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.


27 Painshawfield Rd

Construction of two storey extension to provide access lift

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


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.