Minutes of the Meeting of the Council held on 6th March 2013

06-03-1  Present  Cllrs EL Dixon (In the Chair), M W Gibson, M D Newson, PJ Johnston and G L Myers

Also Present: Clerk: R Macfarlane, Cllr E Heslop and Joseph Tulip (Hexham Courant)

06-03-2   Apologies     R S Robson, I D Knights and PC Douggie Kidd.

06-03-3  Declaration of Interest

MW Gibson on matters relating to farm land, MD Newson Newbrough First School, PJ Johnston  on all matters relating to Isos Housing Association.

06-03-4  Minutes  The Minutes of the Meeting of Newbrough PC which was held on 9th January 2013 were approved by the Council and signed by the Chairman.

06-03-5  Matters Arising

Broadband Communication An advert that was inserted in the Stanegate resulted in 41 unique properties in Newbrough and 50 in Warden being registered.

Children’s Play Facilities at Sidgate Six residents have agreed to form a Resident’s Group to take this scheme further.  It was suggested that two Councillors join the Committee.

06-03-6  Communications

CRE Newsletter, HMRC Business Event, HMRC Real Time Training, NHS Shared, Joint NCC/PC Meeting at Stocksfield, NCC-LDP, Residents Festival, Become a Local Councillor, Arrangements for Elections, Town Hall meeting request (re St Aidan’s Church).

NALC –Provisional timetable for Quality Parishes will include consultation, structured interviews, DEFRA input.  The new Qualities Scheme will be published in June.

County Council Revised Taxbase  The Government’s has changed the proposed approach with regard to the localisation of Council Tax benefit and the application of a differential taxbase for Town and Parish Councils, Northumberland County Council has calculated the revised taxbase by Town and Parish Council.  The County Council has already agreed that the default national scheme will be implemented in Northumberland in respect of 2013/14.  This protects working age claimants in addition to the national protection already afforded to residents of pensionable age.  This decision received cross-party support and seeks to protect the most vulnerable residents.  At a global level it is hoped the majority of the cost (the difference between the overall reduction in Council Tax revenue and the specific grant obtained from the Government) would be met by removing a number of exemptions.  The most significant of which relates to empty properties.   At a global level the tax- base of the County Council has reduced by 12,078.38 Band D equivalent properties equating to a reduction of 11 per cent.

The County Council is paying a non-recurrent grant to Newbrough Parish Council of £751.  The Government has changed the national system of dealing with Council Tax benefit.  Previously the Council was re-imbursed for the total cost of Council Tax benefit, under the new system where applicable such charges are not raised.  This has reduced the Council Tax base across Northumberland.    In the case of Newbrough the tax base has reduced from 215.12 Band D equivalents to 193.55

Dangerous Flagstones  It was suggested that non-recurrent grant of £751 could go towards repairing the damaged and dangerous flagstones opposite the Red Lion.  The Clerk was asked to seek estimates from builders.

Dog Fouling at Sidgate The Clerk was asked to write to Isos and forward the complaints from residents.

HMRC PAYE RTI – HMRC has “invited” the Council to take part in PAYE Real Time Information. The Council will be registered as an employer reporting PAYE in real time from 6th April 2013.  In preparation for this the Clerk will upgrade all existing software and incorporate the appropriate payroll software package compatible to HMRC online.

Forthcoming Elections  Clerk informed the Council that Hadrian House would be open to manage the elections.  Cllr Dixon reported that he will not be standing for re-election in May.  He has served on the Council since May 2007.  He expressed his disappointment that there were no women members on the Council and he hoped that some would come forward in the elections in May.  He also noted that four out of the seven members of the Council lived in Fourstones which is outside of the parish of Newbrough.

06-03-7  Public First Focus    No members of the public present.

06-03-8  Roads   

The bad weather conditions have prevailed resulting in fields being saturated with the water table. In particular down the B6319, u8138 and C227.  Cllr Newson is collating a dossier which is a continuous record of such pluvial events.

Cllr Heslop reported on an application from residents at Home Farm to have a grit box situated at the road end.   Cllr Heslop said that he has ample funds to cover the cost of a grit box but would require the support of the parish council.  The Council decided not to support the application.

06-03-9  Planning

Planning Application NCC 12/03661/LBC  Conversion of half of existing garage into living room/study.  Replacement of on garage door with two full height timber windows., installation of two conservation rooflights, repositioning of boiler flue.  Installation of four conservation rooflights on north elevation to kitchen and bedrooms.  The Old Byre Home Farm NE47 5AR    NCC Granted permission 24th January 3013

Planning Application NCC 12/02979/FUL  2 Storey gable extension Cross Gate NE47 5DP. NCC Granted permission 14th January 3013

Planning Applications to NNPA 12NPO0114  Construction of new lodge to provide visitor accommodation and new highway access to North of Carrow Farm. NE46 4DB Councillors are invited to a site meeting on Friday 8th March.

Local Development Plan: Core Strategy Councillors are invited to a meeting on Friday 7th March at the Mart Hexham  11 am to 1 pm and 6 pm to 8 pm.


06-03-10  Footpaths    

Neighbourhood Services Officer and Cllr Knights held a site meeting to discuss the condition of footpaths along the Stanegate, for which we are awaiting feedback.

06-03-11  Reports

N&W Sportsfield Association:  Some flooding has been reported on the football pitch and the club is looking for a new green keeper.

Newbrough and Warden Angling Club:  All legal issues have been resolved.

Northumberland County Council  Cllr Heslop supplied the Council with details of the County Council budget for this following year and mentioned that West Highways are due to lose two further members of staff.

He stressed the importance of the County’s Local Development Plan and urged Councillors to attend the meeting on Friday 7th March at the Mart Hexham

Cllr Heslop reported that he will not be standing for re-election in May.  The Chairman thanked him for the excellent service he had given over the years and the Council expressed gratitude for his help and guidance.

Newbrough CofE First School:  The Chairman (acting) read out a report from Head Teacher Cath Newson, he will circulate the information to all councillors.

Town Hall  Referring to Article 42 of Articles of Government adopted by Town Hall Committee that was giving the Clerk some concern.  It appears that the information sent to the Clerk was from an earlier version which was amended to meet the requirements of the Charity Commission.   The Council assumed that if this is a universal version which has been adopted then it would be acceptable.

06-03-12   Finances

Bank Accounts  1st March  2013 BMM £15690.83    Community £754.99

Income    Precept £4250 x2,  6510vat £169.68, NCC £751 Bank Interest  £10.80

Annual Report   The Clerk presented a statement of accounts including all income and expenditure for 2012-2013.

Payments Approved   Clerk’s Salary £463.78, Expenses £47.71, Meeting Room Rental £30 (March), 1&1Internet  £25.16 (vat £4.19), PAYE-RTI  £18.90  Total £585.55

Section 137 Expenditure: Limit for 2013/2014 

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has advised that the appropriate sum for the purpose of section 137(4)(a) of the Local Government Act 1972 (the 1972 Act) for parish and town councils in England for 2013-14 is £6.98

Scrutiny    Cllr Dixon examined all invoices and receipts for the above payments

Date and Time of Next Meeting  – 8th May 2013 at 7.00 pm

The Meeting was closed at 8.45 pm.