Town Council Meeting 11th May 2016 – Minutes

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES, PONTELAND ON 11 MAY 2016

Present: Councillor C Rawlings (in the Chair)

Councillors Mrs J Butcher, Mrs C Caisley, P Cowey, Mrs C Greenwell, Mrs S Johnson, Mrs L Noble, R G Ramsay, A Shanley and A Varley

1. ELECTION OF MAYOR 2016-17

Nominations for the position of Mayor for 2016-17 were invited.
RESOLVED – That Councillor C Rawlings be elected Mayor for 2016-17.

Councillor Rawlings thanked his fellow colleagues for their support during the year.

2. ELECTION OF DEPUTY MAYOR 2016-17

Nominations for the position of Deputy Mayor for 2016-17 were invited.
RESOLVED – That Councillor Mrs J Butcher be elected Deputy Mayor for 2016-17.

Councillor Mrs Butcher also thanked her fellow Councillors for their support.
The Mayor stated that he and the Deputy Mayor had indicated that this would be their last year serving as Town Councillors and it was hoped that any Councillor who had an interest in taking on the position of Mayor could ‘shadow’ him during the coming year.

3. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Councillors R Dodd and Mrs E Thompson.

4. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

There were no declarations of interest.

5. MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 13 APRIL 2016

The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 13 April 2016 were confirmed
and signed by the Mayor.

6. MATTERS ARISING
There were no matters arising.

7. APPOINTMENT OF ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE

To approve the appointment of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and eight Councillors to the Accounts Committee for the purpose of authorising all payments made by the Council’s Deposit Account.

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CHAIRMAN DATE

7. APPOINTMENT OF ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE(Continued)

RESOLVED – Approve the appointment of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Councillors Mrs C Caisley, P Cowey, R Dodd, C Greenwell, S Johnson, R G Ramsay, Mrs E Thompson and A Varley. A new mandate would not be required at this time.

8. APPOINTMENT OF REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

A list of the current appointees to local organisations had been circulated.
One or two amendments were suggested and approved.

RESOLVED – The list of appointments as amended be approved and circulated to Councillors.

9. TOWN COUNCIL COMMITTEES/WORKING PARTIES

A list of the current appointees to Town Council Committees and Working Parties had been circulated. One amendment was made to the list.

RESOLVED – The revised list of appointments be approved and circulated to Councillors.

10. PLANNING

(i) Planning Committee
Minutes of meetings held on 5 and 19 April were circulated for information.

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

11. GRANTS
(i) Request for assistance towards providing coach travel for
Ponteland schools to participate in the annual county sports
event

It was reported that a request had been received from Active Northumberland for a donation towards the cost of providing bus travel for participants from Ponteland Schools taking part in the annual county sports event being held at Cramlington.

The cost of providing coach travel over the two days of 21st and 22nd June was £550.

It was noted that neither the schools nor parents had been asked for a contribution towards these costs.

The Town Council did not want Ponteland pupils to miss out on participating in the event and therefore payment of the sum was agreed. It was stressed however that this would be a one off payment and approval could not be guaranteed in future years.

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CHAIRMAN DATE

11. GRANTS
(i) Request for assistance towards providing coach travel for
Ponteland schools to participate in the annual county sports
event (Continued)

RESOLVED – The Council agree to the payment of a grant of £550 for coach travel for the above purpose with £250 being met from the Mayor’s account and £300 from the small grants budget. It was also agreed that a letter would be sent with the grant indicating that this was a one off payment that could not be guaranteed for future years.

12. DATES OF TOWN COUNCIL MEETINGS 2016-17

A list of proposed dates for Town Council Meetings for the forthcoming year had been circulated. The schedule of pre-agenda meeting dates was also shown and if Councillors had items for the agenda they should aim to get them to the Clerk at least two or three days prior to this date.

RESOLVED – The dates be approved.

13. PROJECTS REPORT

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

RESOLVED – The report be accepted.

14. PTC Banking arrangements

A report by the Clerk had been circulated to the Council for consideration.
Members were reminded that the Council’s current banking provider, HSBC had notified clients of their intention to close the Ponteland branch with effect from 8 July 2016.

Initial discussions had been held with another local bank, Lloyds in relation to opening a business account with them. Costs appeared to be fairly minimal and they offered a dual authorisation process for electronic banking.

The Council had previously agreed to move to electronic banking however this had not as yet happened.

If the Council agreed to move to a new provider, a new banking mandate would be required. It was suggested that the Council may wish to include all 12 members on the mandate. At present only those Councillors who could come into the office during working hours had been included.
To set up a new mandate each Councillor would be asked to provide information to the bank such as date of birth, address and some form of identification.

In response to a query regarding further bank closures in Ponteland the Clerk stated that if this happened then it would be likely that the Council would have to look at transferring their business to an internet banking provider.
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CHAIRMAN DATE
14. PTC Banking arrangements (Continued)

RESOLVED –
(i) The Council agree to change their banking provider to Lloyds and
authority be delegated to the Clerk to start the process of changing
accounts.
(ii) The Council noted that this would mean a change to electronic banking
as previously agreed.
(iii) It was agreed that all 12 Town Councillors would be on the mandate.

15. QUEEN’S 90TH BIRTHDAY
A report updating the Town Council on events for the Queen’s 90th birthday had been circulated.

The report listed the many events that had taken place on and leading up to the 21 April. The Council were delighted with the involvement of Ponteland for this event and expressed their thanks to everyone who was involved.

The report also listed the events that were still to take place which included a ‘Clean for the Queen’ litter pick on Saturday 21st May, a Community Service on Sunday 22nd May and a treasure hunt in the Park being organised by Councillors Mrs Caisley and Mrs Johnson on Saturday 11 June.

Other events such as Party in the Park and Music in the Park would have a royal theme. Other organisations were holding tea dances and afternoon teas.

RESOLVED – The report be accepted.

16. PONTELAND LIBRARY
Councillor Richard Dodd was not in attendance to give an update on his discussions with NCC officers regarding the library.
Councillor Cowey had circulated notes of a meeting that representatives of the Ponteland Community Trust had had with the Chief Executive of NCC and two other NCC officers regarding the location of the library.
Councillors asked if the Council’s preference to have the library as part of a community hub on its existing site had been conveyed to NCC officers at the meeting. He confirmed that it had.
He also reported that it was likely the library would be moved to the Leisure Centre by the end of June and there was a possibility that NCC would retain it in that location along with a possible community hub.
Concern was expressed by Councillors that this possibility had not been discussed and was not what residents of Ponteland wanted.
Councillor Cowey was asked to find out as much as he could about this at any future meetings he attended.
It was hoped that Councillor Dodd would be in a position to give an update at the next meeting.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

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CHAIRMAN DATE
17. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 15 April 2016 had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendations be approved.
(i) Darras Road Bridge colour scheme options
The Working Party favoured option one however it was agreed that this matter be deferred to allow Councillors more time to examine the various options available.

(ii) Ponteland Gateway Scheme drawings
That the Welcome sign shown in option 2 be approved. This signage would be located on North Road close to the new housing estate at the Police HQ.

18. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 18 April 2016 had been circulated.
RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendations be agreed:

(i) Footpath works at bridge one in the Park
It was agreed that the quote received from RHD in respect of this work in the sum of £1620.47 be approved.

(ii) Merton Way Large Planter
It was agreed to accept the quote from Collingwood for the use of artificial grass on this planter at a cost of £1870 plus the cost of installing tubs and carrying out power washing.

19. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

There were no County Councillors in attendance.

20. MAYOR’S REPORT
(i) Mayor’s Diary
The Mayor had submitted details of his diary engagements for April and May 2016.

21. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS
(i) Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group – Minutes of
Meetings held on 24 March and 5 April 2016.
Minutes of the above meeting had been circulated for information.

(ii) Ponteland Memorial Hall Executive meeting – 11.4.16
Councillor Mrs Butcher reported on the above meeting.

(iii) Ponteland Community Trust – Minutes of meeting held on
18 March 2016
Councillor Cowey had circulated copies of the above minutes for information.
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CHAIRMAN DATE
22. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET UPDATE/

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £36,036.09 and the transfer of this sum from the Council’s Deposit Account. The Bank reconciliation for April 2016 was also approved.
A report relating to year-end budget revisions and also details of the Council’s reserves had also been circulated. The Council was asked to approve these reports and also the transfer of the sum of £78,363.08 to the Council’s general reserves.
RESOLVED – The reports be approved and the Council agreed the transfer of the sum outlined above to the Council’s general reserves.

24. PTC RESPONSE TO SCHOOLS CONSULTATION
The Town Council had prepared a response to the consultation in relation to the schools in Ponteland.
The majority of Councillors favoured the retention of the current three tier system in Ponteland. It was felt elements of the response form were confusing and Councillors expressed their dismay and disappointment that the same wording in respect of question 8 had not been used in respect of the paper form and the electronic version and it was agreed a reference to this issue would be included within the response to question 8.
They also felt that the County Council was in a better position to suggest alternatives to the proposals rather than ask consultees for suggestions as requested in question 10.
The Council also favoured the High School being re-built on the playing fields within the curtilage of the current school.
They also expressed the wish that as Ponteland Middle School had achieved Academy status that there should be a clear pathway for pupils of that school to Ponteland High School.

RESOLVED – That the response as circulated be sent off to NCC subject to the amendment being made to Question 8 as set out above.

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CHAIRMAN

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DATE

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 8 JUNE 2016 AT 6.45 P.M. AT THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES

who was involved.

 

The report also listed the events that were still to take place which included a ‘Clean for the Queen’ litter pick on Saturday 21st May, a Community Service on Sunday 22nd May and a treasure hunt in the Park being organised by Councillors Mrs Caisley and Mrs Johnson on Saturday 11 June.

 

Other events such as Party in the Park and Music in the Park would have a royal theme. Other organisations were holding tea dances and afternoon teas.

 

RESOLVED – The report be accepted.

 

  1. PONTELAND LIBRARY

Councillor Richard Dodd was not in attendance to give an update on his discussions with NCC officers regarding the library.

Councillor Cowey had circulated notes of a meeting that representatives of the Ponteland Community Trust had had with the Chief Executive of NCC and two other NCC officers regarding the location of the library.

Councillors asked if the Council’s preference to have the library as part of a community hub on its existing site had been conveyed to NCC officers at the meeting. He confirmed that it had.

He also reported that it was likely the library would be moved to the Leisure Centre by the end of June and there was a possibility that NCC would retain it in that location along with a possible community hub.

Concern was expressed by Councillors that this possibility had not been discussed and was not what residents of Ponteland wanted.

Councillor Cowey was asked to find out as much as he could about this at any future meetings he attended.

It was hoped that Councillor Dodd would be in a position to give an update at the next meeting.

 

RESOLVED – The information be received.

 

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                 DATE

  1. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

 

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 15 April 2016 had been circulated.

 

RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendations be approved.

(i)       Darras Road Bridge colour scheme options

The Working Party favoured option one however it was agreed that this matter be deferred to allow Councillors more time to examine the various options available.

 

(ii)      Ponteland Gateway Scheme drawings

That the Welcome sign shown in option 2 be approved. This signage would be located on North Road close to the new housing estate at the Police HQ.

 

  1. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY

 

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 18 April 2016 had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendations be agreed:

 

(i)       Footpath works at bridge one in the Park

It was agreed that the quote received from RHD in respect of this work in the sum of £1620.47 be approved.

 

(ii)      Merton Way Large Planter

It was agreed to accept the quote from Collingwood for the use of artificial grass on this planter at a cost of £1870 plus the cost of installing tubs and carrying out power washing.

 

  1. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

 

There were no County Councillors in attendance.

 

  1. MAYOR’S REPORT

(i)       Mayor’s Diary

The Mayor had submitted details of his diary engagements for April and May 2016.

 

  1. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

(i)       Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group – Minutes of

          Meetings held on 24 March and 5 April 2016.

Minutes of the above meeting had been circulated for information.

 

(ii)      Ponteland Memorial Hall Executive meeting – 11.4.16

Councillor Mrs Butcher reported on the above meeting.

 

(iii)     Ponteland Community Trust – Minutes of meeting held on

          18 March 2016

Councillor Cowey had circulated copies of the above minutes for information.

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CHAIRMAN                                                                 DATE

  1. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET UPDATE/

         

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £36,036.09 and the transfer of this sum from the Council’s Deposit Account. The Bank reconciliation for April 2016 was also approved.

A report relating to year-end budget revisions and also details of the Council’s reserves had also been circulated. The Council was asked to approve these reports and also the transfer of the sum of £78,363.08 to the Council’s general reserves.

RESOLVED – The reports be approved and the Council agreed the transfer of the sum outlined above to the Council’s general reserves.

 

  1. PTC RESPONSE TO SCHOOLS CONSULTATION

The Town Council had prepared a response to the consultation in relation to the schools in Ponteland.

The majority of Councillors favoured the retention of the current three tier system in Ponteland. It was felt elements of the response form were confusing and Councillors expressed their dismay and disappointment that the same wording in respect of question 8 had not been used in respect of the paper form and the electronic version and it was agreed a reference to this issue would be included within the response to question 8.

They also felt that the County Council was in a better position to suggest alternatives to the proposals rather than ask consultees for suggestions as requested in question 10.

The Council also favoured the High School being re-built on the playing fields within the curtilage of the current school.

They also expressed the wish that as Ponteland Middle School had achieved Academy status that there should be a clear pathway for pupils of that school to Ponteland High School.

 

RESOLVED – That the response as circulated be sent off to NCC subject to the amendment being made to Question 8 as set out above.

 

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CHAIRMAN

 

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DATE

 

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 8 JUNE 2016 AT 6.45 P.M. AT THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES