Minutes of the Community Development and Environment Committee on 12 July 2023




Members present:


Cllr H Allsopp

Cllr K Burn

Cllr A Hart

Cllr G Huntley (Chairman)

Cllr A Iley

Cllr J Rowell

Cllr P S Vaughan


In attendance:


Ms A Brindley Parish Clerk/Responsible Finance Officer, David Iley Admin/Finance, and one member of the public.


CD&E 001/23           1.         APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.


Apologies were received for Cllr J Foster (family commitment) Cllr L Watson (illness) which were accepted as valid reasons for absence.


CD&E 002/23           2.         MEMBERS’ DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE


None were received


CD&E 003/23           3.         TO APPOINT A CHAIRMAN TO SERVE FOR 2023/24.


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


CD&E 004/23           4.         TO APPOINT A VICE-CHAIRMAN TO SERVE FOR 2023/24.


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


CD&E 005/23           5.         PUBLIC QUESTIONS.


A member of the pubic addressed members over concerns about the proposed housing development behind Stakeford Crescent.  The access to the development is via Stakeford Crescent which he contended was unsuitable due to the congestion already caused by resident parking.  He estimated that the road would be in appropriate for the extra journeys from 32 homes which could amount easily to over 50 per day.  He stated that the road was used as a school walking route to avoid the traffic on Stakeford Lane.  He asked members to note also that the green area where the housing is proposed has lots of wild life including deer.


The Chair thanked him for his attendance and explained that the Parish Council is not a planning authority but would be making a submission to Northumberland County Council and appreciated him attending in person to explain residents concerns.




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


CD&E 007/23           7.         TO CONSIDER ANY MATTERS ARISING.

Members expressed their relief regarding minute 035/23 that more suitable names had been agreed




The terms of refence were accepted as presented.


CD&E 009/23           9.         REPORT FROM NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICE.


Due to illness Inspector Daniels was unable to attend.  The Parish Clerk explained that Sgt Morton had asked that any issues arising from the meeting should be emailed to him for a response.  He had reported to the Parish Clerk that Neighbourhood Police had 2 new recruits and would be receiving 2 further members of staff in the near future to bring their numbers back to 6. Members were disappointed that a representative could not be present.  The issue of unauthorised motorised bikes in the area remained a concern for members.

Cllr Burn left meeting






  1. Public Seating. The seat sited on the Guide Post roundabout had disappeared but Bernicia have it safely behind their hoardings and is awaiting pick up. We also lost a bin there and Bernicia have offered to replace it.


  1. Trees and green areas. A pathway through Butlers Wood has been laid by Groundworks.  This is the first stage, of the network through the woods to enable an easier passage through the woods and away from more sensitive areas.  It is hoped that funds will be available for a similar exercise along the stretch of the Riverside from Sheepwash Bridge in Bark woods.


  • Youth activities during the summer school holidays. The Welfare has received another HaF grant towards summer holiday activities. This will go towards activities in the last 2 weeks of the summer holidays and also to our Youth Club. The Community Development officer is progressing the planning of activities.


  1. Play areas. The annual RoSPA inspection has taken place and findings will be discussed at the Health and Safety meeting and reported to the next Parish Council meeting.
  2. The Parish Clerk asked for approval for the purchase of new nets for use on Liddells field. Suppliers and designs were being finalized for the barrier.


RESOLVED: Members approved the purchase of nets for Liddells Field.


  1. Bus shelters. The bus shelter at Alex Scotts garage has been replaced after the car accident and Advance Northumberland has put in the new bus shelter at the Willows development. Members advised of graffiti on the bus shelter at Alex Scotts.  The bus shelter at Johnsons Villas had been vandalised but the police had arrested the offender.


  • Cleaswell Park. Officers have have had meetings

with Countryside officers and the those involved in the Playzone project.  The Parish Council has completed the engagement for Cleaswell and will be finalising the specification for the play area with the Countryside officers in the next couple of weeks.  We have a date for the horticulturist at Berwick to visit Cleaswell on 8h August to look at the area and the suggest planting.  There is a Playzone engagement event on Monday 17th July at Stakeford and Bomarsund Welfare.


  • Cycleways and pathways. Officers and the Chair and Vice Chair attended a meeting with Leader of NCC for a progress report.  The funding for a feasibility study has been approved and a date had been arranged to meet with consultants to walk or drive the route.  David Holmes, the member of the public who had previously contacted the Parish Council about cycleways supplied options for cycling routes to travel from Ashington to Bedlington and to the cycling network.   However, the feasibility study meeting was cancelled due to delayed receipt of the approval of the grant.   Consultants were reluctant to start the work without the approval being through.  The Council is awaiting the rescheduled date.  Members welcomed the involvement of David Holmes.


  1. Interactive signs. A site visit with County Councillor Mary Murphy agreed the siting of the interactive sign at In her ward on Ashington Drive.  We will be seeking final approval from Cllr Foster on her signs. Our DPC is advising those residents living close to the sites.


  1. The Council is seeking to appoint fencing contractors.  We do not use fencing contractors very often and the Parish Clerk asked that we identify suitable contractors and test them on price and quality.


RESOLVED.  Members approved the process to identify fencing contractors.





CD&E 011/23           11.       REPORT FROM TRUSTEES

Cllr Allsopp reported that the AGM for West Sleekburn Community Trust had been inquorate.  This will be reconvened later in the year, but she noted that community involvement in the running of the Trust was difficult.  Existing members were getting older and no new members were being identified.

RESOLVED: That Chair and Vice Chair meet with West Sleekburn Community Trust appointees to identify next steps.


Cllr Huntley reported that the CDG is approaching its 10 year and there are plans to celebrate the event.  They continue to campaign for dropped kerbs in the area.  They have identified a problem with GPs increasing reliance of online contact, that is difficult for some sectors of the public.  Their fundraising fayre will be held in November.


CD&E 012/23           12.       CDG and CPC

Cllr Huntley presented a statement for approval that defined the close relationship that Choppington Disability Group has with the Parish Council.


‘Choppington Parish Council recognises and values its shared working with Choppington Disability Group to give a stronger voice to the disabled and carers community’

RESOLVED:  Members approved the statement


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.



CD&E 013/23           1          Request for a contribution towards Vets League costs from

Choppington Snooker Club.  Agreed £100


2          Requests for costs towards trip to Northumberland Zoo from Brownies


3          Requests for costs towards trip to Northumberland Zoo from Rainbows


Declined. As items 2 and 3 were for a joint trip, Members asked that they are resubmitted as one grant request, to be considered at next meeting.


4          Request for contribution towards purchase of sander by Earth Balance Shed.  Agreed £500.00



5          Request for donation towards running costs of Citizens Advice.  Members considered the report attached to grant giving number of contacts made by our residents and agreed £500.00 with the approval to include this sum as an annual donation in the budget.




There being no further matters requiring consideration the meeting concluded at 9.05pm