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Posted by Pat Edwards.
Kirknewton Parish Council
Minutes of a meeting held on Tuesday, 18th August 2015,
at the Village Hall
Present: Cllrs. Edward Brown (Chairman), Steve Marriott, Helen and Andy Blowers,
John Lloyd, Kay Aisthorpe, County Cllr. Anthony Murray, PC Mark Lynn,
4 parishioners, Angela Hallam-Baker (Clerk).
1. Apologies for absence: none.
2. Police Report:
PC Lynn reported that there had been no incidents of note in the Parish since the last meeting. However, cars had been broken into in isolated car parks in Etal, Branxton and Alnwick area. A white transit van with a short roof rack was suspected.
Poachers using lurcher/staffie dogs had been hunting deer in the Ford area. Ford PC is trying to combat crime and anticipating using CCTV.
PC Lynn was asked about the Wooler interactive speed sign which is placed under a tree and not working. He said this is to be moved to a more suitable place.
PC Lynn was then called away and left the meeting.
3. The draft minutes of the meeting held on 21st July were approved and signed.
4. Matters arising from the minutes:
The clerk had reported the slow reception in the Kirknewton area and was informed that there had been no known issues in the area affecting broadband performance, but that the cable distance from the Milfield exchange to Kirknewton is over 7km, which would reduce the speed. Also affecting the speed would be how many devices are being used and times of the day when the internet is being used.
Advice to any user experiencing slow speed is that they should talk to their own Service Provider and ask them to carry out diagnostic checks.
Mr. Tony Reed-Jones had responded to the report and said that an Openreach engineer had said that if the box in Westnewton was upgraded, that would make a difference. It was therefore agreed that the clerk should write to Openreach and ask that this be done. Cllr. Murray suggested that an email to John Cooper at County Hall would also be useful. It was suggested that the NFU would probably be taking this up with Openreach, since farmers are having trouble submitting their forms on time.
As it is expensive putting in cables, NCC is looking towards satellite or wireless connections, but it was pointed out that satellite, although quick for downloading, is slow for two-way internet traffic.
5. Financial Report:
The latest bank statement (dated 28th July 2015) showed a credit balance of £1,170.74.
A cheque in the sum of £174.29 was drawn for the insurance premium for the year from
1 June 2015 to 31 May 2016.
6. Westnewton Bridge Works:
A message received from NCC stated that the Planning Application Ref: 15/01652/CCD for work to the river and bridge has been withdrawn. A message from Peter Brewis states that the design will be modified since it is viewed as a potential barrier to the fish passage and may have compromised the ecological status under the Water Framework Directive. Consequently, the work cannot be undertaken this year.
It was agreed that Peter had put in a great deal of work on the application having had consultations with the agencies, and that he should be asked when the new application would be submitted. The PC would expect a May 2016 start.
The PC wished to know how much alteration to the current plans would be necessary, and whether the agencies had offered any alternatives; the consultations having already cost over £40,000, it was asked whether a further cost would be imposed?
Cllr. Murray felt that the delays were caused by lethargy on the part of the agencies, and not the fault of the County Council, but because this work is not classed as an emergency, it would have to follow the pattern.
Cllr. Murray had forwarded the ongoing correspondence to Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, and she had asked to be briefed on where the County Council and community stand in relation to the bridge works, and had proposed a meeting at County Hall in September. The clerk would ask her to let the PC know when the meeting will be and whether members will be welcome to attend.
7. Kirknewton Village Hall:
As agreed at the last meeting, Cllr. Lloyd had passed on the minutes of the Village Hall Trust meeting held on 1st June 2015. The clerk had circulated these to the members of the PC with an instruction that they were not to be passed on to anyone else.
An error in the minutes, stating that parish councillors are elected at the annual meeting of the PC, was pointed out. Parish Councillors are elected by poll every four years, with by-elections, or co-options made by the Parish Council, in the intervening years when necessary.
Cllr. Lloyd had been told by the Trust that future minutes must not be passed on to the PC. It was therefore agreed that Cllr. Lloyd would no longer have the status of Parish Council Representative on the Village Hall Trust. His status as a Parish Councillor and as a Village Hall Trustee would be completely separate positions, and that there would be no interaction on his part between the two organisations.
In view of this, it was noted that the paragraph in the Village Hall Trust Constitution, stating that the Trust Committee would include a representative of the Parish Council, would need to be amended at its annual general meeting in November. Cllr. Lloyd agreed to inform the Parish Council of the date of this meeting.
8. County Councillor’s Report:
Cllr. Murray spoke of the new education system in Wooler when from September, the First School will be moved to the same site as the Middle School.
The facility for 0-2 year-olds at the Sure Start Nursery will be discontinued until new arrangements can be made, and this will result in two or three of the fifteen employees facing redundancy. Cllr. Murray stated that there is no legal obligation for the County to provide for 0-2 year-olds, but many mothers of very young children need to get back to work following maternity leave and he believes that these people should be looked after.
With Sure Start vacating the old fire station, this building will return to its original use and fire crews are currently being recruited and trained and a new fire engine installed.
9. Any other business:
10. Date of next meeting: Tuesday, 15th September, 2.00pm at the Village Hall.