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


Present: Bill Bourne (BB) (Chair), John Hobbis (JH), Nick Mattlock (NM) (Vice-Chair), Jill Brown (JB), Mac McHugh (MM), David Denton (DD), Donald Blythe (DB).


In Attendance: Hazel Eccleston (Clerk).

Pre-meeting Presentation from Iain Robson of AONB

A presentation was made by Iain Robson on the ongoing work of AONB. The presentation covered the following areas:

·         Communication with Parish Councils – regular meetings and a visit to one of our meetings at least once a year. Our Parish Council representative for AONB is Michael Craster, or we can still contact Iain or Jessica Turner.

·         Tourism Strategy – A sustainable tourism working group

·         Re-writing the Highways design guide and looking at parking in Coastal areas

·         Volunteers project

BB noted that no repairs had been made to the wall surrounding the base of Church Hill. Iain Robson reported that the wall was not listed, but would investigate whether repairs to the wall are the responsibility of the National Trust under the terms of their lease of the land from Northumberland Estates.


DD asked about the surface of the cycle path. Iain Robson noted that further work is required and COLAS will be back to complete the work when the weather permits.


The Clerk asked about beach signs/dangerous bathing signs. Iain Robson noted that new signs had been designed by the RNLI but as Alnmouth was not a bathing beach they would need to be paid for and installed by those responsible for the beach, i.e. the Burgage Holders.


BB thanked Iain Robson for attending the meeting and bringing everyone up to date on the work of the AONB.

Action: Iain Robson to send details of the signs and cost to the Burgage Holders, via the Clerk and investigate scheduled status of Church Hill wall.


17/15 Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Parish Councillors George Ternent and Pat Murphy and County Councillor Gordon Castle.


18/15 Minutes of the Previous Meeting

NM proposed the minutes of 13th January, seconded by JH . Passed by all as a true record of the meeting.


19/15. Matters Arising out of Minutes

(a)   Grants and Donations

The Clerk asked for confirmation that the Parish Council still wished to make a donation to the Citizens Advice Bureau as it was now a merged organisation covering Northumberland in general rather than specifically Alnwick. Agreed by all that it still provided a vital resource to the local community and the grant was confirmed.


(b)   Peases Park Upgrade

The Clerk confirmed that Neil Tait would commence work on the fence and bin storage as soon as possible.BB confirmed that the bins had arrived and were awaiting the new storage facility. JH asked if the dog waste bin was being replaced at Garden Terrace as it was in a state of disrepair.

Action: Clerk to obtain quote for new dog waste bin.


(c)   Boathouse Use

BB confirmed that he had met with representatives from ABCRA. BB circulated a draft tenancy agreement for use of the Boathouse for the next 5 years and asked for any amendments to be passed on to him by Friday 13th.  BB noted that ABCRA have already begun work on a plinth to store the Christmas Lights displays above the Parish Council’s trailer. BB has applied to NCC for listed building consent to remove some of the cubicles and has notified Northumberland Estates of this. DD noted that a noticeboard outside the boathouse, perhaps giving information about the history of its use, would be a good idea.


(d)   Review of Public Conveniences

BB reported that he had met with a represenative of NCC and had discussed the options presented regarding  future responsibility for the public conveniences. BB had informed NCC that the Parish Council’s position was that Alnmouth’s public toilets were a strategic tourist industry resource which should not be maintained from the residents’ precept to the Parish Council.The Parish Council would only consider taking them on if some proportion of the business rates paid by Alnmouth’s business was available. It was agreed that Alnmouth’s public toilets let the village down and urgently required investment to bring them up to a reasonable standard.


(e)   Dr Joy’s Garden Improvements

BB reported that he had spoken to Shian Hartshorn and they had agreed to move the millstone. Simon Rippon has been asked to replace the wood edging around the flower beds.


(f)    Information Boards

BB reported that the text had been re-written for four of the boards with the help of Terry Collinson and could now be passed on to Helen Holden. BB noted that the board near the Lifeboat house requires a bit more information about its history.


20/15 Parish Council Website

The Clerk reported on the costs incurred so far. JH proposed that the invoices presented by Nick Naylor should be paid, seconded by JB and agreed by all. It was agreed that the monthly rate of £23.99 (inc VAT) was a little high and it was agreed to look into moving the website to a cheaper platform. NM suggested that the website should be transferred into the Parish Council’s name as soon as possible and future invoices paid by direct debit.

Action: Clerk to organise transfer of URL and direct debit for future invoices payments. MM, JB and NM to investigate the costs for their own business websites.


21/15 NCC Planning Policy Changes

The Clerk reported that the proposed policy change would remove the right of Parish and Town Councils to object to planning applications HC outlined the policy change in more detail and BB suggested that it did not fit in with the Localism Act. The Clerk circulated a letter from Stannington Parish Council and it was agreed to write a letter in support of this letter.

Action: BB and the Clerk to draft a letter in support of Stannington Parish Council.


22/15 Hindmarsh Hall Storage

BB had met with the chairman of the Hindmarsh Hall committee and had presented the proposal to provide funds towards the cost of a custom built storage facility. A quote has been obtained from a local builder, for a concrete plinth on which to build the storage facility but no further communication has been received from the Hindmarsh Hall. MM asked if a request had been made to the Burgage Holders for a contribution towards the costs of a storage facility.BB noted that no such request had been made but it was a good idea.

Action: Clerk to chase up details of quote for plinth.


23/15 Small Boathouse

BB reported that the Alnmouth Village Golf Club had extended the tee behind the small boathouse to the extent that it now completely blocks access to the rear doors. BB suggested a letter to the Golf Club to advise them of the Parish Council concerns concerning future access to the boathouse.

Action: Clerk to draft letter for approval by Parish Council.


24/15 Foxton Road Development

BB reported that Tom Batey, the Foxton Road developer, had made a s.106 payment of £6,500 to NCC in respect of the Lint Gardens development. The Clerk had tried to obtain details from NCC on accessing this payment, which can be used on such projects as play equipment etc. but had received no reposnse from the Planning Dept.

Action: HC to chase up this enquiry and Clerk to place the item on the March agenda.


25/15 Old Boathouse Tenders

The Clerk had already circulated the tenders received. A discussion of each tender followed. NM proposed acceptance of the tender from Alan Arkle and sons, seconded by JH, agreed by all.

Action: Clerk to write to all those who submitted tenders and inform them of the Parish Council decision.


26/15 Council Matters 

HC noted that the main issues at the moment were the propsed changes to planning policy and the proposed two-tier education system.


27/15 Reports from Sub-Committees

a)     Arts Festival

JB reported that all was running well at the moment. Saturday evening entertainment had been booked and artists and venues were being organised.


b)    Christmas Lights

MM reported that all lights were now down and the next event, the Quiz night was in process of being organised. The committee has a new chairman in Darran Eccleston.


c)     Village Maintenance

NM reported that he had conducted a playground inspection and some repairs were necessary to some equipment including new seats for two swings and a new surface for the ramp on the playframe. BB noted a new dog waste bin was required at Garden Terrace and at the Duchess Bridge

Action: Clerk to source quotes for swing seats and ramp surface and new dog waste bins.


d)    Planning

DD reported the following planning applications and decisions:


Proposal: Proposed new dwelling

Location: Land East of 10 Alnwood, Alnmouth

Applicant: Mr William Gilroy

Application Number: 15/00194/FUL

Parish Council Comments:  Drive to existing house will be too steep to use, causing parking in vicinity of hammerhead which will obstruct vehicles turning. Overdevelopment of site.


Proposal: Demolition of the existing Boys Club and creation of 5 new linked houses with associated                                detached garages and external works.

Location: Alnmouth Boys Club

Applicant: Mr Tom Batey

Application Number: 14/04125/FUL

Parish council comments: No objection


Permission granted:

Proposal: Storage Building

Location: Bede Cottage, High Buston

Applicant: Mr G Arthur

Application number: 14/03915/FUL


28/15 Finances

The Clerk presented the following invoices for payment. MM proposed that the invoices should be paid, seconded by NM, agreed by all.

  • Aurora DP (Newsletter) = £105
  • AAF Adverts = £228
  • Website Invoices Jul 2013-Jan 2015 = £455.81
  • SCXL Invoice = £1290
  • Clerk’s wage = £238.80 (INC £18 ADMIN) (AAF contribution is £27.60 = total of £266.40)

The Clerk provided a list of transactions by the Parish Council for January

Parish Council








Boathouse Rent












Clerk’s Wage & Admin (inc bonus)



TOTAL = £9,600.76 Current Account                            £6,868.98 Instant Reserve


29/15 Council Communications

The Clerk reported only one piece of correspondence which was a supplement from Northumbria Healthcare, reporting on the services they deliver. NM agreed to place them in his shop.


30/15 Public Contribution

None present.


31/15 Any Other Business



32/15 Date & Time Next Meeting

The date of the next meeting was set for, Tuesday 10th March 2015, 7.30pm, The Hindmarsh Hall.


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