Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held remotely on Monday 1 March 2021


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

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).


Apologies:     None.

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.31pm and welcomed councillors to the remote meeting which was being ‘live-streamed’ on the Council’s Facebook page.


21/3/35 Declarations of Interest

Mr Liddle declared a personal interest in the planning item relating to Baliol Road.

21/3/36 Public Participation

There were no items of public participation.


21/3/37 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update which had not been seen previously by members. The Clerk AGREED to circulate the report. The report related to the commencement of work on the advisory 20mph limit (on 10 March 2021), complaints about damage to roads, investigations at Northumberland County Council (NCC), New Ridley Road resurfacing and Covid-19. There were no questions or other comments from members.


21/3/38 Minutes of the Meeting held on 1 February 2021

It was AGREED (proposed Mr Parker, seconded Mrs Furniss) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 1 February 2021 were a true and accurate record.


21/3/39 Matters Arising

a) Bus service to Tyne View Retail Park, Low Prudhoe

Go North East has stated that the anticipated demand for a service direct to Tyne View Retail Park is too low to justify further consideration of the service without financial support. A single return service would cost in the region of £100 to operate. Mr Barrett, a Prudhoe town councillor, had provided the Council with the results of an online survey whilst County Councillor, Mrs Dale, had given additional information about both current and potential future options post Covid-19. Mr Hills questioned the value of the online survey. Members discussed how to identify the demand accurately and options to pilot a weekly service. It was AGREED to discuss the matter further at the next General Governance Advisory Group. Action: Clerk

b) Defibrillator project

Seven of the eight new defibrillators have now been installed and registered with the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS). Northern Powergrid has struggled to locate the power cables to supply the Broomley cabinet but will return for further excavation work although the date for this work is not yet known. The overall cost of the project stands at £22,142 with the breakdown of contributors outlined below.

Name of organisation

Contribution (£)

Public donation (via resident Dr Lucy Booth)


NCC Members Local Improvement Scheme (MLIS)


Essity Ltd


Stocksfield Parish Council


Total costs


Members AGREED that the previously circulated MLIS monitoring form should be approved and returned to NCC. The Council’s project has recorded the 900th public access defibrillator in the NEAS area. The Clerk said that a press release has been prepared and will be circulated to coincide with a similar release from NEAS.                                                    Action: Clerk

c) Castles and Coasts Housing Association

The Clerk reported that no further information had become available after the Council’s comments were passed to the Housing Association.


21/3/40 Finance

a) Approval of February payments

It was AGREED (proposed Mr Parke, seconded Mr Parker) 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 28/012/21

Members noted the budget monitoring report and the supplementary report provided by the Clerk.


21/3/41 General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

a) Notes of the meeting held on 15/02/21

Members noted the previously circulated notes.

b) Policy Reviews

(i) Standing Orders

It was AGREED that Standing Orders should be amended as circulated at paragraph 6.1 (Annual Parish Meeting) to reflect a previous decision of the Council and to review them in 12 months.                                                                                                            Action: Clerk

(ii) Financial regulations

The Chair said that whilst, in the view of GGAG members, Financial Regulations were fit for purpose, they may need to be amended subsequent to any decisions of the Council about future physical meetings and it was AGREED to defer consideration of the item.      

Action: Clerk

c) Photocopier lease

After discussion it was AGREED to award the contract for lease of a new copier to A Four Business Equipment and to terminate the current lease in accordance with its conditions.

                                                                                                                        Action: Clerk

d) Grants and donations: Citizens’ Advice Northumberland

It was AGREED to donate £200 to Citizens’ Advice Northumberland.          Action: Clerk

e) Grit bins

Members noted the work to date by Mr Hills.

f) Covid-19 Business Support Package

The Council had applied for the above support and has been awarded a grant of £6,239.21. After discussion it was AGREED to make payment of the full grant to Stocksfield Multi Use Games Area Committee.                                                                            Action: Clerk

g) Burnside Yard: access to/from A695

The Chair referred to previous discussions at meetings. Further information had been received from NCC to say that the changes to the road and pavement were introduced by NCC as the Highway Authority and that the scheme has passed a road safety assessment. Mr Parker reported that a revised planning application is to be submitted and, although members continued to express concern, it was AGREED to review the situation in the light of the new submission (once received).                                                   Action: Clerk Bring Forward


21/3/42 Planning Advisory Group (PAG)

a) 20/04391/FUL 7 Baliol Road: Demolition of porch, garage and utility. New two storey side extension and front porch

Mr Liddle withdrew from the meeting for consideration of this item. Mr Parker outlined the application and it was AGREED to make no comment.                               Action: Clerk

Mr Liddle rejoined the meeting.

b) Planning report

Mr Parker referred to the planning report and, in particular, drew members’ attention to the application reference 21/00137/VARYCO which is an application to widen a drive. He said that PAG decided to object on the grounds outlined in the planning report. Members noted the planning report and the delegated decisions made as outlined below:


Land southwest of Longacre, 24 Apperley Rd

New dwelling with attached garage

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


72 Birkdene

TPO application to T1 and T2 Oak remove branches interfering with roof and gutter

Permitted before consideration by Parish Council.


Well Close, 4 Well Rd

Conversion of existing garage into enlarged living, dining and kitchen space. Addition of half storey for bedroom and en-suite. Associated external alterations and detached timber framed garage

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Burndene, 5 Crabtree Road

Variation of Condition 2 pursuant to 20/01293/FUL – to amend driveway

Objection. The proposal fails to comply with the existing requirements for visibility sightlines.


4 Glen Avenue

Retrospective: Demolition of porch and erection of lean-to extension to kitchen

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Hazelhurst 121 New Ridley Road

Construction of two-storey extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


7 Baliol Road

Demolition of porch, garage, utility and WC. Construction of two storey side extension and porch to front

No comment (see above)


Meadow View, Hindley Farm

Construction of single storey extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

21/3/43 Future meetings of the Parish Council

The Chair referred to a report of the Clerk which outlined proposed measures for the return to physical meetings of the Council after 6 May 2021, on the assumption that there is no extension to the power to meet remotely after that date. After discussion, members noted the report of the Clerk relating to a Covid-19 risk assessment and, subject to any amendment to legislation which allows the Council to continue to meet remotely, AGREED to

  • hold an additional remote meeting on 4 May 2021
  • hold the annual meeting of the Council in person on 19 May 2021
  • hold future meetings in person monthly
  • explore ‘live-streaming’ of meetings held in person.

                                                                                                                        Action: Clerk


21/3/44Parish Council Representatives

There were no representative meetings.

21/3/45 Coronavirus Community Grant Fund

The Chair referred to an application for £2,000 from St John’s Church for the construction of a community garden on land immediately adjacent to Meadowfield Road. Members supported the application but found it difficult to reconcile the financial information. It was AGREED to make the award of £2,000 under Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972, subject to the anomalies in the application being resolved and to delegate authority to the Clerk in consultation with the Chair to approve the payment of the grant once further satisfactory information is received.                                                      Action: Clerk


21/3/46 Town and Parish Councils Charter

The Chair referred to the above document and the apparent failure of NCC on a number of occasions to comply with the principles within that relate to working co-operatively with town and parish councils. It was AGREED that the Chair should write to Stephen Rickitt of the Northumberland Association of Local Councils to express concern and ask that the Association takes this up on behalf of the Council.                                                          Action: Chair


21/3/47 Any other urgent business

Letters of thanks

The Clerk said that letters of thanks for donations and grants had been received from Stocksfield Community Association Trading Arm, Stocksfield Cricket Club and Stocksfield Festival Committee.

21/3/48 Date of next meeting

Monday 12 April 2021

It was resolved under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 to exclude the press and members of the public to consider the following item.

21/3/49 Defibrillator equipment

The Clerk updated members on developments since the last meeting. After discussion it was AGREED to write to the chief executives of

  • the National Association of Local Councils, seeking an explanation for the delay in circulating information from Wel Medical about defibrillator batteries
  • NEAS to clarify its responsibilities for defibrillators across the region.                                                             Action: Clerk


The Chair thanked councillors for their attendance and closed the meeting at 9.14pm.