TUESDAY 11th April 2017 at 7:30PM in the HINDMARSH HALL


PRESENT: Bill Bourne (Chair) (BB), Sarah Murphy (SM), David Denton (DD), Mac McHugh (MM), Harvey Roberts (HR), George Ternent (GT), Nick Mattlock (NM), Neil Gale (NG).



Also in attendance: Hazel Eccleston (Clerk).




45/17 Apologies for Absence

·         Apologies were received from: Ed Williams, Susanne Gair.


46/17 Minutes of the Previous Meeting

·         SM proposed the minutes be accepted without amendment, NM seconded this, agreed by all.


47/17 Declaration of Interest

·         No declarations.


48/17 Matters Arising Out of Minutes

a)    Dr Joy’s Garden

DD reported on a successful team effort to tidy up the Garden. Six volunteers from the village had taken part. The Parish Council recorded their thanks to the whole team.


b)    Alnmouth Public Lavatories

The Clerk read a letter from a resident of Morpeth, complaining about the poor state of the ladies’ lavatories. BB noted that this demonstrated the need for action. BB reported no response to his request for information about the sale of the lease from NCC.

Action: Clerk to respond to letter.


c)     Small Boathouse

BB suggested moving items such as the Christmas Lights displays into the Small boathouse after Easter with a small working party, including the Christmas Lights team. DD had one quote for repairs to the roof and was looking for a second, for comparison.


d)    Beach Shelter Repairs

GT had obtained an estimate for repairs and reported that the Burgage Holders of Alnmouth had the matter in hand.


e)    Local Council Elections

The Clerk reported an uncontested election and noted that the names of nine Parish Councillors had been posted on the village noticeboard. The new Parish Council will take office at the next meeting on 9th May. The final place on the Parish Council can be filled by co-option after the May elections on the 4th May.


f)      Coastal Path

GT had attended a meeting on 28th March to discuss proposed routes for the Coastal path around Britain. Natural England will report back when a decision is made. BB noted that ‘Lovers’ Walk’ also formed part of the Coastal Path and that it had suffered some damage during the tidal surges. BB felt it was important to keep NCC updated on the condition of the harbour wall.



49/17 Traffic Management and One-Way System

  • BB introduced the working party, of three traffic engineers from the village (John Miller, Lesley Miller and John Taylor) and two members of the Parish Council who act as liaison between the Parish Council and the working party (Sarah Murphy, Harvey Roberts).
  • SM noted that her feeling was that the village needed to get through Easter first. HR noted that the Parish Council involvement in the working party was to look at all the options not to endorse any, they were also there to encourage a meeting with the NCC planners and the trio of traffic engineers in the village and try and seek some common ground.
  • It was felt by many that the period of consultation and the period allowed to challenge/object to the scheme or elements of it, was ambiguous.  
  • BB suggested that the next step for the Parish Council, in addition to keeping a watching brief on the situation, was to organise a site meeting.
  • BB noted that the exit of Peases Lane onto Marine Road was dangerous. BB felt that the removal of parking bays on Peases lane and a change of direction of traffic on this lane would help. SM noted that Peases Lane and The Wynd were highlighted as danger spots at the start of the consultation. SM felt that a double white line in the centre of the road on The Wynd would help.
  • MM felt that the direction of the one-way system was the wrong way around and a change of direction would make use of the old/existing bus shelters and re-instate lost parking spaces.
  • SM read a letter from a resident suggesting the removal of many 20mph limit signs from road surfaces and and replacing them with standard speed discs and a request for locals to be allowed to park on double yellow lines in extreme conditions.
  • BB noted that NCC are conducting experiments over the Easter break and a review would take place after the Easter holidays.
  • HR noted that it was important to meet with the NCC engineers on-site. John Miller (member of the public) asked if the Parish Council wished him to report back on the group’s meetings with the NCC engineers. BB noted that it was important to confirm the status of the group first.
  • BB reported that the ‘Resident permit’ scheme for Argyle Street had been approved and would go ahead.

Action: Clerk to write to NCC and organise a site meeting


50/17 Council Matters

  • No County Councillors were present due to the purdah period preceding the 4th May elections.


51/27 Reports from Sub-Committees

a)    Arts Festival

MM noted that there was a meeting forthcoming.


b)    Christmas Lights

The Clerk reported that the next fundraising event was the Quiz night on 26th May at the Hindmarsh Hall.


c)     Village Maintenance

BB thanked DD for fixing the bench and organising the tidy up of Dr Joy’s Garden. DD noted that some seats required some painting or oiling.


DD asked the Clerk to remind NCC about the path from the Cemetery to Lint Gardens, which required tidying up to become useable and safe again.


The Clerk reminded those present that the Beacon pole required work to remove rust and paint it.


BB reminded those present that the fence surrounding the observation point at the end of The Duchess Bridge required work. NM had already obtained a quote from Youlls and proposed that this was approved, DD seconded this, all in favour.


BB noted that the privet hedge in the park needs to be removed and suggested replacing it with ‘Rosa Glauca’. BB suggested making an application to NCC for this work to be paid for from the remaining s.106 money.


GT noted there was an influx of thistles in the park and noted that he had removed some mole hills there.

Action: Clerk to contact Youlls to progress fence repairs.



d)    Hindmarsh Hall Fundraising Committee

BB reported that he will be meeting with the architect and surveyor to look at the heating and lighting systems in the Hall. There will be a launch of what the changes to the Hall will look like after 20th April


e)    Planning

BB reported that Pat Murphy would not be able to offer his advice on planning matters in future due to work commitments. The Parish Council extended its thanks to Pat Murphy for his hard work and assistance.

SM reported on the following planning applications:


1.     Number:

       Proposal: Tree preservation order: remove overhanging limb – Lime tree – remove epiccormic 

                       growth. Sycamore tree – remove limb. Beech tree – remove limb.

       Location: 11 and 12 Alnwood

       Applicant: Mr D. Blythe

       Deadline: 25th April

       Parish Council decision: Neutral


f)    Food Festival

BB reported that the event had gone extremely well and all stall holders had been very pleased. The Parish Council formally recorded its thanks to Martha Hitchcock, Lorna Ternent, Jean Cullen and Jill Bourne for putting the event together.


52/17 Finance

The following invoices/expenses were presented. MM proposed that the invoices be approved for payment, SM seconded this, approved by all.

·         Alnwick Timber - Seat Repairs and Timber - £39.80

·         Aurora DP (Newsletter) - £105

·         1&1 (Website) - £23.99

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

·         Petrol for Mower - £20.95

·         Unstumpable (removal of tree stump from park) - £70

·         Northumberland Estates – Invoice for underpayment for planter - £2.25




£       IN

£    OUT


Great North Air Ambulance




NTC Donation




Alnwick District Food bank




Northumbria CAB




Hindmarsh Hall Meetings Fee




Clerk’s Wage & Admin/Stationery












Maintenance on Damaged Planters




G. Ternent




VAT Reclaim



TOTAL = £8,473.18  Current Account         £3,704.17   Instant Reserve


bi) The Clerk noted that the Parish Council needed to appoint an Internal Auditor for the 2016-17 Accounts.

GT proposed the appointment of Nickalls Accountants of Amble, seconded by SM, agreed by all.


bii) The Clerk reported one issue in the 2015-16 External Audit report from BDO LLP. The Parish Council had approved the Accounting Statement and the Annual Governance Statement the wrong way around and had been reminded to approve them correctly this year. The Clerk would ensure that these statements were placed on the agenda in the correct order this year.


biii) The Clerk reported that Alnmouth Parish Council had been selected as part of a 5% sample to complete an intermediate review questionnaire this year and this would require the supply of additional information/supporting documents to the External Auditors BDO LLP.


53/17 Council Communications

  • LCR Spring 2017
  • Broxap Catalogue
  • Glasdon Catalogue
  • Letter from NCC – Review of the Definitive Map and Statement of Public Rights of Way

An application has been made to add to the definitive map and statement, a public right of way in the Parish. The Parish Council has been asked if it wants to supply any facts or evidence in support or rebuttal. A discussion followed and it was decided to discuss this at the next meeting

  • Letter from Resident

A suggestion was made to set up a twice-weekly coffee morning for elderly residents to be funded by an initial donation from the resident (who wished to remain anonymous). BB to speak to resident to gather more details.

Action: Path addition and coffee morning items to go on May agenda.


54/17 Public Contribution

  • Hilda Blythe (member of the public) noted that she was pleased the Parish Council had not made a decision on the traffic scheme yet and that they wanted to wait until the full twelve months were up. She felt that residents as well as visitors should make their view known about the scheme and felt the letter/questionnaire sent around the village was not balanced/fair. Hilda felt that there was confusion in the village about the role of the Parish Council in the compilation of the letter/questionnaire and that this was unfortunate. BB noted that the Parish Council had always had reservations about the scheme but that it was an ‘experiment’ and it should be allowed to run its course and be tested. HR and MM felt that the confusion over the time scales for responses had not been resolved.
  • Shaun Whyte (member of the public) asked for confirmation that the report compiled by the traffic engineers was not being endorsed by the Parish Council.SM felt that it was important that the Parish Council did not ‘badge’ the report. BB confirmed that the report was not endorsed by the Parish Council and noted that it was always the policy of the Parish Council to gather information and views and present them to NCC, BB further noted that the Parish Council have resolutely refused to take a view and have bent over backwards to remain unbiased.
  • John Taylor (traffic engineer/member of the public) noted that the wording of the letter had been carefully drafted and confirmed by the NCC Legal Officer as correct; residents must respond by May 2017 in order for their objections to be valid. Mr Taylor noted that the letter would not have worked as an objection if it had not been worded in the way that it was.


55/17 Any Other Matters for Discussion

  • DD asked permission to use the Marquee for an event being held by the Boat Club on 12-15th May. DD will ask the Boat Club to make a donation for the use.
  • NM noted that although he is leaving the Parish Council, he is happy to continue managing the hire of the Marquee and the Walks Brochures. Agreed by all.
  • BB thanked all outgoing Parish Councillors for their hard work.


56/17 Date and Time of next Meeting

·         9th May 2017, 7:30pm, The Hindmarsh Hall – this will also include the AGM.



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