North Sunderland Parish Council round-up

From left, Coun John Woodman, Pat Stewart, Coun Geoffrey Stewart and David Francis, from NALC.
From left, Coun John Woodman, Pat Stewart, Coun Geoffrey Stewart and David Francis, from NALC.

The cooperation and shared efforts with Bamburgh and Beadnell as part of the trio’s neighbourhood plan was one of the major positives cited by Coun Geoffrey Stewart in his annual chairman’s report.

Coun Stewart, who was re-elected as chairman with Coun David Shiel as his vice-chairman for the coming year, said the involvement ‘continues being an effective, constructive and positive stance for our three villages to be a part of’.

He also referred to all the efforts that have gone into creating the parish-council website, as well as the ongoing work to improve the cemetery.

As has been the case in his annual address in recent years, Coun Stewart raised concerns about the county council’s continued efforts to transfer ‘costly responsibility onto small parish councils’.

He thanked the clerk and all the councillors, including departing members Raymond Clarke and Pauline Orrin, as well as welcoming Ailsa Shiel and Matthew Stephenson as new councillors.

Coun Stewart also showed his appreciation for the efforts of the previous ward county councillor, John Woodman, and welcomed his successor, Guy Renner-Thompson.

• The number of reported crimes in Seahouses and North Sunderland since the last parish-council meeting in early April was three.

Members were relieved that this was way down on the previous month’s tally of 11, which PC Alan Morton described as the most in a month in the nearly five years he had been in post.

However, one of the three crimes saw a purse stolen from the handbag of an 84-year-old woman and £500 spent on her credit card, although she will be getting this back. PC Morton warned people to be vigilant as criminals from outside the area had been targeting purses and wallets in this way.

The other two crimes were damage to a motor vehicle and damage to washing poles in people’s gardens.

Also in the past month, there were seven reports of anti-social behaviour – youths on the beach drinking and having a fire; two complaints about fireworks; a parking dispute; a noisy neighbour; malicious phone calls; and a public-order offence in the street.

PC Morton’s recent Cuppa with a Copper event was a success, he said.

• Coun Tom Orrin, who has stood down as the area’s Poppy Appeal organiser after 17 years, had received a letter thanking him for his efforts from the charity.

There is now a vacancy in Seahouses for someone to take on the responsibility and Coun Orrin said that he would provide guidance and support to anyone wishing to carry out the role.