Amble Town Council round-up

The Persimmon Homes development in Amble.
The Persimmon Homes development in Amble.

Figures stating how many new houses have been built in Amble over the last few years have been questioned by councillors.

Members have also received data about how many holiday homes are in Amble.

The town council has received figures from the county council’s planning department which states that from April 2011 to December 2016, 115 houses have been constructed in the town.

However, councillors don’t agree with this and believe that the actual number is far higher.

Coun Jeff Watson said: “That figure is absolutely ridiculous, it is just not right.”

Coun Helen Lewis said that she did not agree with these figures and it might be a case of waiting for the correct numbers to filter through the system.

The town council will ask for the figures to be double checked.

Coun Lewis said that according to data provided by the authority, just two per cent of dwellings in Amble are classed as second homes.

Members heard that this is compared to more than 50 per cent in Beadnell.

Amble Mayor Jane Dargue said: “It is a very low figure, but I think it is one to watch and monitor.

“It is a start of a trend because Amble is becoming more of a tourism resort.”

Coun Lewis said that the county council has stated that there is no cap on holiday homes in Amble at the moment because two per cent is a significantly low figure.

○ A controversial bus-route change has been criticised by councillors, who have expressed their concern and dissatisfaction.

Arriva has recently altered its X20 route between Newcastle and Alnwick.

It no longer stops at Togston and North Broomhill and there is a revised route between Hadston and Amble, with buses running via the A1068 and Percy Drive instead of Broomhill and Acklington Road.

Coun Helen Lewis said: “I have contacted Arriva because of the concerns about the changes. They are cutting off the west end of the town and I have expressed our dissatisfaction. Their argument is that the X18 still goes through but this bus doesn’t take you to Ashington.

“Maybe they will consider that when they go along Percy Drive they come from the ‘fish roundabout’ to the new roundabout by the Persimmon houses and go to the bus stop that has been put in. This would take two minutes. They said they would take this on board and look into it.”

Coun Robert Arckless said that he has received concerns about the route changes.

A petition has been started in the East Chevington parish calling for the reinstation of the X20 to Togston and North Broomhill.

○ Police are hoping to launch a Shopwatch scheme in Amble.

The initiative aims to prevent shop theft and help stores reduce losses by criminals.

Shopwatch members and police share information about active thieves so that store security and staff can be on the lookout for any suspicious behaviour and quickly inform the police if help is needed.

PC David Donaldson said: “We are trying to restart the Shopwatch scheme. It is similar to the Pubwatch scheme which is successful in Amble.

“The previous attempt at Shopwatch in the town fell flat on its face a little bit, so this time we are coming at it from a different angle.

“We can do it with mobile phones and we can talk to each other about any incidents and set up some sort of network with the shops in the town and the Harbour Village pods.

“I am meeting some shop owners with a view to starting this scheme. I am very keen to get it going before the bank holidays and the summer season start to kick in, because we do have spates of shoplifting.”

○ Amble Mayor Jane Dargue has welcomed the start of a beginners’ running group in the town.

The sessions, led by Active Northumberland and supported by the town council, will be coached by Paul Yeadon.

The weekly sessions start on Monday, February 27, at 6.30pm. Meet at Amble Sports Development Centre (Boys’ Club). The first session is free and then £1 per week thereafter. For more details, call 07467 957958.

Coun Dargue said: “I am very happy to announce that the group will be starting and hopefully it will be well supported.