Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held on Tuesday 10 January 2023 at Stocksfield Community Centre


Present:         Mr J Harrison (Chair), Mrs A Dale, Mr T Hills, Mr C Liddle, Mr M Parker.

Mr N Spencer (Clerk to the Council).                   

Apologies:     Miss A Brooks, Mrs K Pollock, Professor P Vickers.


The Chair opened the meeting at 7.31pm and offered his best wishes for the new year to those present.


23/1/1 Apologies for absence

It was AGREED to authorise the absences of Mrs Pollock and Prof Vickers.


23/1/2 Declarations of Interest



23/1/3 Public Participation

Letter of appreciation

The Clerk referred to previously circulated correspondence from Mrs A Davison, a resident and former parish councillor, in which she complimented the Council on its activities, in particular the additional Christmas tree sited at the eastern entrance to the village. Mrs Davison thanked councillors for their voluntary commitment over the past year, the Clerk for his work and willingness to help, and Mr M Stewart (the Council’s Grounds Services Contractor) for his hard work, attention to detail and devotion to the village. The Clerk had already brought the message to the attention of Mr Stewart and councillors asked the Clerk to respond with the Council’s thanks to the author.                                                                                           Action: Clerk


23/1/4 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale spoke about highways issues in the village, particularly surface water flooding.


23/1/5 Minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2022

It was AGREED (proposed Mr Liddle, seconded Mr Parker) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 6 December 2022 were a true and accurate record.


23/1/6 Matters Arising

a) Hedgerows and pavement obstruction

Mrs Dale reported that she continued to liaise with residents and landowners to address identified problems.

b) Defibrillators: update and power supply issues

The Clerk reported that a series of emails from Northern Powergrid (NP) within the last few hours had refused the Council’s application for unmetered power supplies to the three defibrillator cabinets at Hindley, Broomley and Ridley Mill. Further work is needed to consider an appeal against the decision of NP (if that is possible) but it was no longer possible for the matter to be resolved before 24 January when then the Council’s current contract expires. It was AGREED to delegate authority to the Clerk to secure the most favourable tariff from a suitable energy supplier.                                                                                 Action: Clerk


23/1/7 Finance

a) Approval of payments in December 2022

It was AGREED (proposed Mr Liddle, seconded Mr Parker) to approve the payments for December 2022, as detailed in the previously circulated schedule.

b) Budget monitoring

Councillors noted the previously circulated budget monitoring report


23/1/8 Planning Advisory Group

a) Planning applications

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


Longacre House 24 Apperley Road

Variation of condition 2 to allow changes to construction method and materials

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


35 Birkdene

Removal of a number of dead or overhanging branches

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


106 New Ridley Road

Variation of conditions 2 and 4 to address certain site conditions relating to a retaining wall and off-street car parking

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


Hindley Hall Lodge

Addition of single storey plant room to house two air source heating systems

No comment

Note use of delegated powers

b) Northumberland County Council Enforcement Strategy

Mr Parker outlined the content of the above-mentioned document which had been circulated by Northumberland County Council for comment. After discussion it was AGREED to note the document but make no comment.


23/1/9 Grant Application – Friends of Stocksfield Community Woodland

The Chair introduced the previously circulated application from the above-mentioned group and after discussion it was AGREED (proposed Mr Liddle, seconded Mr Parker) to make a grant of £500 towards works to improve public rights of way within the woodland.       Action: Clerk


23/1/10 Parish Council Representatives



23/1/11 Clerk to the Parish Council

The Chair said that the Clerk has indicated an intention to retire soon after the end of the current financial year and that he has informed councillors accordingly so that appropriate and timely measures can be taken. After discussion it was AGREED:

  • to establish a Staffing Committee and appoint the Chair, Prof Vickers and Mr Hills to it,
  • to delegate authority to the Staffing Committee to
    • arrange for the advertisement of the vacancy for a clerk,
    • review the current job description and approve amendments as necessary,
    • short-list and interview candidates, and
    • appoint the most suitable applicant to an appropriate pay grade subject to experience and qualifications (but not to exceed the current approved grade), and
  • that the Staffing Committee shall be quorate when at least two of the appointed members are present at a meeting for the exercise of the above-mentioned delegated authorities except that the interview of candidates and the appointment of the successful candidate will require all three members of the Committee to be present.

Action: Staffing Committee

 Mrs Dale asked that the current job description of the Clerk be circulated again to members.                                                                                           Action: Clerk


23/1/12 Stocksfield Cricket Club – acquisition of land

The Clerk provided an update relating to exchanges of emails between himself and the Chair of Stocksfield Cricket Club (SCC) and to further discussions with the Councils solicitor. After further discussion, councillors noted the update and AGREED to receive a further report in due course.                                                                           Action: Clerk BF


23/1/13 Any other urgent business

The Clerk reported having received emails of thanks from Stocksfield 2nd Brownies and Stocksfield Striders for previous grant awards by the Council.


23/1/14 Date and time of next meeting

7.30pm on Tuesday 7 February 2023.

The Chair thanked those present for attending and closed the meeting at 8.37pm.