Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council

held on Monday 3 June 2019

at Stocksfield Community Centre

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

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).


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


Also present: Mrs A Dale (County Councillor), Mr D Williams (resident).

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.31pm and welcomed those present.

19/6/73 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

19/6/74 Public Participation

Remembrance Service 2019

Mr Williams asked why the A695 will be closed during the Remembrance Service this year. The Chair and the Clerk explained that the increase in the numbers of attendees over the last few years has resulted in the need to reconsider the traffic management arrangements. Whilst the official closure will be for an hour, in practice the road is likely to be opened sooner.

20 mph speed limit Painshawfield Estate

Mr Williams questioned the need for the proposed limit and referred to the problem of hedges not being cut back to the boundaries of the owner’s land. Mrs Dale said that the 20 mph limit had been agreed by Northumberland County Council (NCC) two years ago after a request from the Painshawfield Estate Committee because of the use by children of roads without lighting or adequate footpaths. Mrs Dale is working with the Estate Committee with regard to hedges, something which is not within the Committee’s remit to control. Action will be taken once Mrs Dale has met with the Chair of the Committee.

New Ridley Road – centre white lines

Mr Williams asked if the centre white lines on the bend on New Ridley Road can be repainted to prevent vehicles cutting across the road. Mrs Dale AGREED to ask for this to be done.


19/6/75 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale updated the Council in respect of hedges generally and specifically on Cadehill Road, potholes on Cadehill Road, proposed closure of Meadowfield Road for new drainage and the consultation event at the cricket club in respect of the proposed 20mph speed limit on the A695 on 11 June 2019 between 2pm and 7pm.

19/6/76 Minutes of the Meeting held on 13 May 2019

It was AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 13 May 2019 were a true and accurate record (proposed Mr Parke, seconded Mr Parker).

19/6/77 Matters Arising

  1. a) Seat at New Ridley

The Chair referred to correspondence about this matter and the decision at the last meeting to keep NCC informed about the discussions that were taking place. One of the issues was that if the safety measures that are put into New Ridley make the previous location of the seat safe, the Council may consider repositioning the seat but the extent of the safety measures is not yet known. Mrs Dale expressed concern about the decision making processes within the Council and said the views of the Council about the safety of the seat did not enter the public domain until June 2018 when the subject appeared in NE43 News, the Council’s newsletter. The Chair pointed out that the Council’s original decision was reviewed in April 2018 and the minutes of that meeting refer to the decision having been ‘taken in light of safety concerns due to the speed of vehicles travelling east on the bend’. She said that if Mrs Dale had evidence of misconduct by the Parish Council then she should use the appropriate formal channels to make a complaint. Mrs Dale reiterated her belief that the Council lacks transparency in decision making and said that she has been asked about matters in respect of which there is no record of who made the decisions. The Chair refuted Mrs Dale’s statement, reminding her that individuals do not make decisions, they are made by the Council. Mrs Dale left the meeting.

Members further considered the comments of Mrs Dale and after discussion it was AGREED that the Chair will write to the County Councillor, Mrs Dale, asking her to take formal action if she feels she has evidence of misconduct.                                                   Action: Chair

  1. b) Land adjacent to 15 Branch End Terrace

The Clerk reported that the owner of 15 Branch End Terrace has assumed responsibility for the maintenance of the land referred to above and the Groundsman’s contract had been amended accordingly.                                                                                                   DISCHARGED

19/6/78 Finance

Approval of May payments

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

19/6/79 Parish Council Representatives

On 28 May 2019 Mr Parke attended a meeting of the Essity Community Forum and updated members on financial investment in the plant to reduce water usage and improve the quality of water returned to the river, and the significant increase in the apprenticeship scheme. Minutes of the meeting will be circulated in due course.

19/6/80 Advisory Groups

  1. a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)
  2. i) Notes of GGAG meeting 20/05/19

Members noted the previously circulated notes.

  1. ii) Subscription renewals

After discussion it was AGREED to renew the subscriptions as follows: Clerk and Councils Direct (cost £12) and Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership (cost of £10)

                                                                                                                        Action: Clerk

  1. b) Planning Advisory Group (PAG)
  2. i) Planning report

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


Hilton, New Ridley

Proposed new garage

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Brentcroft, 42 Apperley Road

First floor extension over kitchen

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

  1. ii) 19/01312/FUL Land east of Apperley Dene, Stocksfield. Proposed dwelling for use by rural worker

Mr Parker referred to the above mentioned application which seeks permission to change the use of an outbuilding, for which the applicant has a Certificate of Lawful Proposed Development, into a dwelling. The Parish Council has previously objected to an application for a dwelling on the site of the proposed outbuilding as being inappropriate development within the Green Belt. Members accepted that whilst the application had changed in some respects, the intention remains to create a new dwelling within the Green Belt. After discussion it was AGREED that the Council objects to the proposal for the same reasons outlined in the previous objections, namely an inappropriate development within the Green Belt for which very special circumstances do not exist.                                                                 Action: Mr Parker, Clerk


19/6/81 Proposed 20 mph speed restriction A695

The Chair reminded members of the information about the consultation event planned for 11 June in respect of the proposed 20mph speed limit and asked members to attend if possible. NCC officers have agreed to meet Parish Councillors at 1.30pm, prior to the public consultation.


19/6/82 Branch End Play Area – Sling Rotator

The Chair referred to a report of the Clerk in respect of further issues that have become apparent with the sling rotator concerning the failure of bolts. The equipment has been taken out of action and further contact from the supplier and manufacturer is awaited. Additionally the central column is showing signs of movement. Members noted the report and AGREED that the concrete footings of the equipment should be exposed and examined to ensure they meet the installation specification.                                                                     Action: Clerk


19/6/83 Parish Council Plan Group

The Chair reported that a further meeting has occurred and the group aims to present a draft plan for approval by the Council at its meeting in October. Themes have been allocated to group members and action points are being developed, co-ordinated by Mrs Rae. Once approved by the Council, a consultation event is proposed towards the end of October for members of the public to comment with final approval of a plan by the end of the year.


19/6/84 Any other urgent business

There was no other business.

19/6/85 Date of next meeting

Monday 1 July 2019.

The Chair thanked those in attendance and closed the meeting at 8.55pm.