Town Council Minutes 10th June 2015

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

 

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES, PONTELAND ON 10 JUNE 2015  

 

Present:  Councillor C Rawlings (in the Chair)

 

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

 

  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

Apologies were received from Councillor P Cowey and Councillor Mrs L Noble.

 

  1. MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 13 MAY 2015

 

The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 13 May 2015 were confirmed

and signed by the Mayor.

 

  1. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

Councillor Mrs C Greenwell and R Ramsay declared a personal interest in item 30 (i).

 

  1. MATTERS ARISING

 

(i)         Minute 11(i) Letter of thanks from Community Action Northumberland (CAN)

A letter of thanks had been received from the above organisation in respect of the Council’s donation towards the cost of providing this service.

(ii)        Minute 14 – appointment of Park Contractor

It was reported that interviews had been held and Mr Derek Sherlock had been awarded the contract and would start work very soon.

(iii)       Minute 15 – Flood Resilience Planning

It was reported that a meeting would be held with the consultant on Monday 22 June at 2.00 p.m.

(iv)      Minute 16 – Litter report

It was reported that to date, three individuals had asked for litter pickers, two of whom had volunteered to do more work on a voluntary basis.

(v)       Letter of thanks from the family of Ryan Dobinson

A letter of thanks had been received from the family of Ryan Dobinson, for donations made by the Council and individuals towards his goal to represent Great Britain at the World Transplant Games to be held in Argentina in August 2015. A letter of thanks had also been received from Transplant UK.

 

  1. 29. PLANNING

 

(i) Planning Committee 

Minutes of meetings held on 5 and 19 May were circulated for information.

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

 

 

  1. 29. PLANNING(Continued)

 

(ii) Report on recent planning decisions

It was noted that Councillor Mrs Noble had attended the NCC Strategic Planning Committee to speak against another proposed development at Medburn.

It was anticipated that she would report on this at the next Town Council meeting.

 

  1. GRANTS

(i)   Ponteland Community Partnership (PCP)

A grant application had been received from the above towards improving communication methods with the community and regenerate interest and membership of this local community led group. A grant had last been awarded in 2012. Following some discussion it was suggested that an amount of £500 be awarded

 

RESOLVED – A grant of £500 be approved.

 

  1. PROJECTS REPORT

 

(ii)        Land Survey

A report to establish whether various areas of land owned by the Council had been registered with the Land Registry had recently been received from the Council’s Solicitor. The report was circulated to all Councillors; the Clerk advised that the report was complex and required further investigation and consideration by the Council at a later date.

 

RESOLVED – The report be received and this would be debated at the July meeting.

 

  1. ANNUAL AUDIT 2014-15

 

A copy of the Annual Audit return for 2014/15 had been circulated to Councillors together with the Income and Expenditure Account for the year ended 31 March 2015.

 

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.

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 2015-16.

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

  1. ANNUAL AUDIT 2014-15 (Continued)

 

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

 

  1. VEXATIOUS POLICY

 

Members were reminded that the Council considered a draft vexatious policy in October 2014 when it was agreed that it would be approved and implemented as an interim measure for a period of 6 months.

 

Some work had been carried out on a revised vexatious policy report by Councillors Cowey and Ramsay.  A draft of this document had been circulated.

Councillor Ramsay had made the point that he felt the name of the policy should be altered to “unacceptable behaviour by the public” but this was not agreed by the Council.

 

Some work had to be carried out on a complaints procedure and it was hoped that this could be submitted to the July meeting for consideration.

 

It was suggested that some reference should be included to make provision for the Clerk to request a letter being sent from the Council’s Solicitor on behalf of the Council when other measures had been tried and proved ineffective.  This was agreed.

 

RESOLVED – Agree to adopt the policy with the inclusion of the amendment outlined above.

 

  1. WISH LIST 2015-16

 

Notes of an informal meeting held on 15 May to agree the wish list for 2015-16 had been circulated.

 

Councillors were reminded that the sum of £14,983 was available within the 2015-16 budget for wish list projects.  It was noted that permission from NCC would be required in respect of certain items and if this was not forthcoming the project would be dropped and the funds transferred to contingencies.

 

RESOLVED – The following projects be agreed and progressed in 2015-16:

 

(i)         Installation of bollards on Callerton Lane                                               1000

(ii)        Speed Indicator Display Sign to be located permanently         4000

at a site to be agreed.

 

(iii)       Replacement of missing and decrepit road signs                      1000

(iv)       New notice board at Broadway                                                       650

(v)        Sensory Garden                                                                               1400

 

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

  1. WISH LIST 2015-16 (Continued)

 

(vi)       Skate Park – allowance to carry out additional works               5000

(vii)      Recording equipment for Council Meetings                               1000*

(viii)     Allowance to carry out survey of residents on various issues 1200

 

Total                           £15,250

 

* Note – A lower cost for recording equipment will be sourced reducing the total amount necessary to within the sum available.

 

  1. AMENDMENT TO REMIT OF PONTELAND NEIGHBOURHOOD

            PLAN STEERING GROUP

The Town Council had deferred the above item at the last meeting pending receipt of additional information from the PNPSG. A document from the PNPSG responding to each of the questions posed by Town Councillors had been circulated for information.

 

Assurances had been given that appropriate terms of reference would be drawn up for this group and minutes would be provided however some Members still expressed their concern at the need for this sub group whilst others felt the advice of the planning consultant engaged by the PNPSG should be accepted.  It was pointed out that the Town Council representatives on the PNPSG would also be part of this sub group and it was anticipated that the quorum would mean that a PTC member would always be present at one of the meetings.

 

RESOLVED – The Council agree in principle to the formation of the Sub Group subject to approval of appropriate terms of reference which would be submitted to the July meeting.

 

  1. FOOTPATH BETWEEN WAITROSE AND THE PARK

 

A further report on this subject had been circulated.

Councillors were reminded that a decision had been taken by the Council to close up the informal access between Waitrose and the Park.  Three letters of objection had been received.

One of the complainants had written a further letter to express her disappointment at the Council’s decision and she had offered to pay the sum of £500 towards the cost of constructing a path.  A letter of thanks had been sent to the author of the letter.

 

Various options were set out within the report.

 

RESOLVED – Agree to defer any decision on this matter for a further three months to see if any additional correspondence is received on this matter.

 

  1. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

 

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 15 May 2015 had been circulated.

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

  1. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY(contd)

 

RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendation were approved:-

 

 (i)        Paint Darras Road Bridge

Agree to proceed with bridge cleaning at a cost of £200 to be funded from contingencies.

 

  1. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY

 

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 26 May 2015 had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendations be agreed:

 

(i)         Tree replacements

Agree that the report be approved and that a sinking fund and register as outlined within the report be established.  This would be monitored at least annually.

 

(ii)        Adult Fitness Proposal

  1. a) The Council approve the proposal for an adult fitness area in principle

subject to adequate grant funding being available and details of an                        appropriate site being agreed.

  1. b) Agree that the company concerned be asked to visit the area and advise on appropriate locations.

(iii)       Correspondence – request for a bin at Prestwick Road Ends

  1. a) The Council agree the installation of a slim-line bin at this location subject to NCC agreeing to empty it
  2. b) Agree to monitor the usage to ensure it was needed in this location.

 

  1. CEMETERY COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting of the Cemetery Committee held on 1 June 2015

had been circulated. A copy of a revised schedule of fees had also been circulated.

 

RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendations be approved.

 

(i)        Agree the change to the fees and charges to state that memorial tree planting would only be allowed between October and March although sites could be booked in advance.

 

(ii)        The Committee agreed with the proposal not to provide any services at the Cemetery on weekends or bank holidays.

 

(iii)       The Committee agreed the purchase of 20 stone posts to hold in stock at a cost of £1002.15 plus VAT.

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

 

 

  1. CEMETERY COMMITTEE (Continued)

 

(iv)       The survey map be updated to include details of plots, seats and trees which could be updated when necessary.  It was noted that there would be a cost involved with this.

(v)        Approve a list of revised fees and charges which reflect decisions above.

 

  1. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

 

Councillor Dodd reported that he and his colleagues had withdrawn from the Local Development Framework (Core Strategy) Committee at NCC.

He also reported that a meeting of the NCC Cabinet was to have been held to discuss the proposed re-location of County Hall to Ashington.  This meeting had been postponed due to land issues.

 

  1. MAYOR’S REPORT

(i)         Mayor’s Diary

The Mayor had submitted details of his diary engagements for May             2015.

(ii)        PTC Bowls Match – Friday 12 June 2015.

Councillors intending to participate in the above event were asked to meet at the Ponteland Bowling Club clubhouse at 6.30pm and to wear flat shoes.

(iii)       Music in the Park

The Clerk made a further appeal for assistance at the above event to be held on Sunday 28 June.

 

  1. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

(i)         Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group – Minutes of

            Meeting held on 5 May 2015.

Minutes of the above meeting had been circulated for information.

(ii)        Newcastle Airport Consultative Committee – 2 June 2015

Councillor Mrs Butcher reported on her attendance at the above meeting.

(iii)       Richard Coates Education foundation Meeting  

Councillor Mrs Greenwell reported on her attendance at a recent meeting of the above.

 

  1. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET UPDATE/

             

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £35,705.17 and the transfer of this sum from the Council’s Deposit Account. The Bank reconciliation for May 2015 was also approved.

RESOLVED – The reports be approved.

 

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CHAIRMAN

 

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DATE

 

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 8 JULY 2015 AT 6.45 P.M. AT THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES