Ok, I understand
Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. For more information, please see our privacy policy.
Skip to main content

Wolsingham Parish Council

Minutes October 2015



TUESDAY  13th OCTOBER  2015  

@ 7.00  PM



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

                             S. Calvert, G. Dixon , M. Bell, M/s L. Richardson


POLICE:        PCSO. T. Patterson, PCSO Ross Burnham


  1. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE: D.C. Pattison, J. Wilson
  3. POLICE REPORT: PCSO Ross Burnham gave the police report and stats for September, there had been 44 calls, 12 anti social behaviour, 3, road related , 5 damage, 5 domestic related, 1 missing from home, 4 suspicious activity and others. It was reported that the figures were a little skewed as most of the calls related to a particular street in Wolsingham which was having ongoing neighbour disputes. 18 crimes had been committed and 9 had been resolved/ detected, for damage, attempted burglary, assault , harassment and 1 under 18 in possession of controlled drugs, the offender was undergoing counselling.

The new police office in Stanhope was operational at 44, Front Street.

Investigations and CCTV footage was being looked at to determine who was responsible for damage to the  recently installed defibrillator and the same evening the fire alarm being activated at the Town Hall.

Two “ tri-service” PCSO’s had recently been appointed to Weardale and were trained as paramedics, retained fire men and crime & disorder roles, a trial had been undertaken  in Devon and was proving to be successful, multi-tasking at it’s utmost.

PACT priorities, dog fouling at wheel chair walk, parking issues at Angate Street. It was reported that a vehicle was persistently parking the full width of the footpath at Hallsfield, this to be looked at.

To help resolve the issues on neighbourhood disputes had the mediation service been contacted to help resolve the issues?

  1. MINUTES OF  MEETING HELD 8TH  SEPTEMBER 2015 agreed as a true record and signed as such.
  2. MATTERS ARISING : WEBSITE current events now all listed, admission prices and contact details needed updating. Although the website had now been running for two months no dialogue had been forthcoming on current issues open for debate.

To access the website go to hugofox.com/community/wolsingham-parish-council-7857

No reply was yet to hand from Weardale Motor Services

No update on the current situation at the egg production unit at Wear Bank had been forthcoming from the enforcement officer, clerk to follow up.

  1. CORRESPONDENCE RECEIVED : Mrs. V. Welsh, re: St. Godric/St. Aelric  Holywell , the Parish Council were very appreciative of the care and attention the building had undergone in recent years and were only too willing to advertise the  holy well and would seek to include on the website and notice boards if information was made available.

Mrs. M. Robson re: Hanging Baskets Town Hall , agreed to have baskets again in the summer, once a risk assessment had been carried out on the existing brackets. As to the “eyesore” of the former filling station and garage at East End , the clerk reported that a planning application had been submitted by Spar for a filling station and convenience store and the application was currently in the validation stage.

                   Durham County Council No Waiting Area : Wolsingham School & Community College

                                                                No Waiting Area : Wolsingham Primary School

Both plans were looked at and noted , but if these areas are adopted , without enforcement they meant very little.         

  1. RECREATION GROUND: Outdoor Gym Cllr. Anita Savory declared an interest as well as Cllr. Sugden. Plans were now at an advanced stage and a plan was circulated to members showing the layout and type of equipment to be installed as well as Gopla sets at the entrance for a length of 15 metres by 3 metres. As the project was in excess of £20k DCC had expressed a requirement that the need for the facility should be demonstrated and to fulfil this obligation a questionnaire had been developed to canvass support. Considering the apparent health & well being aspects of the venture the council agreed to support the scheme with a £5k contribution. The onward maintenance and insurance of the equipment to be undertaken by the Parish Council also, as it would be an asset to the recreation ground. Should the project be finished in this financial year any funds to be taken from the contingency fund, under the powers of Recreation, Local Govt. Act 1976 s.19

The trees which needed felling, following the survey work, carried out by the Forestry Commission would be identified by the application of paint. Planning approval would be needed as the wood is in a conservation area, as well as a felling licence. The costs involved would need to be quantified and agreed by the council prior to work commencing.

  1. ST. ANNE’S CENTRE: The recent pointing to the roof had been done to a good standard.

A steel cabinet had been purchased so that cleaning substances could be stored and locked securely to meet with COSHH legislation.

  1. BOWLING GREEN : Awaiting application of autumn treatment , which was being undertaken by the bowls club personnel. At the recent AGM there had been a good attendance.
  2. ALLOTMENTS:  All plots were now let and the council were awaiting with anticipation the results of the best kept allotment plots, before Christmas, hopefully?  Cllr. Price to action!
  3. TOWN HALL: Defibrillator had been used already, but it was most distressing to find that the equipment had been wantonly vandalised within a week of being installed. The local police were currently assessing CCTV footage to identify the culprit. It was agreed that more cameras would be beneficial in safeguarding the assets of the Parish Council and the clerk to contact the contractor and get a quote for additional cameras where there may be “blind spots”.

It had been noted that the wooden windows needed painting and some remedial work, clerk to investigate the possibility of installing double glazed upvc sash windows, and seek the advice of the planning authority as the Town Hall albeit not listed was in a conservation area.

When the fire alarm had been activated the building was evacuated, but there had been no clear instruction/ signage as to what to do and where the assembly point was. Clerk to work on appropriate instruction and signage and appropriate assembly point.

  1. MARKET PLACE: Provision of Seat outside Barclay’s Bank, a grant of £355 had been awarded for the provision of the seat from Weardale Area Action Partnership small grants fund, clerk to order seat asap.

Cllr. Savory asked that the Christmas lights be operational for the Market, this was in hand albeit it was unclear as to whether a tree would be in-situ and decorated. The contractor was installing the lights on Sunday 8th November

  1. ANGATE STREET TOILETS : The painting of the toilets was awaited ,as there was a good deal of graffiti to cover up. Toilets to remain open for the Christmas Market event.
  2. DEMESNE MILL: Trees to be identified same as recreation trees for felling and appropriate licences applied for. It was reported that a “ transit type van “ had been accessing the mill area , more large stones were required to prevent access. Clerk to action.
  3. THORNLEY WOOD Durham Wildlife Trust; Anne  Porter, a visit had been arranged for 8.30 am on Wednesday 14th October, Cllr. Sugden would attend together with the Clerk to meet with the Trust personnel and discuss the way forward.
  4. FOOTPATHS: Request that footpath off Lydgate Lane be strimmed, clerk to contact DCC

A meeting had been arranged with DCC , to investigate what could be done with the tree root problem  on parts of Lovers Lane, meeting arranged for Wednesday 21st October.

  2. NEWSLETTER   Defibrillator,  schools parking restrictions, outdoor gym, seat in Market Place.
  4. WRECASS : A meeting had been arranged for 17th November with the Methodists  and interested parties Cllr. Henderson would donate funds from the Christmas Market event to WRECASS.
  5. PLANNING : There was concern at the amount of dirt and debris being left in the road at the Lydgate Lane development , clerk to inform building control , planning enforcement to have roads swept and cleaned.

The clerk informed the meeting that a planning application had been submitted from SPAR to develop the former garage at East End to provide a filling station and convenience store.

The Persimmon Homes proposed development was awaiting approval from the board of directors and all forms and applications were in place if board approval is given.

Outline planning permission had been granted to the former sawmills site to build 66 homes and industrial units, this was being dealt with by the strategic team at county hall , who had been contacted so that the Parish Council can have some input as to house types, materials , street names and other reserved matters.

21.1  The following applications have been approved:

DM/15/02486/FPA       48 Front Street  Single storey rear extension 

 DM/15/02478/PNA      Low Harperley Farm, erection of agricultural building , prior notification not required


                        21.2     The following application has been refused

DM/15/02191/FPA        Harperley POW Camp , entrance gates and wall

DM/15/00881/FPA |      34,36 & 38 West End, replace windows & Doors


21.3      The following applications have been notified

DM/15/02822/FPA        Twelve Oaks, Durham Road, demolition of garage & outhouses, erection of single storey side extension

DM/15/02800/FPA        48, Front St. replacement timber windows to front elevation with sliding sash upvc

DM/15/02801/TCA       10, Stanhope Road, fell T1 Ash in conservation area.

DM/15/02987/TCA       5, Rectory Lane, T1 Oak & T1 Cypress fell in a conservation area

DM/15/02883/VOC       4, Hound Hill, variation Condition 2 to allow windows in guest accommodation annex building


  1. 1.              Finance Reports to End SEPTEMBER  2015, read and agreed and accepted

2.              Preliminary Budget / Precept 2016/17 issued for perusal prior to budget setting.