Town Council meeting September 11th 2013 – Minutes

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES, PONTELAND ON 11 SEPTEMBER 2013

Present:  Councillor P Cowey (in the Chair)

Councillors Mrs J Butcher, R Dodd, Mrs C Greenwell, Mrs S Johnson, Mrs L Noble, R Punton, R G Ramsay, C Rawlings, A Shanley and Mrs E Thompson.

86.        APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Mrs C Caisley.

87.       DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

There were no declarations of interest.

88.       MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 14 AUGUST 2013

The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 14 August 2013 were confirmed subject to an amendment to move Item 82(iv) Community Trust to Minute 83((ii).

The minutes were signed by the Mayor.

89.       MATTERS ARISING

(i)         Meeting with Caroline Pryor re MUGA application – 27.8.13

A brief report on the above meeting was given.  The Council was informed that consideration of an application for a contribution towards the project would be considered at the October meeting.

(ii)       Public Toilets in Thornhill Road

The Clerk would provide an update on the above premises at the end of the meeting in closed session.

90.       PLANNING

(i) Planning Committee

Minutes of meetings held on 13, 27 August 2013 were circulated for information.

(ii) Report on recent planning decisions

The Chairman of the Planning Committee reported that the application for the development at Street Houses had been refused.

The application for 31 Bell Villas had been refused as had the application for the sign at Henderson Court.

91.       GRANT APPLICATION

(i) West Northumberland Citizens Advice Bureau

An application had been received from the above organisation requesting a grant towards their annual running costs for the service they provided to Ponteland residents.

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

91.       GRANT APPLICATION(Continued)

It was reported that the Council had previously given annual grants to the Castle Morpeth CAB but the requirement appeared to be unnecessary now.

There was no provision in the current budget for this request and it was agreed that a request for a meeting with the West Northumberland CAB should be made.

RESOLVED – A grant of £500 be approved and a letter be sent to the organisation requesting a meeting with them.

92.       PROJECTS REPORT

West   Road easy access entrance

It was reported that negotiations were still ongoing with NCC Highways Department  to find a resolution to this issue.  The planning application had been withdrawn whilst these discussions were being carried out.

River Bank Repairs

It was anticipated that this work would commence shortly.

Street Information Signs

Work relating to sponsorship for the back of the paper maps by businesses continued.

Repairs to Second Timber Footbridge

This project had been completed to a high standard.

RESOLVED – The report be accepted.

93.       SKATE PARK

A report was submitted in relation to the above.

Councillors were reminded that the planning approval had been granted following receipt of the noise survey.

The various costs involved with the equipment and the fencing and path works was discussed.  The Ponteland Community Partnership (PCP) had been most successful in their fundraising efforts and they were to be commended for all of their hard work.  There was however a shortfall with funding and the Town Council agreed to meet that shortfall but he PCP would continue to attempt to raise further funds.

It was hoped that the work could be completed by the end of the year.

The Council formally recorded their thanks to the PCP and to donors for bringing this project to fruition.

RESOLVED –

(I)         Agree to award the contract for the path and fencing works to

Dinnington Fencing in the sum of £8431.00.

(ii)        Agree to award the contract for the skate ramps installation to

Clever Curves Limited in the sum of £27,660.

(iii)       The Council agree to approve payment of the shortfall of £4466

as outlined and note the efforts of the PCP in raising additional

funds.

(iv)       The Council formally record their thanks to the PCP and donors.

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

94.       POLICE REPORT

PC Rob Anderson was in attendance in respect of item 105 below.

95.       WEBSITE

An enquiry been sent out to four companies requesting quotes for updating the website.

After some discussion it was agreed that a small party of three Councillors would meet with the company who had submitted the lowest bid and then report back to the October meeting with a view to arriving at a decision on whether to proceed.

RESOLVED – The report be deferred to the October meeting pending a meeting being held with the company outlined above.  Councillors Cowey, Mrs Johnson and Shanley would meet with the company.

96.       OFFICE ACCOMODATION OPTIONS PAPER

A report prepared by Councillors Mrs L Noble and Mrs C Greenwell had been circulated.

RESOLVED – In view of the commercial sensitivity of the information contained within the report this would be considered in closed session.

97.       GRASSCUTTING

Various issues relating to the grass cutting had been reported to the Clerk.  Contact had been made with the County Council who had responded that problems had been experienced with weather and manpower.

This was currently being monitored.

It was pointed out that there was an NCC Joint meeting with Parish and Town Councils at Hexham on 15 October when representatives would have the chance to speak to the service providers directly.

RESOLVED – The information be received and the situation would continue to be monitored.

98.       REQUEST FROM DIAMOND INN FOR PERMISSION TO USE COATES GREEN AREA FOR FIREWORKS ON 31.12.13 PLUS REQUEST FOR DONATION TOWARDS DISPLAY

The Proprietor of the Diamond Inn had requested permission to use Coates Green for a firework display on New Year’s Eve.  The costs of this event were met by local businesses and a contribution from the Town Council had been requested.

The Council felt that the fireworks should be let off from behind Rialto and agreed to a contribution of £250 towards the cost of fireworks.

RESOLVED – A contribution of £250 towards the cost of this event be approved but that the event be held on the land behind Rialto in view of the possible safety issues with the use of Coates Green.

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

99.       BUDGET 2014/15 WISH LIST

Councillors were again reminded to submit their ideas by the end of this month for projects they would wish to see included in the budget for 2014-15 or for subsequent years.  A copy of the various items submitted to date would be sent out to Councillors.

99A     ANNUAL AUDIT OF ACCOUNTS 2012-13 – ANNUAL RETURN FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2013

It was reported that the completed annual audit return had been received from the Council’s external auditors BDO Stoy Hayward on 10 September 2013.

The Accounts had been accepted and the auditors had no issues to report. A copy of the return was circulated for consideration and approval.

RESOLVED –The Annual Return and auditors report be accepted and in accordance with Regulations, a Notice of Conclusion of Audit be displayed for 14 days.

100.  HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

(i) Minutes of meeting held on 21 August 2013

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 21 August 2013 had been circulated for information.

The following recommendation was made:-

NORTHUMBERLAND LOCAL TRANSPORT PLAN (LTP) SUBMISSION 2013-14

Top 3 Priorities

1) Installation of Dropped Kerbs from the Diamond on Main   Street to the cemetery at Prestwick

2) To provide a proper footpath over a rough area of ground that links Ladywell Way to Kirkley Drive

3) Install a double sided light at the Diamond to assist drivers travelling North through Ponteland.

And the following reserve items

1) Dropped Kerbs on both sides of West Road near to Park Entrance; also 10no dropped kerbs to North Road up to speed limit sign if required – (to be checked) ,2no dropped kerbs at Woodside and Eastern Way if still required (again to be checked)

2) Installation of a streetlight on the footpath between Kirkley   Drive and Medical Centre (to be checked)

3) Installation of Street Lights on roads without footpaths at Greenacres, Hill Park, Hillside, Lynwood Close, Marian Way, Pinegarth & Woodend

Members agreed to mention the ongoing request for consideration of a Ponteland Bypass in their submission, in order to keep this issue on the table.

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

100.  HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY (Continued)

(i) Resurfacing Request to County Council

Councillors had been consulted to determine a suitable road for complete resurfacing. A number of options were put forward but the consensus was that Middle Drive was the road which was in most need of this treatment and would benefit the majority of residents. This nomination was to be put to the CountyCouncillors for their support.

RESOLVED – The minutes and recommendations as set out above be approved.

101. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

Councillor Richard Dodd stated that there was little to report regarding the County Council at this time.  He did point out that the Local Development Framework and the green belt had been discussed.

102.    MAYOR’S REPORT

(i)         Meeting ISOS Housing – 22 August 2013

ISOS had requested a meeting with the Council regarding proposals they had to build four two bed apartments on a garage site in Rowan Drive.  The meeting was held on 22 August and a planning application would be submitted to NCC in due course.

(ii)       NALC AGM – Saturday 19 October 2013 at 10.30am

The Mayor reported that he would be attending the above meeting to be held in Morpeth.

(iii)       AMT Benchmarking Meeting – 21.8.13

The Mayor had attended the above meeting in Morpeth regarding the above.  The Town Council had been offered the opportunity for the Action for Market Towns benchmarking exercise to be carried out.

This would involve a survey being carried out by AMTi and the Council would be informed of the date of this survey. An interim report would be available in December and a full report by March 2014.   Apart from the shops/business survey a foot fall count would also be carried out.

(iv)      Letter from Diagonal Alternatives

A copy of a letter received by the Mayor from the above organisation had been circulated.  This related to the introduction of a new ‘Care Warden’ service in Ponteland.

(v)       Ponteland High School Year 13 Celebration of Achievement event – 5.9.13

The Deputy Mayor had attended this event on the 5 September and he had been most impressed by the standard of achievements reached by the students.

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

103. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

(i)         Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Group

Minutes of a meeting of the above held on 15 August had been circulated.

(ii)        Merton Hall Management Committee

Councillor Rawlings updated the Council regarding Merton Hall in his capacity as Vice Chairman of the Management Committee.

(iii)       Airport Consultative Committee

Councillor Mrs Butcher gave a report relating to her attendance at a meeting of the above held on 3 September 2013.

104. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET REPORT

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £23873.38 and the transfer of this sum from the Councils Deposit Account. The Bank reconciliation for August 2013 was also approved.  A monthly income and expenditure review report showing amounts received and expended against each main budget heading was accepted.

RESOLVED – The reports be accepted.

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CHAIRMAN

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DATE

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 9 OCTOBER 2013 AT 6.45 P.M. AT TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES