Chollerton Parish Council | MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 26TH JANUARY 2022
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Minutes of the meeting of Chollerton Parish Council held on Wednesday 26th January 2022 at 7.30pm in Barrasford Village Hall


Present:        Cllr Edward Heslop in the Chair


County Cllr Nick Morphet (part of the meeting)


Cllr Fiona Charlton

Cllr Malcolm Johnson

Cllr Bruce Lowdon

Cllr Dorothy Pigg

Cllr Michael Smith

Cllr Maggie Tarbit

Ms Jayne Longlands in attendance


Mr Ian Lancastle-Smith was in attendance for Item 2.


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


  1. Apologies for Absence.


Received from; Cllr Andy Bennett who had sadly lost his mother the previous weekend.  The Chair informed the meeting that he had sent his condolences to Cllr Bennett and his family.


          Chair’s Announcement


The Chair notified the meeting that Ms Louise Coulson had been invited to join the meeting.  However, she had declined his offer as she did not want to be thanked publicly for her endeavours


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

Questions which require a substantive answer at the meeting need to have been submitted to the Parish Clerk in writing 5 days before the meeting


Mr Ian Lancastle-Smith was in attendance to discuss the provision of a safety mirror and the associated costs for this at St Giles Church, Chollerton.


Mr Lancastle-Smith noted that he was called from time to time to marshal the cars at Chollerton Church where vision was sometimes obscured.  He was asking for a mirror to be put in place to assist.  The Chair suggested that it should be the PCC that needed to approach the Parish Council for the financial contribution.  With regards to construction of the erected mirror (it was noted the parishioners were keen to erect the mirror free of charge) the Chair noted, and it was agreed, that we needed to be seen to be above board and not liable for any potential insurance claims.

Mr Lancastle-Smith raised the issue of the speed of traffic going through Barrasford.  It was noted that assembly of flashing 20mph signs in the village was imminent.


Mr Lancastle-Smith also noted that he had proposed project designs to make 2 Front Street, Barrasford, user-friendly for an elderly person.  The Chair suggested that Mr Lancastle-Smith submit a planning application to Northumberland County Council for this.


Mr Lancastle-Smith was thanked for attending the meeting and then departed.


  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


There were no declarations of interest from members.


  1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting


The minutes of the Parish Council Meeting held on Wednesday 24th November 2021 were approved by Cllr Lowdon and seconded by Cllr Johnson as a true and correct record.


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


Cllr Smith noted that there was excess water on the road near the A68 (round the sharp bend, just before Barrasford Park) and this was caused by a blocked pipe under the road, resulting in an ice sheet during freezing temperatures.  It was AGREED that County Cllr Nick Morphet would investigate this issue.


4b.    External emails forwarded by the Clerk

Please note that emails received from external stakeholders are being distributed for information.  It is proposed that if anyone wishes to raise any points then they should contact the Clerk


  1. Draft B4RN Letter to send to MP


Cllr Bennett had forwarded an email from Lynne Rawles (sent on behalf of Dave Ryall from B4RN) asking that the Parish Council issue a drafted letter to our local MP.  B4RN had still not heard from DCMS in relation to the voucher priority area and the status of the Borderland top-up funding for Northumberland; the purpose of the letter being to encourage this to happen, which would in turn mean that the build will go ahead.


Cllr Johnson asked if the wire had to be buried under the road for the Broadband installation works to happen.  He considered that costs would be high to dig the road up.


It was AGREED that the Parish Council would adapt and send the letter to our MP (Guy Opperman).


(a)     Planning Consultation 21/04135/FUL Land South and East of Fell House Farm Colwell


The Parish Council had responded to NCC on 6th November 2021 stating there were no objections, subject to highways agreeing the new entrance would be suitable for all deliveries during construction


The Chair noted that this planning consultation application had since been withdrawn.


  1. County Councillor Report.


Humshaugh Ward County Councillor Nick Morphet reported as follows:




  • Work to improve drainage in the village had taken place the previous week.
  • Work would finish on Friday for the periodic 20mph school flashing sign.
  • Lights at Barrasford Quarry; members of the public would need to contact public health with any complaints.




  • The traffic calming measures were delayed due to establishing the ownership of the land for the sign. Cllr Lowdon thought James Dickinson owned the land and would clarify if that was so. Cllr Morphet would confirm the exact sighting.
  • Rumble strips had been removed with quieter options to be installed instead. If was noted that, if there were any more changes when Cllr Morphet received the plans, that he would let the Parish Council know.
  • Extension of the 30mph to the south of the village had been queried, however NCC had found no supporting evidence for this, it was noted that this decision had also been made in-line with governing rules surrounding the number of houses in the village. The Chair suggested we see how this went with the other installations (rumble strips and signs) and then readdress this.  Cllr Morphet suggested, and it was AGREED, that we look at alternative measures such as additional signage.


It was AGREED that Cllr Lowdon would remind James Dickinson about the invoice for grass cutting


Swinburne Quarry


  • No more complaints had been received since the last Parish Council meeting and no one had contacted Cllr Morphet for Richard Cunningham’s details.


Dangerous place on A68


  • Agreed that reflector posts were required on the crest of the second blind summit near the entrance to Errington Red Farm, although authorisation was still required for this.


Crash Barrier under Chollerton railway bridge


  • It was noted that extension of this may be viable. The Chair agreed that perseverance on this issue was required.


Mobile Library Service


  • Three new library vans had been promised, due to arrive in April 2022. Health and wellbeing activities were planned to be delivered in conjunction with this.


Definitive Map


  • Re: Recognition of track as a BOAT. It was noted that a section of this track would not be a BOAT.  Gates would be removed from description of the BOAT although they would remain insitu (wording of the modification order would be amended). It was AGREED that Cllr Morphet would find out about the gates and whether they would be removed.


It was noted that an Environment Agency representative had been unable to attend the meeting.  It was agreed that they would be invited to attend the meeting on 23rd March 2022 (to talk about flood plans and a flood warden group, it was thought this would take approximately 15-20 minutes).


Storm Arwen Consultation


  • It was noted that NCC would be interviewing representative organisations and look at their own response. A review committee of eight Councillors would consider the responses received.


Cllr Tarbit noted the danger of speeding traffic around the school site.  She suggested that speed humps would slow down traffic.  The Chair added that a chicane may be an alternative option.  Cllr Morphet said that he would push for traffic calming measures if The Potts development were to proceed.


The Chair thanked Cllr Morphet for his contribution.


  1. Items for Discussion


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


  • Platinum Jubilee


  1. Tree Planting at Gunnerton, Barrasford and Colwell


Cllr Pigg noted that Jen Dover had now arranged for the trees to be planted.


  1. Commemorative Mugs and other Celebrations


It was suggested we order 100 mugs, to be given to children in the Parish.


Cllr Pigg suggested that surplus mugs could be offered to others in the Parish, such as pensioners.  The mugs were priced £3.95 plus VAT.


Cllr Pigg asked if funds were available to help pay for this; it was noted that the NCC Fund was capped at £500.


It was AGREED that:


  • We would proceed with the ordering of 100 mugs; mug style 7 and motif 8.
  • Cllr Charlton would ascertain how many children were in Chollerton First School and Pre-School.
  • The Clerk would look to access the NCC Fund, applying for the costs for 100 mugs at £3.95 each plus VAT.


  • The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Beacons


A line of beacons on the Roman Wall had been proposed.  Barrasford Quarry was noted as a potential venue for a beacon, and it was AGREED that they be approached about this.


Cllr Morphet left the meeting.


  • Storm Arwen: Public Meetings with Guy Opperman MP


It was noted that Public Meetings with Guy Opperman MP had taken place in various central locations around the area, as previously advertised.



  • Northumberland County Council: Storm Arwen Review


The Parish Council considered that NCC had been slow in their response to declare the Storm Arwen incident as critical.


Cllr Smith agreed that communications between NCC and Northern Power had been poor.


Cllr Pigg noted the scale of the incident; working for an insurance company she had dealt with hundreds of claims for Storm Arwen.  Her previous email correspondence to the Parish Council (dated 17 January 2022) had highlighted her thoughts with relation to the letter issued by Councillor Jeff Reid, Chairman of the NCC Storm Arwen Review Task and Finish Group.


After considering the matter, together with Cllr Bennett’s submission, the PC AGREED to the chair drawing together a response based on the discussions at the meeting.




The following submission was later approved, via email, by members present at the meeting and forwarded to NCC 6th February.


Chollerton Parish Council welcome the opportunity to liaise with NCC and offer the following observations:-

  • The PC feel the delay in declaring a “critical incident” was a factor that needs addressing.
  • Communication was difficult – the PC acknowledge that the balance between not having specific information and giving dubious time scales is a difficult one – but urge those involved to endeavour to find a better system.
  • Communities need to know what they can expect as regards assistance.
  • The PC notes that many inhabitants in the more outlying areas prepare for such events (though not quite on this scale) by taking measures such as having small generators, long life food and a degree of stored fuel. Could consideration be given to a “survival/reaction” shortlist for people?
  • It was a blessing that Arwen was overnight and there was no snow blocking roads for days such as the recent “Beast from the East event” and other winters.
  • The question of prioritising repairs to the more numbers affected and the more rural obviously doesn’t sit well with our parishioners but the PC can understand the logic.
  • The PC also acknowledges the sterling work of the repair staff, both out in the field and those trying to give information (when little was available) to anxious residents and also acknowledges the improved service for Storm Malik.


  • Parish Emergency Plan for Future


The Chair queried what an Emergency Plan would consist of and suggested that a list of contact names would be formed.  It was AGREED that Cllr Tarbit would lead on this project.


The fact that Storm Arwen had been very much an unprecedented event was highlighted.  It was felt that the Parish Council’s contribution would be negligible in the great scheme of things.  It was also noted that NCC were preparing an Emergency Plan.  The Chair said he would contact our neighbouring parish Humshaugh and find out what they were planning to do with relation to preparing an Emergency Plan for the Future.


  • Filling of Grit Bins in Gunnerton


It was noted that the grit bins at Gunnerton were now filled.


  • NALC Newsletter


The NALC newsletters had been distributed.


  • Online Meetings


Following our asking of advice from Stephen Rickett of NALC, in-line with official guidelines, he had suggested we continue holding face-to-face meetings at the present time (rather than online meetings).


  • NCC Climate Change Meeting: 19th January 2022


Cllr Tarbit informed the meeting that she had attended the NCC Climate Change online meeting.  She reported that questions received constructive answers although there had been limited time.  A report would be issued, answering all questions that they hadn’t been able to reply to at the meeting.


The Chair thanked Cllr Tarbit for her report.


The Potts had been raised and questions were asked about making this eco-friendly.  It was noted that NCC could advise developers but couldn’t force them, due to the large number of developments taking place at the present time.


  1. Correspondence

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


  • St Giles Church, Chollerton: Letter


A letter has been received requesting financial support towards the upkeep of the churchyard; it was AGREED that we pay Chollerton Church the sum of £1,300.


  • Chipchase: Letter from Roddy Findlay at Galbraiths


A letter had been received regarding a single storey accommodation at Elwood, Barrasford, with Mr Findlay contacting the Chair to ask about opinions on planning for this.


It was agreed more detail was required before the PC could form an opinion


  • The Potts


Cllr Tarbit noted that those conducting the survey at The Potts had noted how expensive it may be to sort the flooding issue there.


  1. Financial Matters


  • Bank reconciliation as at 29th December 2021: £14,015.81


This figure was noted and accepted.  It was felt that this figure was marginally high.


  • Bank Mandate and Proposal to move to Online Banking


It was AGREED that the Chair would pursue this action with HSBC (for the Parish Council to move towards online banking).


  • Women at War Statue: £200 replacement cheque payment to the Clerk on 24th November 2021


A replacement cheque had been issued to the Clerk as noted in the previous minutes.


  • Grit Bins: £250 cheque payment to the Clerk on 24th November 2021 (NB: Bins were only £201.34, therefore Clerk repaid the difference of £48.66 via BACS to the Parish Council on 13th December 2021)


These transactions were noted.


  • Tynedale Hospice at Home Donation: £200 cheque payment made on 5th December 2021


This transaction was noted.


  • Clerk’s Pay Slip: £627 gross pay (£501.60 net pay) from 22nd September 2021 to 31st January 2022


It was AGREED that this transaction be authorised.


(g)     Phoebus Solutions: £98 payment for Payroll Services from Oct 2021 to Sept 2022


It was AGREED that this transaction be authorised.


(h)     Barrasford Village Hall: £49 payment for Hire of Hall from 22nd January 2020 to 24th January 2022


It was AGREED that this transaction be authorised.


  1. Planning Applications


(a)     Planning Consultation 19/04358/FUL Land South West Of Chollerton First School Station Road Barrasford (The Potts)


The Parish Council responded to NCC on 6th December 2021 as follows: –


“CPC welcomes the inclusion of two affordable houses in the application and asks that this is made a condition (under S106) and also the terms of the affordable qualification has had Parish Council input.

CPC still has concerns on the flood risk in the area concerned as well as the underlying pipe that runs through the site. This site has flooded in the past.

However, having seen that the Local Flood Authority (LFA) does not object – subject to conditions – CPC insist that this part of the application is scrutinised vigorously before the final conditions are agreed.

The LFA has also advised that certain houses need to be aware of “water coarse responsibilities.”

Increased traffic movements in an already busy area adjacent to the school is seen as a possible problem and the PC would ask NCC Highways to advise and monitor in the event of permission being granted.  However, a condition is requested that no deliveries or work takes place outside of the site during school arrivals and departures.

Given the above, the PC raises “No Objections” to the application”.


(b)     Planning Consultation 21/03414/FUL Fishing Lodge Colwell Hexham Northumberland NE46 4TP (retrospective)


The Parish Council responded on 6th December 2021 stating there were “No Objections”.


(c)     Planning Consultation 21/04805/FUL The Auld Byre High Cowden Farm Birtley


The Parish Council responded on 16th December 2021 stating there were “No Objections”.


(d)     Planning Consultation 21/04522/FUL Location Land East of the B6342 West Hallington Reservoir


The Parish Council responded on 16th December 2021 stating there were “No Objections”.  However, the Parish Council urged the applicant to consider a permanent widening of the access. During reservoir maintenance works, low loader wagons are frequently parked on the B6342 to load and unload the heavy machinery needed. This seems an opportunity to permanently improve the entrance to allow safer access for conventional larger vehicles such as fire engines, delivery wagons and farm machinery.

(e)     Planning Consultations 21/04984/COU St Mary’s Church, Swinburne


The Parish Council responded on 8th January 2022 stating there were “No Objections”.


  1. Information Items

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


  • Emails issued by the Clerk


It was AGREED that the Clerk continued to issue information emails to members of the Parish Council.


  1. Any Other Business

         Business taken under this agenda item is for discussion only.




  1. Date and Venue for Next Meeting


Wednesday 23rd March 2022 at 7.30pm, Barrasford Village Hall


The following meetings would take place as follows: –


  • May 25th at Barrasford Village Hall
  • July 27th at Colwell Village Hall
  • Sept 28th at Gunnerton Church
  • Nov 23rd at Barrasford Park


The Chair thanked everyone for attending for their contributions.  There being no further business, the meeting closed at 9.20pm.