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Kirknewton Parish Council
Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday, 15th September 2015, at the Village Hall at 2.00pm
Present: Cllrs. Edward Brown (Chairman), Helen and Andy Blowers, John Lloyd,
Kay Aisthorpe, PC Dan Perry, Clerk Angela Hallam-Baker and 5 parishioners.
1. Apologies for absence were received from Cllr. Steve Marriott, County Cllr. Anthony Murray, and PC Mark Lynn.
2. Police Report:
PC Perry reported no crime in the Kirknewton parish, although thefts from farms had occurred in surrounding areas. Persons have been arrested in connection with these and other crimes.
PC Perry was questioned about poaching reported at an earlier meeting. He said this is being monitored by PC Mark Lynn, who is the Police Wildlife Officer, and none had been reported recently.
The public were urged to report any suspicious vehicles, noting registration numbers. The number to ring is 101 asking for Wooler Policing Team. If a crime is observed being committed, 999 should be called.
PC Perry was thanked for this attendance, and then left the meeting.
3. The minutes of the meeting held on 18th August 2015 were agreed and signed.
4. Matters arising from the minutes:
Westnewton Bridge Works – a meeting has been arranged for Friday, 18th September, at County Hall, for PC members to discuss this matter with Berwick MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan. Cllrs. Edward Brown and Helen Blowers will attend.
A letter had been received from Jean Davidson, Westnewton Estate Manager, enclosing photos of the site of the weir removal. It is pointed out that the removal of the weir has directed the river flow towards the pier of the footbridge which is now extremely vulnerable to scour. Ms. Davidson had met with representatives of the Tweed Forum and the Environment Agency, and was assured that this would be addressed and protection put in place to protect the pier.
Ms. Davidson also mentioned the amount of contamination in the river which the removal of the weir has produced, and asked that the PC contact Robert Cussen of Natural England and Tracy Hall of Tweed Forum. However, since the work is ongoing, it was agreed that, before doing this, the clerk should contact Ms. Davidson to find out what steps had been taken to remedy these issues.
It was pointed out by the PC that the work on the weir was now being carried out, whereas the work to Westnewton Bridge was still being delayed.
It was hoped the whole matter of the river and bridge works will be sorted out at the 18th September meeting, and that the new amended planning application will be submitted in good time for the work to begin in May 2016, and that any objections by the agencies would be forthcoming before the cut-off date.
Kirknewton Village Hall – a letter had been received from the Chairman, Colin Martin, in reply to the clerk’s letter in which she informed him that Cllr. John Lloyd would no longer be representing the PC on the VHT committee. This, he said, had been noted, but that the Trust would endeavour to keep the PC up to date with relevant information regarding refurbishment plans and future hall events.
It was noted that the PC is still the Custodian Trustee of the Village Hall, and it was agreed that it should tender its resignation from the Trust at the AGM to be held in November. This should be communicated to the VHT in advance of the meeting to enable it to appoint a replacement.
5. Financial Report:
The current bank balance stands at £966.45.
6. Broadband and Mobile Phone Reception:
A reply from John Cooper (NCC Digital Engagement Manager) stated that there are no plans to provide fibre to Kirknewton, but the County Council is working with BT to try to get 95% coverage of the county, and it is possible that Kirknewton could be included.
He also states that the cabinet at Milfield has been upgraded, but due to the distance, this will make no difference to the speeds residents in Kirknewton can receive.
It was suggested by the PC that as a solution, a satellite dish could be placed on the church tower, but since this is a Grade 2 listed building, and it is in the National Park, there could be problems obtaining planning permission.
Applications 15NP0051 and 15NP0053 for work at Thompsons Walls have been withdrawn.
8. Charges for disposal of builders’ and DIY waste:
A leaflet had been issued by NCC imposing charges from 14th September on disposal of builders’ rubble and household DIY waste. Copies had been deposited in the Village Hall for information. It was agreed that these charges would lead to indiscriminate fly-tipping, and there had been no consultation with the parishes or the NFU before this ruling had been made. The clerk was asked to write to NCC pointing this out.
9. County Councillor’s Report – none, due to Cllr. Murray having been called to attend another meeting.
10. Any other business:
Local Transport Plan 2016/17 – the following requests had been submitted:
Priority 1 - safety concerns on double bends on B6351. Traffic approaching from Wooler is travelling too fast, obviously looking ahead to the unadopted road in front of them, but are then confronted with a right-angled bend on the main road. The mirror on the corner has made the road safer for traffic approaching Wooler.
Priority 2 - U1118 road from Westnewton to Hethpool – potholes have been filled and re-filled; drainage has been carried out in the wrong place so that water draining off the fields keeps opening up the potholes. Request the drainage be attended to and the road re-surfaced.
(The clerk will put in a request immediately for an NCC representative to meet Cllr. Aisthorpe on site so she can point out the areas of the road requiring pothole repairs and drainage.)
Priority 3 - Resurfacing U1023 from Village Hall to Kirknewton House. Please note that the gravel from the car park adjacent to this road washes on to the road and will inevitably find its way down the drains.
Japanese knotweed – it has already been reported to NCC that this is growing in the hedge and on the grass verge on the U1019 road at Yeavering. The clerk would chase this up.
The World’s Biggest Coffee Morning - the PC had been asked to publicise this, to be held in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care on Friday, 25th September, from 10.30 – 12.30 in the Village Hall.
11. Date of next meeting: Tuesday, 20th October 2015, at 2.00pm in the Village Hall.