Council renews calls for action over Paddlers

RENEWED calls have been made to bring a pair of derelict seaside paddling pools back up to a decent standard, after complaints by town councillors.

At its monthly meeting last Thursday night, members of Amble Town Council agreed to contact the county council over the continued neglect of the Paddlers, near Gordon Street, which have stood empty for years and suffered repeated vandalism.

Discussions took place between the two authorities last year to remodel the site, with an understanding that they would not be refilled with water, but since then nothing has happened.

Coun Velda Nicholson said work had already taken place to transform a similar facility at Spittal, on the outskirts of Berwick, carried out by the local improvement trust in partnership with the county and town councils at a cost of around £200,000.

“The pool there has had a new surface put on it and it looks very nice,” she said.

“It now has shallow areas, rather than one big pool, where children can pump water to splash around in.

“It’s an idea which perhaps we can follow, to create a splash park at the Paddlers.”

County councillor Robert Arckless said: “I think the idea is a very good one but I feel very sorry that it’s about a year since we said let’s get the base down first.

“We were anxious because it was coming up to the holiday season, but nothing happened.

“I would very much support this idea of making further representations to the county council to get this sorted out.”

Coun Helen Lewis added: “It is well over a year since we were promised by the county council that health and safety issues would be met at the Paddlers. As far as I can see, very little improvement has been made.

“Here we are again, with another tourist season coming up, and nothing is happening.”

It was agreed to contact the county council to ask for the Paddlers to be properly cleaned and a new base applied which would pave the way for the next phase, highlighting the Spittal Splash Park as an example of what could be done.

STREET SURVEY: Town councillors in Amble are to draw up a list of locations for dropped kerbs, after a survey was carried out around its streets.

Coun Sam Palin provided members with a list of findings he made following an investigation of pavements at High Street, Albert Street, Acklington Street, Acklington Road, Gloster Park and Castle View.

He found a number of kerbs which required attention, as well as key locations where there was no provision for wheelchair users to safely access the footpath.

Coun Arckless said: “A lot of the dropped kerbs have been put in through county council members’ small schemes, including my own, usually following requests from members of the public.

“There are areas of the town where there is still a significant problem and I support Coun Palin very strongly on this.

“Many parts of the town present real challenges to wheelchairs and mobility scooters and it would be helpful if members could help by providing a list of places they consider dropped kerbs could be located.

“It’s not just people with mobility issues who are affected, it’s also those with pushchairs and prams.”

SIGN OF THE TIMES: A damaged tourist sign branded an eyesore by town councillors will be replaced, the county council has confirmed.

Members of Amble Town Council had received complaints about the appearance of the board, in the layby next to Coquet Enterprise Park.

County Hall said the sign would be made safe and was arranging to have it replaced.

WORK NEEDED: A path connecting Amble to its enterprise park needs attention, after complaints that it frequently floods.

Coun Nicholson said the route often required walkers to wear wellies, not just for the excess water but also thick mud.

LIGHTS, ACTION: Lights along Amble Pier will be replaced with new ones in special waterproof housings, the town council has been told.

The existing lights were repeatedly fusing because water was getting into the wiring.

FOUL DOG OWNER: A dirty dog owner has been reported to Amble Town Council after leaving bags of excrement hanging from a no-fouling sign next to a dedicated dog bin at Charles Road.

Bags were also left at the foot of the bin, despite numerous warning signs being erected.

IN BRIEF: A railing which was damaged by a vehicle at Southmead in Amble has now been replaced, the town council has heard.

The next meeting of the town council will be on Thursday, March 8, at 6.30pm in the town council meeting rooms at the Quayside, Amble.