Stocksfield Parish Council has twelve councillors who are either elected or co-opted onto the council, and who work closely with the Parish Council's Clerk. The next elections are to be held in 2025.

The full Parish Council meets monthly except August when no meeting takes place. The minutes of each meeting are published on the website, at first in draft until they are approved at the subsequent meeting. In May of every year the Council must hold its 'Annual Meeting', when the Chair is elected. The Chair holds the position until the Annual Meeting in the following year. Not to be confused with the Parish Council's Annual Meeting, the Council has traditionally held an Annual Parish Meeting where local residents can find out more about what the Parish Council has been doing and how it has spent its budget to benefit the community. There is no requirement to hold the Annual Parish Meeting and in 2021 the Council decided to hold it in future years only when considered necessary.

Decisions of the Council must be made during a full meeting of the Council unless a delegated authority has been granted to a committee of the Council or to an officer of the Council. The Council's Standing Orders, Financial Regulations and Policy documents describe the circumstances in which the Clerk has delegated powers to act and where the Clerk makes a decision based on a specific express authority of Council that is not included in those documents, the decision is recorded and published in the delegated decision schedule. The Council has also delegated authority to the Planning Committee and to the Clerk in respect of commenting on certain planning matters (see separate policy).

There are also four Advisory Groups whose role is to support the Parish Council by considering in detail a range of matters relating to their remit and making recommendations as to the course of action which the Parish Council should take. The groups have no delegated powers. Membership of the General Governance, Planning and Communications Advisory Groups is entirely drawn from members of the Parish Council. Membership of the Rights of Way and Environment Advisory Group is drawn from the local community and representatives of countywide organisations, along with two Parish Councillors, one of whom acts as Chair of the Group. The chair of each group is responsible for bringing relevant issues discussed by the Group to the attention of the Parish Council, including any recommendations for consideration by the Council.

Parish Council representatives on outside bodies are responsible for ensuring that the Parish Council is fully informed of relevant issues discussed at meetings of these bodies. Councillor Lindsey Joy is the Council's 'lead councillor' for climate change issues and is one of Northumberland's 'climate change champions'.

The Advisory Groups are listed below, for more detail on each group and the role of the Parish Council Clerk, click on the heading below. A document describing the Advisory Groups is available on the Policy Documents page.

General Governance Advisory Group (GGAG)

Membership of the Group consists of:

  • The Chair of the Parish Council
  • No more than three other Parish Councillors

All Parish Councillors are welcome to attend meetings of the GGAG.

The Group meets once a month, usually on the middle Monday of the month between Parish Council meetings.

The Group has overall responsibility for:

Finance, including:

  • Monitoring of the Parish Council's financial affairs, insurance cover and annual audit procedures
  • Considering criteria for granting funds to other organisations
  • Setting budgets and the precept at appropriate times, in conjunction with the Parish Council Clerk

Parish Council administration, including:

  • Employment of the Parish Council Clerk
  • Review of Standing Orders and Parish Council Policies
  • Drawing up new policies as appropriate
  • Monitoring and review of Parish Plan

Sports and Play Facilities

Transport & Highways matters

From time to time as appropriate:

  • Setting up Working Groups to respond to consultations – membership of these Groups will be restricted to Parish Councillors
  • Setting up Working Groups to consider and make recommendations on the development of specific projects
  • Setting up other Working Groups as appropriate

The membership of Working Groups will always include Parish Councillors and the Groups will be led by a Parish Councillor. Membership of the Groups may also be drawn from interested residents. Working Groups will exist for short periods only and their remit will be strictly defined by the GGAG.

Planning Advisory Group

Membership of the Group consists of no less than three and no more than four Parish Councillors.

The Group meets as necessary.

The Group has overall responsibility for:

Consultations and Policies on Planning Matters

The PAG will draw up responses to consultations and other policies relating to planning matters, for approval by the Parish Council.

Rights of Way and Environment Advisory Group

The Chair of the Group is always a member of the Parish Council. In addition to the Chair, at least one but no more than three other members of the Parish Council will be a member of the Group, which is therefore made up of two or more Parish Councillors, local volunteers and a number of officers from the County Council and other countywide organisations. The Group meets three or more times a year.

This Group will:

  • monitor issues relating to the environment in general and raise matters of concern with the Parish Council
  • in liaison with the County Countryside Officer, monitor the condition of the footpaths, bridleways and rights of way within the parish, and agree any action required for their maintenance with the Countryside Officer
  • in liaison with the County Footpaths officer and Allendale Estates, monitor the condition of the footpaths, bridleways and rights of way within the Community Woodland, and agree any action required for their maintenance with the Countryside officer and Allendale Estatea
  • in liaison with the Tyne Rivers Trust, monitor the health of the Stocksfield burn, including electro-fishing
  • in liaison with the Tyne Rivers Trust, monitor and attempt to eradicate Himalayan Balsam and other alien invasive plant species where they occur in the Parish
  • develop and monitor the planting in the agreed areas around the station car park, but not including any areas near to the railway line

Communications Advisory Group

Membership of the Group consists of the Parish Council Clerk and no more than four Parish Councillors.

The Group meets periodically, as required.

The Group has overall responsibility for:

  • Monitoring and reviewing as necessary all current methods of communication, both internal and external, and recommending, where appropriate, improvements to the content, structure and frequency of those communication methods
  • Identifying new and/or alternative methods of communication and recommending how those methods can be used to improve all aspects of the Council's communications
  • Considering and recommending new or revised policy and procedure where necessary in matters relating to the Council's communications.

The Parish Council Clerk

The council employs a clerk who performs the roles of ‘Proper Officer’ and ‘Responsible Financial Officer’. The clerk is based at the Parish Council Office, situated within Stocksfield Community Centre, and is responsible for ensuring appropriate action is taken in respect of all decisions of the council. Residents can raise issues of concern with the clerk who will take appropriate action, where the issue is a responsibility of the council, or refer the matter to an alternative appropriate body. The Clerk is also responsible for supervising the council’s contract with its grounds maintenance provider. The Clerk's current job description can be found by clicking here.