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Kirknewton Parish Council :  details

Posted by Pat Edwards.

Kirknewton Parish Council


Minutes of a meeting held on Tuesday, 17th March 2015, at the Village Hall



Present: Cllrs. Edward Brown (Chairman), Helen and Andy Blowers, John Lloyd,

Kaye Aisthorpe, parishioner, Pat Edwards;   clerk, Angela Hallam-Baker. 

Police Officers Mark Lynn and Dan Perry attended for the Police Report.



1.  Apologies for absence were received from Cllr. Steve Marriott, County Cllr. Anthony Murray, and Inspector Davy Garrick.


2.  Police Report:

The Police Officers said they had no crimes to report in the area since 1st January 2015, although a number of motorists had been caught speeding on the A697.   The number of unmarked police cameras would be increased on this fast road.   Flashing speed signs in Milfield and Wooler were helping to slow down the traffic.


3.  The minutes of the meeting held on 17th February 2015 were agreed and signed.


.  Matters arising from the minutes:

  • Potholes – Cllr. Aisthorpe reported that the potholes on the U1118 Hethpool had been filled.
  • Replacement of overhead electricity supply with underground cables – a reply from Northern Powergrid to the clerk’s email stated that the notices had been posted to try to ascertain the ownership of the land affected.   The scheme was to proceed, but only partially, with the LV lines being placed underground from the transformer near Catkin Cottage to pole 4 just beyond the Village Hall, and from the Hall to the BT call box.   However, the poles will remain until BT has finished putting their lines underground, so telephone services will not be affected by the electricity works.

Northern Powergrid agreed to inform the Parish Council when the work is due to start.

  • Village Hall works – the wall between the two small rooms had been taken down, and the new chairs purchased.   It had been agreed that most of the old chairs would be sold to the CVNN Hunt. 

  • Village Hall meetings – Cllr. Lloyd was asked to request the Hall Committee to email the minutes of the meetings to Pat Edwards so he could post them on the website.   The PC considered that it should have its own page on the website;  Pat Edwards said this is the case, but it has not yet come up.   He agreed to speak to Alysoun Sharp about this.   In the meantime, the Chairman would enquire about a link to the GGT website.

  • Rural bus services – the clerk had written to Kirksten Francis pointing out the importance of bus services in rural areas, particularly the Kirknewton to Wooler Wednesday route.   It was stressed that the need for this service fulfilled all the qualifications.

The clerk was asked to write to Cllr. Murray to ask him when decisions regarding the services are to be made.


5.  Financial Report:

The only transaction since the last meeting was the clerk’s half year fee of £80.00 plus out of pocket expenses for mileage, postage and stationery of £51.79, leaving a bank balance of £587.00.


6.  Kirknewton Water Supply:

The Chairman reported that the electricity to the pump had gone off.   He had therefore had the pump serviced and the filter material had been changed and two new pressure gauges fitted.   The cost of this was just under £1,000, and it was agreed that this sum should be transferred to the PC so that they could pay the bill and reclaim the VAT, which would then be repaid to the Kirknewton Water Society.

A red light had been attached to the outside of the hut housing the pump which would come on if there was no power getting through.   This work had been executed by Messrs. James Stewart & Sons of Kelso, and the account was to come.


7.  Review of the Planning Service:

It was reported that over 100 town and parish councils had strongly objected to the proposed alterations to the planning service.   Consequently, it was requested that a representative from each of these should attend the full Northumberland County Council meeting on Wednesday, 1st April, at County Hall, at 3.00pm, when the matter was to be discussed.   The Chairman agreed to go to this, and the clerk would write to Cllr. Murray stating KPC’s objections to the alterations.


8.  County Councillor’s Report:

Education - Cllr. Murray is unable to attend the PC meeting today since he will be at a Conservative Group meeting to discuss, amongst other things, the education system in Glendale.   He reported that Glendale wished to retain the three-tier system and run the two schools in Wooler on the Glendale Middle School site after September.   He will urge support for Glendale at the meeting. 

Proposed move of County Hall to Ashington – Cllr. Murray reported that this is almost decided, but there are still ways that this can be opposed.


9.  Any other business:

  • Grass cutting in churchyard – a letter had been received from the PCC asking for a contribution towards the grass cutting in St. Gregory’s Churchyard.   This is apparently done 9 times a year at a cost of £100 per cut.   It was noted that a similar letter had been sent to Milfield PC.

The cost appeared to be excessive, and it was agreed that in order for the PC to make a contribution to what is considered to be a PCC expense, the precept would have to be raised, and to do this, a public meeting of parishioners would need to be held.   They would have to be asked whether they consider the church to be a material village asset, since the majority of the residents do not attend church services or use the churchyard for burials.

It was pointed out that there are only two civil parishes in the Ecclesiastical Parish which pay towards the precept, these being Kirknewton and Milfield – and they would therefore have to pay more to cover the unparished communities.

It was agreed that the clerk would draft a letter to the PCC, and perhaps suggest they obtain another quote for the grass cutting.   It would also be useful to find out what other churches are paying to have their churchyards cut.

  • Gullies in Post Office Lane – the clerk was asked to report again to Highways that these need cleaning out to prevent flooding.


10. Date of next meeting:   Tuesday, 21st April 2015, at 2.00pm












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