MINUTES OF A MEETING OF CHOPPINGTON PARISH COUNCIL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE HELD ON 6 SEPTEMBER 2023.
Cllr H Allsopp
Cllr K Burn
Cllr J Foster
Cllr G Huntley (Chairman)
Cllr A Iley
Cllr J Rowell
Cllr P S Vaughan
Ms A Brindley Parish Clerk/Responsible Finance Officer, David Nicholson DPC, David Iley FAO.
CD&E 014/23 1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE.
Apologies were received from Cllr Hart for work commitments which members accepted as a valid reason
CD&E 015/23 2. MEMBERS’ DECLARATION OF DISCLOSABLE PECUNIARY AND OTHER REGISTERABLE INTEREST(S).
None were received
CD&E 016/23 3. PUBLIC QUESTIONS.
The parish clerk reported no questions had been received.
CD&E 017/23 4. TO RECEIVE AND AGREE AS A TRUE RECORD THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 12 JULY 2023.
The minutes were received and accepted as a true record of the meeting.
CD&E 018/23 5. TO CONSIDER MATTERS ARISING FROM THOSE MINUTES NOT ALREADY ON THE AGENDA.
- CD&E 010/23 v. The parish clerk reported that the council has been advised not to utilise loose nets for unattended football pitches. Metallised mesh could be utilised but is not considered a cost-effective solution. It was suggested that this matter lie on the table until a viable course emerges.
- CD&E 010/23 viii. In response to a question the Parish Clerk reported that a meeting had taken place with NCC officers and that there is a developing consensus on a preferred route to provide connectivity to existing cycle routes to the north and south of the parish.
- CD&E 010/23 ix. The Deputy Parish Clerk reported preferred locations are being considered and it is anticipated that commissioning will be undertaken in the autumn.
- CD&E 010/23 x. The Deputy Parish Clerk advised a local fencing contractor has been the subject of market testing, and quality checks will be undertaken over the coming weeks. The results of this process will be reported to a future meeting.
CD&E 019/23 6. REPORT FROM NEIGHBOURHOOD POLICE.
In the absence of an attending officer a written report was presented to members. Members continue to be concerned at the low police compliment in the area and asked the parish clerk to express these concerns to Northumberland County as the overseeing authority.
CD&E 020/23 7. TO RECEIVE A VERBAL UPDATE FROM THE PARISH CLERK ON CURRENT ISSUES.
- Public seating. The Deputy Parish Clerk reported a local supplier has been identified to supply finished sustainably sourced hardwood for seat repairs and that 3 seats have been recovered for refurbishing over the winter. An audit of seats will commence in October.
- Trees and green areas. The parish council has received many compliments at the quality of flower tower, border, and feature displays. Grass cutting and weed controls have been delivered to a local standard exceeding general county standards. Investment in woodland paths has resulted in improved accessibility and extended seasonal use. This work has gone hand-in-hand with woodland margin maintenance and measures to improve habitat.
- Youth activity. Caroline Ball, Community Development Officer (CDO) reported 57 Young People used the holiday program in Summer 2023, participating in 10 different sessions, which included trips to Beamish and Alnwick Gardens/Lillidorei. The program included a fun day with the youth club with visits from Fire and Rescue Service and Northumbria Police.
With support funding from the Health Action Fund (HAF) for activities, healthy food was provided for all who attended.
The parish clerk indicated learning from this year’s program will inform members when setting the budget for 2024/25.
- The parish clerk confirmed that pressed perforated metal panels are now the standard replacement for glass panels in those bus-shelters prone to vandalism. They have been judged a success in that none have been damaged or defaced, and no negative comment has been received from residents. Perforated metal panels are more expensive than strengthened glass but will lower maintenance expenditure over time. Members received details of repairs that have been undertaken to bus shelters and play areas. Of particular concern is repeated damage to play surfaces at Eastgate. Repairs are costly and vandalism can compromise the safety of children. Members considered management options and asked the Parish Clerk, in consultation with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the committee, to look at ways in which to preserve play for young children in Eastgate.
- Cleaswell Park. The parish clerk gave an update on the proposed development of Cleaswell Park. The project can be considered as having five physical elements, paths steps, woodland, and planting, play areas and equipment, multi-user-play, and skateboarding. Work to date has concentrated on assessing work required to paths and steps and for improved management of woodland and associated areas. Officers from NCC and CPC have a shared understanding of the extent of land to be transferred to the purview of CPC. NCC will be the commissioning body and they are preparing the specification for play equipment and surfacing.
Cllr J Foster left the meeting at the conclusion of this report.
- Neighbourhood Plan. The Parish Clerk and Deputy have met with consultants who are giving advice on how the Neighbourhood Plan can protect gateways and promote good design as a feature for the renovation of ageing properties and the improvement of older estates.
The parish clerk was thanked for a comprehensive and informative report.
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 021/23 Grants – Members agreed a £250.00 grant to Cramlington and Wansbeck Rotary towards the installation or maintenance of a defibrillator at Guide Post Shops. Thanks were given to the organisation for their community work.
There being no further matters requiring consideration the meeting concluded at 9.05pm