Minutes of meeting December 2nd 2013

Present: Mr Stripp, Mr Ormston, Mrs O’Kane, Mr Kenny Mrs Bolam.

1 Apologies for absence: none

2 Minutes of previous meeting 4 November 2013: Examined and approved.

3 Matters arising

Northumberland Local Plan Core Strategy: submission prepared by Mrs Bolam and Mr Kenny was discussed, current plan centred on urban areas and does nothing for rural areas, clerk to forward the finalised submission making this point to NCC.

4 Finance

Precept to remain the same as last year £980

Bank balance £1467.21

5 Planning

Planning committee meeting 27-11-13 re The Conifers, 13/02186/FUL attended by Mrs Bolam and Mr Kenny. Permission was refused.

6 Correspondence

Comments on CAP reform: timescale was too short to respond but the reforms seemed to be beneficial for hill farmers. .

NCC budget and state of the area debate: the council does not feel it is worth sending a representative

Grit bins: the council is happy with the current level of grit bin provision

Statement on roads to be posted on website, sent to the gazette and to be tweeted.

7 Any other business

Clerk to email Cllr. Steven Bridgett asking for an update on the Cragend Landslip.

8 Date of next meeting – February 3rd 2014 7.30pm


Notes from BB Meeting in Harbottle March 1st

March 1st, 2014 in Harbottle Village Hall.

Eighteen people attended the meeting.

Margaret Ranken explained the current technical situation for improving mobile and broadband coverage in Upper Coquetdale, details of which can be found here.

Stephen Waddington pointed out that we are on the verge of being digitally excluded, that in central London there is now 60Mbit/s mobile connection and that we’re being pushed to the fringes of society. He also pointed out that house values are affected by lack of broadband (subsequently emphasised by an article in the Telegraph about Rightmove rating broadband on their website and claiming that slow broadband reduces house values by 20%).

The meeting agreed on the need for a campaign group to make so much fuss that the council is embarrassed enough to want us to go away. The National Park needs embarrassing too – it seems to want us all to live in a theme park and the vision for 2020 doesn’t mention people at all. At the moment, the NNPA position is that all infrastructure must be underground if technically feasible and there is a fund for removing poles and moving cables underground but it can’t be spent on new infrastructure.

The meeting decided that there needs to be a visibly large number of people backing the campaign and providing evidence of impact on society, growth and jobs. Then we can use that as a basis for a publicity campaign. Ideally with a catchy slogan such as: We are the forgotten 2% (4G mobile broadband providers have a target to reach 98% of the population). We will use social media as much as we can – the meeting happened because of Facebook.

Glanton successfully campaigned to get broadband and Greenhaugh has been very active in other campaigns, we will ask them for tips on how to do it.

Next steps are to send a letter to every household in the area, explaining the situation. Then to hold meetings in other villages and encourage people to sign up to an e- petition and provide information about their needs, the numbers of businesses affected, the numbers of children unable to do their homework and so on. Volunteers will be asked to deliver letters and to be village contacts. An ad in the Gazette was suggested.

Follow-up with a more formal meeting with a chairperson and invite politicians including Ann-Marie Trevelyan, Alan Beith, Julie Porksen, Steven Bridgett

Funds will be required for this and Joe Ormston, parish councillor, thought that financial support from Harbottle parish council was likely to be forthcoming. The parish council has met since then and given the Clerk, Margaret Ranken, an expenses budget of up to £100 for stationery etc. to support this campaign.

The NCC community chest fund and sustainability fund were also suggested as possible sources of funds.


Margaret Ranken

  • email parish clerks in Alwinton, Netherton and Hepple, suggesting that they organise public meetings for which the group will supply speakers.
  • check whether it is true that there is fibre in the copper cable that came into Holystone to provide existing broadband
  • First draft of a letter for every household for Jan Frazer to finalise
  • Ask Harbottle parish council for funds for the letters – DONE

Ian Glendinning

  • Set up a Facebook page for the campaign – DONE it’s a great page here

Stephen Waddington

  • Set up e-petition with space to provide relevant info on needs

Jan Frazer

  • Help draft letter for every household
  • Contact campaigners in Glanton and Greenhaugh and ask for tips

Malcolm Burke

  • Type up emails collected at meeting

Agenda for meeting 03/03/14 at 7.30pm

The monthly meeting of the Parish Council to be held on Monday 3 March 2014
in the Village Hall at 7.30pm.


1/ Apologies for absence

2/ Minutes of previous meeting 03/02/13

3/ Matters arising

4/ Finance

  • Bank balance

5/ Planning

  • Solar panels on new build in Sharperton 14/00525/FUL

6/ Correspondence

  • Upper Coquet Resource Group litter pick

  • Consultation on core strategy preferred options email 18-02

  • Consultation on countywide parking email 19-02

  • Consultation on school transport post-16 email 25-02

7/ Any other business

8/ Date of next meeting