Minutes of the 261st meeting of the Stainton & Thornton Parish Council
held in the Memorial Hall on Tuesday 14th December 2021 at 7pm.

Present: Parish Councillors A. Liddle (Chair), B. Neale, C. Dean, A. Conroy, D. Coupe, A. Cooper, Clerk the Council - J. Holmes.

83/21. Apologies for absence/Declarations of Interest. Apologies received from Cllr. R. Dennison (Shielding)

84/21. Public Participation – Opportunity for members of the public to address the Council – None

85/21. The Minutes of the 260th meeting held on Tuesday 12 October 2021 were approved by the Parish Council, recorded as a true record, and signed by the Chair.

86/21. Matters arising from the above Minutes.

  • a) Neighbourhood Plan – Chair reported that the submitted Stainton and Thornton Neighbourhood Plan has been the subject of an independent examination by Mr Patrick Whitehead for Middlesbrough Council with the support of Stainton and Thornton Parish Council to assess the validity of the plan. The Fact Check report provided by the examiner was discussed by the Neighbourhood Plan Group on the 7 December (with the approval of the Parish Council) where it was agreed to accept the suggested recommendations to modify a number of policies and text to ensure the Plan meets the Basic Conditions and other legal requirements. The final examination report has now been submitted by the examiner to both the Parish Council AND Middlesbrough Council. The modifications suggested by the examiner are primarily to aid clarification and prevent repetition in the policies. These suggestions/modifications will be included in the Plan by Middlesbrough Council and agreed by the Parish Council.

    The examiner has concluded that once the Plan has been modified, it should proceed to referendum. Middlesbrough Council are now responsible for progressing the Plan to referendum and it is estimated that the referendum should take place in March 2022. If the referendum results in a "yes" vote, the resulting Plan should provide appropriate policy responses to complement the local strategic planning framework and the emerging Middlesbrough Council local plan and assist with decision making for development proposals.

  • b) Roadside Speed Display Unit – Cllr Neale reported that Steve Rigg, Principal Engineer at Middlesbrough Council has confirmed with the manufacturers the specification for the proposed sign and post on Strait Lane. Consultation letters to the affected properties will be sent out later this week. His department are awaiting the results of the funding bid for further road safety measures, and this should be known by the end of January. The Parish Council’s contribution for the initial unit will be in the region of £3,500.

  • c) Parking Issues – Hemlington Road – Middlesbrough Council are proposing to implement double yellow line waiting restrictions at the junction of Hemlington Road and Church Close. Complaints have been received regarding parking at this location, obstructing traffic flow and reducing visibility at the junction. The proposed yellow lines would improve traffic flow and road safety by restricting parking at the junction and would apply to all motorists (including residents of Church Close). Consultation letters have been sent to affected residents and businesses after which a traffic regulation order is required to legalise the process which will take around 3 to 6 months to complete.

  • d) Re-siting of Bus Stops – Cllr. Coupe reported that the bus stop on the south side of Hemlington Road had recently been moved towards the Cedarwood Glade junction. New road markings were now in situ. The re-siting of the bus stop outside the Stainton Inn has yet to be completed.

  • e) Village Newsletter – Cllr. Cooper reported that the December edition of the newsletter was currently being delivered to all residents including the new developments at Hemlington Grange. Door to door delivery in the new developments are proving problematic and a direct appeal for volunteers from this area is to be made in the next issue.

  • f) Footpath – 3 Strait Lane – Middlesbrough Council are yet to confirm that the affected area is council owned. Cllr. Coupe to follow up. Meanwhile, Cllr. Dean would speak to resident at 5 Strait Lane to see if she had any objection to any remedial work to the footpath and verge.

  • g) Community Governance Review – Cllrs. Liddle and Coupe reported on a meeting held 13.12.21. Middlesbrough Council will be conducting a survey – ‘Your Area – Your Say’ which will go out to every resident in the Middlesbrough Council area. Cllrs. Liddle and Coupe were not convinced that the Democratic Services department knew how Parish and Community Councils operated. To this end representatives from the department will be invited to future Stainton and Thornton Parish and Community Council meetings.

  • h) Christmas Lights – Cllr. Conroy reported the village christmas lights were installed mid-November and the ‘switch on’ took place on 3 December. Initially there were some problems with the electrics tripping out, believed caused by recent heavy rains. However, all connections were checked and made watertight by a re-visit by the installers. The lights, on a timer, are now working normally. A Thornton resident had enquired if it was possible to have Christmas Lights/Tree in Thornton near the T junction. The feasibility would need to be addressed by the Parish Council.

87/21. The Report of the Clerk to the Parish Council.

  • a. The following magazines are on circulation to Parish Councillors: Clerk & Councils Direct, The Clerk.

  • b. NALC circulars and information received from CLCA have been forwarded to all councillors where appropriate.

  • c. Financial Statement 14.12.2021.

Balance at 13.12.21. £13,853.84
Income since last meeting: Nil
Expenditure since last meeting: £2,034.86 - Approval required.

Date: Payee. Reason. Cheque No. Amount.
12.10.21 FSTGS Maintenance Plan 525 500.00
12.10.21 FSTGS Donation 526 200.00
24.10.21 P.Burton Bedding Plants 527 25.47
30.10.21 C.Cutler Website (Aug-Nov) 528 120.00
30.10.21 M.Holmes Salary (Oct) 529 248.41
30.10.21 HMRC PAYE (Oct) 530 62.20
30.09.21 P.McInnes Bedding Plants 531 76.50
09.11.21 Cllr. Conroy Xmas Lights 533 114.47
22.11.21 Memorial Hall Hall Hire 534 88.00
23.11.21 Northumbria Water Water Analysis 535 200.18
26.11.21 MBC Printing 536 68.77
30.11.21 M.Holmes Salary (Nov) 537 248.41
30.11.21 HMRC PAYE (Nov) 538 62.00
04.12.21 M.Holmes Raffle Books 539 20.25

Invoice to pay – Middlesbrough Council – Installation of Christmas Lights - £570.10

Resolved: All payments aforementioned approved.

  • d. Zoom portal – Clerk reported that the Zoom portal would be due for renewal in February if unlimited use was still required. Following discussion, it was agreed not to renew the contract.

  • e. Risk Management Policy – Annual Review. The Clerk had previously circulated the Risk Management Policy to all councillors for annual review.
    Resolved: Risk Management Policy reviewed and adopted without change.

88/21. Committee Reports

    All current planning applications recently received are of a non-contentious nature and do not warrant comment by the Parish Council.

    Stainton Beck – Pollution at Kell Gate Green. – Cllrs. Conroy and Liddle. As agreed at the last meeting water sampling from Stainton Beck had been analysed recently. Pollution levels in the beck have reduced but pollution is still present. The package treatment plants in the 2 properties appear to be working better but not to the manufacturer’s standards. Dr. O’Kennedy (Microbiologist) and member of the Parish Council pollution sub-committee has concerns about power outages, equipment failure (pump breakdown) and poor maintenance. Any of these could result in further major pollution issues into the seasonal beck.
    Despite the current improvement in pollution levels the problem still exists and is being caused by discharge into the beck from the package treatment plants in the 2 properties. Explanations from Middlesbrough Council, as to why planning permission for the package treatment plants was granted in the first instance is unsatisfactory. It was agreed that the matter should be referred to the Ombudsman. Cllrs. Conroy and Liddle to explore the procedures required for the referral.

    It was noted that PCSO Mike Fenwick, the Neighbourhood Office for our area, had resigned from the force. No notification of any replacement yet.
    The damage to the Vernon Court noticeboard by visitors to the nearby Children’s Home had been investigated by the police, without result.
    Cllr. Neale reported that the October meeting of the I.A.G. did not go ahead and the December meeting was cancelled as a suitable venue could not be found. The next scheduled meeting of the I.A.G. will be in February. The latest Key Messages document from the Neighbourhood Policing and Community Partnership has been circulated by email

89/21. Cleveland Local Councils Association – Weekly circulations of emails continue to be forwarded to councillors where relevant. Clerk contacted CLCA Secretary to ask when quarterly meetings resume. Informed that the regional chair was recovering from a knee replacement. Hopefully a date will be fixed soon.

90/21. Friends of Stainton and Thornton Green Spaces – Chair reported on the quarterly meeting held on 29.11.21.
Dr. Ronan O’Kennedy gave a power point presentation on the pollution problem in Stainton Beck at Kell Gate Green. The slide presentation would be made available to group members and councillors for reference, if needed.
The Treasurer reported a balance of £18,033.38 following an income of £850 made up from donations from the Community Council and Parish Council as well as the annual street furniture maintenance grants from the Parish Council. An updated Habitat and Maintenance scheduled was prepared by Alan Conroy.
The Children’s Nature Event held on 26 October, organised by Sue Antrobus, was a great success and 2 more are planned for next year, one at Easter, one in late Spring or early Summer. The cost would be £250 per session.
Steve Iredale had checked over the damaged/rotten wood sculptures and suggested they all be replaced with new ones. He would look at sculpting 2 pairs of animals, size and design to be agreed. Cost would be in the region of £5,000.
Sue Antrobus suggested it may be worth considering the formation of a sub-group of volunteers to look after the northern part of the village, Maelor’s Wood and Stainton Low Wood with residents from Rose Cottage Farm. Sue will progress the idea and report back.
The next meeting of the FSTGS group will be in March 2022.

91/21. Draft Budget and Precept Proposals 2022/23. – Clerk had prepared a preliminary budget forecast based on a precept of £9.31 per household. Full budget details will be agreed at the next meeting in February however councillors did agree that the precept should remain at £9.31. It was noted that provisionally the number of dwellings (Band D equivalent) base is 1,240 compared to 1,088 last year.
Resolved: 2022/23 precept for Parish of Stainton & Thornton to remain at £9.31 per household.

92/21. Storm Arwen – Interruption of electricity supply. – Cllr. Neale reported that as a result of the storm damage causing damage to power lines a certain section of Stainton was without power for 8 hours. Several homes with vulnerable residents were affected. There was a distinct lack of communication from Middlesbrough Council and certainly no cohesion with the Parish Council who would have been able to identify efficiently where help was needed most. He intended to take the matter up with the emergency Planning team at Middlesbrough Council.

93/21. Date and Time of Next Meeting: Tuesday, 8th February 2022. 7pm in the Memorial Hall.

The Chair formally closed the meeting at 9:00pm

Agreed and signed as a true record ………………………………………………………… Date …………………………………

Minutes taken by: J. Holmes, Clerk to the Council, 13 Strait Lane, Stainton, TS8 9BB.
clerk@staintonandthorntonparishcouncil.org.uk Tel: 01642 296060. 07980 572115.

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