Town Council meeting March 12 2014 – Minutes

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES, PONTELAND ON 12 MARCH 2014

Present: Councillor C Rawlings (in the Chair)

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

213. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Mrs S Johnson and P Cowey.

214. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Councillors Shanley and Greenwell declared a personal interest in Minute 221 and Minute 233 respectively and took no part in the voting or discussion.

215. MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 12 FEBRUARY 2014

The minutes of the Council Meeting held on 12 February 2014 were confirmed and signed by the Deputy Mayor.

216. MATTERS ARISING

(i) Review of Standing Orders/Financial Regulations
Further to Minute 199 revised copies of Standing Orders and Financial Regulations had been prepared for Councillors.

(ii) Meritorious Service Award
Further to Minute 211 it was reported that Mr David Cobb had accepted the Meritorious Service Award nomination and a presentation would take place at the April Annual Town Meeting.

(iii) Community Payback Scheme
Further to Minute 210 the Clerk reported that the Scheme was inundated with work commitments at the present time therefore a meeting was to be held to organise some tasks for Ponteland in the next few weeks.

217. PLANNING

(i) Planning Committee
Minutes of meetings held on 11 and 25 February 2014 were circulated for information.

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217. PLANNING (continued)

(ii) Report on recent planning decisions
The Chairman of Planning Committee reported that the Council had been represented at the West Area Planning Committee where Councillor Mrs Noble had spoken against the Mill House application. It was further reported that a site visit had been held on Monday 10 March and this item would be referred back to the West Area Planning Committee.

Note – Councillor R Dodd took no part in any discussion or voting in respect of Minute 217 above.

218. GRANT APPLICATIONS

(i) Youth Service Grant 2014-15
Information had been received from the Ponteland Youth Service in relation to the proposed utilisation of the Council’s grant for 2014-15.

RESOLVED – A grant of £5500 be approved

219. PROJECTS REPORT
Skate Park
It was reported that the installer of the equipment was returning on 22 March to rectify the various safety issues that had been identified by ROSPA.
The seating etc that had been agreed at the last meeting had been ordered and various landscaping works were ongoing.
Path Lighting
Requests for quotes had been sent out to various companies in relation to the Park path lighting project. The question of solar lighting was also being examined.
War Memorial
The work on the War Memorial was now completed and had been well received.

RESOLVED – The information be received.

220. WISH LIST 2014-15

Councillors were reminded that they needed to return their wish list priorities as soon as possible.
An informal meeting to discuss the wish list was scheduled for Monday 31 March 2014 at 6.30 p.m.

221. MEMORIAL HALL CAR PARK RESURFACING – CONTRIBUTION

A report relating to the above issue had been circulated.
The Memorial Hall was requesting a contribution towards the cost of refurbishing the markings to their Car Park. The estimated total cost was £600.

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221. MEMORIAL HALL CAR PARK RESURFACING – CONTRIBUTION
(Continued)
The car park was also used by park users as well as Memorial Hall, Bowling and Tennis Clubs. A contribution of £200 was recommended.

RESOLVED – A contribution of £200 be approved.

222. DRAFT REVISED NORTHUMBERLAND TOWN AND PARISH COUNCIL CHARTER

A copy of the above document had been received from the County Council and had been circulated to Councillors.

Comments were required by 9 April 2014 and Councillors were requested to submit any comments to the Clerk as soon as possible to ensure a response was submitted by the deadline date.

223. NEWCASTLE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – DEPARTURE ROUTE CONSULTATION.

A copy of the above document had been received from Newcastle Airport requesting comments by 28 March 2014. The document was technical in content and the Council’s representative on the Airport Consultative Committee had discussed this with both a Commercial Pilot and a Private Pilot.
They had fully endorsed the proposal to establish more accurately defined departure routes through the use of improved navigational capabilities of modern aircraft.
The Council agreed to submit the comments by the deadline date.

RESOLVED – The suggested response be submitted to the Airport by the deadline date.

224. REQUEST FOR USE OF THE PONTELAND PARK FOR A CIRCUS EVENT

A report was circulated relating to a request received from a small family run Circus who wished to use Ponteland Park some time in August to put on four performances of the Circus over three days.
The Circus only had human acts and they required a space equivalent to the size of half a football pitch.
The company would need to reside in the Park during this period.

Whilst Councillors were not against a Circus taking place in Ponteland it was felt that the Park was not a suitable location for an event of this kind due to the possible damage to the Park, access issues and impact on nearby residents.

RESOLVED – The request be refused for the reasons outlined above but the Clerk be asked to send details of another suggested location to the company which was outside of Ponteland.
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225. FEES AND CHARGES 2014-15

Each year the Town Council must set the fees and charges for both the Allotments at Prestwick and for Prestwick Cemetery. A report relating to this issue had been circulated.

RESOLVED –
(i) The Council approve an increase of £1 to the allotment rentals which would mean the fees charged for 2014-15 would be £32, £37 and £42 respectively.

(ii) The Council agree to accept the fees and charges as set by NCC in
respect of Prestwick Cemetery from 1 April 2014 or whenever
approved by NCC.

226. ROTARY PROPOSALS FOR 50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION IN 2014.
The Town Council had approved a request from Rotary to plant a Yew tree in honour of their 50th Anniversary Celebration taking place in 2014.
A meeting had been held with the President of Rotary to view suitable sites and a photograph of the preferred site near to the Memorial Hall was included within the report.
Rotary also wanted to place a large stone with a plaque in front of the tree and had found a stone at Fox Covert Lane that would be suitable. A photograph of the stone was also circulated to Members.
The Council agreed to the suggested site for the Yew tree and also the siting of the stone either in front of the tree or on the triangular piece of land just next to the Waitrose bridge.
This was subject to agreement with the Rotary Club.

RESOLVED
(i) Agree the proposed site for the Yew tree as set out in the report.

(ii) Allow permission to place a large stone with engraved plaque, sourced from the Park in a location next to or close to the tree pending EA approval.

227. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting held on 19 February 2014 had been circulated. The Minutes were received and the following recommendation was approved.

(i) Parking Issues at Callerton Court
RESOLVED – Agree to write a letter to the school asking parents to respectfully observe the Highway Code.

228. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting held on 17 February 2014 had been circulated.
The following recommendations be approved:

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228. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY(Continued)

(i) Play Areas
RESOLVED – The Council approve the replacement of the Springer equipment in the sum of £2558 plus delivery of approximately £400. This would be funded from the Capital Asset replacement fund.

(ii) Callerton Lane Play Area base to swings and springers
RESOLVED – The Council agree to the expenditure in the sum of £5054.78 and the funding be met from contingencies.

(iii) Proposals for treatment of lower planters –Merton Way

RESOLVED: The low level planters be filled with larger red gravel on top of weed suppressing membrane and a suitable tree either Silver Birch or Cherry be placed in the middle at a cost of no more than £2500. It was agreed that the Clerk be given delegated authority in consultation with the Chairman of the Environment Working Party to proceed with the above works.

229. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

(i) Consultation re post 16 transport – comments required by 19.5.14

Councillors had been sent details of the above consultation being carried out by the County Council in relation to post 16 transport. Comments were required by 19 May and Councillors were asked to submit their views as soon as possible.

Councillor Dodd reported that he was making some progress in relation to the car parking issues at the back of Merton shopping centre and on Meadowfield Industrial Estate. A meeting would be held on site on the 18th March at 8.30 a.m. to demonstrate the scale of the problems to NCC officers.

He stated that work was due to start on the paving outside of Merton Way shops to rectify the damage caused to the pavement area by delivery vehicles.

He reported on ongoing discussions relating to the Core Strategy.

230. MAYOR’S REPORT

(i) Planning Application Statistics report.
The Deputy Mayor drew attention to a report that had been produced regarding the above and proposed that this would appear on the agenda for the next meeting.

231. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

(i) Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
Minutes of meetings held on 7 January and 4 February had been circulated for information.
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231. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS (Continued)

(ii) Newcastle International Airport Consultative Committee –
A report from Councillor Mrs Butcher regarding her attendance at the above meeting held on 4 March 2014 had been circulated.

(iii) Memorial Hall Committee
A report from Councillor Mrs Butcher regarding her attendance at the above meeting held on 13 February 2014 had been circulated.

232. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET REPORT

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £35796.31 and the transfer of this sum from the Councils Deposit Account. The Bank reconciliation for February 2014 was also approved. A monthly income and expenditure review report showing amounts received and expended against each main budget heading was accepted.

RESOLVED – The reports as presented be accepted.

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DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 9 APRIL 2014 AT 7.00 P.M. AT PONTELAND METHODIST CHURCH HALL FOR THE ANNUAL MEETING OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT ELECTORS FOLLOWED BY THE COUNCIL MEETING AT APPROXIMATELY 8.00 P.M.