Annual Town Meeting of Local Government Electors 8 April 2015 – Minutes

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL
MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTORS HELD AT PONTELAND METHODIST CHURCH HALL, PONTELAND ON 8 APRIL 2015

Present: Councillor C Rawlings Mayor
and some 20 Local Government Electors

1. MINUTES

The Minutes of the Annual Parish meeting held on 9 April 2014 were confirmed and signed by the Mayor.

2. MAYOR’S REPORT

The Mayor presented his report for the year 2014-15.

3. PRESENTATION OF MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD

On behalf of the Council, the Mayor presented an engraved gift and certificate to PC Rob Anderson, the recipient of the Meritorious Service Award.

The Mayor thanked PC Anderson the Neighbourhood Beat Manager for Ponteland who was to retire later in the year. PC Anderson was thanked for all of his hard work and commitment to the area over the past few years and he would be a big miss to the community.

PC Anderson thanked the Mayor and the Council for the award and stated that it was nice to have a Council that supported him in his role.

4. PUBLIC QUESTIONS
Mr David Butler had five questions he wished to ask as follows:
1. Mr Butler referred to the desire line on Coates Green that the Council had recently re-seeded and which was fenced off. He asked what the Council’s plans were to stop people using the desire line and use the path.

The Mayor invited Councillor Ramsay, Chairman of the Environment Working Party to reply.
Councillor Ramsay stated that at the moment the Council’s intention was to re-establish the grass and to keep the area under observation. One or two ideas were under consideration. The Council did not want to create any more paths on Coates Green.

2. Mr Butler expressed his dismay at the lower planters in Merton Way shopping area that were full of weeds and he said there were three or four areas that had just been left. He expressed his surprise that Ponteland had been awarded gold in the Northumbria in Bloom competition last year. He asked what is going to be done with these beds.

Councillor Ramsay replied to the question and stated that the Council had had them emptied out completely and re-filled in an attempt to eradicate the weed problem. In relation to the lower beds it was stated that these would be filled with a flexi-paving surfacing and this work was being carried out in week beginning 20 April.

3. Mr Butler expressed his disappointment at the closure of the cut through path from the Park to Waitrose by the Council. Waitrose had collected funds for the path via their charity token donation and he asked what had happened to those donations.

Mr Butler was informed that the Council had had various discussions on this issue. Objections had been received from the Memorial Hall Committee who were concerned at the misuse of their car park by Waitrose customers. After a long debate the majority of Councillors had voted to replace the fence. A fence had been there originally and it was removed by persons unknown.
It was also stated that the Council had no information about what had happened to the funds collected by Waitrose.

4. Mr Butler referred to the ‘hideous’ tree guards around memorial trees in the Park which he assume had been erected to protect the tree trunks. He asked about weed removal around the base of the trees.

Councillor Ramsay stated that the Council would be taking on the services of a dedicated part time contractor for the Park and this would be one of his tasks.

5. Finally Mr Butler stated that it was useful to have access to Town Council minutes at the library and online. He asked if there were any proposals to make the discussion documents relevant to various items on the agenda available in the interests of transparency.

The Clerk stated that this was being examined and information would become available in the coming months.

Mr Brian Prickett raised a question about development in Ponteland and information that had been included in the draft Core Strategy regarding this subject. He asked if the Council had objected to this. He also asked about the re-development of Merton Way.

The Mayor stated that the Town Council had submitted their response to the Core Strategy and had strongly stated that in their opinion there was no need for the deletion of green belt in Ponteland.
With regard to Merton Way as far as he was aware, the current situation was that Arch were currently examining the situation.

The Mayor thanked everyone for their attendance and closed the meeting at 7.45 p.m.

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Mayor
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