Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held remotely on Monday 2 November 2020

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

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).

Apologies:     Mr C Liddle

Also present: Mrs L Joy (initially as a resident)

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.33pm and welcomed councillors to the remote meeting which was being ‘live-streamed’ on the Council’s Facebook page.


20/11/103 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.


20/11/104 Co-option to the Council of Mrs L Joy

The Chair referred to the application from the above named for co-option. After discussion it was AGREED to co-opt Mrs Joy as a parish councillor and to permit Mrs Joy to complete and deliver a declaration of acceptance of office before the date of the next meeting of the Council. The Chair welcomed Mrs Joy as a member of the Parish Council. Action: Clerk and Mrs Joy


20/11/105 Public Participation

Provision of litter bins

Mr Hills referred to the forthcoming opening of a new fast food outlet at Princess Way, Prudhoe and asked for the provision of additional litter bins to be considered at the sports field and railway station car parks. It was AGREED that Dr Vickers would liaise with Northern Rail and the Clerk would report to the next meeting about the sports field. Action: Clerk and Dr Vickers

Play areas

A resident asked whether the play areas are to close as a result of the changes to the Covid-19 restrictions. The Clerk said that no further guidance has been provided by the Government at this stage and the existing risk assessments remain in force so there is no need to close the play areas at this time. The matter may need to be reviewed pending any new guidance.


20/11/106 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update which included information about the County Council’s response to Covid-19; the resurfacing of New Ridley Road; her Local Transport Plan (LTP) priorities – namely the extension of the footpath on the A695 between Stocksfield and Riding Mill, speed reduction measures in Broomley and the pavement at New Ridley; the implications of the planning white paper for New Ridley and the fields opposite Broomley First School; and full fibre broadband. Members asked the Clerk to clarify the reference to the pavement at New Ridley.                                                                           Action: Clerk


20/11/107 Minutes of the Meeting held on 21 September 2020

It was AGREED (proposed Dr Vickers, seconded Mr Parker) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 21 September 2020 were a true and accurate record.


20/11/108 Matters Arising

a) Seat at New Ridley

The Chair referred to her previously circulated letter to County Councillor G Sanderson and said that a reply is awaited.                                                 Action: Clerk Bring Forward

b) Control of Himalayan balsam

The Clerk said that replies have been received from two landowners who had thanked the Council for the information and agreed to deal with the matter in 2020. The third landowner at Ridley Mill had not responded. Members considered the potential enforcement options and AGREED to reconsider the issue at its meeting in January 2021. Action: Clerk Bring Forw’d

c) NE43 News

The Clerk updated members on the planned timescales for the December issue of NE43 News and the impact of the additional restrictions relating to Covid-19 that will last until at least 2 December 2020. After discussion it was AGREED to progress the next issue of NE43 News and to delegate authority to the Clerk in conjunction with the Chair to arrange for its delivery by an external contractor and thereby guarantee the delivery irrespective of whether the restrictions are extended.                                                                                            Action: Clerk and Chair

d) Remembrance Service 2020

Members AGREED to donate £200 to the Royal British Legion using Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972. The Clerk updated the meeting about the implications of the new Covid-19 related restrictions. It was AGREED to prerecord a service by Rev Pat Moran which will be streamed on Sunday 8 November on the Council’s Facebook page and, where possible, to include a wreath laying at the war memorial.                              Action: Clerk


20/11/109 Finance

a) Approval of September and October payments

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

b) Budget monitoring to 31/10/20

Members noted the budget monitoring report and AGREED to vire £800 from each of the Administration and Communications budgets to the Environment budget and £3,500 from Contingency to Sport Facilities.                                                    Action: Clerk


20/11/110 General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

a) Notes of the meeting held on 12 October 2020

Members noted the notes of the meeting.

b) Contract for Grounds Services 2021/2024

After discussion it was AGREED to award the contract for Grounds Services for 2021/2024 to Martin Stewart, trading as Neetfleet, as per the submitted tender.      Action: Clerk

c) Budget and precept setting 2021/22

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report from the Clerk which he had amended as a result of discussion at the GGAG. Members were of the view that, due to the impact of Covid-19 on communities, every effort should be made not to increase the precept. After discussion it was AGREED to set the budget for 2021/22 as circulated with receipts (before precept) of £3,280 and payments of £102,286. Members further AGREED to set the precept for 2021/22 at £99,006 a Band D equivalent of £74.79.                                      Action: Clerk

d) Covid-19 grant funding

The Chair reminded members of the funds that had been made available as a result of Covid-19 and which are now at the disposal of the Council. After discussion, it was AGREED that the funds should be made available on application from local groups and organisations affected by Covid-19. Mr Hills, Mrs Joy, and Mr Parke AGREED to draft eligibility criteria for discussion at the next meeting.                                                     Action: Mr Hills, Mrs Joy, Mr Parke

e) Donation request Great North Air Ambulance

After discussion it was AGREED to donate £200 to the Great North Air Ambulance under Sec 137 of the Local Government Act 1972.                                                           Action: Clerk DISCHARGED


20/11/111 Hindley St Margaret’s Burial Board

The Chair reminded members of a previous decision to review the grant award to the Burial Board. The Board has projected a deficit of £162 in 2020 due to the Covid-19 related reduction in burials. After discussion it was AGREED to make a further grant of £200.             Action: Clerk DISCHARGED


20/11/112 Planning Advisory Group

Members noted the planning report and the use of delegated authority as below:




7 Apperley Road

Re-cladding and part remodelling of existing property with timber cladding and white render; new first floor balcony, hard and soft landscaping and terrace to rear

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Land south east of 19 Batt House Road

Variation of condition 2 re 18/00215/FUL to alter design of house

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Kilmardinny 52

Meadowfield Rd

Demolition of flat roof garage, toilet and bedroom and replace with pitched roof on slightly increased footprint

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Mickley Bank Farm

Rebuilding of storage sheds

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Barn south of Redshaw Foot

Fit two roof lights

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


37 Baliol Road

Demolition of existing flat roofed structures and erection of new extension to rear. Entrance porch to front elevation.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Land east of Apperley Dene

Proposed dwelling for use by rural worker. Appeal against refusal by NCC.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Apperley Farm West Cottage

Variation of Conditions: 2 (plans) and 3 (materials) related to planning approval 20/01074/FUL

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


20/11/113 Parish Council Representative

There were no representative meetings.


20/11/114 Defibrillator project

The Chair reminded members of previous decisions of the Council and referred to the report of the Clerk which outlined the next phase of the project to provide increased defibrillator cover across the built up section of the Council’s area. It was AGREED to install six further defibrillators at a further cost of £19,401 at the following locations:

(i) A695 at Brand End Play Area

(ii) New Ridley Road at the junction with Meadowfield Road

(iii) Birkdene opposite the junction with Welton Close

(iv) Ridley Mill Road near Ridley Mill Cottages

(v) C273 road at Broomley (near to the post box)

(vi) B6309 at Hindley

It was also AGREED to delegate authority to the Clerk to resolve the outstanding issues with Northumberland County Council (NCC) at Broomley in consultation with the Chair, including the potential relocation of the site, and to arrange the metered connections with a suitable electricity provider.                                                                                     Action: Clerk and Chair


20/11/115 Changes to the current planning system consultation

After discussion members AGREED with the content of a previously circulated response to the consultation from the National Association of Local Councils and were satisfied that the Council’s views were represented in a letter from the East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum to Mr G Opperman MP.                                     DISCHARGED


20/11/116 Review of Council Policies

a) Volunteer Policy

Members AGREED to make no changes and to review the policy in November 2023.                                                                                                      Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

b) Co-option policy

Members AGREED to make no changes and to review the policy in November 2023.                                                                                                      Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

c) Members’ Allowances

Members AGREED to make no changes and to review the policy in November 2021.                                                                                                      Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

d) Complaints Policy

Members AGREED that the policy required further consideration before approval.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk Bring Forward


20/11/117 Stocksfield Burn: proposed flood warning device

The Clerk reported that the Environment Agency is seeking to install a flood warning device on Stocksfield Burn which will enable residents to register for text alerts. The precise location is yet to be finalised. The Council’s Flood Plan is due to be reviewed but Mr Parker said that from his examination, there is no need for it to be amended at this stage. It was AGREED to note this development and to review the Flood Plan once the flood warning device is installed.

Action: Clerk Bring Forward


20/11/118 Any other urgent business

There was no other business.


20/11/119 Date of next meeting

Monday 7 December 2020

It was resolved under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 to exclude the press and public to consider the following item. The Chair thanked members of the public for joining the meeting and the live stream was ended.

Members further AGREED to suspend paragraph 2.18 of Standing Orders relating to the length of the meeting.


20/11/120 Complaint against the Parish Council

The Chair reported that she had received a complaint against the Council from a resident which has been dealt with under the Council’s Complaints Policy and resolved. The Chair said that she is required to report such matters to members in accordance with the policy and a record has been made of the complaint. DISCHARGED

The Chair thanked members for their attendance and closed the meeting at 9.44pm.