Alnwick Town Council round-up

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Members heard about the work being carried out by the Alnwick and District WWI Centenary Commemoration Group.

Derek Gladding, from the group, spoke at Thursday’s meeting, saying he hoped there could be ongoing dialogue with the town council.

The group, mainly made up of members of local branches of the Royal British Legion and Western Front Association, has funding of more than £16,000 for various projects in the next two years.

Derek explained that the group wanted to get across what Britain was like 100 years ago, how the war affected both soldiers and local communities and how the war changed Britain.

In terms of its focus, the group’s four main projects revolve around re-enactment activities, for example, to do with Alnwick Camp and the departure of soldiers; working with schoolchildren; heritage; and the creation of an online database.

• Alnwick in Bloom made a suggestion that extra grass-cutting take place on the Column Field, at a cost of £327 plus VAT for eight cuts per year. While members appreciated that the Column Field was an important centre-piece to the town, it was felt that if the cutting was not good enough then the service should be raised with the county council. It was also felt that the incredibly wet spring this year had not helped and that while the Column Field did look untidy, it may be an issue with the quality of the cuts, not the quantity

• An application to the War Memorials Trust for funding to repair and refurbish the town’s war memorial is now ready to be submitted. To be eligible for the next tranche of funding, the submission needs to be in by June 30. A decision should then be made within 10 weeks and then the work has to take place within a year.

• At last month’s meeting, the town council agreed to carry out a survey of the bins in the town, as the county council does not have the resources to empty any more. Coun David Farrar said that rather than removing less-used bins, they should just be emptied less often, which would still free up resources.

• The internal audit was completed with no risks identified and the 2013/14 annual return and accounts are now to be submitted for external audit. The town council’s total balances and reserves as of March 31, 2014, was £145,918. Coun Symmonds thanked the clerk for the professional way he handles the accounts.

• Coun George Mavin asked if the council could contact Northumberland Estates regarding the appearance of the vacant Willis site, which is set to become an Aldi and Majestic Wine. The council is also to chase up concerns raised previously about road safety at the junction of The Peth and Bailiffgate.