Town Council Meeting 9 August 2017 – Minutes

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES, PONTELAND ON 9 AUGUST 2017

Present: Councillor A Varley (in the Chair)

Councillors S Ahmed, L Darwin, R Dodd, Mrs C Greenwell, A Hall, Mrs K Overbury, A Shanley, and Mrs K Woodrow

53. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Mrs C Caisley and T Edwards-Clay

54. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Councillor Mrs Greenwell declared an interest in item 58(i) and took no part in the discussion or vote.

55. MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 12 JULY 2017

The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 12 July 2017 were confirmed
and signed by the Mayor subject to the addition of the words “and other residents” after “Mr Alex Dingwall” under public question and also insert the words “and other residents” after the words “Mr Dingwall” on page 2 of the public question.

56. MATTERS ARISING

There were no matters arising.

57. PLANNING

(i) Planning Committee
Minutes of meetings held on 27 June and 11 July were circulated for information.

(ii) Report on recent planning decisions
There was nothing to report.

58. PROJECTS REPORT

The projects report had been circulated for the information of Councillors.

RESOLVED – The report be accepted.

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CHAIRMAN DATE

58. PROJECTS REPORT (Continued)

58(i) Report re office IT
The Clerk had submitted a report relating to a suggestion to update the IT provision in the office. She reported that there were funds available in asset replacement this year to replace/update the IT equipment.
An alternative approach had been examined and a company had provided a quote to set up a virtual cloud network for the Town Council. This would provide users with the same experience and features provided by a traditional Microsoft small business server network without the large expenses involved with ownership.

Details of what this would involve and the costs were set out within the report. To proceed on this basis would allow staff to log into their desktop from anywhere. The costs for the remainder of this year were £2584 and annual costs would be £3456. There were sufficient funds available in the asset replacement account.

The company concerned would require a 12 month contract and if this did not prove to be successful then there would be sufficient funds left in asset replacement to acquire new software.

Councillors were largely in favour of the idea as long as staff did not feel like they had to work at all times and did not work whilst they were on sick leave.

RESOLVED – The Council agree to proceed with the proposal as outlined in the report for a period of 12 months following which a review of effectiveness will be carried out.
Note – Councillor Mrs Greenwell declared an interest and took no part in the discussion or voting.

59. AIRFIELDS OF BRITAIN CONSERVATION TRUST(ABCT)

Members were reminded that a report was submitted to the June meeting in respect of a request from the above organisation to erect a plaque in Ponteland to honour Ponteland airfield.

The Council agreed in principle to proceed with the plaque near to the War Memorial subject to discussions with the Memorial Hall Committee. They also agreed to inform the History Society and interested residents of this decision. It was suggested that a map could possibly be sited at the bottom of the plaque informing anyone interested of the location of Ponteland airfield.

RESOLVED –

(i) The Council confirm with the ABCT that Ponteland would be pleased
to have a plaque to commemorate Ponteland airfield.

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CHAIRMAN DATE

59. AIRFIELDS OF BRITAIN CONSERVATION TRUST(ABCT)
(Continued)
(ii) The Council agree that the suggested location should be near to the
War Memorial at the Memorial Hall subject to the agreement
of the Memorial Hall Committee.

(iii) The Council agreed not to pursue the suggestion of a full sized marker
to be located near to the site of the former airfield however the
suggestion of including a map showing its location with the marker be
examined.

(iv) Inform the History Society and interested residents of the decisions of
the Council

60. ANNUAL RETURN 2016-17 – AMENDMENT

A report by the Clerk to the Council had been circulated.
Members were reminded that the Audit Annual Return for 2016-17 was approved by the Council at its meeting held on 14 June and was then forwarded to the Council’s external auditors, BDO.

Unfortunately an error had been made on the form in box 1 of page 3 of the Annual Return. Box 1 relates to sums carried forward from the previous year and the sum in that box must be the same as box 7 for the previous year.

This error had been raised by BDO and the necessary amendment required the approval of the Council and the changes to be initialled by the Mayor and the Clerk.

A copy of the amended Annual Return had been circulated with the agenda.

RESOLVED – The Council approve the amendment made to box 1 of the Accounting Statement on the Annual Return for 2016-17.

60A. NORTHUMBERLAND FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE
FIRE AND RESCUE PLAN 2017-2021

The Northumberland Fire and Rescue Authority were currently consulting on a Fire and Rescue Plan for 2017 to 2021. A copy of a letter received from the Fire and Rescue Service had been circulated to Councillors. Comments were required by 1 September 2017.

Councillors reported that they had been unable to open the link on the letter and the Clerk was asked to download a copy of the document and circulate to Councillors. Any comments should be forwarded to the Clerk who would then formulate a response.

RESOLVED – The Clerk circulate a copy of the document to Councillors and any comments be submitted to the Clerk who would formulate a response on behalf of the Council.

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CHAIRMAN DATE

61. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 14 July 2017 had been circulated.

The Chairman of the Working Party referred to item 4.273, traffic calming measures on Western Way. She reported that Councillor Mrs Jones had outlined a plan to install a chicane on the incline just after the Western Way 30mph gateway and she was seeking the Town Council’s support in principle for the proposal.

The scheme was currently being drawn up by NCC and would be issued for public consultation during which time, the Town Council could comment further if they wished.

RESOLVED –
(i) The minutes be approved.
(ii) The Council agree in principle to the proposals for Western Way as set
out above subject to further public consultation being carried out.

62. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 17 July 2017 had been circulated.

Further to item 5 the Clerk reported that the Britain in Bloom judging had been held this morning and appeared to go well.

It was generally agreed that the Mayor should write to the Council’s contractors and in particular to former Councillors Robin Ramsay and Joyce Butcher who had put so much effort into the entries for both Northumbria and Britain in Bloom.
Once the results were known it was suggested that a small reception should be held in order to thank all of those involved.

RESOLVED – The minutes be approved.

63. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

Councillor Dodd reported that changes were being made to the Core Strategy and meetings of the Local Development Framework Working Group were being held every three weeks.
He stated that the grass verges had been cut and an additional £2million had been set aside for roads and potholes in the county.
He further reported that plans for the school and leisure complex would be out in September.
He did not have a date as yet for work to start on the car park at the back of Merton Way.

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CHAIRMAN DATE

64. MAYOR’S REPORT
(i) Mayor’s Diary
The Mayor submitted details of his diary engagements for August and September 2017.

65. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS
(i) Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
There were no minutes of the Steering Group to report at the present time.

66. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET UPDATE/

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £31,268.48 and the transfer of this sum from the Council’s Deposit Account. A copy of the monthly budget report was also circulated. It was noted that bank reconciliations for July and August would be submitted to the September meeting.

RESOLVED – The reports be approved.

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CHAIRMAN

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DATE

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 13 SEPTEMBER 2017 AT 6.45 P.M. AT THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES