Chollerton Parish Council | Minutes of the Meeting of Chollerton Parish Council held on 25th May 2022
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Minutes of the Meeting of Chollerton Parish Council held on 25th May 2022

Minutes of the Meeting of Chollerton Parish Council held on 25th May 2022

Minutes of the meeting of Chollerton Parish Council held on Wednesday 25th May 2022 at 7.37pm in Barrasford Village Hall


Present:        Cllr Edward Heslop in the Chair


County Cllr Nick Morphet


Cllr Andy Bennett

Cllr Fiona Charlton

Cllr Bruce Lowdon

Cllr Dorothy Pigg

Ms Jayne Longlands in attendance.


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


  1. Apologies for Absence.


Received from, Cllr Malcolm Johnson, Cllr Michael Smith, and Cllr Maggie Tarbit.


  1. Election of Office Bearers


(a)     Chair


Cllr Edward Heslop was proposed as Parish Council (PC) Chair by Cllr Bruce Lowdon, seconded by Cllr Fiona Charlton, and duly elected.


The Chair was pleased to accept this post; he said he would continue for another year, with the proposal that others may wish to consider taking on this post after that period.


(b)     Vice Chair


Cllr Dorothy Pigg was proposed as PC Vice Chair by Cllr Fiona Charlton, seconded by Cllr Andy Bennett, and duly elected.


  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




  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 PC Meeting held on Wednesday 23rd March 2022 were approved as a true and correct record, and duly signed by the Chair.


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




(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:




  • Species Rich Grassland Trial: Cllr Morphet said that a colleague from the Royal Horticultural Society was spending time at Chollerton First School to explain this plan and make some signs. An entomologist from Newcastle University would be doing a bio-blitz with the children on 20th July, Hadrian’s Wall 1900 had asked Cllr Morphet to register the project with them so that he could access funding to pay for the signs, and the school children were going to help him think of a name. Cllr Bennett suggested that the children could also come up with a logo.


  • The Potts’ Development: Cllr Morphet noted that the agreement had been completed, and the developer would contribute £24,000 towards expanding capacity in Hexham Schools and £32,743 in Open Space money. None of the money had been allocated to Chollerton First School, because it already had sufficient capacity. The Local Plan required 25% of the houses to be affordable, and that had been rounded up from 3.5 houses to four. These would be three-bedroom houses, all four of them being shared ownership and priority given to local people.


  • Barrasford Quarry; Cllr Morphet said he had not received any more complaints about the lights. He had spoken to the Quarry Manager last week and been informed that one of lights had been angled down, and they had been set to dim when there was no work taking place overnight; they were still looking into the possibility of using a warmer colour of light. Cllr Andy Bennett noticed that the lights at the quarry seemed to have improved. Cllr Morphet said he would provide feedback to the residents who had expressed concerns.


  • The missing 20mph speed limit sign by the shop in Barrasford; Cllr Morphet had received an email from Neil Snowden about this. The pole was in place and the 30mph sign on one side of it, so it’s just the 20mph sign on the other side that was missing. He gave the option of putting the 20mph sign up or removing the pole altogether, along with the 30mph sign. It was AGREED that the decision to put the sign-up be recommended by Cllr Morphet.


  • The bench for the children’s play area; Cllr Morphet noted that he was waiting for the NCC to confirm that he could purchase these for his Parishes. He would send the link so that the PC could choose their preferred choice of bench, this would have a plaque to commemorate the Platinum Jubilee.




  • Trafffic calming scheme; it was noted that NCC had received the signed consent form from the landowner in mid-April, and Cllr Morphet had received the revised plans on Thursday. Highways had decided not to move the speed limit signs any further up the hill at the top of the village, but just to remove the sign that’s up against the farm building on the east side. They’re going to install an “s bend” sign on the approach to the railway bridge from the south, but it looked as though they would not be installing one on the approach from the north. Neil Snowdon had warned Cllr Morphet that there might not be anywhere suitable to put it. Cllr Lowdon noted the potholes which required attention and it was suggested that this issue be highlighted as part of the Northumberland County Council (NCC) Local Transport Plan feedback.


  • The broken reflector posts just up the hill from Gunnerton (on the C218); Cllr Morphet had flagged these up to Highways Maintenance in April, and these had already been replaced.


Other Items


  • The Local Transport Plan (LTP) for 2022/23 had been signed off and this was now on the NCC’s website. It did not seem to include anything specific for Chollerton Parish; there were lots of references to “various countywide schemes,” so hopefully those would include some work within our area. PC’s and County Councillors would be finding out whether their LTP suggestions from October had been accepted or rejected soon. Once we knew this, we’d be in a better position to start thinking about what to suggest in October.


  • Swinburne Quarry: it was noted that Hansen had not delivered on promises given at a previous PC meeting (about recording noise levels) and noises had started up again.It was felt NCC had let residents down by initiating a noise investigation last September and then dropping the ball when the Senior Environmental Health Officer had left. In addition, it was noted that several senior staff had since left the quarry. Cllr Morphet noted that NCC were on the case, and it was AGREED that he would keep the PC updated with developments.


  • The extension of the crash barrier to the north of Chollerton Viaduct; following the last PC meeting, Neil Snowdon had been asked if we could commission the “phase 1 design work”. Cllr Morphet had would continue to follow this up and keep the PC updated.


  • The reflector posts on the A68 (just south of Errington Red House Fm). It was AGREED that Cllr Morphet would ask for signs to be placed here. Cllr Pigg noted that further South, near the lime kilns, the camber on the road was causing vehicles to go off the road.




  • The NCC had also launched a Tree Warden scheme, the idea being that individuals or representatives of community groups would receive training and then be tasked with caring for trees in their local area. Tree Wardens would also be asked to identify land for planting native trees, and to work with local schools. The deadline for signing up was June 3rd:


  • Colin Hall would be able to attend the following meeting – it was AGREED that Cllr Morphet would invite him to do so.


  • Storm Arwen Review: NCC had interviewed various key stakeholders (such as Northern PowerGrid) who had accepted that many their poles were in poor condition before the storm, and that that could be the reason why 775 of them snapped. They claimed that their profit margin was only 4% to 5%; they would forward their accounts and Cllr Morphet would arrange for someone to study these and report back to the PC.


  • Pump Tracks: a presentation had been made by Cllr Morphet to the NCC Cycling and Walking Board. A Pump Track at either Humshaugh or Hexham was being proposed; Humshaugh was noted as potentially the best site for this facility in the local area.


  1. Items for Discussion


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


  • Platinum Jubilee: Commemorative Mugs and Afternoon Tea


It was noted that Chollerton First School had now received their Platinum Jubilee mugs, and the Pre-School mugs would be delivered shortly. Following an advert on Facebook for other Parish children to claim their mugs, it was noted there had been very little response.


It was AGREED that a notice would be placed on the PC website as well as on Parish noticeboards, asking children from school year 8 and below (who did not go to school at Chollerton) to claim their mugs.


With regards to spare mugs, it was AGREED that a notice be placed on Facebook and at the Village Shop (after children had received their mugs), selling them on a first come first served basis for £5 each. Money from these sales would be donated to Mrs Jennifer Dover, to go towards the Platinum Jubilee Afternoon Tea Fund.


With regards to Afternoon Tea, it was noted that the WI had received their money from NCC (therefore they received £1,000 in total to help fund this event).


  • Emergency Parish Plan Update


Cllr Morphet noted that NCC were working on a Northumberland Community Resilience Programme which would involve the creation of a network of Community Response Hubs, most of them based in village halls. They would be asking for people to sign up as Community Response Volunteers and were hoping to offer training. There was no word yet as to how NCC intended to communicate with the Community Response Hubs and Volunteers in the event of a power outage, but they were working on it.


In terms of the sharing of data on vulnerable people, NCC’s Adult Social Care (ASC) department held data on anyone who had used their services, but they could not share it with PC’s unless it was a “life or death” situation. It does seem that in an emergency they might be able to share lists of addresses with parish councils, who could then ask Community Response Volunteers to knock on the doors. ASC wouldn’t be able to provide names or details of vulnerabilities. ASC’s list of vulnerable people was not comprehensive though – for example, the healthy elderly weren’t on it. So, NCC would like PC’s to invite parishioners to self-identify as vulnerable. The PC would need to make it clear how long the data would be kept for when they ask people to do this, and everyone would have to be invited to self-identify again when it’s time to dispose of the old data. It had been suggested that doing this every 1 to 3 years would be sensible.


The Chair noted the current good community spirit which prevailed within the Parish where everyone looked out for each other.


Cllr Bennett noted subtleties with regards to the word vulnerable, where some people may be happy to be on a Council list but would not share this with neighbours and friends.


Cllr Morphet said he would keep the PC posted; it may take a while to formulate this plan at NCC level.


Cllr Morphet noted that residents could sign up to priority service providers; Cllr Bennett noted that he would be interested in signing-up to assist with this and it was AGREED that this would happen.


  • Old Vicarage at Chollerton Update


It was noted that the Clerk had followed this issue up with NCC; NCC had replied on 5th May 2022 to state they were looking at arranging some traffic management over the following two weeks to have the gullies cleansed. Once completed they said they would update us in due course. It was AGREED that Cllr Morphet would see what he could do to progress this matter.


(d)     Rural Bulletin 22nd April: Levelling up and funding for rural transport


NCC had been allocated with a certain amount of funding; Cllr Morphet would update the PC when he had the relevant information.


(e)     Barrasford Quarry


Cllr Pigg noted that heavy quarry traffic which was coming through the village and causing a problem. Cllr Lowdon noted that this needed to be flagged-up directly through the quarry. The Chair said that he was having difficulties in contacting the Quarry; it was AGREED that we would send an official email from the PC about this.


(f)      B4NTR Broadband


Cllr Bennett reported; with 34% of households signing up, the not-for-profit B4NTR Broadband project, designed to bring 1GB ultrafast fibre to homes in Barrasford, Chollerton, Gunnerton, Birtley, Colwell, The Swinburne’s (and any property in between) had been approved by the central B4NR team to start work.


The total budget for the B4NTR project has been estimated at £741K

So far £352K had been collected through the initial home registration period and a matching amount of £352K is expected from the Government funding programme.


A grant of £66K has been requested from the Ray Windfarm Fund to complete funding. However, even if this was not successful, the B4RN team has funds from previous schemes which it could use to complete the project funding gap.


The main contractor, Peter Dodds was expected to start work on the Barrasford leg in the next few weeks. The entire project was expected to take 8 months.


A further meeting to discuss implementation, build and sign ups had been set for Monday 30th May. Cllr Bennett was unable to attend and it was AGREED that the Chair would arrange for someone to attend on behalf of the PC.


More details on the project, including sign up information could be found on the website:


  1. Correspondence

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


  • Hallington Mill proposal


Leeanne Thompson had asked for feedback on her application for the Hallington Mill proposal; the Clerk had issued a copy of the reply which the PC had submitted to NCC.


  • Love Northumberland Awards 2022 and nominations


It was noted that the deadline date for nominations had now passed.


  • Carers Week (6th to 12th June 2022) and supporting unpaid carers


Members were asked to spread the word about Carers Week which was taking place from 6th to 12th June 2022.


  • Windfarm Correspondence from Arabella Fraser


It was noted that the Chair had replied directly to Arabella Fraser (to assist with the research for her Urban Planning Masters dissertation).


  • Unsigned Email, Re: ‘wildflower proposals’


The Chair told the meeting we would not be responding to unsigned correspondence. Cllr Morphet noted that orchids would be encouraged rather than cow parsley; in addition, the complaining resident had not attended the site visit which had been previously arranged.


(f)      Insurance 1st June 2022 to 31st May 2023: £864.67 to pay


Cllr Pigg noted that our current insurers had changed carrier, and we had looked to a competitor for an alternative quote. It was AGREED that we start to look at insurance in March 2023 for the following year.


It was AGREED to keep members updated with insurance developments.


  • NCC Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment Consultation


It was AGREED that the Chair would look at this over the next few days and confirm whether individual or collective responses were acceptable.


  • NCC Local Transport Plan Capital Programme 2023/24


It was suggested that our priorities would include the barrier at Chollerton, footpath up to the quarry, and potholes. It was noted that financial contributions from both Barrasford Quarry and Ray Windfarm may assist with some of these issues. The closing date of October was noted and it was AGREED that we discuss this again at the July 2022 PC meeting.


  • NCC Climate Website Consultation


It was AGREED that the Chair would look at this over the next few days and confirm whether individual or collective responses were acceptable.


  • William Wearmouth Letter, on behalf of Guy Opperman MP


A standard letter had been received from William Wearmouth, which was noted.


  1. Financial Matters


(a)     Bank reconciliation as at 29th April 2022: £12,967.12


This figure was noted and accepted.


(b)     Internal Auditor


As previously stated, it was noted that Armstrong Watson had audited the PC accounts for 2021/22.


(c)     Online Banking Update


The Clerk noted she had contacted Lloyds Bank to follow up the necessary paperwork required for PC signatories to complete.


The Chair said that, as one of the signatories, he had submitted his personal information directly within Lloyds Bank branch at Hexham, and this had been a straightforward process.


  • Chollerton WI: £500 paid towards costs for Platinum Jubilee Tea


It was noted that a cheque for £500 had been granted to Chollerton WI, to help cover costs in preparation for the Platinum Jubilee Tea.


(e)     NALC Subscriptions 2022/23: £175.85 to pay


It was AGREED that a cheque would be provided for this payment.


(f)      Lime Design Website Hosting: £154.80 to pay


It was AGREED that a cheque would be provided for this payment.


  1. Planning Applications


(a)     Withdrawn: The Auld Byre High Cowden Farm Birtley Hexham Northumberland NE48 3JE

(b)     Response submitted: 2 Front Street Barrasford Northumberland NE48 4AG

(c)     Response submitted: Land West Of Hallington Mill, Colwell, Northumberland


These decisions were noted.


(d)     Decision required: 3 Tyne View Terrace, Gunnerton


It was AGREED that there were “no objections” and this response would be submitted to NCC before 30th May 2022.


  • Land To North West Of St Marys Church, Swinburn


It was noted that planning permission had been granted for this application.


  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.




  1. Date and Venue for Next Meeting and AGM


Wednesday 27th July 2022 at 7.30pm, Gunnerton Church


The following meetings would take place as follows: –


  • 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 9.10pm.