5 April 2022

Parish Councillors are hereby summoned to a meeting of Neasham Parish Council on Tuesday 5 April 2022, 6:30PM, in Neasham Reading Room to transact the business listed in the agenda below.

Members of the public are entitled to attend Parish Council Meetings as a non-participating attendee (unless confidential matters are under discussion) but may speak only at the invitation of the Chair. Those wishing to speak on any matter during the meeting must give written notice giving brief details to the Clerk or Chair at least two days prior to the meeting.


  1. Chair’s welcome and apologies for absence.
  2. Declarations of interest in items on the agenda.
  3. Approval of the minutes of the ordinary meeting held on 1 March 2022, as previously circulated
  4. Matters arising from previous meeting.
  5. PACT Meeting.
    A PACT meeting had been held on 16 March 2022 and was attended by the Chair.
  6. Roads and footpaths.
    Update on the bridge on the bridleway off New Lane which had been closed by Darlington BC pending the results of a structural survey.
  7. Environment Agency Matters.
    All logs arising from the fallen conifer tree which was blocking the Teesdale Way remain on site and awaiting removal by the Agency. Remedial works to the damaged fence to be carried out by the Agency still outstanding.
  8. Village Green.
    • Proposals for a wild seed area to the east end of the green.
    • Trees made available by Darlington BC to parish councils for planting, report on approach to B Graham for clarification on the position.
    • Shrubbery. Update on progress on preparation and placing of orders for materials and products to allow start on site early in the next financial year. An email has been received from a parishioner querying the need for the proposed new shrubbery.
  9. Planning.
    • Applications received since last meeting:-
      22/00164/RM1 - Manor Farm, Low Dinsdale - Reserved matters re 22/00300/OUT.
      22/00192/FUL - Low Maidendale Farm, Burma Rd-Convert dog kennels into 1No dwelling.
      20/00159/FUL-Low Maidendale Farm, Burma Rd-Convert agricultural buildings into 5No dwellings.
      20/00327/FUL- Sockburn Hall-Convert piggeries to holiday let, 5 new lodges and amenity block.
    • Decisions received since last meeting:-
  10. Risk Management.
    • Two scheduled Inspections, Trees and Village Green, were due to be carried out in March. There was one defect notice raised in February and forwarded to Darlington BC for action.
    • The updated Annual All-Risks Checklist has now been completed and circulated to all members and is now tabled for consideration and approval.
    • The members are asked to consider removal of our Covid signage and replacing with a “responsibility” message. If approved it would involve a revision to the Village Green PSRA which is due for review prior to May.
  11. Finance.
    • C Chou had arranged for his allocation of £1,000.00 from the government backed “stronger community” fund to be paid to Neasham. Which is to be spent in the next financial year on projects of benefit to the parishioners. This donation was much appreciated.
    • The balance in the current account stood at £7527.87 as at 21 March 2022 with the ICO DD and 4 cheques outstanding amounting to £763.47 which should result in a year end current account balance of £6764.40, unless any unforeseen works crop up before 31 March.
    • The NALC pay scales for 2021/22 were published in March 2022 and backdated to 1 April 2021 as previously agreed. This represents a total increase of the clerk’s salary for the year of £42.24.
    • Previously approved payments made in March:- Stationary £10.15 (Printing paper), Harrisons Flagpole £68.40 (Replacement flag), Information Commissioners Office £35 (Registration fee). Clerk £473.66 (Salary), HMRC £118.42 (PAYE).
    • Additional payments made in March- Leeds PC Repairs £98.00 (Laptop Repair), Leeds PC Repairs £35.00 (Printer repair), Cartridge Discount £32.99 (Additional printer cartridges). All arising from problems with the laptop hard drive failing.
    • Order placed with Marmax Recycled Products for raised bed materials in the sum of £1,322.40 (including VAT) for delivery in the next financial year.
    • The Reading Rooms have confirmed that their cheque of £300 as a donation towards the cost of the lectern and Roll of Honour will be paid to Neasham PC in the first week of April.
    • The AGAR is still awaited. The Clerk contacted the external auditor and was informed that it will be sent out next week and that Neasham PC will remain in the Smaller Authority classification.
    • Approval to obtain a quotation to place an order to carry out a formal Web-site accessibility test.
  12. Updating of Policies and Procedures Documents.
    The review of the Neasham PC policies and procedures documentation has proceeded and updated documents, as set out below, have been circulated.
    • Documents tabled for approval by the members:-
      Disproportionate Burden Assessment.
      Accessibility Statement.
      Model Publication Scheme.
    • Document tabled for authorisation by the members:-
      What we have to do  (Confirmation of Clerk Data Processor duties).
    • Document tabled for information only for the members:-
      Inventory/Assets Register.
      Document Management Policy Guidance.
      Guidance Notes for New and Prospective Councillors.
      Process for Periodic Inspections.
  13. Climate Change Issues
    G Crute had contacted Margaret Enstone of Darlington BC extending an invitation to her addressing the Parish Assembly to be held on the 17th May, which she had accepted. G  Crute to update the members on the necessary arrangements and suggest a programme for the event, for the members to agree.
  14. Ward Councillor Matters.
  15. Correspondence (all as circulated in March).
    • Various emails from NALC regarding General Briefing (15/03), Chief Executive’s bulletins (07/02, 14/03), Local Government Bulletin (08/03, 10/03, 10/03, 15/03. 15/03, 15/03, 16/03, 18/03, 21/03,23/03,24/03). For information only, unless any matters raised.
    • 10/03/22 Email from NALC requesting proposals for nominations for their Star Council Awards.
  16. Other village matters.
    • Parish Assembly meeting. G Crute’s email 16/03/22 indicated that there had been a volunteer who had agreed to prepare the Annual Report for publication and hoped that a preliminary draft may be available for this meeting. Further details on the assembly to be agreed including provision of refreshments and distribution of the Annual Report, in particular to the outlying areas of the parish.
    • G Crute would like to propose a project, which has been undertaken by other parish councils, where participants would allocate 1m2 of land in front of their property for planting, growing and maintaining a selection of suitable plants to establish an insect friendly growing zone. G Crute will provide further details at the meeting.
    • The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Celebrations. Review of the Neasham PC position in relation to events organised by others. An email had been received from Gemma Murphy inviting members to join the Neasham RR working group on the Jubilee celebrations.
  17. Date of next meeting and AGM is Tuesday 3 May 2022.

John Walker

Clerk to Neasham Parish Council