Wooler Parish Council, January meeting

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PAVEMENT REPAIRS: Repairs need to be made to the pavement of the Peth in Wooler, even if full works to the embankment beneath don’t go ahead.

Work is well underway on the left-hand side of the Peth to strengthen the bank and install new railings.

However while similar repairs were to be carried out on the other side too, landowner Alan Ferguson would not sell the necessary section of land to Northumberland County Council.

But the county council is now to be asked to repair two areas of the pavement which have sunk.

Coun Anthony Murray said: “I think it’s the county’s responsibility to put the pavement right.

“I don’t think they will get anything done on the bank but they will fill it in in a way that’s safe.”

The parish council is to write to Mr Ferguson again about repairs to the bank which is on land that has planning consent for a supermarket, although the developers recently pulled out.

BUILDING A FUTURE: The county council is ‘working with’ the owner of Surrey House over its state of disrepair.

Coun Anthony Murray had received details from the county council as to what it is doing about the building, part of which is listed, situated to the south of Wooler near Haugh Head garage.

Remedial work is taking place to deal with short and medium-term issues while the council hopes to continue to work with the owner to ‘secure the future of the building long-term’.

Some of the lower windows have been secured and boarded up, according to Coun Alan Robertson.

But Coun Murray described it as a ‘very, very difficult situation’ and said: “I have got questions in my mind about how much might be done.”

Chairman Coun Alfreda Hindmarsh said: “If it collapses, it will go out onto the road and will cause huge problems.

“Also it doesn’t look very good on the entrance to Wooler.”

CRIME UPDATE: Five crimes have taken place in Wooler since the start of the year, according to PC Dan Perry.

But three of these, including two incidents of shoplifting from the Co-op and Farm to Freeze, have been detected by officers.

The third involved people letting down the tyres on police vehicles parked outside the police station, for which arrests have been made.

The other two incidents were of vandalism with a home damaged on the High Street and a stone thrown through a window of a property on Glendale Road.

Police were also aware of a fire being lit around the back of the Ferguson’s Yard site, and PC Perry suggested it may be an area where young people ‘congregating and doing things they shouldn’t be’.

SPARKLING PLANS: A special service will be held in the village in June to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Rev Bob Burston invited the parish council to work with him for a service, similar to the community carol service, which will take place on Sunday, June 3 at 11am in St Mary’s Church.

It was also agreed to light the beacon on top of the church, of which the parish council is custodian, to celebrate the day of the jubilee itself.

Other communities are lighting beacons and the parish council wants to co-ordinate Wooler’s with these.

Members continued to discuss other ways that the parish council may mark the event as well.

Wooler in Bloom will be asked to get involved with a possible idea of planting the village’s three flower beds with red, white and blue.

Other ideas put forward include the installation of picnic benches in Scott’s Park and hosting a day of events for children with games, races or other events.

Plans for the special day are to be discussed again at the next meeting.

STATION SHELTER: Members want to push ahead with plans to remove the lockers from the bus station to allow the area to be used as a shelter for passengers.

The lockers aren’t used and it is felt that the current bus shelter is completely inadequate and an ‘eyesore’.

Once the lockers are removed, it will be clear what work is needed such as some kind of perspex frontage, although this raised fears of vandalism and the shelter becoming a hang-out for youngsters.

The parish council would also look to paint the interior and install a bench for passengers.

IN BRIEF: THE parish council will now meet 12 times a year, adding an August meeting, due to the added workload as the council takes on extra services.

COUN Brian Patterson raised concerns about the number of glass bottles discarded around the village.

THE council will seek guidance from the county council with a view to creating a village plan ahead of changes to the planning process under the Localism Bill.

COUN Murray passed on thanks from the Scouts for the donation by the Archbold Trust.

NO objections were raised to plans to build four ‘shepherd huts’, which resemble wooden caravans, at the Youth Hostel.

Members also had no issues with an amendment to plans for a new property on land south east of Cloverdale to use uPVC rather than timber for the windows.

COUN Patterson has joined the parish council’s planning sub-committee, taking its membership back up to four.

THE next meeting takes place at 7pm on Monday, February 27, in the Cheviot Centre.