2020-09 September – Minutes

Minutes Uploaded on April 6, 2021

MINUTES OF THE ONLINE MEETING OF MATFEN PARISH COUNCIL HELD ON        TUESDAY 30 SEPTEMBER 2020 AT 7.00PM                                                                                                 

PRESENT:  Cllr Stuart Mills, Chairman of the Council together with Mrs Ann Gregory Smith,  Keith Irving

In attendance:  Mrs M Senior, Clerk to the Council


920.02  APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Cllrs F Robson and K Mavin.

RESIGNATION OF A PARISH COUNCILLOR.  Chris Austin had resigned with immediate effect.  Cllr S Mills     expressed thanks to Cllr Austin for his help and support over the last 4 years.  Action: The clerk will contact NCC and display the statutory notice for 15 days.


920.04  COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT – Cllr Mrs Jones was unable to attend the meeting.

920.05  MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 28 JULY 2020.  It was proposed by Cllr S Mills, seconded by Cllr Mrs A Gregory Smith and AGREED that the minutes of the meeting held on 28th JULY 2020 be signed as an accurate record.


a)     Benches/Notice Boards.  Minute 720.06a refers.  The benches and notice board are still to be installed.  It was noted that one of the benches outside the Village Hall was rotten and the seat opposite the War Memorial needs to be removed.  Action:  Cllr K Irving to contact Chris Austin to arrange transporting the benches/picnic table to Matfen and Mrs Senior will arrange for someone to install the notice board at Ingoe.  Cllr K Irving will arrange to remove the two rotten benches.

b)     Street Lighting.  Minute 720.06b refers.  NCC is still to provide a date for the installation of the new columns.

c)     Overgrown Hedge.  Minute 720.10a refers.  Cllr Mrs A Gregory Smith had been to the Estate Office twice however the hedge had not been cut back. Action:  Cllr Mrs A Gregory Smith to chase this up.

d)     Tree Works.  Minute 720.10f refers.  The permission for the tree works on the Village Green has still not come through.  This is expected within the next week or so.

e)     Public Toilets.  Minute 0720.10h refers.  After discussion, it was AGREED to keep the public toilets closed during the current restrictions.

f)       To receive update on list of improvements requested by residents.  Minute 720.10g refers.  Cllrs S Mills and K Mavin had met to discuss the list of requests.  These have been prioritised and categorised into what are NCC responsibilities and those which can be carried out by the Parish Council.

920.07  FINANCE

a)     ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENT.  It was proposed by Cllr S Mills, seconded by Cllr Mrs A Gregory Smith and AGREED to approve the expenditure on the list circulated.

Northumbria Pest Control Mole trapping – Village Green 180.00 30.00 150.00 101134
Mrs A Senior Clerical Services 455.40   455.40 101135
H M Revenue & Customs PAYE 114.00   114.00 101136
Mrs A Senior Play area inspections – April – Sept 2020 150.00   150.00 101137
Kompan Scotland Ltd Play area equipment – Village Green 23345.96 3890.99 19454.97 101138
J Dempsey Repairs/refurbishment to picnic bench 130.71   130.71 101139
R H Irving Industrials Ltd Play area fence 6130.12 1021.69 5108.43 101140
Northumberland CC Precept payment 5250.00   5250.00 07.09.20
Barclays Bank Bank Account Interest 1.07   1.07 07.09.20

920.08  CORRESPONDENCE received since the July meeting had been circulated to all councillors by email and             noted.

REQUEST FOR DONATION.  A request for grant aid was received from the Great North Air Ambulance.  After discussion, it was AGREED to donate £300.00.


National Assoc of Local Councils Rebuilding Communities – Online Event Series
Northumberland County Council Northumberland Local Plan Examination:  Consultation on additional evidence
Northumberland County Council New Pavement Licensing Regime
Northumberland County Council Local Transport Plan 20202021 Feedback on submissions
Age UK Northumberland Update on services and activity packs for older people
Northumberland Local Plan Phase 2 Examination hearings
Great North Air Ambulance Request for donation
Information items  
NALC eNews – weekly
Community Action Northumberland CAN eNews August 2020 – September 2020
Clerks and Councils Direct Publication – September 2020 Issue 131


920.09  PLANNING MATTERS.  All applications received since the last meeting are listed below together with the decisions on outstanding applications.

Reference Number Location Proposal
20/01368/FUL 2 North Side, Matfen Installation of an Air Source heat pump to provide domestic central heating and hot water.  No objection
20/01776/FUL Land parcels to East and West of Vallum Farm, Wallhouses Installation of four cabins for provision of visitor accommodation including use and retention of existing access road and bases. GRANTED
20/02774/FUL Land to North of High House Farm Brewery, Matfen Construction of services building to serve tents, provision of decking for tents, erection of tents for camping, form pedestrian gateway through existing wall and mixed use of land for agriculture and campsite.  GRANTED

920.10  TO CONSIDER PRIORITIES FOR INCLUSION IN THE LOCAL TRANSPORT PLAN PROGRAMME 2021-    2022.  Northumberland County Council is once again giving Parishes the opportunity to submit 3 priorities for inclusion in the LTP 2021-2022.  It was agreed to submit the following priorities:-

  • Resurfacing of Burnside Road.
  • Resurfacing of the Military Road from the Matfen junction to the Corbridge Junction.

The feedback from the priorities submitted for the 2020-2021 LTP programme are as follows:-

  • Resurfacing of the road from the junction to Great Whittington into Matfen Village – to be carried out.
  • Improvements to the pavements from the junction to Great Whittington into Matfen Village – The maintenance issue has been recorded and will be considered when developing future planned maintenance programmes.
  • Formalised parking in Ingoe. Cars parked on the grass verges – Parking bays do not score highly enough to be included in the LTP Programme.


a)     Ingoe Village Green.  Complaints had been received over cars parking on the Village Green. It was AGREED during the current restrictions not to take any action however the Parish Council will continue to monitor the situation.

b)     TO RECEIVE UPDATE ON NEW PLAY AREA.  The new play area equipment had been installed and the fencing is currently being installed.  The trees need to be cut back from the equipment however permission had not been received before installation.  It is hoped that the play area will be open in the next 2 weeks once the post installation inspection had been carried out.

c)      BRIDGE REPAIRS.  The repairs to the bridge had not been carried out.  Action:  Mrs Senior to contact Northumbrian Water again and request they carry out the work as a matter or urgency.

d)     GENERAL VILLAGE MAINTENANCE AND THE ROLE OF VOLUNTEERS.  Clarification was requested on the Parish Council funding local improvements that volunteers are willing to undertake.  There are several volunteers who in Matfen who are willing to get involved in projects however do not have the resources available.  It was AGREED that the Parish Council would support projects that would benefit the community where volunteers were willing to carry out the work.  Each project would be reviewed on a case by case basis however the Parish Council would be very supportive where the local community are matching  a monetary contribution from the Parish Council with a physical contribution.  A request had been received to fund a bag of gravel to improve the path between The Oaks and Matfen Cricket Club.  After discussion, it was AGREED to fund this.  Volunteers will carry out the work.  After a suggestion from County Cllr Mrs V Jones, the clerk had requested road planings from NCC to help improve this path further.

e)     TO DISCUSS PARISH COUNCIL WEBSITE AND COMMUNICATIONS.  It was AGREED that the Parish Council website does not serve the parish well and needs a complete overhaul.  It was AGREED to create a Matfen website that encompasses other parties/interests in the Village i.e. Village Hall.  Cllr K Mavin had approached the Village Hall Committee who would be open to the idea of sharing costs.  It was noted that all Parish Council websites needed to be WCAG 2.1AA compliant by September 2020 which the current website is not.  The aim is to make all public sector websites accessible to all users – especially those with disabilities.  It was AGREED that the Parish Council would look to create a new website although further discussions would be needed.


a)     PARKING.  A complaint had been received about parking outside the Village Shop and Village Hall.  After discussion, it was AGREED that the Parish Council had no control over this and no further action would be taken.

b)     MATFEN HALL.  It was noted that Matfen Hall had been sold.  It was AGREED to write to the new owners, welcoming them and introducing the Parish Council.

c)      MATFEN TABLE TENNIS CLUB.   A letter had been received from Matfen Table Tennis Club regarding their booking at Matfen Village Hall.  It was noted and no further action will be taken.

920.13  DATE OF THE NEXT MEETING.  The next meeting of the Parish Council will be held online on Tuesday 24th November 2020 at 7.00pm.  The link will be circulated and made available to residents 7 days before the meeting.  The advice from NALC/SLCC is still for Parish Councils to meet remotely however should the advice       change before the date of the next meeting the venue of the meeting will be publicised in advance.