Town Council Meeting 9th March 2016 – Minutes

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES, PONTELAND ON 9 MARCH 2016
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 G Ramsay, A Shanley and Mrs E Thompson.

206. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
An apology for absence was received from Councillor A Varley.

207. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
A declaration of interest was submitted by Councillor Mrs C Greenwell in respect of item 224, section 8.

208. MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 10 FEBRUARY 2016

The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 10 February 2016 were confirmed and signed by the Mayor.

209. MATTERS ARISING

There were no matters arising.

210. PLANNING

(i) Planning Committee
Minutes of meetings held on 9 and 23 February 2016 were circulated for information.

(ii) Report on recent planning applications

The Chairman of the Planning Committee informed members that she had recently attended the NCC Planning Committee to speak in relation to 9 Bell Villas along with other residents. She reported that the Committee had approved the application by 5 votes to 4 despite the amount of public opposition.

211. GRANTS

(i) Friends of Ponteland Park
A grant application had been received from the Friends of Ponteland Park.
Councillors were informed that a sum of £1000 had been included in the budget for
this purpose.

RESOLVED – A grant of £1000 be approved.

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CHAIRMAN DATE

211. GRANTS (Continued)

(ii) Darras Hall Estate Committee
The Council considered the annual grant application from Darras Hall Estate Committee in respect of maintenance of the bridlepath. The sum of £600 had been included in the budget for this purpose.

RESOLVED – A grant of £600 be approved.

(iii) Ponteland Youth Service
A letter had been received from the Youth Service requesting their annual grant towards the cost of providing youth services within Ponteland in 2016-17.

It was suggested that additional information regarding progress updates was required and it was agreed that the Youth Services Manager would be asked to provide these on a quarterly basis to the Council as well as attend one meeting during the course of the year.

RESOLVED – A grant of £5,500 be approved with the proviso that updates as set out above be approved and that the Youth Services Manager attends at least one meeting during the course of the year.

212. PROJECTS REPORT

The Clerk submitted a report that included an alternative method of reporting on progress of projects to date. The first document listed all of the current 26 projects and the various stages of progress for each one.
The second paper was the projects plan and was more detailed and would be used as a tool to manage the various tasks involved with each project.
Councillors liked the new format and it was agreed that this would be presented each month.

RESOLVED – The report be accepted.

213. FINANCIAL REGULATIONS

Members were reminded that they agreed amendments to Standing Orders last month and deferred consideration of Financial Regulations to this meeting. A new model document had been received from the National Association of Local Councils (NALC).

It was reported that the new Regulations had been completely re-drafted by NALC. In view of the number of changes involved it was suggested that the Review Group established to review both documents should meet once more to go through the model Regulations in detail and then submit suggestions for the new Financial Regulations to the April Town Council Meeting.

It would also be necessary to make a change to Standing Order 30 that related to contracts.

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CHAIRMAN DATE

213.FINANCIAL REGULATIONS (Continued)

RESOLVED –
(i) It was agreed that the Review Group meet once more to consider the adaptation of the new model Regulations to Ponteland Town Council
practices.

(ii) Agree that consideration of the revised Financial Regulations be considered at the April meeting.

(iii) Note that the existing Financial Regulations will continue to be operational
pending approval of the new model document.

214. THE NORTH EAST COMBINED AUTHORITY (NECA) –
REVIEW OF 20 YEAR TRANSPORT MANIFESTO

Information had been previously circulated to all Councillors regarding consultation on the above-mentioned document that finished on 8 April 2016.

A copy of the consultation document had been downloaded and was available for perusal in the office.
The document covered the future vision for all modes of transport in the region including walking, cycling, public transport, air travel, roads and ports and how these would be improved in order to provide a cohesive transport strategy covering all 7 Member authorities for the next 20 years.

RESOLVED – The Council agreed to submit a response to the Transport Manifesto by the deadline date of 8 April 2016. The Highways Working Party would examine this at their meeting to be held on 11 March.

215. QUEEN’S 90TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
A report by Councillor Ramsay had been circulated for the consideration by the Council.
The report outlined the various events and ideas that had been suggested by organisations and businesses in Ponteland to commemorate the Queen’s 90th birthday.

The Council was reminded that it had been agreed to light the Beacon on Thursday 21 April, the actual birthday date. A further suggestion was made to have fireworks after the Beacon lighting. The fireworks would be set off at the back of Rialtos and it was noted that permission of the owner would be required. The display would cost approximately £800. Councillors agreed to this suggestion and asked if nearby businesses could be asked to contribute.

It had also been agreed to take part in a service at St Mary’s on 22 May with a tea afterwards at St Mary’s Hall. Councillors were asked to consider whether they wished to have a pipe band and parade to mark the occasion and whether they would wish to use the Memorial Hall for the tea.

into providing music from a band outside for a period of time. ………………………………………………………………………………………..
CHAIRMAN DATE
215. QUEEN’S 90TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS (Continued)
The Council decided that they would prefer to use St Mary’s Church Hall as originally agreed and instead of a parade and pipe band it was agreed to look
into providing music from a band outside for a period of time.
Councillor Mrs Johnson asked about the possibility of holding a treasure hunt for the children and she agreed to organise this with Councillor Mrs Caisley.

RESOLVED –
(i) The suggestion relating to fireworks on the 21 April be approved
subject to obtaining the approval from Rialto to use the land at
the back of the premises to set off the fireworks.
(ii) It was agreed that the possibility of having a suitable band perform
for a period of time on 22 May be investigated.

216. PONTELAND LIBRARY

Councillors were informed that there had been little progress since the last meeting although discussions were still ongoing with officers at NCC and their preferred developer, Arch with a view to building a community hub on the current site alongside a suitable housing development.
The Ponteland Community Trust (PCT) was also keen to see a community hub on the current site and they had written to Arch to outline their interest in the project with a view to holding a meeting with them. The PCT hoped that EU funding could be attracted for the project.

A further meeting had also taken place with the residents group and NCC Officers.

RESOLVED – The information be received and a further report be considered at the April meeting.

217. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 12 February 2016 had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendations be approved:
(a) Purchase of speed indicator display sign
Agree to replace the broken original Vehicle Activated Sign (VAS)
from the asset replacement fund once confirmation that the Darras Hall Estate Committee would reimburse the Town Council with a yearly
contribution of £500 to cover all costs which were approximately
£3000.
(b) Request for installation of SLOW markings at housing
development at Police HQ site
The Clerk be asked to send an official request to NCC to install SLOW road markings near the entrance of the Police HQ site, in an attempt to
slow down traffic approaching the junction.

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CHAIRMAN DATE

218. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY
Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 15 February 2016 had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendations be agreed:
(a) Seat policy
(i) The seat policy as submitted be approved by the Council subject to the
amendment listed in the minutes.
(ii) Agree that the charge for the second 10 years only be applied when the seat required replacement otherwise a nominal maintenance charge be requested as outlined in the minutes.
(iii) Note the reports on how to deal with seats that were not covered by the policy would be submitted for consideration in due course.
(b) Copse thinning in Ponteland Park
Agree to award the contract to contractor A in sum of £2050 and that this sum
be met from contingencies.

219. CEMETERY COMMITTEE
Minutes of a meeting of the Cemetery Committee held on 25 February 2016 had been circulated.

Councillors were requested to approve the list of suggested fees and charges for the Cemetery for 2016-17 as circulated

RESOLVED – The minutes and the suggested fees and charges for 2016-17 be approved.

220. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

Councillor Dodd reported that the NCC Planning Committee had approved a
new road system for Ashington in the sum of £7 million. This was related to
the new County Hall development.

Councillor Dodd also reported that he continued to try and find a solution to
the parking issues at the back of Merton Way. He reported an incidence of
abuse of a disabled parking bay that he had reported to the Parking Services
Manager at NCC.

Councillor Mrs Jones reported that changes in the budget would mean that
there would be a charge for garden waste taken to the household waste
recovery unit. There would also be changes to the opening hours.

It was reported that ISOS had changed their minds about charging tenants for garden maintenance although they still have this under review.

There would be a change to the grass cutting of verges and NCC would be employing contractors to do the work.

The proposed move of County Hall to Ashington continued to be a major issue.

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CHAIRMAN DATE

221. MAYOR’S REPORT

(i) Mayor’s Diary
The Mayor had submitted details of his diary engagements for February and March 2016.

222. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

(i) Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
Minutes of a meeting held on 28 January 2016 had been circulated for information.
Concern was raised regarding the statement outlined in item 7 which suggested that two members of the PNPSG had indicated they would continue to meet with NCC.

The Mayor mentioned that he and Councillors Mrs Noble and Ramsay had attended a meeting with NCC on 7 March and that the Chair and Vice Chair of the PNPSG had also been in attendance and he hoped that this had overtaken the statement outlined in item 7.

Reassurance was sought that there would be no further meetings without PTC involvement and a request was made to have this brought up at the next meeting.
This request was agreed.

(ii) Newcastle International Airport Consultative Committee – 1.3.16
Councillor Mrs Butcher submitted a report relating to her attendance at the above-mentioned meeting.

223. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET REPORT/

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £33,019.79 and the transfer of this sum from the Council’s Deposit Account. The Bank reconciliation for February 2016 was also approved together with a budget report for the same period.

RESOLVED – The reports be approved.

IT WAS RESOLVED THAT UNDER THE PUBLIC BODIES (ADMISSION TO MEETINGS) ACT 1960 THAT THE PRESS AND PUBLIC BE EXCLUDED FOR THE FOLLOWING ITEM ON THE GROUNDS OF THE CONFIDENTIAL NATURE OF THE BUSINESS TO BE TRANSACTED.

CHAIRMAN
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DATE
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DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 13 APRIL 2016 AT 7.00 P.M. FOR THE ANNUAL TOWN MEETING FOLLOWED BY A MEETING OF THE TOWN COUNCIL AT APPROXIMATELY 8.00 P.M. TO BE HELD AT MERT