Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council held on Monday 15 May 2023

at Stocksfield Community Centre


Present:         Mr J Harrison (Chair), Mr T Hills, Mr C Liddle, Mr M Parker, Mrs K Pollock, Professor P Vickers, Miss A Brooks.

Ms L Guthrie (Clerk to the Council).


Apologies:     Mrs A Dale.

Also present: Mr C Hall, Environment Agency. 


Mr Harrison opened the meeting at 7pm and welcomed those present to the annual meeting of the Council.


23/5/64 Election of Chair of the Parish Council

Mr Harrison invited nominations for the Chair. Mr Harrison (proposed by Mr Parker and seconded by Mr Hills) was elected as the Chair of the Parish Council.


23/5/65 Election of Vice Chair of the Parish Council

Prof Vickers was elected as Vice Chair (proposed Mr Parker, seconded Mrs Pollock).


23/5/66 Apologies for absence

It was AGREED to authorise the absence of Mrs Dale.


23/5/67 Declarations of Interest

There were no declarations of interest.


23/5/68 Public Participation


Parking on the roadside opposite Birches Nook Road was discussed. It was AGREED that the Clerk will raise the matter with Mrs Dale as county councillor.

Action: Clerk

Cycleways update

Mrs Pollock had been approached by a resident for an update on cycleways. Mr Liddle AGREED to liaise with the resident directly on the matter.

Action: Mr Liddle

Bike rack at Broomley First School

Mr Liddle has received an enquiry from a parent at the school as to whether a bike rack could be installed for children’s and parents’ bikes. Mr Liddle AGREED to raise this with the school.

Action: Mr Liddle

Environmental matters

Mr Liddle provided a brief update on his meeting with SCATA to discuss management of environmental issues within the village.

23/5/69 Presentation from Mr C Hall, Environment Agency

Mr Hall gave a presentation on the Environment Agency’s new early flood warning system. It was AGREED that information will be shared by the Clerk on appropriate platforms including Facebook, the Parish Council website and the summer edition of NE43 News. The Chair thanked Mr Hall for his enlightening presentation. Mr Hall left the meeting.

Action: Clerk


23/5/70 County Councillor update

Mrs Dale had provided a written update which had been circulated. Members noted the report and identified some issues which it was AGREED will be discussed with Mrs Dale at a future meeting.


23/5/71 Dates of future Council meetings

It was AGREED to adopt the proposed schedule of meetings and to continue to meet in the Richardson Room of the Community Centre.                                               Action: Clerk DISCH                                                                                   

23/5/72 Review of arrangements for internal audit

The Chair referred to a previously circulated report of the Clerk which reviewed the arrangements for internal audit and members noted its content.                                        DISCH


23/5/73 Internal auditor 2023/24

It was AGREED to appoint Mrs Margaret Weatherley as internal auditor for 2023/24.          DISCH


23/5/74 Review of Council’s policies

After discussion it was AGREED that the Clerk will undertake a review of the Council’s Standing Orders, Members’ Code of Conduct and Financial Regulations within a timeframe of 6 – 12 months.                                                                                                  Action: Clerk B/F


23/5/75 Council Committees

After discussion it was AGREED to make no changes to the policies in respect of the Council’s committees and to note the vacancy on the Planning Committee.                  Action: Clerk DISCH


23/5/76 Advisory Groups

Members discussed the membership of the Council’s advisory groups and it was AGREED that Mr Liddle will take on the role of convener for the Rights of Way Group and Mr Hills will take on the role of convener for the Communications Group.                                     Action: Clerk


23/5/77 Minutes of the meeting held on 3 April 2023

It was AGREED (proposed Prof Vickers, seconded Mr Hills) that the previously circulated minutes of the meeting held on 3 April 2023 were a true and accurate record.


23/5/78 Matters Arising

The Chair noted that the Council is awaiting an update on the grant provided to the Stocksfield Climate Change Group. It was AGREED that the Clerk will request an update.

Action: Clerk


23/5/79 Finance

a) Approval of April 2023 payments

It was AGREED to approve the payments for April 2023 as detailed in the previously circulated schedule and the summary of receipts and payments for the month was noted.

b) Year-end statement of receipts and payments

Members AGREED to approve the previously circulated statement of receipts and payments for 2022/23.

c) Recurring payments 2023/24

Members AGREED to approve the previously circulated schedule of recurring payments for 2023/24.

d) Annual subscriptions 2023/24

Members AGREED to approve the annual subscriptions for 2023/24 as set out below

Organisation Month payable Fee 2023/24
(£) (if known)
Northumberland Association of Local Councils May 604.43
Tyne Valley Community Rail Partnership May 10.00
Northumberland and Newcastle Society May 35.00
Communicorp July 12.00
Society of Local Council Clerks January  
Campaign to Protect Rural England February 36.00

e) Authorised bank signatories

It was AGREED that the authorised bank signatories will be Mr Harrison, Mr Parker, Prof Vickers and the Clerk.                                                                                                            Action: Clerk


23/5/80 General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

a) Notes of the GGAG meeting held on 17/04/23

Members received the notes of the GGAG.

b) Service level agreement with Northumberland County Council

Members discussed the terms of the service level agreement with Northumberland County Council.

c) Data Protection Policy

Members AGREED that this policy will be reviewed by the Clerk.                           Action: Clerk

d) Email and Internet Policy

Members AGREED that this policy will be reviewed by the Clerk.                           Action: Clerk


23/5/81 Planning Advisory Group

Members noted the planning report and noted use of delegated authority as outlined below:


Eden House

Ridley Mill Rd

Proposed north extension to create utility, office, cloakroom, extension of kitchen, bathroom and bedroom on ground floor; demolition of garage and erection of single storey garden room; relocation of garage.

No comment

Note use of delegated powers


23/5/82 Annual report of the Chair 2022/23

The Chair referred to the annual report for the last year. Members received the report which will be incorporated into the next edition of NE43 news.                                                                                                                                                                                                           Action: Clerk

23/5/83 Parish Council Representatives

The Chair gave a brief update.


23/5/84St Margaret’s Hindley Burial Board

The Chair referred to an application from the Burial Board in respect of its operation of the cemetery at St Margaret’s Hindley. After discussion it was AGREED to make a grant award of £2,000.                                                                                                                      Action: Clerk


23/5/85 Any other business

There were no items of other business.


23/5/86 Date of next meeting

Monday 5 June 2023


The Chair thanked members for attending and closed the meeting at 8.32pm.