Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 1st September 2010

03-09-1  Present: Cllrs H Forster (Chair), Cllr M Newson, MW Gibson, E L Dixon and P J Johnston

Also Present: Clerk: R Macfarlane, Cllr GB Shaw (Warden PC) & NCC Cllr E Heslop.

03-09-2  Apologies:  Cllr R S Robson and PC Kidd

03-09-3  Declaration of Interest: None

03-09-4  Minutes:  The Minutes of the meeting of NPC which was held on 7th July 2010 were approved and signed.

03-09-5  Matters Arising:

Oil Painting (from Red Lion)  – GB Shaw has had it valued (£400) and the Clerk has arranged for it to be insured at a premium of £5 p.a.

Public Toilets Sidgate Lane.  The Clerk has received a communication from Cllr Heslop.  The new landowner has commissioned work to remove the old toilet block and re-instate the wall sympatheticallyThis is in conjunction with NCC.


03-09-6  Public First Focus:

No issues

03-09-7  Communications:

  1. a) CAN Newsletter – Copies are e-mailed to all councillors
  2. b) Courts Estate Reform Consultation – Clerk instructed to write to Her Majesty’s Courts Service in support of keeping a local magistrates’ Court in Tynedale.
  3. c) NCC Licensing Consultation – Cllr Heslop briefed the Council on the progress of the consultation process.
  4. d) Local Transport Plan (LTP), The Chairman asked members to send any requests to the Clerk by the end of this month.
  5. e) Model Standing Orders for Smaller Parish Councils (NALC & CAN) The Clerk has published these on the Council’s website ( ) together with other policies. (To be reviewed in November)
  6. f) Remembrance Sunday Clerk to order a wreath for Newbrough PC.

The remaining correspondence will be circulated to all councillors:

European Recycling Company Limited (Shoe recycling), Archaeology in Northumberland, CPRE Overview, NSP Sustainable Community Strategy, Road Link Annual Report, Local Council’s Insurance Aon, NCC Composite Traffic Regulations, Letter from Ian Knights re Council Vacancy, NCC Area Committee/PC meetings  12th October.

03-09-8  Vacancy

The Council is now in a position to co-op a new councillor.  There has been one application to date and the vacancy noted in the Stanegate.  Cllr Johnston requested that another notice should be placed in the Stanegate inviting other applicants.  The Clerk will add this to his regular report for the Stanegate and keep the present applicant informed.

03-09-9  Roads

Some concern over hedgerows encroaching and obscuring road signs.  Clerk to contact NCC Highways.

03-09-10  Footpaths

There is notable erosion to the river banks and to the new railway embankments. Clerk will inform NCC footpath’s Officer.


03-09-11  Planning

Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 s53 Modification Order (No 5) 2007  – Decision squashed.

03-09-12  Reports

Town Hall: The Council used, for the first time, the new meeting room upstairs and found it satisfactory.  There is some discussion taking place about a new public lavatory facility adjacent to the Town Hall.  GB Shaw has completed repairs and maintenance to the PC Noticeboard outside of the Town Hall.  It was proposed to move the free-standing noticeboard and affix it to the end wall of WI House pending agreement from planning department and conservationists.

Village Society:  No report.

Sportsfield Association: The new vicar, Rev Jeremy Thompson, is planning to arrange a meeting to form a new organisation to run the Sportsfield Association.   Cllr Shaw Chairman (Warden PC) and EL Dixon (Newbrough PC) have stated their wish to play an active role in the new set-up.

Angling Club: The issue of ownership of the disputed stretch is still ongoing though some progress has been made.

Newbrough CofE First School:  Since Cllr Brooks has resigned as a governor there has been a gap in the link between school and council.  Clerk to invite P Myers or representative to next meeting.

MTCT: The Mid Tyne Community Trust is inviting groups and organisations to apply for grant aid.   In its role of Community Forum for the Mid Tyne group of councils the Chairman, Phillip Wanless will soon call a meeting.  Agenda may include climate changes and green issues

Northumberland County Council: The Council is busy endeavouring to save £10m, from the budget.  Two more senior members of staff have resigned.

03-09-13   Finances

Bank Accounts   1st September 2010 Community £819.93 and BMM £13,028.97


The audit opinion having been given by BDO LLP it was RESOLVED that the Council approved and accepted the Annual Return

Quote the auditors BDO LLP, “The council have reviewed the level of fidelity guarantee cover, however this still appears to be insufficient in light of the bank balances held at 31 March 2010 and the amount of precept then subsequently received in April 2010. (LGA 1972 s114)”

The Clerk pointed out that the bank balance in April was unusually high (£16277.85) and this exceeded the fidelity guarantee cover of £15000.  The council reviewed the level of fidelity guarantee cover and RESOLVED to keep it the same but this will be increased if the need arises.  Cllr Johnston requested that he did not approve the Council’s audit process because he thought that it might be at variance from the Council’s financial policies.  The Clerk assured him that he was mistaken and referred him to the Financial Policy document that all councillors were given at the beginning of September.  This document was reviewed and agreed unanimously by the Council on 4th November 2009 and then signed on behalf of the Council by the Chairman.  The document was subsequently published on the Council’s website.   ( )

Internal Auditor

The Council RESOLVED to appoint Ms D Hoare as Internal Auditor.

Payments Approved

Clerk’s Part Salary £427.70, Clerk’s Expenses £27.54, Meeting Room Rental £30 (September), Aon Insurance £9.84 (Hunting Scene Oil Painting), BDO LLP £176.25 (£150 plus vat £26.25), S Davies Grass Cutting 3rd cut £66.  Total £737.33

All the above approved payment fall well within the boundaries and parameters of the Council’s budget.  Reconciliation as per bank balances.  The Clerk pointed out that all expenditure has to be agreed by the Council. The Clerk, as usual, would inform the Council of any significant variance to budget.

Next meeting 7.00 pm Wednesday 3rd November 2010

The meeting closed at 8.35

Signed Chairman ………………………………

Date………..…3rd November 2010………….