Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 7th September 2011

03-09-1  Present  Cllrs R S Robson (Chairman), H Forster, P J Johnston, MD Newson and ID Knights.

Also Present: Clerk: R Macfarlane, County Councillor E Heslop and one member of public

03-09-2 Apologies  M W Gibson, E L Dixon and PC D Kidd

03-09-3 Declaration of Interest: Cllrs E L Dixon and MD Newson matters relating to Newbrough CofE First school, and P J Johnston issues on Newbrough Town Hall

03-09-4  Minutes  The Minutes of the Meeting of Newbrough PC which was held on 6th July were approved by the Council then signed by the Chairman.

03-09-5  Matters Arising   None

03-09-6  Public First Focus    No issues.

03-09-7 Presentations

Louise Stobbart, Community Safety Officer, Community & Environmental Health Reactive Rural Team.

Louise provided a some background information to her role, working within Public Protection in the Community and Environmental Health Reactive Rural Team.  Her brief is to support the reduction of anti-social behaviour, neighbour disputes etc by working with a range of agencies to tackle such issues.  Predominantly the role is within the private sector in relation to private landlords and owner-occupiers but would support RSLs and other housing organisations in their efforts to address such issues by providing information and support.  She will also be attending the LMAPS meetings and regular ASB meetings with both the East and West Tynedale Policing Teams to identify solutions and progress actions.  The role is both strategic and operational and she will also be looking at preventative measures such as diversional activities/schemes for children and young people by identifying funding/agencies who can provide such activities and also supporting campaigns to raise awareness such as traffic and parking issues.

Louise offered to compile information to be published in the Stanegate in the form of advice relating to present issues in the community.  She stressed that all information given to her organisation will be held in the strictest of confidence.

Iain Hedley, Communities Officer Northumberland National Park Authority

Iain informed the Council that under the Localism Bill the Government wants communities to develop Neighbourhood Plans; a new way of involving the community in shaping planning policies for their local area.

Led by the community in partnership with Parish Councils and Local Planning Authorities, they aim to achieve a local consensus about how land is used and how a place works, such as local housing provision, access to services, etc. Once adopted, they inform the way in which development occurs locally, including how planning applications are dealt with. Neighbourhood plans will be considered alongside existing strategies and policies, and are viewed as complementary, not more or less important.  The plan will be subject to an examination by an independent Planning Inspector, must be approved by the Planning Authority, and approved by referenda of the local community.


In response to the question, ”Does it replace Parish Plans?”  Iain replied that Parish Plans are unique documents, very much characteristic of a particular community, focusing on local issues and concerns, and as such have no statutory basis in the planning system. If a Parish Plan exists for the local area the task of preparing a neighbourhood plan may be easier and quicker.

03-09-8  Communications

The following correspondence circulated to all councillors:

Village Halls Consortium, connect4change and future of CAN, Wind Turbines at Hexham Racecourse J Barker, Planning Training Events, Neighbourhood Plans NNPA, Deb Hoare, Internal Audit fee, Ryal Horticultural Society, CAN newsletter, CAN thanks for donation, “at home in the community” funding appeal,  NTC GrantAid appeal,  Change of Bin Days – NCC (website), NCC Area Committee Meetings updated, NCC with PC meetings 13th October, Ambulance Service Annual Report.

03-09-9  NCC – PC Liaison Meetings (Assets and Services)

The Council discussed some issues that have arisen from this meeting held on 19th July.

All litter bins can now take well-wrapped dog faeces.  There will no longer be any payment for dog bin emptying as all bins should be emptied by NCC free of charge.  The Chairman raised the point that snow clearing and gritting was only carried out on the B6319 and the C234 roads.  Cllr Styring was to take this up with Highways and ask if they would grit further west along the Stanegate.  This would include the school and the bus route.

03-09-10   Parish Plan

Cllrs Newson and Knights are to form a feasibility group with a brief to review the Parish Plan.  They will also consider (a) visitors/tourists, (b) general environment and (c) access to local information.

03-09-11   Roads

Local Transport Plan (LTP) Integrated Transport Programme 2011/12

Council priorities will be assessed for inclusion in the draft programme, which will be considered by the County Council Area Committees.

04829 Repeater signs and roundels C227/B6319 between Newbrough & Fourstones. Road runs past Newbrough First School.  This is a record of request received and not a proposal. Inclusion on the list does not imply that a scheme will be implemented and due to the Government’s current spending reductions, the amount of funding available is likely to be significantly less than at present.

03-09-12   Footpaths

A number of children and a councillor were reported to have been stung by wasps in Crow Wood.  The Clerk has informed the Public Protection Officer for Vermin Control and he offered to liaise with Cllr Gibson.

03-09-13  Planning – No planning applications.

The Clerk has received notification from NCC that decision notices on planning applications will no longer be sent out to statutory consultees.  Cllr Heslop has discussed this with the Clerk and Cllr Bradbury (Executive member NCC) and it is possible that this may be reconsidered.  This practice was unique to Tynedale and it was proposed to end it to be in line with the rest of the county.

03-09-14   Reports

Town Hall: Cllr Johnston informed the Council that the naming of the rooms, in the Town Hall, with names of local celebrities will now not happen.  This was a project proposed by the Millennium Committee but hadn’t been accomplished.  The Committee has decided to turn WI house into flats; as there is nothing to prevent that process happening.

Village Society: No longer exists.  Remaining funds will be given to local organisations.

Northumberland County Council and MTCT: Cllr Heslop has been very active with NCC-PC Liaison meetings which have proved very successful. An EGM will determine the future of the Mid Tyne Community Trust. He gave reassurances that his councillor’s allowance (£15000 p.a.) will still be available to the Mid Tyne Group of parish councils.

Sportsfield Association: Angling Club: Newbrough CofE First School:  No reports


03-09-15   Resignation

Cllr Harold Forster announced that he wished to retire at the end of this meeting.  He informed the Council that both with his business and his home he is making changes and by moving to Hexham he will be out of the catchment area.  He was happy that he was leaving a very strong and active council and wished everyone well for the future.

Cllr Heslop paid tribute to Cllr Forster reminding everyone of the commitment he has made over twenty-five years in local government.  He has served the community not only as a parish councillor but also as a district councillor; indeed he was Tynedale Council’s Leader in its final very difficult year.

03-09-16   Finances

Grant Requests       (i) Newbrough First School Swimming Provision

(ii) Newbrough First School Childcare Provision

No further action to be taken at this present time.

Bank Accounts 1st Sept 2011 BMM £13738.68 and Community £918.72

Payments Approved

Clerk’s Part Salary £427.70, Clerk’s Expenses £27.26, Meeting Room Rental £30 (Sept), M Armstrong £95, S Davies Grass Cutting 2nd cut £66, 3rd cut £66, OneandOne website £25.16 and RVI Sick Children’s Trust £60.   Total £797.12

NB The Internal Auditor has asked that the Council donate her fee to “The Sick Children’s Trust”.

03-09-17 Clerk’s Salary Review

The Clerk brought to the notice of the Council the recommendation from the National Association of Local Councils to grant an incremental increase in salary to clerks who gain pertinent qualifications.  The Clerk informed the Council that the Certificate in Local Council administration recently gained by the Clerk would qualify in this respect.


Government Act 1972 Schedule 12A (As amended by the Local Government (Access to Information)(Variation) Order 2006

Relating to exempt information under Paragraph 4 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 the Chairman asked members of the public to leave the room.  The Clerk was also asked to leave the room.  In camera the Council discussed remuneration and the terms and conditions of the Clerk’s employment.  The Chairman will scrutinise the Clerk’s contract and meet with the councillors present to discuss further this issue and inform the Clerk of their deliberations before the Council’s next meeting in November.

03-09-18  Document and Procedures Review

Financial Regulations and Risk Assessment  Cllr Newson will lead a sub-group to appraise these documents and prepare a report for the next meeting in November, when they will be reviewed by full Council.

03-09-19  Date and Time of Next Meeting  – 7pm on 2nd November 2011