Meeting of the Council 5th March 2008

Present: Cllrs MW Gibson (Chair), Cllrs JR Wood, Cllr H Forster, EL Dixon, Mrs H Brooks, PJ Johnston and RS Robson.

Also present Clerk R Macfarlane and NCC Cllr A Kerr


082-1 Apologies: None

082-2 Declaration of Interest : Cllr Kerr – CAN Trust Member, Cllr Dixon – Coulson Construction, Cllr Gibson – Affordable Housing.

Many of the Council know the owner of Shotton Transport and have minor business and social connections.


082-3 Minutes:  The Minutes of the meeting of NPC which was held on 9th January 2008 were approved and signed.

082-4 Matters Arising:

Newbrough War Memorial: The war Memorial Trust have a few queries concerning the restoration and repair work has been carried out by Holden Conservation Ltd.  Clerk to liaise with Holden and the Trust

TDC Bottle Bank:  MH Beaumont has agreed to siting a bank near the cricket field car park.  It is in situ.

Northern Rock Foundation: Clerk has received reply from MP who expresses support for the retention of the Northern Rock Foundation.

082-5 Public First Focus

No members of the public were present.

082-6 Communications

  1. a) Allianz Cornhill Public Liability: The Council agreed that there is no need to increase this cover from £5m to £10m.
  2. b) CAN Newsletter and Training Dates: All Councillors given a copy
  3. c) Dog Proof Fencing: Clerk has tried to liaise with Milecastle and TDC re dog proof fencing around the play area at Sidgate. The proposal did not attract much enthusiasm.
  4. d) TDC Casual Vacancies: Information noted.
  5. e) NCC Minerals and Waste Framework: Withdrawn
  6. f) TDC Garden Waste Recycling Scheme: Information
  7. g) Audit Commission: Consultation on External Auditor appointment
  8. h) PO Closures: Clerk to write and express concern over the particular consultation period and its short duration. Also to confirm the importance of POs to rural communities.
  9. i) BT action re Posters on their poles: This issue has been resolved.


  1. j) Hexham Community Forum: Clerk to write back and decline their invitation to join.
  2. k) Warden, Fourstones and Newbrough Youth Project: Application for grant aid. More information is required and Clerk has sent application form.

Other correspondence:

NCC Area Committee Papers, TDC Minutes, NC, Communities – Conduct of Members, NNPA Stakeholder Consultation Workshop, Celebration of St George, CPRE overview, Adapt NE News,

082-7 Roads

Village Signs in partnership with NNPA and NCC.  The Council resolved that Shotton Transport should be contracted to move and clean the gifted stones, then arrange them on a concrete base.  The Chairman will contact Gilbert Ward for advice on securing the stone to the concrete base.

Haydon Hunt:  The Council has received a number of complaints about careless and dangerous parking of the hunt followers and supporters.  Also some of the daffodils on the verges of the C227 Stanegate Road were damaged.  Clerk to write to the Hunt.

082-8 Footpaths

More trees have been blown down in Crow Wood and across the road.  Clerk to report to Tim Fish at NCC.  The dog bin by the cricket field has been vandalised.  Clerk to arrange repair.


082-9 Planning

Sites Allocation:  Clerk has received a reply from TDC Planning Department.  They have been inundated with responses and have a huge work-load to clear.

082-10 Affordable Housing

It was resolved to hold a meeting with Warden parish Council and invite an officer from Tynedale Housing.  A date early in April was suggested.

082-11 Characteristic Community Forums

Councillors have been invited to meetings at Hexham Mart on 12th March and Wark Town Hall on 18th.

082-12 Reports

Town Hall: WI House may have a tenant.  The new heating system is installed and the Committee is pursuing a planning application to improve access for the disabled.

Village Society:  A meeting is to be held next week.  The High Level Ranters performance was excellent.

Sportsfield Association: The Association has been left a legacy which makes them liable to the Charity Commission and necessitates an annual return.  Cllr Johnson will advise.

Newbrough CofE First School:  Lots of building activity at the moment and a new access is planned to ease movement to and from the MUGA but will require permission from NCC Highways.  A classroom is to be allocated as an Art and Resource Centre for adults.  The official opening of the MUGA and Play Area is scheduled for 21st April and it is hoped that Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson will perform the honours.

MTCT: Cllr A Kerr is the new Chairman of the Trust.

Grant applications have been received from Chipchase Nursery and Wark Sports Club

Latest initiatives include –

v    Festival of Sporting Activities -Wark Sports Club and Humshaugh are interested

v    Battlesteads & Barrasford have shown interest in the Food and Drink Festival.

v     FIREworks Fire and Rescue Academy based at Hexham. Haydon Bridge and Bellingham Fire Stations for young people 13- 18 yrs.  Leaflets and information will be available soon.

The Walks and Cycling pamphlets are to be give away free.

Northumberland County Council: Cllr Kerr commented on how NCC has been awarded a four star status in certain areas.  Council Tax will be increased by 1.8%.  Looking at the structure of the new Unitary Authority.  Cllr Kerr provided some brief information regarding the function and roles of the 3 Area Committees and the 26 Community Forums and how parishes could operate as a forum.

Tynedale Council:  Tynedale will increase the council tax by 1.36%  Cllr Forster commented on the new Beacon status achieved in the Better Public Places category.  This is the fourth honour, others being for supporting rural economy and promoting sustainable tourism and shortlisted for its work on affordable housing.

082-13 Finances

Finance   Bank Accounts  3rd March Treasurer’s Account £844.01, BMM £7706.13

Payments Approved  Clerk’s Part Salary £417, Clerk’s Expenses £38.72 (£36.04 plus vat £2.68), Meeting Room Rental £30 (March), CAN £15,  PCC £20 leaving present for Rev Cutler agreed at last meeting.


082-14 Next Meeting: 7.00pm on 2008 March 5th 2008

Signed Chairman ………………………………


Members of the Council 2007-08

Chair: Mr Michael W Gibson, Vice Chairman: Mr John Richard Wood

Mrs Heather Brooks, Mr Harold Forster, Mr R Simon Robson, Mr Ed L Dixon, Mr Pat J Johnston