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County Councillor Report (Oct 2017)

County Councillor Report

October 2017

by Wendy Pattison

wendy.pattison@northumberland.gov.uk – Tel. 07779 983072

HEDGELEY PARISH

working together local councillors - provided by Wendy Pattison

Left to right, County Councillor Wendy Pattison, Chairman of Hedgeley/Powburn Parish Council, Robbie Burn, Chairman of Edlingham Parish Council Chris Blythe, Chairman of Craster Parish Council, Bryn Owen, Chairman of Embleton Parish Council, Terry Howells, Chairman of Newton by the Sea Parish Council, John Roper, Autumn Rabbits, Longhoughton Parish Council and Chairman of Eglingham Parish Council, David Alston.

Working together to Inspire great ideas – 7 Representatives from the 9 Parishes located within the Longhoughton Ward. On Friday, September 1st at the Thrunton Trout Fishery, an informal meeting took place with 6 Parish Council Chairmen representing, Craster, Newton by the Sea, Eglingham, Embleton, Edlingham, Hedgeley/Powburn. Cllr John Roper represented Newton by the Sea Parish Council. The meeting was extremely successful and new contacts were made and everyone will meet again next year in March 2018.

Powburn

Speed Camera Van

The plans were for the camera van to be in place in September, however, when the site visit was carried out they discovered that some of the long standing legal signing for the 30mph speed restriction was missing. Without these signs NCC would be criticised for having a van there. As soon as this was discovered Neil Snowdon, Traffic Manager, ordered replacement signs and as soon as they are installed the police will be able to start enforcement. I will keep you informed but unfortunately until the correct legal signs are in place NCC are unable to instruct enforcement. I am extremely sorry for this further delay. Read More>>

Construction and building sites

This can cause problems to local residents.

Permitted hours of work will normally be:

  • Monday to Friday – 0800 – 18.00
  • Saturday 0800 – 1300
  • Sundays & Bank Holidays – No Working 

If a company wishes to work outside of these hours (on a Construction Site) they will normally be required to submit an application for prior consent.

Noise

Noise from construction sites is controlled by the Control of Pollution Act (COPA) 1974. Construction companies and contractors are required to take all reasonable steps to control noise and to demonstrate that they are applying ‘Best Practicable Means’.

Dust

Dust from construction sites is controlled by the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and can often be minimised by:

  • carefully siting transport routes
  • providing hard-surfaced roadways
  • imposing speed limits on site
  • damping stockpiles of materials and roadways with water
  • keeping roadways clear
  • adjusting working methods e.g. to minimise demolition or crushing dust
  • storing fine material under cover.

It is important to note that the environmental legislation controlling dust is for the protection of human health and the environment in general. If dust only affects your property or possessions, Environmental Health will not be able to help.

If a company wishes to work outside of these hours (on a Construction Site) they will normally be required to submit an application for prior consent.

Burning

It is an offence under Section II of the Clean Air Act 1993 to burn anything on an industrial or trade premises which is likely to cause dark smoke. A person found guilty under this section can be liable to a fine on summary conviction not exceeding £20,000.

In addition, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Part III, nuisance legislation applies where a nuisance is defined as something which unreasonably interferes with someone else’s enjoyment of their home or garden. If we confirm that a nuisance does exist, we are able to serve a legal document called an Abatement Notice on the person responsible, requiring that the nuisance is stopped. If the Abatement Notice is ignored, then any further nuisance will be an offence which, on conviction in the magistrate’s Court, could result in fines of up to £20,000 and £2,000 per day for each day the offence continues.

The Environment Agency also have powers to deal with the burning of waste on trade premises. Under Part II of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, you have a duty of care concerning the disposal of trade waste. Section 33 of this Act states that a person shall not dispose of controlled waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health. The maximum penalty under this section is £20,000. Any burning of waste is therefore an offence under this legislation.

Exemptions from the Environment Agency powers relate to the burning of wood, bark and plant material at the site of production provided fires do not cause persistent problems to neighbours. These fires still have to be registered with the Environment Agency and it is an offence not to do so.

Action can still be taken by the Council under the Clean Air Act or Nuisance legislation.

Officers to contact are –

Enforcement officer is Liz.OBrien@northumberland.gov.uk

Environment officer rosemary.ayre@northumberland.gov.uk

Post 16 Home to School Transport

I am a member of the Committee discussing changes to Post 16 Home to School Transport which is chaired by County Councillor Glen Sanderson. I will report back to the Parish Council once a final decision has been made.

Small Business Rate Relief

A review of entitlement to small business rates relief is about to be carried out in order to ensure that any business claiming this relief remains entitled to it. If certain criteria is met then small business rates relief of up to 100% of the liability can be awarded. This can mean that if NCC are not notified when there is a change of occupier it does not necessarily affect the amount of business rates payable. Also, if a property becomes empty the ratepayer is no longer entitled to this relief and empty rates will become payable at some stage. NCC need to ensure that they hold accurate information regarding the occupiers of businesses and whether they are occupied or empty. Of 12,711 businesses within Northumberland around 5,500 are entitled to small business rates relief at some level.

Therefore, NCC intend to review all businesses who receive small business rates relief within Northumberland over the next year. Due to the numbers involved this will be a rolling review based on parishes. NCC will begin with the parishes of Morpeth and Berwick upon Tweed. Review letters will be issued week commencing 2 October 2017.

Any business failing to reply to the review letter may have their entitlement to small business rates relief withdrawn. If, during the review process, it transpires that the business is no longer entitled to the relief it will be withdrawn from the relevant date.

Any queries to the Business Rates team please telephone 01670 624885.

It is necessary to carry out this review in order to ensure that NCC records are accurately maintained and that the Council are billing business rates payers correctly.

A1 dualling

Highways England have announced the route(s) they have chosen, enabling the project to move on to the planning phase, and the works to remain on schedule.

They have declared that their Green route option will be the preferred route between Morpeth and Felton, and the Orange route option will be the preferred route between Alnwick and Ellingham. For Morpeth to Felton, this involves constructing a new stretch of dualled carriageway to the west, and for the section between Alwnick and Ellingham, the existing road will be widened. In both cases the choices represented the favourite option among local residents who took part in the extensive consultation events. The next step is for Highways England to complete the design, survey and environmental impact work ahead of submitting their application for a Development Consent Order to the Planning Inspectorate in 2018.

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