Town Council Meeting 14 January 2015 – Minutes

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES, PONTELAND ON 14 JANUARY 2015

Present: Councillor C Rawlings (in the Chair)

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

Presentation by Mr Ashley Brown from the Youth Service re the potential grant from the Town Council in 2015-16
Ashley Brown attended the meeting to discuss the potential grant from the Town Council for the forthcoming year.
He stated that the current year had been very successful in terms of numbers and the range of activities provided and he hoped the service could build on their success for next year.
Mr Brown presented details of the offer of services for 2015-16.
The Town Council had included the sum of £5,500 in the budget for 2015-16 in respect of this service.

166. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

There were no apologies for absence

167. MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 10 DECEMBER 2014

The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 10 December 2014 were confirmed
and signed by the Mayor.

168. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

There were no declarations of interest.

169. MATTERS ARISING

(i) Minute 149(i) Grant to Dalton Village Hall
It was reported that a letter of thanks had been received from the Secretary of the Hall in respect of the grant awarded last month.
(ii) Minute 149(ii) Grant to Legacare
It was reported that a letter of thanks had been received from the above organisation in respect of the grant agreed at the last meeting.
(iii) Minute 155 – NCC Budget Consultation
Members were reminded that a response to this consultation had to be made by 23 January. Councillors were asked to submit any comments as soon as possible.

170. PLANNING

(i) Planning Committee
Minutes of the meetings held on 2 and 16 December 2014 had been circulated for information.
………………………………………………………………………………………..
CHAIRMAN DATE
170. PLANNING (continued)

(ii) Report on recent planning decisions
It was reported that the Town Council had recently spoken against four applications at the West Area Planning Committee however all four had been agreed.

171. GRANTS

(i) Darras Hall Estate Committee
The Council considered the annual grant application from Darras Hall Estate Committee in respect of maintenance of the bridlepath.
RESOLVED – A grant of £600 be approved.

172. REQUEST TO CONTINUE SUPPORT TO PONTELAND HOPPER BUS
The Council had been asked to consider a continued contribution of £500 for the next two years to the operation of the Ponteland Hopper bus. The hopper operated one day per week in Ponteland, collecting people and taking them to the health centre and the shops and the service cost each user £2 per year to register and £1 for each trip (each way). County Councillor Mrs V Jones asked if the Council would agree to this request that was much needed in Ponteland.

RESOLVED – The Council agree to continue to support the Hopper Bus in Ponteland in the sum of £500 in this financial year and also £500 in 2015-16.

173. PROJECTS REPORT

A report was presented for consideration.

It was stated that work on the survey of land in PTC ownership would be completed by the end of this financial year.

RESOLVED – The report be noted.

174. BUDGET AND PRECEPT 2015-16

A report relating to the Budget and Precept for 2015-16 had been circulated.
The proposed budget for 2015-16 was submitted and required formal approval. It was pointed out that the amount of the precept sum had to be submitted to NCC by 2 February 2015.

The draft budget as presented allowed a sum of £14,983 available for projects (wish list) items and these would be determined at a later date.

The Council also had to agree the fees and charges for 2015-16 in respect of the allotments and the Cemetery fees.

It was proposed to increase the allotment rents by £1 a year across the three tiers of fees.

………………………………………………………………………………………..
CHAIRMAN DATE

174. BUDGET AND PRECEPT 2015-16 (Continued)

The Cemetery Committee at their meeting held on 24 February had agreed a 3% increase across all fees following a period of 2 years with no increases. This had been agreed at the December Town Council meeting. A list of proposed fees and charges had been circulated. These charges had been rounded off to the nearest £1 although adjustments had been made to ensure that non-residents paid more even if only £1. This meant that some of the lower charges showed a slightly higher percentage increase.

It was pointed out that the fees may require further revision if NCC increased their charges.

Details of various anomalies in the fees and charges were also reported and it was suggested that the Cemetery Committee should consider these at their next meeting.

RESOLVED – The Council agreed the following recommendations:

(i) Approve the draft budget for 2015-16 as attached and formally agree to levy a precept request of £368,828 on the County Council.

(ii) Approve an increase of £1 on all allotment fees for 2015-16.

(iii) Approve the proposed fees and charges for Prestwick Cemetery for 2015-16 as reported and note that further revisions may be required if NCC reviews their charges and once the Cemetery Committee have
examined the anomalies referred to above.

(iv) Consider the remainder of the wish list at a further meeting to be
arranged to determine the allocation of the projects list for
2015/16.

175. CORE STRATEGY

Councillors were reminded that the Core Strategy consultation ended on 11 February 2015.
Councillors were asked to submit their comments to the Clerk by 26 January 2015. These would then be collated for discussion at a special Council Meeting to be held in week beginning 2 February.

RESOLVED – Councillors submit their comments on the Core Strategy by 26 January for discussion at a Special Council meeting to be held in week commencing 2 February.

………………………………………………………………………………………..
CHAIRMAN DATE

176. PUBLIC TOILETS, THORNHILL ROAD

(i) Report re quotes received for refurbishment works

A report relating to quotes received in respect of refurbishment of the public toilets had been circulated.

Councillors were reminded that the sum of £25,000 was currently available in respect of this work.

The report set out the background to this issue and it was reported that requests for quotes had been prepared seeking prices for three toilets as agreed by the Environment Working Party and confirmed by the Council.

Requests for quotes had been sent out to five companies. Four quotes had been received details of which were included within the report.

Only one fully compliant tender had been received from Contractor A

The report outlined 6 options relating to provision and costs. The issue of the replacement of the roof had also to be taken into account and also whether this was a pitched or flat roof.

Councillors discussed this in detail and a further option was suggested which would mean refurbishing the toilets as they were currently as it appeared the current provision was more than adequate and had also resulted in the cessation of anti social behaviour.

Councillors also asked that the Environment Working Party, who would submit their recommendation to Council, to further consider the various options.

RESOLVED – That the options including the suggestion outlined above be discussed by the Environment Working Party and a recommendation be made to the Council Meeting on how to proceed with the toilets.

(ii) Transfer of toilets to PTC

Councillors were advised that the Council took over responsibility for the toilets on 1 April 2012. A Transfer Deed had been received by the Council’s Solicitor for signature by the Mayor and the Clerk.

RESOLVED – The Council authorise the signing of the Transfer Deed by the Mayor and Clerk, in respect of the toilets at Thornhill Road.

………………………………………………………………………………………..
CHAIRMAN DATE

177. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 13 December 2014 had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendations were approved:-

(i) Raise Historic Mileage Sign located opposite Meadowfield Junction –
The Council agreed to the recommendation that an order for the above works is placed, to be funded from contingencies.

(ii) Remodelling of the flower bed at Thornhill Road Car Park
Quotes had been sought to remove vegetation from the above flowerbed, reinstate cracked brickwork and shorten at one side to allow disabled access.
The Council agreed that an order be placed for the above works at a cost of £2300 to be funded from contingencies.

178. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

Councillor Mrs Veronica Jones stated that the County was currently undergoing a consultation exercise on the budget proposals and concerns had been raised at the amount of investment in the south east of the County.
She also reported on changes to the way subsidised bus services were going to be supported which could have an impact on local services in Ponteland.

She highlighted the changes to Electoral Registration that meant that individuals had to register instead of one person in the household registering everyone who lived in a property. This was an enormous task for the County Council to undertake.
Councillor Mrs Jones also mentioned that NCC was starting work on examination of the Local Transport Plan for 2015-16.

Councillor Richard Dodd reported that he had had a meeting with the officer responsible for car parks before Christmas and he was awaiting some further action in relation to the car park at the back of Merton Way.
He also reported on some changes to the way in which anti social behaviour could be handled and he agreed to make this information available to the Council.

179. MAYOR’S REPORT

(i) Ponteland Town Council Christmas Event – 12.12.14
The Mayor thanked those who had attended the above event.

(ii) Mayor’s Diary – December 2014
The Mayor had submitted details of his diary engagements for December.

………………………………………………………………………………………..
CHAIRMAN DATE

179. MAYOR’S REPORT (Continued)

(iii) Wheelbarrow Race – 1.1.15
The Mayor had attended the above event on New Year’s Day, which had been well organised and attended.

180. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

(i) Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
Minutes of meetings held on 18 November and 4 December 2014 had been circulated for information.
(ii) Leisure Centre Users Group
Councillors Mrs Johnson and Mrs Thompson reported on their attendance at the above mentioned meeting, which had been held on 16th December 2014.
(iii) Airport Consultative Committee
Councillor Mrs J Butcher reported on the above meeting, which she attended on 16th December 2014. Particular attention was brought to the decision by Newcastle Airport to withdraw their objections to the Birney Hill development as their concerns had now been satisfied. However if the appeal was successful the Airport would be requesting NCC to apply several conditions to the application.
(iv) Ponteland Memorial Hall
Councillor Shanley reported on his attendance at a meeting of the Memorial Hall Executive Committee held on 12 January. He also reported on details of income received in the last 9 months.

181. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET UPDATE

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £ 27026.85 and the transfer of this sum from the Council’s Deposit Account. The Bank reconciliation for December 2014 and a monthly income and expenditure review report showing amounts received and expended against each main budget heading was also approved.

…………………………………………
CHAIRMAN

………………………….
DATE

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 11 FEBRUARY 2015 AT 6.45 P.M. AT THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES