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Wylam Parish Council


Present: Councillors S Duckworth (Chair), D Carney, R Herrmann, J Martin and C Percy Percy and H Waddell.

Also present: Marie Moore (Parish Clerk) and one resident.

Questions from Members of the Public None

Report from County Councillor K Quinn
Apology submitted.

1. Apologies for absence Councillor
Councillors J Henderson and K Quinn.

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

3. Minutes

  1. The Minutes of the Ordinary Parish Council Meeting held on 14th December 2020 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman subject to the amendment of the Precept figure in Minute 10. iv. to £50,150.
  2. The Minutes of the Ovingham Joint Burial Committee held on 1st December 2020 be received.

4. Appointment of Co-opted Member

One candidate had been interviewed for the vacant position in accordance with the Council’s Co-option Policy.

Resolved that the appointment of Martyn Jones, as a Co-opted Member, be approved.

5. Appointment of Representative to Ovingham Joint Burial Committee

Resolved that D Carney be appointed to represent the Council on the Ovingham Joint Burial Committee for the forthcoming year.

6. Reports of the Tree Warden and Handyman

Having considered the Warden’s report Members referred in particular to the need for a more detailed discussion regarding the Nature Reserve Management Plan. This was being arranged and it was suggested that one of the things to be agreed was who would be the ‘lead’ on behalf of the Council.

C Percy reported that L Bray was very keen to do more work on this project and had in fact started some minor pruning and coppicing work. She had suggested that a hi-viz vest with the Parish Council name on, would help as she had been questioned about the work being carried out.

Resolved that:

  1. The report of the Tree Warden be received.
  2. Arrangements be made for an early meeting with Mandy Rackham of OS Ecology, to discuss the Management Plan in more detail.
  3. A quote be obtained for ‘named’ hi-viz vests with approval of this being sought by email to speed the process.

7. N7. Covid-19 Community Support

Following the recent Government announcement of another National Lockdown, and the need for the clinically vulnerable to ‘shield’, Members suggested that the community support arrangements used during the first lockdown, be restarted. J Martin provided an overview of the arrangements for the Members new to the Council. Whilst approximately 90 people had volunteered to help there were, fortunately, only a small number of residents who required their support meaning most volunteers were never called upon.

H Waddell indicated that she was keen to get involved in this new initiative and would work alongside J Martin and J Henderson.

Resolved that

  1. The Council’s, Covid-19 and What’s on Wylam Facebook pages be used to publicise the message regarding the recruitment of volunteers and to encourage those requiring support to get in touch.
  2. Those supported previously be contacted to ask whether any further support is required.
  3. Previous volunteers be contacted regarding their availability and the Covid-19 volunteer database be updated accordingly.

8. George Stephenson’s Birthplace Update

C Percy and S Duckworth provided a comprehensive update on a recent meeting held with representatives of the National Trust regarding the future of George Stephenson’s Birthplace. They highlighted that there was now a wider focus looking at the importance of engineering in the area, heritage more generally and the use of new technology to offer a better visitor experience.

A further meeting was to be held on the 22nd January involving County Councillor K Quinn. Following this it would be important to carry out wider public engagement to identify both groups e.g. Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership and individuals locally, who could support this work.

Resolved that the report be received and a further comprehensive update, on the outcome of the meeting on 22nd January, be provided at the next Parish Council meeting.

9. Falcon Centre Update

C Percy provided an update on the current position with regard to the work of the Falcon Centre Action Group.  A meeting with Northumberland County Council’s Head of Library Services and a Regeneration Officer had been generally very positive.  The Plunkett Foundation was providing support particularly in relation to identifying relevant sources of funding to bring the Group’s plans to fruition. A public online meeting of the Action Group, originally planned for 20th January, would now be held on 17thFebruary.  This would be the first formal meeting of the Action Group which would see the adoption of its Constitution.  It was important that the Parish Council was represented at this meeting.  The Action Group’s website was also due to go ‘live’ in the coming days.

Resolved that the report be received.

10. Finance
Resolved that

  1. The payments detailed in Appendix A be approved subject to the addition of the following:
NCC Museum Rent Q4 20-21 300.00 0 300.00 BACS
Multicord Christmas Lights, Charlie’s Corner 312.50 62.50 375.50 BACS
Fairshare Donation in Lieu of electricity charges incurred by M Bradley for Charlie’s Corner 20.00 0 20.00 BACS
Wylam Nurseries Grass cutting at Holeyn Hall Crossroads for 2020 200.00 40.00 240.00 BACS
Wylam Nurseries Autumn Planting of war memorial and tubs 2020 150.00 30.00 180.00 BACS
Wylam Nurseries Seasonal watering of Amberol hanging baskets 2020 133.33 26.67 160.00 BACS
  1. The financial reports to December 2020 be received.
  2. The bank reconciliations for December 2020 be received.
  3. A review of the Council’s banking arrangements be carried out in 12 months’ time to determine the appropriateness of the existing accounts.

11. Correspondence
Resolved that the correspondence received since the last meeting be noted and actioned where appropriate.

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).

12. Riverside Footpath

The Clerk reported that following the last meeting the Council’s new Members had been provided with background information on this issue.

D Carney suggested that a Working Group be established to look at the situation in detail and make recommendations. Regular reports would be provided to the Parish Council to enable formal decisions to be made. In the meantime decisions regarding the further technical report and the arrangements for a further joint meeting should be deferred.

Resolved that D Carney and R Herrmann be appointed to this Working Group with regular updates and reports being submitted to the Council in due course.

14. 3-4 Laburnum Terrace

A Creighton provided a further update on the matters related to the sale of the property including planning, discussions with the purchasers and the work required to protect the condition of the property.

A decision on the planning application was expected in early February. The Parish Council had been consulted on the application and it was suggested that, whilst declaring an interest, a response on the lines submitted for the earlier Change of Use application, be submitted.

He then provided an opinion on the most appropriate way forward with BT Openreach in relation to its response to the Council’s formal application to move the cabinet to the front of the property. He also provided a general assessment of the current position with the residential housing market given the pandemic and forthcoming end to the Stamp Duty ‘holiday’.

In relation to the work required to the property both R Bailes and A Creighton highlighted the current criteria for mortgage lenders which no longer allowed retentions to be held pending the completion of works.

Finally, the Clerk reported on changes to the Council Tax for the property given that it has now been empty for over two years. This increase in Tax made it even more important that the sale was concluded as soon as possible.

Resolved that:

  1. The report be received.
  2. A response be submitted to Northumberland Council expressing the Council’s support for Planning Application Ref. 20/04196/COU.
  3. The quotations received for the work required to the property be analysed in detail and then circulated to Members for a decision on which should be approved.
  4. Arrangements then be made for the work to go ahead as soon as possible.
  5. BT Openreach be advised that at this point in time the Council is focussing on the sale of the property and will further consider the matter in due course.

14. Minor items & items for the agenda of a future meeting

The Council noted that the following applications had been granted:

REF Proposal Location
20/03078/FUL Construction of single storey rear extension, replacement of existing front porch, and conversion of garage into living accommodation 19 The Dene, Wylam



20/01316/LBC20/01317/FULListed Building Consent: Internal alterations including window repairs, external render, proposed orangery extension, existing lean-to extension removed and alterations to entrance gates.Oakwood Hall Wylam Northumberland NE41 8BH  Oakwood Hall Wylam Northumberland NE41 8BH


15. Date of next meeting

8th February 2021

The meeting closed at 8.45pm.