Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on Tuesday 19 July 2022 at Stocksfield Community Centre


Present:         Mr J Harrison (Chair), Mr T Hills, Mr C Liddle, Professor P Vickers.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).


Apologies:     Miss A Brooks, Mrs A Dale, Mrs L Joy, Mr J Lapping, Mr M Parker,

Mrs K Pollock.

The Chair opened the meeting at 7.31pm and welcomed those present.


22/7/102 Apologies for absence

It was AGREED to authorise the absences of Mrs Dale, Mrs Pollock and Mr Parker.


22/7/103 Declarations of Interest



22/7/104 Public Participation

Land between Guessburn and B6309.

The Chair referred to a letter he had received from a resident complaining about the condition of the above land and requesting that the Council makes contact with Allendale Estates. It was AGREED that the Clerk will write to the resident to explain the legal position and the work of the newly formed group, ‘Friends of Stocksfield Community Woodland’.      Action: Clerk

Hedges and pavement obstruction

Mr Hills said that he had been contacted by a number of residents who have complained about overgrown hedges on private land which obstruct the pavements, specifically mentioning three areas. Councillors recognised that the problem was broader than the areas mentioned and such matters are the responsibility of Northumberland County Council (NCC) to enforce. It was AGREED that the Chair will raise the matter at the next East Tynedale Town and Parish Councils’ Forum where an NCC officer will be present and the Clerk will write to the County Councillor.                                                                                                  Action: Chair, Clerk


22/7/105 County Councillor update

Members noted the County Councillor’s report circulated on 5 July 2022.


22/7/106 Minutes of the meeting held on 7 June 2022

It was AGREED (proposed Mr Liddle, seconded Mr Hills) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 7 June 2022 were a true and accurate record.


22/7/107 Matters Arising

a) Litter bins

The Clerk reported that he and Mr Hills are continuing to monitor both the use and emptying of litter bins and are liaising with NCC.                                                                   DISCHARGED

b) Hedges at Cade Hill Road

The Clerk said that the few overhanging branches had been removed by the resident concerned.                                                                                                            DISCHARGED


22/7/108 Finance: Approval of June 2022 payments

It was AGREED (proposed Prof Vickers, seconded Mr Hills) to approve the payments for June 2022 as detailed in the previously circulated schedule


22/7/109 General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

a) Notes of the GGAG meeting held on 20/06/22

Members received the notes of the GGAG.

b) Risk assessment and management 2022

After discussion it was AGREED to approve the previously circulated risk assessment and management document for 2022 and separately to undertake a formal review of the process. This will be completed by the Chair, Mr Hills and Prof Vickers who will report to a future meeting of the Council.                                                                Action: Chair, Mr Hills, Prof Vickers

c) Local Transport Plan (LTP) Programme 2023/24

After discussion it was AGREED that the Council’s three priorities for NCC’s LTP Programme 2023/24 are:

  • The absence of a safe crossing place on the A695 near Birches Nook which prevents many children from walking to Broomley First School and restricts the ability of older or less mobile residents to cross to access services and public transport
  • The dangers due to the volume and speed of traffic experienced by older and less mobile residents when crossing New Ridley Road at the junction with the A695 to access the Post Office after its relocation to the Spar
  • The dangers experienced by the many residents of Stocksfield who use the end of New Ridley Road to access the almost traffic-free Lead Road and thereby make a circular walk via the fords. In particular the elderly or less mobile residents, those in wheelchairs and those with pushchairs who are forced to use the road itself and not the verge.

It was also AGREED to request access to the recent traffic speed surveys undertaken by NCC across Stocksfield.                                                                                           Action: Clerk

d) Christmas trees 2022

It was AGREED (proposed Prof Vickers, seconded Mr Hills) to approve the purchase of three Christmas trees in December 2022 to be located at Broomley First School, Dr Syntax and the Spar/fuel station at Branch End.                                           Action: Clerk DISCHARGED


22/7/110 Planning Advisory Group

a) Planning application 22/0225/FUL Stocksfield Cricket Club

After discussion it was AGREED (proposed Prof Vickers) to support the application on the grounds that it complements the Council’s plans to improve the facilities at the Sports Fields.

                                                                                                Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

b) Planning report

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


7 South Parade

Creation of rear ground floor extension forming kitchen, dining and utility; creation of rear attic dormer forming 1 bedroom and shower room.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


The Rowans

21 Painshawfield Rd

Retrospective: Forming of a masonry terrace to the side and rear

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Stocksfield Cricket Club

Extension to existing sports clubhouse, removal of part of existing building, construction of two storey extension and single storey extensions to existing building with internal alterations.

Supported – see minute 22/7/110 (a)


Thorney Close

32 Apperley Road

Variation of condition 2 to amend approved garage roof to reduce height and alter form

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Amberley House


Notice of Appeal against decision of NCC

Change of use: Retail to holiday accommodation on first floor with internal and external alterations

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Watch Hill

Lead Road

Loft conversion with dormer windows and replacement of flat roof with pitched roof

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


22/7/111 Parish Council Representatives

There were no representative meetings.


22/7/112 Queen’s Platinum Jubilee commemoration

The Clerk reports that one resident had contacted the Council in response to the item in the most recent NE43 News and had suggested planting an oak sapling. Councillors had previously considered tree planting but no suitable location could be found on its land. After discussion it was AGREED to take no further action and that the Clerk should thank the resident concerned for their suggestion.                                                              Action: Clerk DISCHARGED

22/7/113 Stocksfield Sports Field: Litter bin

After discussion it was AGREED (proposed Mr Hills) to replace the litter bin near the western pedestrian entrance to the Sports Fields with a larger ‘Futuro’ style bin.

Action: Clerk DISCHARGED


22/7/114 Any other urgent business

Branch End Play Area - equipment

The Clerk reminded councillors that the Council had previously approved the replacement of the rope bridge on the ‘Playdale Multiplay’ due to wear and tear. The part that had been costed and now supplied is incorrect. The price of the correct part is an additional £800. The old rope bridge has already been removed and cannot safely be reinstalled although the equipment is safe. Playdale has commenced the manufacture of the correct part but has asked the Council to contribute half of the additional cost. The Council will not be in a position to make a decision on the matter until its meeting in September and, in order to ensure certainty of supply of the replacement bridge in the next few days, the Clerk has used delegated powers in consultation with the Chair to authorise the additional payment. Members noted the update.

Branch End Play Area - graffiti

The Clerk reported that in recent days a number of items of play equipment had been vandalised and covered with graffiti. The matter has been reported to the police and the Grounds Services Contractor has commenced removal of the graffiti which should be completed within two days. Mr Hills said that he had been approached by two individuals (one a Stocksfield resident and the other a local business owner) who had both offered to remove the graffiti on behalf of the Council. The Clerk was asked to write to both parties and thank them for their offer.                                                                                                           Action: Clerk


22/7/115 Date of next meeting

Tuesday 6 September 2022


It was AGREED to exclude the press and members of the public from the meeting under the Public Bodies (Admissions to Meetings) Act 1960 to consider the remaining item.


22/7/116 Sports Fields – transfer of land

The Clerk outlined the current position with regard to the request from Stocksfield Cricket Club to acquire additional land surrounding the clubhouse. After discussion it was AGREED (proposed Prof Vickers, seconded Mr Liddle), subject to the agreement of detailed terms and conditions, subject to contract, subject to agreement from the National Playing Fields Association and subject to compliance with the Local Government Act 1972 General Disposal Consent (England) 2003,

  • to grant a lease of at least 100 years with security of tenure to Stocksfield Cricket Club in respect of the land referred to within the Clerk’s report
  • to authorise the Clerk, in the event that the Club accepts the lease arrangements,
    • o to instruct the Council’s solicitor accordingly and
    • o in consultation with the Chair, to instruct a chartered surveyor to provide a valuation of the land outlined to allow an assessment of legislative compliance, and
  • to decline the offer of the Club to pay the Council’s legal and professional fees in respect of any transfer of land under these terms.

Action: Clerk

The Chair thanked members for attending and closed the meeting at 9.17pm.