(This is a text only version to enable word searching of the minutes of Council meetings. The page is mainly unformatted and will not show tables correctly.  A copy of the actual meeting minutes as laid out in the recorded version can be found here.)

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council

held on Monday 3 February 2020

at Stocksfield Community Centre

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mrs J Furniss, Mr C Liddle, Mr D Parke, Mr M Parker,

Mrs H Rae, Dr P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     Mrs J Robson, Professor R Thompson.

Also present: PC S Walton (Northumbria Police), Mr B Wade and Mrs J White (residents).

 

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.30pm, and welcomed those present.

20/2/15 East Tynedale Neighbourhood Policing Team

The Chair welcomed PC Sharon Walton to the meeting. PC Walton said that she is based at the Spetchells Centre in Prudhoe, along with the other members of the Neighbourhood Policing Team, and has specific responsibility for Stocksfield. PC Walton reassured members that even if the Spetchells Centre is closed, officers still work from the premises and are in the area. She appealed for councillors to encourage residents to report matters to the police, whether it be actual events, suspicions or information, using the 101 telephone number or an online submission via the website. Feedback from residents in Stocksfield suggests that speeding of vehicles is the main issue and both the camera van and community speed watch are deployed locally.  She added that councillors are able to contact her about any local issues they feel should be addressed. After a number of questions, the Chair thanked PC Walton for her input and she left the meeting.

 

20/2/16 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

20/2/17 Public Participation

Gullies in Guessburn

Mrs White complained that the gullies in Guessburn are generally blocked with silt and have not been cleared for some time. The Clerk AGREED to contact Northumberland County Council (NCC) on her behalf.                                                                     Action: Clerk

Trees adjacent to Stocksfield Burn

Mrs White said that a number of trees at the rear of the bungalows between Guessburn and Stocksfield Burn are causing concern for the elderly residents as one as has fallen in the high winds. The Clerk AGREED to identify the relevant landowners and take appropriate action.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk

Local Action Group in Stocksfield

Mr Wade said that he and a small group of residents are looking to establish a group called ‘MAD (make a difference) about Stocksfield’ in order to undertake community based activities such as litter picking and hedge cutting. He said that this would not replace existing services and the work could extend to the provision of assistance to residents in need. Members were supportive of the principles involved, particularly the potential link to the work of the Council and others in respect of vulnerable residents in the village. After discussion, the Chair asked Mr Wade to keep the Council informed of developments.

 

20/2/18 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had given her apologies and the Chair referred to her written update which related to the proposed 20mph speed limit on the A695, the introduction of a chicane on New Ridley Road, potential support from NCC’s Members Local Improvement Scheme for additional defibrillators and other unspecific matters.


20/2/19 Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 January 2020

It was AGREED (proposed Mrs Rae, seconded Mr Parke) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 6 January 2020 were a true and accurate record.

20/2/20 Matters Arising

a) Footpaths in Painshawfield Estate

The Clerk said that NCC’s Footpath Officer had examined the footpaths and regards the surfaces as being in good condition. He identified a section of one path adjacent to St John’s Church where some work could be done and he will endeavour to schedule this for later in the year, provided that finance is available. The resident who raised the matter has been informed accordingly.                                                                                 DISCHARGED

b) A695 Broomley First School: speed reduction measures

The Clerk reported that no reply had been received from NCC since the last Council meeting. The Chair reminded members that the County Councillor’s update stated that a revised design should be ready in March 2020 but expressed concern that no further information had been provided by officers, particularly as the proposals affected the Council’s assets. It was AGREED to write further to officers to ask for an update.              Action: Clerk

 

20/2/21 Finance

a) Approval of January payments

It was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mr Parker) that the payments for January be approved as detailed in the previously circulated schedule and the summary of receipts and payments for the month was noted.

b)Budget monitoring to 31 January 2020

Members noted the previously circulated report and AGREED to vire £550 to the Environment budget from Play Facilities.                                                         Action: Clerk

 

20/2/22 Parish Council Representatives

East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum - 15 January 2020

The Chair had been unable to attend the meeting but the draft minutes had been circulated to councillors.

 

20/2/23 Advisory Groups

a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

i) Notes of the GGAG

Members noted the notes of the meeting held on 20/01/20.

ii) Bank reconciliation to 31/12/19

Members noted the completion of the bank reconciliation.  DISCHARGED

iii) Review of policy on ad hoc hire of sports pitches

After discussion it was AGREED to approve the policy without amendment and to review it in February 2023.                                                                Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

iv) Campaign for the Protection of Rural England

Members AGREED to renew the Council’s membership at a cost of £36.                                                                                                                           Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

v) Parish Council Plan

Members discussed the development of the Council Plan and AGREED to arrange a meeting of the Parish Plan Group at which all councillors would attend. Action: Clerk

b) Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

Members noted the planning report and the delegated authority used as set out below.

19/04922/FUL

27 Painshawfield Rd

Construction of two storey extension to provide access lift

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

19/04959/FUL

Apperley Farm West Cottage

Single storey rear extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/2/24 Branch End Play Area: Sling Rotator

The Clerk reported that both the original supplier and installer of the Sling Rotator had examined the installation with the Clerk whilst the equipment was being removed. The foundations meet the specification in respect of size but the suppliers do not specify the mix for the concrete used. It is therefore impossible to attribute the movement in the central column to its installation. Members noted that the full cost of reinstallation will fall to the Council. The Clerk added that the central column has been reinstalled and replacement of the rotating arm is scheduled for later this week.                                                      DISCHARGED

 

20/2/25 Stocksfield Sports Field: Overspill car park

The Clerk referred to a previously circulated report that highlighted problems with the surface of the car park. Members discussed the options available and AGREED that

  • the car park surface should be aerated, including the purchase of an aerator and sharp sand
  • additional birdsmouth fencing should be provided in the car park as described
  • Jacksons of Hexham should be awarded the contract to install the fencing and
  • funds should be vired from Play Facilities for the costs involved.                                                                         Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/2/26 Provision of additional defibrillators

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report that outlined the degree to which defibrillator coverage could be extended to homes across the Council’s area. The report identified eight potential defibrillator locations and approximate associated installation and maintenance costs. Current funds available for this project total £16,306 which includes £4,756 raised by a local resident. The County Councillor has also indicated that £2,000 can be made available from NCC’s Members Local Improvement Scheme and other funding sources are being explored.

Members recognised that it will be impossible to provide coverage for every dwelling within the area and that the proposals left a number of small settlements and relatively isolated houses without defibrillator cover. After discussion it was AGREED to

  • give outline approval for eight new defibrillators and cabinets that would cover the mainly contiguous built up areas of Stocksfield, as well as Hindley and the central settlement of Broomley
  • ask the Clerk to provide definitive costs which will be presented for approval at a future Council meeting and
  • defer discussions on the other settlements and isolated dwellings not included in the above until after completion of this aspect of the defibrillator project

Action: Clerk

 

20/2/27 Any other urgent business

There was no other business.

 

20/2/28 Date of the next meeting

Monday 2 March 2020

 

Members RESOLVED under the Public Bodies (admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 to exclude the press and members of the public to consider the remaining item.

 

20/2/29 New seat at New Ridley

Members considered advice in respect of previously discussed correspondence and AGREED to respond accordingly. It was also AGREED to write further to NCC in connection with the matter.                                                                                                Action: Chair and Clerk

The Chair thanked those in attendance and closed the meeting at 9.30pm.

(This is a text only version to enable word searching of the minutes of Council meetings. The page is mainly unformatted and will not show tables correctly.  A copy of the actual meeting minutes as laid out in the recorded version can be found here.)

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council

held on Monday 6 January 2020

at Stocksfield Community Centre

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mrs J Furniss, Mr D Parke, Mr M Parker, Mrs H Rae, Professor R Thompson, Dr P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     Mr C Liddle, Mrs J Robson.

Also present: Mr D Williams (Resident).

 

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.30pm, welcomed those present and wished all a Happy New Year.

20/1/1 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

20/1/2 Public Participation

Public footpaths within Painshawfield Estate

Mr Williams said that the two footpaths between Apperley and Meadowfield Roads are covered in mud and difficult to pass. He anticipated that the other footpaths would be similarly affected. The Clerk said that whilst general maintenance of the paths is undertaken by the Parish Council, Northumberland County Council (NCC) has ultimate responsibility for the paths. The nature of the paths was such that suitable footwear is required to walk the paths, particularly in the winter months and a degree of surface detritus is to be expected. He AGREED to contact the Footpaths Officer and notify Mr Williams accordingly.                      Action: Clerk

 

20/1/3 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had given her apologies and the Chair referred to her written update which related to proposed 20mph speed limit on A695 and other unspecific matters.

20/1/4 Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 December 2019

The Chair referred to an email from Mrs Dale and tabled a revision to the draft minutes at item 19/12/151. It was AGREED (proposed Mr Parke, seconded Mrs Rae) that the amended minutes of the meeting held on 2 December 2019 were a true and accurate record.

20/1/5 Matters Arising

Climate Change Meeting

The Chair referred to the notes provided by Mr Hooks which had been separately circulated and highlighted the potential shortfall in funding considering the large area that is covered.                                                                                                        DISCHARGED

 

20/1/6 Finance

a) Approval of December payments

It was AGREED (proposed Prof Thompson, seconded Dr Vickers) that the payments for December be approved as detailed in the previously circulated schedule and the summary of receipts and payments for the month was noted.

b)Budget monitoring to 31 December 2019

Members noted the previously circulated report.

c) Internal auditor

The Chair referred to the previously circulated report of the Clerk about the retirement of the Council’s current auditor. After discussion it was AGREED to appoint Margaret Weatherley as internal auditor for the financial year 2020/21.                    Action: Clerk DISCHARGED


20/1/7 Parish Council Representatives

Christmas Carol Service, St Peter’s Church

Dr Vickers had attended the Christmas Carol Service on behalf of the Council.

 

20/1/8 Advisory Groups

a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

i) Notes of the GGAG

Members noted the notes of the meeting held on 16/12/19.

ii) Review of Disciplinary Policy

The Chair referred to a previously circulated draft policy which incorporates the recently updated template from the National Association of Local Councils (NatALC). After discussion it was AGREED to adopt the revised policy and to review it in January 2021.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

iii) Review of Grievance Policy

The Chair referred to a previously circulated draft policy which incorporates the recently updated template from NatALC and the High Court case involving Ledbury Town Council. After discussion it was AGREED to adopt the revised policy and to review it in January 2021.                                                                                                        Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

iv) Parish Council Advisory Groups – terms of reference

The Chair said that the newly approved Disciplinary and Grievance Policies require the formation of staffing committees and appeal panels as necessary. The proposed revisions and additions to the terms of reference cater for that eventuality. It was AGREED to approve the amendments as previously circulated.                             Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

v) Grant application

Members considered an application for funding from Hindley Burial Board to purchase and install a litter bin at the cemetery. It was AGREED to purchase a bin and pay for its installation up to a value of £500.                                                      Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

vi) Donation requests

It was AGREED to make a donation of £200 to Broomley First School Parent Teacher Association which sponsors a laptop, to donate £200 to Tynedale Hospice (under Sec 137 Local Govt Act 1972) and to vire £171 from the Play Area budget.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

vii) Internet security

Members discussed issues relating to internet security and the use of personal computers to conduct Council business. It was AGREED to arrange for an information session to be provided by an expert for a maximum cost of £50.                          Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

b) Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

Members noted the planning report and the delegated authority used as set out below.

19/04689/FUL

6 Birkdene

Proposed two storey extension to side and single storey extension to rear

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/1/9 A695 Broomley First School 20mph speed limit

The Chair referred to the earlier consultation from NCC in respect of the above and the response provided by the Council in July 2019. The proposals were likely to have an impact on the Council’s assets and there has been no further comment from NCC to date. Members AGREED to make a formal request to NCC as the Highway Authority for an update in relation to the proposals.                                                                   Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/1/10 Northumberland County Council Library Consultation

The Chair referred to previously circulated documents from NCC and, after discussion, it was AGREED to encourage local completion of the surveys but to make no comment as a council.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk DISCHARGED


20/1/11 Notice board on Guessburn

The Chair referred to a report from the Clerk relating to the proposal by Karbon Homes to remove the notice board on Guessburn. It was AGREED to offer no objection to the proposal.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/1/12 Any other urgent business

Letters/Emails of thanks

The Clerk reported having received thanks from Stocksfield Cricket Club for the inclusion of their centenary celebrations in NE43 News and from 1st Stocksfield Scouts for the grant towards the scout hut.

Sports Fields overspill car park

The Clerk said that the surface of the overspill car park had again become covered in a thick layer of mud. The car park has been temporarily closed and the surface mud removed manually. The Clerk will attempt to identify a permanent remedy.

 

20/1/13 Date of the next meeting

Monday 3 February 2020

 

Members RESOLVED under the Public Bodies (admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 to exclude the press and members of the public to consider the remaining item.

 

20/1/14 New seat at New Ridley

Correspondence had been received by the Council concerning the above matter and, after discussion, it was AGREED to seek relevant advice and to reconsider the matter at the next meeting.

 

The Chair thanked those in attendance and closed the meeting at 9.20pm.

(This is a text only version to enable word searching of the minutes of Council meetings. The page is mainly unformatted and will not show tables correctly.  A copy of the actual meeting minutes as laid out in the recorded version can be found here.)

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council

held on Monday 2 December 2019

at Stocksfield Community Centre

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mr C Liddle, Mr D Parke, Mr M Parker, Mrs H Rae, Professor R Thompson.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     Mrs J Furniss, Mrs J Robson, Dr P Vickers.

Also present: Dr. H Brown (Newcastle University).

 

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.30pm and welcomed those present, including Dr Brown, a senior lecturer at Newcastle University.

19/12/148 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

19/12/149 Public Participation

There were no items of public participation.

 

19/12/150 Establishment of an online dataset of the food environment

Dr Brown said that all food establishments selling or producing food that is served at a temperature other than room temperature is graded by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) which includes documenting the geographical co-ordinates of the premises. This provides the potential to create a map of all such premises and online data from the FSA is available back to 2012. The current project involves providing access to all grading data from every premises selling food, including takeaways, shops, cafés, public houses, schools and nurseries. The potential exists to develop a tool that can be used for planning purposes, perhaps to limit the quantity of hot food takeaway facilities. Many principal authorities have supplementary planning documents that seek, amongst other things, to control obesity and this project provides opportunities to make full use of existing data. Dr Brown answered questions from members, who also discussed the need to search the data by postcode area. The Chair thanked Dr Brown for her input and asked that the Council be updated with future developments. Dr Brown left the meeting.

 

19/12/151 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had given her apologies and the Chair referred to her written updates which related to New Ridley traffic calming measures (including post installation concerns raised with Mrs Dale and which she has taken up with Northumberland County Council (NCC)), main river and ordinary watercourse cross section survey, gullies, potholes, scout hut funding, delays in 20mph schemes at schools, litter picking project and complaints from residents about undefined matters.

19/12/152 Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 November 2019

It was AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2019 were a true and accurate record (proposed Mr Parker, seconded Mr Parke).

19/12/153 Matters Arising

Bank reconciliation to 30 September 2019

The Chair reported that the bank reconciliation had been checked by Mr Parke and signed accordingly.                                                                                      DISCHARGED

 


19/12/154 Finance

a) Approval of November payments

It was AGREED that the payments for November be approved as detailed in the previously circulated schedule (proposed Mr Parke, seconded Prof Thompson) and the summary of receipts and payments for the month was noted.

b)Budget monitoring to 30 November 2019

Members noted the previously circulated report and AGREED (proposed Mr Parker, seconded Mr Parke) to vire £750 to the Environment Budget (£500 from Contingency and £250 from Play Facilities).                                                                                              Action: Clerk

c) Interim audit

The Chair referred to the previously circulated report of the auditor. After discussion it was AGREED to accept the report and note its content. The Clerk added that the internal auditor has indicated he cannot continue to provide the service for the financial year 2020/21 and alternative arrangements are being sought.                                          DISCHARGED

d) Society of Local Council Clerks

After discussion it was AGREED to renew the Clerk’s membership of the above society.

                                                                                                            Action: Clerk

e) NE43 News

The Clerk said that the current edition of NE43 News included two additional pages due to its content and the Communications Budget has accommodated the associated increased costs. Members noted the update.                                                                      DISCHARGED

19/12/155 Parish Council Representatives

Climate Change Meeting

Mr Liddle said he is unable to attend a climate change meeting on 5 December but a member of the Rights of Way and Environment Advisory Group will attend and provide an update to the Council.

 

19/12/156 Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

Members noted the planning report and the delegated authority used as set out below.

19/03798/FUL

Mickley Bank Farm

Retrospective: Construction of storage sheds

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

19/12/157 Stocksfield Sports Fields

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report of the Clerk concerning proposed works at the sports fields. After discussion it was AGREED to authorise

  • replacement fencing and an additional sign at the entrance to the car park,
  • new fencing and hedging around the metal container and
  • virement of £1,510 to the Sports Facilities Budget from Contingency funds.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

19/12/158 Foot bridge over Stocksfield Burn

The Chair reported that Northumberland County Council (NCC) has agreed to provide a rebuild price for the bridge on a like for like basis and this has been authorised using delegated powers. Members noted the update.                                                      DISCHARGED

 

19/12/159 Branch End Play Area: reinstallation of sling rotator

The Chair reminded members that the sling rotator needs to be reinstalled and a local installer has provided a more competitive quote. Members AGREED to authorise the work by RHD Construction and to reconsider options around recovery of the cost at a later date.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk

 

19/12/160 New Ridley Road/Lead Road: new traffic calming

Members noted that the Council had not been consulted by NCC in relation to this matter, the report of the Clerk in respect of some changes to signage and the comments of the County Councillor in relation to complaints from residents.                                 DISCHARGED

 

19/12/161 New Ridley Road between Meadowfield and Batt House Roads: proposed traffic calming

The Chair referred to a plan and letter from NCC proposing a single chicane at the above location. She reminded members that the Council had objected to a previous proposal on the grounds that a single chicane was unlikely to make a significant difference to the speed of traffic, taking into account traffic volume. The current proposal differs only in regard to the addition of an area of white hatching on the opposite side of the road to the chicane. After discussion it was AGREED that the proposed additional hatching would not make a useful contribution and to reiterate the request for a double chicane.       Action: Clerk

 

19/12/162 Remembrance Service 2019

The Chair, Prof Thompson and Mrs Furniss attended the recent Service on behalf of the Council. Members were told of the significant changes in safety brought about by the full closure of the A695. Additionally the conduct of the Service benefitted considerably from the relative quiet and the army and scouting/guiding associations were able to march in procession along the road. The road closure was welcomed by many residents who provided feedback afterwards. After discussion it was AGREED to apply for a full closure of the A695 for the Remembrance Service in 2020 and to inform NCC of this intention on the grounds of safety.                                                                                      Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

19/12/163 Grant Application: 1st Stocksfield Scouts

The Chair referred to a previously circulated application and supporting budget relating to the replacement of the scout hut at Guessburn. The project is in need of additional funds to enable completion of works which will then allow ‘sign-off’ by NCC’s building control officers. Although the hut will not be complete at that stage, the scouts will be able to use the building to meet. Members discussed the almost immediate added benefit that will be provided by the provision of the grant, the options in the event that the grant is not awarded and the level of funding for the project that has already been provided by the Council. In view of the specific circumstances, it was AGREED to

  • suspend the section 3 of the Grants Award Policy relating to timescales for the consideration of grants in excess of £500 for this application,
  • award a grant of £5,000 to the 1st Stocksfield Scouts for the completion of the scout hut for building control purposes and
  • vire £2,500 to the Community Support budget (£1,483 from Contingency and £1,017 from Play Facilities)                         Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

19/12/164 Any other business

Painshawfield Estate Committee

Mrs Rae updated members about developments with regard to the Painshawfield Estate Committee.

Letters of thanks

The Clerk reported that letters/emails of thanks for previous grants and donations have been received from the Great North Air Ambulance, Stocksfield Community Association Trading Arm (SCATA) and Community Action Northumberland.

 

19/12/165 Date of next meeting

Monday 7 January 2020.

Members RESOLVED under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 to exclude the press and members of the public to consider the remaining item.

 

19/12/166 New seat at New Ridley

The Chair reminded members of the discussion at the previous meeting and updated members on the responses to the emails sent to County Councillors Jackson and Dale. After discussion it was AGREED to write further and consider the matter again at the next meeting.

                                                                                                Action: Chair and Clerk

The Chair thanked those in attendance and closed the meeting at 9.30pm.

(This is a text only version to enable word searching of the minutes of Council meetings. The page is mainly unformatted and will not show tables correctly.  A copy of the actual meeting minutes as laid out in the recorded version can be found here.)

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council

held on Monday 4 November 2019

at Stocksfield Community Centre

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mrs J Furniss, Mr C Liddle, Mr D Parke, Mr M Parker,

Dr P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     Mrs H Rae, Mrs J Robson, Professor R Thompson.

 

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.30pm and welcomed those present.

19/11/134 Declarations of Interest

The Clerk declared an interest in the item relating to the arrangements for the Remembrance Service 2019.

19/11/135 Public Participation

There were no items of public participation.

 

19/11/136 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had given her apologies and had been unable to provide a written update.

19/11/137 Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 October 2019

It was AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 7 October 2019 were a true and accurate record (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mr Parke).

19/11/138 Matters Arising

Land west of Guessburn

The Clerk reported that the cutting of grass by Allendale Estates had been delayed due to the weather and Mr Parker said that the work was now complete.           DISCHARGED

 

19/11/139 Finance

  1. a) Approval of October payments

It was AGREED that the payments for October be approved as detailed in the previously circulated schedule (proposed Mr Parker, seconded Mr Parke) and the summary of receipts and payments for the month was noted.

b)Budget monitoring to 31 October 2019

Members noted the previously circulated report.

  1. c) Bank reconciliation to 30 September 2019

Mr Parke had been unable to check the previously circulated documents and AGREED to do so after the meeting.                                                                                Action: Mr Parke

19/11/140 Parish Council Representatives

East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum

Mr Parker had attended this meeting where Mr Rob Murfin, the Director of Planning, had spoken about a range of issues affecting planning processes. The Clerk updated members that Mr Murfin is to schedule his attendance at a future meeting of the Council.

Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership AGM

Dr Vickers had attended this meeting at which the existing officers, who were all re-elected, updated on their activities over the year. Broader work of the Partnership was also discussed.

19/11/141 Advisory Groups

  1. a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)
  2. i) Notes of GGAG meeting 21/10/19

Members noted the previously circulated notes.

 

  1. ii) Remembrance Service 2019 arrangements

The Chair updated members about the arrangements for the provision of buglers in neighbouring councils and, as a result, it was AGREED to make a payment of £30 plus travel expenses to the bugler at Stocksfield’s Remembrance Service. Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

iii) Tenders for grass cutting 2020-2023

The Chair reported that tenders had been received in respect of the grass cutting at the sports fields and at the play areas. After discussion it was AGREED that the sports fields contract be awarded to Stocksfield Cricket Club and the play area contract to Northumberland County Council (NCC) as detailed in their respective tenders.        Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

  1. iv) Non competitive contracts 2020-2023

After discussion it was AGREED that the contracts for the grass cutting of estates and verges and for the removal of litter be awarded to NCC.                   Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

  1. v) Budget and precept 2020/21

The Chair referred to a previously circulated document that was prepared by the Clerk at the request of the GGAG. The majority of the budget related to ongoing maintenance of the area although some budget areas have increased due to additional costs. Members discussed various projects which the Council intends to undertake in the next financial year and how they might be funded. In particular, the provision of sufficient defibrillators to cover the majority of households in Stocksfield, Hindley and Broomley was considered a high priority. Members recognised that this would be costly and, despite the £6,000 earmarked for this purpose and the fundraising by residents, the costs are likely to exceed £20,000. The Council is also required to make provision for contingencies and members discussed various options. After discussion it was AGREED that £5,000 should be included for contingency funds in order to ensure that the Council’s reserves are not used for routine operational matters and that the reserves continue to grow in the event that the contingency funds are unused. It was AGREED to set the budget as shown in the table below.

Approved budget 2020/2021

Budget heading

Receipts (£)

Payments (£)

Employment

 

18380

Administration

 

7985

Environment

680

34646

Communications

 

2890

Sport Facilities

2500

20585

Play Facilities

 

7350

Community Support

 

5710

Contingency

 

5000

Totals

3180

102546

Members noted that the difference between anticipated receipts and payments is a deficit of £99,366, an increase of £14,106 on the current financial year. The results of the Council’s survey of residents, which was reported in early 2019, revealed that the principle of increasing the Parish precept to fund additional work received significant support from respondents with only 16% opposed to the idea. After further discussion it was AGREED to set the precept at £99,006 for the year 2020-2021 and to ask the Clerk to inform NCC accordingly. Members noted the estimated Band D equivalent cost of £74.24 for the full year, an increase of £9.62 compared with 2019/20.                                                           Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

  1. vi) Donation requests

After discussion it was AGREED to make donations as follows: £150 to Great North Air Ambulance, £100 to Community Action Northumberland and £100 to the Royal British Legion, all under Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972.               Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

vii) Grant application – Stocksfield Community Association Trading Arm (SCATA)

The Chair referred to a previously circulated grant application from SCATA for a contribution towards the cost of the purchase of a vehicle to establish a community transport scheme in Stocksfield. It was AGREED to award a grant of £500 for this purpose.                                                                                                                         Action: Clerk DISCHARGED


viii) Consultation – 20mph speed limit Painshawfield Estate and surrounding roads

Members considered the previously circulated document from NCC and AGREED to make no comment.                                                                                  Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

  1. ix) Document reviews

It was AGREED to add the following sentences to the terms of reference of the GGAG at 2.4:

“In the event that insufficient members of the GGAG are present at any meeting, the convenor of the Group may, given the nature of matters listed on the agenda, directly refer all matters so listed for consideration by the next full meeting of the Parish Council. In such circumstances, the convenor would cancel that meeting of the GGAG”.

Members also AGREED to defer the review of the Disciplinary and Grievance procedures pending the publication of revised model procedures by the National Association of Local Councils.

  1. x) New seat at New Ridley

The Chair reported that a new seat had been installed on Lead Road, just outside of New Ridley, on 7 October 2019. The seat had been placed on the site where there was previously a seat owned by the Parish Council. This seat was replaced and moved to a different location on the other side of the road some time ago, partly to provide a better view, as gorse was obscuring the view from the other site, and partly due to concerns about the risk to users of the seat of speeding traffic entering the village. The Parish Council had agreed to review the placing of the seat once proposed traffic calming measures had been taken in New Ridley. The Clerk had enquired about the source of the new seat, and had been informed by a Senior Programmes Officer in Technical Services at NCC that Councillor Dale had been given permission to site the seat at its present location.

It was pointed out that a Parish Council meeting had taken place on 7 October at 7.30pm, at which Councillor Dale had been present and had provided her regular update. However, she had made no mention of the seat. Prior to its installation, Councillor Dale had not discussed the matter with the Parish Council, nor had she given any indication as to ownership, ongoing maintenance or insurance. Councillor Dale is aware of the Parish Council’s earlier decision to move the original seat for health and safety reasons. Discussion took place about the contents of the Northumberland Town and Parish Council Charter, a final version of which, dated October 2019, had recently been circulated. This makes clear that public seating is the responsibility of Town and Parish Councils, and also highlights that County Councillors should work in close partnership with Town and Parish Councils. It appears to members that Councillor Dale, in this case, is in breach of the Charter.

After further discussion it was AGREED that the Council will write to Councillor Dale asking for an explanation and to Councillor Jackson, the leader of NCC, to ask for guidance about the situation.                                                                         Action: Chair and Clerk

 

  1. b) Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

Members noted the planning report and the delegated authorities used as set out below.

 

19/04113/FUL

168 New Ridley Rd

Proposed extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

19/04272/FUL

Fillebrook,

31 Apperley Rd

Proposed demolition of conservatory and construction of new sun room and single storey side extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

19/11/142 Stocksfield Sports Fields – partial surrender of lease

The Chair said that the deed of surrender relating to the small section of the eastern field had been examined by the Council’s solicitors and was ready to sign. It was AGREED that the deed should be executed accordingly.                                              Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

19/11/143 Stocksfield Flood Plan

Mr Parker said that he had examined the Council’s Flood Plan and there was no reason to amend it. Members noted the update.                              Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 


19/11/144 Parish Council Plan Group

The Chair said that a new meeting of the group is to be arranged.

                                                                                    Action: Parish Council Plan Group

 

19/11/145 Public Space Protection Order (PSPO)

A new PSPO relating to the control of dogs had been circulated by NCC for comment. Members were disappointed that the only areas affected by prohibition of dogs were enclosed children’s play areas and two beaches. It was AGREED that greater emphasis should be placed on other spaces where dogs pose a risk to the health of residents, such as sports fields and particularly those where young children play. The Clerk was asked to provide feedback accordingly.                                                                                                    Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

19/11/146 Any other business

Letters of thanks

The Clerk said he has received letters of thanks from Northumberland Age UK and Sport Tynedale for previous donations by the Council.

 

19/11/147 Date of next meeting

Monday 2 December 2019.

The Chair thanked those in attendance and closed the meeting at 9.15pm.