Town Council Minutes 13th May 2015

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

 

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES, PONTELAND ON 13 MAY 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, Mrs L Noble,  R G Ramsay, C Rawlings, A Shanley, Mrs E Thompson and A Varley

 

  1. ELECTION OF MAYOR 2015-16

 

Nominations for the position of Mayor for 2015-16 were invited.

RESOLVED – That Councillor C Rawlings be elected Mayor for 2015-16.

 

Councillor Rawlings thanked his fellow colleagues and staff for their support during his first year in office as Mayor.

 

  1. ELECTION OF DEPUTY MAYOR 2015-16

 

Nominations for the position of Deputy Mayor for 2015-16 were invited.

RESOLVED – That Councillor Mrs J Butcher be elected Deputy Mayor for 2015-16.

 

Councillor Mrs Butcher also thanked her fellow Councillors for their support.

 

  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

An apology for lateness was received from Councillor Dodd.

 

  1. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

There were no declarations of interest.

 

  1. MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 8 APRIL 2015

 

The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 8 April 2015 were confirmed

and signed by the Mayor.

 

  1. MATTERS ARISING

 

(i) Minute 225 – VE Day Celebration

The Mayor wished to thank Councillors Robin Ramsay and Joyce Butcher for their work in relation to the above celebrations.

Councillor Mrs Butcher reported on the service that had taken place on Friday 8 May.  Thanks were due to St Mary’s Church, in particular Reverend Barham who had compiled the service.  The pupils from Richard Coates School had also been present together with their orchestra and their input was much appreciated.

Councillors agreed to give a donation of £150 to the Church in appreciation of the assistance with the organisation of the VE Day events.  The Beacon was also lit on the top of the Church on the evening of 8 May and thanks were expressed to the Council’s contractors who had carried out the lighting process.

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

  1. APPOINTMENT OF ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE

 

To approve the appointment of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and eight Councillors to the Accounts Committee for the purpose of authorising all payments made by the Council’s Deposit Account.

 

Resolved – Approve the appointment of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Councillors, Mrs C Caisley, P Cowey, R Dodd, C Greenwell, S Johnson, R G Ramsay, Mrs E Thompson and A Varley.  A new mandate would not be required.

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

 

A list of the current appointees to local organisations had been circulated.

A schedule of suggested new appointments had been circulated

 

Resolved – The list of appointments be approved and circulated to Councillors.

 

  1. TOWN COUNCIL COMMITTEES/WORKING PARTIES

 

A list of the current appointees to Town Council Committees and Working Parties had been circulated.  A schedule of new appointments to the Committees and Working Parties had been circulated.

 

Resolved – The revised list of appointments be approved and circulated to Councillors.

 

  1. PLANNING

 

(i) Planning Committee 

Minutes of meetings held on 7 and 21 April were circulated for information.

 

 (ii) Report on recent planning decisions

There was nothing to report.

 

  1. GRANTS

(i)   Community Action Northumberland

A letter had been received from the above organisation in respect of a donation towards the cost of providing this service.  A grant of £100 had been awarded in 2014-15 and it was suggested that this should be increased to £150 in appreciation of the excellent work this organisation carried out for village halls and other groups in the County.

 

RESOLVED – A grant of £150 be approved.

 

 

 

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

  1. DATES OF TOWN COUNCIL MEETINGS 2015/16

 

A list of proposed dates for Town Council Meetings for the forthcoming year had been circulated.  The schedule of pre-agenda meeting dates was also shown and if Councillors had items for the agenda they should aim to get them to the Clerk at least two or three days prior to this date.

 

RESOLVED – The dates be approved.

 

  1. PROJECTS REPORT

 

(i)         Skate Park

Councillors were informed that NCC had been due to carry out a noise assessment at the Skate Park week beginning 11 May however this had not happened and the Clerk was chasing this up with the Public Protection Unit.

An FOI request had been received in relation to the Skate Park and the information had been sent off to the individual within the deadline.

(ii)        Land Survey

Further examination to establish whether all of the land owned by the Council is registered with the Land Registry was ongoing.  Councillors were concered that this task was taking too long and the Clerk was asked to chase this up with the Council’s Solicitor in an attempt to complete this task.

 

RESOLVED – The report be accepted.

 

  1. APPOINTMENT OF PARK CONTRACTOR

 

A report relating to the above item had been circulated.

 

A sum of £15,000 had been included in the budget for 2015-16 in respect of employing a contractor to work in the Park for 2 to 3 days per week.

 

The post was recently advertised in PNV, on notice boards and on the Council’s website and the closing date for expressions of interest was Monday 27 April. Three letters of interest have been received.

 

RESOLVED –  (i)     The Council agreed to delegate the appointment of the park contractor to the Clerk who will interview applicants with Councillors Ramsay and Mrs Butcher present.

(ii)        Agree that a trial period of 4 months be written into the contract and that this be reviewed at the end of that time period.

 

  1. FLOOD RESILIENCE PLANNING

 

A copy of the notes of a meeting in relation to the above topic held at the Town Council Offices on 31 March 2015 was circulated.

 

Members were advised that the aim of flood resilience planning was to increase resilience to flooding by communities and businesses. It would involve the creation and co-ordination of a flood risk action plan.

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

 

 

  1. FLOOD RESILIENCE PLANNING (Continued)

 

Councillors were reminded that some Members of the Town Council had had two meetings with a consultant regarding flood resilience planning.  The last meeting had also been attended by an officer from the Flooding and Coastal Erosion Risk Management team from NCC.

 

The Town Council were interested in finding out more about the possibility of developing a flood resilience plan for Ponteland and it was agreed that a further meeting would be held with the consultant with a view to her working with the Town Council to develop such a plan.  It was anticipated that a Working Party would be set up to carry out this development work.

 

RESOLVED – A further meeting be held with the consultant to discuss how she could assist the Town Council to develop a Flood Resilience Plan for Ponteland with a view to establishing a Working party to work on this subject.

 

  1. LITTER REPORT

 

A report by the Mayor relating to the above item was circulated for discussion. Ponteland was fortunate to have people who carried out litter picking on a voluntary basis and it was hoped that this scheme could be extended to include more volunteers.

It was reported that the County Council was also in the process of launching a campaign to reduce litter entitled “Love Northumberland – Hate Litter”.

 

It was suggested that awareness of litter issues should be increased in schools and with other youth organisations such as scouts, guides etc as children often lobbied adults on items such as this.  Businesses in Ponteland should also be encouraged to assist with the campaign.

 

It was suggested that the Council should launch a competition for each of the five schools to produce an anti litter poster and prizes of say £25 would be awarded to the best in the schools although the detail of this would be developed further.  It was hoped that the winning poster(s) could be used as promotional material for the litter campaign in Ponteland.

 

The Council agreed with the proposals set out within the report.

 

RESOLVED –

(i)         The Council agreed to seek to increase the number of volunteer

litter pickers.

(ii)        A budget of £150 was allocated to purchase additional litter

picking sticks.

(iii)       The Council agreed to monitor and support the NCC Campaign.

(iv)       An article on this subject be included in PNV.

(v)        The Council seeks to promote awareness of litter issues in

schools and other youth organisations such as scouts etc.

(vi)       Businesses in Ponteland be encouraged to support this                                campaign.

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

  1. LITTER REPORT (Continued)

 

(vii)      The Town Council launches a competition involving each                            of the five schools to produce anti-litter posters with the best                           posters being given a prize of say £25 from the Mayor’s                                  allowance.  This required further examination of the detail.

 

  1. AMENDMENT TO REMIT OF PONTELAND NEIGHBOURHOOD

            PLAN STEERING GROUP

A report by Councillor Ramsay had been circulated.

Members were informed that the Group had been advised by their professional advisers to separate their work of lobbying on the Core Strategy from preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan.  The Sub Group would be known as the Core Strategy Consultation Group.

This would require some adjustments to the Terms of Reference and these together with membership of the group would be set out in detail in a report to the June meeting.

 

Some Councillors felt they required additional information on this issue before arriving at a decision as they did not fully appreciate the reasoning behind this proposal.

 

Councillors were asked to submit any questions they may have on this matter to the Clerk and these would be passed to the PNPSG for clarification following which the matter would be discussed again.  It was noted that the next meeting of the PNPSG was scheduled to be held on 28 May 2015.

 

RESOLVED – Consideration of this matter be deferred to the next meeting and in the meantime Councillors submit any questions they had on this issue and clarification would be sought from the PNPSG.

 

  1. DATE FOR MEETING TO DISCUSS WISH LIST 2015-16

 

It was reported that the Council needed to meet soon to discuss and decide on the wish list for 2015-16.  Various dates were proposed and these would be sent out by e mail.

 

Councillors were asked to return the form listing their preferences by 15 May.

 

  1. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

 

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 10 April 2015 had been circulated.

 

There were no recommendations however the Chairman of the Working Party informed members that the permanent speed indicator signs for the A696 and Western Way should be installed within the next two weeks.

 

RESOLVED – The minutes be approved.

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

 

  1. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY

 

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 27 April 2015 had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendations be agreed:

 

(i)         Public Toilet contract

The Council approve the acceptance of the revised quotation in the sum of £31,097 and it was noted that the internal walls were not load-bearing.

 

(ii)        Public Toilet Roof

The Council approved the following:

  1. a) Note the survey report and removal of plaster from the ceiling.
  2. b) Authorise the investigation of the internal walls – this had been

carried out see item (i) above.

  1. c) Authorise temporary repairs to the roof felt if required.
  2. d) Approve the recommendation regarding future options for

the roof and to monitor it at this time.

 

(iii)       Coates Green VE Oak and consideration of further

            work

The Council approve the further works namely, removal of another small area of hedging, turfing and re-location of the litter bin which would open up the view of the Oak from Main Street.

 

  1. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

 

Councillor Dodd reported on various changes taking place at NCC in relation to the Committee process.

The number of Scrutiny Committees would increase from 4 to 6.  The number of Area Committees would increase and the new Central Committee would cover Ponteland, Prudhoe and Morpeth.

As had previously been reported there were changes to the Planning process and the Committee structure for Planning would also be changing.  More applications would be dealt with under officer delegation.  The Planning Committee for Ponteland would be held at Morpeth.

The Town Council agreed it would need to keep a watching brief on the Planning system and how this affected their own Planning Committee in terms of frequency of meetings etc.

 

  1. MAYOR’S REPORT

(i)         Mayor’s Diary

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

(ii)        Donation to Ryan Dobinson re participation in World

            Transplant Games in August.

The Mayor  reported on an e mail that had been received from the family of Ryan Dobinson, a young man who was hoping to represent Great Britain at the World Transplant Games to be held in Argentina in August for which he was seeking donations.  Ryan had been successful in gaining medals at four UK annual games and also gold medals competing in Australia at the Federation Transplant Games in Melbourne.

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

  1. MAYOR’S REPORT (Continued)

 

The Mayor reported on the balance in his account to date and stated that he intended to give a donation of £250, which the Council endorsed.

The Council also wished Ryan every success at the games.

 

 (iii)      PTC Bowls Match

It was reported that the annual Bowls match between the Town Council and the Ponteland Bowling Club would be held on the evening of Friday 12 June and Councillors were invited to attend with their partners.

 

  1. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

(i)         Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group – Minutes of

            Meeting held on 26 March 2015.

Minutes of the above meeting had been circulated for information.

The Mayor pointed out an amendment on page, item 7, 2nd paragraph, 4th line down – the letters PTC should be amended to PCT (the Ponteland Community Trust).  Members queried why the meeting with other agencies/organisations in Ponteland had taken place.  They were informed that it was held so that the various organisations could explain their roles and determine whether there was any duplication which there did not appear to be.

 

(ii)        Ponteland Memorial Hall Committee meeting – 29 April 2015

Councillor Mrs Butcher reported on the above meeting.

 

  1. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET UPDATE/

             

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £36,775.07 and the transfer of this sum from the Council’s Deposit Account. The Bank reconciliation for April 2015 was also approved.

A report relating to year-end budget revisions and also details of the Council’s reserves had also been circulated.  The Council was asked to approve these reports and also the transfer of the sum of £14,005.92 to the Council’s general reserves.

RESOLVED – The reports be approved and the Council agreed the transfer of the sum outlined above to the Council’s general reserves.

 

 

 

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CHAIRMAN

 

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DATE

 

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 10 JUNE 2015 AT 6.45 P.M. AT THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES