Town Council Meeting 8 April 2015 – Minutes

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN THE METHODIST CHURCH HALL, PONTELAND ON 8 APRIL 2015


Present: Councillor C Rawlings (in the Chair)

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

217. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

None received.

218. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

There were no declarations of interest.

219. MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 11 MARCH 2015

The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 11 March 2015 were confirmed
and signed by the Mayor.

220. MATTERS ARISING

(i) Minute 207(i) Grant application – Friends of Ponteland Park
A letter of thanks had been received from the Friends of Ponteland Park in respect of the grant awarded at the last meeting.

(ii) Minute 214(ii) – Review of subsidised bus services
A response had been submitted to NCC in respect of the above review. Since the response had been made it had been confirmed that the services in question would remain at least until the beginning of August.

221. PLANNING

(i) Planning Committee
Minutes of the meeting held on 10 and 24 March 2015 had been circulated for information.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

221. PLANNING (Continued)

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

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222. GRANT APPLICATION

(i) Ponteland Youth Service
A report was submitted for consideration by the Council.
Councillors were reminded that the sum of £5,500 had been included in the budget
for 2015-16 following a presentation by the Youth Services Manager regarding
the service to be offered in this financial year.

RESOLVED – A grant of £5,500 be approved.

223. PROJECTS REPORT

A report was presented for the information of Members.

RESOLVED – The report be noted.

224. SUGGESTION FOR APPOINTMENTS SYSTEM TO BE INTRODUCED IN PTC OFFICE

A report relating to the possible introduction of an appointments system for the office was presented.

It was recognised that the Council was providing a public service but that it was proving difficult on occasion to complete tasks due to the amount of interruptions.

It was suggested that a system be tried for a period of three months to see how this impacted on workload and also the response from visitors to the office.
It was envisaged that the system to be devised by the Clerk would allow for open access on some days and appointments only on others for a trial period of three months after which time consideration of the success of the scheme as well as feedback from visitors would be discussed.
RESOLVED – The Clerk devise a scheme as set out above and this be operated for a trial period of three months following which an evaluation of the success of the scheme as well as feedback from visitors be considered.

225. VE DAY CELEBRATION

A report was presented for consideration by the Council.
Information had been received from Central Government regarding the 70th Anniversary of VE/VJ Day. Celebrations would be held over a three day period from 8 May.

The report included a number of proposals for consideration including laying flowers at the commemorative oak on Coates Green which was planted to commemorate VE/VJ Day; light the beacon on the top of the church on the evening of 8 May;

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225. VE DAY CELEBRATION (Continued)

Contact would be made with adjacent restaurants to see if they wished to mark the occasion on that evening.
It was hoped that the bells at St Mary’s Church would be rung at 11am on Saturday 9 May.
Contact would also be made with the schools to see if they had planned anything to commemorate the event.
It was also agreed that contact would be made with local organisations to encourage them to mark the event. If an organisation was willing to organise an event that was open to the whole community the Council would make a small contribution towards that event from a fund of £1000. This was delegated to the Clerk to action.

RESOLVED –
(i) The Council agree to the proposals outlined above.
(ii) The Council agree that a fund of £1000 be made available for grants to organisations who were willing to organise a community event to commemorate the anniversary of VE/VJ Day.

226. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting of the Highways Working Party held on 13 March 2015
had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendation be approved:

(i) Proposal to seek an assessment of the current VAS with a view to repair and re-deployment in order that the SIDS can be made permanent

Approve the proposal to install four permanent SID signs, one at Cheviot View (Southbound), Cheviot View (Northbound), Ladywell Way and North Road.
Also agree that the older VAS signs be removed for assessment, repair and re-deployment in the 6 remaining areas the costs to be met from within the budget heading allocated for maintenance and movement of the VAS signs.

The Chairman of the Working Party wished to record her thanks for the hard work and effort of the Deputy Clerk who serviced this meeting.

227. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting of the Environment Working Party held on 16 March 2015 had been circulated.
RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendations be approved:
(i) Picnic tables
Approve the proposal to install a metal plate on each of the three picnic benches in the Park subject to further investigations regarding the suitability of these plates on plastic. Information would be provided on costs before proceeding.

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227. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY (Continued)
(ii) Budget preparation for Environment Working Party
Approve the proposal to have a three year rolling programme for this Working Party as set out within the report circulated.

(iii) Merton Way – rock for planter
Approve the proposal to move the rock from Fox Covert Lane to Merton Way at an approximate cost of £300 unless this could be achieved by other means.
(iv) Rock marker for U3A tree
Approve the request to place a stone marker and plaque next to the memorial tree.

228. CEMETERY COMMITTEE

Minutes of a meeting of the Cemetery Committee held on 30 March 2015
had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The minutes be approved.

229. INFORMATION FROM NCC RE CORE STRATEGY

A report by the Mayor had been circulated to the Council.

At the last meeting the Council had agreed to write to NCC with some additional questions regarding housing numbers, possible review of numbers and green belt deletions in the light of the Inspector’s examination of the Durham figures and various other matters.

However, the Mayor and the Clerk had recently had a meeting with the NCC
Head of Planning and a Locality Officer and the various questions had been
raised at the meeting. A report summarising the responses received had
been circulated.

After some discussion it was agreed that any further action on this matter
should be considered at a later date pending receipt of additional information that may be forthcoming.

RESOLVED – The above course of action be agreed.

230. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

Councillor Dodd reported that one or two complaints had been received regarding the recent changes to the car park at the back of Merton Way. This would be discussed at the next meeting of the Highways Working Party and Councillor Dodd would also be visiting all of the businesses in that area.

Councillor Dodd also referred to the recent changes to the Planning system that had been agreed

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231. MAYOR’S REPORT

(i) Mayor’s Diary – March 2015
The Mayor had submitted details of his diary engagements for March 2015.

(ii) Community Action Northumberland
Councillors were informed that the Community Action Northumberland (CAN) Spring conference would be held on Tuesday 28 April starting at 2.00 p.m. Councillors were asked to inform the Clerk if they wished to attend.

232. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

(i) Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
The minutes of a meeting of the above held on 26 March were not yet available and would be submitted to the May meeting.

(ii) Ageing Well Meeting
Councillor Mrs Greenwell submitted a report relating to a meeting of the above held on 23 March 2015.
The Step into Spring event would be held on Saturday 9 May at 9.30 a.m. at St Mary’s Church hall and free refreshments would be available.
The report also mentioned the new website which had been set up by a High School pupil which had been very well received. This could be viewed at www.pontelandageingwell.org.uk. She also reported that there were another 9 towns and villages holding their own Step Into Spring events based on the Ponteland model.

233. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET UPDATE

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £26,286.34 and the transfer of this sum from the Council’s Deposit Account. The Bank reconciliation for March 2015 and a monthly income and expenditure review report showing amounts received and expended against each main budget heading was also approved.

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CHAIRMAN

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DATE

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 13th MAY 2015 AT 6.45 P.M. AT THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES