Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 4th July 2012

02-07-1  Present  Cllrs E L Dixon (In the Chair), M D Newson, G L Myers, I D Knights, P J Johnston and M W Gibson

Also Present: Clerk: R Macfarlane, County Councillor E Heslop and five members of the public.

02-07-2  Apologies    R S Robson and PC Douggie Kidd & CSO Nicola Heslop.

02-07-3  Declaration of Interest

Cllrs Johnston a Board member of Isos.   Cllr Heslop all planning matters and Isos.

Re planning application 12/00894/COU Cllr Gibson took no part in the discussion or decision relating to this application.

02-07-4  Minutes  The Minutes of the Meeting of Newbrough PC which was held on  2nd May 2012 were circulated.

02-07-5  Matters Arising

Clerk’s  PSD and Training.  The Clerk reported developments on the PAYE and BOSS Training and attended a NCC Local Development Plan drop-in session on Tuesday 12 June in the Market Place in Hexham.

Grant Aid request from Newbrough First School.  The Council were favourably disposed to supporting the application and the Clerk confirmed that the Council had the legal powers to do this. The grant would support recreational activity for the benefit of some of the residents of the parish. It would therefore be lawful under section 19 of the Local Government (Misc Provisions) Act 1976.

Stone Wall adjacent to War Memorial   The wall has now been repaired and this has made a great improvement to the area.

Newbrough and Warden War Memorial  The wooden planters are now complete and situated in front of the memorial.  The Council expressed their thanks to Cllrs Shaw and Robson and the Clerk was asked to write to thank Johnny Brooks for doing a good job in constructing the framework.

Dog Fouling   The Clerk has contacted the Dog Warden who will monitor Crow Wood.  The Sidgate playing field is outside the jurisdiction of the County Council and the responsibility of Isos so the problems of dog fouling should be addressed by them.

The Clerk was asked to arrange for the provision of a litter bin at the beginning of the footpath to Crow Wood.

CAN’s Oil Consortium  Cllr Myers has researched a possibility of  organised group buying in Newbrough and Warden.  There are some groups already operating and no enthusiasm for a new initiative.

02-07-6  Public First Focus

Children’s Play Facilities

On behalf of the many young residents who would like the development of some play facilities in Sidgate playing field Cllr Heslop had contacted Isos, who own the field.  Kath Heard (Isos), County Cllr Edward Heslop, Cllr Ian Knights and the parish clerk attended a site meeting on 19th June. Resulting from the meeting:  In principle Isos is amenable to the further development of this community facility and would prefer that the parish council took on a lease over the land at a peppercorn rent in order to enable them to insure, inspect and maintain the equipment. Isos will not be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of the facility once it is established and the cost associated with this is something that will require careful consideration.

It was RESOLVED that any resident’s committee should have parish council representation.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

Steve Heminsley and Iain Bennett gave the Council an up-date of the very successful Stanegate Festival.  As a result of the profits made from the festival, Warden and Newbrough Parish Councils each will have £1,000 to give to worthy causes in their respective parishes.  Any resident who knows of a good cause or would like to nominate a worthy cause please contact the parish clerk on

The inter-pub competitions which were very successful will be continued.  The Stanegate Committee were wondering if this sort of festival should be repeated either annually or biennially so they would be very grateful for feedback.

02-07-7  Communications

The Council has received the following correspondence:

Several complaints about grass cutting and dog fouling on Isos  property. NCC LDF Drop in sessions, NCC Parking Tariff Structure, NNPA Conserving our dark skies, Natural Burials,  Tynedale Sports Council AGM, Road Link Annual Report, CPRE Newsletter, Audit Commission consultation and Charges, Review of Financial Support for Bus Services, CAN Newsletter summer issue.

Ø  Grass Cutting  Many Newbrough residents, especially those at Sidgate, had complained to parish councillors about the lack of grass cutting.  The complaints were about Isos controlled land.  The Clerk was asked to write to Isos and forward the complaints about the grass cutting and also the dog fouling issues.

Ø  Flooding  The Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management team at Northumberland County Council is asking residents to help build a detailed picture of flooding in the county resulting from the heavy rainfall on June 28.   Cllr Newson volunteered to identify any problems in Newbrough.

02-07-8  Roads   

Local Transport Plan (LTP) Integrated Transport Programme

Newbrough CofE First School  There has been some further monitoring of the traffic issues near the school. It was RESOLVED the Council would support the NCC Highways and the school.

Warden Railway Crossing    Improvement work is likely to start in late September.

02-07-9  Footpaths    

Cllr Heslop has been involved with NCC and residents over issues of overgrown hedgerows along Butt Bank.  There is general concern about the state of the footpaths along the main road through Newbrough.  Several tree roots have made the path uneven posing a danger to pedestrians.  Cllr Heslop will arrange a meeting with Cllr Shaw (Warden PC) and Cllr Knights with a Neighbourhood Services Officer to inspect the area.

02-07-10  Planning

Planning Inspectorate  NCC Notice of Planning Inspectorate, 29th August 2012 Definitive Map Modification Pored (No 15) Restricted Byways Nos 1 & 29 & 36 & 11 Parishes of Newbrough and Simonburn.  It was RESOLVED to support the motion that these ROWs remain Restricted Byways.

Planning Applications to NCC  12/00894/COU  Change of use to residential to create one dwelling with internal and external alterations Meggies House Newbrough NE47 5EA  NPC supports the application.

NB Any decisions to support applications will not be accepted by the Planning Department Officers unless accompanied by “reasons” for the decision.

02-07-11  Reports

Town Hall:  No report

Newbrough and Warden Sportsfield Association: A new football team is considering being based at Newbrough.  They need some goal posts and white line equipment and are asking for a grant from the Council.  It was RESOLVED to award £200 towards the cost of the goal posts if their application for a grant from the county councillors allowance scheme fell through.  The Council would award the grant to the Sportsfield Association rather than to a separate club.

Newbrough and Warden Angling Club: The Tyne River’s Trust will use European funding to explain their work to the local community in September.

Newbrough CofE First School:  The head teacher Kathleen Halliday is leaving this term and Catherine Newson will be acting head.

Northumberland County Council  Cllr Heslop will keep the Council up-to-date with NCC issues especially if a meeting (Humshaugh ward group) could be arranged to inform on the LDF.

NALC/CAN Cllr Knights highlighted the work of these organisations and described some recent initiatives – NCC Charter, LDF consultation, Neighbourhood Planning. Membership of NNPA and Localism Bill.  The latter included the Community Right to Challenge and the possibility of taking over the running of services.

02-07-12  Accounts and Audit

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. There were no matters arising.  It was proposed by Cllr Knights and seconded by Cllr Newson and RESOLVED that the Council approve and accept the Annual Return.

Internal Audit

No issues were raised with the Annual Internal Audit Report.  It was proposed by Cllr Knights and seconded by Cllr Newson that the Council re-appoint D Hoare as Internal Auditor.  It is her wish to donate the internal audit fee to the Sick Children’s Trust. This was agreed.

02-07-13  Code of Conduct

As part of the Localism Act 2011 the Standards Board for England was abolished and parish councils are obliged to make arrangements to adopt a new code of conduct.  The Council RESOLVED to adopt the Northumberland ALC code of conduct for local councils. The Clerk will publish these details in the Stanegate.

02-07-14  Grievance Procedure

The Clerk has reported instances of intimidation and bullying and pointed out the Council’s duty under health and safety law as employers.  The Clerk advised the Council that they were at Stage 1 of the formal stages of the grievance procedure.

The Council discussed this matter in camera in the absence of the Public and the Clerk.

02-07-15  Finances

Bank Accounts   At 1st July 2012 BMM £368.04     Community £17682.66

Income    Precept BACS523  £4250 (first of two payments),  6510vat £169.68

Payments Approved  Clerk’s Part Salary £463.78, Clerk’s Expenses £53.74 Meeting Room Rental £30 (July), OneandOne Website £37.15 (£30.96 plus £6.19 vat), SR Robson £49.98  flowers and BDO LLB Audit  £144 (£24 vat)

Payments agreed but not paid: S Davies Grass Cutting  £91, War Memorial Planters £136.87 (vat receipts have been requested)

02-07-16  Date and Time of Next Meeting  – 5th September 2012 at 7.00 pm

The Meeting was closed at 10.00 pm.