Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council

held remotely on Monday 1 June 2020

 

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

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

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

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.30pm and welcomed councillors to the Council’s first remote meeting which was being ‘live-streamed’ on the Council’s Facebook page.

 

20/6/49 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

20/6/50 Public Participation

Speed limit on A695 and New Ridley Road

The Chair referred to an email from a resident which highlighted the problems faced by pedestrians trying to socially distance when faced with passing traffic and requested consideration of 20mph limits on the above roads. The Clerk had replied that responsibility for speed limits rests with Northumberland County Council (NCC) and that schemes were in progress for a 20mph advisory limit on parts of the A695 and a mandatory 20mph limit in Painshawfield Estate. Members AGREED that the Clerk’s response provided sufficient clarity and no further comment was necessary.                                   Action: Clerk

 

20/6/51 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update which covered the Community’s response to Covid-19, highways, rights of way and BT/Open Reach. Members noted the update.

 

20/6/52 Standing Orders

The Chair referred to a previously circulated draft addition to Standing Orders that provided for the regulation of remote meetings. After discussion it was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mr Parker) to insert the previously circulated section 18 in Standing Orders.

Action: Clerk

 

20/6/53 Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 March 2020

It was AGREED (proposed Mrs Furniss, seconded Dr Vickers) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 2 March 2020 were a true and accurate record.

20/6/54 Matters Arising

The Chair

The Chair reminded members that she had previously intended to stand down as Chair at the annual meeting of the Council in May. In view of the uncertain circumstances surrounding Covid-19 and the cancellation of the annual meeting she had decided to remain in post for the time-being, at least until the next physical meeting of the Council, notwithstanding the ability of the Council to hold a remote annual meeting and elect a new Chair. Members AGREED with this course of action.

Seat at New Ridley

The Chair referred to a previously circulated response from County Councillor Glen Sanderson. In view of NCC’s obvious priority to deal with Covid-19 issues, it was AGREED to note the reply and to consider it further at a later date.                          Action: Clerk

 


20/6/55 Finance

a) Approval of March, April and May payments

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

b) Report of the internal auditor 2019/20

Members considered the letter and report of the internal auditor and AGREED to receive and note its content and that no further action was necessary. The audit was the final report of Mr Peter Basnett, who has audited the Council’s records since 2005, and it was AGREED to write to him to express the Council’s appreciation for his work and guidance over the years.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk

c) Statement of receipts and payments 2019/20

It was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mr Parker) to approve the statement of receipts and payments for 2019/20.

d) Approval of annual governance statement 2019/20

It was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mr Parker) to approve the annual governance statement for 2019/20.

e) Approval of annual accounting statements 2019/20

It was AGREED (proposed Mrs Furniss, seconded Mr Parker) to approve the annual accounting statement for 2019/20.

f) Explanation of significant variances 2019/20

It was AGREED to approve the explanation of significant variances for 2019/20.

g) Schedule of recurring payments 2020/21

It was AGREED to approve the recurring payments for 2020/21.

h) Subscription renewals

Dr Vickers declared a personal interest as a volunteer for Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership (TVCRP). It was AGREED to renew subscriptions as follows: Northumberland Association of Local Councils - £596.29; Clerks and Councils Direct - £12; TVCRP- £10.

 

20/6/56 Covid-19 and other emergencies

a) Financial Regulations

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report that considered the importance of maintaining the functions of the Council in the event of the Council being unable to meet through emergencies of any description. After discussion it was AGREED to delegate authority to the Clerk in the circumstances outlined with suitable safeguards, to insert three new paragraphs 4.7, 4.8 and 4.9 in Financial Regulations and to renumber the existing paragraphs accordingly.                                                                          Action: Clerk

b) Future meetings of the Council

The Chair reminded members that, unlike previous years, a schedule of Council meetings had not been approved at the annual meeting of the Council. It is difficult to predict the necessity for Council meetings and, after discussion, it was AGREED to delegate the scheduling of Council meetings for the time being to the Clerk in consultation with the Chair.

c) Community Support

Members discussed the current Covid-19 epidemic and welcomed the response of local volunteers who have provided assistance where necessary. After discussion it was AGREED to promote the availability of grant funding to local organisations and to encourage individuals within the community to contact the Council to discuss funding opportunities where necessary.                                                                                           Action: Clerk

d) Existing work of the Council

Members noted the update provided by the Clerk.

20/6/57 Parish Council Representatives

There were no representative meetings.

 


20/6/58 Advisory Groups

a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

i) Notes of the GGAG meeting

Members noted the notes of the meeting held on 16/03/20.

ii) East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum (ETTPCF)

It was AGREED to pay £80 to ETTPCF as a contribution to its costs.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

iii) Research and survey on dementia

It was AGREED that the Chair and Clerk would prepare a draft response for sight of members prior to submission.                                                                    Action: Chair and Clerk

iv) Local Electricity Bill

Members discussed the Local Electricity Bill which, if successful, would make the provision of locally generated green electricity easier and cheaper. After discussion it was AGREED to support the Bill by writing to Mr Guy Opperman MP asking for him to support the Bill and to the organisers of the campaign for the Bill (Power to People) expressing the Council’s support.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

v) New litter bin at A695/Hall Farm Close

Members discussed a request from a resident and AGREED to purchase and install a suitable litter bin near the above location, the precise site to be agreed with NCC by the Clerk

                                                                                                Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

b) Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

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

 

20/00583/FELTPO

Ayton Close

TPO application to prune/crown four trees and remove one self-sown sycamore (Application by NCC)

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/00606/VARYCO

249 New Ridley Rd

Variation of condition 2 relating to 11/00642/FUL – windows and doors changed and building constructed slightly larger

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/00752/FUL

139 New Ridley Road

Single storey extension creating new kitchen and dining area

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/00678/FUL

42 Cade Hill Road

Demolition of existing bay window to rear of property and replacement doors. New covered outside seating area with decking.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/00689/FUL

10 Alexandra Terr

Erect a single storey extension to rear and material change as consequence to works

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/01074/FUL

Apperley Farm West Cottage

Resubmission: single storey rear extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/01082/FUL and 20/01083/LBC

Stocksfield Hall

Listed building consent for erection of 12 street lamps

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/01085/LBC and 20/01084/ADE

Stocksfield Hall

Retrospective listed building consent for 6 wall mounted and 4 freestanding signs and advertising consent for the same

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/01274/FUL

The Rowans 21 Painshawfield Road

Re-siting existing entrance

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/01325/FUL

Apperley Rigg

New Ridley

Double storey side extension and single storey rear extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/01293/FUL

Burndene,

5 Crabtree Road

Proposal to create new and additional single gravel driveway – drive in reverse out

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/00297/FUL

Ashleigh

26 Cade Hill Road

Proposed single storey rear kitchen extension with flat roof and new

patio extended from extension.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


c) Rights of Way and Environment Advisory Group (RoWE)

Members noted the notes of the RoWE meeting held on 3 March 2020 and the Group’s comments about the temporary diversion of footpath No 12. In respect of the ‘no litter’ signs referred to at any other business, the Chair reminded members that the signs had been procured using delegated authority which was reported to the Council in February 2019. Since the signs were first used, anecdotal evidence suggests the quantity of litter thrown from cars has reduced. Although the signs had been out of use during the first part of the Covid-19 restrictions, it was AGREED that they will continue to be used and that RoWE members should be informed accordingly.                                                      Action: Clerk

20/6/59 Hindley St Margaret’s Burial Board

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report which outlined the financial position of the Burial Board and its significant reduction in income due to the Covid-19 restrictions. After discussion it was AGREED to make a donation of £1,700 to the Board, to encourage the Board to explore other Covid-19 related funding opportunities and to review the matter later in the financial year.                                                                                Action: Clerk

 

20/6/60 Any other urgent business

The Chair referred to a previously circulated draft letter from Northumberland Association of Local Councils which sought the assistance of councils to lobby for clarity about additional funding from the Government for local councils. It was AGREED to write to Mr Guy Opperman MP to seek his assistance in the matter.                               Action: Clerk

The Chair thanked those who had joined the meeting remotely and closed the meeting at 8.56pm.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council

held on Monday 2 March 2020

at Stocksfield Community Centre

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

Professor R Thompson, Dr P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     Mrs H Rae, Mrs J Robson.

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

 

20/3/30 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

20/3/31 Public Participation

There were no items of public participation.

 

20/3/32 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had given her apologies and the Chair referred to her written update which related to the proposed 20mph speed limit on the A695, pot holes and gullies, defibrillators, village planting, the Local Transport Plan Programme (2020/21), a request for a new litter bin and the Public Space Protection Order in Stocksfield.

 

20/3/33 Voting in Council meetings

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report that drew attention to the voting arrangements and the mechanism for councillors to record the way that votes have been cast in respect of any particular resolution. Members noted the information.

 

20/3/34 Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 February 2020

It was AGREED (proposed Mrs Furniss, seconded Dr Vickers) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 2 February 2020 were a true and accurate record.

20/3/35 Matters Arising

Parish Plan Group

It was AGREED to hold a meeting of the Parish Plan Group on Monday 23 March 2020 to which all councillors are encouraged to attend.                         Action: Clerk

 

20/3/36 Finance

a) Approval of February payments

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

b)Budget monitoring to 29 February 2020

Members noted the previously circulated report.

 

20/3/37 Parish Council Representatives

Meeting of Northumberland County Council (NCC) 19 February 2020

Prof Thompson updated members following his attendance at the above meeting in relation to NCC’s budget for 2020/21 and its medium term financial plan 2020/22. The Chair added that she is looking closely at issues in respect of the increase in precept for social care.

 

20/3/38 Advisory Groups

a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

i) Notes of the GGAG

Members noted the notes of the meeting held on 17/02/20.

ii) Review of Financial Regulations

GGAG members had looked in detail at issues connected with delegated powers and budgetary control and, after discussion, it was AGREED to make no amendment to the regulations.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

iii) Public Space Protection Order (PSPO): alcohol consumption in Stocksfield

Dr Vickers declared a personal interest as a close neighbour to a play area. After discussion it was AGREED that there is no continued requirement for the PSPO.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

b) Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

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

20/00297/FUL

Ashleigh,

26 Cade Hill Road

Proposed single storey rear kitchen extension with flat roof and new patio

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/3/39 Stocksfield tree inspections

Dr Vickers declared a personal interest in respect of Branch End Play Area (BEPA) and declined to vote in matters affecting BEPA. The Clerk referred to a previously circulated report which summarised the inspections of all trees on land owned or maintained by the Council. Trees at the Sports Fields, BEPA and Kate’s Plain Play Area have been categorised depending upon their individual need for attention and the urgency of the work. Members were keen to ensure that the minimum work should be carried out but recognised that safety of residents and users was of paramount importance. After discussion it was AGREED to

  • undertake heavy reduction of the significant oak tree adjacent to the A695 and the removal of dead limbs on three other oak trees similarly located at the western sports field
  • undertake various coppicing, pollarding and removal of eight trees along the eastern boundary of the eastern sports field (subject to the permission of Allendale Estates)
  • undertake various works on nineteen trees at Branch End Play Area
  • instruct Tyne Valley Woodland Consultancy to undertake the above work based on its previously circulated quotes
  • waive paragraph 11.7 of Financial Regulations in view of the urgency of some of the work and the existing work already undertaken by the contractor
  • ask the contractor to confirm its estimation for the annual re-inspection of trees which will next occur in January 2021
  • consider separately any further arrangements for works on other trees after the work above has been completed, including negotiations with the Council’s groundsman.

                                                                                    Action: Clerk

 

20/3/40 Stocksfield Sports Field: Overspill car park

The Clerk reported that the new birdsmouth fencing at the car park had been completed but the aeration of the surface was taking longer than expected. Members AGREED that the aeration should be completed at an additional cost up to £480.   Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/3/41 A695 Broomley First School 20mph limit.

The Chair reported that the consultation in respect of the above had been delayed so that amendments extending the affected stretch of road could be made. NCC expects to provide information to the Council before its next meeting. Members noted the update.

 

20/3/42 Anti-social behaviour and petty crime survey

Members considered the previously circulated survey and AGREED to respond to the survey to show that its perception is there has been little change in anti-social behaviour and crime in 2019 compared with previous years. Additionally the three most common issues are fly tipping, aggressive doorstep sales and scam telephone, internet or text messages.                                                                                                                        Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 


20/3/43 Footbridge over Stocksfield Burn: inspection report

The Clerk referred to a previously circulated report which summarised the inspection of the footbridge undertaken by NCC engineers. The bridge is in a sound condition although areas of scour have been identified to the downstream river wall and upstream behind the west revetment wall. It was AGREED to delegate authority to the Clerk to authorise remedial work by NCC up to £1,000.                                                             Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/3/44 New Ridley Road: verge adjacent pumping station

The Chair said that a resident has complained about the untidy verges either side of the pumping station. Whilst the area had been planted by Northumbrian Water (NWL), there is no requirement for its maintenance by NWL but, because the land is part of the highway, the Council does have power to maintain it. After discussion it was AGREED to authorise work on the verge by the Groundsman and to seek to incorporate its ongoing maintenance within the Groundsman’s contract.                                                         Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/3/45 Public Footpath no. 12 Temporary Diversion Order 2020

The Chair referred to a previously circulated Diversion Order affecting land on Merryshield Farm which will enable the extraction of minerals. It was AGREED that there are no objections to the Order but to delay notification to NCC until after the Rights of Way and Environment Advisory Group meeting on 3 March 2020.                                            Action: Dr Vickers, Clerk

 

20/3/46 Any other urgent business

The Chair announced that, having joined the Council in July 2010 and served as Chair since September 2011, it was her intention to stand down from the Council at the commencement of the annual meeting of the Council in May 2020.

 

20/3/47 Date of the next meeting

Monday 6 April 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.

 

20/3/48 New seat at New Ridley

The Chair updated members on the letters sent in relation to the above and it was AGREED to consider the matter further in due course.

The Chair thanked those in attendance and closed the meeting at 9.17pm.

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council

held on Monday 3 February 2020

at Stocksfield Community Centre

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

Mrs H Rae, Dr P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     Mrs J Robson, Professor R Thompson.

Also present: PC S Walton (Northumbria Police), Mr B Wade and Mrs J White (residents).

 

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

20/2/15 East Tynedale Neighbourhood Policing Team

The Chair welcomed PC Sharon Walton to the meeting. PC Walton said that she is based at the Spetchells Centre in Prudhoe, along with the other members of the Neighbourhood Policing Team, and has specific responsibility for Stocksfield. PC Walton reassured members that even if the Spetchells Centre is closed, officers still work from the premises and are in the area. She appealed for councillors to encourage residents to report matters to the police, whether it be actual events, suspicions or information, using the 101 telephone number or an online submission via the website. Feedback from residents in Stocksfield suggests that speeding of vehicles is the main issue and both the camera van and community speed watch are deployed locally.  She added that councillors are able to contact her about any local issues they feel should be addressed. After a number of questions, the Chair thanked PC Walton for her input and she left the meeting.

 

20/2/16 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

20/2/17 Public Participation

Gullies in Guessburn

Mrs White complained that the gullies in Guessburn are generally blocked with silt and have not been cleared for some time. The Clerk AGREED to contact Northumberland County Council (NCC) on her behalf.                                                                     Action: Clerk

Trees adjacent to Stocksfield Burn

Mrs White said that a number of trees at the rear of the bungalows between Guessburn and Stocksfield Burn are causing concern for the elderly residents as one as has fallen in the high winds. The Clerk AGREED to identify the relevant landowners and take appropriate action.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk

Local Action Group in Stocksfield

Mr Wade said that he and a small group of residents are looking to establish a group called ‘MAD (make a difference) about Stocksfield’ in order to undertake community based activities such as litter picking and hedge cutting. He said that this would not replace existing services and the work could extend to the provision of assistance to residents in need. Members were supportive of the principles involved, particularly the potential link to the work of the Council and others in respect of vulnerable residents in the village. After discussion, the Chair asked Mr Wade to keep the Council informed of developments.

 

20/2/18 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had given her apologies and the Chair referred to her written update which related to the proposed 20mph speed limit on the A695, the introduction of a chicane on New Ridley Road, potential support from NCC’s Members Local Improvement Scheme for additional defibrillators and other unspecific matters.


20/2/19 Minutes of the Meeting held on 6 January 2020

It was AGREED (proposed Mrs Rae, seconded Mr Parke) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 6 January 2020 were a true and accurate record.

20/2/20 Matters Arising

a) Footpaths in Painshawfield Estate

The Clerk said that NCC’s Footpath Officer had examined the footpaths and regards the surfaces as being in good condition. He identified a section of one path adjacent to St John’s Church where some work could be done and he will endeavour to schedule this for later in the year, provided that finance is available. The resident who raised the matter has been informed accordingly.                                                                                 DISCHARGED

b) A695 Broomley First School: speed reduction measures

The Clerk reported that no reply had been received from NCC since the last Council meeting. The Chair reminded members that the County Councillor’s update stated that a revised design should be ready in March 2020 but expressed concern that no further information had been provided by officers, particularly as the proposals affected the Council’s assets. It was AGREED to write further to officers to ask for an update.              Action: Clerk

 

20/2/21 Finance

a) Approval of January payments

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

b)Budget monitoring to 31 January 2020

Members noted the previously circulated report and AGREED to vire £550 to the Environment budget from Play Facilities.                                                         Action: Clerk

 

20/2/22 Parish Council Representatives

East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum - 15 January 2020

The Chair had been unable to attend the meeting but the draft minutes had been circulated to councillors.

 

20/2/23 Advisory Groups

a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

i) Notes of the GGAG

Members noted the notes of the meeting held on 20/01/20.

ii) Bank reconciliation to 31/12/19

Members noted the completion of the bank reconciliation.  DISCHARGED

iii) Review of policy on ad hoc hire of sports pitches

After discussion it was AGREED to approve the policy without amendment and to review it in February 2023.                                                                Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

iv) Campaign for the Protection of Rural England

Members AGREED to renew the Council’s membership at a cost of £36.                                                                                                                           Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

v) Parish Council Plan

Members discussed the development of the Council Plan and AGREED to arrange a meeting of the Parish Plan Group at which all councillors would attend. Action: Clerk

b) Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

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

19/04922/FUL

27 Painshawfield Rd

Construction of two storey extension to provide access lift

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

19/04959/FUL

Apperley Farm West Cottage

Single storey rear extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/2/24 Branch End Play Area: Sling Rotator

The Clerk reported that both the original supplier and installer of the Sling Rotator had examined the installation with the Clerk whilst the equipment was being removed. The foundations meet the specification in respect of size but the suppliers do not specify the mix for the concrete used. It is therefore impossible to attribute the movement in the central column to its installation. Members noted that the full cost of reinstallation will fall to the Council. The Clerk added that the central column has been reinstalled and replacement of the rotating arm is scheduled for later this week.                                                      DISCHARGED

 

20/2/25 Stocksfield Sports Field: Overspill car park

The Clerk referred to a previously circulated report that highlighted problems with the surface of the car park. Members discussed the options available and AGREED that

  • the car park surface should be aerated, including the purchase of an aerator and sharp sand
  • additional birdsmouth fencing should be provided in the car park as described
  • Jacksons of Hexham should be awarded the contract to install the fencing and
  • funds should be vired from Play Facilities for the costs involved.                                                                         Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/2/26 Provision of additional defibrillators

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report that outlined the degree to which defibrillator coverage could be extended to homes across the Council’s area. The report identified eight potential defibrillator locations and approximate associated installation and maintenance costs. Current funds available for this project total £16,306 which includes £4,756 raised by a local resident. The County Councillor has also indicated that £2,000 can be made available from NCC’s Members Local Improvement Scheme and other funding sources are being explored.

Members recognised that it will be impossible to provide coverage for every dwelling within the area and that the proposals left a number of small settlements and relatively isolated houses without defibrillator cover. After discussion it was AGREED to

  • give outline approval for eight new defibrillators and cabinets that would cover the mainly contiguous built up areas of Stocksfield, as well as Hindley and the central settlement of Broomley
  • ask the Clerk to provide definitive costs which will be presented for approval at a future Council meeting and
  • defer discussions on the other settlements and isolated dwellings not included in the above until after completion of this aspect of the defibrillator project

Action: Clerk

 

20/2/27 Any other urgent business

There was no other business.

 

20/2/28 Date of the next meeting

Monday 2 March 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.

 

20/2/29 New seat at New Ridley

Members considered advice in respect of previously discussed correspondence and AGREED to respond accordingly. It was also AGREED to write further to NCC in connection with the matter.                                                                                                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 6 January 2020

at Stocksfield Community Centre

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

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

                       

Apologies:     Mr C Liddle, Mrs J Robson.

Also present: Mr D Williams (Resident).

 

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

20/1/1 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.

20/1/2 Public Participation

Public footpaths within Painshawfield Estate

Mr Williams said that the two footpaths between Apperley and Meadowfield Roads are covered in mud and difficult to pass. He anticipated that the other footpaths would be similarly affected. The Clerk said that whilst general maintenance of the paths is undertaken by the Parish Council, Northumberland County Council (NCC) has ultimate responsibility for the paths. The nature of the paths was such that suitable footwear is required to walk the paths, particularly in the winter months and a degree of surface detritus is to be expected. He AGREED to contact the Footpaths Officer and notify Mr Williams accordingly.                      Action: Clerk

 

20/1/3 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had given her apologies and the Chair referred to her written update which related to proposed 20mph speed limit on A695 and other unspecific matters.

20/1/4 Minutes of the Meeting held on 2 December 2019

The Chair referred to an email from Mrs Dale and tabled a revision to the draft minutes at item 19/12/151. It was AGREED (proposed Mr Parke, seconded Mrs Rae) that the amended minutes of the meeting held on 2 December 2019 were a true and accurate record.

20/1/5 Matters Arising

Climate Change Meeting

The Chair referred to the notes provided by Mr Hooks which had been separately circulated and highlighted the potential shortfall in funding considering the large area that is covered.                                                                                                        DISCHARGED

 

20/1/6 Finance

a) Approval of December payments

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

b)Budget monitoring to 31 December 2019

Members noted the previously circulated report.

c) Internal auditor

The Chair referred to the previously circulated report of the Clerk about the retirement of the Council’s current auditor. After discussion it was AGREED to appoint Margaret Weatherley as internal auditor for the financial year 2020/21.                    Action: Clerk DISCHARGED


20/1/7 Parish Council Representatives

Christmas Carol Service, St Peter’s Church

Dr Vickers had attended the Christmas Carol Service on behalf of the Council.

 

20/1/8 Advisory Groups

a) General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

i) Notes of the GGAG

Members noted the notes of the meeting held on 16/12/19.

ii) Review of Disciplinary Policy

The Chair referred to a previously circulated draft policy which incorporates the recently updated template from the National Association of Local Councils (NatALC). After discussion it was AGREED to adopt the revised policy and to review it in January 2021.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

iii) Review of Grievance Policy

The Chair referred to a previously circulated draft policy which incorporates the recently updated template from NatALC and the High Court case involving Ledbury Town Council. After discussion it was AGREED to adopt the revised policy and to review it in January 2021.                                                                                                        Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

iv) Parish Council Advisory Groups – terms of reference

The Chair said that the newly approved Disciplinary and Grievance Policies require the formation of staffing committees and appeal panels as necessary. The proposed revisions and additions to the terms of reference cater for that eventuality. It was AGREED to approve the amendments as previously circulated.                             Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

v) Grant application

Members considered an application for funding from Hindley Burial Board to purchase and install a litter bin at the cemetery. It was AGREED to purchase a bin and pay for its installation up to a value of £500.                                                      Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

vi) Donation requests

It was AGREED to make a donation of £200 to Broomley First School Parent Teacher Association which sponsors a laptop, to donate £200 to Tynedale Hospice (under Sec 137 Local Govt Act 1972) and to vire £171 from the Play Area budget.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

vii) Internet security

Members discussed issues relating to internet security and the use of personal computers to conduct Council business. It was AGREED to arrange for an information session to be provided by an expert for a maximum cost of £50.                          Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

b) Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

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

19/04689/FUL

6 Birkdene

Proposed two storey extension to side and single storey extension to rear

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

20/1/9 A695 Broomley First School 20mph speed limit

The Chair referred to the earlier consultation from NCC in respect of the above and the response provided by the Council in July 2019. The proposals were likely to have an impact on the Council’s assets and there has been no further comment from NCC to date. Members AGREED to make a formal request to NCC as the Highway Authority for an update in relation to the proposals.                                                                   Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/1/10 Northumberland County Council Library Consultation

The Chair referred to previously circulated documents from NCC and, after discussion, it was AGREED to encourage local completion of the surveys but to make no comment as a council.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk DISCHARGED


20/1/11 Notice board on Guessburn

The Chair referred to a report from the Clerk relating to the proposal by Karbon Homes to remove the notice board on Guessburn. It was AGREED to offer no objection to the proposal.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

 

20/1/12 Any other urgent business

Letters/Emails of thanks

The Clerk reported having received thanks from Stocksfield Cricket Club for the inclusion of their centenary celebrations in NE43 News and from 1st Stocksfield Scouts for the grant towards the scout hut.

Sports Fields overspill car park

The Clerk said that the surface of the overspill car park had again become covered in a thick layer of mud. The car park has been temporarily closed and the surface mud removed manually. The Clerk will attempt to identify a permanent remedy.

 

20/1/13 Date of the next meeting

Monday 3 February 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.

 

20/1/14 New seat at New Ridley

Correspondence had been received by the Council concerning the above matter and, after discussion, it was AGREED to seek relevant advice and to reconsider the matter at the next meeting.

 

The Chair thanked those in attendance and closed the meeting at 9.20pm.