Ellingham Parish Council

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TRAIN VIBRATIONS: At the latest meeting of Ellingham Parish Council, assurances were received from Network Rail that there is no problem with the line, following ongoing communications regarding train vibrations at Chathill.

However investigations continue to poinpoint the cause of an increase in vibrations caused by passing trains.

BIN REMOVED; Following correspondence with Northumberland County Council, the clothes recylcing bin has been removed.

PLAN REVIEW: A questionnaire derived from the existing Parish Plan objectives and perhaps incorporating questions about what parishioners would like the community fund to be used for is to be compiled prior to March meeting.

PROUD DAY: Mr Mundy and councillors recorded their congratulations to Gustav Macleod who was recently awarded an MBE for his services to schools in the region.

ON FOOT: Councillors undertook a parish walkabout last month, visiting Ellingham village, Brownieside, Brockdam, Chathill, Newham, Wandylaw, Tynley and Preston.

A number of issues were recorded, to be reported to the county council by the clerk.

COMMUNITY FUND: RidgeWind had advised the clerk via email that a commencement date for construction of Wandylaw Windfarm had not yet been established.

Mr N Goodhew, from RidgeWind, had written to confirm that the company will be responsible for the proper and reasonable set up costs in connection with the The Ellingham Community Fund.

Mr Mundy circulated a summary document, The Ellingham Community Fund, prepared by Sintons solicitors, which detailed the steering group’s recommendations to be presented to the parish council.

Mr Mundy began by re-capping that he and Mrs Macleod held preliminary meetings with Sintons and Community Action Northumberland (CAN) prior to the November parish council meeting and following on from that meeting, the fund steering group was set up to look at the various options available for management of the fund.

Members of the group were selected from applications received under the recruitment process agreed at the last council meeting. The panel was made up of three members of the community, two parish councillors and a senior representative from Ellingham Estate.

Following the first group meeting, a document was produced evaluating the different options available.

After very careful consideration, independent management of the fund was considered to be the most suitable option.

The Steering Group recommended establishing a company limited by guarantee and registered with the Charities Commission as the best way forward.

The Steering Group further recommended that charitable status should be established as soon as possible but to do this, Trustees must be in place. The suggestion was to begin the recruitment process as soon as possible with a view to making appointments by the end of February.

The parish council unanimously accepted the foregoing recommendations of the Steering Group. There then ensued a lengthy discussion regarding the recruitment process, parish council representation, information for applicants and criteria for applicants.

The aim is, by March, to be in a position to apply for charitable status.

ON THE BOARD: Following stormy weather, the supporting posts for the noticeboard at Chathill snapped off.

A local resident secured the board to the station car park.

However, as the board is in need of substantial repair work, councillors agreed that it should be taken down and replaced with a new board, erected on posts close to where the old board had been sited.

Councillors unanimously agreed that a new notice board should be sited at Wandylaw. The clerk is to confirm with Wandylaw residents the best location for this.

RATS SPOTTED: There have been a number of sightings of both live and dead rats.

Parishioners should continue to be vigilant and where possible use traps/bait to control the situation. The county council provides a pest control service.

TV SWITCHOVER: The clerk has requested further copies of information leaflets about the digital TV switchover to be made available via dispensers on noticeboards.

Members noted that residents are being mailed direct about the changeover.

COUNCIL VACANCY: Applications from two parishioners have been received to join the parish council.

After a long discussion it was agreed that, since not all members know both applicants, each applicant to be invited to the March meeting and to make a short (around five minute) personal presentation regarding their application, followed by questions from the council.

This will enable the council properly to consider the merits of each applicant and thereafter to vote by confidential ballot as to which applicant should be co-opted onto the parish council.

The clerk is to contact both applicants to advise them of this.

PATH WORK: The footpath from the Avenue to the A1 bus stop has been cut back.

MAKING PLANS: Notification of the granting of planning applications in respect of Ellingham Home Farm (certificate of proposed use covered by planning reference 04/B/0902) had been received.

No comments or objections were made to an application for repairs to the chimney and secure damage to stone work at 4 Station Cottages, Chathill. This is very necessary to preserve the building.

ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT: The bank balances are current account £411.32, IAS account £1,214.43, number two account £912.11.

Councillors resolved to close number two account, transferring funds from it to the current account and therefore simplifying the banking procedures.

The clerk is to contact Barclays regarding the procedure to follow and, where possible, secure interest on the funds.

Accounts were presented and approved for payment: Hire of village hall for meetings, £45. The clerk had set out a draft register of assets.

NEXT MEETING: The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 13, at 7.30pm in Ellingham Village Hall.