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Kirknewton Parish Council :  details

Minutes of a meeting held on Tuesday, 17th November 2015, at 2.00pm in the Village Hall
Present: Cllrs. Edward Brown (Chairman), Steve Marriott, Helen and Andy Blowers,
John Lloyd, Kay Aisthorpe, County Cllr.  Anthony Murray,  Clerk Angela Hallam-Baker, and four parishioners (Jean and Moira Taylor, Jean Davidson, Peter Brewis).
1.  Apologies for absence were received from PC Mark Lynn.
2.  Police Report:
PC Lynn had sent a report stating that burglaries had taken place at the following premises on the periphery of the Parish:
• Mike Hope, Wooler
• Whitton Hill Farm, Milfield
• Branxton Moor Farm
PC Lynn reminded all residents to be security conscious and report any suspicious activity to the Police on the “101” number.
3.  The minutes of the meeting held on 20th October 2015 were agreed and signed.
4.  Matters arising from the minutes:
• Roadworks – a notice had been received of road closure on the U1024 Westnewton to Hethpool Junction for it entire length to attend to the drainage problems.   It is expected that the road will be closed from 7th-9th December 2015.   It is noted that there is no alternative route for vehicular traffic, but that access will be maintained for affected residents.
A further notice was issued of closure of the U1019 Marleyknowe Junction to Yeavering Junction for a distance of 50 metres either side of Coupland Ford Bridge.   The road is expected to be closed from 4th January to 29th February 2016.   The alternative  route for vehicular traffic will be via the B6351, the A697 and the U1021 and vice versa.   
The residents affected by these closures had not yet been notified personally.
• Northumberland Plan – the consultation document had been made available in the Village Hall.   The general feeling among the County and Parish councillors is that there are only slight changes from previous years, the Plan being a long term 15 year plan, and no further comments were made.
5.  Financial Report:
The only transaction since the last meeting was a payment of £267.60 to the PC account from the Kirknewton Water Society.   This to pay the plumber’s account from which the VAT will be reclaimed, and then paid to the Water Society.
Precept  2016-2017 – this will be discussed at the next meeting in time for NCC’s deadline date for receipt of 1st February 2016.
6.  Planning:
Application ref:  15/03464/FUL for proposed Loft Conversion and Driveway Widening at Gregory, Post Office Lane, Kirknewton.
The PC had no objections to either of these works.   It was noted that the loft conversion would not overlook other properties, and the applicant reported that there were no pipes near the driveway.
7.  County Councillor’s Report:
Closure of A697 - Cllr. Murray had called a meeting to discuss the closure of sections of the A697.   The two engineers were positive and explained that the machinery is too big to keep the road open during repairs to the road, and regretted the necessary aggravation caused to motorists. Work at night would cost a further £25,000.
They agreed that the diversions were badly signed – the route through Fenton was unsuitable for heavy traffic, but the alternative route via Barmoor and Doddington was a very long way round.
Milfield residents had been upset at the diversions, as these had affected local businesses.  
Community Action Northumberland – a new Chief Executive has been appointed, and it is anticipated that the charity will be more positive.
Branton School – the school has remained open, currently having 17 or 18 pupils, with a further 11 in the 2-5 age group.   The children will go to Glendale Middle School at the age of nine.
8.  Wooler Area Meeting:
Cllr. Brown attended this meeting on 16th November, along with representatives from Wooler, Carham and Doddington.   He  brought up the question of the private borehole test, saying that there had been a test only once at one of the houses, rather than at the holding tank.   This had cost the Water Society £90.00.   Kevin Bartlett (Locality Development Officer) had agreed to follow this up and ask for a test at the holding tank, for which it was anticipated that the KWS would not be charged another £90.00.
Wooler PC had asked whether planings from the repair of the A697 could be used to repair the surface of the car park outside the Garden Centre and Carrs of Billington.   Under new regulations this was not an option, and Cllr. Murray is in discussion towards having the necessary repairs carried out.
Cllr. Marriott asked Cllr. Murray if there are any plans to develop the old Fergusons buildings and yard in South Road, Wooler.   The Councillor knew of none for this privately owned site.
9.  Correspondence:
• Parking Enforcement Vehicle – this vehicle is designed to visit schools and enforce the keep clear restrictions , and any vehicle found to be parked in contravention of the regulations will be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice by post.
There will be an initial period of training and it is planned that the vehicle will be fully operative from January 2016.
• Review of Public Conveniences – various of these will be closed during the winter.   However, Cllr. Murray said that timed locks may be introduced so that the loos could remain open during the day.
• Kirknewton Village Hall Trust – a notice had been received that the Annual General Meeting is to be held in the village hall at 7.30pm on Monday, 30th November 2015. Notice of all relevant business should be submitted in writing to the secretary at least 7 days before the meeting at 
10. Any other business:
• Three blocked gullies on the corner opposite the phone box have been reported to NCC.
• Village Hall Pub Night – to be held on Wednesday, 18th November.
• Proposed Village Hall activities – dominos, exercise to music for over 50s, book club, etc.;  afternoons and evenings.
11. Date of next meeting:   Tuesday, 19th January 2016 at 2.00pm in the Village Hall.

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