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Wylam Parish Council


Present: Councillors S Duckworth (Chair), J Henderson, J Martin, C Percy and H Waddell

Also present: Marie Moore (Parish Clerk) and J Robinson (Hexham Courant)

Questions from Members of the Public None

Report from County Councillor K Quinn
Apology submitted.

1. Apologies for absence Councillor
Councillor K Quinn

2. Declarations of Interest from members on items on the Agenda
None declared.

3. Minutes

  1. the minutes of the meeting held on 12th October 2020 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.
  2. The minutes of the Ovingham Joint Burial Committee held on 7th October 2020 be received.
  3. The minutes of the extra-ordinary meeting on 2ndNovember 2020 be submitted to the next meeting if any further comments are received.

4.Resignation of Councillor A Francis
It was reported that Councillor A Francis had tendered her resignation with immediate effect.  Arrangements had already been made to advertise the vacancy in accordance with the required procedure.

The resignation meant that the Parish Council had to appoint another representative to the Ovingham Joint Burial Committee and that the Committee would need to appoint a new Chair.

Resolved that:

  1. The Council’s thanks for the enormous contribution made by A Francis be placed on record, and
  2. The appointment of a further representative to the OJBC be deferred to the next meeting, pending the formal appointment of new Co-opted members to the Council.

5. Co-option of Two Councillors

Two candidates were interviewed for the vacant positions in accordance with the Council’s Co-option Policy.

Resolved that the appointment of D Carney and R Herrmann as Co-opted Members be approved. 

6. Reports of the Tree Warden and Handyman
None submitted.

7. Light Up Wylam
S Grainger was in attendance to update the Council on the plans for the project to date.  Publicity had been issued and programmes were now available for purchase with proceeds going to Fareshare North East. She highlighted the fact that local businesses had been particularly supportive with financial support for printing and prizes.

With regard to the provision of additional community lights it was acknowledged that timescales and costs prevented this being explored further at this stage.  It would however be progressed early next year to enable funds to be identified, permissions to be obtained and logistics to be sorted. The possibility of lighting the Christmas tree at Charlies Corner was discussed however a power supply would need to be identified and safety checks would need to be carried out.

The possibility of decorating and lighting the window of the former Post Office premises was also discussed.  This would need to be discussed with the insurer of the property as a matter of urgency before any arrangements were made.

Resolved that:

  1. Further investigations be carried out with regard to providing lighting for the Christmas tree at Charlies Corner with any costs associated with this being considered by the Council in due course.
  2. The Council’s Insurer be contacted with regard to the proposal for decorating the window of the premises.
  3. The Parish Council’s support for the Light up Wylam Project being developed further in 2021 be noted and S Grainger be invited to a future meeting to discuss further how the Council can assist. 

8. Community Chest Application – Charlie’s Corner
J Henderson reported that she had contacted a number of garden design companies with a view to further exploring the creation of a sensory garden at Charlies Corner.  With the exception of one of these all proposed to charge a significant fee.

A proposal had been obtained which would see a site survey and scaled garden design being provided for the fee of £50.  This would then be used as the basis for consultation with the community to develop the project further. The intention was to submit a bid to the County Council’s Community Chest Scheme to secure the funding necessary to deliver the project.

In terms of developing the project further it would be important to set out clear evidence of need and also to consider ongoing maintenance issues and costs.

Resolved that the quote from Cedar Garden Design for an initial site survey and scaled drawing be approved at a cost of £50 and once obtained this be used as the basis for community consultation to support the funding bid.

9. Falcon Centre Update
C Percy had circulated a report on the recent meeting of the Falcon Centre Action Group which focussed particularly on the results of the resident’s survey and the next steps in taking both the Group and the project development process forward.

There was a particular acknowledgement that more work was needed to engage with young people on how they saw the future of the building.  A comprehensive survey of village organisations and facilities was also required to identify gaps in provision and avoid duplication/competition.  This should be part of the village plan/community mapping process which the Council had already agreed in principle to take forward.

Resolved that the report be noted and the Falcon Centre User Group be informed of the Council’s commitment regarding the village plan/asset mapping process.

10. George Stephenson’s Cottage – Update on Discussion with the National Trust

C Percy reported on a positive discussion that had taken place with a representative of the National trust regarding the future of George Stephenson’s Cottage. It had been confirmed that the building wold be staying in the Trust’s ownership and that opportunities for re-opening were being explored.

Resolved that the report be received. 

11. Consent for War Graves Commission Sign at Ovingham Cemetery
The Clerk reported that she had been in touch with the War Graves Commission about them providing signage in relation to the War Graves in Ovingham Cemetery.  As Wylam Parish Council was the host Council for the Joint Burial Committee it had to give its consent for the signage to be obtained and erected at the Cemetery. 

Resolved that consent be provided and the application for signage be made.

12. Asset Inspection Update
The Clerk reported that she had recently carried out an inspection for the Council’s fixed assets and had updated the asset register accordingly.  She had identified some maintenance issues e.g. seats and litter bins to be refurbished/painted and would be obtaining quotes for this work.  An inspection of the allotment site would also be arranged with representatives of the allotment association.

Resolved that the report be received.

13. Finance
Resolved that

  1. The payments detailed in appendix A be approved subject to the addition of the following:
    NCC Payroll/Processing Cost Oct 1535.94 2.50 1538.44 BACS
    M Hadden Expenses 27.99 0  27.99 BACS
    Land Girls Post Office Garden 50.00 0  50.00 BACS
  2. The financial reports to October 2020 be received
  3. The bank reconciliations for October 2020 be received.

14. Planning Applications and Decisions
Resolved that the report be received.

15. Correspondence
Resolved that:

  1. The correspondence received since the last meeting be noted and actioned where appropriate.
  2. The request from Age UK Northumberland for a donation be dealt with via email after checking on the decision made last year.They also be invited to attend a future meeting to discuss their work in the village.

The Council passed a resolution excluding the press and public from the meeting in accordance with Section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 by reason of the confidential nature of the business to be transacted (sensitive information).

16. Riverside Footpath
The Clerk reported on the current position on this issue.  Arrangements were being made for a meeting of all parties involved to discuss next steps.

Resolved that the report be received 

17. 3-4 Laburnum Terrace
The Clerk reported on the current position since the meeting on 2nd November.  Members were being kept up to date with progress via email.

Resolved that the report be received. 

18. Minor items & items for the agenda of a future meeting
Following receipt of the Nature Reserve Management Plan this should be discussed fully at the next meeting.

19. Date of next meeting
14th December 2020

The meeting closed at 8.25pm.