2019-05 May – Annual Meeting Minutes

Minutes Uploaded on March 16, 2021

Annual Parish Meeting


Present:  Mr Stuart Mills, Chairman of the Council together with Mr Frank Robson, Mr Keith Irving and Mrs Ann Gregory-Smith

In attendance:  Mrs Mandy Senior (Clerk)

Residents:  Alex and Clare Pearce, Rachael Dempsey, Kevin George, Charles Kelly, Liz Bishop, Angela Cleasby, Stephen Gregory Smith, Annabel, Oliver and Beth Mills.


  1. Apologies – Mr Chris Austin and Mr Hugh Murphy
  2. Attendance by Ken McDonald, Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Liaison Officer, NCC. Ken McDonald attended the meeting to discuss any issues with the encampment on the Village Green in Matfen.  The officer works with and manages unauthorised encampments on both council and private land. Actions taken depend on who owns the land, but initially all encampments are visited and assessed.  There are between approximately 80 – 90 unauthorised encampments throughout the year. The County Council recognises that there are opportunities in Northumberland for temporary encampments who have a genuine reason for staying on site. The Appleby Fair migration takes place at this time of the year and these temporary encampments are tolerated as the travellers generally only stay a few days. There are currently 20-30 encampments at this present time.  The encampments in Matfen started in 2017, this route being an old traditional route which is an easier route for the horses.  The travellers will travel no more than 10 miles per day with horses. The council has a duty to look after the welfare of people on unauthorised encampments.  Welfare checks are carried out upon our first visit. To ensure the welfare of both the Travellers and the local community are protected, a Gypsy Roma Traveller liaison officer works closely with:
  • Landowners
  • Local businesses and communities
  • Police
  • Environmental Health
  • GRT communities

Northumberland County Council can serve notice to evict from their land following the welfare assessments.  For encampments on                    privately owned land the County Council will expect the landowners to decide on the appropriate action, including seeking eviction, if              appropriate.  The Council will assist a private landowner if requested acting on their behalf.

  1. Chairman’s Report 2018-2019. Mr Mills presented his oral report on the work of the council during the last year.  Mr Mills thanked the Councillors and County Councillor for their hard work over the previous year.  It had been a difficult year administratively however issues had now been resolved.  The Parish Council is in a very healthy position financially.  This will allow for new projects over the coming year.
  1. Clerk’s Financial Report 2018-2019. Mrs Senior presented her report on the statement of accounts for the year ended 31st March 2019.  A copy was circulated to those present and is attached to this minute.  It was noted that the Parish Council were carrying over a significant balance to 2019/2020.  The provision of new play equipment in Matfen will dramatically reduce this balance.   
  1. Resolutions. There were no resolutions to consider.
  2. Floor open to members of the public:

           a)  Proposal for new play area. Rachael Dempsey had met with Paul Taylor, Kompan and the clerk, Mrs M Senior to discuss                              proposals for a new play area equipment in Matfen.  The current equipment on the Sports Ground has been deemed unsafe and                          therefore has been closed off to the public.  A quote of £5K+ had been provided by Kompan to remove the old equipment however                      Rachael had contacted a member of the Cricket Club who had agreed to remove the equipment free of charge.  It was AGREED                            that the old equipment should be removed as soon as possible.  Paul provided several options for the Parish Council to consider                          which included a trim trail on the Village Green.  The Parish Council will consider the options.

          b)  Matfen Cricket Club. Several members of the Cricket Club attended the meeting.  The members are developing the club and are                   hoping to increase community involvement.  The Club is a family friendly club and is open to all.  They have several junior teams                       that are run jointly with Stamfordham and adult teams including women.  Annual subscriptions and match fees keep the club                             running.  A new mower has been purchased with the help of a grant from Northumberland County Council’s Community Chest.  A                     match is scheduled for 30 June against Stamfordham.  This will be a family friendly event with an opportunity to fundraise on the                     day.  The Cricket Club is very supportive of the proposed upgrade of the play area and options and locations were discussed at                            length.  The Parish Council will consult the Cricket Club on the final options.

          c)  Charles Kelly, Ryal. Charles Kelly had returned from New Zealand and had been in touch with County Councillor Veronica                             Jones.  He had also been in touch with Joe Turner, NCC Planning Enforcement.  He would continue to correspond with both                              Veronica Jones and Joe Turner over the current issues in Ryal.

Meeting closed at 8.10pm.

 Minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Parish Council held in Matfen Village Hall on Tuesday 28th May 2019 following the Annual Parish Meeting at 7.00pm.

Present:  Mr Stuart Mills, Chairman of the Council together with Mr Frank Robson, Mr Keith Irving, Mrs Ann Gregory-Smith

In attendance: Mrs Mandy Senior (Clerk)

  1. ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN. It was proposed by Cllr Mrs A Gregory Smith, seconded by Cllr Mr F Robson and AGREED to re-elect Cllr S Mills as Chairman, Cllr S Mills accepted.
  2. ELECTION OF VICE CHAIRMAN. It was proposed by Cllr S Mills, seconded by Cllr F Robson and AGREED to elect Cllr K Irving as Vice Chairman.
  3. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE – Cllrs C Austin and H Murphy.
  5. RESIDENTS. None in attendance.
  6. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 26th March 2019. It was proposed by Cllr S Mills, seconded by Cllr K Irving and AGREED to accept the minutes as an accurate record.

               a)  ACCOUNTS FOR PAYMENT. It was proposed by Cllr S Mills, seconded by Mrs Ann                        Gregory-Smith and AGREED accounts on the list attached be paid.

              b)  RISK ASSESSMENT. The risk assessment circulated to Councillors was noted and                           the recommendations made therein to cover the Council were proposed by Cllr S Mills,                        seconded by Cllr Mrs A Gregory-Smith and AGREED.

Payee Detail Cheque Issued VAT Net of VAT Cheque Number
Mrs L Paterson Public toilet cleaning 100.00 100.00 101031
Mrs A Senior Clerical services 455.60 455.60 101032
H M Revenue and Customs PAYE 113.80 113.80 101033
Matfen Village Hall Hall hire – May 2019 10.00 10.00 101034
Mrs A Senior Play Area Inspections 75.00 75.00 101035
Northumberland ALC Subscription 2019 135.62 135.62 101036
Fenland Leisure Products Grasslock pins to repair Ingoe Play Area surface 33.60 5.60 28.00 101037
Mrs L Paterson Public toilet cleaning 100.00 100.00 101038
Greenbarnes Notice boards 2067.32 344.55 1722.77 101039
G & L Paterson Telephone box refurb 822.00 822.00 101040
Northumberland County Council Precept 5250.00 5250.00 10.05.19


a)  ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENT 2018-2019. It was AGREED to approve the previously circulated Annual Governance Statement 2018-2019.

b)  DRAFT ANNUAL ACCOUNTS 2018-2019. It was AGREED to approve the previously circulated draft accounts 2018-2019.

c)  ACCOUNTING STATEMENT AND EXPLANATION OF VARIANCES. It was AGREED to approve the previously circulated Accounting Statement and Explanation of Variances.

d)  TO CONFIRM AND APPROVE THE CERTIFICATION OF EXEMPTION. It was AGREED to confirm and approve the previously circulated Certification of Exemption.

950.  CORRESPONDENCE. All correspondence received since the March 2019 meeting had been listed on the agenda and circulated to all councillors.

951.  TOUR OF WET SLEEKBURN MATERIAL RECYCLING FACILITY. Northumberland County Council is currently undertaking work to review and update the Northumberland Waste Strategy and in particular looking at the viability of increasing the range of materials that can be recycled at the kerbside, to include mixed plastics, separate collections for glass and food waste.  NCC is inviting Parish Councils to attend a tour of the recycling plant at West Sleekburn to gain a detailed insight into how the contents of residents dry recycling bins are currently sorted and processed.

952.  WEED CONTROL PROGRAMME 2019. Northumberland County Council is once again carrying out weed control in house.  Blue dye will be added to the treatment so that the public can see where has been treated.  The dye is water soluble, doesn’t affect the environment and also breaks down in the sun so it won’t be visible for more than the ten to 14 days it takes to kill the weeds.

  1. SURFACE DRESSING 2019. Preparatory patching and repair works will be carried out on the following roads from May to early August 2019.
  • Matfen Village North – C340 2460m
  • Standing Stone to West Moorhouses – U9022 1705m
  1. RECOVERY OF COSTS FOR PROVISION OF TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT AND OTHER SUPPORT SERVICES TO EVENT ORGANISERS. Changes have been made to the proposals and the arrangements that will be implemented for the recovery of costs incurred by the County Council when requested to provide services such as traffic management, litter picking and refuse collection by organisations running events in the county.  Those events taking place between 1st April to 31st May 2019 will, for this year only, continue to receive the same level of free support as last year, whilst the County Council puts in place the new Event Fund arrangements.  As from 1st June 2019, NCC will seek to recover the costs it incurs in providing support services such as traffic management, litter picking and refuse collection to event organisers for any events held in the County.
  2. COMMUNITY CHEST SCHEME 2019. The Community Chest Scheme is open for 2019 and full details are available at the following link (first round deadline is 7th June)  There is also an additional grant scheme called the Event Fund which seeks to alleviate some of the additional costs no charged by NCC for road closures and other services provided by NCC for local events.  This is open to any organisation, including Town and Parish Councils.  The fund is not open to new events.  The Community Chest continues to run with a small grant of up to £200 for a young person under 18 y ears of age to help them achieve an ambition.
  3. HOUSING STRATEGY FOR NORTHUMBERLAND 2019-2021. Consultation for the new draft Housing Strategy for Northumberland 2019-2021 is open from 3rd to 31st May 2019.  Comments can be submitted via email to
  • NALC – weekly eNews
  • Community Action Northumberland – Invitation to Spring Conference
  • Northumberland Day 2019
  • Clerks and Councils Direct – May 2019 Issue 123
  • Community Action Northumberland – CAN News Spring Issue – April 2019

a)  BUS SHELTER. It was noted that the bus shelter is looking shabby.  This will be included in the village tidy/clear up.

b)  BENCHES.  Update from Mr C Austin at the July meeting.  Action:  Mr C Austin

c)  ESTATE GARDEN. It was noted that the hedge needs cutting back at the estate garden.  Mrs A Gregory Smith will contact the Estate Office.  Action:  Mrs A Gregory Smith

d)  VILLAGE TIDY/CLEAR UP. Mr K Irving to contact Philip Dixon to carry out the usual annual tidy up.  Action:  Mr K Irving

e)  NOTICE BOARDS. New notice boards had been ordered for Ingoe and Ryal.  The noticeboard for Ryal will be post mounted however it was suggested that it should not be installed in the current position.  Mr K Irving will contact Mr F Robson to discuss locations once the notice boards have arrived.  The notice board for Ingoe will replace the existing one on the side of the bus shelter. Action:  Mr K Irving

961.  ANY OTHER BUSINESS. It was noted that the BT signs advertising super fast broadband are still displayed around the village.  It was AGREED to arrange for these to be removed.   Action:  Mrs M Senior        

962.  DATE OF NEXT MEETING. The next meeting is to be held on Tuesday 31st July 2019 at 7.00pm in the Village Hall.