Minutes of the Parish Council on 20 March 2024

MINUTES OF THE CHOPPINGTON PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 20 MARCH 2024.

THOSE ATTENDING:

Cllr K Burn

Cllr A Hart

Cllr G Huntley

Cllr A Iley

Cllr J Rowell

Cllr Vaughan (Chair)

Cllr L Watson

IN ATTENDANCE:

Mrs A Brindley, Parish Clerk/Responsible Finance Officer, Mr D L Nicholson Deputy Parish Clerk, and Mr D Iley Admin/Finance Office.

2 Members of the public

 

AGENDA PART 1

C068/23      1.         APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.

Cllr H Allsopp (ill health) and Cllr J Foster (prior commitment). The meeting accepted this as a proper reason for non-attendance.

C069/23      2.         DECLARATIONS OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY AND OTHER REGISTERABLE INTEREST(s)

No disclosures were made

C070/23      3.         PUBLIC QUESTIONS.

 A member of the public expressed disappointment at the planning decision regarding the new housing behind Stakeford Crescent.  The Parish Council offered the member of public the opportunity to meet with officers to discuss her experience of the planning process and a time the following day was arranged.

C071/23      4.         PLANNING MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION.

The Parish Clerk reported the planning decision to accept the application for housing behind Stakeford Crescent.

C072/23      5.         TO RECEIVE AND ADOPT THE MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING HELD ON 22 NOVEMBER 2023 .

The meeting agreed the minutes represented a true record of the meeting, authorizing they be signed as such and placed in the public domain.

C073/23      6.         MATTERS ARISING.

CO61/23.4: The Parish Clerk advised the meeting that Mrs C Mills has volunteered as a member of the steering group for the Neighbourhood Plan.

C061/23.5: The feasibility report has been released to the Parish Council.  There are three options for cycleways in the area, ranging in indicative costs from £1.2m to £4.2m.  Although Choppington Parish does not qualify through the existing funding criteria, NCC is hopeful that there will be opportunities to bid for funding in the future.  The project has been confirmed as feasible by NCC with the scheme being added to the pipeline of corridors to be prioritised across the County.

C074/23      7.         TO RECEIVE AND ADOPT THE MINUTES OF THE PARISH COUNCIL  (BUDGET) HELD ON 24 JANUARY 2024

Agreed

C075/23      8.            MATTERS ARISING

 The Parish Clerk reported that the Northumberland County Council was advised of the Council’s precept requirement.

C076/23      9.         TO RECEIVE AND NOTE THE MINUTES OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND  ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE HELD ON 8 FEBRUARY 2024

 Members received and noted the minutes.  Parish Clerk requested that due to the speed of the decisions required for Cleaswell Park that members consider forming a sub-committee of all members so that members are informed of progress.

RESOLVED:  Delegate decisions for Cleaswell Park to an all-member sub-committee

C077/23      10.       TO RECEIVE AND NOTE THE MINUTES OF STAFFING AND POLICY COMMITTEE HELD ON 28 FEBRUARY 2024

 Members received and noted the minutes.

C078/23      11.       TOWN AND PARISH COUNCIL SPRING CONFERENCE.

 This event was attended by the Chair and Vice Chair and Clerk and Deputy Clerk. NCC holds the event to promote engagement with Parish and Town Councils.   It has in the past proven a useful way to develop this Council’s priorities through informal access to officers from all departments of the County Council.  It is also useful for our Councillors to make contacts with other Councils and Councillors.  It was reported that on this occasion the event had not been as well run.  The usual market place did not have all departments attending, and the timetable of events was moved at the very last minute to accommodate a Q&A session with the Leader of the Council.  It was considered a difficult session to watch, as one delegate chose to question robustly, which tipped into rudeness.  In conclusion it was considered that the movement in timetable was inconsiderate, and that the Q&A session required specific locality knowledge that the Leader could not be expected to have.  The Leader’s input would have been more productive if he had chaired the Q&A session with his leading officers fielding specific questions. During questions to the Highways officer by the Deputy Chair it was disclosed that there is a 5-year schedule of items already for the LTP which put into perspective the wait for any priorities listed by the Parish Council.

C079/23      12.       SE NORTHUMBERLAND FORUM.

The Chairman and an officer have attended two meetings of the SENF.  Its current format is informal and offers an opportunity for SE Northumberland Parish and Town Councils to meet and discuss areas of common interest.  There is an indication that some of those attending would like it to be a decision-making body and are moving towards constituting it formally.

RESOLVED; That the Chairman and an officer attend these meeting whilst it is in current format.  Further consideration by the Council will be required should it become a decision-making body.

 C078/23      13.       NORTHUMBERLAND ASSOCIATION OF LOCAL COUNCILS.

The Chairman reported that the sector includes a wide range of local councils with different precepts and responsibilities, therefore it has been agreed to form a larger council’s group within NALC to represent issues particular to larger councils.  NALC is pressing Northumberland County Council to give NALC an early indication in the budget cycle of changes that impact their members.

CO79/23                 PARISH CLERKS REPORT.

  1. Finance Report. Members received a report from the RFO on expenditure made and income received since the last meeting of the Parish Council. This information will be placed on the Parish Council website.
  • Members noted delegated action by the Parish Clerk for the transfer of £5,000 from the community infrastructure earmarked balance as per the Financial addendum to the Memorandum of Understanding between CPC and the Welfare, and
  • following an audit of bin locations, expenditure for further metal litter bins plus installation to replace those vandalised at the Riverside Park.
  1. Financial Performance to the end of the financial quarter. Members agreed to refer this item to the Finance Committee for detailed consideration.
  1. Health and Safety report. Members received the quarterly report for consideration, a copy of which is attached to these minutes. The Parish Clerk reported on:
  2. The Parish Council as an employer.
  3. The following equipment/premises

Play areas

Bus shelters (not for the ground it stands on)

Allotments (Site at Bomarsund)

Parish Office

I was confirmed that the roof of the shelter at Mojo’s will be replaced on Tuesday 26th March

 

  1. Internal Audit Report (interim).

The Council received the report from our internal auditor which detailed areas audited and those still to progress at the year end.  She will be returning to the Council to complete the audit at the end April.

 

RESOLVED: The Parish Council thanked the Parish Clerk for the report, agreeing all actions be taken subject to delegated authority and financial regulations. The Members expressed thanks to the internal auditor for her report.

Agenda – Part 2.  Members can resolve that in consideration of Standing Order 3 and

 because of their special and confidential nature, items may require

 consideration after the exclusion of press and public.

 

No matters required consideration in Agenda Part 2

 

There being no further business the meeting closed at 19:30.

 

 

Chairman                                                                             Date

 

Appendix One

Finance Report 13.1                                                                                                  

November 2023 to January 2024
Expenditure
Cheque RefTransaction DetailDate PaidTotalPayee Name
Std OrdSchool Sports Programme03/11/20231638.58PFC
RentOffice Rent04/11/2023808.92Stakeford & Bomarsund Welfare
DD2083S200Email server licences07/11/2023102.00Google Ireland Ltd
DD2084S200Telephone & Broadband07/11/2023244.11British Telecom
Std OrdIT/Functional11/11/2023324.45Members support
126015894Postage/Stationary/Games13/11/2023111.33Parish Clerk
302443Site visit13/11/202350.00DB Computer Support Services
Std OrdCPC router14/11/202312.46David Nicholson
302444Allotment management event16/11/202372.00Soc of Local Council Clerks
302445Footpath at Butlers Wood22/11/202316045.73Groundwork North EastCheque lost in post
968554248NAC AGM Carlisle23/11/2023338.53Deputy Parish Clerk
302446Youth work sessions24/11/2023180.00Maria Oliver
302447Youth work sessions24/11/2023250.00Rebecca Smith
302448Troubleshoot phones27/11/202351.45DB Computer Support Services
302449Youth club visit27/11/2023190.50International Centre for Life
302450Bogballe Salt Spreader27/11/20232850.00Thomas Sherriff & Co Ltd
257498701Future of Local Govt finances27/11/2023439.20National Association Of Counci
302451Membership fee (AB)28/11/2023416.00Soc of Local Council Clerks
302452Hall hire30/11/2023495.00Choppington Parochial Church Council
302453Photocopying30/11/202344.51Document Solutions (UK) Ltd
302454Recharge of Stakeford Jnrs inv30/11/2023750.00Stakeford & Bomarsund Welfare
302455Salaries30/11/202319023.25Northumberland County Council
44438.02
Income
Interest Received02/11/20231463.88Public Sector Deposit Fund
Allotment rent29/11/202348.75plot 3/4
Worknest inv & hall lock30/11/2023968.27Stakeford & Bomarsund Welfare
2480.90
Cheque RefTransaction DetailDate PaidAmountPayee Name
204854416Allotments lock01/12/202370.99Parish Clerk
Std OrdSchool Sports Programme03/12/20231638.58PFC
RentOffice Rent04/12/2023808.92Stakeford & Bomarsund Welfare
302457Anti Virus/McAfee upgrade04/12/2023204.98DB Computer Support Services
781849827Supply & install fan in office06/12/2023340.00J B Electrical
302458Grass topping at Riverside06/12/2023540.00M & D Burkinshaw
302459Mesh on path at Butlers Wood08/12/20231250.00David Angus
DD2096S202Email server licences07/12/2023107.80Google Ireland Ltd
DD2097S202Telephone & Broadband08/12/2023244.11British Telecom
Std OrdIT/Functional11/12/2023324.45Members support
804555777Travel exps/postage/office13/12/202372.62FAO
302460Hall hire13/12/2023450.00Choppington Parochial Church Council
302461Play area repairs13/12/20231770.00J Smith & Sons
Std OrdCPC router14/12/202312.46David Nicholson
302462Play area equipment installed14/12/20231188.00Kompan
367568963Youth work sessions15/12/2023250.00Kenneth Purvis
DD2098S202Bank charges31/12/202334.05Bank
9306.96
Income
Recharge Alnwick trip01/12/2023652.50West Sleekburn Community Trust
Allotment rents04/12/202365.00Plots 86 & 92
Interest received04/12/20231384.24Public Sector Deposit Fund
Banking12/12/2023204.58Plot 90/Poppy wreaths/PFC October * to be recharged
2306.32
Expenditure
Cheque RefTransaction DetailDate PaidAmountPayee Name
302463Salaries02/01/202414196.19Northumberland County Council
302464Update Word Press core files02/01/202460.00Energy 365
302465Photocopying02/01/202416.04Document Solutions (UK) Ltd
Std OrdSchool Sports Programme03/01/20241638.58PFC
RentOffice Rent04/01/2024808.92Stakeford & Bomarsund Welfare
DD2113S203Email server licences08/01/2024108.00Google Ireland Ltd
DD2114S203Telephone & Broadband08/01/2024244.11British Telecom
843595122AAT Qualification change09/01/202475.00FAO
302467Website hosting09/01/2024183.60Energy 365
302468Water – allotments09/01/2024261.26Wave
302466Youth work sessions10/01/2024180.00Maria Oliver
302469Data protection/GDPR12/01/202440.00Information Commisioners Office
Std OrdCPC router14/01/202412.46Deputy Parish Clerk
Std OrdIT/Functional14/01/2024324.45Members support
295671445Environment conf’ce  S Shields17/01/2024439.20National Association Of Councillors
302470Waste bin installation22/01/2024160.00Securefast Northeast Ltd
302471Coach hire to Centre for Life23/01/2024140.00Ken Muckle Coach Hire
302472Grant for chairs26/01/2024500.00Choysez
302473Defibrillator pads31/01/2024360.00Primary Care Supplies
19747.81
Income
Interest received03/01/20241432.51Public Sector Deposit Fund
Compensation for BS damage04/01/20240.87HMCTS
Grant for Cleaswell Park05/01/202420000.00Lottery fund
Allotment rent16/01/202432.50Allotment holder
21465.88
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix Two

13.2 Finance report

Income and Expenditure by Budget as at end January 2024

Income%
BudgetActualVarianceResource spentNote
Precept435,889435,8990100
Partnership8,03039,049-31,0194861
interest89612,875-11,9791,4362
Neighbourhood plan6,00006,0000
Misc income011,880-11,80003
Total450,815499,703-48,798
Expenditure
Staffing costs175,299128,81646,483744
Office Costs13,93412,6801,25491
Members Costs10,9065,5665,34051
Fees And Charges18,32811,8506,47865
Contingencies/mis exp17,5009,0668,43452
Contracts4,9005,314-414108
Local Service Delivery83,073083,07305
Allotment Expenses1,2502,364-1,114189
Community Services9,4433,1726,27134
Grants and donations9,0001,2507,750146
Sport in the community20,86016,3864,47477
Youth Provision13,2504,9718,27936
Total
Earmarked projects73,07248,94324,1297
Note
1Includes Cllr Foster MLIS funding for interactive signs £10,436
includes £20K grant towards Cleaswell project
2Interest from savings account increased year on year
3insurance claim for bus shelter
4Only 9  months salary in actual
5invoiced in February for  £87,000
6Budget includes £6000 for neighhood planning
7payment out of earmarked balances year to date

 

 

450,815250,378200,437
Appendix Three

Item 13.3

Health and Safety report to Parish Council meeting 20 March 2024

 

Background

Health and Safety items covered in this report relate to:

 

  1. Parish council as an employer

 

  1. The following equipment/premises
  1. Play areas
  2. Bus shelters (not for the ground it stands on)
  • Allotments (Site at Bomarsund)
  1. Parish Office

 

  1. Addition health and safety inspections for:
  1. Stakeford and Bomarsund Welfare Centre – the Council shares areas of the building has access to the car park and uses surrounding areas for sporting activities.
  2. West Sleekburn premises and grounds on behalf of the Trustees of West Sleekburn Hall.

Employees

 

Covid update.  When working from the office staff are maintaining social distancing.  Moving around the public area staff are required to wear masks. 

 

Play areas

 

The Parish Council maintains the following play areas

            West Sleekburn

            Milburn Grange

            Eastgreen

            Cambridge Road

            Liddells Field

            Welbeck Road

           

Weekly reports are received from inspections by Northumberland County Council which are reviewed by DLN and DI.  The reports are colour coded to alert the seriousness of any damage or defects. 

Anything marked as a serious alert (red) may be dealt with by the NCC inspector, but this will trigger a visit by a Parish officer and a course of action agreed. 

 

Allotment site

 

DI undertakes monthly inspections of allotments noting the general condition of site, gates, locks, water taps and tracks and any general obstacles.

 

Parish Office

All members of staff have responsibility for health and safety on a daily basis

 

Stakeford and Bomarsund Welfare

DI undertakes monthly inspections of the external area noting the general condition of site, paths, and surfaces.  These are reported to the Welfare Secretary for action.

 

West Sleekburn Hall

 

DI performs monthly hard surface inspections. 

 

 

 

Updated Report

 

Play Areas

 

Outstanding issues and actions arising from NCC inspections and CPC inspections

 

 

Liddells Field

The climbing frame is identified as a low risk.  The goalposts required painting but, we are in process of purchasing another larger set.  The soft pore is lifting and will require repair as identified as tripping risk.  Parish Clerk will obtain a couple of quotations to repair it.

 

 

Cambridge Road

There is nothing of note, here are missing caps exposing bolts, but it has been assessed at no risk of injury

 

Church Avenue

 

A bolt had become loosened on the toddler swing which proved difficult to tighten while it was attached to the chains.  The swing has been repaired and is now back on the equipment.  Slight movement on a board on the climbing feature marked as a 1 very low risk of injury, there is a cut in the rope which is to be monitored.

 

Morpeth Road

The stand and spin may require new bearings in the near future as something is rattling within it.  The spinning ring is being bashed and dents are increasing however still rated at low risk

 

Eastgreen

A metal bin is earmarked to replace the bin that was destroyed last year.  There still remains a damaged flag stone in the corner of the play area.  The main climbing feature has graffiti and some features such as a flower have been smashed but is assessed as a low 1 risk.  Cracked pavement is low risk and is to be monitored, seat is splintering and is to be monitored

 

 

Milburn Grange

Nothing more to note than a missing bolt on the fence but is not assessed as a risk.  Ground around seat is requires filling but not assessed as a risk

 

 

Allotment site

Issues to note

No change – Still awaiting a repair for pot holes to entrance of site.  Officers have visited site with NCC highways officer and he is seeking solutions

 

Water boxes require repair, DPC has had a template prepared.

 

Parish Office – No change

 

Stakeford and Bomarsund Welfare – No change

 

West Sleekburn Hall – There is evidence of slight damage to the left had side of the external entrance.

 

Fire Regulations:  Both West Sleekburn Village Hall and Welfare have had fire extinguisher checks in recent weeks and have purchased new extinguishers.

 

New fire safety legislation came into effect on 1st October 2023, Parish and Welfare staff have been given notice of the changes and will be meeting to discuss the new requirements

 

Actions to be considered

 

To consider the report and direct the Parish Clerk on any issue raised that require further action.

 

 

A Brindley

Parish Clerk

13 March 2024