2019-09 September – Minutes

Minutes Uploaded on March 16, 2021

Minutes of the Meeting of the Parish Council held in Matfen Village Hall on Tuesday 24 September 2019 at 7.00pm.
Present: Mr Stuart Mills, Chairman of the Council together with Mr Frank Robson, Mr Keith Irving, Mrs Ann Gregory-Smith, Chris Austin
In attendance: Mrs Mandy Senior (Clerk); County Councillor Mrs Veronica Jones
Residents: Kevin, Margaret, Joanne George, Wendy Gibson, Jean Conteh Phillip & Barbara Chaffer, Keith and Liz Mavin, Liz Bishop, Justin and Rachael Dempsey, Sally Hawk

0984. RESIDENTS present raised a number of matters and where relevant they are listed together with the actions that will be taken, if required. In due course, if necessary, reports will be made back to the Council.
a) PHONE BOX. Residents expressed concern over the level of expenditure for the refurbishment of the phone box. It was noted that the work carried out involved replacement of the perspex panels, redecoration and repairs. It was felt that the Parish Council did not get best value for money. Cllr S Mills advised that the Parish Council often struggle to find anyone to carry out these tasks in the village. A suggestion was made that the Parish Council could place adverts on the Matfen Village facebook page asking for local handymen to come forward and provide quotes. A detailed description of all expenditure will be included on the agenda/minutes.
b) CHRISTMAS TREE. Residents present asked if a Christmas Tree could be placed on the village green. The Parish Council would support this request and would provide financial support.
c) SPEEDING. Concerns were expressed over speeding vehicles out of and into Matfen from the Ryal/Ingoe road. Traffic calming such as vehicle activated signs and speed bumps were discussed. Cllr Mrs V Jones advised that vehicle activated signs needed a good line of sight. She is to speak to NCC Road Safety officer to ask for a site meeting to discuss options. Community Speed Watch Scheme was briefly discussed. Action: County Councillor Mrs V Jones to contact NCC Road Safety.
d) MATFEN BRIDGE. Concerns were expressed over the state of the road bridge which had several stones shifting towards the stream. Cllr Mrs V J Jones to report this urgently.
e) GULLEYS. There are several blocked gulleys throughout the village. County Councillor Mrs V Jones advised they could be reported to NCC via their website. Action: County Councillor Mrs V Jones to put a post on the Matfen Village facebook page advising what she covers as County Councillor.
f) PLAY AREA PROPOSALS Rachael Dempsey had met with Hugh Blackett and it is proposed that the new play area be situated on the village green. The equipment provided will be in keeping with the surroundings. The area would need to be fenced due to its proximity to the water way. The Parish Council had agreed in principle to a £15,000 contribution excluding VAT. Due to funding constraints, the play area could be installed in phases. Rachael is to contact Kompan again to firm up proposals and equipment. Plans will be made available for the public to view in the Village Hall on bonfire night. It was noted that grants are available from NCC’s Community Chest however the Parish Council is unable to apply. The application would need to come from a community group. The Parish Council gave approval for the cricket club to remove the old equipment.
g) NETS/GOAL POSTS. It was noted by Matfen Cricket Club that although the cricket nets/goal posts were listed on the Parish Council asset register, these were not maintained by the Parish Council. County Councillor Mrs V Jones had funded new cricket nets through her members funding. The cricket club advised that the football nets and supports need to be replaced. The mover cannot cut the grass around the nets as they are not able to be lifted. The Parish Council agreed to consider replacing the football nets and supports. Matfen Cricket Club is to advise what is needed.
h) FACEBOOK. It was noted there is a Facebook page called ‘Matfen Village’ which is under utilised. This page could be used to publicise events and ask for volunteers.
i) OVERGROWN AREA. It was noted that the lane up towards the allotments was in a terrible state. The surface is uneven with overgrown trees. There is no lighting in the area other than possibly from a Matfen Estate house. The area had been weed killed by NCC. It was noted there are several vacant allotments. Action: Cllr S Mills to contact Matfen Estates.
0985. COUNTY COUNCILLORS REPORT. County Councillor Mrs V Jones gave her verbal report on matters relating to Northumberland County Council.
a) RYAL. County Councillor Mrs V Jones had met with the Planning Enforcement Officer and Mr Kelly. NCC had tried to serve the enforcement notice on the gentleman involved however he advised he did not receive it as he was not living in the house. NCC is unable to serve notice as they have no current address. The enforcement notice covers the whole of the field including the vehicles at the gate.
B) MEMBER FUNDING. Cllr Mrs V Jones advised that she had given Matfen Cricket Club £6,000 towards a storage shed, improved net facilities, cradle, site screens and outdoor seats.
C) ROAD IMPROVEMENTS. Resurfacing works had been carried out on the road from Ingoe and down from Standing Stones.
0986. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 30th July 2019. It was proposed by Cllr S Mills, seconded by Cllr Mrs A Gregory Smith and AGREED to accept the minutes as an accurate record.
A) BENCHES. Minute 0968b refers. Matfen currently has 10 benches, 5 benches are in need of repair and the bench beside the war memorial is to be removed. There is 1 to remove and replace in Ryal and 1 to be removed in Ingoe and replaced with a picnic bench. Cllr C Austin had approached a local handyman to repair the 5 benches in Matfen. It was suggested that an advert should be placed on the Matfen Village Facebook page advising that the Parish Council is looking for someone to install/repair/remove the benches. Costs had been obtained from Marmax Products to provide 3 picnic benches (1 Ingoe and 2 Matfen) and 2 benches (1 Ryal, 1 Matfen). The benches are £324 per unit and picnic benches £341 per unit. It was agreed to postpone purchasing the picnic benches in Matfen until the play area proposals are finalised. NWL are to give a capital contribution of between £400-£500 following their work on the aquaduct wall.
b) RESIGNATION OF A PARISH COUNCILLOR. Following the resignation of Hugh Murphy, the statutory notices had been displayed. NCC had advised that the Parish Council are able to co-opt at their earliest convenience. One expression of interest had been received from Keith Mavin. Action: Cllr S Mills to contact Mr Mavin to discuss.
a) ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENT. It was proposed by Cllr S Mills, seconded by Cllr Mrs A Gregory Smith and AGREED accounts on the list attached be paid.
ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENT. It was proposed by Cllr S Mills, seconded by Cllr Mrs A Gregory Smith and AGREED accounts on the list attached be paid.

Mrs A Senior Clerical services £455.40 Cheque number 101049
H M Revenue and Customs PAYE £114.00 Cheque number 101050
Mrs A Senior Play Area Inspections £75.00 Cheque number 101051
Matfen Village Hall Hall rental £10.00 Cheque number 101052
Mrs L Paterson Public toilet cleaning £112.50 Cheque number 101053
Northumberland CC Non Domestic Rate bill – Public Toilets £324.06 Cheque number 101054
Matfen Hall Cricket Club Grant Aid £500.00  Cheque number 101055
G & L Paterson Removal and disposal of broken bench & repair to toilet water heater £50.00 Cheque number 101056
Mrs A Senior Postages & travel expenses £79.33 Cheque number 101057
Amazon Stationery £13.43 (VAT £2.24) Cheque number 101058
Northumberland CC Precept payment 5250.00  11.09.2019

b) BARCLAYS BANK. Cllrs S Mills and Mrs A Gregory Smith had amended the details on the bank account to remove Jo Bramley. Although Barclays had amended the address they had left Jo Bramley’s name on the account. Statements were now being received and a new cheque book had been received.
c) POLICIES. Policies for the following had been drafted; Model Publication Scheme, Information and Data Protection Policy and Code of Conduct. It was proposed by Cllr S Mills, seconded by Cllr Mrs A Gregory Smith and AGREED to adopt the policies. The policies were duly signed by Cllr S Mills.
0989. CORRESPONDENCE. All correspondence received since the July 2019 meeting had been listed on the agenda and circulated to all councillors.
0990. NORTHUMBERLAND LOCAL PLAN. The Northumberland Local Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 29 May 2019. As part of the examination, the first phase of public hearing sessions will be held in October at Morpeth Town Hall. Further details of the examination, including the programme for the hearing sessions, is available on the Local Plan Examination website at
0991. SPORT TYNEDALE. A request by Sport Tynedale for grant aid had been received. It was proposed by Cllr C Austin, seconded by Cllr K Irving and AGREED to grant £50.
0992. CHANGES TO WATER RESOURCES ABSTRACTION LICENCES FOR PREVIOUSLY EXEMPT ACTIVITIES. Changes to abstraction licences came into effect on 1 January 2018. If more than 20 cubic metres (20 litres) of water per day for any of the previously exempt activities is abstracted they now need to apply to the Environment Agency for a water resources abstraction licence. Additional information and applying for a licence can be found at To apply for a licence , applicants can go to
0993. TOUR OF WEST SLEEKBURN RECYCLING FACILITY. Further tours of the West Sleekburn Recycling Facility have been arranged for November and December.
0994. 6TH ANNUAL TOWN AND PARISH COUNCIL CONFERENCE. The 6th Annual Town and Parish Council Conference will take place on Thursday 3rd October at County Hall. There will be a Marketplace with refreshments available in the Restaurant from 2pm. There will be a single conference session beginning at 4pm and concluding at approximately 6pm.
0995. TEMPORARY ROAD CLOSURE ORDER 0 C340 MATFEN JUNCTION TO BELSAY CASTLE JUNCTION. Road closure to allow for surface dressing works. Order is valid 5/4/19 – 24/11/19. Road closed on 22/08/19 08:30-16:00.
0996. DANGEROUS BEND – STANDING STONES. An email had been received from Matfen Estates expressing concerns over the number of road traffic accidents which occur at the bend in the road to Matfen outside Standing Stone Farm. Action: County Councillor Mrs V Jones to pursue this.
• NALC – weekly eNews
• Clerks AND Councils Direct – September 2019 Issue 125
• Northumberland County Council – Waste leaflets and stickers
Reference No: 19/02890/LBC. West Fenwick Farm, Fenwick
Repair, restoration and modernisation of the property. Footpath unchanged with no significant alteration to fabric of building, Emergency repairs have started re roof and damp issues following pre-app discussions
Decision awaited
a) LOCAL TRANSPORT PLAN PROGRAMME 2020-2021. NCC is asking Parish Councils to submit their top three highways and transport priority issues so they can be considered for inclusion in the LTP Programme for 2020/21. It was agreed to put forward the following priorities:
I. Resurfacing of the road from Standing Stones junction to the public toilets.
II. Resurfacing of the pavements from the Great Whittington junction to the village.
III. Formalised parking in Ingoe where the cars are parked on the grass verge
b) POTHOLES. It was noted there are potholes on Ryal Bank. Action: Cllr S Mills to report
The Burnside Road is in need of attention Action: Cllr Mrs V Jones to advise the highway inspector
1000. DATE OF NEXT MEETING. The next meeting is to be held on Tuesday 26th November 2019 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.