Belford Parish Council round-up

The pothole repairs process needs to improve.
The pothole repairs process needs to improve.
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The council bosses responsible for tackling potholes are aware that the repairs process needs to improve, according to county councillor John Woodman.

The issue and the state of the roads was discussed again at Belford Parish Council after chairman Brenda Stanton told members about a recent meeting with representatives from various council departments.

Coun Woodman said that where potholes or defects are dangerous, someone heads out to do a temporary patch as soon as possible.

The main problem recently has been that due to the efforts to tackle the backlog, there are cases where they are not returning to do a permanent fix, but bosses are aware that the reporting by the teams of whether there has been a permanent repair or just a temporary patch is not working properly.

Coun Woodman added that various surveys suggest that the council is about average for tackling potholes on principle roads, but falls below average for non-principle roads.

l Coun Brenda Stanton has been re-elected as chairman of Belford Parish Council, while Coun Reg Carruthers will again serve as vice-chairman in 2016/17.

Giving her report on the past year, Coun Stanton thanked members for their efforts and was pleased to note the arrival of several new councillors during the year.

In terms of major projects, she mentioned the neighbourhood plan and the renovation of the play park.

Coun Stanton concluded by thanking the clerk, Isabel Hunter, for ‘steering us through the paperwork and keeping us informed’.

l A thorny issue has arisen in Belford Central Park which is affecting young footballers.

Coun Tracy Bell, one of the members of the play park renovation group, said that the goalposts are now in the right place in that it doesn’t affect any residents’ gardens, but the ball ends up in a very thorny hedge behind the goal. The possibility of fencing or netting in front of the hedge was mentioned, while Coun Chris Rosby suggested contacting the power company as the hedge surrounds a sub-station.

l Councillors are keen to carry on looking at what can be provided for young people in Belford.

One avenue to explore is whether funding could be obtained from Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird’s social fund to support some type of youth drop-in facility or something similar.

Coun Tracy Bell said that other organisations in the village, including the previous youth club, had struggled due to a lack of volunteers.

The recent discussions were sparked by pupils at the middle school carrying out a project about improving Belford.