Chollerton Parish Council | DRAFT MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 23RD MARCH 2022
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Minutes of the meeting of Chollerton Parish Council held on Wednesday 23rd March 2022 at 7.30pm in Barrasford Village Hall


Present:        Cllr Edward Heslop in the Chair


County Cllr Nick Morphet (part of the meeting)

Cllr Andy Bennett

Cllr Bruce Lowdon

Cllr Dorothy Pigg

Cllr Michael Smith

Cllr Maggie Tarbit

Ms Jayne Longlands in attendance


Mrs Jen Dover, Mr Ken Phillips, and Mrs Denise Phillips attended for Item 2.


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


  1. Apologies for Absence.


Received from, Cllr Fiona Charlton and Cllr Malcolm Johnson.


  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


Mrs Jen Dover was in attendance to raise three issues as follows: –


  1. Traffic calming at Gunnerton.
  2. Road resurfacing at Gunnerton
  3. Chollerton WI’s Jubilee Tea on Sunday 5th June at Barrasford Village Hall.


Traffic Calming at Gunnerton


Mrs Dover, a former Parish Councillor, who had been involved in the original discussions for traffic calming at Gunnerton, had prepared, and circulated a document detailing the various discussions which had taken place since 2019 around the traffic calming. Mrs Dover wanted to know, why, despite NCC agreeing to these measures, nothing had been implemented. The residents of Gunnerton felt they were being treated as second class citizens in comparison to the rest of the parish.


Mrs Dover asked for answers to questions; she noted that there were 75 houses in Gunnerton and compared signage here with other Parish villages, querying why there was less signage in Gunnerton.


The Chair noted that the village was not left out intentionally. Cllr Morphet updated the meeting as follows: –


  • It was noted that NCC were struggling to get a landowners’ consent at the present time (for a location near the bridge). Cllr Lowdon noted that he had spoken to the landowner in question who had sent the original form to another executor but had not received a response, however he said he would be doing this again. Cllr Morphet noted that the landowner may need to sign a different consent form.
  • Rumble strips were not used as they were causing maintenance problems; thick painted lines were applied in their place.
  • The Chair noted that we had received an email from the landowner at the top of the village with relation to rumble strips, stating that she did not want them placed within certain locations near the farm.
  • It was agreed that Cllr Lowdon would provide the appropriate contact details needed for the Gunnerton project.
  • Mr Neil Snowden from NCC had provided information to Cllr Morphet with regards to rules around signage in villages. S-bend warning signs had been proposed; one prior to the bridge as you enter the village, the other as you leave the village on the north (if room allowed); Mr Snowden had emailed the scheme designer to seek their opinion on this matter.
  • Following issues being raised by the landowner at the north of the village, Mr Snowden was proposing that the signs on the farm buildings at this location be removed, with a sign to be located on the other side of the road.

Mrs Dover asked why a new sign could not be moved further out from the village of Gunnerton. She asked where the £19,000 that was earmarked for Gunnerton had gone; Cllr Morphet suggested that this probably covered the planned traffic calming measures but not the additional TRO that would be required to move the signs up the hill.

  • Cllr Lowdon suggested that money would be saved from not having rumble strips, and Cllr Morphet suggested that monies saved in this way could go toward the TRO.


It was AGREED that: –


  • Both road signs were required, and they should be located further up the hill at the north of the village.
  • Cllr Morphet would look and see if there were any savings available (comparing the original plans with the revised ones, as per Cllr Lowdon’s comments).


Road Resurfacing at Gunnerton


Cllr Morphet said that he had been pushing this for a while and would find out in April/May whether this would be on the list for the next financial year. The Chair felt that County Cllr John Riddle (who was responsible for Highways) could be invited to review this. Cllr Morphet noted that, if he did not get this item included in the plan this year, then this could be added for the following period).


It was AGREED that Cllr Riddle would be contacted, inviting him along within the next fortnight. Cllr Morphet would also invite the Scheme Designer to attend this meeting.


Chollerton WI’s Jubilee Tea


Mrs Dover informed the meeting that Chollerton WI were planning a Jubilee Tea Party on Sunday 5th June at Barrasford Village Hall, with everyone in the parish (up to 500 people) being invited to attend a free tea between the times of 2pm and 5.30pm.


A £1,000 budget was planned. Mrs Dover had applied for a grant of £500 from NCC. She was asking Chollerton Parish Council for a contribution of £250 towards costings.


Mrs Jen Dover, Mr Ken Phillips, and Mrs Denise Phillips left the meeting.


  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 26th January 2022 were approved by Cllr Lowdon and seconded by Cllr Tarbit as a true and correct record.


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


Item 6(c): NCC Storm Arwen Review


Cllr Bennett asked for it to be recorded that he was unhappy with the response sent to NCC. He had received a lot of strong responses and submitted this, for inclusion in the Parish Council’s response. Cllr Bennett added that, although the response had been circulated, it was only sent to those who had attended the last Parish Council meeting in January 2022 (a meeting he had been unable to attend). Cllr Bennett’s comments were noted.


At the previous meeting, it had been agreed that a letter of support for B4RN be issued to Guy Opperman MP. The Chair noted that B4RN were included in the NCC leaflet ‘Fibre Broadband is Here’ which was very positive.


It was noted that Barrasford flashing road signs were now in place at the bus stop area at the junction with Station Road.

(b)    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. County Councillor Report.


Humshaugh Ward County Councillor Nick Morphet reported as follows:




  • Barrasford Wildflower Proposal; Cllr Morphet had spoken to the Quarry Manager who had been very supportive and confirmed that grass cutting would not take place. Cllr Morphet added that he would also speak to the Monday Men with regards to grass cutting. It was noted that there would be sufficient room left for people to pass on the footpath. It was AGREED that a site visit would be arranged with Cllr Morphet on Saturday 2nd April 2022 at 10am (meeting at Barrasford Garage), with Cllr Pigg to publicise this.
  • A 20mph sign was still to be installed near to the Village Shop; It was AGREED that Cllr Morphet would push for this to happen.


Other Items


  • Community Speedwatch Initiative; Cllr Morphet had information regarding speed gun location and involvement in the team. It was AGREED that Cllr Tarbit would contact Speedwatch with regards to this.
  • Road damage near Barrasford Park; it was proposed that a JCB be brought in to help solve the problem and it was AGREED that this was a good plan which should proceed.
  • Reflector posts on A68 at blind summit; Mr Snowden had agreed that posts need to be replaced and said this was to be actioned.
  • Extension of crash barrier at Chollerton viaduct; It was AGREED that Cllr Morphet proceed with investigating this further.
  • No complaints had been received about Swinburne Quarry, although complaints had been received about Barrasford Quarry – Cllr Morphet having directed them to Public Protection. The Quarry Manager had said he would implement measures to try to assist with this and Cllr Morphet would chase this up further.
  • LCWIP’s; Cllr Morphet was happy to send the link for consultation if anyone was interested.
  • Emergency funding for buses; this had been extended until October 2022, which would be the last extension. It was noted that a ‘use it or lose it’ approach was required.
  • Mr Colin Hall from the Environment Agency had attended other Parish Council’s to discuss flood management measures. It was AGREED that Cllr Morphet would invite Mr Hall to attend the AGM in May.
  • Bench (made from recycled material): Cllr Morphet said that small schemes’ money could be used to buy a Parish bench. It was AGREED that this proceed, with the bench to be installed in the play park at Barrasford. It was noted that the Parish Council would meet any financial shortfall.
  • Japanese Knotweed at Gunnerton; Cllr Tarbit asked for a progress report on this item. Cllr Morphet noted that his previous offer of help to a Gunnerton resident had been declined.
  • Reflectors on the post half a mile north of Gunnerton; it was noted that the road sign was broken, and Cllr Lowdon asked for the reflectors to be replaced.
  • Legs broken on the sign near Middle Farm; It was AGREED that Cllr Morphet would report this matter.


Cllr Nick Morphet left the meeting.


  1. Items for Discussion


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


  • Platinum Jubilee


  1. Commemorative Mugs and other Celebrations


It was noted that 150 Platinum Jubilee Mugs had been ordered and were due to arrive by 29th March 2022. The cost was £3.70 each plus VAT, with a £25 charge for delivery.


  1. NCC Application for Funding


It was noted that we were still to hear the outcome of our funding application which had been submitted to NCC on 21st February 2022.


  • Report from Cllr Tarbit, Re: Emergency Parish Plan (EPP)


Cllr Tarbit was thanked for her work with preparing the EPP. She had consulted with many people in the Parish and the overwhelming response had been, do we need a plan as we have such good community spirit within Chollerton Parish?


Cllr Bennett felt that, based on previous experience, that we did need a plan. However, Cllr Pigg suggested that NCC would be the first point of contact with regards to any issues such as this happening in the future, rather than the Parish Council itself.


It was AGREED that we wait to hear what neighbouring parishes were doing prior to deciding as to the production of an EPP; this item would be included on the May agenda.


  • Old Vicarage at Chollerton


It was noted that we had asked about the drain at the Old Vicarage, with the Clerk having asked for this to be investigated.


  • Email from Chollerton PCC, Re: insecure gravestones and financial assistance, CAN Response


We had received an email from Mr John Dickinson from Chollerton PCC asking for financial assistance to support them. It was noted that we had already provided financial assistance to help with grass cutting. Cllr Tarbit said that there may be legal implications (as noted via the House of Commons rulings) with regards to supporting PCC’s.


Following discussions, it was AGREED that the Church be pointed in the direction of the local Wind Farms as they had substantial funds which may be able to assist them.


  • Request from Chollerton PCC financial support for roadside mirror at car park


It was AGREED that we provide financial assistance for this (for the sum of £70.69). However, it must be emphasised that the PCC must ensure all legal responsibilities lie with themselves.


  1. Correspondence

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


  • Letter from Chollerton Church: thank you for monies received


A letter of thanks had been received from Chollerton Church having recently received the sum of £1,300 as payment towards the upkeep of the churchyard.


  • Northumberland Libraries News Update


It was noted that this information had been circulated to everyone.


  • Land West of Hallington Mill Proposal


The Chair noted planning proposals had been made by landowners on land to the West of Hallington Mill


  • Email from Andrea Bullock, Re: Gunnerton Road Signage


  • Letter from Chollerton WI: Jubilee Tea on 5th June 2022


These items had been discussed earlier at the meeting.


  1. Financial Matters


  • Bank reconciliation as of 28th February 2022: £12,069.81


This figure was noted and accepted.


  • Online Banking


It was noted that HSBC did not do online banking for Parish Councils with two signatories. In addition, it was noted that HSBC had started to charge business fees for parish council accounts.


The Clerk updated the meeting on her progress with the application for Online Banking with Lloyds Bank.


Lloyds Bank were issuing an information pack to the Clerk which would require signatures from all four signatories. In the meantime, the four signatories were required to call into Lloyds Bank in Hexham with either a driving licence or passport, quoting the CBO reference given. It was AGREED that the Clerk would provide this information to the four signatories for them to action.


Once Lloyds Bank had received our completed forms, online banking would take up to four weeks to be processed.


  • Clerk’s Expenses: £100 per annum


It was AGREED that this transaction be authorised.


  • James Dickinson Grass Cutting Invoice: £2.040 to pay


It was AGREED that this transaction be authorised.


  • S Medlicott: £98 payment


It was noted that the payee for Payroll Services was S Medlicott rather than Phoebus Solutions. The original cheque (which was made out to Phoebus Solutions) had been returned, the Clerk then paid these monies directly to S Medlicott from her own account. Therefore, a new cheque for £98 needed to be made out to Clerk as a reimbursement.


It was AGREED that this transaction (to reimburse the Clerk) be authorised.


  • Barrasford Playground Rent: £30 per annum


It was AGREED that this transaction be authorised.


  • Central Design Ceramics Ltd – Platinum Jubilee Mugs: £696 to pay


It was AGREED that this transaction be authorised.


  • Chollerton WI: Platinum Jubilee Tea Party


It was AGREED that we provide a contribution of £500 to Chollerton WI (with an additional £500 to be paid if the NCC grant application was unsuccessful). This payment would be made once the outcome of the grant application had been received.


  1. Planning Applications


(a)     Decision: Change of use of Agricultural Building to Equestrian Arena Location, Colwell South Farm NE46 4TL


(b)     Decision: Alterations and Extension to 14 Chishillways, Barrasford, Hexham Northumberland NE48 4AE


These decisions were noted.


  1. Information Items

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




  1. Any Other Business

         Business taken under this agenda item is for discussion only.


(a)     The Potts


Cllr Tarbit noted that The Potts planning application outcome had provoked a great deal of local interest. It was AGREED that Cllr Morphet would be contacted, and an update requested.


(b)     Mr Lee Buckingham


Mr Lee Buckingham was leaving the village and he had asked about lights in the play park; it was AGREED that they be passed on. In his absence, Mr Buckingham had asked if the Parish Council could be responsible for registering the defibrillator and it was AGREED that Cllr Pigg would speak to Mr Buckingham to see what was involved and she would then look after this.


  1. Date and Venue for Next Meeting and AGM


Wednesday 25th May 2022 at 7.30pm, Barrasford Village Hall


The following meetings would take place as follows: –


  • 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.