Belford Parish Council round-up: A1, streetlights, seats and crime

A streetlight being replaced in the south-east of Northumberland.
A streetlight being replaced in the south-east of Northumberland.

Consultation has begun on possible improvements to the A1 between Ellingham and Berwick, which includes a scheme at Belford.

Chairman Coun Brenda Stanton had attended a meeting with officials from Highways England, who are in the early stages of drawing up proposals for the road. The A1 is set to be dual carriageway all the way from Morpeth to Ellingham, with overtaking lanes and junction improvements up to the border.

Councillors heard that there are likely to be four sections with overtaking lanes between Ellingham and Berwick, evenly spaced out and including one at Belford.

The suggestion at this stage is that there will be an extra lane on one side of the A1 between the southern B6349 entrance to Belford and Cragmill Road and two lanes on the other side from Cragmill Road up to the Middleton junction.

There are also proposals being drawn up for the Mousen Bends, to the south of Belford, which involves looking at the B6348 Bellshill junction.

• Members were told that an additional streetlight in the centre of the village would cost £900 – and that’s if they install it when the county council is replacing the others with LED lamps, likely to be in 2017. Normally, it would be around £2,000. However, if they want to opt for a ‘heritage’ light, the price rises to between £2,500 and £3,000.

• Members agreed a quote of around £850 to repair the benches in the village, although Belford Community Group has offered to pay half so the council bill is under £500. Members also agreed that the contractor could then continue with rolling maintenance, invoicing the council as necessary up to a value of £100.

• There were four crimes in Belford in the past month, for which one person had been arrested and is awaiting trial – making off without payment, damage to a vehicle, taking a vehicle without owner’s consent and burglary. Police issued a warning after a report of a possible prowler entering someone’s home.

• Belford’s two new parish councillors have been assigned to their wards. Guy Renner-Thompson and Steven Birdsall were accepted onto the council at the September meeting and at the October meeting Coun Renner-Thompson was assigned to the Middleton ward and Coun Birdsall to the Warenton ward.