Agenda and draft minutes

Ashington and Blyth Local Area Council - Wednesday, 12th January, 2022 4.00 pm

Venue: Meeting Space, Block 1, Floor 2, County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2EF

Contact: Rebecca Greally 

Note: Guidance for Public Attendance at meetings: *The meeting venue requires access to the normal workplace, so the public are asked to wear face coverings and ensure good hand hygiene. *Arrangements are in place to reserve the required number of seats for meeting participants. Members of the public must contact if they wish to attend a meeting in person and should specify which meeting. *Members of the public are only allowed entry on a first come basis where capacity allows. *Any member of the press or public may view the proceedings of this meeting live on our YouTube channel at *Signage will be posted once the room capacity has been reached. *Standard Covid secure controls are in place to book in, ensure hand hygiene, ventilate the meeting space and ensure people comply with agreed meeting protocols. *Public Speakers on planning applications must register as usual. 

No. Item




Apologies were received from Councillor A. Wallace.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 322 KB

Minutes of the meetings of Ashington and Blyth Local Area Council held on Wednesday 10th November 2021 as circulated, to be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair.


RESOLVED?that the minutes of the meeting of the?Ashington?& Blyth Local Area Council held on Wednesday,?10 November?2021,?as circulated, be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair.




Councillor Gallagher, Vice Chair (Planning) (in the Chair) outlined the procedure that would be followed at the meeting.  



To request the committee to decide the planning applications attached to this report using the powers delegated to it.??

Please note that printed letters of objection/support are not circulated with the agenda but are available on the Council’s website at??



The report requested the Committee to decide the planning applications attached to the report using the powers delegated to it. Members were reminded of the principles which should govern their consideration of the applications, the procedure for handling representations, the requirement of conditions and the need for justifiable reasons for the granting of permission or refusal of planning applications. 


RESOLVED that the information be noted.


21/01978-FUL pdf icon PDF 177 KB

Change of use to industrial storage.


Land North Of Jubilee Estate, Lennep Way, Jubilee Industrial Estate, Ashington, Northumberland.



Change of use to industrial storage. 

Land North Of Jubilee Estate, Lennep Way, Jubilee Industrial Estate, Ashington, Northumberland. 


W. Laing, Planning Officer, introduced the planning application with the aid of PowerPoint presentation. He advised the committee of the following updates: 


  • In paragraph 2.2 it stated the site was enclosed by a palisade fence, however the site was only enclosed on three sides. 
  • In paragraph 7.39 there was a typographical error and it should have read “and no further” and in condition 3 where it referred to sighting of industrial storage, it should have read “NO siting”. 

Site videos were shown to the committee. They had been previously shared with members but to ensure all member’s had sight of the videos they were shown after the presentation. 


Mr. P. Down, the nominated spokesperson for the residents, addressed the committee in opposition of the application, his comments included the following:- 


  • Mr. Down hoped that all members had had the opportunity to visit the site. 
  • The applicants hadn’t fulfilled the conditions outlined in the first application so how is it expected that they will follow the conditions outlined in the second application.  
  • In paragraph 7.8 of the report, it stated that the erection of the fence was subject to appropriate enforcement however no such enforcement had happened, and the fence was still yet to be erected. Concerns were raised that if the conditions of the first application weren’t completed why was the second application being considered.  
  • In paragraph 7.15 of the report, it states that no lighting had been proposed however the plans showed a lamppost with security cameras fitted. 
  • Residents had concerns regarding the management of the site from the beginning. The Enforcement Officer had to be involved in numerous occasions. There was a series of incidents that were listed that included; cutting down of protected trees, a fence was erected before planning application was submitted, containers were already moved onto the site. 
  • The containers that were already on site had been placed between the site and the residential area which meant the proposed fence could not be erected as per the first application. It was suggested that if the fence was not erected there could have been conflict between the residents and the applicant. 
  • The site was not going to be manned and there was a question over who would police the area. The area was already prone to anti-social behaviour and it was felt that this application would exacerbate this. Under the Human Rights Act residents were entitled to a peaceful life this planning application did not allow residents a peaceful life. 
  • It was felt that the tree under the tree protection order had more rights than the residents themselves. 
  • Residents had raised concerned regarding flooding on the site and these concerns had not been addressed. Also, the residents had not been told who would be responsible for any flooding that happened in the future. 
  • The residents recommended that the application be refused or put on hold until the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.



For Members’ information to report the progress of planning appeals.  This is a monthly report and relates to appeals throughout all 5 Local Area Council Planning Committee areas and covers appeals of Strategic Planning Committee.


RESOLVED that the information be noted.


PETITIONS pdf icon PDF 162 KB

This item is to:? 

(a) Receive any new petitions:?to receive any new petitions. The lead petitioner?is?entitled?to briefly introduce their petition?by providing a statement in writing, and a response to any petitions received will then be organised for a future?meeting; 

(b) Consider reports on petitions previously received:


(i) Response to Petition for Dogs on Leads at Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Promenade. 

(c)? Receive any updates on petitions for which a report was previously?? considered:?any updates will be verbally reported at the meeting



The committee were informed of a new e-petition that had been opened on the Council’s website on 25th November 2021. It was due to close on 25th January and 78 signatures at the time. The committee were informed that a report would be presented to them in due course.



This presentation will outline the Council’s strategy to the 2022-23 Budget within the context of the Corporate Plan. The presentation will provide details of the approach to setting the budget for the next financial year and the broad impact this will have on the delivery of services.


Councillor Sanderson, Leader of the Council and Councillor Wearmouth, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Corporate Services gave a presentation to outline the approach being taken to set the budget for the next financial year, looking at the current position, challenges and opportunities and the impact this would have on the delivery of services.? The detail regarding initiatives and schemes would be presented at a separate meeting.? (A copy of the presentation is enclosed with the signed minutes.)?? 

The presentation highlighted:? 

  • The work of frontline services during the pandemic, and following Storm Arwen, was appreciated and acknowledged with no budget cuts being proposed.? 
  • Health inequalities to be addressed across the county with a summit planned in March 2022 to make meaningful change with partner organisations.? 
  • Unexpectedly, employment rates were largely comparable with pre-pandemic rates at 4.1% which was lower than regional and national figures and the economic performance of the county was quite strong.? Targeted interventions hoped to address areas where unemployment figures were higher, including those within the 18–24-year-olds, areas where there were job vacancies and the necessity of introducing a real living wage in adult social care to retain staff who were leaving for jobs in other sectors.? 
  • The vision and aims of the Corporate Plan identified 48 key priorities with targeted actions to enable their delivery.? Examples included strengthening relationships with town and parish councils, welcoming new businesses, free town centre car parks etc.? 
  • The overall funding context for the 2022/23 budget was set out; the increase in Council Tax precept remained at 2% without holding a referendum with an additional 1% for Adult Social Care for the next three years.? 
  • Areas were outlined where the Council intended to invest in the future of the county.? 
  • A review of the Budget for 2022-23 and the Medium-Term Financial Plan required savings of £9.704 million to balance the budget.? A provisional savings requirement of £28 million had also been calculated for the following two financial years.? The approach to identifying spend and savings within the budget were outlined with proposed savings by Portfolio Holder, although some of these included opportunities for income generation.? 
  • The consultation was due to close on 21 January 2022.? Over 200 responses had been received to date which was helpful when assessing areas which operated well and those that didn’t, as well as suggestions where more funds should be allocated, before the budget was finalised and published ahead of scrutiny and consideration by Full Council on 23 February 2022.? 

The following comments were made in response to member’s questions: 


  • It was suggested that the feedback received from the public could also be shared with members. 
  • There was a public consultation on the Council website and there were over 200 responses. It was acknowledged that face-to-face consultations couldn’t take place due to Covid restrictions but there was a hope in the future that they would return as it was acknowledged how invaluable they were and it was acknowledged the importance of reaching a wider audience. 
  • It  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.



To receive a verbal update from the Area Managers from Technical Services and Neighbourhood Services in attendance about any key recent, ongoing and/or future planned Local Services work for the attention of members of the Local Area Council, who will also then?have the opportunity to?raise issues with the Area Managers.?


The Area Managers have principal responsibility for highway services and environmental services, such as refuse collection, street cleansing and grounds maintenance, within the geographic boundaries of the Local Area Council.?


R. Wealleans, Neighbourhood Services Manager, gave an update to the members: 


Once again, following what has been a very long and challenging year for our front-line services – our refuse crews were out again, working across the entire Christmas period. 


We also had cleansing operatives working this period to ensure litter bins were emptied and the streets remained clean and tidy in some challenging areas. 


In addition to this, our tree and NEAT (Neighbourhood Environment Action Teams) teams continue to work hard as we recover from the devastation caused by Storm Arwen. 


Our priority immediately after the storm was to assist with clearance of the road network, we then moved onto cemeteries and other public areas with high footfall. The tree teams will move onto our plantations and urban woodlands in due course. A full recovery will take time and we thank you for your support and patience during this period. 


I’m sure you will join me in recognising and praising the huge efforts of our front-line teams over what continues to be an exceedingly difficult period. 


Covid: There have been 7 positive cases within the workforce over the last 2 weeks with staff following new guidelines, currently there are only 2 staff still off and due to return next week. 


Waste Service: 


  • Refuse collection service worked very well over Christmas period.
  • Very few complaints from residents.
  • Moving collection days etc. - comms strategy worked well with around a 95% presentation on all days. 
  • Dedicated refuse staff collected around 750 tonnes of residual waste over Christmas/New Year period. 
  • 42 tonnes more than the previous residual collection and still averaging 40/50 tonne above collections before Covid. 


Grounds Maintenance 


  • Progress on winter works was initially impacted by Storm Arwen. We are confident that we can recover from this and complete the programme as planned. 
  • Please pass on any work requests you might have has we are now starting to plan for summer works. 
  • Hedges and shrubs. 
  • Leaf clearance has been carried out in all areas, any areas of concern that need attention please let me know. 
  • We have additional large mechanical sweepers deployed in the area to help remove additional detritus generated by the storm 
  • We have started the process of recruiting our seasonal staff for the coming summer period. 


Street Cleansing 


  • Business as usual on cleansing within all areas. 
  • Brock Lane West Sleekburn traffic management arranged to carry out a litter pick and sweep. 
  • We have assisted the local volunteer groups with collections after their litter pick activities and will continue to support them going forward, lately collections have taken place around the West Bedlington/Cambois area. 


The following response was made to member’s questions: 


  • Members thanked the Service for their response to Storm Arwen. It was noted that there were still a number of trees lying around but the Officers confirmed that they were aware of them and would provide members with a timescale for collection. 
  • Blyth Town Council Ridley Park run events around Easter, but the fountains were never switched  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.



The Community Risk Management Plan 2022-26 has been developed, providing data and analysis on key fire and rescue related risks, and information on how Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service will work with communities to address and mitigate those risks.  The purpose of the report is to raise awareness of a public consultation on the Plan which opens on 5 January 2022 and closes on 16 February 2022 and to provide an opportunity for feedback from Local Area Council into the process.

Additional documents:


The Local Area Council received a presentation from the Chief Fire Officer on the draft Community Risk Management Plan 2022 – 2026.? He introduced his colleagues also in attendance: Graeme Binning, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, and Deborah Brown, Strategic Policy, Risk and Performance Officer 

He explained that all fire and rescue authorities were required to produce a Community Risk Management Plan which must:

  • reflect up to date risk analyses;? 
  • demonstrate how prevention, protection andresponse activities would best be used to preventand mitigate the impact of identified risks on itscommunities;
  • outline required service delivery outcomesincluding the allocation of resources;? 
  • set out its management strategy and risk-basedprogramme for enforcing the provisions of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005;
  • cover at least a three-year time span;?  
  • reflect effective consultation throughout its development; and? 
  • be easily accessible and publicly available.? 

The plan would need to be reviewed as often was required, for example, as it had been in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.? An annual update reviewed performance, changes to risk and whether this impacted on the service.

The plan set out the definition of risk as a 'combination of the likelihood and consequence of a hazardous event' and provided more information to explain the risk analysis process and the 10 most frequently attended incidents in the previous 5 years.? Over 90% of attendances were attributable to these incident types and rarely changed which allowed the service to target resources effectively.? Dwelling fires were highlighted as one of the top incidents and the plan set out what they did to reduce risk and what they planned to do, to further reduce risk.

The fire and rescue service also needed to be prepared to respond to emerging risks, which although infrequent, had the potential for a high impact.? This included:

  • Climate change and extreme weather events.? 
  • Pandemic.? 
  • Future housing and commercial development.? 
  • Ageing population and increased vulnerability.? 
  • British Volt.? 
  • Ashington, Blyth and Tyne Rail Line.

The aims and priorities for 2022/23 were outlined.

Consultation on the plan had commenced on 5 January 2022 and was due to close on 16 February 2022.? Councillors and members of the public were encouraged to respond to the survey or provide feedback to allow the fire and rescue service to better shape and deliver their service.?It was agreed that the link to the consultation be shared with members after the meeting.  

The following comments were made in response to member’s questions: 


  • Members congratulated the Chief Officer and his team for an excellent report. Thanks was also given to Northumberland Fire & Rescue for their continued hard work. 
  • It was confirmed that the PowerPoint and links to the consultation would be shared with the members after the meeting.  
  • The end date of the consultation was confirmed as Wednesday 16th February 2022. 
  • Members noted that the reduced use of jargon in the report and Risk Management Plan meant the document was more accessible to the public.  
  • Members noted the statistics included in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.



To note the latest version of agreed items for future Local Area Council meetings (any suggestions for new agenda items will require confirmation by the Business Chair after the meeting)??


A list of agreed items for future Local Area Council meetings was circulated. 


RESOLVED that the work programme be noted.




The next meeting would be held on Wednesday 16th February 2022 at 4.00 p.m.