Agenda and draft minutes

Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley Local Area Committee - Tuesday, 16th May, 2023 4.00 pm

Venue: The Hub at Cramlington, Manor Walks, Cramlington, NE23 6YB

Contact: Heather Bowers 

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Daley and Ferguson.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 178 KB

Minutes of the meeting of Cramlington, Bedlington & Seaton Valley Local Area Council held on Wednesday 19 April 2023 as circulated, to be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair. 



RESOLVED that the minutes of the meetings of the Cramlington, Bedlington & Seaton Valley Local Area Council held on Wednesday, 19 April 2023 as circulated, be confirmed as a true record and be signed by the Chair.



To reply to any questions received from members of the public which have been submitted in writing in advance of the meeting. Questions can be asked about issues for which the Council has a responsibility. (Public question times take place on a bimonthly basis at Local Area Council meetings: in January, March, May, July, September and November each year.)


As agreed by the County Council in February 2012, the management of local public question times is at the discretion of the chair of the committee.


Please note however that a question may possibly be rejected if it requires the disclosure of any categories of confidential or exempt information, namely information:

  1. relating to any individual;
  2. which is likely to reveal the identity of an individual;
  3. relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person
  4. relating to any labour relations matters/negotiations;
  5. restricted to legal proceedings
  6. about enforcement/enacting legal orders
  7. relating to the prevention, investigation of prosecution of crime.


?      is defamatory, frivolous or offensive;

?      it is substantially the same as a question which has been put at a meeting of this or another County Council committee in the past six months;

?      the request repeats an identical or very similar question from the same person;

?      the cost of providing an answer is disproportionate;

?      it is being separately addressed through the Council's complaints process;

?      it is not about a matter for which the Council has a responsibility or which affects the county;

?      it relates to planning, licensing and/or other regulatory applications

?      it is a question that town/parish councils would normally be expected to raise through other channels.


If the Chair is of the opinion that a question is one which for whatever reason, cannot properly be asked in an area meeting, he/she will disallow it and inform the resident of his/her decision.


Copies of any written answers (without individuals' personal contact details) will be provided for members after the meeting and also be publicly available.


Democratic Services will confirm the status of the progress on any previously requested written answers and follow up any related actions requested by the Local Area Council.




William Wright, NE22 6LH (12 Forum Court, Bedlington)


Mr Wright referred to a sycamore tree, 15 metres from his bungalow.  The roots had entered the sewage system and caused damage which he had to pay £50 excess on his insurance to reline the pipe on his part of the property.  He and his wife were unable to flush the toilet in the evening until the morning due to damage.


Mr Wright had contacted Councillor Malcolm Robinson some time ago who had liaised with Leon Savage, Trees and Woodland Team Leader and both had visited the property.  Mr Wright conveyed his thanks to Councillor Robinson for his help.


Concerns were raised about the foundations to his property and of issues if it came to selling the property.  The council officer who had visited his property had advised Mr Wright to take out extra insurance, but the siting of the tree was the fault of the developer.  The situation was causing stress to both him and his wife.


Councillor Flux requested that an officer visit Mr Wright's property and a report be brought back to the next available local area committee on the findings and actions.


Janice Craggs, resident of Hartford Bridge referred to the meeting of 21 March and asked when a response would be available to issues raised by residents on speeding and condition of the road.


Robin McCartney, Infrastructure Manager, Local Services provided the following response:


With regard to the road condition, since 2010 a number of structural surfacing patching works had been undertaken.  The most recent inspection of the road had shown there were no individual actionable defects.  However, it was accepted that there was a 120 m long section of the road where the underlying bituminous basecourse was showing signs of deterioration and was currently being considered for inclusion for repair in the next programme of works.


Concerns had been raised about the types of vehicles using the road and whether a weight limit could be imposed.  Given the nature and classification of the road as an A road, it would not be appropriate for a weight limit to be imposed. It was noted that residents reported that they were experiencing vibrations in properties as a result of passing vehicles.  It was sometimes the case at properties adjacent to highways, that vibrations could be noticed when large vehicles passed, however, it should be noted that human perception of vibrations occurred at levels much lower than those that would need to cause any structural damage to buildings.  It might be that the potential repairs noted above might help reduce any vibrations experienced.


With regard to road safety issues, analysis of the accident database of all personal injury accidents reported to the Police showed that there had been no personal injury collisions in the last 5 years in the village, the only personal injury collision nearby was a ‘slight’ collision in June 2019 at the A1068/A192 junction.


Speed surveys had recently been undertaken and the following information obtained:


Speed  ...  view the full minutes text for item 101.



This item is to:


(a)      Receive any new petitions.


(b)      Consider reports on petitions previously received.


(c)      Receive any updates on petitions for which a report was previously considered.



This item was to:


a)         Receive any new petitions:


There were none to consider.


b) Consider reports on petitions previously received:


There were none to consider.


c) To consider updates on petitions previously considered:


There were no updates to consider.



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.



Tony Gribbin, Neighbourhood Services Area Manager gave the following



Bereavement Services


• Both crematorium and cemeteries in the South East operating well

• Grass cutting and weed treatments had commenced. Bank holidays and

weather had affected the ongoing programmes.


Waste Service


? Residual and Recycling waste collection services continued to perform well

and there were very few issues following the bank holiday catch ups


? In the final stages of completing a detailed review of all kerbside collection

rounds – in response to ever increasing housing stock numbers. More

information on this would follow when the work was completed.

? Demand for the bulky waste service remained high but performance was

good, this service was constantly monitored and booking slots adjusted


? Garden waste service was up and running and also performing well.


Grass Cutting


? Required number of seasonal staff were appointed and cutting started late

March/early April.

? Cut 2 just finished and moving onto cut 3 in Bedlington and Cramlington

and on cut 4 in Seaton Valley.

? Grass cutting season started in March but there were a few interruptions in

the form of wet weather and the usual bank holidays, which made the gap

between the cuts a little longer than targeted for, but teams were recovering

well. Additional shifts had been added into the schedule and also the

teams had worked longer on days when the weather had been good and

allowed extended operations.

? The very wet start had been challenging for the teams, but would push to

recover during May (despite the extra bank holidays)

? Work was attempted to commence at the end of March, but the weather

and ground conditions were too wet.

? The beginning of April also saw very wet conditions as well and Easter was

early, so teams lost potential operational days to bank holidays in April too.

Coupled with the bank holidays hadn’t helped this aspect of the service. In

the first 10 operational days, 4 days were 4 days (40%) of the operational



Weed Control


? Spraying had commenced in all main areas and would continue to do so. Due

to a vehicle being off the road in Seaton Valley, the programme had been

completed. A member of staff was now deployed into other areas to support

those treatments. This support would be reciprocated by other areas

deploying sweeping machines.

? Some wider area spraying or ripping had been undertaken.

? Regulated blue dye was also being used in devices.


Street Cleansing


• Scheduled works continued to operate. There had been a couple of

mechanical issues in Seaton Valley, but were working with other areas to

support that service as they supported other programmed works.

• Increased footfall, over the summer, particularly on the coastal areas, would

result in increased resources being deployed there. This would come as and

when necessary and was also, to some extent, weather dependent

Members made the following comments/requests:

• If certain areas of grass were left long for a purpose

• Leaves on paths and roads along the B1326,  ...  view the full minutes text for item 103.



Information will be available following Annual Council on 17 May.



Information would be available following Annual Council on 17 May.



The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 21 June 2023 (subject to the diary of meetings being agreed at Annual Council on 17 May) and will be Planning only.



The next meeting would be held on Wednesday 21 June, subject to the diary of meetings being agreed at Annual Council on 17 May and would be a planning only meeting.