Meeting of the Community Development and Environment Committee 26 July 2024


Members present:
 Cllr H Allsopp
Cllr K Burn
Cllr J Foster
Cllr G Huntley (Chairman)
Cllr A Iley
Cllr P S Vaughan

In attendance:

Ms A Brindley Parish Clerk/Responsible Finance Officer, Mr D L Nicholson DPC, Mr D Iley Admin/Finance, County Councillor M Murphy and Mr R Delap Project Manager Northumberland County Council .

CD&E 001/24           1.         APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.
Apologies were received for Cllr J Rowell (family commitment) Cllr L Watson (Leave) which were accepted as valid reasons for absence.

None were received


CD&E 003/24           3.         TO APPOINT A CHAIRMAN TO SERVE FOR 2024/25.

There being only one nomination Cllr G Huntley was duly elected to serve as Chairman for the council year.

CD&E 004/24           4.         TO APPOINT A VICE-CHAIRMAN TO SERVE FOR 2024/25.

There being only one nomination Cllr L Watson was duly elected to serve as Vice-Chairman for the council year.

CD&E 005/24           5.         PUBLIC QUESTIONS.

The Parish Clerk confirmed the Council had not received any public questions



The minutes were received and accepted as a true record. The Chairman was authorised to sign as such.

CD&E 007/24           7.         TO CONSIDER ANY MATTERS ARISING.

035/23 iv   Parish Clerk confirmed the roof had been replaced on the bus shelter opposite the Half Moon.


The terms of refence were accepted as presented.

  1. Public Seating. The seat at East Gate play area needs replacement, which will be discussed later in the report
  2. Trees and green areas. Members had received a report previously of a meeting with Kirsten Johnson a woodland officer of NCC where possible areas for additional trees had been identified.  The Parish Clerk reported that a further meeting had taken place at Cleaswell Park regarding possible sites for 2 rowan trees.  The Council must undertake to water and tend the trees over 3 years for which funding is available at £175/year per tree for a total £1050.  Further sites discussed are Liddells Field, behind Church Avenue West Sleekburn and Riverside Park.

RESOLVED: To take up the funding opportunity for 2 trees at Cleaswell Park and explore further opportunities for tree planting.

3 Youth activities during the summer school holidays. In addition to the mobile court with PFC running throughout the holidays, we have two new suppliers of activities:

Control and Move will provide circus activities for 2 sessions of 2 hours at the Welfare.

ABS will provide 5 weekly sessions of 2 hours sports related activities

4 Play Areas. The Council has received the annual ROSPA report for the inspection of our play areas.  This is in addition to the weekly inspections undertaken by NCC.

    1. Constant in the report is an inspection routine of swing shackles for 30% wear, this is done weekly by the inspection team.
    2. Officers are picking up the minor adjustments that have been identified and contractors are dealing with the technical ones.
  • A constant suggestion is that seats are placed too close to fences. We have in the past accepted that the seats will be moved once they are replaced.  The East Gate seat is at that stage, and we are seeking to purchase a smaller seat that can be placed on the same footprint but away from the fence.
  1. The major concern we have been dealing with for some time is the shrinkage of the soft pore overlay at Liddells Field. This is most prominent at the roundabout although there is evidence that it is occurring in other areas as well.  Kompan are in discussions with the contractor, and we met both representatives on site.  Kompan has not seen this occur before and maintains that it has been installed incorrectly, the contractor is denying liability.  It will mean that the surface will need to be uplifted either in part – by patching or in full.  Officers have investigated surfaces that maybe used in future developments but are aware that there is not one solution.   There are 3 types, soft pore, grass matting and wood bark.  All have problems, and it is a judgement decision which one is the best solution for individual parks.   The Council’s immediate problem is ensuring the safety of users while the dispute continues.  Currently warning tape is being used which entails regular replacement and now more permanent warning signs have been painted on the surface to alerts users.  The Council is monitoring this on a weekly basis.

5   Cleaswell Park. Members received a progress report from Project Manager Rob Delap.  Now the hard landscaping is complete, the next stage is installation of the play equipment.  Tenders for this should be out next week.  Members will be then invited to inspect the schemes together with NCC procurement group in around 4 weeks.  This will give a completed installation date by the October half term.

Regarding the flooding problems that are under investigation by Highways, Members were robust that they would not take responsibility for the maintenance of the play area without the flood work being completed and this should be explicit in the Memorandum of Understanding.

Rob Delap confirmed that reference to this being a Queen Elizabeth II memorial project will be acknowledged on an interpretation panel.  Members thanked him for his work on the project and expressed their appreciation that it was progressing so well.

The Parish Clerk reported that Cleaswell Park has been accepted by the Football Foundation as a venue for a playzone.  There is a scoping meeting due but not yet arranged with the Parish Council to progress the scheme.  Currently the Parish Council contribution is under negotiation.

RESOLVED: The working group will be advised of any progress and decisions required between committee meetings.

 6  Interactive Signs. This project to place 4 interactive signs along Ashington Drive is funded by County Councillor Foster and County Councillor Murphy through their MLIS. The purchasing and installation are being undertaken by Northumberland County Council.


7  Fencing. Conway fencing has been appointed to undertake the fencing work behind Ellesmere Gardens, which is funded by County Councillor Foster through her MLIS.  The Council has agreed to the suggestion from Highways that bollards are a better solution than fencing to prevent parking on grass at the entrance to Osier Court.


8 Purchases. Members were asked to approve the purchase of a strimmer for work in the allotment and in play areas.  After receiving 3 estimates for the same strimmer, the best price received is from Gustharts at £317.24

RESOLVED: To approve the purchase of a strimmer from Gustharts for £317.24

 9 Riverside Park. Members were advised that the boardwalk section that required reinforcement work has been completed and the boardwalk is now open.  A path that runs along the river to the left, towards the old quarry has been closed due to the slippage of the ground.  The report to the Parish Council was followed up by an inspection by NCC temporary closed notices were put in place by the Parish Council followed later by more permanent NCC notices.


CD&E 010/24           10.       Report from the CDG Trustees
Cllr Graham Huntley reported that the CDG continues to support those with disability and carers in the area meeting every 1st Friday on the month at the Welfare. There will be a new leaflet coming out in the near future, and a trip is being arranged to the Earsdon Garden Centre. 


CD&E 011/23           11.       Report from the West Sleekburn Community Trust Trustees

Cllr Hillary Allsopp reported that since Cllr L Watson has taken the Chairmanship, there has been a lot of activity at the Village Hall.  Every Saturday they run a coffee morning that includes board games and quizzes which has attracted a number of regulars.  Unfortunately, they are still unable to attract people from the Village.  The afternoon of the 6th of July they will host a police pop up which may attract locals and they are working with Fareshare and Northumberland Communities together to sell surplus food from the village hall which they hope will bring more local people into the Hall.  They have run an Easter fayre and are planning a summer one on the 27th of July.  They are They want to bring to a future Parish committee plans to refurbish the existing toilet block into a storage area and are exploring installing solar panels to defray heating charges.  Members were thrilled that this report was so much more positive than the one received last year.


CD&E 012/23           12.     Report from the Stakeford and Bomarsund Welfare                                               Trustees

David Nicholson reported that the Welfare is always looking for ways to generate new income, and a new darts academy initiative was in its early stages but was attracting lots of young people.  The Memorandum of Understanding with the Parish Council did give stability to the Welfare allowing it to continue as a community venue.  The Memorandum of Understand was ready to sign by the Chairman of the Welfare Cllr Foster and Chairman of the Parish Council Cllr P Vaughan.


Agenda, Part 2.

Members resolved that in consideration of standing order 3 and because of

their special and confidential nature, the following items require discussion in

the absence of press and public.


No items for part 2



There being no further matters requiring consideration the meeting concluded at 20.30