Town Council Minutes July 2017

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

 

MINUTES OF A MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES, PONTELAND ON 12 JULY 2017  

 

Present:  Councillor A Varley (in the Chair)

 

Councillors S Ahmed, Mrs C Caisley, L Darwin, R Dodd, T Edwards-Clay, Mrs C Greenwell,  A Hall,  Mrs K Overbury, A Shanley, and Mrs K Woodrow

 

PUBLIC QUESTION

Mr Alex Dingwall from Peel House apartments was in attendance to request the views of the Town Council regarding the current planning application for change of use for the Verger’s Cottage from an office to a cafe.

Mr Dingwall was grateful for the opportunity to convey the depth of feeling of the residents of Peel House to the Council.

The cafe will be sited next to a grade 2 listed monument and residents believe the application should be referred to Historic England.   It is also in a conservation area and is surrounded by residents.  The first application for a cafe was lodged in May 2017 and this was for a cafe with seating inside and out .  There was a 100% objection from surrounding residents.

The latest application suggests some internal and external changes.  The food is to be served from a catering van which is just metres from the Pele tower and peoples’ homes.  This will have a major impact on the tranquillity of nearby residents.  It was suggested that a noise survey should be carried out.

The road from the Peel house is a shared access.  It is a private road with a right of way afforded to the owner of the Vergers cottage.  The prospect of a daily procession of commercial vehicles passing some 3 metres from residents is unthinkable.

If this application was agreed it would be detrimental to the quiet, clean and attractive environment enjoyed by residents of Peel house apartments and nearby residents.

 

Mr Dingwall was thanked for his views by the Mayor.  Councillor Varley stated that this application would be given careful consideration by the Town Council’s Planning Committee which was being held on Tuesday 25th July.  He reminded Mr Dingwall and other residents that the Town Council is also only a consultee in the planning process not the decision maker.  Objections must be submitted to Northumberland County Council and a copy should be provided to the Town Council.

Councillor Varley stated that only material planning considerations will be taken into account by NCC and they included overlooking, loss of privacy, parking, highways safety, noise, conservation matters, previous planning decisions and disability issues.

Considerations that will not be taken into account include negative effect on value of property, loss of view, trade competition and private property matters such as boundary disputes.

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

PUBLIC QUESTION (Continued)

 

The Mayor stated that he could not provide an answer to Mr Dingwall or residents about the Council’s response to this application as this would be decided by the Planning Committee on 25th July.  The Committee will consider and confirm their response to the application and Mr Dingwall would be informed.

Mr Dingwall was thanked for his attendance.

 

  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

 

An apology for absence was received from Councillor Mrs S Johnson.

 

  1. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

 

There were no declarations of interest.

 

  1. MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 24 MAY 2017

 

The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 14 June 2017 were confirmed

and signed by the Mayor.

 

  1. MATTERS ARISING

           

(i) 27.  Grant application – Holy Saviour Church, Milbourne

A letter of thanks had been received from the Church in respect of the grant approved last month.

 

(ii)30.  Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust (ABCT)

Further to discussions at the last meeting the Clerk had contacted the ABCT regarding clarification of costs.  The ABCT had confirmed that they met all costs.

The Clerk had also contacted the History Society as requested and they had queried whether it would be possible to also obtain a big marker for the site at Limestone Lane.

The Clerk reported that she would submit a report on this subject to the August meeting.

 

  1. PONTELAND NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN (PNP) – INDEPENDENT

            EXAMINERS REPORT

 

Mrs Alma Dunigan, Chair of the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group was in attendance to make a presentation in respect of this item.

 

 

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

 

  1. PONTELAND NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN (PNP) – INDEPENDENT

            EXAMINERS REPORT (Continued)

 

The purpose of her attendance was to provide the Council with the recommendation from the Neighbourhood Plan Group regarding the acceptance of the Independent Examiners report, a copy of which had been circulated to all Councillors.

 

She gave a brief overview of Neighbourhood Planning and how the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan had evolved. A group had been established in 2012 to complete a Neighbourhood Plan on behalf of the Town Council.  Their aim was to raise awareness and encourage community involvement in the preparation of the Plan.  She outlined the various stages that had been followed in order to get the plan to this current point.

 

She indicated that Northumberland County Council had accepted the Independent Examiners report as had the Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group.

 

She indicated the various stages that would follow on if the County Council agreed to take the Plan to Referendum.

 

Mrs Dunigan therefore recommended to the Town Council that they accept the Examiner’s report.

 

The Council took the opportunity to express their sincere thanks to Mrs Dunigan and the members of the Steering Group for their hard work and dedication in producing this Plan.

 

RESOLVED – The Town Council accepts the Examiner’s report and that the County Council be informed of this decision accordingly.

Note – Councillor Dodd took no part in the discussion or voting in respect of item 42 above.

 

  1. PLANNING

 

(i) Planning Committee 

Minutes of meetings held on 30 May and 13 June were circulated for information.

 

 (ii) Report on recent planning decisions

There was nothing to report.

 

  1. PROJECTS REPORT

 

The projects report had been circulated for the information of Councillors.

It was likely that the Clerk would present a report to the August meeting in relation to the replacement of IT equipment.  A quote had been obtained from a company who provided cloud based services which would require a monthly payment.

A report may also be presented in relation to the Town Council’s CCTV.

 

RESOLVED – The report be accepted.

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

  1. FINAL CONSULTATION RE PONTELAND COMMUNITY MIDDLE

            SCHOOL ACADEMY STATUS

 

Information had been received from the Ponteland Middle School regarding their need to re-consult on academy status.

Comments were required by 17 July.

It was suggested that the Clerk should draft a response from the Town Council endorsing the proposals of the school and that this should be circulated to Councillors before submission.

 

RESOLVED – The Clerk prepare a draft response endorsing the proposals of the school for circulation to Councillors before submission to the school by 17 July.

 

  1. HIGHWAYS WORKING PARTY

 

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 16 June 2017 had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendations be approved.

(i)         Painting of Darras Road bridge

It was agreed to have the entire bridge painted as soon as possible at a cost of £6,150 which would be funded from the existing budget of £1,700 plus £4,450 from contingencies.

 

(ii)        Parking problems in Thornhill Road area

The expenditure of £200 to produce a leaflet be agreed in principle subject to agreement from the Fire & Rescue service to distribute the leaflets if evidence of parking problems could be supplied.  It was agreed that the North ward Councillors would distribute the leaflets if the Fire and Rescue Service were unable to do so.

 

  1. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY

 

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 19 June 2017 had been circulated.

RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendation be agreed:

 

(i)   Name plates on notable trees in the Park

It was agreed to proceed with the installation of the last two plaques as specified at a cost of £70 which would be met from the existing budget.

 

  1. CEMETERY COMMITTEE

 

Minutes of a meeting of the above Committee held on 20 June had been circulated.

 

RESOLVED – The minutes be accepted.

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

 

 

  1. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

 

Councillor Mrs Veronica Jones referred to the recent decision made to withdraw the Core Strategy pending additional work being carried out in relation to the housing and employment numbers.  This work would be carried out as quickly as possible.  NCC had published a statement regarding the Core Strategy on their website.

Mrs Jones reported that a pothole fund had been established.  Day to day maintenance would continue however each Councillor would be able to select three potholes in their area which they felt required urgent repair.

She reported that the Community Chest was operational again.  Organisations could bid for grants of up to £5,000.  A sum had also been allocated for small grants for individuals.  The closing date for Community Chest applications was 29th September.

 

Councillor Dodd reported that the consultation regarding the car park modifications at the back of Merton Way was almost complete.

He reported that discussions were still ongoing in relation to the school and leisure facility and pointed out that NCC required investment in schools.

He stated that the library would not return to its original site as the plans for the site were too far advanced.  He did however state that it was hoped that some discussions would take place regarding possible future investment in Ponteland in relation to a community hub.

 

Councillor Dodd also referred to the Castle Morpeth Local Area Council meetings and urged Councillors to attend if possible.

 

  1. MAYOR’S REPORT

(i)         Mayor’s Diary

The Mayor submitted details of his diary engagements for June and July 2017.

He referred to his attendance at the induction of the new Vicar of St. Mary’s Church which had been most enjoyable.

 

(ii)        Report re meeting of NCC held on 5 July 2017

The Mayor reported on his attendance at a meeting at County Hall on 5 July when it had been agreed to withdraw the Core Strategy to re-look at housing and employment numbers.

 

  1. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

(i)         Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group

There were no minutes of the Steering Group to report at the present time.

 

 (ii)      Ageing Well Committee

Minutes of a meeting of the above Committee held on 24 April had been circulated.  Councillor Mrs Greenwell provided a brief report on the success of the Step into Spring event and the forthcoming Winter Warmer event that would be held on 19th October.

 

 

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CHAIRMAN                                                                  DATE

 

  1. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS (Continued)

 

(iii)      Richard Coates Educational Foundation

Councillor Mrs Greenwell provided a brief report in relation to a meeting of the above Foundation that she had attended.  The meeting supported the proposal to become part of a Multi Academy Trust.  It was also pointed out that it was the 300th centenary of the Richard Coates school in 2018.

 

(iv)      Ponteland Community Trust meeting

Councillors Mrs Caisley and Hall had attended a meeting of the Trust on 20 June.  A verbal report was given which outlined how and why the Trust had been formed, its membership and its purpose.

Details of work that was ongoing with the Memorial Hall were presented.

 

  1. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET UPDATE/

             

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £37,573.34 and the transfer of this sum from the Council’s Deposit Account. The Bank reconciliation for June 2017 was also approved.  A copy of the monthly budget reports was also circulated.

 

RESOLVED – The reports be approved.

 

 

 

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CHAIRMAN

 

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DATE

 

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 9 AUGUST 2017 AT 6.45 P.M. AT THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES

 

 
 

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