Amble Town Council

Empty paddling pool is ‘disgrace’

A SUGGESTION has been made to transform a disused paddling pool in Amble, which has been branded a ‘disgrace’.

At Thursday’s meeting of Amble Town Council, Coun Velda Nicholson told members that something needed to be done with the pool at the Paddlers play area.

“I am concerned about the mess at the paddling pool,” she said. “There is broken glass and the rubber is getting more and more ripped. I suggest that the rubber gets removed and the original surface gets cleaned up and re-painted.

“At Spittal, there is an empty paddling pool. It is painted blue and has seaside bits painted on. It looked quite attractive as empty paddling pools go. I think ours is a disgrace to look at.”

Coun Robert Arckless said that he liked the idea and it could be an option.

The meeting heard that pupils from the high school could get involved in any project to paint the pool while Coun Craig Weir said that people in the Pride of Amble scheme could also get involved.

It was also suggested that Northumberland County Council be asked to clean the pool out.

Chairman Coun Leslie Bilboe said: “Anything we can do to improve the site is going to be a good thing. We have to do something more positive.

“We should flow the idea down to County Hall and try to motivate them to do something.”

Coun Ian Hinson suggested that if nothing significant occurs by this time next year, the pool should be filled in.

AMBLE Community Forum will continue – despite county council cuts.

The future of community forums was thrown into doubt after cash-strapped county chiefs withdrew financial support for them.

But Amble’s will go on.

Coun Helen Lewis said: “There is no funding coming from the county council but we decided it is still a very good idea to have the community coming together.

“It was suggested that, because there is no finance from the county, we have this as a local venture for our local people. We want to know what local people want. It isn’t a county council thing. It is a local thing, (run) jointly between the development trust and the town council.”

The next meeting is to take place on Monday, June 20 at the development trust.

Coun Arckless said: “I am really pleased to hear there is a proposal to take it forward in this way. I think the potential is there for it to be great and it is great to see the young people involved in the previous meeting. It is a really good way of bringing together the wider community, the town council and the development trust. It will be a community forum and that is the main thing.”

A CHANGE to the education system should have been properly considered in proposals to close a village school, Coun Arckless has said.

Earlier this month, the county council’s Executive formerly agreed the closure of James Calvert Spence College (JCSC) – Hadston Road, formerly Druridge Bay Middle School, and merge its pupils with JCSC – South Avenue, formerly Amble Middle School.

The proposal came from the governing body of the Coquet Federation because of falling pupil numbers at both sites and to secure secondary education within the Coquet Partnership.

But in his county council report to members, Coun Arckless said: “I believe the best solution would have included all the first schools in the Partnership and that the change to a primary and secondary system should have been properly considered. The problem is that not all first schools are in the Federation and the (county) council could only consider the proposal submitted by the governors.”

He hoped that JCSC can go forward on a firm footing and said that he will give any support in this period and beyond.

A NEGATIVE response has come from residents in Mariners View and Rivergreen about proposals to include them in Amble parish.

The town council asked residents in these areas – which are classed as being in Warkworth parish – for any comments on a possible change, to see if it was worthwhile carrying out official consultation on the matter.

But the majority of residents who replied said that they wanted to remain in Warkworth parish.

Coun Lewis said: “If the majority aren’t in favour, there is little point in us asking.”

The matter is to be put on the agenda for next time.

l DISCUSSIONS are continuing about plans to hold a music event in Amble.

Youngsters from the high school are trying to arrange the showcase and have been speaking to a number of amateur bands who could perform.

A date in August has been suggested for the event, which could take place between 5pm and 9pm. They also want to hold something for younger children on the same day, such as circus skills.

l A GIFT is to be given to every child born to an Amble resident on the day of the Royal wedding, councillors have agreed.

If no child is born on April 29, then the present will be given to the first child born to an Amble resident after that.

It was suggested that a commemorative coin be given and it was said that either of the parents had to be on the electoral roll.

l THE town council is willing to purchase four semi-mature trees, to replace those that were removed on West Avenue because they were diseased, if an agreement can be made for the county council to plant, take responsibility and maintain them.