Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council

held on Monday 2 December 2019

at Stocksfield Community Centre

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mr C Liddle, Mr D Parke, Mr M Parker, Mrs H Rae, Professor R Thompson.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     Mrs J Furniss, Mrs J Robson, Dr P Vickers.

Also present: Dr. H Brown (Newcastle University).

 

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.30pm and welcomed those present, including Dr Brown, a senior lecturer at Newcastle University.

19/12/148 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

19/12/149 Public Participation

There were no items of public participation.

 

19/12/150 Establishment of an online dataset of the food environment

Dr Brown said that all food establishments selling or producing food that is served at a temperature other than room temperature is graded by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) which includes documenting the geographical co-ordinates of the premises. This provides the potential to create a map of all such premises and online data from the FSA is available back to 2012. The current project involves providing access to all grading data from every premises selling food, including takeaways, shops, cafés, public houses, schools and nurseries. The potential exists to develop a tool that can be used for planning purposes, perhaps to limit the quantity of hot food takeaway facilities. Many principal authorities have supplementary planning documents that seek, amongst other things, to control obesity and this project provides opportunities to make full use of existing data. Dr Brown answered questions from members, who also discussed the need to search the data by postcode area. The Chair thanked Dr Brown for her input and asked that the Council be updated with future developments. Dr Brown left the meeting.

 

19/12/151 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had given her apologies and the Chair referred to her written updates which related to New Ridley traffic calming measures (including post installation concerns raised with Mrs Dale and which she has taken up with Northumberland County Council (NCC)), main river and ordinary watercourse cross section survey, gullies, potholes, scout hut funding, delays in 20mph schemes at schools, litter picking project and complaints from residents about undefined matters.

19/12/152 Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 November 2019

It was AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 4 November 2019 were a true and accurate record (proposed Mr Parker, seconded Mr Parke).

19/12/153 Matters Arising

Bank reconciliation to 30 September 2019

The Chair reported that the bank reconciliation had been checked by Mr Parke and signed accordingly.                                                                                      DISCHARGED

 


19/12/154 Finance

a) Approval of November payments

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

b)Budget monitoring to 30 November 2019

Members noted the previously circulated report and AGREED (proposed Mr Parker, seconded Mr Parke) to vire £750 to the Environment Budget (£500 from Contingency and £250 from Play Facilities).                                                                                              Action: Clerk

c) Interim audit

The Chair referred to the previously circulated report of the auditor. After discussion it was AGREED to accept the report and note its content. The Clerk added that the internal auditor has indicated he cannot continue to provide the service for the financial year 2020/21 and alternative arrangements are being sought.                                          DISCHARGED

d) Society of Local Council Clerks

After discussion it was AGREED to renew the Clerk’s membership of the above society.

                                                                                                            Action: Clerk

e) NE43 News

The Clerk said that the current edition of NE43 News included two additional pages due to its content and the Communications Budget has accommodated the associated increased costs. Members noted the update.                                                                      DISCHARGED

19/12/155 Parish Council Representatives

Climate Change Meeting

Mr Liddle said he is unable to attend a climate change meeting on 5 December but a member of the Rights of Way and Environment Advisory Group will attend and provide an update to the Council.

 

19/12/156 Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

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

19/03798/FUL

Mickley Bank Farm

Retrospective: Construction of storage sheds

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

19/12/157 Stocksfield Sports Fields

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report of the Clerk concerning proposed works at the sports fields. After discussion it was AGREED to authorise

  • replacement fencing and an additional sign at the entrance to the car park,
  • new fencing and hedging around the metal container and
  • virement of £1,510 to the Sports Facilities Budget from Contingency funds.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

19/12/158 Foot bridge over Stocksfield Burn

The Chair reported that Northumberland County Council (NCC) has agreed to provide a rebuild price for the bridge on a like for like basis and this has been authorised using delegated powers. Members noted the update.                                                      DISCHARGED

 

19/12/159 Branch End Play Area: reinstallation of sling rotator

The Chair reminded members that the sling rotator needs to be reinstalled and a local installer has provided a more competitive quote. Members AGREED to authorise the work by RHD Construction and to reconsider options around recovery of the cost at a later date.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk

 

19/12/160 New Ridley Road/Lead Road: new traffic calming

Members noted that the Council had not been consulted by NCC in relation to this matter, the report of the Clerk in respect of some changes to signage and the comments of the County Councillor in relation to complaints from residents.                                 DISCHARGED

 

19/12/161 New Ridley Road between Meadowfield and Batt House Roads: proposed traffic calming

The Chair referred to a plan and letter from NCC proposing a single chicane at the above location. She reminded members that the Council had objected to a previous proposal on the grounds that a single chicane was unlikely to make a significant difference to the speed of traffic, taking into account traffic volume. The current proposal differs only in regard to the addition of an area of white hatching on the opposite side of the road to the chicane. After discussion it was AGREED that the proposed additional hatching would not make a useful contribution and to reiterate the request for a double chicane.       Action: Clerk

 

19/12/162 Remembrance Service 2019

The Chair, Prof Thompson and Mrs Furniss attended the recent Service on behalf of the Council. Members were told of the significant changes in safety brought about by the full closure of the A695. Additionally the conduct of the Service benefitted considerably from the relative quiet and the army and scouting/guiding associations were able to march in procession along the road. The road closure was welcomed by many residents who provided feedback afterwards. After discussion it was AGREED to apply for a full closure of the A695 for the Remembrance Service in 2020 and to inform NCC of this intention on the grounds of safety.                                                                                      Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

19/12/163 Grant Application: 1st Stocksfield Scouts

The Chair referred to a previously circulated application and supporting budget relating to the replacement of the scout hut at Guessburn. The project is in need of additional funds to enable completion of works which will then allow ‘sign-off’ by NCC’s building control officers. Although the hut will not be complete at that stage, the scouts will be able to use the building to meet. Members discussed the almost immediate added benefit that will be provided by the provision of the grant, the options in the event that the grant is not awarded and the level of funding for the project that has already been provided by the Council. In view of the specific circumstances, it was AGREED to

  • suspend the section 3 of the Grants Award Policy relating to timescales for the consideration of grants in excess of £500 for this application,
  • award a grant of £5,000 to the 1st Stocksfield Scouts for the completion of the scout hut for building control purposes and
  • vire £2,500 to the Community Support budget (£1,483 from Contingency and £1,017 from Play Facilities)                         Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

19/12/164 Any other business

Painshawfield Estate Committee

Mrs Rae updated members about developments with regard to the Painshawfield Estate Committee.

Letters of thanks

The Clerk reported that letters/emails of thanks for previous grants and donations have been received from the Great North Air Ambulance, Stocksfield Community Association Trading Arm (SCATA) and Community Action Northumberland.

 

19/12/165 Date of next meeting

Monday 7 January 2020.

Members RESOLVED under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 to exclude the press and members of the public to consider the remaining item.

 

19/12/166 New seat at New Ridley

The Chair reminded members of the discussion at the previous meeting and updated members on the responses to the emails sent to County Councillors Jackson and Dale. After discussion it was AGREED to write further and consider the matter again at the next meeting.

                                                                                                Action: Chair and Clerk

The Chair thanked those in attendance and closed the meeting at 9.30pm.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council

held on Monday 4 November 2019

at Stocksfield Community Centre

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mrs J Furniss, Mr C Liddle, Mr D Parke, Mr M Parker,

Dr P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

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

 

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.30pm and welcomed those present.

19/11/134 Declarations of Interest

The Clerk declared an interest in the item relating to the arrangements for the Remembrance Service 2019.

19/11/135 Public Participation

There were no items of public participation.

 

19/11/136 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had given her apologies and had been unable to provide a written update.

19/11/137 Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 October 2019

It was AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 7 October 2019 were a true and accurate record (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mr Parke).

19/11/138 Matters Arising

Land west of Guessburn

The Clerk reported that the cutting of grass by Allendale Estates had been delayed due to the weather and Mr Parker said that the work was now complete.           DISCHARGED

 

19/11/139 Finance

  1. a) Approval of October payments

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

b)Budget monitoring to 31 October 2019

Members noted the previously circulated report.

  1. c) Bank reconciliation to 30 September 2019

Mr Parke had been unable to check the previously circulated documents and AGREED to do so after the meeting.                                                                                Action: Mr Parke

19/11/140 Parish Council Representatives

East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum

Mr Parker had attended this meeting where Mr Rob Murfin, the Director of Planning, had spoken about a range of issues affecting planning processes. The Clerk updated members that Mr Murfin is to schedule his attendance at a future meeting of the Council.

Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership AGM

Dr Vickers had attended this meeting at which the existing officers, who were all re-elected, updated on their activities over the year. Broader work of the Partnership was also discussed.

19/11/141 Advisory Groups

  1. a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)
  2. i) Notes of GGAG meeting 21/10/19

Members noted the previously circulated notes.

 

  1. ii) Remembrance Service 2019 arrangements

The Chair updated members about the arrangements for the provision of buglers in neighbouring councils and, as a result, it was AGREED to make a payment of £30 plus travel expenses to the bugler at Stocksfield’s Remembrance Service. Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

iii) Tenders for grass cutting 2020-2023

The Chair reported that tenders had been received in respect of the grass cutting at the sports fields and at the play areas. After discussion it was AGREED that the sports fields contract be awarded to Stocksfield Cricket Club and the play area contract to Northumberland County Council (NCC) as detailed in their respective tenders.        Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

  1. iv) Non competitive contracts 2020-2023

After discussion it was AGREED that the contracts for the grass cutting of estates and verges and for the removal of litter be awarded to NCC.                   Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

  1. v) Budget and precept 2020/21

The Chair referred to a previously circulated document that was prepared by the Clerk at the request of the GGAG. The majority of the budget related to ongoing maintenance of the area although some budget areas have increased due to additional costs. Members discussed various projects which the Council intends to undertake in the next financial year and how they might be funded. In particular, the provision of sufficient defibrillators to cover the majority of households in Stocksfield, Hindley and Broomley was considered a high priority. Members recognised that this would be costly and, despite the £6,000 earmarked for this purpose and the fundraising by residents, the costs are likely to exceed £20,000. The Council is also required to make provision for contingencies and members discussed various options. After discussion it was AGREED that £5,000 should be included for contingency funds in order to ensure that the Council’s reserves are not used for routine operational matters and that the reserves continue to grow in the event that the contingency funds are unused. It was AGREED to set the budget as shown in the table below.

Approved budget 2020/2021

Budget heading

Receipts (£)

Payments (£)

Employment

 

18380

Administration

 

7985

Environment

680

34646

Communications

 

2890

Sport Facilities

2500

20585

Play Facilities

 

7350

Community Support

 

5710

Contingency

 

5000

Totals

3180

102546

Members noted that the difference between anticipated receipts and payments is a deficit of £99,366, an increase of £14,106 on the current financial year. The results of the Council’s survey of residents, which was reported in early 2019, revealed that the principle of increasing the Parish precept to fund additional work received significant support from respondents with only 16% opposed to the idea. After further discussion it was AGREED to set the precept at £99,006 for the year 2020-2021 and to ask the Clerk to inform NCC accordingly. Members noted the estimated Band D equivalent cost of £74.24 for the full year, an increase of £9.62 compared with 2019/20.                                                           Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

  1. vi) Donation requests

After discussion it was AGREED to make donations as follows: £150 to Great North Air Ambulance, £100 to Community Action Northumberland and £100 to the Royal British Legion, all under Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972.               Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

vii) Grant application – Stocksfield Community Association Trading Arm (SCATA)

The Chair referred to a previously circulated grant application from SCATA for a contribution towards the cost of the purchase of a vehicle to establish a community transport scheme in Stocksfield. It was AGREED to award a grant of £500 for this purpose.                                                                                                                         Action: Clerk DISCHARGED


viii) Consultation – 20mph speed limit Painshawfield Estate and surrounding roads

Members considered the previously circulated document from NCC and AGREED to make no comment.                                                                                  Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

  1. ix) Document reviews

It was AGREED to add the following sentences to the terms of reference of the GGAG at 2.4:

“In the event that insufficient members of the GGAG are present at any meeting, the convenor of the Group may, given the nature of matters listed on the agenda, directly refer all matters so listed for consideration by the next full meeting of the Parish Council. In such circumstances, the convenor would cancel that meeting of the GGAG”.

Members also AGREED to defer the review of the Disciplinary and Grievance procedures pending the publication of revised model procedures by the National Association of Local Councils.

  1. x) New seat at New Ridley

The Chair reported that a new seat had been installed on Lead Road, just outside of New Ridley, on 7 October 2019. The seat had been placed on the site where there was previously a seat owned by the Parish Council. This seat was replaced and moved to a different location on the other side of the road some time ago, partly to provide a better view, as gorse was obscuring the view from the other site, and partly due to concerns about the risk to users of the seat of speeding traffic entering the village. The Parish Council had agreed to review the placing of the seat once proposed traffic calming measures had been taken in New Ridley. The Clerk had enquired about the source of the new seat, and had been informed by a Senior Programmes Officer in Technical Services at NCC that Councillor Dale had been given permission to site the seat at its present location.

It was pointed out that a Parish Council meeting had taken place on 7 October at 7.30pm, at which Councillor Dale had been present and had provided her regular update. However, she had made no mention of the seat. Prior to its installation, Councillor Dale had not discussed the matter with the Parish Council, nor had she given any indication as to ownership, ongoing maintenance or insurance. Councillor Dale is aware of the Parish Council’s earlier decision to move the original seat for health and safety reasons. Discussion took place about the contents of the Northumberland Town and Parish Council Charter, a final version of which, dated October 2019, had recently been circulated. This makes clear that public seating is the responsibility of Town and Parish Councils, and also highlights that County Councillors should work in close partnership with Town and Parish Councils. It appears to members that Councillor Dale, in this case, is in breach of the Charter.

After further discussion it was AGREED that the Council will write to Councillor Dale asking for an explanation and to Councillor Jackson, the leader of NCC, to ask for guidance about the situation.                                                                         Action: Chair and Clerk

 

  1. b) Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

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

 

19/04113/FUL

168 New Ridley Rd

Proposed extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

19/04272/FUL

Fillebrook,

31 Apperley Rd

Proposed demolition of conservatory and construction of new sun room and single storey side extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

19/11/142 Stocksfield Sports Fields – partial surrender of lease

The Chair said that the deed of surrender relating to the small section of the eastern field had been examined by the Council’s solicitors and was ready to sign. It was AGREED that the deed should be executed accordingly.                                              Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

19/11/143 Stocksfield Flood Plan

Mr Parker said that he had examined the Council’s Flood Plan and there was no reason to amend it. Members noted the update.                              Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 


19/11/144 Parish Council Plan Group

The Chair said that a new meeting of the group is to be arranged.

                                                                                    Action: Parish Council Plan Group

 

19/11/145 Public Space Protection Order (PSPO)

A new PSPO relating to the control of dogs had been circulated by NCC for comment. Members were disappointed that the only areas affected by prohibition of dogs were enclosed children’s play areas and two beaches. It was AGREED that greater emphasis should be placed on other spaces where dogs pose a risk to the health of residents, such as sports fields and particularly those where young children play. The Clerk was asked to provide feedback accordingly.                                                                                                    Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

19/11/146 Any other business

Letters of thanks

The Clerk said he has received letters of thanks from Northumberland Age UK and Sport Tynedale for previous donations by the Council.

 

19/11/147 Date of next meeting

Monday 2 December 2019.

The Chair thanked those in attendance and closed the meeting at 9.15pm.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council

held on Monday 7 October 2019

at Stocksfield Community Centre

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mr C Liddle, Mr D Parke, Mr M Parker, Professor R Thompson, Dr P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

Apologies:     Mrs J Furniss, Mrs H Rae, Mrs J Robson.

 

Also present: Mrs A Dale (County Councillor), Mr J Robinson (Courant).

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.30pm and welcomed those present.

19/10/119 Declarations of Interest

Dr Vickers declared an interest in the item relating to the website as it concerned his employer.

19/10/120 Public Participation

Land west of Guessburn

Mr Parker said that the final cut of the footpaths crossing the above land appears not to have been undertaken yet and access is becoming difficult. The Clerk AGREED to contact Allendale Estates.                                                                                          Action: Clerk

 

19/10/121 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale updated about hedgerows adjacent to private land; work on the fords; verges on Lead Road which she has asked to be cut; British Horse Society signs which she asked for any suggestions for their locations; the poppy group; potential additional funding towards defibrillators; and highway projects which are delayed due to staffing shortages (A695, New Ridley Road, New Ridley and Painshawfield estate). Mrs Dale also discussed the flooding after heavy rainfall which occurs on New Ridley Road and the need for new or improved gullies. This features as a priority in her submission to Northumberland County Council’s (NCC) Local Transport Plan (LTP) Programme 2020-2021 and she highlighted the potential for the Council to lend its support through the LTP. The Chair clarified Mrs Dale’s existing LTP priorities. The Chair thanked Mrs Dale for her update.

19/10/122 Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 September 2019

It was AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 2 September 2019 were a true and accurate record (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mr Parker).

19/10/123 Matters Arising

  1. a) Fireworks and Bonfire Event 2019

The Clerk reported that Stocksfield Cricket Club has now finalised the costs for staging this event and has concluded that it is not viable. The club apologises for the relatively late notification but listed the many requirements that would, in the event of inclement weather, almost certainly result in significant financial loss to the club, irrespective of the Council’s proposed contribution.

  1. b) Local Transport Plan (LTP) Programme 2020-21

The Chair reminded members that the Council’s two priorities had been decided at the last meeting and that support for an additional matter proposed by Mrs Dale had been agreed. Members discussed the flooding referred to by Mrs Dale and, after discussion, it was AGREED to amend the Council’s priorities to include ‘The replacement of existing or provision of new drainage and/or gullies on New Ridley Road/Apperley Road/Batt House Road/ Meadowfield Road as appropriate in order to alleviate the flooding that occurs after heavy rain’.                                                                                                                           Action: Clerk

Mrs Dale then left the meeting.


19/10/124 Finance

  1. a) Approval of September payments

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

b)Budget monitoring to 30 September 2019

The Clerk said that budget monitoring had identified an administrative error which had caused an additional £360 to be notified to NCC as precept. This represents an additional £0.27 for the year on the council tax for a Band D dwelling. He recommended that once the budget for 2020/21 had been agreed, the resulting precept should be reduced by £360 to offset the error. Members discussed the additional authorised spending on bins and seats and the further costs associated with the verge at the relocated seat at New Ridley. It was AGREED to vire £1502 to the Environment budget from contingency funds, to increase the Environment budget by £1650 using reserves in the General Fund and to remove the anticipated £60 income in the Communications budget. Members also asked the Clerk to write to Mr A Conley of DW and EE Conley at New Ridley to thank him for the work he has undertaken for community benefit without charge.                                                                                   Action: Clerk

19/10/125 Parish Council Representatives

6th Annual Town and Parish Council Conference 3 October 2019

The Clerk attended this conference and his report had been previously circulated. After discussion it was AGREED to invite Mr R Murfin, the Director of Planning at NCC, to attend a future meeting of the Council.

19/10/126 Advisory Groups

  1. a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)
  2. i) Notes of GGAG meeting 16/09/19

Members noted the previously circulated notes.

  1. ii) Tree inspection procedures

Members noted the report of the Clerk and the quotation for work from a local contractor. After discussion it was AGREED to instruct the contractor in accordance with the terms of the report.

                                                                                                            Action: Clerk

iii) Donation requests

Members discussed two requests for donations and AGREED to donate £100 to Sport Tynedale and £100 to Northumberland Age UK, both using powers under Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972.                                                                        Action: Clerk

  1. iv) Arrangements for Annual Parish Meeting (APM)

After discussion it was AGREED that the current practice of holding the APM immediately before the annual meeting of the Council in May each year should continue and that the County Councillor should be afforded an opportunity to submit a written report provided the matters raised relate to Stocksfield.                                                                 DISCHARGED

  1. v) Remembrance Service 2019 arrangement

The Clerk declared a personal interest in this item. The Chair confirmed that NCC has arranged a full closure of the A695 on 10 November and referred to recent difficulties in securing the services of a bugler at the service. After discussion it was AGREED to pay travel expenses as a minimum and to ask neighbouring local councils whether a payment is made to buglers at their respective services.                                                                              Action: Clerk

  1. vi) Climate Action

The Chair referred to correspondence from Friends of the Earth which described various activities councils may consider to champion the cause of climate change. Members considered that the principles contained in the letter were in keeping with some of the objectives in the Council’s draft plan but that it was not appropriate for the Council to establish itself as a Climate Change Action Group. Any local residents are able to establish such a group and to apply for funding to the Council to support their activities. It was AGREED to publicise this matter in the next Council newsletter.                                                                   Action: Clerk

 


  1. b) Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

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

19/03784/VARYCO

The Rowans,

21 Painshawfield Rd

Variation of condition 2

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

19/03648/FELTPO

Scargill, 44 Cadehill Rd

Sycamore - fell and replant with oak

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

  1. c) Rights of Way and Environment Advisory Group

Dr Vickers highlighted the rude health of Stocksfield Burn and the poor condition of the bridleway from Old Ridley. The latter is being monitored by NCC. Members noted the notes of the meeting held on 9 September 2019

19/10/127 Affordable Housing and Planning Obligations – consultation from NCC

Members discussed the previously circulated document and concluded that the Council is not in a position to comment on the scoping exercise but looks forward to receiving the draft documents in due course.                                                                        Action: Clerk

 

19/10/128 Council website project

Dr Vickers described the potential for students at Northumbria University to undertake prototyping exercises to investigate the feasibility of an automated system that scans websites for local events and places them on the Council’s website. There are minimal costs (restricted to travelling in the event that students need to meet councillors or the Clerk) and no requirement for access to the Council’s website. In the event that the proposal is successful, a standard disclaimer will need to be signed which clearly identifies the roles and responsibilities of those involved. After discussion it was AGREED to offer the proposal as a project to the University and that Dr Vickers should liaise as appropriate. Dr Vickers reminded members that there is no guarantee that the project would be accepted by students or that any resulting system (to which the Council would hold the intellectual property rights) would work satisfactorily.                                                                                                                                 Action: Dr Vickers

19/10/129 Parish Council Plan Group

The Chair referred to the previously circulated draft of the plan. After discussion it was AGREED that the document needed to be redrafted to reduce its length and there should be greater focus on the themes. It was further AGREED that a future draft should be considered at a separate meeting of the Council to ensure that members are able to examine and give views on the detailed actions.                                           Action: Parish Council Plan Group

 

19/10/130 Grass cutting – verges and estates

The Clerk referred to a previously circulated draft contract for the above services. He reminded members that the decision had been made at the last meeting to award the contract for the grass cutting of verges to NCC without competition. The revised contract now includes grass cutting on estates, a service which is provided by NCC and part of which is to be subject of recharge. Members APPROVED the revised document and AGREED that, in all other respects, the decision of the Council at the last meeting is unaffected. Action: Clerk

 

19/10/131 High visibility vests

The Clerk referred to a previously circulated report and after discussion it was AGREED to purchase six high visibility vests of varying sizes, embroidered with the Council’s name, for use by volunteers and/or councillors as appropriate.                 Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

19/10/132 Any other business

Foot bridge over Stocksfield Burn at Kate’s Plain

The Clerk reminded members that the rebuild cost of the foot bridge is needed for insurance purposes and NCC has reduced its proposed fee for this purpose. The matter is one in respect of which the Chair and Clerk are able to use existing delegated authority to approve once negotiations are complete.

 

Sports Field Improvements

The Clerk informed members that Allendale Estates (through its land agents) has responded favourably to the outline proposals to improve the sports fields and a meeting with the design consultants is to be arranged.                                               Action: Clerk             DISCHARGED

Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)

The Chair referred to a recently circulated update from CPRE in Northumberland which included a number of interesting items. She asked the Clerk to circulate the update to members of the Council’s Rights of Way and Environment Advisory Group. Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

19/10/133 Date of next meeting

Monday 4 November 2019.

The Chair thanked those in attendance and closed the meeting at 9.03pm.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council

held on Monday 2 September 2019

at Stocksfield Community Centre

Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mrs J Furniss, Mr C Liddle, Mr D Parke, Mrs H Rae, Professor R Thompson, Dr P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     Mr M Parker, Mrs J Robson.

 

Also present: Mrs A Dale (County Councillor).

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.30pm and welcomed those present.

19/9/100 Absence of Mrs Robson

Members AGREED to grant permission for the continued absence of Mrs Robson.

 

19/9/101 Declarations of Interest

Mr Liddle said that he is now a member of the Board of Tyne Rivers Trust and the Clerk declared an interest in the planning applications to be considered.

19/9/102 Public Participation

Footpath at rear of Mount View Terrace

The Chair said that a resident had contacted her about the condition of the above footpath which is being eroded by Stocksfield Burn. The matter has been reported to the County Councillor and Northumberland County Council’s (NCC) Area Countryside Officer.

Parking at Brettonby Avenue

The Clerk said that a number of residents have complained about indiscriminate parking at the above location and, at her request, all have been advised to contact the County Councillor. Mrs Dale said that all of the parking issues relate to private land.

Lead Road at the ford

Mrs Rae has been approached by a resident who complained that the verges at the above location have not been cut, restricting the ability for riders of horses to move out of the way of passing cars. Additionally the placement of signs warning drivers to slow down near horses was discussed. Mrs Dale AGREED to look at both issues.

 

19/9/103 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale updated the right of way to Ridley Mill at the rear of Guessburn, hedges, litter picking, Tyne Community Learning Trust, blocked gullies, sewerage, repairs at the fords, chicanes on New Ridley Road and the Local Transport Plan priorities. Mrs Dale left the meeting.

19/9/104 Minutes of the Meeting held on 23 July 2019

It was AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 23 July 2019 were a true and accurate record (proposed Chair, seconded Mr Parke).

19/9/105 Matters Arising

  1. a) Sling Rotator at Branch End Play Area

The Clerk reported that the equipment is now back in use having been repaired. The movement in the central column required that the equipment be removed and reinstalled correctly, although there is no immediate safety issue. After discussion it was AGREED to undertake the work to reinstall the equipment and to secure further quotes before proceeding.     Action: Clerk

  1. b) Fireworks and Bonfire Event 2019

The Clerk said that Stocksfield Cricket Club intends to stage the above event although further costs are needed before they commit to it. Members asked that the matter be listed for discussion at the next meeting.                                                      Action: Clerk

 

19/9/106 Finance

  1. a) Approval of July and August payments

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

  1. b) External audit 2018/19

Members considered the report of the external audit which concluded there were no issues to draw to the attention of the Council. Members AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mrs Rae) to receive the report.

  1. c) Insurance renewal

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report of the Clerk which outlined a number of aspects relating to the renewal of the Council’s insurance from 1 October 2019. After discussion it was AGREED to insure with ‘Inspire via Axa’ based on a three year agreement; to include cover for material loss for the footbridge crossing Stocksfield burn; and to delegate authority to the Clerk to amend the premium in light of the recent change to the asset register.

Members also discussed ownership of the war memorial which is currently formally owned by NCC, upon whose land the memorial sits. It was AGREED that ownership of the memorial should be reconsidered at a future date once more information is provided by NCC.

Action: Clerk

19/9/107 Parish Council Representatives

  1. i) 6th Annual Town and Parish Council Conference 3 October 2019

The Chair asked that any councillor who wishes to attend should inform the Clerk.

  1. ii) East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum 16 October 2019

The Chair normally attends this forum but is unable to be present in October. She asked any councillor who is able to attend to contact her.

iii) Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership AGM 15 October 2019

Dr Vickers will attend this meeting.

19/9/108 Advisory Groups

  1. a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)
  2. i) Notes of GGAG meeting 22/07/19

Members noted the previously circulated notes.

  1. ii) Bank reconciliation to 30 June 2019

Members noted the completion of the above and its verification by Mr Parke.

iii) Sports Field improvements

The Chair referred to a report of the Clerk and outlined the next steps to explore potential improvements to the playing areas. The only feasible improvement related to the creation of a new artificial playing surface that would provide greater flexibility for existing sports and the potential for sports currently not available locally. After discussion it was AGREED to employ the design consultants to provide a detailed plan, together with the necessary investigative testing in line with the report, and to seek the initial views of the owner of the land, Allendale Estates.                                                                                           Action: Clerk

  1. iv) Contracts for services 2020 – 2023

The Chair referred to a report of the Clerk and previously circulated draft contracts for services in respect of grass cutting (sports field), grass cutting (play areas), grass cutting (verges) and litter collection. Members noted that previous contracts in respect of grass cutting (verges) and litter collection had been awarded to NCC on the grounds that NCC already provides services in respect of both and to award the contracts for the additional services to another provider would cause uncertainty for the public and irreconcilable operational difficulties. After discussion the contracts were approved and it was AGREED to commence a competitive tendering process for grass cutting (sports field) and grass cutting (play areas). It was also AGREED to award the contracts for grass cutting (verges) and litter collection to NCC without competition for the same reasons outlined above and to waive financial regulations for this purpose. Action: Clerk


  1. v) Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) inspection of play areas

The Chair referred to the previously circulated reports of RoSPA and noted that there were no major issues highlighted. It was AGREED that the Clerk should liaise with the Groundsman to ensure that the reports’ recommendations are addressed.      Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

  1. vi) Local Transport Plan (LTP) Programme 2020 – 2021

Members considered the Council’s highways and transport priorities and AGREED they should remain as the installation of (i) strategically placed dropped kerbs on New Ridley Road and (ii) a footpath from the junction of Lead Road and New Ridley Road to the southern end of New Ridley. Members also supported a priority of the County Councillor to complete the footpath on the A695 between Stocksfield and Riding Mill.                    Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

vii) Annual Risk Assessment 2019

Members AGREED to approve the risk assessment with additional comments relating to the inspection regimes for trees and the footbridge over Stocksfield Burn. Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

viii) Polling District Review 2019

It was AGREED that the current arrangements for polling are adequate.

  1. ix) Donations – Hindley St Margaret’s Burial Board

It was AGREED to donate £1,200 to the Burial Board.          Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

xii) Christmas trees

It was AGREED to order two Christmas trees (as in previous years) to be located at Broomley First School and the Dr Syntax public house.              Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

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

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

19/02340/FUL

Nene Cottage, 13 Meadowfield Road

Demolition of existing dwelling and replacement with new dwelling

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

19/03027/FUL

31 Baliol Road

Proposed single storey side and rear extension and porch

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

  1. ii) 19/02322/FUL 19 Guessburn: Porch to front.

It was AGREED to make no comment.

iii) 19/02323/FUL Lilac Trees, 2A Guessburn: Extension to front elevation

It was AGREED to make no comment.

  1. iv) Northumberland Local Plan

Members noted that the Local Plan commences its examination phase with hearings on 8 October 2019.

  1. v) 16/02082/OUT Land south of Regents Drive, Prudhoe.

Members noted the hearing date for the above application.

19/9/109 Greenfield House, Main Road: replacement of party wall

The Chair referred to a notice served on the Council in respect of the party wall at the above location. After discussion it was AGREED to consent to the proposed replacement party wall and to grant permission for the owners and their contractors to access Council land to enable the works to be completed with the following conditions: suitable fencing is erected to ensure the safety of the public using the footpath to the school and the sports fields generally, materials and debris are removed from the land at the conclusion of the works and the land is left in a suitable condition.                                                                      Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

19/9/110 Tyne Rivers Trust (TRT) – request for funding

The Chair reported that TRT is submitting a bid for funding to Northumbrian Water to enable the provision of interventions to control invasive species in the Tyne and its tributaries for a three year period. After discussion it was AGREED to donate £150 per annum to TRT for this purpose.                                                                                 Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 


19/9/111 Parish Council Plan Group

Mrs Rae referred members to a previously circulated draft plan. The Chair commented that the themes fit well with the Residents’ Survey and with other themes within the draft. It is the intention to consider a final draft at the next meeting.       Action: Parish Council Plan Group

 

19/9/112 Joint Musculoskeletal and Pain Service

Members noted the previously circulated briefing document from the NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group.                                                             DISCHARGED

 

19/9/113 Broomley First School

The Chair updated members that Broomley First School converted to an Academy on 1 September 2019 as part of the Tyne Community Learning Trust.                   DISCHARGED

19/9/114 Northumberland Day 2020

The Chair referred to a previously circulated briefing from NCC in respect of a proposed ‘Big Northumberland Day Flag’ Parish Challenge connected with Northumberland Day on 24 May 2020. Members AGREED that the Council would not be involved.                        DISCHARGED

 

19/9/115 Meetings of the Parish Council ion May 2020

The Chair referred to the revised date of the first bank holiday in May 2020 and after discussion it was AGREED to amend the date of both the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council and the Annual Parish Meeting to Monday 4 May 2020.               Action: Clerk             DISCHARGED

 

19/9/116 Performance Development Review (PDR) of the Clerk

The Chair reported the Clerk’s PDR had been completed by her and the Vice Chair and there are no issues to report.                                      DISCHARGED

19/9/117 Any other urgent business

Branch End Play Area – use for photo shoot

The Clerk said that a ‘photography, television and film company’ has asked for permission to use Branch End Play Area on the afternoon of Saturday 7 September. The company intends to take still photographs of a local family (previously identified) using the facilities and have undertaken that no other members of the public will be included. The company also accepts that the area is a public space to which entry cannot be prohibited or controlled by them and has provided evidence of public liability insurance. A donation to Council funds has been offered in the event that the area is used. After discussion it was AGREED to offer no objection to the proposal as outlined.                                       Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

A69 Bridge End improvements

The Chair reminded members that the Clerk had circulated an update from Highways England about the above mentioned proposal.                                       DISCHARGED

19/9/118 Date of next meeting

Monday 7 October 2019.

The Chair thanked those in attendance and closed the meeting at 9.27pm.