Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 7th March 2012

06-03-1  Present  Cllrs R S Robson (In the Chair), G L Myers, P J Johnston and M W Gibson

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

06-03-2 Apologies      Cllrs M D Newson, E L Dixon, I D Knights and PC Douggie Kidd & CSO Nicola Heslop.

06-03-3 Declaration of Interest: None

06-03-4  Minutes  The Minutes of the Meeting of Newbrough PC which was held on 4th January 2012 were approved by the Council then signed by the Chairman.

06-03-5  Matters Arising

Clerk’s  PSD and Training.  The Clerk reported on the PAYE and BOSS Training and outlined the HM Revenue and Customs system that the Council is operating this year and he explained the new way of reporting PAYE: Real Time Information or RTI.  The Clerk will attend NCC Public Access Training workshop on 14th March.

TPO Consultation The Clerk has now had a reply to his letter asking NCC to adopt the good practice of informing parish councils of impending work to be carried out on trees in the Newbrough Conservation area.

06-03-6  Public First Focus

Community Spirit – A lively, interesting and constructive discussion took place about the inclusivity and friendliness of the Newbrough/Fourstones/Warden community. This was prompted by the recent editorial comment in the Stanegate. Two members of the editorial group were present and explained the background to the article. The Chairman thought it was important to discuss this issue and commented positively on the many groups and organisations that operate in the community and praised the events and functions he had personally attended.  He especially highlighted the excellent role that the Stanegate played. It was pledged that the Council would do all in its power to enhance and promote community spirit.

Firefly Forest – Laura Waugh outlined some of the activities–environmental education –forest school – bike workshop–green woodwork that she would like to introduce to youngsters in the Newbrough/Fourstones and Warden area.  She has secured some funding for these activities and is planning week-end sessions for this summer and will keep the Council informed.

06-03-7  The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

Steve Heminsley gave the Council an up-date of the planned events for the Stanegate Festival and there were some suggestions made on how the Council could be involved.  The websites and  and the Stanegate magazine will keep everyone informed about latest activities.

06-03-8  Communications

The following correspondence has been circulated to all councillors:

Grant Aid  Requests were received from the Youth Project, Age UK, Firefly Forest, CAN and N&W Sportsfield Association.

Joint NCC/PC Meetings 13th March at Ponteland, Hexham Courant Tynedale Visitor, Local services & Council Assets, NALC Meeting 13th December, MTCT Wind-up., NCC Recycling Waste, Allotment Regeneration Initiative, Tree roots on footpaths IDK, BDO Audit Briefing,  Sportsfield Association, CPRE Guide to Planning, Housing Developer Funds, NCC Maintenance and Provision of Litter Bins/Bus Shelters, Public Access Training Workshops 12th & 14th March Queen’s Hall, NCC Handyman Service, County Council’s Implementation of the private water regulations act 2009.

Ø  Maintenance and Provision of bus Shelter and Litter Bins. The Chairman signed the agreement with NCC accepting responsibility to undertake all litter bins from April 2012.  He asked the Clerk to inform NCC that there are no bus shelters in Newbrough Parish and that Fourstones is within Warden Parish.

Ø  Hexham Courant Visitor  The Clerk and Chairman have submitted information.

Ø  Stanegate  The Stanegate Magazine is to publish a series of books; the first is to be about John Hodgson and will be available on 30th March costing £4.50.

06-03-9   Roads   

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

06-03-10   Footpaths     No issues.

06-03-11  Planning

Councillors are invited to attend various planning courses arranged by NALC.

Planning Training    14th March Localism Act and Neighbourhood Planning

06-03-12   Reports

Town Hall:  The Management team has had a short informal meeting with NCC conservation officer for West Northumberland, Sharon Kelly.  With respect to WI House and the Town Hall she pointed out the need for pre-planning application discussions and indicated the special features that need to be respected with Grade II* Listed Buildings.

Sportsfield Association: There are plans to run a women’s team and a match is planned, Fourstones v Newbrough, as part of Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Angling Club: Newbrough CofE First School:  No reports

Northumberland County Council  Cllr Heslop described the difficult decisions that the County Council has had to make in deciding the 2012/13 budget which has been subject to detailed consideration by the Strategic Management Team, the Executive and the Risk Appraisal Panel.   The Northumberland County Council and Police elements of the Council Tax have not increased from last year. However, some of the parish charges have gone up (this was not subject to the freeze).   He alluded to the requirement to achieve savings of c £51m over the next three years on top of the c £101m already achieved since the new Council was formed on 1 April 2009.  It is inevitable that future cost reduction measures will have a more significant impact upon the services provided by the Council given past performance in this area.

MTCT: At a Special General Meeting on 1st December the association was dissolved.  Cllr Heslop reported on the winding up of the Mid Tyne Community Trust.  The Chairman thanked Cllr Heslop for the very generous donation from MTCT and pledged that it would be used in the spirit of the Trust.

06-03-13  Document review

No issues were raised or proposed for review.

06-03-14   Finances

Grant Applications

It was RESOLVED to award £200 to the Sportsfield Association. The Clerk was asked to invite members of the Youth Project team to the next Council meeting in May.  Steve Heminsley will look at different types of tents and marquees that could be of benefit to the community.  All other applications will be discussed at the Grant Awarding Meeting in November.

Bank Accounts   At 1st March 2012 –  BMM £14680.03  Community £1410.86

Income    MTCT £1036.60

VAT Refund  The Clerk reported the annual completion of HMRC form VAT126

Payments Approved Clerk’s Part Salary £463.78, Clerk’s Expenses £23.55, Meeting Room Rental £30 (March), NCC Dog Bin emptying £662.23  (£551.86 plus £110.37 vat)  OneandOne Website £25.16, N&W Sportsfield Association (Grant) £200. Total £1404.72

06-03-15   Date and Time of Next Meeting  – 7.00 pm, 2nd May  2012