DRAFT ONLY

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held remotely on Monday 12 April 2021

 

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

 

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     Mrs L Joy.

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.

Members joined in expressing their sincere condolences to Her Majesty The Queen and to the Royal Family after the passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Members observed a minute’s silence.

 

21/4/50 Declarations of Interest

Mr Liddle declared an interest in matters connected to the Tyne Rivers Trust.

 

21/4/51 Public Participation

The Chair said that an email had been received asking when the swings at the play areas will be returned to full capacity. A risk assessment undertaken in 2020 resulted in the adaption of swings to maintain social distancing. The Clerk said that the risk assessments were continually monitored but that Government advice relating to social distancing outside had not changed. It was AGREED that the matter would be reviewed again after the next stage of the lifting of restrictions, currently scheduled for 17 May 2021.                                            Action: Clerk

 

21/4/52 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update which had been circulated previously to members. There were no questions and members noted the report.

 

21/4/53 Minutes of the Meeting held on 1 March 2021

It was AGREED (proposed Mrs Pollock, seconded Mr Parker) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 1 March 2021 were a true and accurate record.

 

21/4/54 Matters Arising

a) Defibrillators

The final defibrillator at Broomley is not yet installed. Northern Powergrid is to return to locate the terminated power cables having failed to trace them on previous visits.

b) Financial regulations

The Chair referred to a recommendation from the General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG) to the last meeting of the Council. After discussion it was AGREED to reapprove the Financial Regulations and to review them again in April 2022.               Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

c) Town and Parish Councils’ Charter

The Chair had written to the Northumberland Association of Local Councils in connection with the above matter as agreed at the previous meeting and has since been contacted by the Leader of Northumberland County Council (NCC). The Charter is subject to automatic review following each election. The next review will be soon after the elections in May 2021 and the adoption by NCC of a written procedure for the installation of seating in the highway which properly reflects the statements within the Charter is to be considered. The proposal is that NCC remains the decision making body for land within public parks which it manages and acts on all other occasions only to authorise an application for seating from parish and town councils insofar as public safety is concerned.

 

21/4/55 Finance

a) Approval of March payments

It was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mr Parke) that the payments for March 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 31/03/21

Members noted the budget monitoring report.

c) Budget 2021/22

In light of previous decisions of the Council, it was AGREED to amend three budget headings to read as follows:

Communications:        Website maintenance £375

                                    Newsletter delivery     £330

Contingency:                                                   £3331                                      Action: Clerk

d) Bank signatories – review

It was AGREED that the bank signatories should be as follows:

Chair, Dr Vickers, Mr Parker and Clerk.                                                        Action: Clerk

Mrs Pollock declared an interest in items connected to Stocksfield Cricket Club.

 

21/4/56 General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

a) Notes of the meeting held on 16/03/21

Members noted the previously circulated notes.

b) Future meetings of the Council

The Chair said that this matter had been discussed to enable the Council to consider its duty of care to its employee in relation to a return to physical meetings and, subsequent to the GGAG meeting, the Chair and Dr Vickers had met with the Clerk. The legal position in respect of remote meetings has become less clear and a declaratory judgement of the High Court that may pave the way for remote meetings to continue is expected in April. Dr Vickers added that it may be necessary to revisit the previous decision of the Council. The Chair said that the matter is to be discussed further at the next GGAG and members noted the update.

c) Coronavirus community fund applications

(i) Dr Syntax Leek Club. This application was for funding to purchase ‘social huts’ that would enable members of the community to meet outside whilst maintaining social distance. The huts would be hosted by the Dr Syntax pub but would be accessible to all and not restricted to patrons of the pub. After discussion it was AGREED to award a grant of £2,000 on condition that notices are placed on the huts making it clear that their use is not restricted to patrons of the Dr Syntax and an additional litter bin is placed at the location of the huts.   Action: Clerk

(ii) The Tanga Club. This application related to the provision of a sensory library that will assist children to improve their visual, auditory and tactile processing as well as fine and gross motor skills. The Tanga Club is a charity which enables children with severe and profound learning needs to take part in suitable, accessible and inclusive activities. Although it is based in Hexham, the charity currently provides services to a number of residents of Stocksfield. After discussion it was AGREED to award a grant of £2,000 under Sec 137(1) Local Government Act 1972.                                                                                                                        Action: Clerk

d) Covid-19 Business Support Package

After discussion it was AGREED to apply for the above support package in respect of the operation of the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) and, if successful, to pay the sum to the Stocksfield MUGA Committee                                                                 Action: Clerk

e) Bus service to Tyne View Retail Park

The Chair updated members on discussions at the GGAG in connection with public transport to Tyne View Retail Park but no recommendation had been made. It was suggested that the cost of a pilot service was prohibitive for a parish council and after discussion it was AGREED (proposed Mr Liddle, seconded Mr Hills) to take no further action.             DISCHARGED

f) Grit bins

The Clerk said that he had been promised information by the Tynedale Area Manager and members noted the update.

 

21/4/57 Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

Planning report

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

21/00453/FUL

21 New Ridley Road

Two storey flat roofed rear extension to bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

17/01494/FUL and 17/01495/LBC

South Cottage, Broomley

Retrospective application for refurbishment of the west outhouse, external and internal works and amendment of glazed link corridor (together with listed building consent)

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/00137/VARYCO

Burndene, 5 Crabtree Road

Variation of condition 2 to amend driveway

The proposal satisfies the previous concerns relating to visibility sightlines.

21/00675/FUL

Wheelbirks

Stocksfield

Change of use (part) of agricultural storage building and installation of pet incinerator

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/00790/FUL

The Ridings, Broomley

Proposed stone wall between an existing garage block and existing garden wall.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

 

21/4/58 Rights of Way and Environment Advisory Group 15 March 2021

Dr Vickers updated members on the most recent meeting of the Group and the River Watch Report. Members noted the update.

 

21/4/59 Coronavirus Community Fund Applications

The following applications were received after the meeting of GGAG held on 16 March 2021.

(i) Stocksfield Cricket Club (SCC). The Council had previously awarded £2,000 to Stocksfield Festival for marquee hire in 2021, conditional upon the Festival taking place. The Festival will now not be held but SCC has proposed to hold a family based ‘music and food’ festival as an alternative. If approved, the funds previously earmarked for the Stocksfield Festival would be used for marquee hire and to offset initial costs in 2021. The event would not be raising funds for the club but would hopefully provide the basis for future events in following years. After discussion it was AGREED (proposed Mr Liddle, seconded Mr Hills) to award a grant of £2,000 to SCC for the purpose outlined.                                                              Action: Clerk

(ii) Tyne Rivers Trust (TRT). This application related to a proposal to engage young children, primarily but not exclusively from Broomley First School, in a range of activities based around the watercourses within Stocksfield with the intention of building a shared commitment to protecting local burns. After discussion it was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mr Hills) to award a grant of £2,000 for the purpose outlined.                            Action: Clerk

(iii) Hindley St Margaret’s Burial Board. The Burial Board application related to the replacement and refurbishment of the internal footpaths within the cemetery which are in need of repair. After discussion it was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mrs Pollock) to award a grant of £2,000 for the purpose outlined.                                             Action: Clerk

 

21/4/60 Members’ Code of Conduct

The Chair referred to the above document which had been previously circulated in draft format. The draft Code had been adapted from the Model Code of Conduct which had been produced by the Local Government Association. After discussion it was AGREED to adopt the Code as presented, including the Council’s Email and Internet Policy which is listed as Annex C to the Code and which the Council regarded as being within the provisions of the Code.                                                                                                                                               Action: Clerk

 

21/4/61 Any other urgent business

Letters of thanks

The Clerk said that letters of thanks for donations and grants had been received from Citizens Advice Northumberland and St John’s PCC.

 

21/4/62 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 4 May 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.

 

21/4/63 Defibrillator equipment

The Clerk updated members on developments since the last meeting and correspondence received from the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS). After discussion it was AGREED to write again to the chief executive of NEAS.

                                                                                                            Action: Chair/Clerk

 

The Chair thanked councillors for their attendance and closed the meeting at 8.48pm.

 

DRAFT ONLY

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held remotely on Monday 1 March 2021

 

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.

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.31pm and welcomed councillors to the remote meeting which was being ‘live-streamed’ on the Council’s Facebook page.

 

21/3/35 Declarations of Interest

Mr Liddle declared a personal interest in the planning item relating to Baliol Road.

21/3/36 Public Participation

There were no items of public participation.

 

21/3/37 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update which had not been seen previously by members. The Clerk AGREED to circulate the report. The report related to the commencement of work on the advisory 20mph limit (on 10 March 2021), complaints about damage to roads, investigations at Northumberland County Council (NCC), New Ridley Road resurfacing and Covid-19. There were no questions or other comments from members.

 

21/3/38 Minutes of the Meeting held on 1 February 2021

It was AGREED (proposed Mr Parker, seconded Mrs Furniss) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 1 February 2021 were a true and accurate record.

 

21/3/39 Matters Arising

a) Bus service to Tyne View Retail Park, Low Prudhoe

Go North East has stated that the anticipated demand for a service direct to Tyne View Retail Park is too low to justify further consideration of the service without financial support. A single return service would cost in the region of £100 to operate. Mr Barrett, a Prudhoe town councillor, had provided the Council with the results of an online survey whilst County Councillor, Mrs Dale, had given additional information about both current and potential future options post Covid-19. Mr Hills questioned the value of the online survey. Members discussed how to identify the demand accurately and options to pilot a weekly service. It was AGREED to discuss the matter further at the next General Governance Advisory Group. Action: Clerk

b) Defibrillator project

Seven of the eight new defibrillators have now been installed and registered with the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS). Northern Powergrid has struggled to locate the power cables to supply the Broomley cabinet but will return for further excavation work although the date for this work is not yet known. The overall cost of the project stands at £22,142 with the breakdown of contributors outlined below.

Name of organisation

Contribution (£)

Public donation (via resident Dr Lucy Booth)

4,756

NCC Members Local Improvement Scheme (MLIS)

2,000

Essity Ltd

200

Stocksfield Parish Council

15,186

Total costs

22,142

Members AGREED that the previously circulated MLIS monitoring form should be approved and returned to NCC. The Council’s project has recorded the 900th public access defibrillator in the NEAS area. The Clerk said that a press release has been prepared and will be circulated to coincide with a similar release from NEAS.                                                    Action: Clerk

c) Castles and Coasts Housing Association

The Clerk reported that no further information had become available after the Council’s comments were passed to the Housing Association.

 

21/3/40 Finance

a) Approval of February payments

It was AGREED (proposed Mr Parke, seconded Mr Parker) that the payments for February 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 28/012/21

Members noted the budget monitoring report and the supplementary report provided by the Clerk.

 

21/3/41 General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

a) Notes of the meeting held on 15/02/21

Members noted the previously circulated notes.

b) Policy Reviews

(i) Standing Orders

It was AGREED that Standing Orders should be amended as circulated at paragraph 6.1 (Annual Parish Meeting) to reflect a previous decision of the Council and to review them in 12 months.                                                                                                            Action: Clerk

(ii) Financial regulations

The Chair said that whilst, in the view of GGAG members, Financial Regulations were fit for purpose, they may need to be amended subsequent to any decisions of the Council about future physical meetings and it was AGREED to defer consideration of the item.      

Action: Clerk

c) Photocopier lease

After discussion it was AGREED to award the contract for lease of a new copier to A Four Business Equipment and to terminate the current lease in accordance with its conditions.

                                                                                                                        Action: Clerk

d) Grants and donations: Citizens’ Advice Northumberland

It was AGREED to donate £200 to Citizens’ Advice Northumberland.          Action: Clerk

e) Grit bins

Members noted the work to date by Mr Hills.

f) Covid-19 Business Support Package

The Council had applied for the above support and has been awarded a grant of £6,239.21. After discussion it was AGREED to make payment of the full grant to Stocksfield Multi Use Games Area Committee.                                                                            Action: Clerk

g) Burnside Yard: access to/from A695

The Chair referred to previous discussions at meetings. Further information had been received from NCC to say that the changes to the road and pavement were introduced by NCC as the Highway Authority and that the scheme has passed a road safety assessment. Mr Parker reported that a revised planning application is to be submitted and, although members continued to express concern, it was AGREED to review the situation in the light of the new submission (once received).                                                   Action: Clerk Bring Forward

 

21/3/42 Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

a) 20/04391/FUL 7 Baliol Road: Demolition of porch, garage and utility. New two storey side extension and front porch

Mr Liddle withdrew from the meeting for consideration of this item. Mr Parker outlined the application and it was AGREED to make no comment.                               Action: Clerk

Mr Liddle rejoined the meeting.

b) Planning report

Mr Parker referred to the planning report and, in particular, drew members’ attention to the application reference 21/00137/VARYCO which is an application to widen a drive. He said that PAG decided to object on the grounds outlined in the planning report. Members noted the planning report and the delegated decisions made as outlined below:

20/04197/FUL

Land southwest of Longacre, 24 Apperley Rd

New dwelling with attached garage

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/03560/PRUTPO

72 Birkdene

TPO application to T1 and T2 Oak remove branches interfering with roof and gutter

Permitted before consideration by Parish Council.

21/00163/FUL

Well Close, 4 Well Rd

Conversion of existing garage into enlarged living, dining and kitchen space. Addition of half storey for bedroom and en-suite. Associated external alterations and detached timber framed garage

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/00137/VARYCO

Burndene, 5 Crabtree Road

Variation of Condition 2 pursuant to 20/01293/FUL – to amend driveway

Objection. The proposal fails to comply with the existing requirements for visibility sightlines.

21/00132/FUL

4 Glen Avenue

Retrospective: Demolition of porch and erection of lean-to extension to kitchen

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/00283/FUL

Hazelhurst 121 New Ridley Road

Construction of two-storey extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/04391/FUL

7 Baliol Road

Demolition of porch, garage, utility and WC. Construction of two storey side extension and porch to front

No comment (see above)

21/00470/FUL

Meadow View, Hindley Farm

Construction of single storey extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/3/43 Future meetings of the Parish Council

The Chair referred to a report of the Clerk which outlined proposed measures for the return to physical meetings of the Council after 6 May 2021, on the assumption that there is no extension to the power to meet remotely after that date. After discussion, members noted the report of the Clerk relating to a Covid-19 risk assessment and, subject to any amendment to legislation which allows the Council to continue to meet remotely, AGREED to

  • hold an additional remote meeting on 4 May 2021
  • hold the annual meeting of the Council in person on 19 May 2021
  • hold future meetings in person monthly
  • explore ‘live-streaming’ of meetings held in person.

                                                                                                                        Action: Clerk

 

21/3/44Parish Council Representatives

There were no representative meetings.

21/3/45 Coronavirus Community Grant Fund

The Chair referred to an application for £2,000 from St John’s Church for the construction of a community garden on land immediately adjacent to Meadowfield Road. Members supported the application but found it difficult to reconcile the financial information. It was AGREED to make the award of £2,000 under Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972, subject to the anomalies in the application being resolved and to delegate authority to the Clerk in consultation with the Chair to approve the payment of the grant once further satisfactory information is received.                                                      Action: Clerk

 

21/3/46 Town and Parish Councils Charter

The Chair referred to the above document and the apparent failure of NCC on a number of occasions to comply with the principles within that relate to working co-operatively with town and parish councils. It was AGREED that the Chair should write to Stephen Rickitt of the Northumberland Association of Local Councils to express concern and ask that the Association takes this up on behalf of the Council.                                                          Action: Chair

 

21/3/47 Any other urgent business

Letters of thanks

The Clerk said that letters of thanks for donations and grants had been received from Stocksfield Community Association Trading Arm, Stocksfield Cricket Club and Stocksfield Festival Committee.

21/3/48 Date of next meeting

Monday 12 April 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.

21/3/49 Defibrillator equipment

The Clerk updated members on developments since the last meeting. After discussion it was AGREED to write to the chief executives of

  • the National Association of Local Councils, seeking an explanation for the delay in circulating information from Wel Medical about defibrillator batteries
  • NEAS to clarify its responsibilities for defibrillators across the region.                                                             Action: Clerk

 

The Chair thanked councillors for their attendance and closed the meeting at 9.14pm.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held remotely on Monday 1 February 2021

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), 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:     Mrs J Furniss.

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.31pm and welcomed councillors to the remote meeting which was being ‘live-streamed’ on the Council’s Facebook page. She announced the sad death of Graham Ross, former member and Chair of what was then Stocksfield Parish Council, and invited councillors to join her in sending their condolences to Mr Ross’s family.

 

21/2/18 Declarations of Interest

Declarations of interest were made by Mrs Pollock, as a member of Stocksfield Cricket Club, and the Clerk in relation to matters concerning his hours of work.

21/2/19 Public Participation

A695 at Burnside Yard

Mr Hills had been contacted by residents with reference to new lines at the edge of the A695 at the above location which narrow the carriageway and are partly painted across the pavement. He said it appears unusual and potentially dangerous. Mr Parker said that a planning condition attached to a number of permissions at Burnside Yard requires the junction to be brought up to a particular standard. The Clerk provided further information and had already asked Northumberland County Council (NCC) as both highway and planning authorities for an update. It was AGREED to reconsider the matter once additional information is provided.          Action: Clerk

 

21/2/20 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update which had been previously circulated to members. Dr Vickers provided clarification relating to Factco (a broadband provider) and Mr Parke noted that the Council’s priority for a new footpath at New Ridley has again been rejected. There were no questions or other comments.

 

21/2/21 Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 January 2021

It was AGREED (proposed Mr Parke, seconded Mr Parker) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 4 January 2021 were a true and accurate record.

 

21/2/22 Matters Arising

a) Bus service to Tyne View Retail Park, Low Prudhoe

Members noted the email from Mr Opperman MP to a resident and the reply sent to him. Members appreciated the concerns of residents, particularly for those without transport, the ageing nature of the population and the environmental benefits of public transport but the level of demand was questioned. After discussion it was AGREED to write to Go North East and ask if they could explore the provision of a weekly service from Stocksfield to Low Prudhoe.

Action: Clerk

b) Control of Himalayan balsam

The Clerk reported that the landowner at Ridley Mill has confirmed that Himalayan balsam on his land adjacent to Stocksfield Burn will be controlled and members AGREED to monitor the situation.

c) Defibrillator project

Feeder pillars have been fitted at all six new locations by NCC and connections will be made over the coming weeks. The final cabinet is expected to be connected during the first week of March. Defibrillators will be installed as the cabinets are connected to electricity supplies. Mr Parke’s application to Essity on behalf of the Council has secured a donation of £200 to the project. Members noted the update and AGREED to write to Essity with thanks for the donation.

                                                                                                            Action: Clerk21/2/23 Finance

a) Approval of January payments

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

b) Budget monitoring to 31/01/21

Members noted the budget monitoring report and the supplementary report provided by the Clerk.

c) Interim internal audit 2020/21

The interim internal audit for 2020/21 had been completed up to 31/12/20 and there are no matters to report. Members noted the update.

 

21/2/24 General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

a) Notes of the meeting held on 18/01/21

Members noted the previously circulated notes.

b) Bank reconciliation to 31/12/20

The reconciliation has been checked by Mr Parke and, due to Covid-19, instead of signing each page, his email confirmation has been filed with the bank reconciliation. Members noted the update.

c) Coronavirus Community Fund

Members considered the recommendations of GGAG and the further information provided by applicants where requested. After discussion it was AGREED to award grants from the Coronavirus Community Fund as follows:

(i) Stocksfield Cricket Club - £2,000 towards construction of an extension to the ground equipment store on condition that the reapplication for planning permission is successful.

(ii) Stocksfield Festival Committee - £2,000 towards the cost of marquee hire on condition that the festival is held.

(iii) Stocksfield Golf Club - £2,000 towards the cost of purchase of a marquee.

(iv) Stocksfield Community Association Trading Arm - £2,000 towards the pilot of a community transport scheme and a further £500 from the annual community support grant budget for the same purpose, both using powers within Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972.

d) Play area annual inspections

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report of the Clerk which summarised the annual inspections of the play areas and the action taken. Members noted the update.

e) Covid-19 Local Restrictions Support (Closed) Addendum Grant

The application in respect of the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) for the above mentioned grant for businesses which were required to close between 04/11/20 and 02/12/20 has been successful and it was AGREED to pay £1,334 to the MUGA Committee.

Members discussed three further potential grant funding opportunities in respect of businesses required to close: the first in respect of the period from 31/12/20 to 04/01/21; the second from 05/01/21 to 15/02/21; and finally a ‘Closed Business Lockdown Payment’. The MUGA appeared to be eligible and had suffered significant loss of income since March 2020. After discussion it was AGREED to make applications for all three grants.

f) Grit bins

Mr Hills had undertaken an audit of grit bins and the matter is to be discussed further at the next GGAG.

21/2/25 Planning Advisory Group

a) 21/00050/FUL Walnut Cottage

See next item.

b) Planning report

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

20/04058/FUL

187 New Ridley Road

Loft conversion and rear dormer windows

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/04421/FUL

Borrowdale, 33 Apperley Road

Single storey side extension and two storey rear extension with juliet balcony

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/04274/FUL

Kipperlynn Farm

First floor bedroom, en-suite and dressing room extension. Ground floor plant room extension on south elevation

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/04258/FUL

106 New Ridley Road

Two storey extension and single storey extension. Carport to front, patio to rear.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/00037/FUL

Old Ridley Hall

Redesign for approved detached garage/garden store

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/00050/FUL

Walnut Cottage,

New Ridley

Single storey infill

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

c) Painshawfield Estate Committee

Mr Parker referred to previously circulated correspondence from a member of the Painshawfield Estate Committee relating to two premises together with his response. The first related to an existing permission on Cade Hill Road and the second to a new application on Apperley Road for which delegated authority had been used to make no comment. He reminded members that, like NCC, the impact of any covenants that may or may not exist are not relevant to the Council’s deliberations and the Council bases its assessment of applications on current planning legislation and policy. Members noted the update.

d) Castles and Coasts Housing Association

The Chair referred to an email from the above association which sought the Council’s view on the viability of delivering an affordable housing scheme within the Stocksfield area. Mr Parker suggested providing a copy of the Housing Needs Survey (HNS). The Chair reminded members that the main findings of the HNS were that the community wanted to:

  • protect the Green Belt and the field opposite Broomley School
  • ensure the character and appearance of new housing is in harmony with the rest of the village
  • support only new developments which are on previously developed land
  • ensure new homes are aimed at first time buyers and older residents and
  • ensure new affordable housing meets the criteria and is available for people with a local connection.

The Council supports the provision of new affordable housing within the above constraints. It was AGREED to respond to Castles and Coasts Housing Association accordingly and provide a copy of the HNS, inviting them to provide further information.                 Action: Clerk

 

21/2/26 Stocksfield gateway planters

The Chair referred to a report of the Clerk which outlined the need to replace the three existing gateway planters. After discussion it was AGREED to replace the planters with an almost identical design at a cost of £230 each.                                                                       Action: Clerk

 

21/2/27Parish Council Representative

There were no representative meetings.

21/2/28 Stocksfield sports fields car park

The Chair referred to a report of Clerk that identified the need to replace the surface at the entrance to the sports fields car park where it is badly damaged. A number of potholes in other areas of the car park are in need of patching. Members considered two quotes. It was AGREED that the work will be undertaken by Jem Road Construction and the cost of the work will be disregarded when calculating the available balance in the Sports Facilities budget for the purposes of delegated authorities.                                                      Action: Clerk

 

21/2/29 Stocksfield sports field: advertising banner

This item was withdrawn.

 

21/2/30 Private Sector Housing Strategy 2021/23

The Chair referred to the above draft strategy which had been circulated for comment by NCC. In relation to the specific questions asked, it was agreed that the priorities appear appropriate, there are no obvious additional client groups to identify and no further areas of work that are apparent. However the strategy talks mainly about rented homes whereas some of the content applies to support which is available for owner occupiers. This information is not immediately discernible despite reference to it in the purpose and content relevant to owner occupied housing is difficult to locate. It was AGREED to comment in those terms.                     Action: Clerk

 

21/2/31 Clerk to the Parish Council

The Chair said that members may have questions for the Clerk during this item but that he would, in normal circumstances, be required to withdraw from the meeting. As the issue related to the current working arrangements of the Clerk, it was AGREED to grant a dispensation to the Clerk to remain in the meeting for its consideration and to answer questions. The Chair referred to a report concerning the matter and in particular to the hours of time off which have accrued over a relatively short period of time. There are multiple causes and little sign that the increased workload will diminish before April. It is premature to re-evaluate the Clerk’s contracted hours at this stage. After discussion it was AGREED to make payment for 90 hours of additional work and to review the situation in the next financial year.                        Action: Chair

 

21/2/32 Any other urgent business

Letter of thanks

The Clerk said that a letter of thanks for a donation had been received from Friends of Eastwood Park (Miners’ Lamp Café).

21/2/33 Date of next meeting

Monday 1 March 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.

21/2/34 Defibrillator equipment

The Clerk updated members on developments since the last meeting. After discussion, it was AGREED to write to the North East Ambulance Service expressing concerns of the Council and, dependent upon the response, to take appropriate action through the Northumberland Association of Local Councils.                                                       Action: Clerk

 

The Chair thanked councillors for their attendance and closed the meeting at 9.28pm.

 

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.