TUESDAY 9th May 2017 at 7:30PM in the HINDMARSH HALL


PRESENT: Sarah Murphy (SM), David Denton (DD), Harvey Roberts (HR), Neil Gale (NG), Susanne Gair (SG), Shaun Whyte (SW), William Gilroy (WG).


Also in attendance: Hazel Eccleston (Clerk), Gordon Castle (GC), Robbie Moore (RM), Bill Bourne (BB),

John Miller (JM) (Member of the public).



57/17 Election of officers and Committee Memebers

The following officers were elected as follows:


Chairman – Ed Williams (nominated by SM, seconded by HR, agreed by all)

Vice-Chairman – Neil Gale (nominated by SM, seconded by HR, agreed by all)


Sub-Committee Representatives

Arts Festival – HR

Christmas Lights – Clerk

Playpark – NG

Hindmarsh Hall Fundraising Committee – DD

Planning – DD and SM

Food Festival/Christmas Craft Fair - GT


58/17 Apologies for Absence

·         Apologies were received from: Ed Williams and George Ternent.


59/17 Minutes of the Previous Meeting

·         NG proposed the minutes of the meeting 11th April be accepted without amendment, HR seconded this, agreed by all.


60/17 Declaration of Interest

·         No declarations.


61/17 Chairman’s Report

As outgoing Chairman, Bill Bourne gave his report for the previous year. Points to note were:

·         Hindmarsh Hall Fund was set up because the Parish Council have the power to manage village halls and this fund means that the Parish Council can assist the refurbishment of the Hall by raising funds and commissioning goods and services.

·         The Precept was raised last financial year to account for the costs involved in keeping the Public Conveniences open during the Winter months.

·         Section 137 donations were given to – Alnwick Citizens Advice Bureau, NTC Theatre Company, Great North Air Ambulance, Alnwick Food Bank.

·         Thanks to the Parish Clerk and all Parish Councillors over the past year, for all their hard work.

·         Restoration of Peases Park was completed during the past year with repairs to the Climbing Tower and a new Team Swing installed, although some re-planting of shrubs is still required. Special thanks to Nick Mattlock, Neil Gale and Ed Williams.

·         Further repairs to the Harbour Wall were completed by Northumberland Estates though more repairs are now needed. The Parish Council have raised concerns regarding the wall surrounding Church Hill but have so far not received a satisfactory response; we will continue to press for action.

·         Various planters around the village were replaced and re-stocked. Many thanks to Shian Hartshorn and her team.

·         Repairs have been made to the Large and Small boathouses. The Small boathouse has now been taken back under the control of the Parish Council for storage purposes, at least in the medium term.

·         Other areas of repair/improvement which are ongoing are: the fence around the Duchess Bridge seating area, the gate to Lovers Walk and the Information Boards in the village.

·         The public toilets continue to be an area of concern and the Parish Council have made enquiries to take on the lease but the conditions were not suitable.

·         A new traffic scheme was introduced into the village this year which is discussed elsewhere in the minutes and the Parish Council continue to represent the views of the village on this divisive issue, as fairly as possible.

·         The Village Newsletter reached its 90th issue and many thanks go to Terry Collinson and the team for producing and delivering it so promptly.

·         Many events were run in the village this year: The Arts Festival, Christmas Lights, Senior Citizens Christmas Lunch, The Raft Race, Volcano Night and so on. All these events and the various clubs are only possible due to efforts of people in the community who make them happen. Thanks go to all the residents and Parish Councillors who are prepared to turn up and get involved, to make this such a great place to live.

·         Bill Bourne personally thanked everyone for their support and noted it had been a privilege to serve with all of them, past and present.

Action: Clerk to speak to AONB regarding Church Hill Erosion again.


62/17 Matters Arising Out of Minutes

a)    Small Boathouse

  • DD had obtained two quotes for essential repairs to the Small Boathouse of which HJ Henderson was the cheapest – due to the urgent nature of the work, the repairs had been carried out.
  • DD reported a detached door and barge board which require urgent repair. SG proposed that DD obtain two quotes and provided they were under the standing order requirement for tendering, he should go ahead with the cheapest quote. NG seconded this proposal, agreed by all.

b)    Coastal Path

  • The Clerk reported that the Coastal Path would be closed from 22nd May for four to five weeks for repair work to the Harbour Wall. DD noted that the timing was tight for the Annual Raft Race.

Action: Clerk to advertise closure.


63/17 Traffic Management and One-Way System

  • SG asked GC for feedback on progress. GC was unable to provide feedback as the recent elections had taken up time and positions had not yet been filled at County Hall.
  • SM reported that she had contacted Daniel Fraser and he was awaiting data from the Easter period to come in. Daniel Fraser feels the flow of traffic in the village is good but SM has pointed out problems which she feels still exist.
  • HR and SM felt that due to the quiet Easter, there had not been a proper test of the new system but felt the one-way system had improved the flow of traffic.
  • WG felt that a 100 parking spaces had been lost due to planning applications. WG also felt that parking should be considered more carefully by NCC when considering planning applications in future. GC noted that the parking spaces marked out were advisory and drivers would not be penalised for not parking carefully in them.
  • HR noted that some common sense was required when planning a traffic system and planners should not rely on a computer to generate a system/plan; more parking was needed.
  • John Miller (member of the public) attended and noted that his working group had asked for a meeting with NCC and were still awaiting a date. NG noted that it was important to sit down and talk. The Clerk reported that she had requested a site visit by NCC officers and had been told that there were no plans for such a visit.
  • GC noted that he would speak to Highways and ask them what their intentions were and how they intended to include Alnmouth Parish Council in their plans.
  • SW asked if the status of the working group had been confirmed; the Clerk reported that it had be confirmed that it was an independent group of residents which is attended by two Parish Councillors to ensure its views are represented.

Action: Clerk to contact NCC and GC and remind them of the need for a meeting.


64/17 Co-option of Parish Councillor

  • The Clerk reported that there was one vacant seat on the Parish Council and explained the process for advertising the vacant seat. Agreed by all to begin the process for advertising with a view to co-option of a Parish Councillor in the future.

Action: Clerk to contact NCC




65/17 Council Matters

  • Robbie Moore (RM) introduced himself as the new County Councillor working with Gordon Castle (GC). RM is a Chartered Surveyor with George White and lives in Newcastle. GC thanked everyone for their support.
  • GC agreed to speak to the County Councillor with responsibility for Transport, when they are appointed.
  • GC reported that County Hall would not now be moving to Ashington.
  • The Clerk reported that following a complaint from a Morpeth resident, she had contacted Bill Pringle at NCC regarding the poor state of the toilets. Bill Pringle had responded with photographs that the toilets were in a clean and sanitary state and that NCC would respond immediately to any complaints. NG noted that APC had been interested in taking on the building but that Northumberland estates had been unwilling to extend the lease or provide funds to bring the building up to a good standard of repair.
  • DD noted that the Northumberland Gazette had reported road re-surfacing between Hipsburn and Alnmouth in the evening for five days, commencing 30th May.

Action: GC to arrange a meeting with Bill Pringle and NCC with NG as the APC representative to discuss what NCC would be prepared to do regarding the toilet building. The Clerk to contact GC and organise this meeting. The Clerk to contact NCC to enquire how the road re-surfacing will be handled.


66/17 New Club/Meeting Group

·         The Clerk reported a letter from a resident with concerns that there were limited opportunities for elderly residents to meet and socialise. This resident, who wished to remain anonymous, had offered a sum of money to fund the setting up of a social group in the village. It was agreed by all that this was a generous offer but that, as there were already groups in the village, it might be better to re-direct this offer of funds to support existing groups.

Action: NG to investigate which groups would benefit from an injection of funds.


67/17 Path – Addition to Map

·         APC had no facts to offer regarding the application by a resident to add a public right of way to the definitive map. No response to be made.


68/17 Reports from Sub-Committees

a)    Arts Festival

·         HR reported that there were a lot of activities planned, a beer tent, food vendors and Art. SW noted some areas of concern regarding traffic, specifically Mount Pleasant and Shepherds Hill. DD suggested a sign reminding the public that parking in the village was restricted. The Clerk advised consulting the Beach Car park supervisor first.


b)    Christmas Lights

·         The Clerk reported that the next fundraising event was the Quiz night on 26th May at the Hindmarsh Hall. And urged everyone to book a table for what promised to be a brilliant quiz.


c)     Village Maintenance

·         DD noted that he was forming a work-group to remove rust and paint the Beacon pole and asked for volunteers.

·         The Clerk noted that RoSPA would be conducting their Playpark inspection in June.

Action: Clerk to place Beacon pole on June agenda


d)    Hindmarsh Hall Fundraising Committee

·         DD reported that the architect had produced figures which he would bring to the June meeting.


e)    Planning

No planning applications this month.


f)      Food Festival

The Clerk reported that everyone was pleasantly surprised by the success of the first Food Festival and there were plans to hold another festival next year. SW asked that traffic management measures on Shepherds Hill and Mount Pleasant be considered next year as problems had occurred this year.





69/17 Finance

a)    To approve the annual governance statement that there is a sound system of internal controls, including the preparation of the accounting statements for Financial Year ending 31st March 2017.

Proposed: DD

Seconded: HR

Agreed by all.

b)    Responsible Financial Officers Report and Presentation of Accounts for the Financial Year Ending 31st March 2017

Proposal to accept the accounts as presented: NG

Seconded: SM

Agreed by all


c)    The following invoices/expenses were presented. SG proposed that the invoices be approved for payment, SW seconded this, approved by all.

·         Aurora DP (Newsletter) - £105

·         1&1 (Website) - £23.99

·         Clerk’s Wage & Admin – £271.53 (27hrs + admin)

·         Stamps - £3.90

·         Boathouse Rates - £388.77

·         Boathouse Roof Repairs - £400

·         NALC Subscription - £151.71




£       IN

£    OUT






Bench Repairs












Clerk Wage & Admin




Petrol for Mower




Park Maintenance




Northumberland Estates Planter




Boathouse rent




Boathouse Rates



TOTAL = £14,900.89 Current Account             £3,704.17 Instant Reserve



70/17 Council Communications

  • CAN Getabout Project
  • The Clerk Magazine
  • Clerk’s and Councils Direct
  • War Memorials and Trust Magazine


71/17 Public Contribution

  • None.


72/17 Any Other Matters for Discussion

  • SM noted that a resident had asked her to speak to Arriva regarding the bus service to Alnmouth, as some services no-longer run into the village. WG suggested asking if the X20 could come into the village.
  • GC noted that he had provided funds to repair the cycle footpath, which had suffered from flooding and he wondered if there was any feedback from users of the path.

Action: Clerk to draft a letter to Arriva, SM to provide background information.


73/17 Date and Time of next Meeting

·         13th June 2017, 7:30pm, The Hindmarsh Hall.


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