Photo of Thornley Village Centre with flowerbed

Could you make a difference in Thornley?

If you’re passionate about your local community and would like to work with others to improve quality of life in your village, find out more by contacting the Parish Clerk.

Thornley Parish Council provides various services in the village, such as the Cemetery, grounds maintenance, a number of allotments and Thornley Village Centre which offers a wide range of activities and facilities, always looking to secure the best value and make sure the Council services are well run to best suit the needs of our local community. Councillors meet every other month to represent local people, are here for the community and want to make a real difference.

Not everyone knows what a parish council looks like and how it works – and it might be different to what you think. Why not get in touch to talk about it?

The Parish Council has two vacancies and invites you to contact the Parish Clerk, Claire Llewelyn, for further details. You’ll be asked to provide a brief statement about yourself which should be provided by Wednesday 19 June 2024.

Photograph of Thornley Village Centre with the pit wheel and a flowerbed in front

Annual Report published

Thornley Parish Council is pleased to publish the annual report of the Chairperson, Councillor Mrs J. Unsworth, for the past year. The text of the report and a link to the full report are provided below.

Thornley Parish Council Annual Report 2023 to 2024

This has been another challenging year as we try to manage the rising costs of running the Parish Council operations whilst at the same time provide a good service to the community.

I would like to thank the Parish Councillors for their dedication and service to the Parish Council and their commitment to the village to help make Thornley a better place to live for all its residents.

I would like to thank the Village Centre staff who work tirelessly to provide a varied range of activities for all ages that are inclusive whilst at the same time keeping the building clean and tidy and the equipment in good order. We are proud to say that the Special Educational Needs sessions are now well established within the centre activities and are widely appreciated by the SEN community.

Thanks to our grounds maintenance staff who work hard to keep the areas we are responsible for well maintained and looking good and for their involvement in identifying cost saving measures whilst at the same time maintaining our high standards.

Thanks are also extended to our Parish Clerk and Administration Assistant who are the backbone of the Parish Council and show extreme dedication and enthusiasm when faced with the daily challenges of running the Council operations.

Councillor Mrs Joyce Unsworth, Chair, Thornley Parish Council

This report is presented to the Annual Parish Meeting in Thornley, and the Annual Meeting of Thornley Parish Council, held on 14 May 2024

The annual report can also be accessed through this link: Annual Report 2023 to 2024.

floral display by the stone at entrance to Thornley

Local Services: who can help?

Do you have all the information to hand for an emergency? While Thornley Parish Council is not directly responsible for emergency planning, we want to make sure that residents are able to be as prepared as possible and have the details they need should an emergency arise.

You’ll also find some useful links on that page including to Citizens Advice and the local Drug and Alcohol Service.

Please visit our Preparing for Emergencies and Useful Links page for more information.

Photo of flower bed in front of Thornley Village Centre

Have you ever thought about becoming a Parish Councillor?

If you’re passionate about your local community and would like to work with others to improve quality of life in your village, find out more by contacting the Parish Clerk.

Thornley Parish Council provides various services in the village, such as the Cemetery, grounds maintenance, a number of allotments and Thornley Village Centre which offers a wide range of activities and facilities, always looking to secure the best value and make sure the Council services are well run to best suit the needs of our local community. Councillors meet every other month to represent local people, are here for the community and want to make a difference.

Not everyone knows what a parish council looks like and how it works – and it might be different to what you think. Why not get in touch to talk about it?

The Parish Council has two vacancies and invites you to contact the Parish Clerk, Claire Llewelyn, for further details. Please express your interest by Friday 19 April 2024.

Photo of Thornley pit wheel with the Village Centre in the background

Thornley Parish Council seeks new Councillors

Have you ever thought about becoming a Parish Councillor? Are you passionate about your local community and would like to help make sure things run smoothly and improve quality of life in your village? It’s easy to find out more by contacting the Parish Clerk.

Thornley Parish Council provides various services in the village, such as the Cemetery, grounds maintenance, a number of allotments and Thornley Village Centre which provides a wide range of activities and facilities, always looking to secure the best value and make sure the Council services are well run to best suit the needs of our local community. Councillors meet every other month to represent local people, are here for the community and want to make a difference.

Not everyone knows what a parish council looks like and how it works – and it might be different to what you think. Why not get in touch to talk about it?

The Parish Council has two vacancies and invites you to contact the Parish Clerk for further details. Please express your interest by Friday 23 February 2024, for consideration at the Council’s meeting on 5 March.

Photo of flower bed and pit wheel in front of Thornley Village Centre

Have you thought about becoming a Councillor?

Have you ever thought about becoming a Parish Councillor? Are you passionate about your local community and would like to help make sure things run smoothly and improve quality of life in your village? Thornley Parish Council provides a range of services in the village, such as the Cemetery, grounds maintenance, a number of allotments and Thornley Village Centre which provides a wide range of activities and facilities.

The Parish Council has two vacancies and invites you to contact the Parish Clerk for further details. Please express your interest by Friday 15 December 2023, for consideration at the Council’s meeting on 9 January.

Photo of an example of a pump track with cyclists

Response to the public consultation about the proposed pump track

Thank you to everyone who took part in July and August’s consultation about the proposal for a pump track. The results have been considered and the Parish Council has set out its response and next steps below.

Pump Track Consultation: Response from Thornley Parish

There were 96 responses, mainly positive. Asked if they supported the pump track, results were as follows:

  • Yes 87
  • No 3
  • Maybe 6

There were also 12 positive comments in response to our Facebook post.

The Parish Council replies as follows to the various concerns and suggestions raised:

  • Queries about suitable age range: the chosen contractors have said their tarmac tracks are the most inclusive in our sector and have proven to give the best of user engagement for all ages and abilities.  
  • Anti-social behaviour, vandalism and safety: the Parish Council has spoken with the chosen contractors and with other parish councils who have installed pump tracks. The experiences of others show that this has not been significant and is manageable. There is an expectation that the safety of children and young people will be managed in the appropriate way by their parent/guardian.
  • Lighting: we don’t intend to light the area. Daylight hours should provide ample opportunity for people to use the track and there’s no need for overnight or late night use. Signage will be present.
  • Quad bikes and similar vehicles: our contractor said this does not become a problem as due to the technical nature of the track, the motorised vehicles may attend once but then not come back as they often struggle to navigate the track.
  • Cameras and fencing: fencing is not recommended, from others’ experiences, as it poses a health and safety risk to users. The Parish Council does not intend to cover the pump track area with cameras. This will all be kept under review.
  • Parking and ambulance access: this track is for bikes and scooters and therefore we expect most people to arrive on their bike or scooter. We do not intend to provide parking and will respectfully request that people do not drive to the site. We believe access for emergency vehicles is not a great concern. This will be considered and form part of the risk assessment for the site. 
  • Concerns that the pump track wouldn’t be used: the consultation shows that people would welcome this facility.
  • Rubbish and litter: people will be expected to use the litter bins provided or to take their litter home. In case not everyone does so, there will be regular and frequent inspections by Parish Council staff to ensure the area is litter free.
  • Funding: the Parish Council has reserves to use towards the track and will be responsible for the inspection and maintenance of the track and the site each year.
  • Access to the Library allotment site: there are no plans to change anything with regard to allotment tenants. During construction contractors will access the site through the gate.
  • Seating: will be considered following completion.
  • Toilets: the Parish Council doesn’t provide toilets at its other play areas. It is fairly common that there are not toilets near to a track or play park and people will need to manage their visits appropriately.
  • Potential of existing land contamination: our contractor has years of experience installing such tracks. There would be no deep excavations.  This grass and top soil would be reused in the landscaping around the track to keep all the natural seed banks and wild flowers that are native to the area in place.
  • Surveys: no particular surveys were recommended by Planning Officers. The Parish Council would follow the requirements of Durham County Council planning department.
  • Effects on wildlife: our contractor who has years of experience has assured us they would always try to have little or no impact of the surrounding wildlife.
  • Pollution: our contractor believes there would be no risk of ground pollution or drainage into a local water course due to the nature of the facility.
  • Other locations suggested: the Parish Council has considered other areas across the village but believes for this kind of track, this is the most suitable location.
  • Training and separate tracks: our contractors will invite young people to be involved in the final design. An opening event will be arranged with the support of the contractors when completed.
  • Football or park facilities and training: the Parish Council provides a football field for teams to hire at Welfare Park. There is an informal field next to the Village Centre for use by all ages in the community. There are three play areas in Thornley, with Bow Street having a basketball hoop.
  • Access through woodland: the Parish Council is working to improve its woodland and access through it, and encourages and supports other organisations to do the same with land managed by them.

What are the next steps? The Parish Council will continue to work on the proposals for the pump track and submit a planning application. If you have any further questions or comments please contact the Parish Clerk at clerk@thornley.pc.gov.uk

Thornley Parish Council seeks two new Councillors

Have you ever thought about becoming a Parish Councillor? Are you passionate about your local community and would like to help make sure things run smoothly and improve quality of life in your village? Thornley Parish Council provides a range of services in the village, such as the Cemetery, grounds maintenance, Thornley Village Centre and a number of allotments.

The Parish Council has two vacancies and invites you to contact the Parish Clerk for further details. Please express your interest by Friday 27 October 2023, for consideration at the Council’s meeting on 7 November.

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