4 October 2022

Draft minutes of Neasham Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 4 October 2022, 6:30PM, in Neasham Reading Room


B Crossen, G Crute, J Grainger, E Miller, K Sandick, J Weighell, L Tostevin


P Dunn, M Hannaford, C Chou

22/068 – WELCOME

K Sandick welcomed Councillors to the meeting. Apologies for absence were accepted from P Dunn (Funeral), M Hannaford (Holiday).

22/069 – PLANNING

  1. It was resolved that Agenda item 9 (Planning) be moved to the head of the meeting.
  2. Applications received since last meeting: -
    22/00875/FUL – Dinsdale Golf Club – Filling depression and forming bund to driving range.
    A parishioner was welcomed to the meeting, who outlined grounds for objecting to the proposal that various parishioners had submitted to Darlington BC. At the end of the discussions the parishioner left the meeting and it was resolved that Neasham PC should object to the application on the grounds that there was insufficient information currently available for consideration of the proposal.
  3. Decisions received since last meeting: -
  4. Notice of Appeal against Enforcement Notice to Land to off Neasham Road, Hurworth Moor. This would be held on 15 November, L Tostevin stated that she would be attending and urged parishioners from Hurworth and Neasham parishes to attend.
  5. Draft Skerningham Garden Village Design Code masterplan is available for comments until 17/10.


G Crute declaration an Interest in Agenda item 3 – Printing costs.


The minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 6 September 2022 were confirmed as a correct record.


  1. Weatherproof boxes for leaflets now delivered.  The location and fixing details are still to be agreed. The Chair had approached M Blundell regarding the replacement of 2No notice boards, who had agreed to provide a quotation for the works. The members agreed to give consideration to both costs being funded from the C Chou grant when available.
  2. Maintenance of the embankment/verge area (environs) to Kent Bridge, the Chair had received two quotations for the work and it was resolved to accept the lump sum quotation of £200 for the annual maintenance of the area for one year commencing spring 2023.
  3. Unfortunately the Chair was unable locate a contractor to carry out the refurbishment of the George V seat. The Vice Chair agreed to try to find a specialist to carry out the works.
  4. The Vice Chair reported that he had not contacted Darlington BC regarding the bench at Low Dinsdale which is not owned by Neasham.  This was because Luke Swinhoe would have matters to attend to relating to the death of Her Majesty, however he would now follow this up.


J Weighell informed the members that the police had not given a date for a meeting in September, therefore no meeting was held. E Miller reported to the meeting that there had been two incidents regarding a quad bike, the second the more serious as it was driven over fields that had been sown.


  1. The repair of the bridge on the bridleway off New Lane is now completed. M Hannaford suggested that it should have some form of mesh covering to the lower part of the edge fencing to prevent children and animals falling over the edge. The Clerk to write to B Hacker at Darlington BC on the matter. In response to a query on an adjacent sign stating “no access to cars etc”, the Vice Chair confirmed that this referred to access by the public and not to the landowners.
  2. A complaint has been received from a parishioner stating that the “private gates” in New Lane are problematic which sometime results in vehicles using private drives to turn. As this it not an area that Neasham PC have any authority, it should be referred to Darlington BC, however it is noted that access to this private area is now restricted by a locked chain.


J Weighell has contacted the Agency regarding outstanding defects and received assurances that all would be completed within the next two months.


  1. Several shrubs in the existing Millennium Garden are now small trees and are beyond a light trim and the area is in need of a general improvement. It had been advised that three of these trees can be removed to form a new planting area and it was agreed that the proposed facelift to the area could proceed. It was also agreed to relocate the buddleia from the raised bed to prevent it becoming a trip hazard.
  2. It was resolved to budget for regular Maintenance of the Millennium Garden/Shrubbery area. However members would like to consider the viability of regular cleaning to village seating by volunteers before agreeing to budget for this work.
  3. Two apple trees will be required, in order to cross pollinate, for replacement of the diseased tree  previously removed. It was agreed to purchase these trees, which are 3.5m high, at a cost of £55 each.
  4. Approval was given to a budget of £300 for any pre-winter tree works required. However it was reported that a hornbeam tree was growing around a lighting column outside 19 Teesway  obstructing the light. It has been cut back in each of the past four years but the pruning had been overtaken by strong growth. The clerk was instructed to contact Highways and inform them of the problem. Any costs incurred may be in addition to the pre-winter tree works budget.
  5. The Chair stated that he would be contacting the Fox and Hounds regarding a tree next to Lilac Cottage which was overgrown and required cutting back.


  1. The Risk Management report to 30 September had been circulated to the members.
  2. Scheduled inspections carried out in September were Millennium Garden, Village Green and Trees.
  3. 2No defects brought forward from previous month, 1No new and 1No re-opened. 4No now outstanding.
  4. The Vice Chair stated that he felt it was unreasonable for the majority of the inspections be carried out by J Weighell and others be involved sharing the load. It was agreed to review the Inspection procedures.
  5. The Vice Chair stated that he proposed having a discussion with a third party regarding production of Risk assessment of the financial risk to Neasham PC arising from any possible cyber attack.

22/078 – FINANCE

  1. Finance Report to 30 September had been circulated to the members.
  2. Payments made in September: - A J Gallagher £563.40 (insurance), Green Magic £118.20 (brochure boxes), J Parker £86.34 (bulbs), J Walker £457.24 (Salary and Expenses), HMRC £114.20 (PAYE).
  3. Re-imbursement for “significant” printing costs, following a comparison between three suppliers’ rates it was agreed that the lowest were not viable rates and that those of Hurworth Grange be accepted.


The Vice Chair stated that the printing of definitive copies of the documents had been done but electronic copies cannot be provided at the moment, this would be completed prior to the next meeting. This was also the position in the cross referencing of the Recruitment Procedure to the NALC Good Employer Guide.


G Crute has written to M Enstone suggesting that the best way to disseminate information to other parish councils would through the Darlington Association of Parish Councils, but no meeting was held in September.


A volunteer is still required to liaise with Darlington BC and other organisations together with research for information to be communicated to the parish via the leaflet boxes and any other means available. In addition to ensuring the boxes are topped up as necessary. The Chair stated that a variety of leaflets were available in the Darlington BC licencing office which may be useful.


L Tostevin reported that each ward councillor has a £1000 fund for use to benefit parish community groups.


Various emails from NALC regarding Newsletter (07/09, 21/09). Chief Executive’s bulletins (12/09, 21/09, 03/10). NALC email (20/09) advertising various online events.  Darlington BC email 19/09 regarding review of polling stations and requesting representations. No matters were raised by members.


  1. Remembrance Ceremony to be held on Sunday 13 November. The Vice Chair reported that there had not yet been any response from last year’s dignatories to the invitation to this year’s service. J Weighell will lay wreath on behalf of the village. The service will comprise of a minutes silence, dedication of the replica Roll of Honour, followed by the Remembrance Service and concluding with an ecumenical prayer in respect of Ukraine. It was proposed that there be a collection available for donations to the RBL. It was agreed that there would be no leaflet drop and advertising limited to notice boards and word of mouth.
  2. A complaint had been made about “dog barking” throughout the night coming from a house on Teesway, which appears to have been resolved.
  3. Although the missing dog bin on embankment has still not been replaced by Darlington BC, it was agreed that this defect could be closed as there were acceptable alternative locations for disposal.
  4. Problems with the defibrillator. The Clerk has written a letter of complaint to the Circuit who have confirmed receipt and forwarded the letter to the manufacturer.
  5. L Swinhoe had held a New Councillor training session at Hurworth Grange on 22 September although the numbers in attendance were disappointing, the feedback was that it was good and well worth attending.
  6. M Hannaford had expressed interest in being nominated at the next meeting to represent Darlington Association of Parish Councils at the Airport Management Committee meetings.
  7. J Weighell stated that there are two volunteers who carry out large amounts work for the benefit of the parish including looking after the defibrillator and floatation device as well as watering the planters throughout the season. It was agreed to buy them a £50 dinner voucher as recognition of their services.


Date of next ordinary parish meeting is Tuesday 1 November 2022. The meeting concluded at 8.25pm.

John Walker

Clerk to Neasham Parish Council