DRAFT ONLY

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held remotely on Monday 4 January 2021

 

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mrs J Furniss, Mr T Hills, Mr C Liddle, Mr D Parke, Mr M Parker, Dr P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

 

Apologies:     Mrs L Joy, Mrs K Pollock.

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.32pm and welcomed councillors to the remote meeting which was being ‘live-streamed’ on the Council’s Facebook page.

 

21/1/1 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

 

21/1/2 Public Participation

Bus service from Stocksfield to Tyne View Retail Park, Prudhoe

A resident had written to the Council and Mr Guy Opperman MP expressing concern that there is no direct bus service to Tyne View Retail Park at Low Prudhoe from Stocksfield. It was noted that Mr Opperman had subsequently written to Go North East about the matter. After discussion it was AGREED to consider the issue further once Go North East has replied to Mr Opperman. Action: Clerk B/F

Highways issues

A resident had submitted the following question for consideration by the Council:

With reference to the document ‘Shaping the Future of Stocksfield’ (issued Jan 2019) in which residents considered that measures to reduce traffic volume (particularly HGVs) and to also reduce speeding should be implemented, do the majority of Parish Councillors consider that the ‘strategic route’ designation of the A695 to be inappropriate?

Members AGREED that until such time as there is an alternative route, for example a new river crossing that would bypass Stocksfield, it is natural that the A695 remains a strategic route.

The Clerk was asked to respond to the resident accordingly. Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

Request for additional grit bins at Birkdene

The Chair referred to a separate email from Mrs Dale detailing a request to her from residents. It was AGREED to ask that the residents contact the Council directly in order that the request can be assessed objectively.                                                         Action: Clerk

 

21/1/3 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update which had been previously circulated to members. The seat at New Ridley was listed separately for discussion on the agenda. There were no questions raised by members and the update was noted.

 

21/1/4 Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 December 2020

It was AGREED (proposed Mrs Furniss, seconded Mr Parke) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2020 were a true and accurate record.

 

21/1/5 Matters Arising

a) Control of Himalayan balsam

Letters were sent to three landowners in October 2020 concerning infestations of Himalayan balsam on their respective land. Two landowners have responded positively but a landowner at Ridley Mill has not replied. It was AGREED that a further letter will be sent to ask for a reply. Action: Clerk

 

b) NE43 News

The Chair reminded members that the most recent delivery of NE43 News had been undertaken by a local distributor who had revised their fees for future deliveries to £165. After discussion members felt that the delivery was a success and it was AGREED to employ the distributor for future editions. It was also AGREED to retain the list of current volunteers, with their permission to comply with data protection, for use in unforeseen circumstances.                                               Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

c) Defibrillator project

Replacement defibrillator cabinets have been fitted at the sports fields and golf club. The location for the Broomley defibrillator has been agreed at the site of the old telephone kiosk. Members AGREED to indemnify NCC against all claims arising from the defibrillator cabinet being on NCC’s land and to resolve any disputes should they arise with objectors. Northern Powergrid and NCC are to install the remaining six cabinets although final timescales are to be notified. Members noted the update.

d) Covid-19 grant funding

The Clerk reported that the funding opportunity had been posted on notice boards, the website and on Facebook but there have been no applications to date.

 

21/1/6 Finance

a) Approval of December payments

It was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mr Parke) 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 31/12/20

Members noted the budget monitoring report.

c) Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)

It was AGREED to renew the Council’s membership of CPRE at a cost of £36. Action: Clerk

 

21/1/7 Planning Advisory Group

a) 20/03901/FUL Amberley House: Proposed internal and external alterations to building; change of use from A1 Shop to mixed used including A1 Shop, A3 Café and C1 Hotel

After discussion it was AGREED to comment about the availability of parking and the comments at section 6.10 in the Design and Access Statement. The land on which the railway car park is situated is the responsibility of and operated by Northern Rail. Around 2008 the car park was extended by a joint enterprise involving the Parish Council and Northumberland County Council. Funding was provided by both councils with a significant sum from a Department for Transport grant. The purpose of the extension was to provide additional capacity for rail users and specifically not for local residents or users of other local facilities (such as the Community Centre). Northern Rail has previously considered imposing car parking fees. Prior to the national restriction being imposed in March 2020, the car park was often full throughout the day. Irrespective of whether the use of the car park returns to pre-Covid levels, the Council disagrees with the Design and Access Statement in that the railway station car park is not ‘a public car park suitable for use by visitors to the proposal’.

Additionally the Council noted reference to cycle storage. It is unclear whether this storage would be only for the use of occupiers of the proposed accommodation. The Council wishes to ensure the provision of outside cycle rack facilities for customers. Action: Clerk

b) Planning report

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

20/03973/FUL

Skirbeck, 38 Painshawfield Rd

Erection of single storey garage/garden room.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/03977/FUL

1 The Oaks, Main Road

Extension to rear, internal reconfiguration to ground and first floor and loft conversion

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/03997/FUL

Broomley House, Main Road

Boundary treatment

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


21/1/8 Provision of litter bins

a) Stocksfield sports fields and railway station car parks

NCC has agreed to install and empty a wheeled bin at the recycling centre at the sports fields car park and Northern Rail is willing to approve a Council-funded bin at the railway station car park. It was AGREED to monitor both locations over the coming months.

b)Painshawfield Road to A695

The Chair referred to a report from the Clerk concerning the ownership of land over which the right of way passes and, after discussion, it was AGREED to site a litter bin near the junction with Baliol Road and Painshawfield Road and to source suitable signs indicating that the bin should be used for wrapped dog waste.                                                                       Action: Clerk

 

21/1/9 Parish Council Representative

There were no representative meetings.

 

21/1/10 Website maintenance

The Clerk referred to a previously circulated report which updated members on developments on the website concerned mainly with accessibility, including the need for additional software to produce accessible grant application forms. Increased security demands combine so that the annual fees no longer reflect the work undertaken by the webmaster. After discussion, it was AGREED to approve

  • payment for appropriate software to enable customised forms to be produced
  • additional work by the webmaster to produce accessible forms
  • revised annual charges rising to £350 in 2022/23.

Action: Clerk

 

21/1/11 Miners Lamp Community Café and Hub

The Chair reminded members of previously circulated emails in December which showed the support provided to some residents of Stocksfield by the Miners Lamp Community Café and Hub, which is operated by the charity ‘Friends of Eastwood Park’. It was AGREED to donate £200 towards the work under Section 137 Local Government Act 1972. Action: Clerk

21/1/12 Annual Parish Meetings (APM)

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report of the Clerk and outlined the history of APMs in Stocksfield. Since the APM was changed so it was held on the same day and immediately preceding the annual meeting of the Council, no residents have attended. Whilst there are conflicting views amongst clerks, the legislation does not compel a parish council to convene the APM and it is clear that no councillor or clerk is required by law to attend the APM if so convened. After discussion, and recognising that any six electors can convene the APM, it was AGREED that the APM will not be convened by the Council in 2021 or in future years unless a specific need arises. It was also AGREED that the relevant section of the job description of the Clerk should be amended to read:

To issue notices and prepare agendas for a parish meeting that may be convened in accordance with Section 15(1) Local Government Act 1972 and to attend and prepare minutes for such annual parish meetings as may be convened by the Chair of the Parish Council.     

                                                                                                       Action: Clerk

 

21/1/13 Seat at New Ridley

The Chair reminded members that the seat at New Ridley had been removed and repositioned following a decision of the Council in Dec 2017, predominantly on safety grounds. Mrs Dale then replaced the seat in October 2019 using private funds but has made it clear that she was acting in her capacity as a county councillor. NCC has confirmed that the responsibility for public seating rests with town and parish councils. In December 2020 a vehicle left the road and destroyed one of the gateways and the speed limit sign at New Ridley before hitting the new seat, although damage to it was minimal. Mrs Dale is organising a further road safety audit in relation to the seat. The Chair has discussed the matter with the Leader of NCC and NCC’s officer responsible for highways in Tynedale. She said that the Council’s safety concerns would appear to have been validated and invited members to consider any appropriate further action. After discussion Mr Hills proposed (seconded Mr Liddle) that no further action is taken and the motion was defeated. The Chair said that there is no clear agreement on further action but the Council still awaits further contact from both the Leader and the officer referred to previously, as well as the outcome of the road safety audit referred to by Mrs Dale. Action: Clerk Bring F’d

 

21/1/14 Sports fields development

The Chair reminded members that work is underway to make significant improvements to the sports fields although it has been delayed this year due to Covid-19. Although the fees for pre-application planning advice from NCC had not been clarified, it was AGREED to progress pre-application advice up to a cost of £350.                                         Action: Clerk

 

21/1/15 Any other urgent business

National Leisure Recovery Fund

The Clerk said that this fund had featured in a recent Enews of the Northumberland Association of Local Councils (NorthALC). The fund is available to local councils where additional expenses have been incurred and the provision of sports facilities is outsourced. The Fund would appear not to be applicable to the Council and members noted the update.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Addendum

The Clerk said that information in relation to this grant opportunity had been received after publication of the agenda for this meeting. It catered for businesses that were required to close between 5 November and 2 December 2020 as a result of Covid-19 restrictions. Amongst other things, businesses had to have been open as usual on 4 November and provide services in person to customers from the premises. The Council could be eligible to apply for a grant in respect of the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) as business rates are paid in respect of the premises. After discussion members were of the view that appropriate enquires should be undertaken by the Clerk to secure any funding that may be available.

Letters of thanks

The Clerk said that letters of thanks for donations or payments had been received from Stocksfield Community Association, Tynedale Hospice, Age UK Northumberland, Great North Air Ambulance, Hindley St Margaret Burial Board, Sport Tynedale and 1st Stocksfield Guides.

 

21/1/16 Date of next meeting

Monday 1 February 2021

 

It was resolved under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 to exclude the press and members of the public to consider the following item.

 

21/1/17 Defibrillator equipment

Members considered a previously circulated report of the Clerk and it was AGREED to seek the advice of NorthALC.                                                                           Action: Clerk

 

The Chair thanked councillors for their attendance and closed the meeting at 9.32pm.

 

DRAFT ONLY

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held remotely on Monday 7 December 2020

 

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

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     None

Also present: Mrs K Pollock (initially as a resident)

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.30pm and welcomed councillors to the remote meeting which was being ‘live-streamed’ on the Council’s Facebook page.

 

20/12/120 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

 

20/12/121 Co-option to the Council of Mrs K Pollock

The Chair referred to the application from the above named for co-option. After discussion it was AGREED to co-opt Mrs Pollock as a parish councillor and to permit Mrs Pollock to complete and deliver a declaration of acceptance of office before the date of the next meeting of the Council. The Chair welcomed Mrs Pollock as a member of the Parish Council, referring to her previous service as a parish councillor.                              Action: Clerk and Mrs Pollock

 

20/12/122 Public Participation

Highways issues

A resident had submitted two questions for consideration by the Council:

(i) Did the PC receive the traffic report from Northumberland County Council (NCC) which was due for issue about two years ago and is that report available to the public?

It was previously the Council’s belief that NCC was undertaking a safety assessment of the A695 from Branch End to the railway station and this was based on comments of the County Councillor at previous meetings. The only report that has been received from NCC relates to the proposed advisory speed limit at Broomley School and, to the knowledge of the Council, no further report is being undertaken by NCC.

(ii) Bearing in mind the new traffic calming measures on New Ridley Road and in the Park Estate do Northumbria Police/NCC have a strategy for traffic calming on the main road (A695) through Stocksfield?

The responsibility for traffic issues rests with NCC as the Highways Authority not the Parish Council.

The Clerk was asked to respond to the resident accordingly.           Action: Clerk

Watchtower

The Chair reported having received a copy of The Watchtower, a publication of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, which has been sent to councillors across the country.

 

20/12/123 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update which had been previously circulated to members. A number of items were listed for discussion on the agenda. The Chair referred to the County Councillor’s Local Transport Plan priorities for 2021/22 and, after discussion, it was clear that the Council’s own priority relating to a new footpath at New Ridley had been included by the County Councillor. There were no questions raised by members.

 

20/12/124 Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 November 2020

It was AGREED (proposed Mrs Furniss, seconded Mr Parke) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 2 November 2020 were a true and accurate record.

 

20/12/125 Matters Arising

a) County Councillor’s Local Transport Plan Priorities

This was previously dealt with at item 20/12/123.

b) NE43 News

The Chair said that the delivery of NE43 News had been undertaken by a local distributor on this occasion and that the effectiveness of the delivery was being assessed. The Council has received a number of favourable comments about the issue. It was AGREED to consider the delivery of future editions at the next meeting.                          Action: Clerk Bring Forwd

c) Remembrance Service

The Chair reminded members that a pre-recorded video of the Remembrance Service had been streamed on the Council’s Facebook on Remembrance Sunday due to Covid-19 restrictions. Members agreed that the video was excellent and they recognised the work of Rev Pat Moran and her husband in producing the video. Members AGREED to write to Rev Moran to thank her for the additional work this year and recognised the contribution of the Clerk.                                                                                                                         Action: Clerk

d) Defibrillator project

The Clerk reported that two additional defibrillators are now fitted and operational with the North East Ambulance Service – at the Community Centre and St John’s Church. NCC will commence installation of further defibrillators in January 2021. The location of the defibrillator at Broomley is to be finalised upon receipt of further information from Northern Powergrid. After discussion it was AGREED to

  • replace the old defibrillator cabinets at the sports field and golf club with the new style cabinets which provide improved access and maintenance as well as reduced power consumption
  • use £550 from allocated funds in the Reserve Account and the balance from existing budgets and
  • delegate authority to the Clerk to employ an electrician if necessary.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk

 

20/12/126 Finance

a) Approval of November payments

It was AGREED (proposed Mr Parke, seconded Mr Parker) that the payments for November 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 30/11/20

Members noted the budget monitoring report and AGREED that any payments in excess of £5,000 from the ‘defibrillator’ sub-heading should be disregarded when calculating the remaining funds in the Environment budget heading until 31 March 2021.

c) Society of Local Council Clerks

It was AGREED to renew the Clerk’s membership at a cost of £185. Action: Clerk

d) Richardson Room: hire

Members AGREED to pay the room hire fees to the Community Association in spite of the absence of physical meetings due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding Covid-19.

                                                                                                            Action: Clerk

20/12/127 Donation requests

a) Age UK Northumberland

It was AGREED to make a donation of £100 to Age UK Northumberland under Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972.                                                               Action: Clerk

b) Tynedale Hospice at Home

It was AGREED to make a donation of £200 to Tynedale Hospice under Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972.                                                              Action: Clerk

 

20/12/128 Review of Council Policies

a) Grievance Procedure

It was AGREED to make no changes to the procedure and to review it in one year.           Action: Clerk

b) Disciplinary Policy

It was AGREED to make no changes to the policy and to review it in one year.      Action: Clerk

 

20/12/129 Planning Advisory Group

Mrs Pollock declared a personal interest in application reference 20/02872/FUL as a nearby resident. Members noted the planning report and the use of delegated authority as below:

20/03491/FUL

Land at Cockshot Hill

Change of use from agricultural to enclosed dog park business

The Council is concerned that the entrance to the site is from a sharp bend on a narrow road where visibility is restricted. Sufficient off-road parking needs to be available to prevent parking on the verges of the public road. The Council is also concerned to ensure that no new buildings are constructed within the boundary of the site. Note use of delegated powers.

20/02872/FUL

Moresby, Main Road

Retrospective application for detached granny annex

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/03706/FUL

Woodburn, 3 Batt House Rd

Demolition of rear/side single storey extension and construction of flat roof single storey extension and glass balustrade to rear

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/03861/VARYCO

Ashleigh, 26 Cade Hill Rd

Variation of condition 2 of 20/00297/FUL to allow new wall to be moved closer to boundary wall to underpin and give support. Replacement of windows either side of French doors.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

 

20/12/130 Parish Council Representative

Essity Community Consultation Forum

Mr Parke had circulated a newsletter of the above forum which had not met recently due to Covid-19.

Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership

A planning event is to be held on 11 January 2021 and Dr Vickers has applied to attend.

 

20/12/131 Stocksfield sports fields: commercial use by fitness instructor

A resident of Stocksfield had applied for permission to use a small area of the sports fields to provide one-to-one fitness sessions, having been prevented from using their own garden due to Covid-19 restrictions. After discussion it was AGREED to authorise this use on the Council’s standard terms for a cost of £2.50 per session, a cost which the Council will waive until 31 March 2021 in line with other users.

Members considered the need to remain flexible during the current and any future periods of restrictions due to Covid-19. It was AGREED to delegate authority to the Clerk, in liaison with the Chair, to authorise similar requests where appropriate on a temporary basis, including the ability to set a fee. Any temporary permission and fee would be subject to approval, refusal or variation by a future meeting of the Council.                         Action: Clerk

 

20/12/132 Covid-19 grant funding

Mrs Joy updated members and presented a previously circulated document outlining proposals for the purpose, eligibility, process and allocation of grant funding resulting from funds made available by Central Government. After discussion it was AGREED to

  • invite applications for grants up to £2,000 in line with the document (as amended) with a closing date of Friday 15 January 2021
  • consider applications at the next meeting of the General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG) on Monday 18 January 2021 and
  • consider the recommendations of the GGAG at the Council meeting on 1 February 2021.

Action: Clerk

 

20/12/133 Provision of litter bins

a) Stocksfield sports field and railway station car parks

Members discussed the potential need for additional litter bins at the above locations. Further information was needed from Northern Rail and NCC and it was AGREED to reconsider the matter at the next meeting.                                                               Action: Clerk

b) Painshawfield Road to A695 track

Mr Liddle declared a personal interest as a nearby resident. The Chair referred to an email from the County Councillor reflecting concerns of residents about dog faeces being left at the above location, a view shared by members. It was AGREED to purchase and install a standard litter bin and to delegate authority to the Clerk to agree a suitable location with NCC.                                                                                                                   Action: Clerk

 

20/12/134 North East Transport Plan: consultation

The Chair referred to the previously circulated document which is a product of the two combined authorities covering Northumberland, Durham and Tyne and Wear. The Chair summarised her views that the Plan:

  • is ambitious – possibly overly so
  • relies upon a huge capital investment which is not guaranteed, particularly given the funding available to the combined authorities
  • would be beneficial in that it covers the seven local authority areas
  • has a vision and objectives which are generally fine but perhaps optimistic
  • contains very little about rural issues – how the Plan will support people in rural areas who are isolated and thereby enable them to access facilities, and
  • will mainly benefit urban areas.

It was AGREED to comment as outlined above.                   Action: Clerk

 

20/12/135 Stocksfield sports fields: use by Broomley First School

The Chair referred to a report of the Clerk which outlined the potential ways that Broomley First School and its pupils could increase their use of the sports fields. After discussion it was AGREED to:

  • allow the school to use an area of land adjacent to the overspill car park to establish a wild meadow but that the school was responsible for formal risk assessments and should comply with the conditions attached to its existing use of the fields
  • permit the school to plant hedging at the north east corner of the sports field and
  • explore further the potential for the school to utilise the land in the north east corner for consideration at a future meeting. Action: Clerk

 

20/12/136 Any other urgent business

There was no other business.

 

20/12/137 Date of next meeting

Monday 4 January 2021

The Chair thanked all councillors for their work throughout a difficult year which has enabled the Council to continue to function. She also offered her thanks to the Clerk for his additional work since March which has facilitated the continuity of business during unusual and uncertain circumstances. Finally the Chair thanked the Council’s grounds services contractor, Martin Stewart, for his work and, in particular, the wonderfully decorated Christmas tree at the school.

The Chair wished everyone a Happy Christmas and closed the meeting at 9.21pm.

 

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held remotely on Monday 2 November 2020

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mrs J Furniss, Mr T Hills, Mrs L Joy, Mr D Parke, Mr M Parker, Dr P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

Apologies:     Mr C Liddle

Also present: Mrs L Joy (initially as a resident)

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.33pm and welcomed councillors to the remote meeting which was being ‘live-streamed’ on the Council’s Facebook page.

 

20/11/103 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

 

20/11/104 Co-option to the Council of Mrs L Joy

The Chair referred to the application from the above named for co-option. After discussion it was AGREED to co-opt Mrs Joy as a parish councillor and to permit Mrs Joy to complete and deliver a declaration of acceptance of office before the date of the next meeting of the Council. The Chair welcomed Mrs Joy as a member of the Parish Council. Action: Clerk and Mrs Joy

 

20/11/105 Public Participation

Provision of litter bins

Mr Hills referred to the forthcoming opening of a new fast food outlet at Princess Way, Prudhoe and asked for the provision of additional litter bins to be considered at the sports field and railway station car parks. It was AGREED that Dr Vickers would liaise with Northern Rail and the Clerk would report to the next meeting about the sports field. Action: Clerk and Dr Vickers

Play areas

A resident asked whether the play areas are to close as a result of the changes to the Covid-19 restrictions. The Clerk said that no further guidance has been provided by the Government at this stage and the existing risk assessments remain in force so there is no need to close the play areas at this time. The matter may need to be reviewed pending any new guidance.

 

20/11/106 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update which included information about the County Council’s response to Covid-19; the resurfacing of New Ridley Road; her Local Transport Plan (LTP) priorities – namely the extension of the footpath on the A695 between Stocksfield and Riding Mill, speed reduction measures in Broomley and the pavement at New Ridley; the implications of the planning white paper for New Ridley and the fields opposite Broomley First School; and full fibre broadband. Members asked the Clerk to clarify the reference to the pavement at New Ridley.                                                                           Action: Clerk

 

20/11/107 Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 September 2020

It was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mr Parker) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 21 September 2020 were a true and accurate record.

 

20/11/108 Matters Arising

a) Seat at New Ridley

The Chair referred to her previously circulated letter to County Councillor G Sanderson and said that a reply is awaited.                                                 Action: Clerk Bring Forward

b) Control of Himalayan balsam

The Clerk said that replies have been received from two landowners who had thanked the Council for the information and agreed to deal with the matter in 2020. The third landowner at Ridley Mill had not responded. Members considered the potential enforcement options and AGREED to reconsider the issue at its meeting in January 2021. Action: Clerk Bring Forw’d

c) NE43 News

The Clerk updated members on the planned timescales for the December issue of NE43 News and the impact of the additional restrictions relating to Covid-19 that will last until at least 2 December 2020. After discussion it was AGREED to progress the next issue of NE43 News and to delegate authority to the Clerk in conjunction with the Chair to arrange for its delivery by an external contractor and thereby guarantee the delivery irrespective of whether the restrictions are extended.                                                                                            Action: Clerk and Chair

d) Remembrance Service 2020

Members AGREED to donate £200 to the Royal British Legion using Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972. The Clerk updated the meeting about the implications of the new Covid-19 related restrictions. It was AGREED to prerecord a service by Rev Pat Moran which will be streamed on Sunday 8 November on the Council’s Facebook page and, where possible, to include a wreath laying at the war memorial.                              Action: Clerk

 

20/11/109 Finance

a) Approval of September and October payments

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

b) Budget monitoring to 31/10/20

Members noted the budget monitoring report and AGREED to vire £800 from each of the Administration and Communications budgets to the Environment budget and £3,500 from Contingency to Sport Facilities.                                                    Action: Clerk

 

20/11/110 General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

a) Notes of the meeting held on 12 October 2020

Members noted the notes of the meeting.

b) Contract for Grounds Services 2021/2024

After discussion it was AGREED to award the contract for Grounds Services for 2021/2024 to Martin Stewart, trading as Neetfleet, as per the submitted tender.      Action: Clerk

c) Budget and precept setting 2021/22

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report from the Clerk which he had amended as a result of discussion at the GGAG. Members were of the view that, due to the impact of Covid-19 on communities, every effort should be made not to increase the precept. After discussion it was AGREED to set the budget for 2021/22 as circulated with receipts (before precept) of £3,280 and payments of £102,286. Members further AGREED to set the precept for 2021/22 at £99,006 a Band D equivalent of £74.79.                                      Action: Clerk

d) Covid-19 grant funding

The Chair reminded members of the funds that had been made available as a result of Covid-19 and which are now at the disposal of the Council. After discussion, it was AGREED that the funds should be made available on application from local groups and organisations affected by Covid-19. Mr Hills, Mrs Joy, and Mr Parke AGREED to draft eligibility criteria for discussion at the next meeting.                                                     Action: Mr Hills, Mrs Joy, Mr Parke

e) Donation request Great North Air Ambulance

After discussion it was AGREED to donate £200 to the Great North Air Ambulance under Sec 137 of the Local Government Act 1972.                                                           Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/11/111 Hindley St Margaret’s Burial Board

The Chair reminded members of a previous decision to review the grant award to the Burial Board. The Board has projected a deficit of £162 in 2020 due to the Covid-19 related reduction in burials. After discussion it was AGREED to make a further grant of £200.             Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/11/112 Planning Advisory Group

Members noted the planning report and the use of delegated authority as below:

 

20/02865/FUL

Larkspur,

7 Apperley Road

Re-cladding and part remodelling of existing property with timber cladding and white render; new first floor balcony, hard and soft landscaping and terrace to rear

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/02809/VARYCO

Land south east of 19 Batt House Road

Variation of condition 2 re 18/00215/FUL to alter design of house

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/02926/FUL

Kilmardinny 52

Meadowfield Rd

Demolition of flat roof garage, toilet and bedroom and replace with pitched roof on slightly increased footprint

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/03159/FUL

Mickley Bank Farm

Rebuilding of storage sheds

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/03410/AGRGDO

Barn south of Redshaw Foot

Fit two roof lights

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/03405/FUL

37 Baliol Road

Demolition of existing flat roofed structures and erection of new extension to rear. Entrance porch to front elevation.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

19/01312/FUL

Land east of Apperley Dene

Proposed dwelling for use by rural worker. Appeal against refusal by NCC.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/03399/VARYCO

Apperley Farm West Cottage

Variation of Conditions: 2 (plans) and 3 (materials) related to planning approval 20/01074/FUL

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

 

20/11/113 Parish Council Representative

There were no representative meetings.

 

20/11/114 Defibrillator project

The Chair reminded members of previous decisions of the Council and referred to the report of the Clerk which outlined the next phase of the project to provide increased defibrillator cover across the built up section of the Council’s area. It was AGREED to install six further defibrillators at a further cost of £19,401 at the following locations:

(i) A695 at Brand End Play Area

(ii) New Ridley Road at the junction with Meadowfield Road

(iii) Birkdene opposite the junction with Welton Close

(iv) Ridley Mill Road near Ridley Mill Cottages

(v) C273 road at Broomley (near to the post box)

(vi) B6309 at Hindley

It was also AGREED to delegate authority to the Clerk to resolve the outstanding issues with Northumberland County Council (NCC) at Broomley in consultation with the Chair, including the potential relocation of the site, and to arrange the metered connections with a suitable electricity provider.                                                                                     Action: Clerk and Chair

 

20/11/115 Changes to the current planning system consultation

After discussion members AGREED with the content of a previously circulated response to the consultation from the National Association of Local Councils and were satisfied that the Council’s views were represented in a letter from the East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum to Mr G Opperman MP.                                     DISCHARGED

 

20/11/116 Review of Council Policies

a) Volunteer Policy

Members AGREED to make no changes and to review the policy in November 2023.                                                                                                      Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

b) Co-option policy

Members AGREED to make no changes and to review the policy in November 2023.                                                                                                      Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

c) Members’ Allowances

Members AGREED to make no changes and to review the policy in November 2021.                                                                                                      Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

d) Complaints Policy

Members AGREED that the policy required further consideration before approval.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk Bring Forward

 

20/11/117 Stocksfield Burn: proposed flood warning device

The Clerk reported that the Environment Agency is seeking to install a flood warning device on Stocksfield Burn which will enable residents to register for text alerts. The precise location is yet to be finalised. The Council’s Flood Plan is due to be reviewed but Mr Parker said that from his examination, there is no need for it to be amended at this stage. It was AGREED to note this development and to review the Flood Plan once the flood warning device is installed.

Action: Clerk Bring Forward

 

20/11/118 Any other urgent business

There was no other business.

 

20/11/119 Date of next meeting

Monday 7 December 2020

It was resolved under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 to exclude the press and public to consider the following item. The Chair thanked members of the public for joining the meeting and the live stream was ended.

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

 

20/11/120 Complaint against the Parish Council

The Chair reported that she had received a complaint against the Council from a resident which has been dealt with under the Council’s Complaints Policy and resolved. The Chair said that she is required to report such matters to members in accordance with the policy and a record has been made of the complaint. DISCHARGED

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

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held remotely on Monday 21 September 2020

 

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mr T Hills, Mrs J Furniss, Mr C Liddle, Mr D Parke, Mr M Parker, Dr P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     None

Also present: Mr T Hills (initially as a resident)

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.33pm and welcomed councillors to the remote meeting which was being ‘live-streamed’ on the Council’s Facebook page. The Chair referred to the recent death of Mr John Davison who had been a forthright member on the Parish Council for over ten years. It was AGREED that the Chair would write to his family to express members’ sympathies.

 

20/9/77 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

20/9/78 Membership of the Parish Council

a) Resignation of Mrs J Robson and Prof R Thompson

The Chair informed the meeting of the resignations of the above mentioned councillors. Prof Thompson in particular had represented the area for many years, initially as a county councillor. Members noted the vacancies and it was AGREED that the Chair would write to both to express the thanks of members for their contribution.                                Action: Chair

b) Effect of Sec 85 Local Government Act 1972

The Chair reported that, due to a failure to attend a meeting of the Council for a continuous period of six months, Mrs H Rae had ceased to be a member of the Council on 17 September 2020. Members noted the vacancy.

c) Co-option to the Council of Mr T Hills

The Chair referred to the application from the above named for co-option. After discussion it was AGREED to co-opt Mr Hills as a parish councillor and to permit Mr Hills to complete and deliver a declaration of acceptance of office before the date of the next meeting of the Council. The Chair welcomed Mr Hills as a member of the Parish Council. Action: Clerk and Mr Hills

 

20/9/79 Public Participation

Speeding vehicles on A695

The Clerk referred to previously circulated emails from and to a resident in connection with speeding vehicles on the A695. After discussion it was AGREED that the Council has been and remains sufficiently active in this area and that there is no need to take further action. Mrs Furniss mentioned that the 20mph advisory sign at Birches Nook was obscured by roadside foliage and the Clerk AGREED to contact NCC.                   Action: Clerk

 

20/9/80 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update which included the County Council’s response to Covid-19, 20mph advisory limit on the A695, potholes and gullies, defibrillators, Local Transport Plan, litter, a proposed new seat on New Ridley Road and planning white papers.

 

20/9/81 Minutes of the Meeting held on 16 July 2020

It was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mrs Furniss) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 16 July 2020 were a true and accurate record.


20/9/82 Matters Arising

a) Seat at New Ridley

The Chair reminded members that a letter from County Councillor G Sanderson in respect of the seat had been received some months earlier but that the Council deferred consideration of it due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was AGREED to write again to Cllr Sanderson to establish what progress has been made in developing a written procedure to deal with requests for new public seating made to Northumberland County Council (NCC) by members of the public including county councillors.                                                   Action: Chair

b) Stocksfield Play Areas

Members noted the written update from the Clerk, and the Chair praised the work of the Groundsman which had enabled the play areas to be opened so quickly. It is clear that their opening has been well received by residents and it appears that both play areas’ usage has been appropriate in the circumstances. The Clerk reported that the litter problem will continue to be monitored but appears to have been a result of NCC’s failure to resume litter collection.

c) Stocksfield Multi Use Games Area (MUGA)

Members noted the re-opening of the MUGA after appropriate risk assessments had been completed.

d) Stocksfield Sports Fields

Members noted the receipt of two grants totalling £20,000 from Central Government as a consequence of operating leisure facilities and the Covid-19 crisis.

e) Local Government Association Model Code of Conduct

Members noted the submission of the Council’s response to the consultation.

 

20/9/83 Finance

a) Approval of July and August payments

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

b) External audit 2019/20

The notice of conclusion of the audit for 2019/20 shows that there are no issues to bring to the attention of the Council. Members AGREED to receive and note the notice and to take no other action.  It was also AGREED to display the required public notice for fourteen days.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/9/84 Planning Advisory Group

a) Planning application 20/02062/FUL Land west of Wheelbirks Lodge

Mr Parker referred to the delegated decision to make no comment in respect of this application, explaining that the building in question appeared to be substantial and had existed for twenty nine years.  The National Planning Policy Framework allows for the change of use of existing buildings within the Green Belt and he considers the application suitable for NCC to determine without comment from the Council. A resident who has objected to the application has asked that the Council reconsiders the decision and relevant correspondence was previously circulated. After discussion it was AGREED to make no amendment to the delegated decision.

b) Planning report

Members noted the planning report and the use of delegated authority as below:

20/02056/FUL

6 Ayton Close

Proposed single storey extension to side

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/02062/FUL

Land west of Wheelbirks Lodge

Retention of building for storage and installation of pet incinerator

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/02078/FUL

Snowdrop Cottage, 20 Painshawfield Rd

Minor adaptation of existing two storey rear extension with new roof and windows, small two storey infill and widen pedestrian access

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/01761/FUL

Land southwest of 40 Meadowfield Rd

Construction of a new dwelling

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/02118/FUL

Dayspring Cottage

8 Apperley Rd

Single storey rear extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/02203/FUL

15 Meadowfield Road

Replacement of laundry store and garage with new extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/02208/FUL

Land South East of The Quarry, Batt House Road

Erection of dwelling house

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/02376/FUL

237 New Ridley Road

Demolition of existing conservatory, proposed two storey rear extension and alterations to front door and interior

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/02429/FUL

39 Tynedale Gardens

Single storey rear extension with first floor extension and garage

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/02507/FUL

25 Guessburn

Single storey rear extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/02655/FUL

3 Baliol Road

Construction of two storey rear and single storey side extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/02656/FUL and

20/02657/LBC

Ridley Mill House

Ridley Mill

Demolition of existing extension to rear and erection of proposed new extension to rear

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

 

20/9/85 Rights of Way and Environmental Advisory Group

a) Notes of the meeting held on 14 September 2020

Members noted the notes of the meeting.

b) Control of Himalayan balsam

Dr Vickers referred to the report of the River Watch Group which highlights four areas where Himalayan balsam is growing in locations beside watercourses that enable it to spread widely. The River Watch Group have been successful in almost eliminating balsam from the lower reaches of Stocksfield Burn but the uncontrolled growth of balsam on land above Ridley Mill appears to be contributing to the annual growth downstream. The Clerk updated members on the legal position and the possible remedies available should a landowner fail to deal with balsam growing adjacent to a watercourse with particular reference to Sec 14(2) Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. After discussion it was AGREED to write to the landowners concerned and request that they take appropriate measures to deal with the invasive species.

Action: Clerk

 

20/9/86 Groundsman contract 2021/24

The Chair said that the Groundsman’s contract expires on 31 March 2021 and a revised contract had been circulated with amendment highlighted. After discussion it was AGREED to approve

  • the revised contract
  • an invitation to tender to be advertised by 25 September 2020 with a closing date of 9am on 12 October 2020, and
  • that any communication received in connection with any tender process in a period in which the Council is meeting remotely can be opened by the Clerk during a remote meeting with the Chair.

Action: Clerk

 

20/9/87 Donation request – Sport Tynedale

It was AGREED to donate £100 to Sport Tynedale under Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972.                                                                                      Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 


20/9/88 Grant application – 1st Stocksfield Guides

Members considered the application for a grant by the above named and it was AGREED to make an award of £155 to 1st Stocksfield Guides.                        Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/9/89 Membership renewal – Northumberland and Newcastle Society

It was AGREED to renew membership of the above society at a cost of £35.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

20/9/90 Annual risk assessment

Members considered the previously circulated assessment as amended in 2019. It was AGREED to approve the risk assessment.                            Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/9/91 Annual insurance renewal

Members considered the previously circulated renewal documentation and noted that this is the second of a three year deal with Came and Co. It was AGREED to renew the insurance at an annual premium of £1720.06.                                                      Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/9/92 Defibrillator project

The Clerk reported on the delays in finalising costs for eight new defibrillators due to Covid-19 related restrictions on NCC’s capacity. After discussion it was AGREED to install two defibrillators at Stocksfield Community Centre and St John’s Church at an estimated total cost of £3,246 and to delegate authority to the Clerk to incur any further necessary costs during installation. The defibrillator at St John’s Church will have been funded entirely by the donations raised by Dr Lucy Booth with a balance to contribute towards further defibrillators in the near future.                                                                                                Action: Clerk

 

20/9/93 Parish Council Representatives

There were no representative meetings.

 

20/9/94 Grant Award Policy

It was AGREED to make no amendments to the current policy and to review it next in September 2022.                                                             Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/9/95 NE43 News

There has been no issue of NE43 News in 2020 due to the impact of Covid-19 and members discussed various options for the future. It was AGREED to publish the December edition but to keep the matter under review pending developments and sufficiency of content.                                                                                                                 Action: Chair

20/9/96 Parish Council Plan

The Chair reminded members that there has been no progress since initial preparation of a draft plan. It was AGREED that the Chair will review the draft and prepare a revised version that focuses on action points.                                                     Action: Chair

 

20/9/97 Pavement Licensing Scheme

Members noted NCC’s previously circulated pavement licensing scheme that enables businesses to make more use of outdoor public space.  DISCHARGED

 

20/9/98 Local Transport Plan (LTP) Programme 2021/22

The Council has been asked to nominate its three priorities to be considered for inclusion in the LTP Programme 2021/22. After discussion it was AGREED to nominate the extension of the existing footpath north of New Ridley Road to Lead Road as its priority.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 


20/9/99 Remembrance Service 2020

Members discussed the options for the annual Remembrance Service which is scheduled for Sunday 8 November 2020. Due to the restrictions as a result of Covid-19 and the difficulty in ensuring a Covid secure service in a public place, it was AGREED that it was not practical to hold the service in the normal way at the war memorial. After further discussion it was AGREED

  • that the Council’s preference is
    • to hold this year’s Remembrance Service at St John’s Church
    • for attendance to be restricted to single representatives of the community, veterans, army and other local organisations
    • that there should be an informal laying of wreaths at the war memorial afterwards
  • to delegate authority to the Clerk in liaison with the Chair and/or Vice Chair to determine the final arrangements after consultation with Rev P Moran and to ensure the service is Covid secure.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

20/9/100 New seat New Ridley Road/Ladywell

The Clerk referred to a request from a resident for the installation of a new seat on the verge of New Ridley Road adjacent to Ladywell. Due to the slope of the verge, the installation would include the construction of a small retaining wall with an approximate total cost for the work of £1385. It was AGREED to purchase and install a new seat at that location.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/9/101 Clerk’s Performance and Development Review (PDR)

The Chair reported that the Clerk’s PDR had been completed by her in conjunction with the Vice Chair. Members noted the update.                              DISCHARGED.

 

20/9/102 Any other urgent business

There was no other business

The Chair thanked those who had joined the meeting remotely and closed the meeting at 9.27pm.