Minutes of Neasham Parish Council meeting held on Tuesday 7 March 2023, 6:30PM, in Neasham Reading Room
B Crossen, P Dunn, G Crute, J Grainger, E Miller, K Sandick, J Weighell, C Chou, L Tostevin, Clerk J Walker
22/140 – WELCOME
K Sandick welcomed Councillors to the meeting. Apologies for absence were accepted from M Hannaford (away on business).
22/141 - DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Declarations of Interest were tabled by G Crute in respect of two expense claims.
22/142 - MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
The minutes of the Ordinary Meeting held on 7 February 2023 were confirmed as a correct record.
22/143 – MATTERS ARISING FROM PREVIOUS MEETING
There were no matters arising.
22/144– PACT MEETING
No meeting held. E Miller reported that there had been two poaching incidents and the police had attended the area of the second and it is important that these are reported as there could be a link with other crimes.
22/145 – ROADS AND PAVINGS
- Swarco had arranged to attend site 13 February to repair the defective VAS unit as per their quotation, but had cancelled. Revised date awaited. Reminders sent 19/02/23, 03/03/23 response received saying they would ring the clerk shortly to set up a new account. (POST MEETING NOTE no such call received).
- A complaint from a parishioner regarding damage to 38 Teesway caused by vibrations from heavy lorries, had been forwarded to Darlington BC complete with photographs showing the damage. The parishioner wants them to repair the sunken trench in the road which he considers will alleviate the problem. It had been noted that the road had been inspected by the council and it would appear something was being done. Cllr Grainger also reported that there several other deep potholes along Teesway. It is hoped that these will be repaired at the same time.
- The road markings at Dibdale Road junction have now been completed and the defect can be closed.
22/146 – ENVIRONMENT AGENCY MATTERS
- The Vice Chair clarified the position of the works that the Environment Agency were planning to carry out following his meeting with them on 12/12/22. It had been agreed these items are works that is required, but not the subject of a formal defect notice.
- The Vice Chair confirmed that the boundary of the land given to the parish by the Abbey was at the water’s edge. He hoped to have a meeting with the owner, when he is home from his work abroad, to ensure that there no issues that could possibly arise.
22/147 – VILLAGE GREEN
- The outstanding works to the Memorial Garden area should be completed in the current financial year, but this was weather dependant.
- An application to Darlington BC (as suggested by C Chou) for a £1000 grant for further works in forming a village hub together with improving access to the “Jubilee Seat” had been approved and the monies paid into the Neasham PC account. It was agreed that the paving works could run concurrently with work on an order an already issued to Brindle, subject to agreement of an acceptable rate.
- P Dunn reported that Neasham Nurseries were offering to supply plants for the village planters at a similar rate to the previous year and was given authority to proceed with the ordering.
- It was resolved to accept a proposal for replacement of 2No notice boards and relocation of one existing board in the projected sum of £1428.34 (net £1231.95) to be expended within the current financial year. The majority of this work will be funded from the grant of £1000.00 from Darlington BC and the clerk instructed to purchase the new boards in order the grant can be expended in current financial year.
22/148 – PLANNING
- Applications received since last meeting:- None.
- Decisions received since last meeting:- None.
- As instructed, the clerk contacted Darlington BC to request that planning notifications be forwarded electronically, but none have been issued since and therefore the tracking facility has not been tested,
- The appeal against the enforcement on the traveller site off Neasham Road, Hurworth Moor for 21/02/23 had been cancelled due a representative contracting covid, revised date awaited. The Vice Chair reported that prior to the hearing he had reviewed the documentation which had raised several items to query.
- The Vice Chair had observed on the Planning Portal that the golf club had submitted an amended application which included altered layout and environmental and biodiversity information for evaluation.
22/149– RISK MANAGEMENT
- No scheduled inspections due in February.
- Defects 22/03-05 referred to the Environment Agency and Defect 22/005 Dibdale Road junction were all closed. A defect notice in respect of the damage to 38 Teesway had been forwarded to Darlington BC.
- The Vice Chair had previously proposed that there should be a rota of councillors carrying out the scheduled inspections. It was essential that the regular formal inspections be carried out in order that there is a clear audit trail in respect of our risk management. It was resolved to accept a compromise proposal for a trial period of six months where the inspections would be shared by Cllrs Weighell, Crossen and the Chair.
- A query was raised as to why footpaths were not included with our assets. It was noted that the floodbank is the only one on Neasham PC land, the others are Rights of Way to be maintained by the landowner. Following a query on signage, L Tostevin stated owners requiring signs should contact her.
22/150 – FINANCE
- No previously approved payments were made in February. Expense claims from G Crute (£121.84) and H Crute (£170.21) were approved. The clerk was instructed to purchase the notice boards referred to in item 22/147.4 (above).
- An order in the sum of £1200 (exc VAT) has been placed with Brindle Construction with a view to commencement on site April 2023 for additional paving works.
- A proposal for additional works to the Square to form part of the village hub had been submitted to Darlington BC in order to qualify for the 2022/23 £1000 grant offered by C Chou. The proposal had been accepted and the monies paid into the PC account. A budget of £1320 (exc VAT) was approved by the members to be funded by the grant and the remainder by underspend or reserves.
22/151 – ELECTIONS 2023
- The date of 4 May 2023 has been set for Neasham Parish Council elections. The number of seats available remains at eight, members wishing to continue to serve on the council will have to stand for election. Nomination packs will be available from 24 March and the closing dates for nominations is 4 April 2023. Because of the tight timescale it was agreed to collect the packs from the Town Hall.
- Parishioners wishing to vote at the polling station will be required to produce photographic ID.
22/152 – REACHING OUT AND COMMUNICATIONS
The date for Parish Assembly was agreed as Tuesday 23 May 2023.
22/153 – WARD COUNCILLOR MATTERS
L Tostevin reported that the Tees Flexibus service had been granted funding or a further 18 months, but it was essential that it was well advertised to make the service successful and Neasham should follow this up as well as considering initiative ideas such as a collective booking system.
Various emails from NALC regarding Newsletter (15/02, 22/02, 01/03). Chief Executive’s bulletins (13/02, 17/02, 03/03). For information only, unless any matters raised by members.
22/155– OTHER VILLAGE MATTERS
- A letter had been received from Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities offering advice on Coronation Celebrations. As the Reading Rooms were already planning a “big lunch” event on 7 May, it was agreed to leave the celebrations in their hands, but give support where possible. J Weighell agreed to obtain a cost for a Coronation flag. The date for the Duck Derby had been set 26 June 2023.
- The Vice Chair stated that many local authorities are now considering emergency planning procedures in respect of possible future potential threats such as Covid and feels that it was something we should look at a later date. It was agreed in was not urgent and would place it on a future agenda.
- An email received from a parishioner19/02/23 stating that she was holding information digitally received from the late M Townsend which included his book and photographs and which she feels should be held by Neasham PC rather than her. Members felt it was not really a matter for the council, particularly as it did not have suitable archive facilities. The Chair agreed to discuss the matter with the parishioner.
22/156 – DATE OF NEXT MEETING
Date of next ordinary parish meeting is Tuesday 4 April 2023. The meeting concluded at 7.55pm.
Minutes signed on 4 April 2023 by K Sandick