Meeting of the Council 3rd March 2010

06-03-01 Present: Cllrs H Forster (Chair), RS Robson, , and PJ Johnston.  MW Gibson,  Mrs H Brooks and M Newson.  Also present Clerk R Macfarlane and Cllr GB Shaw (Chairman Warden PC) and Cllr E Heslop (NCC) and two members of the public.


06-03-02 Apologies: Cllr EL Dixon


06-03-03 Declaration of Interest:  Cllr Johnston and Gibson re Affordable Housing.

06-03-04 Minutes:  The Minutes of the meeting of NPC that was held on 6th January 2010 were approved and signed.

06-03-05 Matters Arising:

TD Annan will move the parish seat for St Peter’s at present at Hadrian Works and will position it on the original site to look east down the Stanegate. The payment to OneandOne for the website although approved at the meeting was not itemised separately (cheque 100771).  The cheque for £50 to Tiny Tots is now cancelled (100717)


06-03-06 Public First Focus:

Pluvial Flooding in Newbrough.  A letter was received by the Council from E&N Phipps of West Cottage.  They attended the meeting and explained how they have witnessed annual flooding over a number of years and they identified some blocked drains as the cause.  Clerk to write to Environment Agency and NCC outlining the problems and identifying the suspected cause.

06-03-07 Communications

  • Grant Aid Letters of thanks have been received from Warden and Newbrough PCC and CAN.
  • Northumberland News The Clerk was asked to write to NCC stating that NPC do not think this publication is value for money especially when there are other pressing claims in this present climate of recession and reduced budgets.  The Council thought an annually publication would suffice.  
  • Transfer of Services A letter from Carole McGivern Haydon PC outlined some issues with the transfer of some services from NCC to PCs.
  • Disillusioned Visitor Lynne Dushko (ex Newbroughian) sent a letter outlining her concerns about the state of the village including the Red Lion, Sidgate Lane, dog mess and litter.
  • School – Council Liaison Paul Myers, Chairman of Governors has sent a letter indicating the value of having a governor representative from the parish council.  The Council are minded to recommend Cllr Brooks and asked the Clerk to inform the chairman.


Other communications:

Grant Aid Request Victim Support, Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall, NSPCC Helpline information, Affordable Housing Vicky Law LA Housing Enabler, NHS Community Publications, NCC Hackney Cab Consultations, Arriva – Northumberland Bus Update Dec 09, NHS – Keep warm and keep well.

06-03-08 Red Lion Inn

The Red Lion has been closed for business for over five years the Clerk and others have tried to make contact with the owners to ascertain what their future plans are for the Inn.  Letters sent in 2008 have not received replies.  Tynedale Council (Public Protection) were also contacted because of probable health and safety issues.  Enquiries relating to domestic and non-domestic rates were also pursued.

06-03-09 Newbrough Burn

Several residents especially Home Farm have issues relating to sewerage and possible pollution of Newbrough Burn.  Home owners are using septic tanks because the main sewerage system is too costly to access.  This has resulted in more pollution in the burn.  Clerk was instructed to write to Environment Agency and NCC to clarify the situation.

06-03-10 Code of Conduct Issues

The Clerk reminded members that they should regularly up-date the information submitted on the Member’s Interests document.


06-03-11 Roads

Cllr Heslop pointed out the difficulties in repairing roads.  The highways division are working full-out after the prolonged spell of bad weather and they faced with filling pot-holes in quickly or spending more time on them “hot boxing”.  It was noticed that in areas where Fastflow had dug up stretches of road the frost and weathering damage was much more apparent.

The NCC at present do not have a record of where grit boxes are sited.

06-03-12 Footpaths

No issues


06-03-13 Planning

The Planning Inspectorate.  Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 s53

Decision on Order Public Rights of Way (No 5) 2007

Reference FPS/R2900/7/53

06-03-14 Reports

Village Society:  No report (They are meeting at the same time as this meeting)

Sportsfield Association: Cllr GB Shaw Chairman of WPC to The Chairman and J Brookes have carried out maintenance and security work on the pavilion costing about £400.  An estimate for roof repair was £2,000 for patching and £3,000 for new covering.  The Council had reservations about contributing to the maintenance and improvement if the facilities are not used.  GB Shaw will attempt to inform as many people as possible through the Stanegate publication.

Town Hall: There are several issues around the former caretaker who has not formerly left the flat.  NNPA has sponsored (75%) a survey to look at the heating system.   The Town Hall now has its own liquor licence. The Town Hall is also considering building a disabled toilet and a storage facility behind the WI House.

MTCT: The meeting held in November was well supported with an excellent presentation from Colin Earnshaw on Sustainable energy and how NNPA can help.  The newly formed business forum has made a very promising start with the help and enthusiasm of Gary Kilminster.  The next MTCT meeting is on 25th March and the Trust will be looking for a new chairman.

Northumberland County Council: The NCC budget sets out savings of just over £20m to help the council deliver a viable overall budget for 2010.  The Council Tax will rise by 2.8% making the average Band D property £1,372.72. Council charges are also set to rise by 2.8% to help the county combat the economic recession.

NCC’s community chest fund has increased from £150,000  to  £300,000 and will be used to help voluntary,  community and not-for-profit groups  deliver local  projects and activities.  The  fund will be divided equally between the three key committee areas in Northumberland – North, South East and West.   Grants up to £10,000 are available with no minimum amount for applications.  Concessionary taxi fares have been halved and school meals prices stay the same.  The Council welcomed the County’s decision to keep the highways budget at £18m rather than the initial proposal to cut it by £3m.  The Affordable Homes Enabler has been retained.

Newbrough CofE First School: The Clerk was asked to reply to (Chair of Governors) Paul Myer’s letter relating to a vacancy for governor.  It was RESOLVED that Cllr Brooks would be a suitable candidate to represent Newbrough Parish Council.


06-03-15 Grant Awarding Policy

The Clerk explained that although having a Grant Awarding Policy is not mandatory it does reflect good practice to have such a document.  It was RESOLVED to adopt the policy presented by the Clerk.

06-03-16 Precept  The Clerk provided a breakdown of current funds and assets, income, expenditure, commitments and future projects.  The Chairman thanked the Clerk for the clear and efficient manner in which he presented the Council’s financial situation.  The Chairman also reported favourable feedback from the internal auditor.  As the estimated surplus on the year is £1,600 it was RESOLVED to keep the Precept the same as last year at £8,500.

06-03-16 Finances

Bank Accounts   31st December 2009 Treasurer’s Account £97.71, BMM £13,674.62

Income  Bank Interest to date £6.00

Payments  To date £5,221.61

The Free Resource – LGA 1972 Section 137 payments to date amount to £170

The Clerk reminded all Councillors that cheque books, statements, receipts and invoices are always available for inspection.

Audit 2010

Statement of Assurance and Annual Governance Statement were reviewed in November were approved.  The Council accepted the Internal mid-year report and reviewed the Internal Audit process.

Statement of Assurance and Annual Governance Statement were approved.

Audit arrangements

Internal Audit will take place at the beginning of April.

BDO requirements:

Display the Audit Notice in Parish Notice Board from 5th April to 18th April

Make records available to general public 19th April to 17th May

Completed Audit to BDO LLP Audit by 21st May.

Payments Approved

Clerk’s Part Salary £427.70, Clerk’s Expenses £31.62 (£29.83 plus vat £1.79), Meeting Room Rental £30 (Jan), MTCT £100.

Next meeting (Annual Parish and Annual Council Meeting) 7.00 pm5th May 2010

The meeting closed at 9.15

Signed Chairman ………………………………

Date……………5th May 2010…………….

Members of the Council 2009-10

Chair: Mr Harold Forster, Vice Chairman: Mr Ed L Dixon

Mrs Heather Brooks, Mr R Simon Robson,Mr Malcolm Newson, Mr Pat J Johnston and Mr Michael W Gibson.