Alnwick Town Council round-up

Parking in Greenwell Lane, Alnwick.
Parking in Greenwell Lane, Alnwick.

Alnwick Town Council will get behind a mental-health project in Northumberland, which is to be piloted in the Alnwick and Hexham areas.

As reported last week, the vision of Gordon Allan, whose wife Sally died as the result of a private battle with mental illness, is for a link to be established between organisations and clubs to improve the well-being, recovery and resilience of individuals through sports and physical activity.

An application has been made to Sport England under the Volunteering Opportunity Fund for a grant of £50,000 a year, for three years, and Gordon is looking for additional match-funding to support his bid, which is backed by Talking Matters, Active Northumberland and Tyneside and Northumberland Mind.

Alnwick Town Council was asked to provide £1,500 per annum for three years, but it was pointed out that the pilot area of Alnwick is not just the town, but areas such as Wooler, Longhoughton and Warkworth too.

Members agreed to provide £500 for the first year which will then be reviewed alongside support in kind, for example, for venues in which meetings or training could be held. The council will also let Gordon know of other town and parish councils in the pilot area which could be contacted.

• Councillors discussed some of the next steps regarding the Alnwick and Denwick Neighbourhood Plan.

As reported last week, the plan has been made by the county council, bringing it into legal force.

The document is now part of the statutory development plan for the parishes of Alnwick, Denwick and Denwick Detached, and decisions on applications in these parishes must be made in accordance with the policies in the plan unless material considerations indicate otherwise.

At last Thursday’s council meeting, members agreed that training was needed on the plan, particularly for those councillors on the planning committee.

There also needs to be a decision on how the plan, as well as the community action proposals, are monitored moving forward and whether the steering group which produced the document should continue in its current guise or not.

Coun Peter Broom pointed out that the major growth in Alnwick is taking place to the south, much of which falls into the parishes of Denwick and Denwick Detached, which are represented by Denwick Parish Council.

It was agreed to talk to the parish council to discuss what happens on future planning applications given that the town council is likely to want to have its say on schemes which affect the town.

• Alnwick Chamber of Trade chairman Carlo Biagioni told the meeting that he was told by county council officers that a new 24-hour limit would be introduced in Alnwick’s car parks to prevent vehicles from being left for days at a time, but it appears this has been superseded by a review of parking in market towns, reported last week. The town council has also been carrying out its own monitoring of parking, but will await the outcomes of the studies.

• Town councillors must decide on its three priorities to go in for funding from the county council’s Local Transport Plan 2018/19 by late September. Members agreed to hold a working group later this month to discuss which schemes in the town should be chosen.

Prior to that, the town council is to seek clarification on its priorities for this year to find out what has been done as it appears some of what was sought has been carried out, but not necessarily in full at this stage.

• County councillor Robbie Moore is to find out what will happen to a number of developments in Alnwick given that Arch is currently under review by the new Conservative administration at County Hall. Clarity is needed on what will happen to schemes such as the homes at the Malthouse and Allerburn House, while Arch also has an interest in the youth hostel.

• Coun Sue Allcroft reported on a meeting with Sgt Sharon Wilmore-Greaves about proposals to renew an order covering Alnwick, but which would see it upgraded to a Public Spaces Protection Order, meaning police would have more powers to tackle not just drinking in public places, but a range of other anti-social behaviours. There will be a consultation.

• Members were reminded that the next meeting of Alnwick Town Council’s Business Networking Forum takes place on Tuesday. Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan is the guest speaker, while Coun Gordon Castle will also inform the 50-plus attendees about the new local area council which he chairs.