Minutes of the meeting held on November 23, at the Methodist Church Hall, Christon Bank.
Chairman: Terry Howells. Present: David Morgan, Raymond Carss, Neville Fawcett, Richard Manners. Clerk: Melissa Gilroy.
Matters arising from minutes of last meeting. Christon Bank: Missing signs. Letter written to Horsley Place resident. Coun Young to contact resident regarding B6347 sign.
Stone planters. Clerk confirmed that there were no grants available to help fund the planters. Councillors agreed to use the parish budget. Having consulted with Northumberland County Council (NCC), the parish must adhere to requirements for the erection of stone structures on the highway. Clerk and Coun Young to identify the entry points in Christon Bank where the planters should be built and chairman to send photos of these to NCC together with a photo of the Embleton planter.
Pavement parking. Note drafted and submitted to the Whinstone Times and the NET.
Parish councillor and clerk training. Clerk to attend training in Creighton Hall. Training for Coun Young to be rescheduled.
Homes from Northumberland: Stone bus shelter. Awaiting response from developers regarding their contribution towards the new stone bus shelter. Estimates have been completed and £6,800 should be budgeted. Chairman to continue contacting Peter Mitchell to secure a financial commitment from the developers. Chairman to also write to county councillor Kate Cairns to request a contribution.
Quarry housing development: Landscaping plans circulated.
2015-16 Budget/precept: Precept request to be submitted to NCC this month. Additional funding required to cover the contribution towards the rebuilding of the Quarry bus shelter. Further discussions to include contingency funds for uninsured assets and potential funding or the all-weather pitch to be held.
Complaints procedure. chairman to amend the appeals procedure to reflect the number of councillors that are required to attend a hearing where a dispute is unresolved.
Transparency Fund. Grant available to councils with a budget of £25,000 to assist with new IT equipment. The council requires a laptop and printer/scanner. Chairman to request that Coun Armstrong progresses the application.
Upkeep of Embleton Village Green. The parish 1997-2013 receipts and payments book show that the council used to receive annual payments from the Greys, Golf Club and Sportsman for the upkeep of the green. This ceased in 2007. Councillors agreed that the payments should be reinstated and a £100 per annum donation should be requested from businesses displaying advertisement boards on the green. Chairman to draft letters.
Risk analysis, asset register. The chairman is assessing the assets covered/not covered under the insurance scheme. Contingency funds to help cover uninsured assets may need to be considered when the budget/precept is set. Zurich or NFU insurance advisors can help to assess the level of cover required.
Signage at Dunstan Steads. The chairman wrote a letter to the AONB in October in favour of the consolidation of the signage. The AONB has since written to Simon Lee at the National Trust to gain approval before progressing with one sign to cover all the concerned bodies. Awaiting further response from the National Trust.
Energy grants and Community Action Northumberland (CAN). CAN has appointed a new chief executive Andy Dean. Coun Morgan requested that we invite him to a meeting to meet councillors, brief them on his vision for CAN and provide an update on the energy grants available to residents living without central heating. Chairman to draft a letter of invitation.
Meeting reports. Area North Committee, attended by Coun Morgan. Items discussed included energy grants, Sandstone Way cycle route, verges and the use of local contractors.
Bus services meeting. Attended by the chairman. Twenty per cent of local bus services are considered to be ‘rural’ and require subsidy to continue running. The parish gives a £250 contribution towards the 420 bus service that runs from Ellingham to Alnwick each Thursday. Usage statistics have been requested by the chairman to see if the council should continue with this contribution.
Maintenance. Bin near Embleton Village Shop. Clerk has ordered a replacement, awaiting delivery.
Financial matters. Current account balance £9463.30 on October 29.
Spent and received since October 26, clerk wages and expenses -£209.99, HMRC PAYE -£47.60, bonfire donation -£100, play park insurance -£963, Creighton Hall -£12.50.
Cheques required, clerk wages and expenses -£238.68, HMRC -£54.20, Church Hall -£10, Poppy Appeal -£19, Embleton First School (photocopies) -£10.
Planning. 15/03626/FUL Proposal for four new dwellings with associated garages and access, land North East of Wesley Way, Christon Bank. Clerk to feedback, stressing the importance of affordable housing.
Correspondence. Donation request from Alnwick Playhouse. All annual donations to be assessed and agreed at the March meeting.
Agenda items. As there was no scheduled December meeting, it was agreed that Embleton Village Green should have a community Christmas tree, depending upon a suitable power source.