Town Council Meeting 14 December 2016 – Minutes

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES, PONTELAND ON 14 DECEMBER 2016

Present: Councillor C Rawlings (in the Chair)

Councillors Mrs C Caisley, P Cowey, R Dodd, Mrs C Greenwell, Mrs S Johnson, Mrs L Noble, R G Ramsay, A Shanley, Mrs E Thompson and A Varley.

141. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Mrs J Butcher.

142. MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 9 NOVEMBER 2016

The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 9 November 2016 were confirmed
and signed by the Mayor.

143. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Councillor Ramsay declared an interest in item 153.

144. MATTERS ARISING

(i) Letter of thanks from Ponteland Rugby Club re grant for Beer Festival.
A letter of thanks had been received from the Rugby Club in respect of the grant towards the cost of the Beer Festival for 2017 that had been agreed last month.

(ii) Letter of thanks from the Memorial Hall.
A letter of thanks had been received from the Memorial Hall in respect of the grant agreed last month.

145. PLANNING

(i) Planning Committee
Minutes of meetings held on 1 and 15 November 2016 were circulated for information.

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

146. GRANTS

(i) Dalton Village Hall
A request for a grant in respect of the above event had been circulated. The Clerk reported that the amount of £1000 had been included in the budget for this year in respect of this grant however the sum of £1500 had been agreed last year with the additional funds being agreed in respect of electrical testing works.
The Clerk reported on the sum remaining in the small grants budget.

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CHAIRMAN DATE

146. GRANTS
(i) Dalton Village Hall (continued)

After some discussion it was agreed to approve a grant of £1500. The Clerk was also requested to ask the Chairman of the village hall to contact Councillor Mrs Greenwell in respect of additional help the hall could seek.
RESOLVED – A grant of £1500 be approved.

(ii) Great North Air Ambulance
A grant request had been received from the Great North Air Ambulance.
Councillors were informed that the organisation had carried out three missions involving Ponteland residents in the last year, they were also reminded that they had given a grant of £250 to the Great North Air Ambulance in 2015.

RESOLVED – A grant of £250 be approved.

147. PROJECTS REPORT

The projects report had been circulated for the information of Councillors.
The Clerk reported that the Ponteland paper map was now complete pending the installation of a map dispenser on Main Street in the New Year.

RESOLVED – The report be accepted.

148. ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR IN PONTELAND

A comprehensive report by the Clerk in relation to the above had been circulated.

The report highlighted the recent increase in anti social behaviour in Ponteland and the police response to this issue.

The report also included details of two meetings that had recently been held on this subject, one that was held with the Police Inspector and another attended by the Clerk that was a multi agency meeting involving various departments at NCC, the Police and High School.
The report tabled the various issues that had been raised at that meeting which included requests for the Town Council to install CCTV at the skate park/play area at Callerton Lane or link into the Leisure Centre CCTV and also consider additional funding for youth work.
Various issues surrounding both requests had been included in the report.
It was also suggested that an article should be placed in the January edition of PNV and that a letter should be sent to the schools. Drafts of both documents had been circulated to Councillors. A slight amendment to the letter to PNV had been made following information received from the Police that the situation had improved somewhat.

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148. ANTI SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR IN PONTELAND (Continued)

Councillors discussed the report in some detail and agreed the following recommendations:

RESOLVED –
(i) Agree that the Town Council should be represented at future ‘multi-
agency’ meetings that Councillor Varley agreed to attend.
(ii) Agree that the draft letter should be sent to the Middle and High
Schools.
(iii) Agree to the amended article being placed in the January edition of
PNV.
(iv) Defer the request in relation to installation of CCTV at the skate park/
play area at this time but the Clerk request additional information from
NCC regarding the possibility of linking into their system at the Leisure
Centre including a specification and anticipated costs.
(v) Defer the request for additional youth work provision pending further
discussions with NCC regarding what this funding could provide.

149. RISK MANAGEMENT REPORT

A report relating to the risk management for the Council for 2016-17 had been circulated to Councillors.
This report was considered and produced annually and members were asked to raise any issues arising from the report.

RESOLVED – The report as presented be approved.

150. REVIEW OF INTERNAL AUDIT

A report relating to the review of internal audit for 2016-17 had been circulated.

The report outlined the role of the internal auditor, Mr Peter Basnett and the scope of audit planning and reporting.
The mid year internal audit had recently been completed and a copy of the report from the internal auditor had been circulated. Mr Basnett had no issues to raise with the Town Council and had only referred to some minor queries relating to petty cash.

RESOLVED –
(i) The report and the audit checklist be approved and the report from the internal auditor be noted.
(ii) The Council approve the re-appointment of Mr Peter Basnett as their internal auditor for 2017-18.

151. REVIEW OF INTERNAL CONTROLS

A report relating to the review of the Town Council’s internal controls had been circulated for consideration.

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151. REVIEW OF INTERNAL CONTROLS (Continued)

This report was required under Regulation 4 of the Accounts and Audit (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2011 that required councils to carry out this task annually before the end of the financial year.

RESOLVED – The report be approved.

152. OFFICE CLOSURE – CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR

Councillors were informed that the Town Council office would be closed from 12.30 a.m. on Thursday 22 December to 9.30 a.m. on Tuesday 3 January 2017.
RESOLVED – The information be received

153. PONTELAND CHARITY GROUP

The Mayor reported that the Pont Charity Group had been wound up. He reported that the Group had raised some £28,000 for local charities. He also reported that the Secretary of the Group, Mr Bruce Grant had himself raised some £23,000 for charity and on behalf of the Town Council he expressed his gratitude to members of the Group and to Mr Grant for their excellent fundraising work.

A thank you card and gift had been sent to Mr Grant.

RESOLVED – The information be received and the Town Council record their thanks to the Pont Charity Group and to Mr Grant for their fundraising work.

154. NORTH EAST WAR MEMORIALS PROJECT

A report by the Mayor in relation to his and Councillor Ramsay’s attendance at an event on 23 November had been circulated.
The event was in relation to the North East War Memorials Project (NEWMP) and had been organised by Civic Voice.

This had been an excellent and informative event providing much needed information about war memorials and their conservation.

The NEWMP was seeking volunteers for the project to find memorials, to survey their condition, enter the survey details online and decide whether a grant application should be made to repair a memorial.

The project would involve a parish or town council liaising with Historic England and possibly with the Conservation officer of the County Council.

Details of how to carry out the survey and initiate further action if required were included within the report.

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154. NORTH EAST WAR MEMORIALS PROJECT (Contined)

In relation to Ponteland, 7 memorials had been registered online. Three were in the Memorial Hall, three were in St Mary’s Church and one is at the Police HQ.

Both Councillors who had attended the event were willing to help with the survey work and to show any other interested Councillors what to do. They had also been most impressed with the work being carried out by two volunteers for the NEWMP and it was suggested that it may be possible to make a grant payment to the organisation towards the end of the financial year.

RESOLVED –
(i) That Ponteland Town Council supports the aims of the North East War
Memorials Project.
(ii) That the Town Council surveys the condition of the Ponteland War
Memorials.
(iii) If a survey shows that any of the memorials require work, then a report
would be produced for PTC who can then decide if a grant application
should be made.

154A. NCC CORE STRATEGY FURTHER MAJOR MODIFICATIONS/SUPPLEMENTARY PLANNING DOCUMENT FOR PONTELAND

Councillors were aware that the consultation in respect of the above documents was due to close at 4.00 p.m. on 23 December 2016.

A draft response to both documents had been circulated to Councillors with a request for any comments to be sent to the Clerk by 9 December.

Some comments had been received and a final copy of the documents had been sent out to all Councillors for approval at this meeting.

RESOLVED – That the amended documents as circulated be sent to NCC as their response to the Core Strategy Major modifications document and the SPD for Ponteland.

155. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 11 November 2016 had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The minutes be approved.

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CHAIRMAN DATE

156. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 21 November 2016 had been circulated.

RESOLVED –The minutes and the following recommendation be approved:
(i) Additional dog bin request in the Park
It was agreed to provide a bin at the corner of the steps leading up to the Memorial Hall car park.
(ii) Tree nameplates for notable trees in the Park
It was agreed to install nameplates on the eight trees that had been identified at a total cost of £320.
(iii) Report re flood damage in the Park
It was agreed to approve the appointment of the consultants to carry out stage one as listed within the report presented to the Working Party at a cost of £1500 plus VAT. The consultants also be asked about a long term project that will save the Council having to keep carrying out such works in the Park.

157. CEMETERY COMMITTEE

Minutes of a meeting of the above Committee held on 6 December 2016 had been circulated.

The minutes were for information only however members were asked to note the various items of work that were being carried out at the present time.

RESOLVED – The minutes be received.

158. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

Councillor Dodd reported on a meeting of full Council held last week when County Councillor Jackson had submitted a motion relating to the costs of the re-location of County Hall to Ashington. The motion had been defeated.

He also referred to the scheme for the Merton Way car park, which he would circulate to all Councillors for their comments. The cheapest option was for 25 additional spaces on one of the grassed areas that would cost about £106,000. He had about half of the necessary funds but would be seeking additional funding from other sources. He requested comments from Town Councillors on the various options available.

Councillor Dodd had also attended meetings with the Dissington Estate due to the fact the proposal was in his county division. Concerns were being expressed regarding drainage and the route of the proposed by-pass. He would be meeting with concerned residents and the Planning Services Manager at NCC to discuss this further on 16 December.

Councillor Dodd reported that he had challenged Active Northumberland on the recent price increases in the Leisure Centre and he stated that representatives of Active Northumberland would be attending the Area Committees in January.

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CHAIRMAN DATE
158. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT (Continued)

Councillor Dodd also referred to a recent serious accident on the A696 and he suggested that some changes were required to hedging and junctions in order to improve safety on the stretch of road between Ponteland and Belsay.

159. MAYOR’S REPORT

(i) Mayor’s Diary
The Mayor submitted details of his diary engagements for November/December 2016 and some forthcoming events in January 2017.
The Mayor gave a brief report relating to the Rotary Club Christmas Market. .

160. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

(i) Neighbourhood Plan Group –
There had been no meeting therefore there were no Minutes available.

(ii) Ageing Well in Ponteland Meeting 31.10.16 report from Councillor C Greenwell
The minutes of the above meeting had been circulated for information.

(iii) Ponteland Community Partnership meeting 16 November
The minutes of the above meeting had been circulated for information. It was suggested that an amendment to the statement at the end of item 4, Chairman’s report may be necessary as the stated housing numbers were confusing and could be cause for alarm. Councillor Ramsay agreed to raise this at the next PCP meeting.

(iv) Newcastle International Airport Consultative Committee 5.12.16 report from Councillor Mrs J Butcher
In the absence of Cllr Butcher Members agreed to defer the item until the next meeting.
Councillors agreed that they would prefer to receive a colour copy of the
report.

161. ACCOUNTS/BANK RECONCILIATION/BUDGET REPORT

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £35,136.05 and the transfer of this sum from the Council’s Deposit Account. The Bank reconciliation for November 2016 was also approved. A monthly income and expenditure report had also been circulated for information.

RESOLVED – The reports to be approved.

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CHAIRMAN

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DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 11TH JANUARY 2016 AT 6.45 P.M. AT THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES