Belford Parish Council round-up

Geoff O'Connell, who has stood down from the parish council.
Geoff O'Connell, who has stood down from the parish council.

A Belford resident raised concerns over the way the parish council dealt with a complaint about the length of his hedge.

Gary Duncan read in the minutes that an issue with his garden was reported to the county council. He contacted Coun Tracy Bell, who explained a complaint had been submitted that his hedge was overhanging the pavement.

Mr Duncan said: “I don’t think it is right to have it discussed and referred to county council without any right of reply or comment from the person being discussed.”

He was also unhappy that his property was identified. “You referred to the house opposite the middle school at the top of Bell Road – that can only be my house,” he said.

Chairman Coun Brenda Stanton said: “I’m sorry if you have taken offence with the way it’s been expressed. If you look back through the minutes, you will see that we are fairly specific. This is the way we would normally deal with things, it wasn’t personal.”

• Vice-chairman Geoff O’Connell has stepped down from the post and retired from the parish council. Coun Stanton said: “Geoff was a very good parish councillor. He knew what was going on and worked very hard for the village. I want to thank Geoff for everything he has done for the parish. We will miss him.”

• There had been one crime and a number of incidents of disorder reported to police since the last meeting. An alleged assault took place at The Meadows, for which a male had been arrested. There were also three incidents of youth disorder, where items had been thrown at windows in Crofters Court.

• The parish council has donated £250 to the Great North Air Ambulance. Responding to a request for a donation, Coun Carruthers said: “We could not do without them.” The charity, which serves the North-East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria, needs to raise £4million a year to keep its three helicopters flying.

• Barry Smith and Karon Ives have been co-opted onto the parish council, filling two of five vacancies. It is understood former councillor Robbie Redpath is also interested in rejoining.

Coun Reg Carruthers has agreed to fulfil the vice-chairman role on a temporary basis after Coun O’Connell stepped down.