Town Council meeting 11 June 2014 – Minutes

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES, PONTELAND ON 11 JUNE 2014

Present: Councillor C Rawlings (in the Chair)

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

25. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor P Cowey.

26. MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 14 MAY 2014

The Minutes of the Annual Council Meeting held on 14 May 2014 were confirmed
and signed by the Mayor.

27. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

There were no Declarations of Interest.

28. MATTERS ARISING

(i) Letter of thanks from Community Action Northumberland –
Minute 11(i)
A Letter of thanks had been received from the above organisation in respect of the grant received.
(ii) Pathway lighting to Park – responsibility for watching brief –
Minute 14
It was agreed that the Environment Working Party would maintain a watching brief on this subject and produce a report in a year’s time.

29. PLANNING
(i) Planning Committee
Minutes of meetings held on 6 and 20 May had been circulated for information.
The Chairman of the Planning Committee stated that an appeal had been lodged in respect of the Birney Hill application. Information in support or against the application had to be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate by 10 July.
The Town Council had held a special Council meeting to discuss the application prior to the elections in May. A comprehensive series of objections were submitted to NCC.
The Chairman suggested that the Councillors elected in May 2013, may wish to add something to the objection. It was therefore proposed that a copy of the objection be forwarded to those Councillors and if they wished to add anything they should ensure this was available for the Planning Committee scheduled for 1 July. It was stressed that any supplementary objections had to be factually correct.
If additional items were received they would be considered by the Planning Committee who would then decide whether they should be referred to a further Special Council meeting for discussion and decision.
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CHAIRMAN DATE

29. PLANNING (Continued)

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

30. SWOT ANALYSIS GROUP

The Council was asked to agree the membership of the Group.
Several Councillors expressed an interest and it was suggested that any Councillor could attend the meeting.
RESOLVED – That attendance at the meeting be open to all Councillors. A meeting would be held in due course.

31. GRANTS
(i) Holy Saviour Church – Milbourne
A letter had been received from the above organisation in respect of a grant towards the cost of their project to provide running water and a toilet at the Church.
The cost of the project was in the region of £10,000 and the Church had raised nearly £5000. The Clerk had provided information to the Church regarding the NCC Community Chest grants although the next funding round was not until September.

RESOLVED – A grant of £500 be approved to be payable once planning permission for the project had been granted.

32. PROJECTS REPORT

A report relating to progress made on various projects had been circulated.
It was reported that in relation to the Street Information Signs, Cityscape had confirmed that they had made a number of amendments to the map and they were currently sourcing some high quality images for the small street maps at the bottom of the paper copies.

RESOLVED – The report be accepted.

33. ANNUAL AUDIT 2013-14

A copy of the Annual Audit return for 2013/14 had been circulated to Councillors together with the Income and Expenditure Account for the year ended 31 March 2014.

Councillors were asked to review Section 1 – the statement of accounts to confirm their approval of the entries in each box. The Council were also asked to approve Section 2 – the Statement of Assurance to confirm their approval of the measures in place. The Council’s Internal Auditor had carried out his audit and completed his section of the Annual Return. A copy of his report was supplied and there were no issues to draw to the attention of the Council.
It was proposed that a small number of Councillors should meet with the Internal Auditor and this would be arranged.

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CHAIRMAN DATE
33. ANNUAL AUDIT 2013-14 (Continued)
RESOLVED –

(i) Section 1 of the Annual Return be approved.

(ii) Section 2 of the Annual Return had been discussed and completed and
was approved.

(iii) The report of the Internal Auditor be approved.
(iv) The Council confirm the appointment of Mr Peter Basnett as their internal auditor for 2014-15.
(v) A meeting be arranged with the Internal Auditor as set out above.

Members wished to record their appreciation to the staff for all their efforts in preparing the Annual Return for submission to the external auditors.

34. CEMETERY COMMITTEE

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 12 May had been circulated. There were no recommendations. The Council would need to consider the resolution set out at item 7 in closed session at the end of the meeting.

RESOLVED – The minutes of the meeting be agreed.

35. EMAIL ETIQUETTE

This item had been included on the agenda at the request of Councillor Peter Cowey.
It was agreed that this would be deferred to the next full Council in view of Councillor Cowey’s absence from this meeting.

36. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 19 June had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The minutes of the meeting be agreed and the following recommendations be approved:
(i) Bird Hide
The Council agree to allow this part of the park to become a wildlife area subject to the comments of the RSPB and the Ponteland Photographic Society in relation to the removal of the bird hide.
(ii) Litter Bin at the back of Merton Way
The Council approve the installation of a litter bin at the car park at the back of Merton Way subject to NCC agreeing to empty it.

37. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 21 June 2014 had been circulated.
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CHAIRMAN DATE
37. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY(Continued)

In relation to item 3.20 the East Ward Councillors were asked to make recommendations as to where to site the speed indicator sign.
Other Councillors were asked to submit suggestions as to a suitable location for the sign to be located when it was moved from Cheviot View as part of the rotation process.

RESOLVED – The minutes of the meeting be agreed and Councillors report back to the Highways Working Party in relation to the item listed above.

38. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

Councillor Dodd reported that he was still awaiting a date for a meeting relating to the car parking situation at the back of Merton Way.
He reported on the West Area Meeting that had been held at Merton Hall on 10 June.
Information relating to proposed changes for Dobbies roundabout would be discussed at the next meeting of the West Area Committee.
He referred to the proposals relating to Post 16 transport which would have a big impact on rural areas.
It was reported that it was possible the housing numbers in the Core Strategy for Ponteland and Hexham would be reduced. Further reductions were being sought and this may result in a delay to the finalisation of the Core Strategy.

39. MAYOR’S REPORT

(i) PTC Bowls Match – Friday 13 June 2014
Councillors were reminded that the annual Bowls match between the Town Council and the Ponteland Bowling Club would be held on Friday 13 June at 6.30pm
(ii) Music in the Park – Sunday 29 June 2014
Councillors were informed that the Music in the Park event would be held on the afternoon of Sunday 29 June and they would be asked to come and assist with setting up etc.

40. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

(i) Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
Minutes of a meeting held on 20 March 1 and 24th April and 6th and 20th May had been circulated for information.

(ii) Airport Consultative Committee – 3 June 2014
Minutes of a meeting of the above Committee had been circulated.

41. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET UPDATE/

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £30216.90 and the transfer of this sum from the Council’s Deposit Account. The Bank reconciliation for May 2014 was also approved.
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CHAIRMAN DATE
41. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET UPDATE(Continued)

A monthly income and expenditure review report showing amounts received and expended against each main budget heading was accepted.

RESOLVED – The reports be accepted.

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CHAIRMAN

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DATE

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 9 JULY 2014 AT 6.45 P.M. AT TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES