Town Council meeting April 11th 2013 – Minutes

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN MERTON HALL, PONTELAND ON 11 APRIL 2013

Present:  Councillor P Cowey (in the Chair)

Councillors Mrs J Butcher, D Butler, A S Cave , A Mee, R G Ramsay,

C Rawlings and Mrs E Thompson.

At the commencement of the meeting the Mayor made presentations to Councillors David Butler, Archie Cave, Alan Chilton and Alan Mee.  This would be their last Council meeting as they were retiring after the May Elections.  Councillor Mrs E Armstrong was also retiring and the Mayor wished to pay tribute to them all for their help and assistance both generally and in their areas of expertise.

Their knowledge and humour would be greatly missed.

207.        APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Mrs E Armstrong, Mrs C Caisley, T A Chilton and R Punton.

208.   DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Councillor P Cowey declared an interest in Minute 212(i).

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209.    MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 13 FEBRUARY 2013

The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 13 March 2013 were confirmed and signed by the Mayor.

210.    MATTERS ARISING

(i)         Thank you letter from Ponteland Football Club

A letter of thanks had been received from the Football in respect of the

grant awarded at the last meeting.

(ii)        Draft letter to NCC Planning

In response to a query it was stated that a formal response had not

yet been received.

211.    PLANNING

(i) Planning Committee

Minutes of meetings held on 12 and 26 March 2013 were circulated for information.

In relation to minute 3.2 of the meeting held on 26 March, it was stated that after the Council’s consideration of the application for Birney Hill, additional information had been received in relation to the area being used as a burial pit for Foot and Mouth.  Information had been received from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency which confirmed this and a draft letter to NCC pointing out this matter had been circulated for approval.

RESOLVED – The letter be sent to NCC Planning.

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CHAIRMAN                                                                                                              DATE

212.    GRANT APPLICATIONS

(i)         Ponteland Youth Service

Information had been received from the Ponteland Youth Service in relation to the proposed utilisation of the Council’s grant for 2013-14.

RESOLVED – A grant of £5500 be approved.

Note – Councillor Cowey declared an interest in item 212(ii) below and Councillor Butler took the Chair.

(ii)        Community Action Northumberland

A letter had been sent to all parish and town councils requesting a donation towards the work of Community Action.

RESOLVED – A donation of £100 be approved.

Councillor P Cowey took the Chair.

(iii)       Dalton Village Hall

Information had been circulated to Councillors in relation to a request from the above hall for a supplementary grant to assist towards the cost of treatment of the floor for woodworm.   The costs were £778 plus VAT.

The hall was also trying to carry out some fundraising in an attempt to raise part of the sum required.

RESOLVED – A supplementary grant of £500 be approved.

(iv)      Darras Hall Estate Committee

A letter had been received from the Estate Committee in respect of the annual grant towards the costs of upkeep of the bridle path.

RESOLVED – A grant of £600 be approved.

213. PROJECTS REPORT

West   Road easy entrance

No further progress had been made.  A planning application had been lodged with NCC.

Memorial Hall

The plans were currently out for public consultation.

Bridge Re-design

A meeting has been held with the Contractor and the finishing works had been agreed and would be carried out as soon as possible.

Street Information signs

Some proofs of the back of the paper map had been received and Councillors would be asked for comments.

Skate Park

Arrangements were still in hand in relation to the noise survey being carried out as requested by Northumberland County Council.

Statue at Coates Green

No further progress in relation to lighting at present had been made.

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CHAIRMAN                                                              DATE

213.    PROJECTS REPORT (continued)

Character Appraisal

There is nothing further to report on this item at present.

Park path lighting project

The design was being worked on by the County Council following which, requests for quotes could be sent out.

Land Survey

There was nothing further to report on this item as yet.

Repairs to brick walls at Waitrose Bridge

The work had started on the wall and would be completed shortly.

Re-painting of Millennium Bridge

Requests for additional quotes have been sent out.

Comment was made that some of these projects had been ongoing for some time with little or no progress and perhaps they should be reviewed.

RESOLVED – The report be accepted and a review of the projects be carried out at the May Council Meeting.

214.    WAR MEMORIAL

A report in relation to the above had been submitted.

Plans had been drawn up for proposed alterations to the War memorial and Councillors had commented upon them.

The front wall required attention as soon as possible however quotes that had been received were too expensive and it was suggested that further competitive prices which included the two new pillars be sought.

The side walls required immediate repairs which were shown on photographs included within the report.

RESOLVED – The outline scheme be approved and the Council noted that further enquiries would be made using competitive quotations and possibly modified details in order for the scheme to be achieved at a reasonable cost.

215. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY

A report of a meeting of the Environment Working Party held on 18 March 2013 had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The following recommendation was approved:

(i)         FOPP Report – bird hide

It was agreed to obtain quotes for refurbishing the bird hide and improving the steps.

216. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

A report of a meeting of the Highways Working Party held on 21 March 2013 had been circulated.

RESOLVED  – The following recommendations be approved.

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CHAIRMAN                                                              DATE

216. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

(i)         Damaged verges

It was agreed to recommend the installation of grasscrete on both sides of Callerton Lane.  The Chair agreed to measure up the site so that a tentative quote could be sought.

(ii)        Darras Road sign request

It was agreed that half of the cost the manufacture and installation of the ten signs be met by the Town Council in the sum of £750.

217.  CEMETERY COMMITTEE

Minutes of a meeting of the above Committee held on 25 March 2013 had been circulated.

It was noted that the Committee would be meeting shortly to discuss future long term plans for the Cemetery.

RESOLVED – The report be received.

218.    NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

Councillor Richard Dodd was in attendance.  There was nothing to report.

219.    MAYOR’S REPORT

(i)         Mayor’s Civic Service – 19 May

The Mayor reminded Councillors of the above event on Sunday 19 May,

(ii)        Northumberland Association of Local Councils (NALC)

The Mayor reminded Councillors of the amount of work carried out by NALC on behalf of town and parish councils.

(iii)       Introduction to Prime Minister

The Mayor reported on this event.

(iv)      Council tax bills – percentage rise in precept

It was reported that NALC would be taking up this situation with the County Council on behalf of parish and town councils.

(v)       Community Action Northumberland – Spring Conference –

Tuesday 30 April at North Sunderland and Seahouses

Community Centre

Councillors were reminded of the above event which would start at 1.30 p.m. with light refreshments followed by the meeting at 2.00 p.m.

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CHAIRMAN                                                              DATE

220. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

(i) PCP Meeting

Minutes of a meeting held on 20 March 2013 were circulated for information.

221.    ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET REPORT

RESERVES REPORT

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £26302.85 and the transfer of this sum from the Councils Deposit Account.  The Bank reconciliation for February 2013 was circulated and approved.

A report relating to year end budget revisions and transfer to reserves was also presented and accepted.

RESOLVED – The reports be approved.

222.    APPROVAL OF WISH LIST ITEM FOR 2013-14 BUDGET

Notes of a meeting held on 5 April 2013 to discuss the above were circulated.

RESOLVED – The Council approve the following recommendations:

(i)         The following items which achieved a percentage of 66 or more be

agreed as projects during 2013-14:

(a)       Coates Green Footpath refurbishment                £10,000

(b)       Park Path to Wild Meadow                                     £  2,000

(c)        Swing base reinstatement at Callerton                £  2,000

play area

(d)       Annual grant to FOPP                                            £  1,000

(ii)        The item relating to Coates Institute Garden refurbishment be carried

out with replacement of soft landscaping only, and a sum of £2000

be approved for implementation in the current financial year.

This utilised the sum of £7000 available for projects in 2013-14.

(iii)       The item relating to the footpath at Fox Covert Lane be agreed as

a priority for 2014-15 and some work relating to land ownership etc

be carried out this year in preparation.

(iv)       The item relating to street name replacements be dealt with by the

Highways Working Party.

(v)        The proposed public toilet revamp be developed as a longer term

project and funding for this be taken from the Project Development

Fund.

(vi)       The proposals for a small bandstand for the Park and also a public

toilet be deleted from the list.

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CHAIRMAN                                                              DATE

222.    APPROVAL OF WISH LIST ITEM FOR 2013-14 BUDGET

(continued)

(vii)      The fencing to the Park be considered as part of the wish list for

2014-15.

(viii)     The signing rationalisation proposal be placed on hold for the

time being.

(ix)       The proposal for allowances to Councillors be deferred until after

the new Council is elected in May 2013.

(x)        The proposal for a contribution towards a new all weather pitch

be considered once further details on other funding streams

was available.

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CHAIRMAN

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DATE

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 15 MAY 2013 AT 6.45 P.M. AT TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES