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Wolsingham Parish Council

Minutes May 2015




@ 7.00 PM Following the Annual Meeting


PRESENT: Chair   D. Sugden, Mrs. A. Savory, Mrs. M. Epsly, Mrs. J. Henderson

                                     G. Price,  S. Calvert, M/s L. Richardson,  G. Dixon,  J. Wilson

POLICE:         PCSO G. Burton

PUBLIC:        J. Stephenson


  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: D.C. Pattison, M. Bell, P.C. G. Moore
  2. STANDING ORDERS  2010. Proposed and seconded to set aside Standing Orders for the duration of the meeting.
  3. POLICE REPORT: PCSO. G. Burton gave the police report; Poaching, suspicious activity and vehicle crimes had been more apparent in the last month. A surveillance camera had been taken from private property, which had been an unauthorised installation, no one had come forward to claim the equipment and remained in police hands. There had been 5 road related / parking offences and four others awaiting intelligence. There had been one sudden death and a car had been fired. Three anti -social behaviour / neighbour disputes and texts . One firearm incident involving air rifles.

There had been 4 concerns relating to mental health problems, under age drinking, leading to one hospitalisation and referral to alcohol harm reduction team. A recent occupant of Green Towers had run away six days running and had been re-located to Merseyside. Two domestic disputes involving the same incident and no formal complaint had been made. One road traffic collision resulting in damage, but no injury. One theft of copper from a BT telephone mast. Criminal damage to a vehicle, having had all four tyres slashed, under investigation. One assault, resulting in arrest, but no further action. Criminal damage to bank windows. 

PACT Priorities: Dog fouling, dog wardens would be patrolling the area, anyone seeing dog fouling to advise the police.

It was reported by a member  that loud music and suspicious activities were taking place in Demesne Mill on an evening, a white van is seen entering the area and two minutes later leaving , having had a variety of “customers” attend the van.

  1. MINUTES OF  MEETING HELD 14TH  APRIL 2015 :  Moved and seconded as a true record and signed as such
  2. MATTERS ARISING: It was proposed to have sub committees for planning , environment and finance: The chair asked that the proposer highlight the terms of reference for these sub committees and report back. A planning meeting to be held Monday 7.00 pm 18th May at the Town Hall, to look at current issues and make proposals.

Proposed signage Bowling Club A3 size, approved.

  1. Wolsingham PCC, Road Closure Remembrance Sunday, the annual cost of the road closure was approximately £250, it was agreed that the cost be met from the Council’s budget this year and in the future.
  2. Weardale Gazette, re Council minutes: the law regarding the publishing of minutes for authorities with an annual turnover of under £25,000 , had changed and under new transparency rules, draft minutes could be published and a web site was required, to fulfil their obligation to make information easily accessible and available to everyone. Wolsingham Parish Council has a turnover of more than £25000, but nonetheless, agreed to publish minutes as soon as possible, with the proviso that any subsequent amendments to the minutes be published as such, and also to create a website.
  3. North East Ambulance Service, reply to letter as matter is still sub judiciary, no meaningful reply was forthcoming, albeit an officer would attend a future meeting of the Parish Council , agreed to attendance for 14th July meeting, to commence at 6.30 pm.
  4. 23rd May Finchale Priory St. Godric/St Aelric, Cllr. Anita Savory agreed to attend.
  5. David Nelson Memorial Fund, agreed to investigate a suitable position for a defibrillator to be installed, outside of the Town Hall.
  1. RECREATION GROUND: Site Meeting 19th May @ 7.00 pm

Request to use St. Anne’s Car Park for Beamish Reliability Run, agreed to request for Sunday 21st June.

The Forestry Commission representative had visited the site; a larch tree at the allotment side was at a precarious angle and needed attention.

The Diana Memorial trees, needed to have the metal tree guards removed and one tree need taking out altogether.

  1. ST. ANNE’S CENTRE: Refreshments and fund raisers Gill Calvert/J. Henderson. A proposal had been put forward to assist charities with fundraising by utilising the St. Anne’s Centre, at week ends and school holidays. Agreed to proposals, but not the free provision of beverages.
  2. BOWLING GREEN: Signage approved, and it was hoped the additional information would result in an increase in membership.
  3. ALLOTMENTS:  Letter to M/s H. Nicholson re building debris on allotment site, site had now been cleared, but would be further inspected on “ walkabout” 19th May.
  4. TOWN HALL: No progress had yet been made as there had been a communications problem, this had now been resolved and an estimate for the painting was awaited.
  5. MARKET PLACE: Market Stalls, only one definite offer had been received this to be further investigated.


  1. ANGATE STREET TOILETS: Mrs. Ormerod, Fibre Optic cabinet. Agreed to ask British Telecom and highways, why the cabinet had been situated in this position.
  2. DEMESNE MILL: Forestry report; The mature copse needed thinning, as well as the trees close to the stone wall to allow to grow to maturity.

Where the new trees had been planted it was recommended that the grass area around the saplings be controlled using glyphosate” round up”, as the grass will take all the available moisture, which would lead to “die off” of the saplings. Agreed to purchase round up and Cllr Price would apply, within 1 metre of the trees.

  1. THORNLEY WOOD: A representative of the Forestry Commission had attended the wood and advised, that there was no commercial value in the wood and various proposals were put forward for the future management of the wood; clear fell and replant with deciduous trees, thinning and clear out timber and wind blown trees., trees to be marked for thinning, trees adjacent to the road would need a traffic management system in place.

Volunteers from the Woodland Trust or Durham Wildlife Trust may be available.

In their opinion the site would not be suitable as a picnic area, because of the “wind blown” trees, would pose an unacceptable risk.

  1. FOOTPATHS: The Wayfarers had received advice from Simon Makepeace on how to correct the tree root problem on the tarmacadam footpaths and would submit a price for the remedial work. 
  3. NEWSLETTER: To remind residents that a parking permit was available at a cost of £2

Over recent years fly tipping had become a problem in the Willows playground. The clerk had contacted Durham County Council and held a site meeting, and work commenced two days later to address the situation , only to be stopped by a concerned resident, regarding the duck mating/nesting season, and the job was stopped.

Also mention the use of St. Anne’s for fundraising activities.

  3. PLANNING : Meeting 7.00 pm Monday 18th May Town Hall

21.1  The following applications have been approved:

DM/15/004165/FPA    Demolition of existing office and welfare building and construct new vehicle storage and welfare building, Holywell Lane, Wolsingham

DM15/00571/FPA       Brown Horse Inn, Tow Law, retrospective application for the retention of a flue to the rear, 2.4m high fence to the southern boundary and railings above porch, the existing porch.

DM/15/00621/FPA     17, Market Place, removal of render to front elevation, replacement bay window, replacement timber sash windows

        21.2  The following application has been withdrawn

DM/15/00838/TCA      6 Lea Green, fell birch tree in a conservation area.


21.3  The following applications have been notified

DM/15/01095/FPA      Thistlewood Hall Cottage, two storey side extension to Cottage. Relocate previously approved buildings 3m north. No objection

DM/15/01251/FPA      50, Front Street,demolition of outbuilding & erection of single storey rear extension No objection

DM/15/01227/FPA      2, Filter Cottages, retention of shed. No objection

1.FINANCE:    1.