Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 5th January 2011

05-01-1  Present: Cllrs H Forster (Chairman), R S Robson, E L Dixon, P J Johnston and Ian Knights

Also Present: Clerk: R Macfarlane

05-01-2  Apologies:  Cllrs M Newson, MW Gibson, NCC Cllr E Heslop and PC D Kidd

05-01-3  Declaration of Interest:

Cllr E L Dixon declared a Personal Interest in N, F & W Pantomime. P J Johnston declared a Personal and Prejudicial Interest in N, F & W Pantomime & Newbrough Town Hall (He left the room and took no part in any debate or decisions made.)

05-01-4  Minutes:  The Minutes of the Meeting of Newbrough PC which was held on 3rd November 2010 were unanimously approved by Council then signed by the Chairman.

05-01-5  Matters Arising:

Newbrough CofE First School – Cllr Dixon now represents the Council as school governor.

Remembrance Sunday – Cllr Robson laid a wreath on behalf of Newbrough Parish Council at the Remembrance Service on 14th November.


05-01-6  Public First Focus:

No issues

05-01-7  Communications:

The Chairman related the contents of the following letters of thanks for grant aid:

Ø    Remembrance Wreath  Ken Dodd, RBL expressed his thanks for the extra donation.

Ø    Tynedale Sports Council  Ian Turner requested that the Clerk convey the Sports Council’s tremendous appreciation for the generous contribution.

Ø    PCC  Simon Aldred was pleased to acknowledge receipt of grant cheque and passes on his thanks for the very generous continuing support.

Ø    Tynedale Hospice  Acknowledgement of thanks for grant aid..

Ø    West Northumberland CAB  Roger Braybrook, Manager thanks the Council for the donation and continued support: it is critical to their existence in the light of losing 73% of their present income as a result of Government cuts.

Ø    CAN David Francis asked to convey thanks for the very kind donation which will enable CAN to continue their work with and on behalf of the communities in Northumberland.

Ø    Great North Air Ambulance   Alan McKie – the generous donation is very much appreciated and gratefully received.

Communications continued

Sustainable Community Strategy for Northumberland, West Northumberland Strategic Partnership Housing Report (Next meeting on Big Society 13th Feb) NCC West Area Committee meeting 15th January,  Newcastle General moving to RVI, BDO Auditors briefing for Clerks, Tynedale Visitor, NNPA Local Governance meeting (13th January), Fire & Rescue Draft Risk management Plan and War Memorial Bulletin.

(a) NCC Place Overview and Scrutiny Committee – Cllrs Newson and Knights will represent NPC at this meeting on 25th January.

(b) NCC Provision of Local Services and 2011/12 budget – The Chairman expressed his concern over possible ramifications of the NCC austere budget.  Clerk to contact the appropriate Officer for clarification.

(c) Bottle Bank at Cricket Ground – This facility has been abused and often litter and rubbish have been left by the Bottle Bank.  The Clerk was asked to mention this ongoing problem in his report to the Stanegate Magazine and point out that further abuse may result in that facility being withdrawn.

05-01-8  Complaint against Councillor

The Clerk informed the Council of his intention to report Cllr Johnston to the NCC Standards Committee. (Cllr Johnston stated that he was not in breach of standards)

05-01-9  Vacancy

It was RESOLVED to co-op Ian Knights as a Councillor.  He signed the Declaration of Acceptance of Office. The Clerk will notify NCC.

05-01-10  Agenda Items 7 & 8

Ecology of the Newbrough Burn and NFAP – part of the NLRF Multi Agency Flood Plan

Councillors were given a detailed copy of the progress report on the Newbrough Burn Restoration Project.  This is financed by defra through the Tyne Rivers Trust.  The Council is very pleased that Newbrough CofE First School pupils will be involved.

05-01-11  Roads

Because of the concern over hedgerows encroaching the highway, blocking footpaths and obscuring road signs, the Clerk met with the Area Highway Manager, Western Area. If NPC has any issues then they are requested to give the name and address of offenders to NCC.  The Clerk was asked to contact NCC and request the removal of the unsightly and dangerous fence at the junction of Sidgate Lane and the Stanegate.

05-01-12  Footpaths

The Clerk met with the Neighbourhood Services  Place Group, Western Area Manager to discuss issues of weeds growing on footpaths and at the side of roads, also blocked gullies and drains and dirty, old and worn road signs.  NCC priority at the moment is cleaning up leaves that cause blockages.

05-01-13  Planning

The national e-consultation hub service has been withdrawn however the NCC will provide a similar service via their website on

05-01-14  Reports

Town Hall: Burst pipes have caused flooding and the Committee is busy negotiating with tradesmen and the insurers.  NTHMC are to set up a limited company to operate the bar.  Some members of the management are concerned about their potential liability as trustees.  At present the Management Committee are Trustees and the Charity Commission is the Official Custodian.

Village Society:  A barn dance is to be held on 14th January.  The Village Society has been meeting on the same night as NPC thus it has been impossible for Cllr Robson to attend both.  Cllr Knights volunteered to help provide feedback about the Society.

Angling Club: The legal issue of ownership of the disputed stretch is still ongoing though some progress has been made.  Throughout the summer and up to November there has been a good run of fish including salmon.

Newbrough CofE First School:  Cllr Dixon is now a member of the Governors and will provide a valuable link between the School and the Council.

Sportsfield Association: Northumberland County Council: no reports

05-01-15 Review of Financial Regulations

Cllr Newson offered to pre-review this document.  It was agreed that this was a good idea and Cllrs Knights and Johnston volunteered to help.  It is essential that the Clerk is fully involved.

05-01-16 Finances

Bank Accounts 5th January Deposit £12582.49 Current £1706.  All payments are approved and within budget, no significant variation and no bank reconciliation needed.

Payments Approved

Clerk’s Part Salary £427.70, Clerk’s Expenses £33.57 (£31.78 plus vat £1.79), Meeting Room Rental £30 (January), S Davies Grass Cutting 4th cut  £90, NCC Emptying of Dog Waste Bins £648.44 (£551.86 plus vat £96.58), Down to Earth Daffodil Bulbs £7.98, Fourstones, Newbrough and Warden Pantomime £100.

Next meeting 7.00 pm Wednesday 2nd March, then 4th May

The meeting closed at 8.30