Broomley and Stocksfield Parish Council

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday 1 October 2018 at Stocksfield Community Centre

Present: Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mrs J Furniss, Mr C Liddle, Mr D Parke, Mrs H Rae, Mrs J Robson. Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

Also Present: Mrs A Dale (County Councillor)

Apologies: Mr M Parker, Professor R Thompson, Dr P Vickers.

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.33pm and welcomed those present.

18/10/110 Declarations of Interest
There were no declarations of interest.

18/10/111 Public Participation
There were no items of public participation.

18/10/112 County Councillor update
Mrs Dale said that there has been a delay to the works to install the anti skid surface on the A695 at Cade Hill Road junction due to the correct materials not being available. Mrs Dale then referred to discussions at the previous meeting and questioned the accuracy of the minutes in relation to the comments of Mr Parker. She said that where any road schemes are proposed there is a democratic process. The consultation letter referred to the request being from the Parish Council. Mrs Dale further questioned the legality of the Council publishing draft minutes prior to approval. Members were reminded by the Clerk that the ‘Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities’ includes the requirement to publish draft minutes of all formal meetings. Mrs Dale said that she was not going to go against the wishes of the school, the cricket club or anybody else as that was democracy. The Chair reminded Mrs Dale that she was going against the views of the Parish Council. The Chair said that the matter is to be discussed later in the agenda but she thinks there is an issue about the weight that is attached to the views of the Parish Council and an imbalance where a part of statutory local government is ignored at the expense of other organisations within the area. The Chair added that this is an example of where the relationships between the principal authority and local parish councils are not working well, despite statements made by the County Council. Mrs Dale said that the gulley clearances are not taking place at the moment due to broken machinery. Mrs Dale then left the meeting.

18/10/113 Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 September 2018
It was AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 3 September 2018 should be amended to insert ‘The school, the cricket club and nearby residents do not support the proposals.’ within paragraph 18/9/93 and the amended minutes were approved as a true and accurate record (proposed Mr Parke, seconded Mr Liddle).

18/10/114 Matters Arising
a) Proposed amendments to parking restrictions
The Chair reminded members of the update from Mrs Dale and referred to an email from Northumberland County Council (NCC) which makes it clear that NCC and Mrs Dale do not support the Council’s request for additional parking restrictions outside the sports fields. Members reiterated concern that road safety matters were being judged by the level of support for the proposal rather than by an objective assessment of need and reaffirmed their concern about the safety issues caused by parking of vehicles at the location. Members were of the view that additional parking restrictions are required but that further action at this time is unlikely to be successful and, after discussion, it was AGREED to monitor the situation over the next few months, to contact the school and sports clubs about the availability of the newly opened overspill car park, thereby encouraging its use, and to review the matter in January 2019. Action: Clerk

b) Stocksfield Sports Field – vermin control
The Chair reminded members of previous discussion and it was AGREED (proposed Mrs Furniss, seconded Mr Parke) to contract with Mr J Mills on an annual basis, which includes public liability insurance. Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

18/10/115 Finance
a) Approval of September Payments
It was AGREED that the payments for September be approved as detailed in the previously circulated schedule (proposed Mrs Rae, seconded Mr Parke) and the summary of receipts and payments was noted.
b) Budget monitoring report
Members noted the budget monitoring report and AGREED to vire between budget headings as outlined below:

Budget heading New amount
Employment £17120
Sports facilities  £15770
Play facilities £7750
Contingency £6600

Action: Clerk

18/10/116 Parish Council Representatives
There were no representative meetings.

18/10/117 Advisory Groups
a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)
i) Notes of GGAG meeting 18/09/18
Members noted the previously circulated notes.
ii) Hedgerow on New Ridley Road
The Chair referred to a report of the Clerk which updated members on the maintenance of a hedgerow on New Ridley Road. The hedge has been maintained by the Council for many years to prevent its encroachment onto the footpath on the understanding that ownership of the land could not be ascertained. NCC has advised that the land is not part of the highway and neither NCC nor the Parish Council has a responsibility for its maintenance. Members were concerned about the inconsistency with the Council’s position that maintenance of hedges is the responsibility of individual landowners. After discussion it was AGREED to remove the task from the Groundsman’s contract with effect from 1 April 2019, and to write to the residents affected to inform them of the decision and its implications. Action: Clerk DISCHARGED
iii) Picnic table at Branch End Play Area (BEPA)
The Chair referred to a report of the Clerk about the removal of a picnic table at BEPA which was no longer serviceable. Members AGREED not to replace the table and to review the situation in May 2019. Action: Clerk
iv) Purchase of fireproof cabinet
The Chair referred to a report of the Clerk which highlighted organisational risks in the event of a loss of paper documents. It was AGREED to authorise expenditure of up to £1,000 for the purchase of a fireproof cabinet. Action: Clerk
v) St Margaret’s Burial Board
Members approved a payment of £1,200 to the burial board towards its budget which takes into account increased grass cutting costs. Action: Clerk
vi) Donation requests.
Members AGREED to make donations under Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972 as follows:
Sport Tynedale £100, Northumberland Age UK £50. It was further AGREED not to make a donation to Hadrian’s Network at this stage but to ask for further information once the network is established. Action: Clerk

b) Planning Advisory Group
i) Members noted the planning report and the delegated authorities used as set out below.


Ridley Mill House, Ridley Mill

Demolition of two storey flat roofed extension and replacement with two storey pitched roof extension with single storey flat roofed garden room.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


202 New Ridley Road

Single storey extension to side and front to form living area, bathroom and kitchen. Convert study to bedroom.

No comment 

Note use of delegated powers


Hilton, New Ridley

New extension to rear. External rendering and timber clad. Pitched dormer roofs to principal elevation.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

ii) 18/0362/VARYCO Burnside Yard, Burnside House

Members considered the above application to vary a condition in respect of the location of the dwelling and it was AGREED to make no comment.
c) Rights of Way and Environment Advisory Group (RoW&EAG)
i) Notes of RoW&EAG meeting held 10/09/18
Members noted the previously circulated notes and the Chair reaffirmed the Council’s thanks and support for the work that is undertaken by members of the Group for the benefit of the community.
ii) Purchase of water quality testing kits
Members AGREED expenditure of up to £100 for water quality testing kits. Action: Clerk

18/10/118 Council Tax Support Scheme: NCC
The Chair referred to a previously circulated email regarding the proposed changes to the Council Tax Support Scheme which seeks to reduce the support to working age residents of Northumberland from 100% to 92%. Members AGREED to make no comment on the scheme due to their lack of detailed knowledge.

18/10/119 Parish Council Residents’ Survey
The Chair thanked Mr Liddle for his work in preparing the most recent draft of the Residents’ Survey. Mr Liddle expressed concern about the likely benefit of one question. It was AGREED that members would meet separately to finalise the survey and to discuss the involvement of a specialist survey company, with the intention of agreeing proposals at the next meeting. Action: Chair, Mrs Furniss, Mr Liddle, Mrs Rae, Dr Vickers

18/10/120 Parking in Welton Close
The Chair referred to a previously circulated report of the Clerk. A complaint was received about parking of vehicles on a raised tarmac area in Welton Close that was set aside as a children’s play area. On the advice of NCC, the affected residents (37 houses) were asked by letter for their views. Eight responses were received of which two were in favour of preventing parking in the area and five in favour of allowing its use for parking. In view of the responses and subsequent advice from NCC, it was AGREED to take no action and to write to the residents accordingly. Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

18/10/121 Any other urgent business
There was no other business

18/10/122 Date of next meeting
Monday 5 November 2018

Members resolved to exclude the press and members of the public under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act1960 to consider the following items.

18/10/123 Land adjacent to 15 Branch End Terrace
The Chair referred to a previously circulated report of the Clerk and after discussion it was AGREED to instruct the Council’s solicitor to apply to register possessory title of the land in question. Action: Clerk

At 9.11pm the Chair thanked members for attending and closed the meeting.