7 June 2022

Minutes of Neasham Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 7 June 2022, 6:30PM, in Neasham Reading Room


B Crossen, G Crute, P Dunn, M Hannaford, E Miller, K Sandick, J Weighell, L Tostevin


J Grainger, C Chou

22/018- WELCOME

K Sandick welcomed Councillors to the meeting. There were no apologies for absence.


E Miller declared a provisional Interest in item 22/023 New Lane Bridleway Bridge subject to the matters raised.


The minutes of the Annual and Ordinary Meeting both held on 3 May 2022 were confirmed as a correct record.


There were no matters arising.

22/022 – PACT REPORT

J Weighell had attended the PACT Meeting on 25 May 2022 which was limited to policing matters. The police report stated that the Middleton St George crime levels were considerably down and that no crimes had been reported in Neasham, although it is known that a motor bike had been stolen.


E Miller raised the question of the bridge on the bridleway off New Lane which had been closed off and was causing concern to the adjacent landowners. The landowners felt that any necessary repairs to make the bridge safe to bridleway standards was the responsibility of Highways, but if the landowners wished to further improve the bridge to accommodate vehicular use, then that cost should be borne by them. Clarity was also needed on the position of the boundaries to adjoining properties. L Tostevin stated she had spoken to planning who would be writing to the parties shortly. The Chair suggested that the Rights of Way Officer be contacted to see if a temporary structure could be erected. POST MEETING NOTE:- L Tostevin contacted Darlington BC on 08/06/22 and was informed by B Hacker that they had commissioned works to make the bridge safe, which should be started within a month. She also stated that a closure notice remained on the bridge and if people ignored that and if they were involved in an accident, then the liability would be on them.


The broken fence near the river bank is still awaiting repair.


  1. Update on trial patch for a wild seed area. M Hannaford and the Chair had suspended further works until after the Jubilee event, but will return next week and carry out a second rotovating and weedkilling to the area and it then will be given a period of several weeks before further works can be carried out.
  2. As there was little enthusiasm at the recent Parish Assembly for the planting of more trees within the parish, it was agreed not to pursue Darlington BC for any of their free issue trees for planting.
  3. Shrubbery. The raised bed and lectern have been installed, however the construction of the lectern is not what was anticipated at the time of order. Marmax have been informed and have agreed to return to site on 9th June to investigate what alterations could be made to make it acceptable. Verbal quotations for topsoil had been received from J T Atkinson (£62/tonne) and Farnaby £72/tonne), the Chair agreed to check the prices and obtain a written quotation.
  4. The clerk reported that he had great difficulty in contacting AJ Gallagher regarding our query on the unfixed materials for the shrubbery. Eventually Gallaghers did respond and agreed an increase of £2000 on the fixed furniture sum insured with no additional premium to pay because of our experience. Member agreed that the clerk could obtain alternative quotations from BHIB and Zurich at renewal time.

22/026– PLANNING     

  1. Applications received since last meeting:-
    • 22/00439/FUL – 12 Dibdale Road, Neasham – Various extensions and alterations. (APPROVED)
    • 22/00267/FUL – Brass Castle Farm – Demolish 2No agricultural buildings and replace. (APPROVED)
  2. Decisions received since last meeting:- None.


The pre-use inspection of the Village Green Electrics had been carried and it was noted that the Reading Room extension lead had not been PAT tested. Planters had been inspected when planted up and one cracked tub replaced with a spare.  No new defect notices raised in May, one for the missing dog waste bin remains open.

22/028 – FINANCE

  1. The Precept in the sum of £9,915 for the year 2022/23 has been received from Darlington BC.
  2. Mazars (auditor) have confirmed receipt of the Neasham PC External Audit Exemption Certificate.
  3. The dates for the Exercise of Public Rights to Inspection of the accounts (commencing 9 June and ending on 20 July) to be advertised on the Website 8 June. Viewing at 14 Teesway by appointment.
  4. Payments made in May:- J Weighell £24.94 (Rose Bush), Marmax £974.40 (Raised bed – Lectern cost of £358 held back), M Harrison £370 (Raised bed works). J Weighell declined re-imbursement for the cost of a present for the internal auditor for carrying out the audit.
  5. There has only been one proposal for the expenditure of the £1000 grant from Darlington BC, which was a suggestion that the embankment at the west end looks untidy and monies could be spent on that although it would need to be clarified as to what Highways were responsible for. It was agreed to obtain a costing for that. Another suggestion was that the monies be spent on the remembrance and carol services but it not certain that these would meet the criteria.
  6. It was agreed to close the Spanglefish website and not let it run on for free but with adverts.


  1. Members were reminded to use the approved signature block on official correspondence.
  2. G Crute reported that NALC had circulated a note advising of a change in legislation which affects their model Standing Orders. Although it was of no relevance to Neasham, he recommended that we amend our document in order to be consistent.


G Crute had looked at the Exeter University’s website regarding climate change measures taken by Local Authorities and although it was a “broad bush” approach Darlington BC appeared to be ahead of the game with Neasham ahead of them. G Crute felt that ideally a group of 3-5 people should investigate what Neasham PC could do. However one of the options suggested by G Crute, namely to revert to a watching brief but request that Margaret Enstone keep us informed of any developments was accepted.                                  


L Tostevin reported that there had been a change in leadership on the Darlington BC with the following new appointments:- Leader of the Council – Jonathon Dulston, Deputy – Andy Kier, Mayor – Anne-Marie Curry.


  1. Various emails from NALC regarding Newsletter (09/05, 18/05, 01/06) Chief Executive’s bulletins (09/05, 09/05, 16/05, 23/05, 30/05, 01/06). For information only, no matters raised by members.
  2. NALC emails (10/05, 24/05, 26/05) advertising various online events.
  3. A request from Gary Lane requesting permission to post a notice on one of our boards advertising social walks which he organises for charity, was agreed subject to it being removed after a period of time.


  1. Queen’s Jubilee celebrations were a huge success, congratulations to all involved.  The clerk was instructed to write to the Reading Rooms Chair thanking them for their hard work. J Weighell thanked B Crossen for his work on the event. It was also agreed to continue flying the Ukrainian flag to 30 June.
  2. At the Parish Assembly suggestions had been made for improving communications with the parishioners and it was agreed to place an item on the agenda of the next meeting to agree an action plan.
  3. The clerk had updated the status details of the defibrillator, thank you to Liz Conlin for her continued support. G Crute queried as to whether we should consider another unit to serve Dinsdale Park area. J Weighell confirmed that Geoff Conlin regularly inspects the flotation device.
  4. The 28 June was confirmed for the informal gathering to thank J Weighell for his service to the parish.


Date of next ordinary parish meeting is Tuesday 5 July 2022.  The meeting concluded at 7.50 pm.

John Walker

Clerk to Neasham Parish Council

Minutes signed on 5 July 2022 by K Sandick