Petitions cause frustration in council ranks

Amble paddlers play area
Amble paddlers play area

A string of petitions calling for action on different issues in a seaside town have hit a nerve with councillors, who believe the documents have been unhelpful.

Last year, residents collected signatures regarding problems at Amble’s harbour area, such as parking, speeding motorists, anti-social behaviour and litter.

Then, in the run-up to last month’s central ward by-election, winning candidate Peter Robinson started a petition which urged for something to be done at The Paddlers, following discussions with householders during his campaign trail. But at Thursday’s Amble Town Council meeting, members said that the group was already looking at points raised in the petitions, including commissioning a feasibility study/analysis for The Paddlers.

Mayor Craig Weir said: “We aren’t against petitions. What concerns us is the number of petitions going in without full consultation with the bodies who are doing something. The Amble harbour petition raised four issues, but they were already being resolved. The Paddlers petition was put in without finding out what was being done.”

Of the Paddlers petition, Coun Jeff Watson added: “The action requested was already under way. It wasn’t helpful.”

Coun Jane Dargue said: “Petitions are a last resort.”