Minutes of Neasham Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 3 May 2022, 6:30PM, in Neasham Reading Room
G Crute, J Grainger, M Hannaford, E Miller, K Sandick, J Weighell, L Tostevin
B Crossen, P Dunn, C Chou
K Sandick welcomed Councillors and parishioners to the meeting. Apologies for absence were accepted from B Crossen (Holiday), P Dunn (Holiday).
22/002 – DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no Declarations of Interest.
22/003- MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
The minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 5 April 2022 were confirmed as a correct record.
22/004 – MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MEETING / PROGRESS REPORTS
There were no matters arising.
22/005 – PACT REPORT
No meeting had been held in April.
22/006 – ROADS AND FOOTPATHS
Update on the bridge on the bridleway off New Lane which had been closed by Darlington BC. It was reported that the landowner had requested that Neasham PC take no action as he was in direct discussions with Darlington BC on the issue. M Hannaford stated that a parishioner had enquired if a diversion could be made. In view of the landowner’s discussions and also that there was no realistic diversion it was agreed that Neasham PC should not take any action. It was suggested that M Hannaford should inform the parishioner that he had raised the diversion request at the meeting but no action could be taken.
22/007 – ENVIRONMENT AGENCY MATTERS
J Weighell reported that all logs arising from the fallen tree now removed, but the fence repair was still to do.
22/008 – VILLAGE GREEN
- Update on trial patch for a wild seed area. K Sandick reported that an area of approximately 10m2 near the river had been sprayed, but with rotovating and further spraying still required, the program was tight. It was agreed to proceed with the trial using plugs with a budget of up to £150.
- No alternative trees for planting by the parish have been offered by Darlington BC. As previously agreed, this has now been placed on the agenda for the Parish Assembly.
- Shrubbery. The weedkilling had been carried out effectively and as anticipated the daffodils had survived. G Crute reported that it was anticipated that the materials (including the lectern) from Marmax would be delivered shortly. M Harrison had estimated 2 to 3 days for construction at an estimated cost of £150. The agreed detail was a single board at the front which would increase at the rear to accommodate falls with a single row of cobbles adjacent the footpath. The shrubs are ordered and J Weighell is contacting S Charlton about topsoil, he had also constructed a time capsule. The draft annual report presented by G Crute was agreed by the members. J Grainger volunteered to assist in the distribution of the flyer.
No applications or decisions had been received from Darlington BC since the last meeting.
22/010 – RISK MANAGEMENT
- The updated Public Safety Risk Assessment had been circulated and was approved by the members.
- No scheduled inspections were due and no new defects raised in April. The open defect for the missing dog waste bin, the clerk had been informed by B Graham it was due to difficulties in the supply chain.
22/011 – FINANCE
- It was agreed that an item for the £1,000 from the Darlington BC “stronger community” fund should be placed on the Assembly agenda allowing the parish to have an input on deciding on a beneficial project.
- The accounts have been received back and signed off by the internal auditor. There were two minor comments. All elements of the AGAR including the Certificate of Exemption were agreed and signed off in accordance with the auditor’s instructions. The dates for the 30 day period of the Exercise of Public Right to Inspection were agreed as commencing 9 June and ending 20 July.
- The year end balances were in the current account £6,915.55 savings account £7,194.96, combined total of £14,110.51.The increase of £980 on the 4Q Finance Report is due to the £1000 Darlington BC donation.
- Previously approved payments made in April:- CLCA £108.43 (Membership fee), Sam Turner £91.24 (Compost for planters), PJR Creative £281.50 (Lectern Panel). An additional payment was made to Neasham Reading Rooms £200.00 (contribution Jubilee celebrations - after balloting members).
- Neasham Reading Rooms had kindly donated £300 towards the cost of the lectern and Roll of Honour.
- The members approved in principle expenditure in respect of the following items - additional tree tags £50, rose tree for time capsule location £30 and present for internal auditor £20
22/012 – UPDATED POLICIES AND PROCEDURES DOCUMENTS
The proposal for a standard Official / Signature block for use by all members for an Official correspondence was approved. It was also agreed to discuss the general principles involved in the issue at a future meeting.
22/013 – CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUES
Margaret Elstone, one of the Darlington BC officers, with one of her colleagues working on climate change issues, have agreed to address the Parish Assembly on 17 May 2022. This will be a Power Point presentation followed by a Q & A session allowing all attendees to table their queries. (see also paragraph 22/016.1).
22/014 – WARD COUNCILLOR MATTERS
L Tostevin had no matters that she wished to report on.
22/015 – CORRESPONDENCE
- Various emails from NALC regarding Newsletter (13/04), Chief Executive’s bulletins (08/04, 14/04, 25/04). No matters arising were raised by members.
- NALC email 12/04/22 advertising various online events including one on “Fighting Climate Change” which G Crute was unable to attend. Unfortunately no other member had availability on that date.
- The NALC email 19/04/22 Survey of Sector Finances had been completed by the Clerk.
- Darlington BC email 07/04/22 Draft Design Code Supplementary Planning document, if adopted may be a consideration in planning applications. G Cute stated that under the government proposal parish councils would have a greater involvement in applications and would need some understanding of the issues.
- No members expressed an interest in seeking to sit on the Darlington BC Members Standards Committee.
22/016 – OTHER VILLAGE MATTERS
- The final version of the flyer advertising the Parish Assembly was agreed and ready to print. Sufficient copies would be required to reach 200 dwellings and it was agreed that copies could be posted to the outlying addresses. J Grainger volunteered to assist in distribution. The Chair reported that he had arrange for the loan of the Hurworth PC screen and projector. Copies of the Annual Report would be available at the Assembly and light refreshments would be provided.
- J Grainger and J Weighell had attended the Neasham RR working group on the Jubilee celebration event which had been set at Thursday 2 June. The event will include music, children’s events and a duck derby. The clerk had confirmed that Neasham PC do not hold a music licence. The clerk was instructed to write to B Graham requesting that village green be cut in the week before the event.
22/017 – DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Date of next ordinary parish meeting is Tuesday 7 June 2022. The meeting concluded at 7.50 pm.
Clerk to Neasham Parish Council
Minutes signed on 7 June 2022 by K Sandick