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Posted by Pat Edwards.
DRAFT Kirknewton Parish Council
Minutes of a meeting held on Tuesday, 15th November 2016,
At 2.00pm at the Village Hall
Present: Cllrs. Steve Marriott (in the Chair), Helen and Andy Blowers, John Lloyd,
County Cllr. Anthony Murray, parishioners Jean Davidson, Pat and Jenny
Edwards, Clerk Angela Hallam-Baker.
Guest speaker: Tony Gates, Chief Executive Northumberland National
1. Apologies for absence were received from Chairman Cllr. Edward Brown, Cllr. Kay
Aisthorpe, PC Mark Lynn, Glen Sanderson, Chairman NNPA.
2. Police Report:
PC Lynn had sent a report concerning suspicious vehicles in the area: a vehicle made to look like Highway Maintenance trying to sell tarmac, and a Citroen van reg. No. OV56 XUR eyeing up machinery at farms.
PC Lynn discouraged anyone from dealing with such tarmac sellers, since people in other areas have paid over inflated charges for shoddy work.
3. Presentation by Tony Gates, Chief Executive, NNPA:
Mr. Gates said he and Chairman Glen Sanderson are attempting to visit all the parishes within the National Park to explain what the Authority is doing.
It has a new Management Plan with visions for the next 25 years. A five-year business plan has been put in place, but between 2011 and 2016 40% funding has been lost from DEFRA.
The Chairman has taken steps to protect money for tourism.
The Local Plan for National Parks runs out this year, and the renewed plan contains three documents: Statement of Community Involvement, Housing Land, and Economic Land Available. By December the Authority hopes to have the current plan issued, and by February to consult with the public.
The Sill is a project which attempts to re-connect people with the countryside and landscape. Two items – a new National Landscape Discovery Centre on Hadrian’s Wall, and 30,000 day activities spread right across the National Park – North Tyne, Redesdale, Coquetdale, and the Cheviots, The Kirknewton Archaeology Festival also is an important feature of this local area.
Mobile phone coverage: Mr. Gates explained that this is not a National Park responsibility, but the Authority is working together with the Mobile Operators Association in England and the Home Office. This area is the most remote part of the most remote county in England.
Ten per cent of properties are not on the National Grid.
The NP does not want to spoil the landscape with numerous masts, although it has received no enquiry from a mobile operator wanting to erect one.
It was stated that there is a mast for emergency services within the curtilage of Kirknewton. Mr. Gates stated that the Home Office needs these masts, and it is up to the operators to say whether they would like to share them. However, it was pointed out that these masts use radio signals and not mobile signals. A line of sight is required for a mast to operate, and 5% of areas in the country are not within range.
Mr. Gates agreed to speak to Openreach about the low broadband speed.
Raised again was the fact that BT is again wishing to remove phone boxes from isolated
rural areas. The PC had submitted objections, and the NP had supported these.
Mr. Gates was asked whether it is the intention of the NPA to extend the boundary of the
Park as far as the Scottish border. He said that in theory they would like to do this, but it
would be up to DEFRA, which has no spare money to allocate. He said there is no logic to
the boundary since there are hill forts and other historical interest which are outside the
Asked about the Mountain Rescue, Mr. Gates said this is a separate charity, but the
Northumberland branch is the only one in the country which bears the county name. As
well as operating in rural areas, the Mountain Rescue is also active in urban areas searching
for missing people, etc.
Mr. Gates was thanked for his interesting and informative talk, and left the meeting.
4. The minutes of the meeting held on 18th October 2016 were agreed and signed.
It was pointed out that these are documented as being in draft until they have been agreed
and signed as a true record.
5. Matters arising from the minutes:
6. Financial Report:
No transactions since the last meeting. The precept for next year would be discussed at the January meeting.
Application ref: 16/03119/FUL – permission had been granted for a double garage at Laburnum House.
Application ref: 16NP0097 – to raise the height of boundary wall between Westnewton House and the U1118 road – this involved raising 27m of wall from 1.3m to 1.8m. Jean Davidson said this would raise the wall to match the adjacent wall’s height. There were no objections from the PC.
8. Byway open to all traffic at Yeavering:
Just an acknowledgment had been received to the letter of objection sent to NCC Legal Services Manager saying this had been forwarded to the Definitive Map Officer. It was hoped that the signs erected at the top of the lane are having the desired effect.
Cllr. Murray felt this should not be a BOAT, and in fact he was opposed to all BOATS.
9. County Councillor’s Report:
Cllr. Murray reported that the work repairing the pavements in Wooler is to continue, but they are currently waiting for more materials.
He stated that he is to attend a meeting in Jedburgh this week where the possibility of the Scottish Borders Council creating a Borders National Park will be discussed.
11. Any other business: none.
12. Date of next meeting: Tuesday, 17th January 2017, at 2.00pm in the Village Hall.