Chollerton Parish Council | Minutes of the Meeting held on 22nd September 2021
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Minutes of the Meeting held on 22nd September 2021

Minutes of the Meeting held on 22nd September 2021

 Minutes of the meeting of Chollerton Parish Council held on Wednesday 22nd September 2021 at 7.30pm in Gunnerton Church


Present:        Cllr Edward Heslop in the Chair


County Cllr Nick Morphet


Cllr Andy Bennett

Cllr Fiona Charlton

Cllr Bruce Lowdon

Cllr Dorothy Pigg

Cllr Michael Smith

Cllr Maggie Tarbit


Mrs Liz Atkinson in attendance

Ms Jayne Longlands in attendance


Mr Rex Robson in attendance for agenda item 6


  1. Apologies for Absence.


Cllr Malcolm Johnson


          Chairman’s Announcement


The Chairman informed the Parish Council that Liz Atkinson was stepping down from the post of Parish Council Clerk.  Jayne Longlands had now been appointed to the post.


The Chairman thanked Liz for her service and welcomed the new clerk to Chollerton Parish Council.


  1. Opportunity for Matters Raised by Members of the Public before the meeting to be discussed


  • Letter received from Rex Robson, Re: Japanese Knotweed at Tip Corner, Gunnerton


Mr Rex Robson circulated a copy of the paperwork relating to this agenda item. He explained the history including having made contact with the County Council Environment Dept as well as the Parish Council.


The Chairman noted that he had received advice from the County Council to be wary of taking ownership of this issue as the land did not belong to the Parish Council (as it was not registered).  County Cllr Nick Morphet was suggested as the best contact to take this forward.


Cllr Maggie Tarbit clarified the legal position to Mr Robson, explaining that it was the landowners’ responsibility.


County Cllr Nick Morphet said that Mr Robson was allowed to control the situation of managing the Japanese Knotweed and he would help with the task in-hand.


Cllr Pigg confirmed that it was not the responsibility of the Parish Council as it was not their land.


Liz asked that it be noted that Sam Talbot from Northumberland County Council had not ignored this situation and had responded at the time that this issue was raised.


It was RESOLVED that County Cllr Nick Morphet would liaise with Mr Robson to take this situation forward.


  1. Declaration of Interest from Members.

To receive disclosures of personal and/or prejudicial interest from Members on matters to be considered at the meeting.


Cllr Pigg declared an interest in item 7(e).


4a.    Minutes of the Previous Meeting.


The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 28th July 2021 were approved as a true and correct record.


4b.    Matters Arising from the above minutes not addressed elsewhere on the agenda.


  • Purchase of new grit bins


Cllr Smith said that Amazon may be the best place to source new grit bins.


Cllr Lowdon suggested there could be one grit bin located at the top of the Crescent and also one at the bottom of the village.


It was AGREED that:-


  1. Cllr Lowdon would deal with the purchase of new grit bins for Gunnerton,
  2. Cllr Pigg would speak to the Barrasford Monday Men with regards to grit bins for Barrasford.


  • Publishing of draft minutes/signed minutes on website


Cllr Bennett suggested and it was further AGREED that draft minutes should be placed on the website (with a note stating that they are to be ratified) and the draft watermark included on all pages.


  • B4RN Broadband


The Chairman confirmed that the B4RN Broadband letter had been sent (it was noted that the letter was to our MP to ask him to support the call for broadband in rural communities through whatever mechanism was most appropriate).


Cllr Bennett explained that the B4RN process had been frozen whilst out to tender, however a solution was forthcoming which would allow for this to continue.


  1. County Councillor Report.


Humshaugh Ward County Councillor Nick Morphet reported as follows:




  • The potholes by the railway bridge had finally been repaired, although with patching rather than resurfacing which was slightly disappointing as the snow and frost would lift this (as noted by Cllr Lowdon). As per Cllr Bennett’s suggestion, it was AGREED that this be reviewed in the Spring to see if the potholes lifted after Winter. County Cllr Morphet would wait to be instructed.
  • Traffic calming scheme; this was to be included in the construction programme although delays had been experienced. It was AGREED that County Cllr Morphet would chase Andy Fisher when he was able to.
  • Drainage; County Cllr Morphet had been pushing Glen Harrison and some action was taking place It was AGREED that County Cllr Morphet be kept up to date with developments. Cllr Lowdon said that he would like to meet with Glen or Chris; and it was AGREED that County Cllr Morphet would request this and let him know.


Cllr Lowdon was vociferous regarding the Gunnerton issues and expressed his dissatisfaction with matters raised.




  • Drainage by the Village Shop; NCC were aware of the problem and they were looking into this, which may involve the placing of a gulley and pipework. It was noted that County Cllr Morphet would chase this up soon.
  • Traffic calming scheme; Plans were in place with flashing lights during school times and an advisory 20 mph through the village. It was noted that this speed limit at the right side of the garage would assist with this.
  • It was noted that a link would be sent for a training course.
  • Amendment to planning application for 14 houses by school at Barrasford; an amended plan had been submitted on 13th September’ Neil Armstrong was the Case Officer and County Cllr Morphet would chase him soon. The status was pending consideration.  A period of consultation for the Parish Council was requested (for these amendments) so that the Council were able to respond.  It was AGREED that County Cllr Morphet would follow this up with Neil Armstrong.
  • There was a route action safety scheme for the A68 where resurfacing had taken place (Beukley Bank to Erin Burn which was in the Humshaugh Parish). Reflective marker posts could be requested if needed.
  • Extension of the crash barriers by Chollerton viaduct; it was note that this was already in the LTP (Local Transport Plan) as a standing order. This was a dangerous stretch of road to walk along and the Chairman had noted people doing this recently.
  • County Cllr Morphet noted there was an interest in reopening the North Tyne Railway Line for walkers and cyclists.
  • Temporary road signs were interfering with the sight of view at the Five Lane Ends. The Chairman noted that he had spoken to Glen Harrison and these signs had since been moved.
  • Community Climate Champions Launch Event taking place a week today. Chollerton Parish Council would be invited to attend this meeting from 5pm to 6.30pm on Wednesday 29th September 2021.  It was AGREED that County Cllr Nick Morphet would find out the location for this, the clerk would then forward this information to the Parish Council.
  • Talking to Neighbourhood Services about the charity Plant Life, re: managing road verges for wildlife and conserving meadowland. If the Council can rake the clippings themselves, make a compost heap and do our own species Plant Life trial then this may be an option.  County Cllr Nick Morphet would send a link for Plant Life’s website for distribution to the Council.  Cllr Lowdon suggested that the stretch from the quarry to Barrasford would lend itself to this.
  • Sports Development activities; trim trails, bike parks or skate parks were initiatives that could be installed subject to demand. Locations of the Gunnerton Park and Barrasford were suggested as possible options.  Humshaugh Football Pitch was thought to be another area outside of the Parish which was geographically nearby. It was noted that Chopwell had recently had a bike park installed and this was very successful.  A survey would be issued in due course with the help of NCC Officers.


  1. Items for Discussion


          To discuss issues which have arisen or are causing concern within the Parish of Chollerton


(a)     Update on the Barrasford footpath grass cutting responsibility


The Chairman had met with Sam Talbot; she said this area of land would be NCC’s responsibility and the grass would be cut twice a year.


It was noted that the footpath was cut on a regular basis by the Monday Men (either side of the footpath and by the garage to aid sight at end of lane) and the Chair’s gratitude was expressed for their services.  Sam Talbot at NCC had said that she would suggest that the footpath was in need of repair.


It was reiterated that this stretch of land would benefit from the Plant Life initiative noted earlier in the meeting.  It was AGREED that County Cllr Nick Morphet would speak to Sam Talbot and David Hunt and get back to the meeting.


  1. Correspondence.

          To note items received and sent out and consider their contents, as necessary.


(a)     Public Library


Cllr Bennett raised an issue and circulated a paper relating to the West Mobile Library Service.  He noted that the mobile library still existed but no one seemed to know about this.


The Council would need NCC to put the timetable back up on the website (Cllr Morphet had followed up with NCC to get the timetable uploaded and publicised in the rest of his area); Liz noted that Anna English would be passing a timetable to her.  It was AGREED that this would be placed on the website and noticeboards in the Parish.


(b)     Letter from Jen Dover re:- celebrations for the Queens Jubilee


Tree planting for the Queens Jubilee; it was AGREED that Cllr Lowdon would speak to Jen Dover about this and update the Council.


(c)     Letter received re:-Unsuccessful Love Northumberland nomination


The Monday Men had declined the nomination and unfortunately Louise Coulson had not been shortlisted. It was AGREED that Louise Coulson’s contribution would be recognised by the Council with a letter of thanks, inviting her to attend the next meeting to be presented with a certificate.


(d)     Email Received from Lauren Ferguson, Re: Gunnerton to Barrasford footpath


It was noted that there was already a footpath in place between the two villages although this was not thought to be pushchair friendly.  It was AGREED that the Chairman would respond to Lauren Ferguson, saying that Cllr Lowdon was willing to show Lauren the footpath himself.


(e)     Donation for Barrasford FC


Cllr Pigg registered an interest in this matter.


A request for financial assistance had been made; it was proposed, seconded and AGREED that a donation of £300 be made to cover two thirds of their costs.  The Football Club should also be reminded that Wind Turbine Community Funds were available, also Sport Tynedale may be able to assist with funding towards coaching qualifications.


(f)      RBLI: Tommy


Cllr Pigg suggested that a ‘Tommy’ could be purchased on an annual basis for each part of the Parish, however Cllr Bennett was unsure about this.  Cllr Charlton felt that wooden bench seats would be a productive use of the Council’s resources.


It was AGREED that Jayne would look into the costs etc for Tommy’s further (as per the 9th September email from RBLI).


  1. Financial Matters


  • Bank reconciliation as at 29th August 2021: £11948.00 with all cheques          presented up to date


It was noted the confirmation of Precept at £4000 from NCC which had been missed from the last bank statement


  • Clerk Liz Atkinson’s final payslip


It was AGREED that this would be £572 for four months’ work.


  • NALC subs £174.10


This bill had not been received and was overdue, it was AGREED that this amount would be paid.


  • Colwell Hall rent


£40 rent for two occasions (Last meeting and Clerk interviews); AGREED to be paid.


  • Gunnerton Church


£15 rent for meeting that evening; AGREED to be paid.


  • Contract with Sandra Medlicott from Phoebus Solutions re: PAYE for renewal in October


It was AGREED that the Council would continue using Sandra Medlicott from Phoebus Solutions to do PAYE etc for the new Clerk.


  1. Planning Applications


          Mrs Victoria Binovec, Re:- 21/03644/FUL (27 East Acres, Barrasford)


Cllr Pigg declared an interest in this item.


It was raised that the extension may have an impact on their direct neighbours as they had a conservatory which ran adjacent.


It was AGREED that the Council should get back with comments by 7th October 2021.


  1. Information Items

To note information items received and passed to Parish Councillors via email.


(a)     End of Grant Letter (tools etc)

Cllr Tarbit was thanked for her work on this.


  1. Any Other Business

         Business taken under this agenda item is for discussion only.


(a)     Barrasford Quarry meeting date


It was AGREED to defer this until next Summer when there are lighter nights.  The Chairman would speak to Dan and arrange this; County Cllr Morphet, Cllr Smith and Cllr Bennett would be interested in a visit prior to this.


(b)     Chollerton


Monday Men requested that drains around Chollerton be cleared; it was noted that these weeds had already been sprayed and the debris swept out.


Stones at Chollerton corner; the Chairman would contact John about these stones which may prove an obstruction and be dangerous for local people.


(c)     Picking Grass Up


Picking grass up and disposing of this by Karbon; the issue was raised by Liz.  The Chair would consider this further and revisit this item in due course.


(d)     Presentation


A presentation was made to Liz Atkinson and she was thanked for all her hard work over the last 4.5 years.


It was AGREED to reimburse the clerk with £30 for the cost of the presentation flowers.


  1. Date and Venue for Next Meeting


Wednesday 24th November 2021 at 7.30pm at Barrasford Village Hall.