Wylam Parish Council


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

Also present: A Creighton and R Bailes (Re Laburnum Terrace) and Marie Moore (Parish Clerk)

1. Apologies for absence

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

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).

3. 3-4 Laburnum Terrace
A Creighton reported on discussions and a site meeting that had taken place with representatives of BT Openreach regarding the BT cabinet which stood to the front of the property and its potential impact on the sale. Although initially BT Openreach had been accepting of the relocation they had since changed their position because of significant technical and cost implications.

BT Openreach were aware of the requirement that the Parish Council obtain best consideration for the sale of the property and had therefore suggested that one option would be the granting of a wayleave with an appropriate easement cost.

The other option would be for the cabinet to be moved but BT Openreach suggested that they would seek a legal view on this because of the technical and cost implications.

It was clear that the Parish Council’s response to BT Openreach would be dependent upon its decision in relation to the new bids made for the purchase of the property. The situation with the cabinet had been raised with the prospective purchasers and their views had been obtained.

At this point R Bailes outlined the detail of the three bids made following the recent re-marketing exercise. This included the proposed purchase price, future use and impact of the BT cabinet.

The Clerk also reminded members of the criteria used by the Council in considering the bids from the first marketing exercise. These criteria would need to be applied again to ensure consistency and fairness of process.
In discussing each of the bids in accordance with these criteria, members sought guidance from A Creighton and R Bailes on issues such as the likelihood of each bid proceeding and the bidders’ views on the BT cabinet. They also carefully considered proposed future uses of the property.

Following detailed consideration and taking account of the advice of the property professionals it was:

Resolved that:
i. The Council should accept the highest bid for 3-4 Laburnum Terrace and its solicitor be instructed accordingly.
ii. All bidders be advised of this decision and also kept informed of progress on the sale.

The meeting was then declared open.

4. Minutes
Resolved that the minutes of the meeting held on 13th July 2020 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman subject to ‘Brookes’ being amended to ‘Brooks’.

5. Falcon Centre
C Percy provided an update on the current position with regard to the plans of the Falcon Centre User Group for the future of the building. A Pre-feasibility study was planned to identify unmet needs for community provision in Wylam. A copy of the draft ‘brief’ for this study had been circulated. The results of this study would then enable plans for the future of the Centre to evolve.

The User Group had requested the Parish Council to consider providing funding for the residents survey element of the Study. However, it was noted that as the Group was not yet constituted the Parish Council could unfortunately not provide funding to an un-constituted organisation.

It was understood that the intention of the Group was to become constituted and they would clearly need to do this if they were to seek funding for further feasibility and development costs. S Duckworth had been involved in discussion with the Group and whilst highlighting their enthusiasm for their overall aim, acknowledged the need to become constituted.

In discussing the request it was clear that members had differing opinions on the wider development project. It was therefore acknowledged that as a community asset the Parish Council would need to come to a consensus view on the issue.

Resolved that the update be received and the request for funding for the residents survey be deferred and be reconsidered once the Group is formally constituted.

6. Date of next meeting
Ordinary Meeting 14th September 2020

The meeting closed at 8.00pm.