Town Council Minutes June 2017

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

 

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES, PONTELAND ON 14 JUNE 2017  

 

Present:  Councillor A Varley (in the Chair)

 

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

 

  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

An apology for absence was received from Councillor T Edwards-Clay.

 

  1. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

Councillor Hall declared an interest in Minute 30A.

 

  1. MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 24 MAY 2017

 

The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 24 May 2017 were confirmed

and signed by the Mayor.

 

  1. MATTERS ARISING

           

(i) 15.  PROPOSALS RE ACADEMY STATUS FOR SOME PONTELAND

       SCHOOLS

 

Councillor Hall reported on a meeting he and Councillors Mrs Caisley and Mrs Johnson had attended with the Headteacher of Ponteland High School regarding the Council’s concerns about the MAT proposals.  The meeting was extremely helpful and it appears that Academies were being strongly encouraged by Government.

Consultation meetings had been held at the school with only small numbers attending.

The issue of a new school was a matter for NCC to deal with but the Headteacher felt optimistic that it would proceed.

Those who attended the meeting felt much reassured by what they had learned.

 

There were no further matters arising.

 

  1. PLANNING

 

(i) Planning Committee 

Minutes of meetings held on 2 and 16 May were circulated for information.

In relation to the application for Medburn, Councillor Mrs S Johnson reported that she had recently attended a meeting of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) who had carried out a site visit to Medburn and they have asked for a meeting with the Town Council as they feel the village has been severely over-developed.

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

 

  1. PLANNING (Continued)

 

 (ii) Report on recent planning decisions

There was nothing to report.

 

  1. CO-OPTION OF A COUNCILLOR TO FILL THE VACANCY

        IN THE SOUTH WARD

Councillors were reminded of the process agreed at the May meeting to fill the current vacancy in the South ward by co-option.  A notice advertising the vacancy had been displayed with a deadline of 9th June for applications.

 

Only one application had been received from Karen Overbury and her details had been circulated to Councillors.  As there was only one applicant the Council were recommended to approve the co-option of Karen Overbury to the South Ward.

 

RESOLVED – The co-option of Mrs Karen Overbury to the South Ward be approved with immediate effect.

 

Mrs Overbury then joined the meeting.

 

  1. GRANTS

 

(i)         Holy Saviour Church Milbourne

A grant application had been received from the above Church for a grant towards the cost of carrying out grounds maintenance in the churchyard.

The Clerk reported that £350 had been granted to the Church last year and this sum had been included in the budget in respect of 2017-18.

 

RESOLVED – A grant of £350 be approved.

 

  1. PROJECTS REPORT

 

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

 

RESOLVED – The report be accepted.

 

  1. ANNUAL AUDIT 2016/17

 

A copy of the Annual Audit return for 2016-17 had been circulated to Councillors together with the Income and Expenditure Account for the year ended 31 March 2017.

 

Councillors were asked to review Section 1 – the Statement of Assurance to confirm their approval of the measures in place. The Council were also asked to approve Section 2, the statement of accounts to confirm their approval of the entries in each box.  The Council’s Internal Auditor had carried out his audit and completed his section of the Annual Return.  A copy of his report was supplied and there were no issues to draw to the attention of the Council.

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

  1. ANNUAL AUDIT 2016/17(Continued)

 

RESOLVED –

 

(i)         Section 1 of the Annual Return had been discussed and completed

and  was approved.

(ii)        Section 2 of the Annual Return be approved.

(iii)       The report of the Internal Auditor be approved.

(iv)       The Council confirm the appointment of Mr Peter Basnett as their internal                         auditor for 2017-18.

 

  1. AIRFIELDS OF BRITAIN CONSERVATION TRUST (ABCT)

 

A report by the Clerk had been circulated to Councillors.

An approach had been made by the Director General of the ABCT with a request to honour Ponteland Airfield by providing a standardised airfield plaque similar to ones that have already been erected elsewhere in the country.

Contact had been made with the ABCT and it was found that Ponteland airfield was situated in a field near to Limestone Lane and it operated between 1916 to 1919 as a military night landing ground for 36 Squadron.

 

The ABCT had suggested that a plaque should be installed somewhere within Ponteland itself at a location to be suggested.

The ABCT would pay for the plaque and associated costs although donations were welcome.  It was unclear at this time whether the Council would be expected to meet the costs of a local stonemason to install it.  Also if the plaque was situated within the Conservation area it was likely that planning approval or a pre-application submission would be required which would incur a cost.

 

The History Society had been informed of the approach made by the ABCT and they were keen to progress this.

 

RESOLVED – The Council agree in principle to proceed with the installation of a plaque at a location to be decided following discussions with the History Society and clarification of potential costs.

 

30A.    REQUEST FROM PONTELAND ROTARY CLUB TO HOLD THEIR

            CHRISTMAS MARKET IN MERTON WAY

 

A letter had been received from Ponteland Rotary Club seeking approval for the staging of their Christmas market event to be held in Merton Way on Saturday 2nd December this year.

 

In the last two years the event had been held at the High School but it was felt that footfall may be improved by holding the event somewhere more central.  It would also be unnecessary to provide portable toilets.

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

30A.    REQUEST FROM PONTELAND ROTARY CLUB TO HOLD THEIR

            CHRISTMAS MARKET IN MERTON WAY (Continued)

 

The Rotary Club had carried out initial consultations with both the County Council and local traders which seemed to be favourable

 

They were also in discussions with a company who would hopefully provide suitable marquees to cover the area in the event of bad weather.

 

It was pointed out that the Town Council did not own Merton Way so could not give their formal approval but Councillors were pleased to support the Market being held in this location in 2017.

 

RESOLVED – The Town Council agree to support the request of the Ponteland Rotary Club to hold their Christmas Market in Merton Way on 2 December 2017.

Note – Councillor A Hall declared an interest in the above matter.

 

  1. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

 

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 19 May 2017 had been circulated.  There were no recommendations for approval.

 

RESOLVED – The minutes be approved.

 

  1. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY

 

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 22 May 2017 had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendations be agreed:

 

(i)   Green Flag

It was agreed to drop this project from the list in view of the amount of work to be undertaken.

(ii)        Britain in Bloom

Following receipt of information regarding the costs involved, it was agreed that the Town Council would be represented at the awards event in Llandudno on 27 October 2017 and that the EWP be given delegated authority to decide who should represent the Council.

(iii)       Sensory garden – Murals

The Council had already agreed to the suggestion to proceed the production of murals depicting the Park by the High School at a cost of approximately £200.  It was noted that these would be displayed temporarily on 18th July and 9 August if planning permission was required and not yet received.

(iv)      E mail from No. 1 Gym

The request to hold a boot camp in the Park by the No.1 Gym at no cost be approved subject to a review after three months.

 

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

 

 

  1. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY(Continued)

 

(v)       Vandalism at Callerton Play area

  1. a) The Council agreed to replace the tidy bear bin with an ordinary

            litter bin if this was found to be necessary.

  1. b) The seat and picnic bench be replaced with recycled plastic versions in accordance with the Council’s policy.
  2. c) Agree to examine the possibility of acquiring some mobile CCTV equipment.

 

  1. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

 

Councillor Dodd reported on the meeting held at County Hall on 24th May.  Councillor Peter Jackson was elected as Leader of the Council and Councillor Veronica Jones was given the portfolio for Adult well-being and health.  Councillor Eileen Armstrong had been appointed as Chair of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council and Councillor Dodd had been elected as  Business Chair.

He stated that the administration had many issues to resolve and they were currently working though these.

It was reported that the first meeting of the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council would be held on Monday 19th June at 4.00 p.m. at County Hall.  This Council included areas within the former Castle Morpeth district and would deal with local issues relating to these areas.

It was reported that the joint meeting with NCC and parish and Town Councils would be held in October.

Councillors Mrs Veronica Jones and Mrs Eileen Armstrong were also in attendance at the meeting.

Councillor Mrs Jones reported that the grass verges had been cut for the first time in several years and the trees that had been felled at County Hall had been replaced.  She also reported that the planning application for the temporary fire station at the Leisure centre had been withdrawn.

Councillor Mrs Armstrong stated that the Local Area Councils wanted to work closely with parish and town councils in their area although she stressed that the County Council could not bring back the former districts councils in Northumberland.  Budgets would be determined for each local council and there would be discussion with parish and town councils about how these budgets were spent.  Part of their remit was to deal with local planning decisions although major applications would still be decided by the Strategic Planning Committee.  Applications for up to 100 houses would be determined locally.

It was reported that the County Councillors for Ponteland would still be holding surgeries on the first Saturday of the month at Waitrose between 10 and 11.00 a.m.  Town Councillors were welcome to attend.

 

 

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. MAYOR’S REPORT

(i)         Mayor’s Diary

The Mayor submitted details of his diary engagements for  May and June 2017.

The Mayor thanked those who had been involved with Party in the Park held on 11 June.  He understood that there had been a record attendance again this year.

 

  1. 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.

 

 (ii)      Newcastle Airport Consultative Committee

Councillor Mrs Caisley had attended her first meeting of the Consultative Committee and she presented a report relating to discussions that had taken place.

 

  1. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET UPDATE/

             

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £99,452.22 and the transfer of this sum from the Council’s Deposit Account. The Bank reconciliation for May 2017 was also approved.  A copy of the monthly budget reports was also circulated.

 

RESOLVED – The reports be approved.

 

 

 

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CHAIRMAN

 

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DATE

 

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 12 JULY 2017 AT 6.45 P.M. AT THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES

 

 
 

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