Embleton, Parish notes

Church of the Holy Trinity, Embleton.
Church of the Holy Trinity, Embleton.

Minutes for the meeting of Embleton Parish Council on Monday, January 25

Public comment. Mark Bridgeman provided a briefing on the Cussins housing development planned for land north of Woodstead.

Following the grant of outline permission for 36 houses in September by Northumberland County Council (NCC), the developers are proceeding with public consultation before submitting a detailed planning application.

Of the new houses, six are planned as affordable (discounted to 30 per cent of asking price), starting at £115,000. The other 30 will range in size and format, including bungalows, semis and detached, ranging from £200,000 to £350,000. Detailed site maps were shared, showing layout, drainage and outline landscape plans.

The minutes of November 23 were agreed.

Matters arising: Transparency Fund: Clerk attended briefing by the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) in Wooler. Transparency Code – Prior to a parish council (PC) meeting, the agenda must be published on the PC website within three working days; following the meeting, draft minutes must be published on the website within a month; by July each year, PCs are required to publish the previous year accounts, transactions greater than £100, internal audit report, annual governance statement, councillor details and PC public land and buildings. Transparency Fund: As a result of the increasing amount of documents, councillors agreed the need for an Embleton Parish Council (EPC) stand-alone website. Clerk to pursue the format proposed by NALC. Transparency Fund to be applied for in April by Coun Armstrong to cover laptop, printer/scanner, hard drive, website development and staffing.

Appointment of parish clerk: Melissa Gilroy has been appointed Embleton Parish Clerk.

Charges for board on village green: Local businesses have responded positively towards the PC letter requesting an annual donation of £100 towards the upkeep of the green (commencing April).

Christon Bank missing signs and stone planters: Clerk and Coun Young photographed three locations for planters. Chairman to follow up with NCC. Missing sign on Horsley Place – Coun Young to speak to residents. Missing sign by phone box – clerk to consult highways department at NCC.

You’re Welcome scheme: Letter written, but no response. Clerk to send a copy to Coun Cairns to chase up at NCC.

CAN Representative Andy Dean: In December the clerk drafted a letter to CAN inviting Andy Dean to an EPC meeting. No response received. Clerk to follow up.

Former toilet site lease: Having checked the Land Registry documents for the site behind 1 Bolton Terrace, the chairman discovered an open public space restriction. This restricts the lease of the land to 1 Bolton Terrace for use as a garden/recreation area. Coun Moody to consult Embleton First School about possible use. Clerk to enquire with the Land Registry about changing restriction.

Changes to Fire Service: Clerk to feedback no comments from EPC.

Newcastle Society – Wind farms: Clerk to send a congratulatory letter to N&N Society.

Field next to Embleton play park: Concern raised regarding unkempt appearance of the PC field behind the park. Vice-chairman to oversee clear up and Coun Young to spray with weedkiller in April. The adjacent field has stock grazing. Clerk to draft a letter in response to the resident’s email.

Embleton noticeboard replacement: Coun Moody has agreed to replace the broken noticeboard outside the shop. This will no longer belong to EPC, but Coun Moody has agreed to post all PC notices on the new board.

Animal boarding establishment policy consultation: Clerk to feedback no comments from EPC.

Devolution for the North East: Clerk to identify the five main questions for the chairman to draft a response.

Councillors’ papers: Most PC paperwork today is solely by email. Councillors are entitled to request and receive paper copies of meeting agendas and accompanying papers. For other correspondence, councillors not on email may not be party to all information circulated.

Future audit arrangements: Changes to the requirements regarding external audit of the PC will take place in spring/summer 2018. As EPC has a precept of less than £25,000 per annum no actions are required at this stage.

Village volunteer group: Following the rural parishes meeting in November, Coun Moody briefed councillors about Beadnell PC’s village volunteer group, which helps to organise village events (fireworks, Christmas trees etc). It may also apply for funding not available to PCs. A similar model may work for EPC. Chairman to speak to Beadnell PC for more information.

Homes for Northumberland: Stone bus shelter: Since November the site developers have disposed of the stone intended for use in the building of the shelter. The dressed stone belonging to the old outhouses on the Quarry development has now been earmarked for the shelter. Funds have been built into the 2016-17 EPC precept to partly pay for rebuilding the shelter. Additional funding outstanding as EPC awaits response from the developers regarding contribution. Coun Cairns has been approached for contribution from councillor’s fund.•

Landscaping requirements for bank: Large scale print-outs of the plans have been produced. Coun Manners has agreed to check the NCC plans and consult with a horticulturist regarding alternative proposals if necessary.

2015-16 budget/precept: Revised precept for 2016-17 agreed. Chairman to increase amount to £6,000 for rebuilding the quarry bus shelter and £1,500 for building stone planters in Christon Bank.

Signage at Dunstan Steads: Chairman wrote a letter to the area of outstanding natural beauty in October in favour of the consolidation of the signage. AONB has written a letter to the National Trust to gain approval before progressing with one sign to cover all the concerned bodies. Clerk sent a reminder in December and January. Iain Robson, of AONB, is awaiting response from English Heritage. Clerk to request safety information displayed to be modified to identify position as Dunstan Steads, not Embleton Bay.

Procedure for planning applications: NALC’s planning notification scheme was agreed as a suitable procedure. Clerk to convert into an approved EPC policy document.

Play park wall repair: Ongoing.

Planning matters: 15/04259/DISCON, discharge of conditions 7 (footpath), 14 (verification report) and 15 (contamination) relating to permission 14/01854/FUL (development of 16 residential units on part of the former quarry site. A mix of apartments, bungalows and houses), land east of Turnstone Gardens, Embleton – no comments.

Correspondence: Funding email circulated. Coun Morgan highlighted the importance of reviewing this document as there may be opportunities available to EPC as a rural coastal community.

Embleton Joint Burial Committee (EJBC): Update by Coun Coxon. A divided board has resulted in stagnation in moving joint actions forward. David Francis of NALC attended the EJBC meeting in January to discuss and agreed the committee terms of reference. The revised terms will be presented again.

Asset register and insurance: Chairman is reviewing the assets covered/not covered under the PC insurance scheme. A meeting was held with NFU insurance advisers. Chairman to follow up.