Town Council Meeting 8 July 2015 – Minutes

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES, PONTELAND ON 8 JULY 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, R G Ramsay, A Shanley, Mrs E Thompson and A Varley

44. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Mrs L Noble.

45. MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 10 JUNE 2015

The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 10 June 2015 were confirmed
and signed by the Mayor.

46. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

There were no declarations of interest.

47. MATTERS ARISING

(i) Minute 33 – Vexatious Policy
The Clerk reported that it was hoped to be able to submit a complaints procedure
for consideration at the August meeting.

48. PLANNING

(i) Planning Committee
Minutes of meetings held on 2 and 16 June were circulated for information.

In relation to the minutes of 16 June, Councillor Dodd reported on changes to the planning process for wind turbines.

Councillors were reminded that the decision relating to Birney Hill was expected.

(ii) Report on recent planning decisions
It was hoped that Councillor Mrs Noble could report on her recent attendance at the NCC Strategic Planning Committee at the August meeting.

49. GRANTS
(i) Holy Saviour Church Milbourne
A grant application had been received from the above Church for their annual grant of £300 towards the cost of churchyard maintenance. This sum had been included within the budget for 2015-16.

RESOLVED – The grant be approved

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CHAIRMAN DATE

50. PROJECTS REPORT

A report relating to the above had been circulated.

There was still no date set for the noise assessment at the Skate Park.

It was reported that work was progressing well on the refurbishment of the public toilets.

RESOLVED – The report be accepted.

51. LAND SURVEY REPORT

A report relating to the survey of land being carried out by the Town Council’s Solicitor had been circulated together with a copy of the Solicitor’s letter.

There were a number of issues regarding PTC land ownership that required further discussion and action with the Solicitor and these were set out within the report and the letter.

Some of these issues required further investigation whilst others related to the registration of land by the Solicitor.

In relation to the play area at Twizell Place, the Clerk had made contact with ISOS who were prepared to look at granting a further lease for the land but it was unlikely that they would transfer the freehold.

The cost of the work to date totalled £2500 which was in excess of the carried forward budget figure and the additional sum would need to be transferred from contingencies.

If the Council agreed to the additional work as outlined within the report then there would be further costs involved and it was suggested that the Solicitor should be asked to provide an estimate.

Councillors agreed that it was important to ensure that the PTC land interests were registered and they were pleased with the progress that had been made with this project.

Various options were presented for consideration.

RESOLVED – The Council noted the information received and authorised the additional work to be carried out by the Clerk and the Council’s Solicitor to ensure that PTC land interests were registered. It was noted that additional costs would be incurred and an estimate was to be requested. It was also noted that the additional monies required would be met from contingencies.

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CHAIRMAN DATE
52. FLOOD RESILIENCE PLANNING

A report of a meeting held on 22 June with a flood resilience consultant, Lynne Dunleavy had been circulated.

The meeting had discussed what was required to compile a flood resilience plan and the steps that should be followed. Those present had agreed that the way forward was for the Council to have a further meeting so that Councillors could examine the plans of other areas in more detail and then start to fill in the relevant templates under the guidance of the consultant. The Clerk reported that the templates had been received.

RESOLVED – The Council agree with the recommendation of the meeting held on 22 June and a further meeting would be held to progress this matter in the near future.

53. PONTELAND NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN STEERING GROUP

Councillors were reminded that the formation of the above sub group had been agreed in principle at the June meeting subject to appropriate terms of reference being formulated.
The Town Council discussed the draft terms of reference in respect of the sub group that would be entitled the ‘Ponteland Core Strategy Consultation Group’. This group would comprise of five representatives from the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group and would include the three town council representatives on that Group.

It was suggested that the points of concern raised by various members at the last meeting had been addressed and it was recommended that the terms of reference be approved.

A comment was made that it was hoped that notes would be taken of both formal and informal meetings and that these would be circulated to the Town Council. It was envisaged that all meetings would be formally called.
The first meeting was scheduled to be held on Friday 17 July.

RESOLVED – The terms of reference be approved by the Town Council.

54. REVIEW OF POLLING DISTRICTS AND POLLING PLACES 2015

The County Council were carrying out a consultation regarding Polling Districts and Polling Places within the county which had to be completed every four years.

Residents/electors were initially being asked for their views on current arrangements which would be considered by the Acting Returning Officer who would then publish his observations. Comments were required by 28 July.

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CHAIRMAN DATE

54. REVIEW OF POLLING DISTRICTS AND POLLING PLACES 2015
(Continued)

The Council agreed to submit comments which included requesting the use of the Memorial Hall as a Polling Station rather than the Leisure Centre and also the use of St Mary’s Church Hall for the East ward as well as the North. The use of Dalton Village Hall for the West ward/division would also be suggested.

RESOLVED – That a response based on the comments outlined above be submitted to the County Council by the deadline date.

55. CIVIC SOCIETY STREET CLUTTER REPORT

The Civic Society had re-submitted their report on street clutter to the Council earlier this year. The Council had considered the report in March 2015 and had agreed to refer it to both the Highways and Environment Working Parties.

Both Working Parties had now considered the report and a draft response detailing the decisions of the Council and the working parties had been prepared and was circulated for the approval of the Town Council.

It was suggested that on page 2 of the letter that reference should be made to the annual article placed in PNV relating to cutting of hedges by residents. This should be included at the end of the paragraph relating to Figure 25.

RESOLVED – The draft response be agreed with the slight amendment outlined above..

56. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 12 June 2015 had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendation be agreed:
(i) Rotation of Safewatch signs
That the sign recently agreed as part of the wish list deliberations be installed on Callerton Lane at a location to be agreed by the County Council.

57. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY
Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 22 June 2015 had been circulated.
RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendations be agreed:
(i) Guardians Court Play area
(a) That the Clerk write a further letter to Miller Homes and send it to the Chief Executive if necessary.
(b) Agree to carry out some maintenance to the metal railings surrounding the play area.
(c) Examine the play equipment to determine whether it required replacement and if this was found to be the case, replace with
like for like pieces.
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CHAIRMAN DATE

58. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

Councillor Dodd referred to an article that had appeared in the local press setting out reasons why County Hall should not be re-located to Ashington.
Councillor Dodd also reported that he had submitted a motion to Council regarding airport parking charges and the associated problems of parking outside of the airport until it was time to pick up relatives etc. Unfortunately that had been voted against.
He also referred to a recent incident in the Park regarding an altercation between a group of youths. The Police had been called and this had been raised at the LMAPS meeting.

59. MAYOR’S REPORT
(i) Mayor’s Diary
The Mayor had submitted details of his diary engagements for June 2015.

(ii) Review of Music in the Park event – 28.6.15
The Mayor referred to the above event that had been held on Sunday 28 June. It had been well attended and well received by the audience. He expressed thanks to all those who had helped with the organisation of the event and the setting up and dismantling on the day itself.

(iii) Judging competition at Ponteland High School 9/10 July
Councillors were asked to take part in the above events if possible.

60. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

(i) Arriva Briefing Session
Mr David Gambles had produced a report relating to his attendance at an Arriva Briefing sessions held at County Hall on 6 July. He had attended as a member of the Council’s Bus Users Group. The purpose of the meeting was to explain the proposed changes to Arriva services in the County that would take effect from 6 September 2015. The one item that related to Ponteland was the withdrawal of the 100 service between Morpeth, Kirkley Hall, Ponteland, Newcastle Airport and Cramlington. This service had been provided for students of Kirkley Hall although the public had been able to use the bus also. This was no longer the case and the 100 service ceased to operate on 3 July.

61. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET UPDATE/

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £42,423.83 and the transfer of this sum from the Council’s Deposit Account. The Bank reconciliation for June 2015 was also approved together with a budget report for the same period.

RESOLVED – The reports be approved.

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CHAIRMAN

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DATE

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 12 AUGUST 2015 AT 6.45 P.M. AT THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES