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Kirknewton Parish Council
Minutes of a meeting held on Tuesday, 20th October 2015,at the Village Hall at 2.00pm
Present: Cllrs. Edward Brown (Chairman), Steve Marriott, Helen and Andy Blowers,
John Lloyd, Kay Aisthorpe, Clerk Angela Hallam-Baker, and 3 Parishioners.
1. Apologies for absence were received from County Cllr. Anthony Murray (who had 2 other meetings to attend) and PC Mark Lynn (on leave).
2. Police Report:
PC Lynn was unable to attend the meeting, but had reported no crimes in the Parish over the past four weeks.
3. The minutes of the meeting held on 15th September 2015 were agreed and signed.
4. Matters arising from the minutes:
Broadband – as previously reported, Kirknewton is too far away from the cabinet at Milfield to make any difference to the speed of reception. However, Cllr. Marriott said that he had heard that the internet can be connected via a mobile phone app on 02 and Vodaphone Iphone6.
Roadworks – the problem with drainage and potholes on the U1118 road had been reported again to Highways Dept., as a result of which workmen had met Cllr. Aisthorpe on site and filled some of the broken surface, but did not complete the job. Highways officer, Neil Hodgson, had told Cllr. Aisthorpe that he would email the clerk informing her that Northumbria Drainage Company would need to make alterations, but they could not do this until the end of October when the logging trucks had completed their work in the College Valley. The clerk would chase up the email. The road will have to be closed while the work is done, but a bailey bridge would be erected in case of emergencies. It was noted that the pipe under the road would empty on to Derek Whitton’s land.
Japanese knotweed: the clerk had reported this to NCC, but so far nothing had been done about it. She would contact them again and copy this to Geoffrey Tate whose land the hedge bordered.
5. Westnewton Bridge Works:
Cllrs. Helen Blowers and Edward Brown had attended a meeting at County Hall to discuss the reasons for the delay in starting the necessary works to strengthen the foundations of Westnewton Bridge.
The meeting had been set up by Cllr. Murray who had invited Berwick MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, to attend. David Laux (NCC) stated that a great deal of effort had gone into preparing and submitting the plans for the river works in order to meet the stringent requirements of the Environment Agency and Natural England. These two agencies had submitted last-minute objections after the cut-off date, and the plans were subsequently withdrawn. Highways had commented that the EA had “at the last minute moved the goalposts”. It was noted that no representative from either agency attended the meeting, and it was said that one of their reasons for objecting to the plans is the maintenance of water after the work has been done.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan said she would “go to the top” in an effort to move things along, and Cllrs. Brown and Blowers had requested that the Parish Council be kept in the loop regarding the progress, and that the plans be submitted in plenty of time before the next “window of opportunity” arrives for the work to be done.
The County Council representatives seemed confident that the work will be carried out next summer.
6. Financial Report:
The Chairman stated that the audited accounts had been made available to parishioners for the statutory length of time. A note from the auditors stated that there were no matters which came to their attention which required further investigation.
The accounts were again presented to and agreed by the Parish Council. There was no charge for the audit.
Transactions since the last meeting:
Receipts:Precept 2 - £350.00; Kirknewton Water Society - £2,102.18.
Payments:Dales Water - £2.030.18; electricity - £72.00; Clerk’s half-year fee - £80.00;
Clerk’s half-year expenses (travel to meetings, stationery, postage) - £74.99.
Note:the water bills are paid by the Parish Council in order to reclaim the VAT.This expense is then re-imbursed by the Water Society.
7. Planning Application 15NP0078 – Construction of new farmhouse, walled garden and plant room/garden building. Demolition of existing cottages and conversion of threshing barn to form 2 holiday/tourism units with parking and farm office, at Thompsons Walls:
Plans which changed the order of the work had been re-submitted to allow construction of the new farmhouse to be undertaken before the other work. The Parish Council submitted no objections.
It was noted that the request for the “byway open to all traffic” beyond the farm (a continuation of U1017) to be demoted to “bridleway” had been refused, as this road is used by drivers to access the footpath.
It was mentioned that the U1017 road was apparently being used by cars racing up and down causing danger to grazing animals. This had not been verified, but the clerk would mention it to the Police.
8. Kirknewton Water Supply:
The Chairman reported that of the 13 properties taking water from the bore hole, NCC had carried out a random check on only one of these (Cleworths) and it failed the test. It was found, following excavation, that a valve from the old spring to the holding tank had been opened by a person or persons unknown, which allowed contamination to occur. A new valve has been fitted and 2 sterilisation tablets are to be put in every two days. NCC want to come again and check the water quality, but it was agreed they should wait a couple of weeks or so. It was agreed that they should be advised to check other tanks.
9. Wooler PC Neighbourhood Area Application:
A letter had been received from NCC informing them that Wooler PC had applied for the designation of a Neighbourhood Area for the purposes of neighbourhood planning activity in the parish. Comments need to be submitted before 20th November 2015.
As reported several times to the Planning Office, Kirknewton has no facilities for additional housing, and these points would again be made.
10. County Councillor’s Report:
None, due to Cllr. Murray’s absence at other meetings.
11. Road closure – A697 Bendor Corner to Wooler from 13th October for 2 weeks maximum:
This is due to re-surfacing which has been moved from the original date in July to October. The road is open at the weekend and from 6.00pm to 8.00am every day.
12. Any other business:
Parish and Town Council meetings – the Chairman agreed to attend the local meeting on Monday, 16th November, at the Cheviot Centre, Wooler.
CAN Annual General Meeting to be held on Tuesday, 3rd November, at Whalton Village Hall, Morpeth.
Northumberland Local Plan Core Strategy – the consultation documents were made available for study, and comments invited. As mentioned above in Item 9, there are no facilities for additional housing in Kirknewton.
13. Date of next meeting: Tuesday, 17th November 2015 at 2.00pm.