Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 3rd July 2013

03-07-1 Present Cllrs G L Myers, J Annan and P J Johnston

Also Present: Clerk: R Macfarlane and County Cllr RM Gibson

03-07-2 Apologies  Cllr MW Gibson and M D Newson

03-07-3 Declaration of Interest  Cllr RM Gibson all matters related to Northumberland County Council planning applications.

03-07-4 Minutes  The Minutes of the Meeting of Newbrough PC which was held on 29th May 2013 were approved by the Council then signed by the Chairman.

03-07-5 Matters Arising

Public Scrutiny 

The Clerk reminded the Council that all Council’s documents, policies and financial transactions are not only readily available to the council but to the public as well.  This transparency is also supported by publications on the council’s website.

Minutes and Agenda

The present system works well and it was RESOLVED not to make any changes.

Mission Statement

The Chairman pointed out to the Council that Newbrough Parish Council doesn’t have a “Mission Statement”.  Some suggestions were put forward and councillors were requested to consider this issue.

03-07-6 Election of Representatives

Churchyard Maintenance Committee        MW Gibson

Sportsfield Association                                 PJ Johnston

It was agreed that a representative for the Newbrough and Warden Angling Club was no longer needed.  However representatives will be required for Newbrough C of E First School and Town Hall Management Committee and one more councillor on the Sidgate Committee (to replace Cllr Knights).  Further information is needed to clarify the nature of school governor representation.

03-07-7 Council Vacancy

The Clerk informed the Council that NCC had been notified and the appropriate publication of the two vacancies had been carried out in accordance with of the Local Government Act 1972 Section 87(2)  One resident has shown an interest and will endeavour to attend the next Council meeting.

03-07-8 Public First Focus    There were no members of the public present.

03-07-9 Communications

The following correspondence was related to all councillors:

CAN Newsletter, NCC Free Parking for All, NCDN, MP, Onshore Wind, letter of thanks from Sick Children’s Trust, BDO LLB Audit Conclusion, Changes in Planning System, HSBC banking changes, Workplace Pension Changes.

  • Felling of Trees  The Clerk made contact and provided interested parties with up-to-date correspondence.
  • Area Committee – West  The next meeting will take place on Tuesday, 9 July at 6pm, Bellingham Town Hall.
  • County Council/Parish/Town Council  The next round of joint County Council/Parish/Town Council meetings will be due to take place on 14 October (north), 15 October (west) and 16 October (south east), all at 6pm, venues to be confirmed.  Councillors are  asked their views on how the County Council could improve its interaction with PCs for these meetings and how the meetings’ content/format could be improved.

03-07-10 Roads          Notice of road surface dressing at Settlingstones (C227)


03-07-11 Footpaths     No issues.

03-07-12  Planning      

Proposed changes to the Planning System

There are a number of changes that have come into effect on the 30th May 2013. As a result a number of developments which previously required planning permission will be ‘permitted development’ and owners will no longer need to apply for planning permission.

NCC PlanningConsultation 13/01590/FUL  Settlingstones Terrace and Farm Provision of Sewerage Treatment Plant. The Council has no objections to the application.

03-07-13  Reports

Town Hall:  A new caretaker has moved into the Town Hall flat

Newbrough and Warden Sportsfield Association: No report

Sidgate Committee: A committee has been formed and several meetings have taken place with some ideas for fund raising.

Newbrough CofE First School:  No report

Northumberland County Council  Cllr Gibson highlighted the work done by CAN and communities such as Humshaugh in advising on “oil buying consortiums”.  He will liaise with the Clerk and NCC Highways Safety Officer to see if a speed restriction unit could be sited at the junction of Frankham and B6319 to link in with the other sites in Newbrough and Warden parishes.  He informed the Council about the Street Lighting upgrading for which Northumberland County Council are directly responsible.

Cllr Gibson reported that improvements to the footpaths have been added to NCC list of works to be done.  He also informed the Council of ongoing issues with drainage problems on the Stanegate near Price’s Garage.

03-07-14  Clerk’s Salary and Pension Review

Clerk’s Pension

The Chairman outlined the recent communications from government on the new legislation relating to employer duties and workplace pension schemes.  Some Parish Councils in Northumberland are “Resolution “ Bodies – they can make a resolution as to whether they wish all or some of their employees to be allowed to join the LGPS.    Councillors would think about this and seek advice.

Clerk’s Salary

Looking at the pros and cons of outsourcing salary payments.  It was noted that there were concerns that any problems with HMRC could incur financial penalties.  However if the service was dealt with by an outside body other problems dealing with an intermediary could arise.  The HMRC PAYE-RTI system is a bespoke system for small businesses especially parish councils.    It was decided best to keep the present financial arrangements especially in the spirit of local procurement.  It was RESOLVED to increase the clerk’s salary by £100 per annum to compensate for the additional work and extra responsibility associated with the new PAYE-RTI initiative introduced by HMRC.

03-07-15  Annual Audit and Annual Return

The Annual Audit in accordance with Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2011 (Regulations 12-16) is now concluded and the audit opinion having been given by BDO LLP.  The mandatory Conclusion Notice has been displayed publically for the prerequisite period of time.

BDO LLB reported that there were no matters arising.  It was proposed by Cllr Annan and seconded by Cllr Johnston and RESOLVED that the Council approve and accept the Annual Return.

03-07-16  Finances

Bank Accounts   1st July  2013 BMM £19193.97 and Community £315.32

Payments Approved Clerk’s Part Salary £463.78, Clerk’s Expenses £58.74, Meeting Room Rental £30 (July) and  Plants for War Memorial £27.98

03-07-17  Date and Time of Next Meeting  – 7.00 pm, 4th September  2013

The Meeting was closed at 8.30pm.