‘Some successes, some disappointments and some issues it seems will always be with us’ – that’s a summary of Wooler Parish Council’s past year.
The new chairman, Coun Robert Donkin, reflected on a number of issues which had been tackled by the council in 2015/16, but did say that his comprehensive annual report by no means covered everything from a busy year.
“Staff cuts at Northumberland County Council and other organisations has had a big effect on Wooler and the surrounding areas,” he said.
This has led to the parish council taking on ownership of Bryson’s Park as well as responsibility for the play areas there and in Scott’s Park, which it already owned.
It is responsible for opening the public toilets in the bus station from October to Easter and will be taking them on all year round.
Coun Donkin also referred to the consultation on the fire-service cuts which will see Wooler’s appliance replaced with a smaller fire engine. “No concessions were gained and most felt the exercise had been rather irrelevant.”
There was also disappointment that when the Tour of Britain passed through Wooler, the national TV cameras chose to head to the coast.
Coun Robert Donkin was re-elected as chairman and Coun Mark Mather, a relatively new member of the council, was elected vice-chairman.
Coun Derek Armstrong, who has served as a parish councillor for a number of years, has stood down.
He said: “Since I was elected 14 or 15 years ago by the people of Wooler, I have tried to do my best by them.”
He was presented with a gift to thank him for his service. His standing down means there is a casual vacancy on the council.