Amble Town Council: War memorial tower and payphones

Amble War memorial
Amble War memorial

Crucial repair work to Amble War Memorial, costing in the region of £30,000, will be a lengthy process, it has been warned.

The structure has suffered water damage, caused by five footballs and a tennis ball on the roof, which blocked the drainage system and flooded the roof.

At last Thursday’s meeting, Clerk Elaine Brown said she has received quotes for various aspects of the repair work, including the masonry, concrete floor levels inside the tower, the roof and the drainage system.

The specialist nature of the work on the listed structure means only a selected number of firms can do the job.

However, there is an issue with the council’s request for funding from the War Memorials Trust.

Miss Brown said: “The Trust has said that, because we received substantial funding from them in 2009, a request for another grant so soon afterwards has to go before the board of directors. They may request that we put the work out to tender to their specification.

“No matter what happens, this will be a lengthy process and it will not be a quick fix.”

The decision has been taken to stop the clock to prevent any further damage to its mechanism. The hands are currently fixed at the 12 o’clock position.

The repairs won’t be done in time for Remembrance Day, but councillors want to set the clock to 11 o’clock for this period.

• No objections have been raised by the town council against proposals to scrap two public telephones in Amble.

BT is planning to axe 179 payphones in Northumberland, as part of a nationwide review, following a decline in usage over the last decade.

As part of this, a kiosk on Queen Street/High Street and one on Links Avenue have been earmarked for removal.

Figures show that 177 calls have been made from the payphone on Queen Street/High Street over the last year, while the Links Avenue booth has been used 64 times over the same period.

Members also said that Amble’s payphones, which include another on Queen Street and one by the health centre, are often vandalised.

Amble Mayor Jane Dargue said: “How much are payphones a public service now that we live in a mobile age? The figures show that these phones are used very rarely, and then you couple that with the vandalism.”

Coun Robert Arckless added: “It is not just an ussue of usage, it is an issue of cost and we have an issue with vandalism.

“It is a difficult balancing act. A huge percentage of people have mobiles, but not everybody does.”