North Sunderland Parish Council round-up

Northumbria Police has issued the warning.
Northumbria Police has issued the warning.

Members heard that there had been two crimes in the village since the previous meeting, at the start of September.

PC Alan Morton said that there had been a shed burglary on Main Street, which was still being investigated, and a report of stalking and harassment.

Meanwhile, he reported that the Pubwatch scheme is working well in the area.

“Pubwatch is still going well,” he said. “Every pub in Beadnell and Seahouses is in Pubwatch, which is good, because if anyone misbehaves then they are banned from all the pubs in Beadnell and Seahouses.”

PC Morton added that he had been out on King Street a couple of times in an effort to tackle speeding on that stretch, while Coun Maureen Bramley reported complaints of speeding motorbikes.

• Members have no objections to proposals by BT to remove one of the phone boxes in Seahouses.

The telecoms company is contacting town and parish councils across Northumberland as it is proposing to remove hundreds of phone boxes which have very low usage figures.

In Seahouses, there are phone boxes in the car park in the village centre, further along Main Street in North Sunderland and at the junction of Main Street and Southfield Avenue.

It is the latter which is proposed for removal and the parish council had no objections as, despite recognising the need for a phone box, they felt that one in the car park was far more useful, being close to the harbour and in an area where visitors are likely to be.

• The parish council agreed to back a NALC (National Association of Local Councils) response to a Government consultation on referendums for increasing the precept.

Currently, principal councils, such as Northumberland County Council, must hold a referendum if they want to raise council tax by two per cent or more.

The Government is looking at introducing a cap for larger town and parish councils – and potentially smaller ones too.

Members agreed that the cost of referendums would be prohibitive for small parishes like North Sunderland.

• The Seahouses Christmas Lights team has asked for more support from the parish council, due to rising insurance and safety costs. However, the council already pays for the tree and makes a donation, while the harbour commissioners are to pay the insurance bill.

• Coun Tom Orrin reported that there had been ‘total chaos’ after the winter bus services came into affect last week, but the timetables had not been changed in the bus stops, leading to confusion. He added that the issue had been reported and it was being rectified.

• Parish chairman Coun Geoffrey Stewart is meeting county council officers about gates onto the overflow car park. The county council leases the site from the Lord Crewe Trustees and the covenant restricts any new accesses onto the car park.

• The bins in the centre of Seahouses had not been emptied again over the weekend, despite strong complaints following a similar issue over the August bank holiday weekend. Members heard that there had been a break-down in communications over the issue.

• A planning appeal over a retrospective scheme for a balcony and external staircase at 3 Brady Street has been rejected by the Planning Inspectorate. The application had been opposed by the parish council and rejected by the county council’s planning department.