Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday 4 March 2019 at Stocksfield Community Centre

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

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     Dr P Vickers, Mrs H Rae, Mrs J Robson.

 

Also present: Mrs A Dale (County Councillor) and Mrs J Page (resident).

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

19/3/27 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

19/3/28 Public Participation

There were no items of public participation.

 

19/3/29 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale updated the Council about damage to street signs at Tynedale Gardens; new parking restrictions at Alexandra Terrace and Batt House Road; repainting of double yellow lines on New Ridley Road; a new litter bin at the New Ridley lay-by; the potential for planters to be placed at Ford Rise and the Parish Council to maintain them; the removal of planning conditions relating to access issues at Burnside Yard; broadband provision; complaints about planning aspects within Northumberland County Council (NCC); and the Prudhoe Partnership. Mrs Dale then left the meeting.

19/3/30 Minutes of the Meeting held on 4 February 2019

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

19/3/31 Matters Arising

18/04446/OUT Stocksfield Golf Club: Outline planning application

The Chair referred to a previously circulated email from the Secretary of the Golf Club expressing disappointment in the decision of the Council to object to the proposed development. The Clerk reported that he has replied to the email by reference to the Council’s submission to NCC and has explained the nature of the Council’s voting arrangements. Mrs Page explained that it was her view that some of the councillors had taken on board some of the club’s comments and that some had not fully understood all of the arguments. Mrs Page thought that people who live in New Ridley have a personal interest as any development is going to affect their property values. The Clerk explained the role of the Council’s Code of Conduct. The Chair said that the decision of the Council has been made and submitted to NCC but the ultimate decision is made by NCC. Members noted the content of the email. Mrs Page left the meeting.                                                                                            DISCHARGED

19/3/32 Finance

  1. a) Approval of February payments

It was AGREED that the payments for February be approved as detailed in the previously circulated schedule (proposed Prof Thompson, seconded Mr Parker).

  1. b) Budget monitoring report to 28/02/19

Members noted the budget monitoring report.

19/3/33 Parish Council Representatives

There were no representative meetings.

19/3/34 Advisory Groups

  1. a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)
  2. i) Notes of GGAG meeting 18/02/19

Members noted the previously circulated notes.

  1. ii) Donation requests

After discussion it was AGREED to make donations under Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972 as follows: North East War Memorial Project - £150 and Northumberland Pride - £50.

                                                                                    Action: Clerk                         DISCHARGED

  1. b) Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

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

19/00301/HEGRMN & 19/00302/HEGRMN

West Broomley Farm

Hedgerow removal notice – installation of new fibre connection

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

19/00284/FUL

1 South Parade

Refurbishment of loft conversion

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

19/3/35 Northumberland Local Plan Consultation

The Chair referred to previously circulated documents, including a number which had been sent jointly by the Northumberland and Newcastle Society (N&NSoc) and the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). This stage of the consultation enables consultees to comment only on the soundness and legal compliance of the Plan. The documents from N&NSoc and CPRE expressed concern that NCC had ignored its previous comments during an earlier consultation phase and explained why they believed the Plan to be unsound and legally non compliant. Additionally it is suggested that policy REN2 is not justified, not effective and inconsistent with national policy and the Plan severely puts at risk the county’s landscapes. The submission to NCC by N&NSoc and CPRE is based in part on its legal advice about the extent to which NCC has identified land in the county as being suitable for wind turbines – referred to as 66% of the county’s land (excluding the National Park and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). In general members were of the view that they had insufficient expertise to make a comment in respect of either the soundness or legal compliance of the Plan. However they expressed concern about the potential further delays to the adoption of the Plan in the event that the legal advice relied upon by N&NSoc and CPRE is both correct and disregarded by NCC during the Regulation 19 stage of the Plan’s development. Members AGREED to write to NCC to explain those concerns but, otherwise, to make no comment.                      Action: Clerk

 

19/3/36 Any other urgent business

Parish Council Planning Group

The Chair updated members that the Parish Council Plan Group had met recently, a number of tasks had been allocated and a future meeting is arranged for 25 March 2019. Members noted the update.

19/3/37 Date of next meeting

Monday 1 April 2019

The Chair thanked those present for attending and closed the meeting at 8.37pm.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday 4 February 2019 at Stocksfield Community Centre

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

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

Apologies: Dr P Vickers.

Also present: Mrs A Dale (County Councillor), Mr J Carslake, Mrs E Cowie, Mrs J Page, Ms C Smith, Mrs G Smith (all residents) and Ms L Grabham (Eljay Research).

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

19/2/13 Declarations of Interest
The Clerk declared a personal interest in both items concerning planning applications at New Ridley.

19/2/14 Public Participation
There were no items of public participation.

19/2/15 Stocksfield Residents’ Survey
The Chair introduced Lisa Grabham of Eljay Research whose company had been commissioned to undertake the Council’s Residents’ Survey in late 2018. Ms Grabham said that the research had used the same methodology employed by the Housing Needs Survey in 2013. The response rate of one in three has enabled a focused and independent analysis and its results are representative of the area. The overwhelming message from residents is that they are satisfied with living in Stocksfield (many very satisfied) with 97% revealing express satisfaction linked to living in Stocksfield. She said that in thirty years of undertaking this type of research, she had never seen such a high level of satisfaction. The average length of residency was 25 years, indicating that many people don’t want to leave – there is a feeling of community and local people are regarded as friendly. The main thing that residents wanted to protect is the Green Belt whilst the worst aspect of living in Stocksfield relates to transport and vehicles and the need to reduce both the speed and quantity of vehicles using the roads. There was a significant call for somewhere central to eat and drink and also recognition that there is no hub or central focus point for the village.
NE43 News (the Council’s newsletter) is consistently being read and highly regarded. It is the main method by which residents want to be contacted. The internet is accessed and used with confidence by 80% of respondents and there is a huge interest in full fibre broadband. The majority of respondents either agree or potentially agree that the Council should spend money on additional services and possibly increase the precept as a result. Over 80% were satisfied with the work of the Parish Council, commenting on the voluntary nature of the work and level of commitment of councillors. In respect of care provisions, 2% did not receive sufficient help to provide care to others within their household. She said that much more detail is contained within the report and added that there is a great opportunity to provide positive feedback to residents whilst acknowledging the concerns expressed.
Members were complimentary about the standard of the report. The Chair said she was surprised and encouraged by the level of satisfaction with the Council and reminded members that the survey provided a good basis upon which to develop the Council’s Plan. After further discussion it was AGREED (proposed Chair, seconded Mr Liddle) to accept the report and to publish it on the Council’s website. The Chair thanked Ms Grabham for her efforts and for the quality of the work, after which Ms Grabham left the meeting. Action: Chair

19/2/16 County Councillor update
Mrs Dale said that, having followed up matters from the last Parish Council meeting, Hexham Hospital is closed overnight due to a lack of staff. Gullies are being cleaned this week and LED lighting complaints are being addressed. In respect of the A695 through Stocksfield she said that a design is awaited for the road which will be subject to public consultation; the road is a strategic route and Northumberland County Council (NCC) has no power to amend its hierarchy; because of this the road is a high priority in respect of maintenance and gritting; the recent planning application at Prudhoe needs to provide a wider transport assessment to identify its impact; the road is mainly used by local people travelling to work or school; NCC is due to monitor traffic on the A695 at Mickley and Stocksfield; companies are required to meet contractual obligations where they relate to use of roads; and planning applications need to be managed properly, something which Mrs Dale monitors. Mrs Dale said that she would provide further information to a future meeting of the Council. She also said that the Local Transport Plan includes resurfacing of New Ridley Road and then left the meeting.

19/2/17 Minutes of the Meeting held on 7 January 2019
It was AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 7 January 2019 were a true and accurate record (proposed Mr Parke, seconded Mrs Rae).

19/2/18 Matters Arising
Complaint against the Parish Council
The Clerk reported that NCC expect the implementation of the A695 scheme during 2019/20. A design brief has been submitted and, when complete, will be subject of consultation with the county councillor and the Parish Council, before a public consultation.
Public Access Defibrillators
The Clerk updated members that a local resident, Dr Lucy Booth (a practising General Practitioner), is planning private fundraising activities in order to provide additional defibrillators in the village. She has met the Clerk and it is her intention to work closely with the Council to maximise the impact of additional defibrillators.

19/2/19 Finance
a) Approval of January payments
It was AGREED that the payments for January be approved as detailed in the previously circulated schedule (proposed Prof Thompson, seconded Mrs Furniss).
b) Budget monitoring report to 31/01/19
Members noted the budget monitoring report.

19/2/20 Parish Council Representatives
East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum
The Chair attended the most recent meeting of the above forum. She said that there had been presentations on the Empowering Local Communities initiative, Community Action Northumberland and the A69 proposals about which Bywell Parish Council is co-ordinating comments despite it being cancelled.

19/2/21 Advisory Groups
a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)
i) Notes of GGAG meeting 21/01/19
Members noted the previously circulated notes.
ii) Bank reconciliation to 31/12/18
Members noted that the bank reconciliation had been completed.
iii) Sports Field User Group (SFUG) meeting 14 January 2019 notes
Members noted the notes of the SFUG.
iv) Use of Sports Field for Stocksfield Festival and wedding marquees
After discussion it was AGREED to permit the use of the sports fields for the Stocksfield Festival and for a marquee in connection with a wedding on 3 August 2019.

v) Vexatious communications policy
After discussion it was AGREED to amend the policy as recommended and review it in January 2021.

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

Appeal against refusal
Stable Cottage and The Granary,
Old Ridley Proposed single storey rear extension, infilling current area between Stable Cottage and The Granary No comment
Note use of delegated powers
19/00037/FUL
The Conifers
13 Painshawfield Rd Remove rear conservatory and provision of new single storey garden room No comment
Note use of delegated powers
19/00126/FUL Walnut Cottage, New Ridley: Construction of new boundary wall, fences and gates. After discussion, it was AGREED (proposed Mr Parker, seconded Mr Parke) to make no comment.
18/04446/OUT Stocksfield Golf Club, New Ridley: Outline planning application for residential development (flats or apartments) with all matters reserved on land east of the golf clubhouse.
Prof Thompson declared a personal interest in the item as a member of the golf club and said he would not vote. Mr Parker referred to a previously circulated recommendation of the PAG. The application is essentially the same proposal as previously submitted and commented upon with additional financial information. The application’s Green Belt Assessment refers to New Ridley as a village which the Council contests. Information from the Housing Needs Report has been presented selectively, particularly with regard to the level of opposition to building on the Green Belt. Mr Parker expressed concern that the Parish Council has not seen the golf club’s five year business plan which was submitted to NCC. The current proposed Local Plan provides sufficient housing within the Central Delivery Area, either planned or being built. It is the recommendation of the Planning Advisory Group that the Council objects to the proposal on the grounds set out in the report. A number of members of the public present spoke both in opposition to and in favour of the proposed application. The Chair reminded those present that the Parish Council is not the decision maker, merely a body which is consulted by the Planning Authority. After further discussion it was AGREED (proposed Mr Parker, seconded Mr Parke) to object to the planning application on the grounds that it is an inappropriate development in the Green Belt for which very special circumstances do not exist, in accordance with the report of the PAG (as amended). Action: Clerk

19/2/22 Community Transport Survey
The Chair referred to the Community Transport Survey undertaken by Stocksfield Community Association Trading Arm (SCATA) in the autumn. They received 75 responses from surveys distributed to every house in the Council’s area. 90% of respondents had access to a car and were not interested in community transport, over 50% used a taxi if they didn’t want to use a car and 70% used bus services. There is a fairly low number who might be interested in community transport although the overall number of respondents is also low. SCATA thinks there may be sufficient need and community support for a community transport scheme, particularly for those who live at a distance from public transport. A public meeting is to be held by SCATA at 7.30pm on Tuesday 26 February at the Community Centre to which all residents are being invited by letter. This will include a presentation by the Belford Community Transport Scheme. If SCATA wishes to progress this for Stocksfield, the matter may be taken to the East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum to gauge interest amongst other councils. Members noted the update.

19/2/23 Northumberland Local Plan Consultation
The Chair referred to the previously circulated revised Local Plan for which NCC requests comments by 13 March 2019. Mr Parker said that there have been few changes when compared to earlier versions, although there is greater clarity about where future housing is to be provided. The targets for future housing also appear much more realistic. After discussion it was AGREED that members should pass any individual comments to Mr Parker and, if necessary, a response will be provided by Mr Parker, the Chair and the Clerk.
Action: ALL

19/2/24 Change of name of the Civil Parish of Broomley and Stocksfield
The Clerk reminded members that the name of the civil parish was amended as of 11 January so that this Council is now known as Stocksfield Parish Council. Some immediate changes have been made, such as the name on the website and bank account details, whilst others will take place in due course. Members noted the update.

19/2/25 Any other urgent business
Letter of thanks
The Clerk has received a letter of thanks from Tynedale Hospice at Home for the Council’s recent donation, which follows their previously circulated email.
Flood warden
The Clerk said one of the flood warden volunteers, Mrs Christine Armstrong, is unable to continue in the role but her husband, Peter Armstrong, has agreed to take her place. Members asked the Clerk to thank Mrs Armstrong for her efforts in the role.

19/2/26 Date of next meeting
Monday 4 March 2019

The Chair thanked those present for attending and closed the meeting at 9.00pm.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday 7 January 2019 at Stocksfield Community Centre

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

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     None

 

Also present: Mrs A Dale (County Councillor), Mr S Pearson, Mr W Martin, Mrs J Page (all representing Stocksfield Golf Club), Mr R Jones and Mr J Carslake.

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.30pm and wished those present a Happy New Year.

19/1/1 Declarations of Interest

Prof Thompson (as a member) and Dr Vickers (as a relative of members) declared personal interests in the item concerning Stocksfield Golf Club.

19/1/2 Public Participation

There were no items of public participation.

 

19/1/3 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale said that the street lighting upgrade and the design for a road safety scheme in New Ridley village are both ongoing. She is working with the Painshawfield Estate Committee in relation to drainage and has asked Northumberland County Council’s (NCC) Scrutiny Committee to look at the issues of consistency in the provision of night time services at Hexham Hospital. She is also discussing with NCC issues around section 106 funding for road safety measures in connection with the planning application at Low Prudhoe.

19/1/4 Stocksfield Golf Club: Financial position and planning application

The Chair reminded members that the item is not to consider the planning application which has now been submitted but to receive information from officials of Stocksfield Golf Club as a result of the letter considered at the last meeting. The formal consideration of the planning application will be an agenda item at the next meeting of the Council.

Mr Pearson, the club’s president, thanked the Council for the opportunity to address the meeting and referred to the letter mentioned by the Chair. He highlighted the Council’s website and statements about it acting on behalf of the community it represents and helping to provide and maintain the facilities that the community wants to see in the area. The club recognises the Green Belt issue but the club’s committee does not believe this is a normal application as the consequences of the club not getting a positive decision, and ultimately the capital injection it needs, will result in closure of the club at some point. On the back of that there is a real risk of a housing development on the site and demolition of the clubhouse. The community would lose a facility that has been in place for 105 years, provides local employment, social interaction and, through golf, enhances the wellbeing of an ageing population.

Mr Martin, the club’s finance director, said that the club, in line with an increasing number of other golf clubs, is struggling financially. Trading figures for the years ending March 2017 and 2018 have produced losses and it is expected that this will be repeated in the year ending March 2019. The club operates an overdraft facility and is close to the limit at each year end. Expenditure has been controlled – for example the head green keeper’s post has been made redundant which should enable the club to break even in future years. Initiatives are being tried which are aimed at boosting players and membership but other local clubs are in the same position and taking the same actions. It has been impossible to fund the improvements to the course which are necessary to retain existing and attract new members. Nationally the average age of members is increasing and greater reliance is placed on golf buggies – at Stocksfield buggies cannot be used year-round which impacts on membership. He said that breaking even in the future will not provide the club with funds needed to invest – at least £100,000 is needed for improvements. Funding is needed to pay off loans and to remove the club from a continual overdraft situation.

Mrs Page, the clubhouse director who is overseeing the planning application, said that part of the area subject to the application is Green Belt but some is previously developed as a car park and access road. Th club’s argument is that in order to overcome the restriction on building in the Green Belt, the club believes it has very special circumstances – the community facility has been in place for 105 years and it provides health and social benefits for a very wide range of people (whether golfers or not). The club needs to prove that benefits will be lost and cannot be provided elsewhere. There are documents on NCC’s website which provide greater financial information than the previous application. This shows where the cash injection would be spent providing investment in the club rather than being used for running costs. A five year business plan has been prepared and submitted to NCC as a confidential document. The club continually monitors its compliance with the plan. She asked if the club had to close its doors, what do people think will happen to the site? There would need to be an orderly exit of the site before loans are called in by creditors. One option would be to make a different application altogether and the club knows that more than thirty dwellings could fit on the land which is classed as previously developed. This would raise enough money to pay creditors before deciding what the next steps would be – whether that would be a porta-cabin somewhere on the site or a smaller clubhouse elsewhere on the site would be decided. The club feels certain that the people of New Ridley would not like that to happen. She said there are 170 acres that will start to go to ruin and be sold off in lots. She asked what would it look like and what would the future be? In planning terms the club thinks there may well be a lot more development in New Ridley and as a Stocksfield resident, Mrs Page said she would not look forward to that either. The club asks the Council to look at this in a balanced way and to support the club in what it is trying to do.

Mr Jones said that he attended the meeting as a current member of the club and as secretary in 2013/14 when the problems arose. At that time the bank were unequivocal in their view of the club. There is a need to look upon the club as a local business, not just a golf club. The Council’s recent survey alluded to local businesses being supported by the Council and a successful application would have an effect on the views of the club’s creditors.

In response to questions: Mr Martin said the last time the club returned a profit was as a result of an HMRC rebate but with this exception he was unable to say when the club was last in profit; and Mrs Page said that of the 400 members the majority are from Stocksfield and the immediate surrounding area and that a large area of land had been identified as overflow parking to prevent parking on New Ridley Road. Dr Vickers questioned the compatibility of the club’s annual financial statement which had been submitted to Companies House and refers to the club as a ‘going concern’ with the bleak picture of the club’s future without capital investment. Mr Pearson said that there are a lot of local golf clubs chasing the same population and a local golf club will go to the wall sooner or later. The club needs to be in a position to ensure it is not Stocksfield Golf Club. Mrs Page added that the club now has a committee with business skills who can run businesses and deliver on the club’s aims.

The Chair thanked the club’s representatives for their input after which Mr Pearson, Mr Martin, Mrs Page and Mr Jones left the meeting.

19/1/5 Minutes of the Meeting held on 3 December 2018

It was AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 3 December 2018 were a true and accurate record (proposed Mr Parker, seconded Mrs Rae). Mrs Dale left the meeting.

19/1/6 Matters Arising

Residents’ Survey

The Clerk said that 447 questionnaires had been returned to the survey company plus four from outside the area. An initial report is expected within a week. The Chair added that the survey company had complimented the Council on the standard of its original submission and as the majority of this work had been undertaken by Mr and Mrs Liddle, she thanked them for their efforts, asking that the matter be recorded in the minutes.

 

19/1/7 Finance

  1. a) Approval of December payments

It was AGREED that the payments for December be approved as detailed in the previously circulated and amended schedule (proposed Mr Parke, seconded Dr Vickers).

  1. b) Budget monitoring report to 31/12/18

Members noted the budget monitoring report.

 

19/1/8 Parish Council Representatives

There were no representative meetings.

 

19/1/9 Advisory Groups

  1. a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)
  2. i) Notes of GGAG meeting 17/12/18

Members noted the previously circulated notes. Mrs Robson left the meeting.

  1. ii) Public access defibrillators (PAD)

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report of the Clerk which provided information about the existing PADs in the area and options for the future. After discussion it was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mrs Rae) to allocate £6,000 from the current budget to defibrillators and to consider a future report of the Clerk relating to the potential locations for new defibrillators.                                                                     Action: Clerk

iii) Sports Field User Group (SFUG) meeting 14 January 2019

The Chair pointed out that preliminary discussion about pitch improvements was likely to take place at the next SFUG meeting. In order to ensure that an up-to-date analysis of all sports fields users is available for inclusion in grant applications, members of the GGAG agreed that the Parish Council representatives on the SFUG should make a formal request for this information at the next SFUG meeting. The information should include the age group and gender of everyone who uses the facilities, including the Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA). Members noted this item.

  1. iv) Donation request – Tynedale Hospice at Home

After discussion it was AGREED to make a donation of £500 to Tynedale Hospice at Home under Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972.                                   Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

  1. b) Planning Advisory Group

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

 

18/04223/FUL

Beechgrove,

39 Meadowfield Rd

Demolition of existing single storey side extension and replace with two storey extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

18/04209/FUL

West Oak Farm Broomley

Erection of two wooden stables, an open shed and a single storey wooden workshop

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

19/1/10 Complaint against the Parish Council

The Clerk referred to a previously circulated report in relation to a complaint from a resident that the Council had failed to provide answers to specific questions raised by the resident. After discussions between the resident and the Clerk, the resident was happy that the complaint had for the time being been resolved satisfactorily. Members noted the content of the report and AGREED to ask NCC for an update about the road safety assessment and scheme that is to be provided for the A695 between Branch End and the railway station.       Action: Clerk

 

19/1/11 Any other urgent business

There was no other business

19/1/12 Date of next meeting

Monday 4 February 2019

The Chair thanked those present for attending and closed the meeting at 9.10pm.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday 3 December 2018 at Stocksfield Community Centre

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

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     Mrs J Furniss, Mrs J Robson.

 

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

18/12/140 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

18/12/141 Public Participation

Stocksfield Methodist Church

Mr Parker reported that residents had complained about the Methodist Church being referred to within the Christmas card as in Guessburn. The Chair said that the card was produced by Churches Together and was distributed by the Council with its newsletter. The Clerk added that the road from the A695 is referred to as Guessburn within the national gazetteer of roads.

 

18/12/142 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale was unable to attend the meeting and had submitted a written report which had been circulated to members beforehand. The report updated on highways issues in the village, the A69 improvements, work on the A68/A695 roundabout and the new street lighting. Mrs Dale also referred to her opposition to Northumberland County Council’s (NCC) proposal to introduce parking charges at Prudhoe Railway Station and Tyne Riverside Country Park car parks.

18/12/143 Minutes of the Meeting held on 5 November 2018

It was AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 5 November 2018 were a true and accurate record (proposed Mr Parke, seconded Dr Vickers).

18/12/144 Matters Arising

  1. a) Heavy Goods Vehicles Traffic in Stocksfield

The Chair referred to further email correspondence between the Clerk and a resident in respect of the above and a planning application at Prudhoe which is to be considered in a subsequent item. After consideration it was AGREED that no further response is to be provided to the resident.                                                                                                     DISCHARGED

  1. b) Parish Council Residents’ Survey

The Chair reminded members that the survey is being circulated with the Council’s newsletter and is now available online. She asked members to encourage its completion by residents.

  1. c) A69 improvements

The Chair said that the Secretary of State is to hold an Inquiry into the proposals that are contained within the relevant Order and that further information will become available.

 

18/12/145 Finance

  1. a) Approval of November payments

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

  1. b) Budget monitoring report

Members noted the budget monitoring report.

  1. c) Society of Local Council Clerks

It was AGREED to renew the Clerk’s membership of the Society of Local Council Clerks.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

18/12/146 Parish Council Representatives

There were no representative meetings.

 

18/12/147 Advisory Groups

  1. a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)
  2. i) Notes of GGAG meeting 17/11/18

Members noted the previously circulated notes.

  1. ii) Budget and precept 2019/2020

Members discussed a previously circulated report and AGREED (proposed Prof Thompson, seconded Mr Parke) to approve the budget for 2019/20 as circulated and set out below.

It was further AGREED to set the precept for 2019/20 at £85,260, unchanged from the current financial year.                                                                            Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

iii) Environmental Enforcement Officer joint role

Members considered an outline proposal to enter into a partnership with Prudhoe Town Council (PTC) which would involve an additional Environmental Enforcement Officer (EEO) being recruited by NCC and deployed locally. The likely cost to the Council is in the region of £10,000 in the first year. Members noted the remit of an EEO and contrasted it with the role of a Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) which also has powers to deal with parking offences. After discussion it was AGREED that the environmental issues within the area do not justify the employment of an EEO, however the Council remains interested in progressing the matter if the role included that of a CEO.                                                          Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

  1. iv) Keep Britain Tidy campaign

The Chair referred to the above mentioned campaign and the availability of high impact signs in respect of dog fouling. After discussion it was AGREED not to make a purchase.DISCHARGED

  1. v) Subscriptions – East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum

Members AGREED to renew the subscription.                     Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

  1. vi) Stocksfield Community Association Trading Arm (SCATA) – review of relationship

The Chair said that this matter had been brought forward from a previous meeting in September 2017 and reminded members of discussions about the membership of the SCATA Board. On the advice of NCC’s Community Regeneration Officer, members of the Board could not be representatives of other organisations which meant that the previous agreement to include a parish councillor on the Board no longer applied. It was AGREED to accept the decision of Stocksfield Community Association regarding membership of SCATA Board and to continue to co-operate with the Board on appropriate projects.                      DISCHARGED

vii) Review of trees at Branch End Play Area (BEPA)

The Chair reminded members that this item had been brought forward from a previous meeting of the Council in November 2017 when discussion had taken place about trimming the trees in BEPA. In the interim period, concerns had been raised about the liability of Parish Councils should trees on the land for which they are responsible fall and injure someone. Current advice is to carry out regular, documented inspections of all such trees in order to ensure safety of all users. After discussion it was AGREED to ask the Clerk to

  • ascertain the Council’s responsibility for all trees on the land owned or leased by the Council
  • instigate an inspection regime, starting with the trees in BEPA and
  • produce a report for approval on the likely costs of the inspection and any remedial work necessary.                                                 Action: Clerk


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

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

18/02487/FUL

Broomley House, Main Road

Retrospective application to build retaining wall on site adjoining Main Road

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

18/03325/FUL

Apperley Farm West Cottage

Construction of single storey rear extension, first floor side extension with dormer

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

18/03711/FUL

239 New Ridley Road

Single storey side extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

18/04004/FUL

16 Painshawfield Rd

Construction of part first f           loor side/rear extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

18/04006/FUL

6 Birkdene

Two storey extension to side and rear, demolish existing single storey garage

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

18/04115/FUL

61 New Ridley Rd

Replacement conservatory with new structural opening

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

  1. ii) 18/03945/REM Land south of Regents Drive, Prudhoe.

Although this application relates to land in Prudhoe, the Council considered the potential impact on Stocksfield. Members AGREED with the concerns expressed by PTC in their objection to the application and supported the comments of PTC, namely to ensure that

  • an Employment and Skills Plan is agreed to align the opportunities for skill and jobs with residents,
  • a litter strategy is developed to mitigate the additional litter (not only in Prudhoe but also that thrown from cars in neighbouring areas) and
  • a Local Travel Plan is agreed that ensures the area is accessible other than by car and mitigates the impact of additional traffic on neighbouring areas, particularly Stocksfield. It was further AGREED to comment to NCC accordingly Action: Clerk

 

18/12/148 Car parking charges at selected coastal and railway station car parks – consultation by NCC

Dr Vickers declared an interest as a Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership volunteer. The Chair referred to a previously circulated document which outlined proposals by NCC to charge for parking at Prudhoe Railway Station and Tyne Riverside Country Park car parks. She stressed that there is no proposal to charge for parking at Stocksfield Railway Station and that plans exist to reconfigure car parking at Hexham. After discussion it was AGREED to object to the proposal on the following grounds:

  • daily commuter costs will increase by up to 50%
  • residents will be discouraged from using the railway and be more likely to drive
  • the revenue predicted is unlikely to be realised as cars are parked elsewhere (as experienced recently in Wylam)
  • passengers are likely to travel from alternative stations where parking is free –Stocksfield is one example where there is already insufficient space on many days
  • there will be an increase in parking on local roads
  • Prudhoe is an important ‘railhead’ for passengers travelling from outlying areas and from where walking or cycling is impractical
  • the proposal is contrary to Department for Transport advice.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

18/12/149 Any other urgent business

Stocksfield Golf Club – Financial position and planning application

The Chair referred to a previously circulated letter from the secretary of Stocksfield Golf Club in which he would welcome an opportunity to attend a future Parish Council meeting to discuss the content of the letter. It was AGREED to offer to place this item on the agenda at the January or February meeting dependent on the commitments of the club’s secretary.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk


Village Hall Project – Northumbria Police

The Chair referred to a previously circulated document from Northumbria Police which sought to enable the police to link with local village hall representatives across Northumberland. The project had been brought to the Council’s attention by the Chair of Stocksfield Community Association. The aim of the project is to improve policing services to rural communities through a voluntary network and community engagement. Members noted the information provided and that a further meeting is to be held in early December.

Christmas tree at Broomley First School

The Chair commented that the Christmas tree at the school looked particularly impressive and festive and asked that the minutes record the Council’s thanks to its groundsman, Martin Stewart.

Letters of thanks

The Clerk reported that letters of thanks had been received for donations from Community Action Northumberland, the Great North Air Ambulance, the Children’s Foundation and Core Music.

 

18/12/150 Date of next meeting

Monday 7 January 2019

The Chair wished all those present a happy Christmas and closed the meeting at 9.12pm.