The Minutes of the Meeting of Birtley Parish Council which was held in the Village Hall on 26th February 2008 commencing 8 pm.

1 Present Cllrs EN Coulson (Chairman), WG White, J Robson, DRB Burn and
Mrs SW Crone
Also present: Clerk Robert Macfarlane and Cllr Alex Kerr

2 Apologies Ms A Lowes and Cllr N Ridley

3 Declaration of Interest None

4 Minutes Minutes of the previous meeting held on 4th December having been circulated earlier were agreed and signed by the Chairman.

5 Matters Arising
Waterfalls Farm – Clerk has had a reply from R Willis, Assistant Monitoring and Enforcement Officer, Mineral, Waste & Development Control NCC. The letter stated that the owner had been informed that he needed planning permission to operate a Waste Transfer Station. A timetable for the removal of waste from the site was not adhered to. The owner has undertaken to remove the waste from the site by the end of February. If this is not in compliance then enforcement action will be considered by the NCC. Cllr Kerr will pursue this matter to ascertain if any progress has been made.
Notice Board – The Council selected appropriate designs and the Chairman will check with the owner of the wall before ordering a new notice board.
Flora’s Seat – The Wark PC have asked for a donation of £20
MP Reply re Planning – The Council has received a sympathetic reply from our MP. Clerk was asked to sound out neighbouring parish councils for their views.
TDC Bottle Bank – Still waiting to hear from TDC re possible location at side of Village Hall.
Characteristic/Belonging Communities – A meeting has been arranged by TDC and will take place at Wark in the Town Hall on 18th March 7-9 pm.
Lawn Mower – Chairman will meet with Robert Bell to discuss the purchase of a motor mower. Clerk to write to MTCT for grant aid.

6 Communications
All councillors were circulated with a list of correspondence
RoSPA Inspection Dates
CAN Newsletter Vol 28 No1 & VCS Consortium
TDC Casual Vacancies
Allianz Insurance for lawnmower
Grant request from Age Concern,
Donations to CAN
NCC Minerals and Waste Development Framework
CAN NCC Committee Papers TDC Minutes, NEWMT No8,
NCC Archaeology in Northumberland,
NCC RoW Improvement Plan,
Communities – Conduct of Members,
NNPA Stakeholder Consultation Workshop 4th March
NE Regional Spatial Strategy changes

7 Roads
The road to Millknock Quarry is in an extremely bad state and very difficult to drive on. Cllr Kerr will take this matter up with NCC highways.

8 Footpaths
The Council have been consulted by NCC on the proposed diversion, upgrading and downgrading at Sweethope Lough Bridleway No 4. BPC have no objections to the changes.

9 Planning
Ray Estate/The Steadings/Green Rigg Fell joint Public Inquiry, BERR and Planning Inspectorate, is in progress at the Britannia Newcastle Airport Hotel.

DRB Burn will express the Council’s views:

Parish Councillors discussed the matter in 2005 and voted 5 against and 1 in favour of the proposals. The Council’s stance remained unaltered after the Public meeting held on 25 January 2006 and the Parish Council meeting held on 2 December 2007.
The main aim of councillors is to care for the welfare of parishioners and the area in which they live.
The major concerns are:
 Safety on the A68
 Effects on a close-knit rural community
 Grid connection

9 Planning continued

Planning Application 20080011 Construction of storage building Ridsdale Range The Steel Bellingham, NE48 2EZ BPC have no objections.

20071204 Construction of conservatory Hollinside Birtley NE48 3HL
BPC have no objections Granted consent 19th December 2007

20070986 Agricultural workers dwelling at Buteland Farm NE48 2EX
Heard at Development Control Meeting 19th December and refused permission.

10 Reports

Village Hall The Committee is busy putting together a grant application for an insulation project. BPC fully support the Committee’s proposals and the Clerk is instructed to communicate this intelligence to TDC.

NCC The County Council council tax is to be increased by 1%

MTCT: At present the Trust has several proposed initiatives.
a) Village Hall Forum – useful for self-help and sharing of ideas and problems.
b) Festival of Sporting Activities – Bowls, quoits, cricket etc.
c) Food and Drink Festival – help promote and market local businesses
d) FIREworks Fire and Rescue Academy based at Hexham. Haydon Bridge and Bellingham Fire Stations for young people 13- 18 yrs.
Unfortunately Peter Samsom has resigned so the Trust is looking for a Chairman and a Vice-Chairman.

11 War Memorial
Although Holden Conservation has completed the work on the memorial the War Memorial Trust needs some clarification as to why Holden deviated from their original specification. The grant from them has been held back. Clerk to liaise with Holden and War Memorial Trust.

13 Play Park
The Council would welcome transferring the Northumberland Estates lease arrangement for the play area from the Village Hall Committee to the Parish Council. Both the Council and the Village Hall committee have insured the play equipment (both with Allianze Cornhill). The Council is willing to reimburse the Village Hall committee for extra insurance costs they have incurred. BRB Burn will liaise with the Village Hall Committee.

14 Financial Matters

Bank Balances 9th February Treasurer’s Account £2142.97, Instant Access £2529.91

Grants Awarded PCC contribution to memorial £430 , NCC £386 (MTCT) and TDC have pledged £300 for fencing & dog signs

Auction Income
£50, £318.50, £291 and £3259 giving a total raised of £3917.50

Approved Payments: Clerk’s salary £125, Clerk’s expenses £47.08, Hire of Hall (Feb) £10, War Memorial £1720 paid but not the vat 17.5% £301.00, Top Signs £211.50 (£180 plus vat £31.50), CAN donation £15, Allianz Insurance plc £164.12 (£155.31 plus £7.81 (IPT)), Wark PC (Hewitson Seat) £20, Northumberland estates field rent £1, MTCT donation of £100

It was agreed to award a grant to Age Concern for £25 under section 137.
It was resolved to pay Peter Milburn £235 (£200 plus vat £35) on completion of the work
in the playing field

Next Meeting

The next meeting of Birtley Parish Council will be the Annual Meeting of the Parish and the Council Annual Meeting and they will take place in the Village Hall at 8.00 pm on 20th May 2008

There being no other business the meeting was closed at 9.45 pm.