Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on Tuesday 1 February 2022 at Stocksfield Community Centre


Present:         Ms M Hunt (Chair), Mr C Chance, Mrs A Dale, Mr J Harrison, Mr T Hills, Mr J Lapping, Mr C Liddle, Mr M Parker, Mrs K Pollock, Professor P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).


Apologies:     Miss A Brooks, Mrs L Joy.

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.34pm and welcomed those present. It was AGREED to authorise the absences of Miss Brooks and Mrs Joy.

The Chair reminded those councillors who had been members of the Council in 2019/20 that it had been her intention to stand down as both Chair and a member in May 2020 but uncertainties around the Covid-19 pandemic caused her to suspend her decision. The Chair said that her personal circumstances have changed further and, after more than 10 years as Chair, she will stand down as a member with effect from the election of a new Chair at the annual meeting in May 2022.


22/2/1 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 Platinum Jubilee and Mr Liddle, as a member of the Tyne River’s Trust board, in matters concerning Climate Change insofar as they relate to the work of the Trust.


22/2/2 Physical meetings: Covid-19 risk assessment

Mr Chance questioned the capacity of the Council to approve a risk assessment due to the absence of relevant training. After discussion members AGREED (proposed Mr Parker) the previously circulated Covid-19 risk assessment.


22/2/3 Public Participation

Fallen tree adjacent to public right of way at Stocksfield Burn

Mr Parker drew members’ attention to the above and said that he had tried unsuccessfully to report the matter to the Environment Agency. Mrs Dale AGREED to liaise with Northumberland County Council and, if necessary, the landowner.                                                Action: Mrs Dale


22/2/4 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update. In particular she referred to the resurfacing of New Ridley Road, Factco, Storm Arwen and handrails at Baliol Road.


22/2/5 Minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2021

It was AGREED (proposed Prof Vickers, seconded Mr Hills) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 7 December 2021 were a true and accurate record.


22/2/6 Matters Arising

a) NE43 News deliveries

The Clerk reported that the delivery company had apologised for the errors previously reported to members which were explained by amendments to the delivery routes. In view of its previous good service, he suggested that the situation be monitored.                      DISCHARGED

b) Civil Emergencies – contingency planning

The Chair reminded members of the discussions at the last meeting and it was AGREED to arrange a separate remote meeting of interested councillors to discuss the issue in greater depth.                                                                                                                   Action: Clerk

c) Planning processes in respect of Burnside Yard

The Chair reported that no response has been received from the Director of Planning at NCC about the Council’s request to meet.


22/2/7 Finance

a) Approval of December 2021 and January 2022 payments

It was AGREED (proposed Mr Harrison, seconded Mr Lapping) to approve the payments for December 2021 and January 2022 as detailed in the previously circulated schedule and the summary of receipts and payments for the months was noted.

b) Budget monitoring to 31/01/22

The budget monitoring report was noted.

c) Delegated decisions to 31/01/22

Members noted the delegated decisions shown on the circulated schedule.

d) Bank reconciliation to 31/12/21

Members noted that Mr Parker had checked the above bank reconciliation and signed it accordingly.


22/2/8 Planning Advisory Group

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


Land couth east of The Quarry, Batt House Road

Variation of condition 2 to move outline position by 1m north west and discharge of conditions 5,6,7,12 and 13

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Kipperlynn Farm

Kipper Lynn

Detached triple garage with first floor annexe

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Bright Cottage

Ridley Mill Road

Proposed two storey side extension, garage conversion, timber storage shed and timber summer house

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


27 Painshawfield Road

Two storey rear extension

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Snowdrop Cottage

20 Painshawfield Road

Minor adaption of exiting two storey rear extension with new roof and windows, small two storey infill at rear, widen pedestrian access to form vehicular access

No comment

Note use of delegated powers



New Ridley

Rear extension over existing kitchen extension and associated works

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Pine Trees, 27 Cade Hill Road

Single storey rear extension and first floor extension over garage. Internal alterations to create double garage and open living space. New office space, garden equipment room, patio and terracing to garden. Update windows and fascia. Solar panels.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


22/2/9 Climate Change Emergency Advisory Group (CCEAG)

a) Notes of the CCEAG held on 12/01/22

Mr Chance said that the group now comprised 18 members and had established a number of working groups. Members received the notes of the above meeting. Mr Hills queried the comments in item 10 of the notes of the meeting where it was stated that members of the CCEAG felt that the budget provided by the Council was low and securing it had been time-consuming. The Chair asked Mr Chance if the Council had not agreed the budget that was requested by the CCEAG. In response to a statement from Mr Chance, Prof Vickers clarified that the decision not to make budgetary provision for climate change in October 2021 was because there was insufficient detail about the purpose, rather than because the Council was unprepared to provide the funds. Prof Vickers said he was disappointed that the notes of CCEAG do not reflect the true position and the Chair reminded members that it is incumbent on parish councillors to ensure that an advisory group of non-councillors understands the thinking of the Council and to speak on behalf of the Council. The Clerk also clarified that the budget for climate change agreed at the December 2021 meeting was as requested by the CCEAG and the combined budget allocated was higher than the original request made by the group in October 2021. Prof Vickers suggested that it would be helpful for Mr Chance to correct the CCEAG’s misperception that the Council is unwilling to fund matters and Mr Chance AGREED to do so. The Chair said it was very unfortunate that the view put across to the CCEAG was that the Council is not supporting it to the extent that is required and reiterated the need to rectify that view at its next meeting.                                                                           Action: Mr Chance

b) Community consultation event 12 March 2022

Mr Chance said that he had received emails from the Chair and the Clerk on the morning of the CCEAG meeting on 12 January 2022 which indicated that, contrary to his belief, the Council had not approved the consultation event on 12 March 2022. Mr Chance questioned the way the Council operates and identified a need for the CCEAG to be able to progress items more quickly without having to return to the Council for formal approval. He added that as a result of a series of emails he had received, the event had now been cancelled. The Chair said that the Council had not been presented with any formal proposal about the content of the event and there remains a need to ensure that it complies with any Covid risk assessment. The Clerk affirmed that there had been no resolution of the Council at any time that would allow the specific event on 12 March 2022 to proceed.

In response to a question from the Chair, Mr Chance said that there is no proposed date for any future consultation event and that this will be discussed at the next CCEAG meeting. The Chair emphasised the need for a clear written proposal about the content and format of any consultation event to be brought to a meeting of the Council for consideration. Mrs Dale AGREED to provide a clear written proposal for the next meeting.                      Action: Mrs Dale


22/2/10 Parish Council Representatives

The Chair said that she had attended the annual meeting of the East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum on 25 January 2022 and the draft notes have been circulated. The Forum’s Chair has stood down. Future topics include climate change, the Town and Parish Councils’ Charter Local Area Councils with the next meeting being in April.


22/2/11 Clerk to Stocksfield Parish Council

The Chair referred to the recent indication from the Clerk of his intention to retire early in the next financial year which provides a few months to appoint his replacement. After discussion it was AGREED to appoint Mr Harrison, Mr Hills and Mrs Pollock to a committee and to delegate to them authority to make arrangements for agreeing any amendments to the Clerk’s job description, and for advertising, short-listing, interviewing and appointing a new Clerk.

Mr Chance left the meeting.   Action: Chair, Mr Harrison, Mr Hills and Mrs Pollock

The Chair raised the issue of the current Clerk’s outstanding annual leave and time-off in lieu and asked that the Clerk bring further details to the next meeting.                      Action: Clerk


It was AGREED to waive paragraph 2.18 of standing orders relating to the length of a meeting.


22/2/12 Grant Application: Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

Members reconsidered the above application from the previous meeting. After discussion it was AGREED to award a grant of up to £1,000 on the basis that the Council would (by arrangement between the event administrator and the Clerk) purchase equipment hire services up to that value (excluding VAT) and donate those services to the event. Action: Clerk DISCHARGED


22/2/13 Vexatious communications policy: review

It was AGREED to make no changes to the policy and to review it in two years. Action Clerk DISCHARGED


22/2/14 Stocksfield Cricket Club: grant applications

The Council had received an update from Stocksfield Cricket Club (SCC) in respect of two grant applications in 2020/21, the first relating to the equipment store extension and the second to the ‘Family Event’ ultimately held in August 2021. SCC thanked the Council for the grants awarded and members noted the update.                                                                      DISCHARGED


22/2/15 Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE)

It was AGREED to renew the Council’s subscription to CPRE at a cost of £36.                                                                                                                  Action: Clerk DISCHARGED


22/2/16 Date of the annual meeting of the Council

It was AGREED that the annual meeting of the Council will be held at 7.30pm on Tuesday 10 May 2022.


22/2/17 Any other business

There was no other business


22/2/18 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 1 March 2022.


The Chair then thanked councillors for their attendance and closed the meeting at 9.47pm.