Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on Tuesday 7 September 2021 at Stocksfield Community Centre


Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mr C Chance, Mrs A Dale, Mr T Hills, Mrs L Joy, Mr C Liddle, Mr M Parker, Mrs K Pollock, Professor P Vickers and (from item 21/9/111) Miss A Brooks, Mr J Harrison and Mr J Lapping

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).


Also present: Twelve members of the public including Miss A Brooks, Mr J Lapping and Mr J Harrison.

Apologies:     None

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.34pm, welcomed councillors and members of the public to the meeting of the Council and reminded those present of the Covid restrictions being applied. She then congratulated Professor Paul Vickers on his recent appointment.


21/9/107 Declarations of Interest

Mrs Dale declared an interest in all planning matters.


21/9/108 Physical meetings: Covid-19 risk assessment

Members noted the previously circulated risk assessment.


21/9/109 Public Participation

A695 Birches Nook: Pedestrian crossing

Mr Liddle had been contacted by residents asking if a pedestrian crossing can be installed on the A695 at Birches Nook for children walking to Broomley First School. Mrs Dale said that she has a meeting planned with Northumberland County Council (NCC) officers. Action: Mrs Dale


21/9/110 Applications for co-option to the Council

The Chair referred to the voting arrangements in the Council’s Co-option Policy and it was AGREED to amend the policy to read: ‘Voting will be by paper ballot to prevent candidates being disadvantaged by the order of their consideration. The votes will be counted by the Clerk, overseen by the Chair, and the votes cast by councillors will be announced to ensure transparency.’ It was also AGREED to add ‘an absolute’ to describe the majority required for each co-option. The Chair said that Mr Hunter and Ms Spencer had withdrawn their applications.

It was then AGREED to exclude the press and members of the public from the meeting under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 due to the confidential nature of the business to be transacted for the parts of the co-option process involving questioning of applicants and discussions of their responses.

Mr Lapping, Miss Brooks and Mr Harrison returned to the meeting one by one and were questioned about their applications for co-option, after which members discussed their responses. Mr Barrett was unable to attend the meeting and his written submission was discussed. The following applicants were nominated: Mr Lapping (proposed Mr Chance, seconded Mr Hills), Miss Brooks (proposed Mr Hills, seconded Mr Parker) and Mr Harrison (proposed Prof Vickers, seconded Mrs Dale). The three nominated applicants received absolute majorities in a paper ballot, the result of which was declared by the Clerk. It was AGREED to appoint Mr Lapping, Miss Brooks and Mr Harrison to the Council. The new councillors signed a declaration of acceptance of office and took their seats as members.


21/9/111 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update which had been previously circulated to members. In particular she referred to FACTCO, the Tour of Britain, Northern Powergrid, free trees and planning applications. Prof Vickers mentioned the work of the station adoption group, referred to in Mrs Dale’s written update, and said that he would pass on the favourable comments to those involved.


21/9/112 Minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2021

It was AGREED (proposed Prof Vickers, seconded Mr Hills) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 14 July 2021 were a true and accurate record.


21/9/113 Matters Arising

a) New Ridley Road: speed of traffic

The Chair said that ‘horse warning’ signs were to be erected on New Ridley Road by NCC later in the week.                                                                                                       DISCHARGED

b) Accessibility issues: New Ridley Road

The Clerk said that the provision of dropped kerbs on New Ridley Road was included in the Council’s priorities for the Local Transport Plan (LTP) Programme 2021/22 and the priority had been accepted by NCC. There is no need to resubmit them although the timescales for their installation is not known. The Chair informed members that the next meeting of the General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG) will consider priorities for the LTP Programme 2022/23 and any suggestions for inclusion should be sent to her.                               DISCHARGED

c) Play areas: Covid signage

The Chair referred to a decision of the last meeting and highlighted revised signage now displayed at the play areas. Members noted the update.                            DISCHARGED

d) Christmas decorations

Mr Hills said that his informal discussions with businesses revealed the opportunity for an additional Christmas tree or other Christmas decorations at Stocksfield service station, Oaks hairdressers or Branch House. It was AGREED to discuss this item at the next meeting of the GGAG.                                                                                                  Action: Mr Hills


21/9/114 Finance

a) Approval of July and August payments

It was AGREED (proposed Prof Vickers, seconded Mrs Pollock) to approve the payments for July and August as detailed in the previously circulated schedule and the summary of receipts and payments for the months was noted.

b) Budget monitoring to 31/08/21

The budget monitoring report was noted.

c) Bank reconciliation to 30/06/21

Members noted that Mr Parker had checked and signed the bank reconciliation to 30/06/21.

d) External audit 2020/21

The Chair reported that the certificate of completion of audit had been received which indicated there were no matters giving cause for concern, echoing the earlier report of the internal auditor. The Chair then asked Mrs Dale if she would explain the concerns that she has in relation to the Council’s finances which she indicated she would raise with the external or internal auditor. Mrs Dale said that she had raised risk assessment as an issue with the internal auditor but decided not to take it further. Mrs Dale said she would discuss it later and was happy to do so in public but did not provide further detail. When asked by the Chair if the matter should be listed on the next agenda, Mrs Dale said that she could not because it is not closed, adding that the matter would probably have to be discussed in confidence. The Chair asked that Mrs Dale’s comments were recorded in the minutes.

It was then AGREED

  • to display the notice of completion of audit for a period of 28 days Action: Clerk
  • to receive the certificate of completion of audit and
  • that no further action is needed by the Council as a consequence of the audit report.


21/9/115 Climate Change Emergency Advisory Group (CCEAG)

a) Stocksfield Climate Change Emergency Plan

Mr Chance referred to a previously circulated report which outlined the progress of the CCEAG. He emphasised a key issue of bringing along the community and that dialogue with residents and businesses in Stocksfield is therefore essential. The COP26 summit in November will generate significant media coverage which the group hopes to exploit by producing a flyer on behalf of the Council. Consultation would commence in 2022. He said that Mrs Joy had replaced Mr Hills on the group which now also included non-councillors. He asked that members approve the previously circulated draft plan.

Prof Vickers said that notes of each meeting of the CCEAG would be helpful for context and should be provided. Mr Chance, as convenor of the group, agreed to do so for future meetings. Mrs Dale said that the plan needs to align with the work of NCC. Mr Hills asked if the plan had been costed. After discussion it was AGREED to note the content of the initial draft plan, to support the consultation, but to defer approval of the plan until it is resubmitted to the Council after the community consultation process.

b) Communication with the community

After discussion it was AGREED to

  • authorise a Climate Change Emergency webpage on the Council’s website and
  • commence consultation with the community including the production of a flyer

c) Membership and volunteers

Mr Chance welcomed interest from other councillors to join the group and after discussion it was AGREED that CCEAG

  • may recruit additional people to help deliver the plan and community consultation
  • should work in partnership with other organisations and businesses on climate related matters and
  • becomes the NCC Community Climate Champion for Stocksfield

d) Budget

Mr Chance said that the proposed budget is estimated at this stage. The Chair said that there is a clear appetite from members to progress the community consultation. After discussion, it was AGREED not to approve a budget at this stage but to consider specific costings at the next GGAG on 20 September which will enable recommendations to be made to the next Council meeting.                                                                                                     Action: Mr Chance, Clerk

Mr Chance and Mrs Dale then left the meeting


21/9/116 Planning Advisory Group

a) Planning application 20/03997/FUL Broomley House, Main Road, Stocksfield

Mr Parker outlined the current planning application and some of its impact. After discussion it was AGREED to object to the application on the grounds that

  • The ground level has been raised which, when combined with the increase in ground level at the new dwelling north of Burnside Cottages, appears to create an increased flood risk to the properties at Burnside Cottages.
  • The position of the first floor windows in the northern elevation intrudes excessively on the privacy of the adjacent dwelling at Burnside Cottages due to the proximity with the boundary.

Additionally, the northern pavement along the A695 was damaged by land slippage during the construction of Broomley House. Despite remedial action, the surface of the pavement remains uneven and subject to cracking. The junction to the private entrance to Burnside Yard adjacent to The Forge is unsatisfactory despite the most recent addition of lines on the road and pavement. It is the opinion of the Council that the work to ensure appropriate sightlines at the junction, which was a condition of the original permission, has not been completed. If planning permission is granted, the Parish Council believes that a condition should be imposed to require whatever remedial work is necessary to

  • mitigate the additional flood risk to neighbouring properties,
  • prevent further deterioration of the pavement north of the A695 and
  • prevent the intrusion from Broomley House to neighbouring properties caused by first floor windows.

Members also discussed the processes adopted by the Planning Authority since the first permission was granted in 2006 and AGREED to seek a meeting between NCC’s Head of Planning, the Chair and Mr Parker.                                                                     Action: Clerk

b) Planning report

Members noted the planning report and the use of delegated powers as set out below:



9 Ayton Close

Demolish existing porch and replace with two storey porch with enlarged bedroom over

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Cedar Lodge 33 Meadowfield Rd

Various reductions of three pine trees

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


30 Guessburn

Proposed conservatory

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


1 The Oaks, Main Rd

Reduction and crown lift of goat ivy

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Stocksfield Cricket Club

Construction of rear extension to ground equipment store

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

Thorney Close

32 Apperley Road

Replacement dwelling

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Apperley House


Agricultural barn to amenity for the principal house. Enclosing open sided portion of barn with external cladding to match existing

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Langley House

4 Cade Hill Road

Double storey rear extension and internal changes to layout. Replacement of windows and doors. New oak porch.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Broomley House

Main Road

Construction of detached dwelling and garage, retaining wall to southern boundary, new boundary treatments and associated works and landscaping (retrospective)

Object (see previous item)


Land at Kipper Lynn Farm

Formation of agricultural track and laying of hard standing at existing farm access for purpose of agriculture

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

Mrs Dale rejoined the meeting and it was AGREED to suspend paragraph 2.18 of Standing Orders relating to the length of meetings.


21/9/117 Communications Advisory Group (CAG)

a) Notes of the meeting of CAG held on 12/08/21

Members noted the notes

b) NE43 News: budget and format

The Clerk reported that the remaining budget provided only for a six page edition of NE43 in December but it is likely that the content would fill eight pages. It was AGREED to delegate authority to the Clerk to produce an eight-page edition in December if necessary, despite no budgetary provision for it.                                                                              Action: Clerk

Members also discussed the potential to refresh the appearance of NE43 News as it had remained unchanged since 2011. After discussion it was AGREED that members of the CAG, together with Miss Brooks, would explore options to redesign the newsletter and report back to the Council                                                                                 Action: Mrs Joy and Miss Brooks


21/9/118 Remembrance Service

Members discussed the arrangements for the Remembrance Service on 14 November 2021 and AGREED to hold a physical service at the war memorial and to apply for a full road closure on the grounds of safety.                                                                                    Action: Clerk


21/9/119 Donations

It was AGREED to make donations as follows: Sport Tynedale - £100 and Great North Air Ambulance - £250 under Sec 137 Local Government Act 1972. It was also AGREED to write to Victim Support for further information about their work in Stocksfield and to reconsider the application in due course.                                                                            Action: Clerk


21/9/120 Insurance renewal

It was AGREED to include the revised rebuild cost of the footbridge to Kate’s Plain over Stocksfield Burn and to renew the insurance at a cost of £2090.60.              Action: Clerk


21/9/121 Defibrillator project

The Chair referred to a report of the Clerk which outlined the current coverage of defibrillators across the Council’s area. There are a relatively small number of outlying houses where no coverage is provided. After discussion it was AGREED that the Clerk should explore further the available options to maximise defibrillator coverage to other dwellings and to report to a future meeting.                                                                                                               Action: Clerk


21/9/122 Sports fields improvement

The Chair reminded members that the Council has agreed to cover the legal fees of Allendale Estates in relation to Merryshields (or the eastern sports) field up to a cost of £650. After discussion it was AGREED to cover the increased cost up to £875.                      Action: Clerk


21/9/123 Parish Council Representatives

The Chair reported that she and Mr Chance had attended a meeting of the East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum on 21 July 2021. The main topic of discussion was Climate Change and a separate standalone meeting regarding that subject is to be arranged.


21/9/124 Performance and Development Review (PDR) of the Clerk

The Chair said the Clerk’s PDR had been completed in conjunction with Prof Vickers.                                                                                                                        DISCHARGED


21/9/125 Any other urgent business

There was no other business.


21/9/126 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 5 October 2021

It was AGREED to exclude the press and members of the public from the meeting under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 due to the confidential nature of the business to be transacted in the next item.

21/9/127 Defibrillator equipment

The Chair updated members about a remote meeting which had taken place between her, Professor Michael Norton, Deputy Medical Director of the North East Ambulance Service, and the Clerk. A second meeting is likely to be arranged and a further update will be provided.

The Chair thanked councillors for their attendance and closed the meeting at 10.13pm.