Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on Tuesday 2 November 2021 at Stocksfield Community Centre


Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Miss A Brooks, Mr C Chance, Mrs A Dale, Mr J Harrison, Mrs L Joy, Mr C Liddle, Mr M Parker, Mrs K Pollock. Professor P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).


Apologies:     Mr T Hills, Mr J Lapping.

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.30pm and welcomed those present to the meeting of the Council. It was AGREED to authorise the absences of Mr Hills and Mr Lapping.


21/11/145 Declarations of Interest

Mrs Dale declared an interest in all planning matters and a personal but non prejudicial interest in the item relating to the Queen’s Jubilee.


21/11/146 Physical meetings: Covid-19 risk assessment

Members AGREED the previously circulated risk assessment.


21/11/147 Public Participation

There were no items of public participation.


21/11/148 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update. In particular she referred to Broomley Woods, FACTCO, resurfacing of New Ridley Road, homelessness, an orchard at Birkdene, defibrillators and Covid-19.


21/11/149 Minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2021

It was AGREED (proposed Mr Parker, seconded Mr Harrison) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 5 October 2021 were a true and accurate record.


21/11/150 Matters Arising

a) Stocksfield Community Woodland

The Clerk said that Mr Parker and he had met with the Estate Director of Allendale Estates and a number of interested residents where the extent of the maintenance issue within the woodlands was identified. It is the intention of local residents, pending sufficient support, to establish a ‘Friends of’ group which will work under licence from Allendale Estate. The group, once established, will seek funding for aspects of their planned work.            DISCHARGED

b) Remembrance Service 2021

The Clerk said that all arrangements are in hand, including for the full road closure, but that the invitation from the Guides for residents to attend the Community Centre after the Service had been cancelled due to the level of Covid-19 infections locally and across the county.


c) Planning processes in respect of Burnside Yard

The Chair reported that no response had been received from the Director of Planning and that she would write further to request a meeting.                                      Action: Chair

d) Climate Change Emergency (CCE) consultation

Mr Chance, who had been unable to attend the last meeting, expressed concern about the decision taken to delay further consideration of the budget request. Members discussed the reasons for the decision.                                                                                DISCHARGED


21/11/151 Finance

a) Approval of October payments

It was AGREED (proposed Mr Harrison, seconded Miss Brooks) to approve the payments for October as detailed in the previously circulated schedule and the summary of receipts and payments for the month was noted.

b) Budget monitoring to 31/10/21

The budget monitoring report was noted.


21/11/152 Planning Advisory Group

Members noted the use of delegated authority of the Clerk as outlined below.



Loft conversion with dormer to west elevation, replace window with smaller window for additional stairs

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Land south east of The Quarry, Batt House Road

Variation of condition 2 to move outline position by 1m north west

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Eden House, Ridley Mill Road

North east extension, demolition of existing garage to create two storey extension with single storey link to main house. Relocation of garage.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Land south of Wheelbirks Farm

Change of use (part) of agricultural storage and installation of pet incinerator, ancillary flue and fuel tank (as amended)

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


21/11/153 Parish Council Representatives

a) Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership Annual General Meeting

Prof Vickers attended the above meeting. In particular he drew members’ attention to the results of the Stations’ Review which had been circulated to members previously. In Stocksfield a number of short-term issues were identified, at least one of which had been actioned. The long-term issue relates to the improvement of the disabled access between the platforms.

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

The Chair had attended two meetings of the ETTPCF and has circulated reports from both meetings. The draft minutes of one of the meetings have also been circulated to members. The Chair outlined the potential areas for research development and action that related to the Climate Change Emergency. After discussion it was AGREED that the Climate Change Emergency Advisory Group (CCEAG) should look at the parish-level community carbon calculator, electric vehicle charging points, waste segregation in litter collection around the village and any carbon literacy training or awareness raising that may be available.    Action: Mr Chance


21/11/154 Stocksfield Community Flood Plan

The Clerk outlined the recommendations in respect of Stocksfield Community Flood Plan. After discussion, which recognised the number of houses within the high or medium flood risk area, it was AGREED to approve

  • the amended community flood plan as an interim measure (as circulated), subject to any development,
  • a local campaign to attract new flood wardens, working in conjunction with the Environment Agency (EA),
  • that, subject to any legal issues and liaison with emergency services and other statutory agencies, householders within flood zones are contacted to
    • inform them of the monitoring devices and how to register for updates (once in operation) and
    • provide the opportunity to register their details with the Council for the purposes of responding to a flood incident
  • subsequent amendments to the Community Flood Plan to incorporate the opportunities to register with the EA for flood warnings and with the Council as above
  • further liaison with flood response and flood prevention experts to identify specific actions for inclusion in a reformatted plan, and
  • budget provision for replacement or additional equipment for wardens.

Action: Clerk


21/11/155 General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

a) Notes of the meeting held on 18/10/21

Members received the notes of the above meeting.

b) Draft budget and precept calculations 2022/23

Members noted the draft budget and it was AGREED to reconsider the budget and precept in December in the light of further information.                                                     Action: Clerk

c) Review of Members’ Allowances

After discussion it was AGREED that the policy should remain unchanged and be reviewed in November 2022.                                                             Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

d) Play Areas – Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents inspections 2021

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report of the Clerk. After discussion it was AGREED to note the report and not to pursue the additional signs for the adult fitness equipment at Branch End play Area.                                                                 DISCHARGED


21/11/156 Communications Advisory Group (CAG) – membership

It was AGREED that Mr Lapping would join the membership of the CAG. DISCHARGED


21/11/157 Sports fields: construction of rugby scoreboard

The Chair referred to a request from Prudhoe and Stocksfield RFC to construct a scoreboard adjacent to the fence surrounding the phone mast. Allendale Estates has no objection. It was AGREED to permit the work subject to liaison with the cricket club in respect of grass cutting and the position of underground cables.                                    Action: Clerk DISCHARGED


21/11/158 NE43 News: December edition

After discussion it was AGREED that NE43 News will include an item about the CCE and the establishment and work of the CCEAG.                           Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

It was AGREED to waive paragraph 2.18 of Standing Orders relating to the length of the meeting.


21/11/159 Northumberland County Council’s Statement of Licensing Policy

The Chair outlined the content of the above mentioned document which is unchanged from its original publication in 2015. It was AGREED to make no comment.             DISCHARGED


21/11/160 The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

The Chair referred to correspondence regarding the above which asked the Council to consider making a grant towards a planned celebratory event at Bywell Hall. It was AGREED that the organiser should be asked to make an application in accordance with the Council’s Grant Policy.                                                                                                         Action: Clerk


21/11/161 Any other urgent business

There was no other business.


21/11/162 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 7 December 2021.

Mrs Joy left the meeting.

Members 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 following items.


21/11/163 Areas of concern

Mrs Dale outlined a number of areas of concern which were discussed by members.


21/11/164 Defibrillator equipment

The Clerk updated members on matters connected to the Council’s defibrillators.

The Chair then thanked councillors for their attendance and closed the meeting at 10.05pm.