DRAFT ONLY

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on Tuesday 5 October 2021 at Stocksfield Community Centre

 

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Miss A Brooks, Mrs A Dale, Mr J Harrison, Mr T Hills, Mr J Lapping, Mr M Parker, Professor P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Also present: One resident.

Apologies:     Mr C Chance, Mrs L Joy, Mr C Liddle, Mrs K Pollock.

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.30pm and welcomed those present to the meeting of the Council. It was AGREED to authorise the absences of Mrs Joy, Mrs Pollock and Mr Liddle.

 

21/10/128 Declarations of Interest

Mrs Dale declared an interest in all planning matters and the Clerk in the item relating to the salary review.

 

21/10/129 Physical meetings: Covid-19 risk assessment

Members AGREED the previously circulated risk assessment.

Mr Hills joined the meeting.

21/10/130 Public Participation

Rights of Way over Land west of Guessburn

Mr Parker had noticed that the footpath west of Guessburn has become overgrown. As a result, the Clerk and, separately, a local resident had contacted Allendale Estates and a site meeting is to be arranged in the near future. A further resident has since contacted the Clerk in relation to the maintenance of footpaths on land west of the B6309, also owned by Allendale Estates. It was AGREED to report further to the Council in due course.  Action: Mr Parker, Clerk

 

21/10/131 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update. In particular she referred to FACTCO, resurfacing of New Ridley Road, her priorities for Northumberland Council Council’s (NCC) Local Transport Plan, the Tour of Britain, Covid-19 and tree planting.

 

21/10/132 Minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2021

It was AGREED (proposed Miss Brooks, seconded Prof Vickers) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 7 September 2021 were a true and accurate record.

 

21/10/133 Matters Arising

a) Remembrance Service

The Chair said that arrangements are in hand for the Service and that Stocksfield Guides will invite residents to the Community Centre for socially distanced refreshments after the Service. After discussion it was AGREED (proposed Miss Brooks, seconded Mr Hills) to donate £200 to the Royal British Legion.                                                           Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

b) Planning processes in respect of Burnside Yard

The Clerk said that further information had been received from the Planning Authority which clarified some of the procedural issues but the Chair said that she would press for an opportunity to meet the Director of Planning, as agreed at the last meeting. Action: Chair

 

21/10/134 Finance

a) Approval of September payments

It was AGREED (proposed Mr Harrison, seconded Mr Parker) to approve the payments for September as detailed in the previously circulated schedule and the summary of receipts and payments for the month was noted.


b) Budget monitoring to 30/09/21

The budget monitoring report was noted. After discussion it was AGREED to authorise the Clerk, in consultation with the Chair, to vire funds between the Environment, Sports Facilities and Play Facilities budget heads where necessary in order to ensure a timely response to other delegated matters. All such virements will be reported to the next Council meeting.

Action: Clerk

21/10/135 General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

a) Notes of the meeting held on 20/09/21

Members noted the content of the notes.

b) Climate Change Emergency (CCE) consultation: specific costings

The Chair reported on the specific costings requested by the Climate Change Emergency Advisory Group and on the discussion at the GGAG. Members questioned the timing of the proposed special edition of NE43 News; the need for a separate flyer within the December edition; the way that the consultation findings should inform the action plan; whether physical consultative meetings are the most effective in terms of engagement, output and cost; how the Council’s CCE draft action plan should link with that of NCC; and the opportunities available for some relatively quick wins. After discussion it was AGREED to note the budget request and to delay further consideration until after NCC has produced and circulated its action plan and toolkit.

c) Local Transport Plan (LTP) Programme 2022/23

After discussion it was AGREED that the Council’s priorities for the above plan are as follows:

  • Provision of a new pedestrian crossing at Birches Nook
  • Extension of the current footpath on the north of New Ridley Road from the western end to the junction with Lead Road
  • Creation of a continuous cycleway and walkway on the A695 between Stocksfield and Riding Mill

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

d) Christmas decorations 2022

The Chair referred to previous discussions of the Council about an additional Christmas tree at Branch End and the Clerk provided further information relating to costs. It was AGREED to include provision in the budget for 2022/23 for an additional tree and to enquire about a contribution from a local business towards the cost of new lights.            Action: Mr Hills, Clerk

e) Membership of GGAG

It was AGREED that Mr Harrison would join the membership of the GGAG.

 

21/10/136 Planning Advisory Group

Members noted the planning report and the use of delegated powers as set out below:

21/03231/FUL

Byways

33 Cade Hill Road

Double storey side and rear extension, upgrade to existing building fabric including re-cladded dormers, re-rendering and new windows

No comment.

Note use of delegated authority.

21/03338/FUL

4 Birkdene

Demolish existing dormer and construct an extension to first floor to enlarge existing bedroom

No comment.

Note use of delegated authority

 

21/10/137 Rights of Way and Environment Advisory Group (RoWEAG)

a) Notes of the meeting of RoWEAG held on 27/09/21

Members noted the content of the notes and Prof Vickers updated that the Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership is aiming to produce a report for its Annual General Meeting relating to its recent consultation and the potential accessible route between the platforms at Stocksfield station.

b) Invasive plants

Prof Vickers reminded members that the Council had written to three landowners in October 2020 asking for them to deal with Himalayan balsam on their land. Balsam remains at all three locations. The RoWEAG volunteers have removed much higher quantities of balsam from Stocksfield Burn this year and the failure to deal with balsam elsewhere appears to be having an adverse effect. After discussion it was AGREED to reconsider the matter at the meeting of the Council in March 2022.                                                          Action: Clerk Bring Forward

 

21/10/138 Climate Change Emergency Advisory Group (CCEAG)

a) Notes of the meeting of CCEAG held on 28/09/21

Members noted the content of the notes.

b) Proposed response to NCC regarding CCE declarations

It was AGREED to respond to NCC as proposed within the papers with a minor amendment.

                                                                                                            Action: Clerk

21/10/139 Branch End Play Area: supply of parts

The Clerk referred to a previously circulated report relating to the withdrawal of credit facilities by Kompan Ltd, the manufacturer and supplier of all of the play equipment in the lower area at Branch End Play Area. Members noted the requirement to pay in advance for parts. After further discussion it was AGREED to amend paragraphs 4.5 and 4.6 of Standing Orders to include the phrase ‘including safety related matters connected to the Council’s assets’.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

21/10/140 Review of Clerk’s salary

The Clerk withdrew from the meeting. The Chair introduced a previously circulated report describing the review of the spinal column point of the Clerk’s salary which had been undertaken by her and Prof Vickers. The report highlighted additional delegated authority of the Clerk. After discussion it was AGREED

  • to amend the Clerk’s salary to spinal column point 30,
  • to backdate the amendment to 1 April 2021 and
  • to authorise NCC’s payroll team to make the necessary arrangements to implement this decision.                         Action: Chair

 

It was AGREED (proposed Prof Vickers, seconded Mr Parker) to suspend paragraph 2.18 of Standing Orders relating to the length of meetings.

 

21/10/141 Seat at Ladywell

The Chair reminded members of a previous decision of the Council to install a seat at the verge at Ladywell on New Ridley Road. The degree of the slope on the verge required groundworks that had to be undertaken by an accredited contractor and the original decision was reversed once the likely installation costs became clear. NCC has been asked by Mrs Dale as County Councillor to provide a quote for the installation. Mrs Dale has now asked the Council to pay for the purchase of a new seat (at a cost of £650) and, depending on the quote from NCC, Mrs Dale will find the funds to pay for its installation. The Chair added that the precise details of the intended installation are not yet known and that maintenance of public seating is the responsibility of parish councils. It was AGREED (proposed Mr Hills, seconded Mr Lapping) to pay for the purchase of a new seat at Ladywell on condition that any proposed installation by NCC satisfies the requirements of all interested parties.                   Action: Clerk, Mrs Dale

 

21/10/142 Parish Council Representatives

There were no representative meetings.

 

21/10/143 Any other urgent business

There was no other business.

 

21/10/144 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 2 November 2021. The Chair drew members’ attention to the dates of the next meetings, including the GGAG to which all members are invited to attend even if they are not a formal member of the group.

The Chair then thanked councillors for their attendance and closed the meeting at 9.44pm.

DRAFT ONLY

 

 

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on Tuesday 7 September 2021 at Stocksfield Community Centre

 

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mr C Chance, Mrs A Dale, Mr T Hills, Mrs L Joy, Mr C Liddle, Mr M Parker, Mrs K Pollock, Professor P Vickers and (from item 21/9/111) Miss A Brooks, Mr J Harrison and Mr J Lapping

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Also present: Twelve members of the public including Miss A Brooks, Mr J Lapping and Mr J Harrison.

Apologies:     None

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.34pm, welcomed councillors and members of the public to the meeting of the Council and reminded those present of the Covid restrictions being applied. She then congratulated Professor Paul Vickers on his recent appointment.

 

21/9/107 Declarations of Interest

Mrs Dale declared an interest in all planning matters.

 

21/9/108 Physical meetings: Covid-19 risk assessment

Members noted the previously circulated risk assessment.

 

21/9/109 Public Participation

A695 Birches Nook: Pedestrian crossing

Mr Liddle had been contacted by residents asking if a pedestrian crossing can be installed on the A695 at Birches Nook for children walking to Broomley First School. Mrs Dale said that she has a meeting planned with Northumberland County Council (NCC) officers. Action: Mrs Dale

 

21/9/110 Applications for co-option to the Council

The Chair referred to the voting arrangements in the Council’s Co-option Policy and it was AGREED to amend the policy to read: ‘Voting will be by paper ballot to prevent candidates being disadvantaged by the order of their consideration. The votes will be counted by the Clerk, overseen by the Chair, and the votes cast by councillors will be announced to ensure transparency.’ It was also AGREED to add ‘an absolute’ to describe the majority required for each co-option. The Chair said that Mr Hunter and Ms Spencer had withdrawn their applications.

It was then AGREED to exclude the press and members of the public from the meeting under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 due to the confidential nature of the business to be transacted for the parts of the co-option process involving questioning of applicants and discussions of their responses.

Mr Lapping, Miss Brooks and Mr Harrison returned to the meeting one by one and were questioned about their applications for co-option, after which members discussed their responses. Mr Barrett was unable to attend the meeting and his written submission was discussed. The following applicants were nominated: Mr Lapping (proposed Mr Chance, seconded Mr Hills), Miss Brooks (proposed Mr Hills, seconded Mr Parker) and Mr Harrison (proposed Prof Vickers, seconded Mrs Dale). The three nominated applicants received absolute majorities in a paper ballot, the result of which was declared by the Clerk. It was AGREED to appoint Mr Lapping, Miss Brooks and Mr Harrison to the Council. The new councillors signed a declaration of acceptance of office and took their seats as members.

 

21/9/111 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update which had been previously circulated to members. In particular she referred to FACTCO, the Tour of Britain, Northern Powergrid, free trees and planning applications. Prof Vickers mentioned the work of the station adoption group, referred to in Mrs Dale’s written update, and said that he would pass on the favourable comments to those involved.

 

21/9/112 Minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2021

It was AGREED (proposed Prof Vickers, seconded Mr Hills) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2021 were a true and accurate record.

 

21/9/113 Matters Arising

a) New Ridley Road: speed of traffic

The Chair said that ‘horse warning’ signs were to be erected on New Ridley Road by NCC later in the week.                                                                                                       DISCHARGED

b) Accessibility issues: New Ridley Road

The Clerk said that the provision of dropped kerbs on New Ridley Road was included in the Council’s priorities for the Local Transport Plan (LTP) Programme 2021/22 and the priority had been accepted by NCC. There is no need to resubmit them although the timescales for their installation is not known. The Chair informed members that the next meeting of the General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG) will consider priorities for the LTP Programme 2022/23 and any suggestions for inclusion should be sent to her.                               DISCHARGED

c) Play areas: Covid signage

The Chair referred to a decision of the last meeting and highlighted revised signage now displayed at the play areas. Members noted the update.                            DISCHARGED

d) Christmas decorations

Mr Hills said that his informal discussions with businesses revealed the opportunity for an additional Christmas tree or other Christmas decorations at Stocksfield service station, Oaks hairdressers or Branch House. It was AGREED to discuss this item at the next meeting of the GGAG.                                                                                                  Action: Mr Hills

 

21/9/114 Finance

a) Approval of July and August payments

It was AGREED (proposed Prof Vickers, seconded Mrs Pollock) to approve the payments for July and August as detailed in the previously circulated schedule and the summary of receipts and payments for the months was noted.

b) Budget monitoring to 31/08/21

The budget monitoring report was noted.

c) Bank reconciliation to 30/06/21

Members noted that Mr Parker had checked and signed the bank reconciliation to 30/06/21.

d) External audit 2020/21

The Chair reported that the certificate of completion of audit had been received which indicated there were no matters giving cause for concern, echoing the earlier report of the internal auditor. The Chair then asked Mrs Dale if she would explain the concerns that she has in relation to the Council’s finances which she indicated she would raise with the external or internal auditor. Mrs Dale said that she had raised risk assessment as an issue with the internal auditor but decided not to take it further. Mrs Dale said she would discuss it later and was happy to do so in public but did not provide further detail. When asked by the Chair if the matter should be listed on the next agenda, Mrs Dale said that she could not because it is not closed, adding that the matter would probably have to be discussed in confidence. The Chair asked that Mrs Dale’s comments were recorded in the minutes.

It was then AGREED

  • to display the notice of completion of audit for a period of 28 days Action: Clerk
  • to receive the certificate of completion of audit and
  • that no further action is needed by the Council as a consequence of the audit report.

 

21/9/115 Climate Change Emergency Advisory Group (CCEAG)

a) Stocksfield Climate Change Emergency Plan

Mr Chance referred to a previously circulated report which outlined the progress of the CCEAG. He emphasised a key issue of bringing along the community and that dialogue with residents and businesses in Stocksfield is therefore essential. The COP26 summit in November will generate significant media coverage which the group hopes to exploit by producing a flyer on behalf of the Council. Consultation would commence in 2022. He said that Mrs Joy had replaced Mr Hills on the group which now also included non-councillors. He asked that members approve the previously circulated draft plan.

Prof Vickers said that notes of each meeting of the CCEAG would be helpful for context and should be provided. Mr Chance, as convenor of the group, agreed to do so for future meetings. Mrs Dale said that the plan needs to align with the work of NCC. Mr Hills asked if the plan had been costed. After discussion it was AGREED to note the content of the initial draft plan, to support the consultation, but to defer approval of the plan until it is resubmitted to the Council after the community consultation process.

b) Communication with the community

After discussion it was AGREED to

  • authorise a Climate Change Emergency webpage on the Council’s website and
  • commence consultation with the community including the production of a flyer

c) Membership and volunteers

Mr Chance welcomed interest from other councillors to join the group and after discussion it was AGREED that CCEAG

  • may recruit additional people to help deliver the plan and community consultation
  • should work in partnership with other organisations and businesses on climate related matters and
  • becomes the NCC Community Climate Champion for Stocksfield

d) Budget

Mr Chance said that the proposed budget is estimated at this stage. The Chair said that there is a clear appetite from members to progress the community consultation. After discussion, it was AGREED not to approve a budget at this stage but to consider specific costings at the next GGAG on 20 September which will enable recommendations to be made to the next Council meeting.                                                                                                     Action: Mr Chance, Clerk

Mr Chance and Mrs Dale then left the meeting

 

21/9/116 Planning Advisory Group

a) Planning application 20/03997/FUL Broomley House, Main Road, Stocksfield

Mr Parker outlined the current planning application and some of its impact. After discussion it was AGREED to object to the application on the grounds that

  • The ground level has been raised which, when combined with the increase in ground level at the new dwelling north of Burnside Cottages, appears to create an increased flood risk to the properties at Burnside Cottages.
  • The position of the first floor windows in the northern elevation intrudes excessively on the privacy of the adjacent dwelling at Burnside Cottages due to the proximity with the boundary.

Additionally, the northern pavement along the A695 was damaged by land slippage during the construction of Broomley House. Despite remedial action, the surface of the pavement remains uneven and subject to cracking. The junction to the private entrance to Burnside Yard adjacent to The Forge is unsatisfactory despite the most recent addition of lines on the road and pavement. It is the opinion of the Council that the work to ensure appropriate sightlines at the junction, which was a condition of the original permission, has not been completed. If planning permission is granted, the Parish Council believes that a condition should be imposed to require whatever remedial work is necessary to

  • mitigate the additional flood risk to neighbouring properties,
  • prevent further deterioration of the pavement north of the A695 and
  • prevent the intrusion from Broomley House to neighbouring properties caused by first floor windows.

Members also discussed the processes adopted by the Planning Authority since the first permission was granted in 2006 and AGREED to seek a meeting between NCC’s Head of Planning, the Chair and Mr Parker.                                                                     Action: Clerk

b) Planning report

Members noted the planning report and the use of delegated powers as set out below:

 

21/02575/FUL

9 Ayton Close

Demolish existing porch and replace with two storey porch with enlarged bedroom over

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/02669/PRUTPO

Cedar Lodge 33 Meadowfield Rd

Various reductions of three pine trees

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/02684/FUL

30 Guessburn

Proposed conservatory

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/02687/PRUTPO

1 The Oaks, Main Rd

Reduction and crown lift of goat ivy

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/02764/FUL

Stocksfield Cricket Club

Construction of rear extension to ground equipment store

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

Thorney Close

32 Apperley Road

Replacement dwelling

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/02907/FUL

Apperley House

Stocksfield

Agricultural barn to amenity for the principal house. Enclosing open sided portion of barn with external cladding to match existing

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/02979/FUL

Langley House

4 Cade Hill Road

Double storey rear extension and internal changes to layout. Replacement of windows and doors. New oak porch.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/03997/FUL

Broomley House

Main Road

Construction of detached dwelling and garage, retaining wall to southern boundary, new boundary treatments and associated works and landscaping (retrospective)

Object (see previous item)

21/03101/FUL

Land at Kipper Lynn Farm

Formation of agricultural track and laying of hard standing at existing farm access for purpose of agriculture

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

Mrs Dale rejoined the meeting and it was AGREED to suspend paragraph 2.18 of Standing Orders relating to the length of meetings.

 

21/9/117 Communications Advisory Group (CAG)

a) Notes of the meeting of CAG held on 12/08/21

Members noted the notes

b) NE43 News: budget and format

The Clerk reported that the remaining budget provided only for a six page edition of NE43 in December but it is likely that the content would fill eight pages. It was AGREED to delegate authority to the Clerk to produce an eight-page edition in December if necessary, despite no budgetary provision for it.                                                                              Action: Clerk

Members also discussed the potential to refresh the appearance of NE43 News as it had remained unchanged since 2011. After discussion it was AGREED that members of the CAG, together with Miss Brooks, would explore options to redesign the newsletter and report back to the Council                                                                                 Action: Mrs Joy and Miss Brooks

 

21/9/118 Remembrance Service

Members discussed the arrangements for the Remembrance Service on 14 November 2021 and AGREED to hold a physical service at the war memorial and to apply for a full road closure on the grounds of safety.                                                                                    Action: Clerk

 

21/9/119 Donations

It was AGREED to make donations as follows: Sport Tynedale - £100 and Great North Air Ambulance - £250 under Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972. It was also AGREED to write to Victim Support for further information about their work in Stocksfield and to reconsider the application in due course.                                                                            Action: Clerk

 

21/9/120 Insurance renewal

It was AGREED to include the revised rebuild cost of the footbridge to Kate’s Plain over Stocksfield Burn and to renew the insurance at a cost of £2090.60.              Action: Clerk

 

21/9/121 Defibrillator project

The Chair referred to a report of the Clerk which outlined the current coverage of defibrillators across the Council’s area. There are a relatively small number of outlying houses where no coverage is provided. After discussion it was AGREED that the Clerk should explore further the available options to maximise defibrillator coverage to other dwellings and to report to a future meeting.                                                                                                               Action: Clerk

 

21/9/122 Sports fields improvement

The Chair reminded members that the Council has agreed to cover the legal fees of Allendale Estates in relation to Merryshields (or the eastern sports) field up to a cost of £650. After discussion it was AGREED to cover the increased cost up to £875.                      Action: Clerk

 

21/9/123 Parish Council Representatives

The Chair reported that she and Mr Chance had attended a meeting of the East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum on 21 July 2021. The main topic of discussion was Climate Change and a separate standalone meeting regarding that subject is to be arranged.

 

21/9/124 Performance and Development Review (PDR) of the Clerk

The Chair said the Clerk’s PDR had been completed in conjunction with Prof Vickers.                                                                                                                        DISCHARGED

 

21/9/125 Any other urgent business

There was no other business.

 

21/9/126 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 5 October 2021

It was AGREED to exclude the press and members of the public from the meeting under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 due to the confidential nature of the business to be transacted in the next item.

21/9/127 Defibrillator equipment

The Chair updated members about a remote meeting which had taken place between her, Professor Michael Norton, Deputy Medical Director of the North East Ambulance Service, and the Clerk. A second meeting is likely to be arranged and a further update will be provided.

The Chair thanked councillors for their attendance and closed the meeting at 10.13pm.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 14 July 2021

 

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mrs A Dale, Mr T Hills, Mrs L Joy, Mr C Liddle, Mr M Parker, Mrs K Pollock, Dr P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     Mr C Chance.

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.46pm, welcomed councillors to the meeting of the Council and reminded members of the Covid restrictions in force.

 

21/7/88 Declarations of Interest

Mrs Dale declared an interest in all planning matters.

 

21/7/89 Physical meetings: Covid-19 risk assessment

Members APPROVED the previously circulated risk assessment.

 

21/7/90 Public Participation

New Ridley Road: Speed of traffic

Young horse riders based at the stables at East Ridley have complained about the speed of traffic and the proximity of cars when passing horses on the road between the Hedley road and the sharp bend on New Ridley Road. They asked whether suitable signs can be provided to warn drivers. Mrs Dale AGREED to contact Northumberland County Council (NCC) to ask if they can be installed.                                                                                     Action: Mrs Dale

Council’s use of native plants

A resident has asked if the Council can commit to using native British plants and perennials in the displays and flower beds to benefit the climate. The Council currently uses perennials and plants native wild flowers although the source of the bedding plants is not known. Members were not opposed to the principle but further work is needed which could be undertaken by the Climate Change Advisory Group (should it be formed).                          Action: Clerk

Accessibility issues on New Ridley Road

Mr Liddle had been contacted by some residents who are having difficulty on New Ridley Road due to the absence of dropped kerbs and parked cars. The Chair reminded members that the installation of dropped kerbs was a priority of the Council in its submission to NCC for the Local Transport Plan Programme 2021. The Clerk AGREED to make further enquiries.                                                                                                                                             Action: Clerk

 

21/7/91 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update which had been previously circulated to members. In particular she referred to parking issues, Covid-19, FACTCO and speeding.

 

21/7/92 Minutes of the Annual Meeting held on 19 May 2021

It was AGREED (proposed Mrs Joy, seconded Mrs Pollock) that the previously circulated minutes of the annual meeting held on 19 May 2021 were a true and accurate record.

 

21/7/93 Matters Arising

a) Seat at Ladywell

The Chair referred to a previous decision of the Council not to install a seat on New Ridley Road at Ladywell and that there is no suitable alternative location. The decision had been based on the likely costs using an accredited contractor. The Council has received an email from a resident who states that all twenty-three residents of Ladywell support the request and the resident has been asked to suggest an alternative site. After discussion about the site at Ladywell and the difficulties caused by the need for accreditation, Mrs Dale, in her role as County Councillor, AGREED to liaise with NCC and explore further the possibility of any installation being undertaken by their staff. She added that she is happy to provide additional funds from the Local Improvement Scheme.                                       Action: Mrs Dale

b) Play areas: Covid risk assessment

The Chair referred to the proposed removal of restrictions likely to occur on 19 July and the assessment relating to the replacement of equipment that had been removed to ensure social distancing. After discussion it was AGREED, subject to the removal of Covid restrictions, to reinstall all items of equipment as soon as is practicable on or after 19 July 2021 and to rely on previous delegated authorities for the replacement of signage, in accordance with a revised risk assessment.                                                                                                         Action: Clerk

 

21/7/94 Finance

a) Approval of May and June payments

It was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mrs Pollock) to approve the payments for May and June as detailed in the previously circulated schedule and the summary of receipts and payments for the month was noted.

b) Asset register 2021/22

The Chair referred to the previously circulated fixed asset register 2021/22. The Clerk spoke about the need to examine the register in light of the risk assessment and management review to be discussed later. Members noted the register.

 

21/7/95 Chair’s Annual Report 2020/21

The Chair said that the Annual Report would normally be considered at the annual meeting but it was not considered in order to keep the meeting short. Although the report has been circulated to residents through NE43 News, the Chair wanted to note and celebrate the work of the Council in the previous year in spite of the pandemic and the many challenges facing us all. The Council was forced to adapt to new methods of working and, as an example, managed to complete the second phase of the defibrillator project. This has put Stocksfield ahead of the game in respect of the provision of life saving equipment. The Chair thanked all councillors for their work during 2020/21 in difficult circumstances and praised the resilience of the Clerk and Martin Stewart, the Grounds Services Contractor.

 

21/7/96 General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

a) Notes of the meeting held on 21/06/21

Members noted the previously circulated notes.

b) Responding to Climate Change

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report of Mr Chance and, after discussion, it was AGREED

  • to declare a Climate Change Emergency (CCE) in line with NCC
  • to appoint a CCE Councillor
  • to form a Climate Change Emergency Advisory Group (CCEAG) and its terms of reference as circulated
  • to appoint Mr Chance as the CCE Councillor and as convener of the CCEAG
  • to appoint Mrs Dale and Mr Hill as members of the CCEAG
  • that climate change considerations should be central to the decision making of the Council and to its policies
  • to ask the Clerk to create a budget head for this area of work

Action: Clerk

c) Parish Council office

The Chair said that no recommendation had been made by the GGAG as the existing tenancy agreement for the office had not been available. The agreement has now been circulated. There were no comments from members about the agreement. The Chair said that there is no suitable alternative office accommodation within Stocksfield and it is very appropriate that the Council’s office should be located within an existing community building. Additionally, the Clerk is not prepared to work from home permanently. After discussion it was AGREED (proposed Mr Parker, seconded Mrs Dale) to renew the tenancy agreement for five years at an annual cost of £1,800 as proposed by Stocksfield Community Association.   Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

d) Kate’s Plain play area: damage to play equipment

The Chair referred to a report of the Clerk which outlined damage to an item of equipment at the play area and the costs for repair. It was AGREED to purchase replacement panels and effect the repair of the equipment.                                                            Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

e) Annual risk assessment and management review

The Chair referred to the previously circulated draft risk assessment and said that it had not been considered at the GGAG as some members had questioned the Clerk’s qualifications in respect of risk assessment. The Clerk said he had received no specific risk assessment training in his role as Clerk but had been trained in his former occupation and has undertaken risk assessments regularly. He added that there is no requirement for a person to be qualified in order to undertake risk assessments and it is not a condition of the insurer. The assessment is timed specifically to coincide with the Council’s insurance renewal (annually on 1 October) and there have been changes to the Council’s duties to the insurer to declare all known risks. As a consequence, the risk assessment, once agreed, will be forwarded to the insurer with the revised asset register and the Council’s insurance renewal will be considered at the next meeting in September. Mrs Dale raised the issue of business continuity.

After discussion it was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mrs Pollock) to approve the risk assessment and management review for 2021.                       Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

f) Freedom of Information Act 2000 publication scheme

Members AGREED to approve the existing publication scheme and to review it in July 2024.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

g) Clerks and Councils Direct

It was AGREED to renew subscription to the above at an annual cost of £12.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

h) Covid-19 Restart Grant

The Chair reminded members that the Council had applied for the above funds in respect of the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) and it was AGREED to pay £8,000 to the MUGA Committee.                                                                                          Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

i) Christmas trees

It was AGREED to order two Christmas trees for Broomley First School and the Dr Syntax. It was also AGREED that Mr Hills would liaise with business at Branch End to explore the potential interest in Christmas themed decorations at that location, with no commitment from the Council at this stage.                                                                Action: Clerk, Mr Hills

j) Grant Applications

Broomley Parent Teacher Association – Rainbow Orchard

The grant application was to enable the development of an orchard on land adjacent to the sports field overspill car park. It was AGREED to award £1,000 to the project and on this occasion to suspend the requirement for advance notice of grants for more than £500.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

Broomley Parent Teacher Association – Dukeshouse Wood visit

The grant application was to enable pupils to attend Dukeshouse Wood as day visitors in place of the usual residential experience. It was AGREED to award £500 for this purpose.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

21/7/97 Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

Planning report

Members noted the planning report and the delegated decisions made as outlined below:

21/01333/FUL

Apperley View

26 Painshawfield Rd

Construction of first floor extension above garage and pitched roof to porch

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/03861/VARYCO

Ashleigh

26 Cade Hill Road

Appeal against refusal of variation of condition 2 of approved planning permission.

For information only

21/01751/FUL

Meadsway

New Ridley

Proposal to raise the roof level slightly to provide a bedroom with ensuite and dormers

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/01776/FELTPO

Spaderake 35 Meadowfield Rd

TPO application to reduce overhang from road: remove 2 x Willow and 1 Lime to replace with Oak or Beech

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/01792/FUL

Burndene,

5 Crabtree Rd

Conversion of existing three bedroom, two bathroom bungalow to create three bedroom, two bathroom dormer bungalow with rear extension to create kitchen-dining. Roof and joist replacement with ridge height increase by 800mm.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/01906/FUL

Dale Head

24 Cade Hill Road

Erection of single-storey and partial two-storey extension with associated terrace following demolition of existing lean-to, including alterations to existing elevations

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/01912/FUL

Greenacre

55 Meadowfield Rd

Proposed 2-storey rear extension to provide reconfigured ground and first floor rooms

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/02012/FUL

Marchmont

5 Batt House Road

Demolition of existing garage linked to property. Construction of new garage in rear garden, new rear single storey extension and canopy to side entrance.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/02259/FUL

Cranford Lodge,

25 Batt House Rd

First floor side and rear extension, pitched roof over existing flat roof to front bay window and rear music room, demolition of garage and reconstruction to side.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/01846/OUT

Land NE of

277 New Ridley Road

Outline planning permission for a new dwelling (all matters reserved).

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/02389/FUL

Newham Villa, 36 Painshawfield Rd

Proposed rear part single storey part two storey extension, re-rendering to side and rear elevation and new raised roof with front dormers.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/7/98 Stocksfield sports fields: private use

The Chair referred to a request from a group representing parents of Year 11 pupils from Prudhoe Community High School to use the eastern sports fields as a location for the school’s prom. The proposal involved the installation of a marquee and the use of the cricket club’s toilet facilities. The group had provided an event management plan and risk assessment. After discussion it was AGREED to permit the use subject to the following conditions:

  • Covid restrictions are lifted by the government so that the event can occur lawfully without the requirement for social distancing
  • The organisers provide public liability cover of £5M and evidence of it given to the Council prior to the event
  • Compliance with any conditions or endorsements imposed by the insurer
  • Compliance with any conditions imposed by NCC
  • The area is left clean and in its original condition

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

21/7/99 Co-option Policy

The Chair reminded members of the reasons why this matter is listed for discussion. This had been made possible because there had been a delay in notifying the date and procedure to the applicants for co-option. A number of members had also expressed reservations about the policy during the GGAG. The Chair said that there are currently six applicants for the three vacant seats and Mr Liddle clarified that the earliest applications had been received around 11 May 2021. The Chair explained the suggested amendments to the Co-option Policy which clarified the procedure where there are more applicants than vacant seats.

Mrs Joy raised concerns about the accessibility of information about co-option, how much residents know about the role of the Council, the targeting of information to specific skill sets or any particular demographic that the Council is missing in terms of diversity. Members discussed the broader aspects of co-option and recognised that the demographic profile of elected councillors across the country raised issues about representation. Mrs Joy suggested that a clear strategy is needed to ensure that minority groups are aware of the opportunities of joining the Council, although this would not involve positive discrimination. Mr Liddle suggested that looking at this aspect was perhaps something that can be done separately by the Communications Advisory Group and this was supported by Mr Hills and Mrs Dale. Mr Liddle said that there is a need to progress the existing six applications and turnover of councillors is likely to produce further vacancies. Dr Vickers said that the revised policy would address some of the concerns expressed as each applicant would require a proposer and seconder before moving to a vote.

Members AGREED to suspend paragraph 2.18 of Standing Orders relating to the length of the meeting.

After further discussion it was AGREED (proposed Mr Liddle, seconded Dr Vickers) to amend the Co-option Policy as previously circulated including those parts in parenthesis and to progress consideration of co-options at the next meeting. It was further AGREED that Mr Hills, Mrs Joy and Mrs Pollock would meet to prepare questions and that all members can contribute. The proposed questions will be circulated to all members.         

Action: Clerk, Mr Hills, Mrs Joy, Mrs Pollock DISCHARGED

 

21/7/100 Defibrillator project

This item was deferred due to the length of the meeting.

 

21/7/101Replacement of litter bin New Ridley Road

The Chair referred to a report of the Clerk which identified damage to the old bin at the above location. It was AGREED to replace the bin with the Council’s standard ‘Futuro’ litter bin.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

Mrs Dale left the meeting.

 

21/7/102Parish Council Representatives

There were no representative meetings.

 

21/7/103 Future meetings of the Council

The Chair said that it remains difficult to predict the point at which normal meetings can resume and it was AGREED to schedule future meetings for the first Tuesday of each month for the remainder of 2021.                                                                          Action: Clerk

 

21/7/104 Any other urgent business

Letters of thanks

The Council has received letters/emails of thanks for grants from Stocksfield Tennis Club, Singing Mamas CIC and St Margaret’s Hindley Burial Board.

 

21/7/105 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 7 September 2021

 

21/7/106 Defibrillator equipment

The Chair said that a remote meeting has been arranged with Professor Michael Norton, Deputy Medical Director of the North East Ambulance Service, on Friday 6 August 2021 to discuss the issues previously raised and she hopes to be able to report further at the next meeting.

 

The Chair thanked councillors for their attendance and closed the meeting at 10.06pm.

Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council held on Wednesday 19 May 2021 at Stocksfield Community Centre

 

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mrs A Dale, Mr T Hills, Mrs L Joy, Mr C Liddle, Mrs K Pollock, Dr P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     Mr C Chance, Mr M Parker.

Also present: Mr N Hooks, Mr D Williams (residents)

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.30pm and welcomed councillors to the annual meeting of the Council which was also the first meeting of the new Council as well as the first physical meeting since March 2020.

 

21/5/79 Election of Chair of the Parish Council

Ms Hunt was elected as Chair of the Parish Council (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mrs Pollock) and it was AGREED to suspend paragraph 3.3 of Standing Orders relating to the term of office of the Chair. The acceptance of office was made.

 

21/5/80 Election of Vice Chair of the Parish Council

Dr Vickers was elected as Vice Chair of the Parish Council (proposed Chair, seconded Mrs Pollock) and it was AGREED to suspend paragraph 3.4 of Standing Orders relating to the term of office of the Vice Chair.

 

21/5/81 Apologies for absence

Apologies had been received from the above named members and it was AGREED (proposed Chair, seconded Dr Vickers) to permit both to make and deliver their acceptance of office forms at a later date and before the next meeting of the Council.                                                                                                Action: Mr Chance, Mr Parker, Clerk

 

21/5/82 Declarations of Interest

Mrs Dale declared an interest in all planning applications.

 

21/5/83 Physical meetings: Covid-19 risk assessment

Members considered the risk assessment which will be reviewed by the Clerk prior to every physical meeting and it was AGREED (proposed Mrs Pollock, seconded Mrs Joy) to approve the risk assessment.                                                                                              Action: Clerk

 

21/5/84 Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 May 2021

It was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mr Liddle) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 4 May 2021 were a true and accurate record.

 

21/5/85 Advisory and other representative groups

The Chair reminded members that the terms of reference of groups had been agreed at the last meeting of the Council and it was AGREED to appoint members to groups as follows:

a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG) – Chair (convenor), Mr Hills and Mrs Pollock.

b) Planning Advisory Group – Mr Parker (convenor) and Dr Vickers.

c) Rights of Way and Environment Advisory Group – Dr Vickers (convenor) and Mr Liddle (Mrs Dale attends as county councillor).

d) Communications Advisory Group – Clerk, Mr Hills, Mrs Joy, Mr Liddle.

e) Sports Fields User Group – Chair and Mrs Dale

It was further AGREED that the Council would be represented as follows:

f) Essity Community Forum – Mrs Joy

g) East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum – Chair

The Chair said that the report from Mr Chance in respect of Climate Change will be considered at the next meeting of the GGAG and subsequently by the Parish Council. There will be an opportunity to review the advisory groups further in due course.

 

21/5/86 Play area risk assessments

The Chair referred to the previously circulated risk assessment regarding the use of the play areas and the risks as a result of Covid-19. She said that the risk assessment was compliant with updated government guidance from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, received today in response to the changes to restrictions on 17 May 2021. It was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mrs Pollock) to approve the risk assessment. The complete removal of restrictions was discussed and members AGREED to delegate authority to the Clerk, in consultation with the Chair, to undertake a further risk assessment so that the equipment can be reinstalled at the earliest opportunity and to provide new signage as appropriate.                                      Action: Clerk

 

21/5/87 Date of next meeting

The Chair said that the current arrangements for Covid-secure meetings, particularly with the attendance of further members, clearly posed logistical problems. It was AGREED to hold the next physical meeting at a date to be set by the Clerk, in liaison with all members, in late June or early July 2021.

The Chair reminded members of key Council policies and other documents that are available on the Council’s website, in particular the Members’ Code of Conduct, Email and Internet Policy and Standing Orders, and the impact they have on the roles of members. The Chair thanked councillors for their attendance and closed the meeting at 8.11pm.