ALNMOUTH PARISH COUNCIL

MINUTES OF MEETING

 

TUESDAY 10th March 2015 at 7:30PM in the HINDMARSH HALL

 

Present: Bill Bourne (BB) (Chair), John Hobbis (JH), Nick Mattlock (NM) (Vice-Chair), Jill Brown (JB), David Denton (DD), Donald Blythe (DB), Pat Murphy (PM) and County Councillors Heather Cairns (HC), Gordon Castle (GC).

 

In Attendance: Hazel Eccleston (Clerk).

 

33/15  Presentation from Martin Swinbank (Alnmouth Boat Club) followed by questions and answers.

The Boat Club propose putting down hard standing for dingies etc. and have also discussed the possibility of a clubhouse, with changing facilities. The idea would be to include water/electricity and toilet facilities. Martin Swinbank’s purpose in attending the this meeting was to ask the Parish Council if they would agree, in principle and pending funding, to work with the Boat Club towards this aim. BB noted that whilst there was a need for toilet facilities near Peases Park such a project would be very expensive and would encounter planning issues; however, in principle, it was something which would be of benefit to the community. GC noted that further considerations would be future maintenance of such facilities and the need for public consultation, planning applications and maintenance plans. GC noted that in Alnwick a scheme to allow use of toilet facilites in business such as pubs and cafes was in place and such businesses could register to allow their facilities to be used by the public.

 

34/15 Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Parish Councillors Mac McHugh and George Ternent.

 

35/15 Minutes of the Previous Meeting

DB proposed the minutes of 10th February as a true and accurate record of the meeting. NM seconded             the minutes, all in favour.

 

36/15. Matters Arising out of Minutes

 

a)   Boathouse Use.

BB reported that the tenancy has been agreed with ABCRA and will be signed and commenced on 1st April. Rent will be payable quarterly, in advance.

Action: BB to organise signing of agreement and pass copy to Clerk.

 

b)   Parish Council Website – Suggestions for a new provider.

NM provided details of his own website with 1&1 and the costs.

Action: NM and the Clerk to discuss ways of reducing costs and changes to the website and report back to April meeting.

 

c)   Small Boathouse – Letter to Golf Club.

The Clerk had previously circulated a draft letter for approval. Some small amendments were suggested.

Action: Clerk to send amended letter.

 

37/15 Peases Park Upgrade

The Clerk circulated the quotes for dog waste bins and new swing seats and a ramp for the playframe. NM suggested that the Parish Council could fit the new equipment and save the cost of installation. BB asked if the s.106 money could be used for such purchases. HC suggested asking Melanie Thew at NCC. BB asked if the Burgage Holders were considering replacement of any dog waste bins as the purchase could be made together and a saving on purchase/delivery costs made. BB asked when the fence repairs/bins storage work would commence in the park.

Action: The Clerk to find out if s.106 money can be used for play equipment repairs. Clerk to ask Burgage Holders if dog waste bins are required by them. Clerk to chase up Neil tait regarding fence/bin storage.

 

38/15 Boathouse Restoration

BB reported that the restoration was progressing well and the Boathouse would be suitable for the launch of the ‘Pride of Aln’ Skiff on Sunday. BB reported that an offer had been made to submit a quote to paint the exterior of the Boathouse. It was agreed by all that at least three competitive quotes would be required.

 

39/15 Hindmarsh Hall – Fundraising Committee

BB reported that following discussion and extensive advice from NALC, he had established that the Parish Council has the power to commission goods and services and donate them to a Village Hall. Also, the Parish Council could legitimately reclaim VAT paid on this expenditure  Following discussion with representatives of the Hindmarsh Hall Committee, BB proposed setting up a fundraising sub-committee of the Parish Council to assist the Hindmarsh Hall in carrying out the essential repairs and work required to ensure the Hall continues to serve the community for many years to come. DB asked if a professional had looked at the Hall building. BB reported that he secured the services of a surveyor for an initial inspection on a  pro bono basis, to advise the Hall Committee. DB agreed that BB should proceed with the survey of the building. BB noted that the Hall was a vital part of the community and needed the help of the Parish Council. NM noted that the sub-committee would require the Clerk to support it and would further impose on her time. BB noted that the Hindmarsh Hall would need to pay for the Clerk’s time. BB proposed that a fundraising committee should be set up, NM seconded, all in favour. GC noted that a Heritage Lottery grant or community chest funding might be a possibility.

Action: BB to place an item in the village newsletter setting out the committee composition.

 

40/15 Foxton Road Development

BB reported that an item had gone into the village newsletter asking for suggestions for play equipment. NM reported that suggestions received had been a basket swing or tyres. HC suggested a visit to Embleton playpark as it had received very good reviews.

Action: HC to email details of Embelton Playpark organiser. NM to investigate potential playequipment.

 

41/15 Council Matters 

GC reprted on the recent activity and problems surrounding the organisation of Planning management. GC has been informed the Parish Councils are not statutory consultees but GC will suggest that they are mandatory consultees.

 

42/15 Reports from Sub-Committees

a)     Arts Festival

JB reported that organisation was going very well but there was a waiting list of exhibitors now that the Boys Club was no longer available as a venue. BB suggested investigating the possibility of placing extra artists in the Old Chapel, as the Old Chapel Art Group used only the walls for exhibiting their work.There was a short discussion regarding the sale of refreshments by members of the public.

Action: JB to investigate potential venues such as the Old Chapel.

 

b)    Christmas Lights

The Clerk reported that quiz night was the 29th May and advertising would be sent out in due course. JB asked if a Christmas Fair was to be held this year. The Clerk reported that the Hindmarsh Hall had already been booked for switch-on night. JB suggested that more money could be made if the fair was expanded beyond a Craft Fair.

 

c)     Village Maintenance

BB reported that Shian Hartshorn is in the process of ordering new planters, to be paid for from the Secret Garden Fund.

 

d)    Planning

New Application

PM reported the following planning applications:

Proposal: Proposed Habitable roof space

Location: 7, Lint Gardens

Applicant: Mr Tom Batey

Application Number: 15/00195/FUL

Parish Council Comments:  No objection

 

Permission Granted

Proposal: Habitable roof space

Location: Plot 6, Lint Gardens

Applicant: Mr B. Arrowsmith

Application Number: 14/03595/FUL

Parish Council Comments No objection

 

Proposal: Demolition of the existing Boys Club and creation of 5 new linked houses with associated

               detached garages and external works.

Location: Foxton Road

Applicant: Mr Tom Batey

Application Number: 14/04125/FUL

Parish Council Comments No objection

 

43/15 Finances

a)   The Clerk presented the following invoices for payment; PM proposed the invoices should be paid, seconded by JB, agreed by all.

  • Aurora DP (Newsletter) = £105
  • Clerk’s wage = £238.80 (INC £18 ADMIN)
  • Stamps - £3.72
  • Boathouse Rates - £360
  • Boathouse Repairs - £57.81

b)    The Clerk asked the Parish Council to approve expenditure on a CiLCA Training Course for the Clerk. The will ensure the Parish Council has a fully qualified Clerk and will enable an elected Council to make use of the Power of Wellbeing. NM proposed this expenditure be approved, seconded by PM, agreed by all.

 

c)     The Clerk provided a list of transactions by the Parish Council for February

 

Date

 

£

IN

£

OUT

1/02/15

Boathouse Rent

85

 

6/02/15

VAT Reclaim

424.42

 

10/02/15

Newsletter

 

105

10/02/15

Clerk Wage and Admin

 

238.80

10/02/15

Grants – s.137

 

1,000

10/02/15

Website set up & 2 years monthly payments

 

455.81

10/02/15

National Allotment Society Subscription

 

66.00

10/02/15

Boathouse Repairs

 

433.08

TOTAL = £7,811.49 Current Account                            £6,868.98 Instant Reserve

 

44/15 Council Communications

          The Clerk presented the following items of communication.

 

·         Clerks and Councils Direct March 2015

·         Northumberland Residents Festival – Poster and Leaflets = In Post office

·         The Clerk – March 2015

·         Citizen’s Advice Bureaux, NTC, GNAA and Alnwick Playhouse – Thankyou letters

·         Campaign to protect Rural England – Spring 2015

 

45/15 Public Contribution

Roberta Snaith asked when the village information Boards were to be completed and noted that the information board from the Duchess Bridge site, had been removed completely. BB reported that boards had been re-designed and the text re-written. The board from the Duches Bridge had been removed to show to the manufacturers of the new boards, as an example. The text is now ready to go back to Helen Holden. BB noted that the initial delay had been due to the high costs but a cheaper option had been sourced.

 

It was noted that a raft from last year’s race was still on the beach and in a dangerous condition, for example, exposed nails, which could cause harm to children. BB noted that the Raft Race was organised by the Sun Inn. BB sugested it could be moved as part of the beach clean-up but also promised to speak to the Raft Race organisers to try and put in place procedures to ensure rafts are cleared away afterwards.

Action: BB to speak to Sun Inn regarding raft race.

 

 

46/15 Any Other Business

JB noted that a sub-committee needed to be established to organise the Bonfire Night celebrations this year and suggested that any funds raised could go towards repairs for the Hindmarsh Hall. JB asked for a volunteer with some knowledge or experience of running a firework display.

 

NM noted that he had received a communication from a resident of Prospect Place to ask if any progress had been made on repairing the cobbles. BB noted that this had been investigated at the time of the original request; NCC were unwilling to adopt the land and it was not owned by the Parish Council. Therefore, to repair the cobbles, would require the residents of Prospect Place to make a contribution with the remainder of the money possibly coming from a grant donation.

Action: NM to progress this issue and report back.

 

DD asked if Foxton Road had been tidied up following reports of builders’ debris in the trees and by the roadside.

Action: BB to speak to Tom Batey.

 

47/15 Date & Time Next Meeting

The date of the next meeting was set for, Tuesday 14th April, 2015, 7.30pm, The Hindmarsh Hall.

 

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