North Sunderland Parish Council round-up

Seahouses play area
Seahouses play area

A document featuring proposals on how the council could be run and spend its money, produced by one member and then circulated to others, has sparked a row.

On Monday night, Coun Geoffrey Stewart addressed the document via a lengthy written statement, expressing concerns at the content as well as the lack of notice to the chairman prior to circulation.

The report’s author, Coun Mick McCarthy, said that it was intended as a discussion document, not an agenda item at this stage, and that it was not meant to be controversial in any way.

However, Couns Maureen Bramley and Sylvia Hillan also expressed concerns.

Coun David Donaldson said: “I just think we have plodded on very well over the years, it seems to work the way we do it. But I suppose we should always be open to new ideas.”

It was agreed to hold a separate meeting to discuss the proposals in the document.

• The roundabout has been removed from the James Street play area as it is not ‘economically viable’ to repair it. The area now needs to be levelled and grassed. Some of the equipment in the Kingsfield play area is still taped off despite work being completed. These issues will be passed onto the county council.

• Councillors will demand information on what is happening to the tourist information centre and add that it must be opened for Easter. Members heard that staff don’t know what will happen after April 1, while Active Northumberland says it is awaiting a report on what work is needed.

• Fly-tipping is becoming a major problem at the garages in Stone Close, which are due to be demolished in April. The entrances were meant to have been shuttered off after tenants were evicted from the garages, but this has not happened and the area is being used as a dump.

• There had been five crimes since the last parish meeting – harassment; an assault; a house burglary; shoplifting; and a burglary other than a dwelling. There were also six incidents of anti-social behaviour, including youths on the building site in South Street.