the Clerk and were without the approval of the Council.  Cllr Forster will discuss the matter with Tynedale Council legal department.

Sportsfield Association: The Cricket Club’s future is in doubt.  The Association’s Charitable status will have to be reviewed and the future of assets and funds decided.

Newbrough and Warden War Memorial: The students from Northumbria University will soon present a report and then the Council will decide how to proceed and what the scope of works should be.

Vacancy:  The vacancy on the Council has been notified to TDC and subsequently advertised for the appropriate period and an election has not been called.  The Council is in a position to co-op and have had three applications.  One application has withdrawn and an interview for the remaining two will be held on Wednesday 11th March.


Public First Focus    The member of the public present brought to the Council’s notice the unsightly presence of overfilled bins outside of the Red Lion Inn.


Grant Awards – Letters of thanks have been received from Stephen Pedley (Re Pantomime), from GNAA for £100 and  from CAN for £15

TDC Hanging Baskets – Clerk to liaise with Tynedale Council and Jim Cowan.

Strategic Partnership Representation – West Area  Representation on West Area Partnership.  This meeting will now take place in Haltwhistle Methodist Chapel, 7.30 on 17th March.  Each parish will have one vote.


Communications continued – To be circulated to all councillors with other relevant communications.  Transition Tynedale Grant – Promote low carbon lifestyle, Planning Forum 3rd March, National Park Authority PC Representation, Narrowing the Gap NCC Education consultation, Boundary Committee, TDC Minutes, NCC Committee Papers, CAN Newsletter.



Village Signs in partnership with NCC. 

ENQ/00068/2009 Initial enquiries with Tynedale Council suggest NPC requires planning permission because of Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007.  However enquiries with NCC suggest we require Section 50 Private Licence at cost of £200. Subsequently, the proposals to be part of a scheme of upgraded road signage to be carried out in Newbrough by the Highway Authority (Northumberland County Council), it is the opinion of TDC that the proposed blocks/village signs constitute a form of advertisement. It is also considered that these “advertisements” constitute traffic signs. Schedule 1, Class G of the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 states that traffic signs are excepted from the regulations, meaning that the stone blocks / village signs do not require advertisement consent.  The Council approved the Form of Indemnity and instructed the Clerk to continue with its completion.  Clerk to liaise with Patrick and Gilbert Ward to progress the project.



It was felt that a Dog Warden’s presence would ease the problem of dog fouling.



No issues.


Town Hall: A new caretaker, Phil Biggs will soon take up his appointment.  It is hoped that a group of helpers will get together to do some spring cleaning and painting.  The pantomime was extremely successful with about 70 people assisting and attendance of around 270 over three nights. The Town Hall will gain financially.

The disabled access door is now accessible and storage improved (for pantomime).

Sportsfield Association: Newbrough CofE First School:  No reports

Village Society:  The society met last week and reported back that the barn dance was an enjoyable and profitable evening.  On 18th March Malcolm Newson will give talk on “Life in our Local Rivers.”

MTCT:   The Mid Tyne Community Trust will lead the Community Forum for the Mid Tyne group of councils.  On 26th February at a meeting of the Trust representatives of local businesses were invited.  The purpose of the meeting being to highlight the need to attract and sustain business within the MTCT area; to encourage new employment and self employment, form a support network and sustain and support local communities.   MTCT wishes to facilitate a setting up of a Business Forum to help put people in touch with each other.  The next meeting is on 26th March at Wark Cricket Club


Northumberland County Council

Cllr Heslop introduced a document from NCC entitled One Council and pamphlets were given to the councillors present. Cllr Heslop was pleased that the highways budget was maintained at the £18m level (rather than cut).  The authority is looking at alternative methods of repairing roads. The present pothole quick fix is only a short-term remedy.

Tynedale Council

The Social Housing Partnership and the TDC enabling fund has been very successful.  However the government is to provide less financial support for low cost housing.  Low cost housing is certainly not low quality housing and a partnership of seven RSLs will work together to benefit the area.  This is the last occasion where Cllr Forster will report on Tynedale Council and final TDC Council Meeting will take place at 4pm on 23rd March.  Councillors thanked him for his help and advice which he has given Newbrough Parish Council for the best part of twenty years and wished him well for the future.

Financial Matters

Bank Accounts   3rd March 2009 Treasurer’s Account £171.76, BMM £10866.14

Audit 2009  to be carried out by BDO Stoy Hayward

BDO Stoy Hayward Local Council Briefing

Audit fee this year will be £120 plus vat

The Audit timetable is as follows: To exercise the Elector’s Rights, Display Notice of Audit from 6th to 19th April, Records Available from 20th April to 18th May, Complete the Audit pack before 22nd May.

Risk Management and Financial Procedures & Regulations

Although the Council had reviewed their Fidelity Guarantee Insurance the Clerk would like this to be appraised before renewal in June. Using BDO calculations our cover, at present, for £13000 is less than adequate.

Section 137 Expenditure

This is set to increase in 2008/09 to £5.86 per elector.

Income    TDC Beacon LPSA Grants £1700        

Payments Approved   Clerk’s Part Salary £427.70, Clerk’s Expenses £35.43, Meeting Room Rental £30 (March), Grass Cutting DH Charlton £30, B Gustard £30,  Pantomime £100 (Cheque 100738),  Shotton Waste Services £172.50 (£150 plus £22.50 vat)

Meeting closed at 9.05 pm