CORONAVIRUS EMERGENCY – PARISH COUNCIL MEETING CANCELLED 25TH MARCH 2020
Due to the Coronavirus emergency and government advice on 23rd March banning public meetings the Parish Council meeting planned for 25th March 2020 has been cancelled.
Please see the link above for information relating to services and local information during this emergency.
You can contact the Parish Council through our Parish Clerk, Jan Anderson. e: email@example.com t: 01665 575145
The contact details for all of our Parish Councillors are here.
Due to the resignation of Andy Ferguson, from 26th January 2020 there is a vacancy for a Parish Councillor on the PC. If you are interested in finding out more, contact the Parish Clerk Jan Anderson e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 01665 575145.
Come along to the next PC meeting to see what’s involved. Application is very simple, just send an email outlining your interests. If you are selected, there’s no election! At the moment, the conditions for becoming Councillor are as follows;
To stand for election on a parish council, you must:
- be a UK or Commonwealth citizen; or
- be a citizen of the Republic of Ireland; or
- be a citizen of another Member state of the European Union; and
- be at least 18 years old.
- To be eligible to stand for an election for a particular parish, you must:
- be an elector of the parish; or
- in the past 12 months have occupied (as owner or tenant) land or other premises in the parish; or
- work in the parish (as your principal or only place of work); or
- live within three miles of the parish boundary.
You don’t have to be connected to a political party.
If you do become a parish councillor you will have to sign up to the Code of Conduct.
Protecting the environment and future water use – Changes to Private Water Supply legislation
Does this affect you? You have until 1st October 2019 to ACT.
The Environment Agency is currently helping farmers, private householders, and other businesses taking water from rivers or groundwater (including from boreholes, wells and springs) to licence the water they take that was once previously exempt from requiring a licence. If you take more than 20 cubic metres per day you are likely to require a licence – we can help quantify the amount of water you use if you are unsure. We encourage applications before 1 October 2019 to secure the water you need; preserving the amount of water you have taken as a peak between 2010 and 2017.
Water is becoming scarce across the country and as water is highly valuable for businesses, protecting it into the future is becoming essential so supplies can be reliable for businesses to maximise their economic output. From plant nurseries to the big water companies, they all need to share what can safely be taken from our rivers and groundwater. If anyone over-does it, rivers dry up, fish can’t migrate to breed, even the birds that feed on the insects from rivers that you see in the spring and that Anglers depend on for fly-fishing, just don’t thrive and we all lose out as the natural environment of the rivers we love deteriorate to mere channels of flood drains – not something any countryside walker, river watcher, angler or parent with children growing up wants to see for the future.
So whereas before when there was less pressure on water sources, that has changed over the years and places like Northumbria that once were exempt areas for needing a licence – now need protection – the Environment Agency does this through its abstraction licensing system. It means that everyone who applies for a water abstraction licence for a previously exempt activity or in a previously exempt area can be rest assured that the water they take will be protected alongside their neighbours use, with protected and lawful rights for those quantities. It ensures there is a level playing field for everyone to continue accessing their water and for any new businesses to fit in alongside those already there whilst protecting the environment. Having a water abstraction licence helps with business certainty and for those with private borehole supplies to properties, to know the water will be there when they need it. Water is essential to many businesses and remote properties not on mains supply – applying for a licence makes good business sense.
So what do people need to do? If you are a collection of houses on one borehole, well or spring supply, or a farm or business that takes water from a river or ground, then you need to apply before the close of the transitional application window that allows for licences to be granted based on previous peaks of water taken over the last 7 years; this special provision disappears on 31 December this year. You apply on an application form from the Environment Agency, describing what you currently take, present evidence of that with your application, and submit that before 1 October. This will then leave time for any gaps in your application to be resolved and still submitted safely for the deadline in December.
What you don’t want to risk is missing that deadline as your abstraction can then only be resolved by a normal application to the Agency without the benefit of being able to preserve the amounts you have been using. Indeed in heavily abstracted catchments, water may not be available – so “apply now” is the Environment Agency’s advice. This way you can preserve your rights to water from any others that might take it, and ensure a level playing field for newcomers wanting water. So if you know of any business, farm or private water supply household, let them know straight away. By doing so you will be enabling future generations to have sound businesses with water and rivers thriving locally for everyone to enjoy – it is a community thing everyone benefits from – but they must apply to be part of it.
All owners and operators of private water supplies, irrigation, quarries, industrial and farming uses from borehole and river abstractions, canal, ports and harbour intakes, will need to apply and very little time now remains. Without an application by December the activity becomes unlawful and this may affect your business. Spread the word, “apply now”.
The Environment Agency has a free hotline for anyone unsure if this applies to them and a bookable appointment service to help you fill in the forms. You can call 03708 506506 or email them at enquiries@environment‐agency.gov.uk to find out more. Further information of which previously exempt activities now require a licence and how to apply can be found on citizen space -https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/environment-and-business/removing-previously-exempt-abstraction-activities/ and gov.uk – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-new-abstraction-licence-for-a-currently-exempt-abstraction.
NEWS!NEWS! NEWS! – Vacancy for Parish Councillor
There is still a vacancy on the Parish Council.
NEWS!NEWS! NEWS! – Parish Council Annual audit 2017/18
For the documents relating to the PC’s annual audit click see below.
NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! Citizens Advice Northumberland – updated contact details
Citizens Advice Northumberland is a registered local charity which provides the people of Northumberland with free, confidential, and impartial information and advice on a wide range of subjects including welfare benefits, debt, financial capability, fuel poverty, housing and employment matters. For contact details click HERE.
NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! Northumberland County Council Green Dog Walkers Responsible Dog Ownership Scheme NCC launched a new campaign on 3rd July 2017 to promote responsible dog ownership in Northumberland. At the core of the campaign is an initiative that encourages both local environmental groups and motivated individuals to sign up to the Green Dog Walker pledge. If you want to find out more about this scheme or want to sign the pledge (or both!), click HERE.
NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! GROWING A RURAL COMMUNITY SURVEY FOR NORTHUMBERLAND
The Rural Services Network seeks to speak for rural areas across England and sends weekly updates to the Parish Council. They are seeking to increase the number of contacts they have across the country so that a clear consensus rural response system can be established. They are also intending to set up a system of specific Sounding Boards and a Rural Panel. If you are interested in finding out more click HERE.
NEWS! NEWS! NEWS!
NEWS! NEWS! NEWS! Red Squirrels The Parish Council has received a letter from the publicity officer of Berwick Save Our Squirrels who are keen to recruit more volunteers to help with monitoring and protection. We have Red Squirrels living in parts of the Parish (see picture below) so if you are interested read Hilary’s article.
NEWS! NEWS! NEWS!
Action to be taken on speeding An issue was raised by a Swarland regarding roads on Nelson Drive, Kenmore Road, and Percy Drive being damaged by builders trucks which are also speeding. It was agreed that more evidence is needed of how widespread the problem is. If any residents have any information please could they contact the Clerk.