2022-01 January – Minutes

Minutes Uploaded on March 29, 2022

Minutes of the Parish Council held in Matfen Village Hall on Monday 24th January 2022

Present:  Mr Keith Mavin, Chairman of the Council together with Mr Frank Robson, Kevin George, Justin Dempsey, James Barber and Sarah Greaves.

In attendance: Mrs Mandy Senior (Clerk) Mrs Veronica Jones (County Councillor)

0122.01  RESIDENTS present raised the following 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)    Dog Fouling.  A resident asked whether Matfen Village Green could have a Public Space Protection Order for the Control of Dogs to prevent dog fouling and keep dogs on a lead.  County Councillor MRs V Jones advised of Northumberland County Council’s Green Dog Walkers scheme which is a community led programme to reduce dog fouling and promote responsible dog ownership.  Resident is to contact Mrs Jones who will look into this.

b)    Village Tidy Up.  A wish list had been circulated by residents 2 years ago suggesting improvements in Matfen which included village planters amongst other initiatives. The Parish Council is happy to look into any suggestions.

c)     Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Fund.  Northumberland County Council has created a Fund for the purpose of enabling non-profit making community and voluntary groups, schools, local charities and Parish Council within Northumberland to apply for grant funding (up to £500) to help them take part in celebratory events to mark the jubilee. The Matfen Village Events Committee is looking to organise an event on 4 June 2022 and will be applying to the fund.  Suggestions have included planter boxes at the entrance to the village and also replacing the Jubilee Tree.


0122.03  DECLARATION OF INTEREST.  Cllr S Greaves declared a personal interest in matters relating to the South  Hall planning application in Ingoe.

0122.04  COUNTY COUNCILLOR’S REPORT.  County Councillor Mrs V Jones gave her verbal report on matters               relating to Northumberland County Council and matters relating to the Matfen Parish.

a)    Storm Arwen.  Northumberland County Council’s focus continues to be the clear up from Storm Arwen. Problems with drains have worsened since the storm.  Northumberland County Council is carrying out a review to examine the response of the Council and involved partners; the impact on communities to ensure that they are better prepared for similar events in the future.  Residents are asked to submit any comments they wish to make to  Guy Opperman MP had held several public meetings and would feed the information back to NCC.

b)    NCC Budget Consultation 2022-2023.  Residents are being encouraged to have their say on the County Council budget proposals for next year.  There will be no frontline savings cuts next year.

c)     Road closure.  The Ryal road will be closed from the Ingoe Junction to allow for bridge repairs which had been delayed from last year.  The road will be closed from 1st March 2022 for 12 days.

d)    Flooding.  Flooding had occurred due to a blocked drain by The Green in Matfen.  This had been reported to NCC who had been to inspect.

0122.05  MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 30TH November 2021. The minutes of the meeting held on 30th               November 2021 were signed and accepted as an accurate record.


a)    South Hall Planning Application. Minute 1121.08b refers.  There had been 12 objections lodged on the planning portal from households in Ingoe. The application had been referred to the Chair of the Planning Committee due to the number of objections from residents. The planning officer is minded to reject the application in it’s present format. After a lengthy discussion, it was AGREED to submit comments on this application raising concerns over the level of objections by residents of Ingoe and inviting the applicant to speak to the Parish Council and residents of Ingoe to try and mitigate some of the objections.  The Parish Council would be happy to facilitate such a meeting.

b)    Jubilee Garden. Minute 1121.09b refers. A draft plan and approximate costs had been provided for the proposed improvements to the Jubilee Garden.  Plans include tree works (removing deadwood), weedkilling, pathways, planting and a seating area. The approx. cost for the whole project is £1300-£1500. It was AGREED that the Parish Council would apply to the NCC Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Fund for £500 towards the costs.  There would be no costs going forward for maintenance.  It was AGREED to publish the plan and ask for residents’ comments.


0122.07  FINANCE

a)    Accounts for payment.  It was proposed by Cllr K Mavin, seconded by Cllr F Robson and AGREED accounts on the list attached be paid.

Payee Details Gross payment VAT Net of VAT Payment
Mrs  A Senior Clerical services 469.03 469.03 BACS
H M Revenue Customs PAYE 117.40 117.40 BACS
Mrs A Senior Play area inspections 75.00 75.00 BACS
Unity Trust Bank Bank account charges 18.00 18.00 DD
L Paterson Public toilet cleaning 112.50 112.50 BACS
Northumberland CC Additional grass cutting 2021/22 380.98 63.50 317.48 BACS
Mrs A Senior Postages and travel 57.24 57.24 BACS
C White Village Christmas Tree 70.00 70.00 BACS
AJG IBL Insurance renewal 569.32 569.32 BACS
Northumberland CC Public toilets rates rebate 658.68 658.68 10.12.21
Unity Trust Bank Bank Account interest 0.62 0.62 31.12.21

0122.08  CORRESPONDENCE. All correspondence and information items received since the November meeting                had been listed on the agenda were noted. (Note: wherever possible, all communications addressed to                  the Council are circulated to Councillors by email for information as and when received).

a)    Northumberland County Council Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Fund. Northumberland County Council has allocated £70,000 to create a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Fund.  The purpose of this special fund is to enable non-profit making community and voluntary groups, schools, local charities, parish councils and churches within Northumberland to apply for grant funding to help them to take part in celebratory events and community and legacy projects to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

b)    Storm Arwen Review.  Northumberland County Council has created a Storm Arwen Review Task and Finish Group to examine the response of the Council and involved partners: the impact on communities and make recommendations that will ensure they are better prepared for similar events in the future.  The Council is inviting submissions from residents, businesses, Parish and Town Councils in the county on their experiences during the storm and the multi-agency response to it, including that of the County Council.  Written submissions should be sent to

c)     Defibrillator.  The Village Hall had been contacted to advise that the defibrillator had been retrieved for an incident and had been taken offline. The defibrillator now needs to be registered on the national database, The Circuit.  The clerk had been trying to contact the volunteers who check the defibrillator on a regular basis to establish if this had been done.

d)    Engaging young people.  A recent NALC eNews had an article about engaging with young people.  Cllr J Dempsey would like to look into this further and will report back to the Parish Council in due course.


a)    To receive decisions of submitted planning applications. It was AGREED that the Council receive the details of the Planning Decisions made by Northumberland County Council, in accordance with the list circulated.

b)    To consider responses to planning applications received.

Reference Number Address Description


West Fenwick Farm, Fenwick Listed Building consent:  Restoration, alteration and conversion of the existing former byres and stables attached to the west of West Fenwick Farmhouse into residential use. Erection of a single storey rear extension to the north-west corner of the byre. Addition of four conservation roof windows to front and rear elevations.  Replacement of five existing roof windows.  Additional of flue pipe and three soil vent pipes.  External works including a new paved footpath along the southern and eastern former byre walls and a new gravel area for parking to the front (Amended description).
21/03965/VARYCO Land Parcels to East and West of Vallum Farm Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) pursuant to planning permission 20/01776/FUL in order to substitute alternative cabins for previously approved cabins.
21/03975/LBC Matfen Hall, Matfen Hall Drive, Matfen Listed building consent for internal alterations to north side including installation of lifts, staircases, toilets, ensuites and new bedroom/ensuite layouts.


South Hall, Ingoe Listed building consent for conversion of outbuildings to two holiday lets, repair/reconfiguring of third outbuilding for storage ancillary to Hall and landscaping including new car park and main entrance to south elevation of Hall.
21/03965/VARYCO Land Parcels to East and West of Vallum Farm Variation of condition 2 (approved plans) pursuant to planning permission 20/01776/FUL in order to substitute alternative cabins for previously approved cabins. GRANTED


a)    To receive reports from Councillors on any village issues/highways matters which require attention.

            Ryal Notice Board.  The old notice board in Ryal needs to be removed.  The clerk will arrange to do this.

            Potholes.  Several potholes had appeared around the Parish.  Parish Councillors and residents are encouraged to report these on the NCC website where they                     feed directly into the work programme.

0122.11  STORM ARWEN – PARISH COUNCIL AND COMMUNITY RESPONSE.  During the recent storms,                     communication around the parish was the biggest issue.  The Parish Councillors were unaware of some                  of  the areas which were without power for many days. Phone lines were down and there was no way of                 contacting anyone in an emergency.  The Parish Council would like to arrange a meeting with interested                 parties to discuss a way of devising a plan to help residents who may be in this situation again.  Cllrs K                    Mavin and S Greaves, Rev Rachael Schaeffer and resident Phil Chaffer are to meet to discuss further.  The              Village Hall is also discussing ways in which they can help with neighbouring Village Halls.

0122.12  DATE OF NEXT MEETING. The next meeting is to be held on Tuesday 29th March 2022 at 7.00pm in                   Matfen Village Hall.