Wooler Parish Council round-up: Some concerns over cuts

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service
Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service

Councillors have mixed views over proposed cuts to the fire service, which will see the appliance in Wooler replaced with a smaller vehicle.

It was agreed to ask Chief Fire Officer Alex Bennett to come to next month’s meeting so that members can ask questions and raise issues.

Parish and county councillor, Anthony Murray, said: “We are better off having a smaller vehicle on the road than having the bigger vehicle sitting in the station because there aren’t enough people to run it. I think we will be as well-served as with the bigger vehicle. It’s better to have a smaller vehicle than nothing at all.”

Coun Mark Mather, a former retained firefighter, said: “I agree with what you say, but I think we are getting royally done.

“It (the smaller appliance) will be run with a crew of three people, but what can they do? Can they go to a house fire? Can they go to RTCs (road traffic collisions)?

“I know money has to be saved, but I don’t think we should just roll over and accept it.”

Snow clearance

Rather than looking for residents to clear snow from pavements over the winter, the parish council is to try to find a group of volunteers to help older or vulnerable people.

The idea is to have a phone which is always manned between 9am and 5pm so people can ring if they need food or medication.

Christmas events

A coffee morning held to raise funds for the village Christmas lights raised £330.18 and the chairman thanked all those who helped and attended.

In last month’s reports on Wooler Parish Council, the carol service was incorrectly listed for November 15.

It in fact takes place on Tuesday, December 15.

Crime report

PC Stuart Brimble told members that there had been seven crimes in Wooler since the end of September. There were two thefts at the Co-op, the theft of a vehicle and a criminal damage, which have all been detected. There were also two cars keyed in Cheviot Street and Tenter Hill and a quad bike stolen.

Toilets plan

The parish council, which is now responsible for the public toilets at the bus station, has come up with another solution after it was found that timelocks could not be used on the doors.

The bus drivers from the first Glen Valley service in the mornings will open the toilets, using a key that will be left in a key-safe on the building.