MINUTES OF THE CHOPPINGTON PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 2 DECEMBER 2020 (VIRTUAL MEETING)
Cllr E A Barrell
Cllr J Foster
Cllr K Grimes
Cllr G Huntley
Cllr J Rowell
Cllr Vaughan (Chair)
Cllr L Watson
Mrs A Brindley, Parish Clerk/Responsible Finance Officer and Mr D L Nicholson, Deputy Parish Clerk.
AGENDA PART 1
C028/20 1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for non-attendance were received from Cllr H Allsopp (child-care commitment) and Cllr A Iley (illness). The meeting accepted theses as proper reasons for absence.
C029/20 2. DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY AND OTHER REGISTERABLE INTEREST(s)
Cllr J Foster, a member of Northumberland County Council’s planning committee indicated that in the event of discussion on any applications pending consideration by the planning authority, she would retire from that part of the meeting to ensure legal compliance.
C030/20 3. PUBLIC QUESTIONS.
The Parish Clerk explained arrangements made for members of the public to submit questions or attend the meeting. No questions had been received.
C031/20 4. PLANNING MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION.
The Chairman of the Planning Committee reported that there were no items to be brought to the attention of the Parish Council and requested an update on the application for the change of use of a building from vehicle depot to material recycling facility at Watson’s Yard. The Parish Clerk reported that NCC Planners have made no indication of when or if this application will proceed.
C032/20 5. TO RECEIVE AND ADOPT THE MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 6 OCTOBER 2020.
The meeting agreed the minutes represented a true record of the meeting and agreed they should be signed as such by the Chairman and placed in the public domain.
C033/20 6. MATTERS ARISING
C034/20 7. TO RECEIVE AND NOTE THE MINUTES OF THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE HELD ON 10 NOVEMBER 2020.
Members received the minutes, noted the contents and authorised publication in the public domain.
C035/20 8. TO RECEIVE AND CONSIDER THE NOTES OF THE FINANCE WORKING GROUP HELD ON 14 OCTOBER 2020.
Members received the notes.
C036/20 9. BUDGET PREPARATION 2020/21.
Members considered the process to be adopted for the preparation of the budget for 2021/22, and COVID 19 restrictions that might be in place. The Parish Council has always been guided by its residents through the Residents Panel when setting its precept and were concerned that consideration be given to enabling public participation. Members were further concerned that at a difficult time for many people government was limiting the grant given to Northumberland County Council whilst allowing a substantial rise in council tax. Members were conscious that areas such as Choppington do not receive the new housing dividend, which lowers local precepts and enjoyed by many parish and town councils in more affluent areas within the county.
Members asked that consideration be given to limiting the damaging affect of council tax rises by utilising any underspend caused by COVID 19 to support expenditure in the next financial year.
- Members agreed to establish a working group of all members to consider the budget for 2021/22.
- Members requested details of any anticipated underspend be presented to the working group.
C037/20 10. COVID ARRANGEMENTS.
The Parish Clerk presented a report on the measures taken by the Parish Council to safeguard staff and public, and asked members to consider whether any further actions are required as a consequence of Northumberland being placed in Tier 3 on 2 December 2020.
RESOLVED: Members considered that current measures were robust and asked that the Parish Clerk keep these under review.
C038/20 11. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN.
The Parish Clerk requested members to give direction to the Parish Clerk regarding evidence gathering and future arrangements for consultation with the public.
Members considered that evidence gathering and strong engagement with the community will be essential for the successful adoption of a neighborhood plan that will have the strength to protect green space from inappropriate development.
RESOLVED: That a meeting be arranged for the Chair and Vice Chair of the Planning Committee to support plan development.
C039/20 12. PARISH CLERK’S REPORT.
12.1 Finance Report. Members received a report from the Parish Clerk and Responsible Finance Officer detailing expenditure made and income received since the last meeting of the Parish Council. Responding to a question on expenditure on Cleaswell Park the Parish Clerk/RFO indicated a briefing note will be sent to all members
RESOLVED: Members asked that this report be placed on the Parish Council’s website.
12.2 Financial performance to the end of the financial quarter.
RESOLVED: Members considered there were no matters to be referred to the Finance Committee for further consideration.
12.3 Health and Safety Report.
The Parish Clerk presented a report detailing responsibilities; inspection, risk assessment and incident reporting protocols and procedures, advising that this will be a standard item on all future agendas.
RESOLVED: Members received the report, thanking the Parish Clerk for its detail and comprehensive nature, and noted that there were no matters requiring the attention of the Parish Council.
Agenda – Part 2.
Members resolved that in consideration of Standing Order 46a and because of their special and confidential nature, discussion of the following items should take place in the absence of press and public.
C040/20 1. CONSIDERATION OF MATTERS REFERRED FROM AGENDA
No items were referred for consideration.
C041/20 2. GRANTS.
- Members awarded a grant of £500 following a request from a residents’ association ‘Choppington Together’ to enable festive events for local children.
- Choppington Primary School requested a significant grant to pay for preliminary testing required for the construction of a multi-use-games-area that will be accessible by the local community. Members approved in principle the award of not more than £3770, upon suitable undertaking guaranteeing continued benefit to the community.
There being no further business the meeting closed at 19.40
C039/20 12.1 Income and Expenditure
October Income and Expenditure 2020
|Cheque Ref||Transaction Detail||Date Paid||Total||Payee Name|
|301924||Insurance WS||01/10/2020||1,051.41||Came & Company|
|301925||Salaries September||02/10/2020||12,121.84||Northumberland County Council|
|301927||Postage & travel Expenses||06/10/2020||73.20||FAO|
|301928||Photocopying||06/10/2020||441.25||Total Business Group|
|DD1387S151||Email server Subscription||07/10/2020||62.10||Google Ireland ltd|
|DD1388S151||Response services||08/10/2020||119.40||Royal Mail|
|Std Ord||IT/Functional||10/10/2020||417.15||members support|
|Std Ord||Microsoft Office Monthly pay||11/10/2020||20.99||PC/RFO|
|301929||Website upgrade for accessibility||13/10/2020||480.00||Energy 365|
|Std Ord||School sports programme||14/10/2020||1,638.58||PFC|
|301930||Training re Neighbourhood Planning||14/10/2020||65.30||Soc of Local Council Clerks|
|301931||Water – allotments||19/10/2020||18.76||Wave|
|301932||Electricity WS||20/10/2020||24.37||Npower (WS recharge)|
|301933||Water WS||20/10/2020||23.39||Wave (WS recharge)|
|DD1389S151||Telephone & broadband||26/10/2020||65.16||British Telecom|
|301934||Steps & handrail at WS||30/10/2020||3,960.00||Morpeth Welding Ltd (WS recharge)|
|301935||Grass topping at Riverside||30/10/2020||480.00||M & D Burkinshaw|
|301936||Electricity WS||30/10/2020||19.72||Npower (WS recharge)|
|Interest received||02/10/2020||11.13||Public Sector Deposit Fund|