Amble Town Council round-up

A CCTV camera
A CCTV camera

A councillor has asked police whether CCTV images of troublemakers could be displayed in schools to help identify culprits and act as a deterrent.

Coun Jeff Watson made the inquiry following vandalism at Paddlers Park.

Addressing acting sergeant Rob Dobson, he said: “There was footage of it happening and the images were clear.

“The older kids in this town have one school to go to – James Calvert Spence College – so if you put the pictures on the noticeboard in the school people would know who they are, and would it not act as a deterrent?

“Also, this was reported by the clerk but we never heard anything back. The police’s record of reporting back after an incident is dreadful. Residents know there’s been vandalism, but they don’t know what the outcome is.”

In response, acting sergeant Dobson said that while police do sometimes speak to teachers to see if they can help with identifying an offender, putting up pictures in a school is not something that could be done, for data protection issues and possible repercussions.

However, he did agree with a suggestion from councillors, who asked whether the town noticeboards could be used to display information about crimes in the area and any police appeal for information.

Acting sergeant Dobson said: “I’ve got no problem with that whatsoever.”

He said he would chase up why officers had not contacted the clerk with a Paddlers update.

Development plans: A developer whose site is near to a cemetery has taken steps to make the construction phase less upsetting for families visiting loved ones.

Houses are currently being built at Gloster Hill, close to the town’s West Cemetery, and the fencing which was erected was causing some mourners distress.

Following discussions, the developer has agreed to take steps to make the site more visually sensitive.

A statement from the town council said: ‘Behind the scenes, clearing-up work has been going on here for the past few months, but we are now making some more visible changes.

‘The area at the top of the drive where we have previously unsuccessfully tried to create a wild-flower area, will now have part of it screened so soil can be stored there to decompose and be re-used in the future.

‘The development works at Gloster Hill have made an impression on the visual outlook from the cemetery.

‘While we appreciate the site foreman’s order to cease work during a funeral, the Heras fencing and earthworks can be distressing to those visiting their loved one’s final resting place.

‘The developers have agreed to now put in place the close-boarded fence which would have been there when the development was finished.

‘This will have shrubs planted in front in the autumn.

‘We apologise for the inconvenience while these works take place.’

Amble’s West Cemetery is on West Avenue, off the Wynd on the A1068. The cemetery includes an area for natural burials.

We’re trying: The town council insists it is doing all it can to push for a much-campaigned-for town-centre car park.

A statement from members said: ‘We continue to meet the county council to press for a town-centre car park, as we know Amble desperately needs this, but unfortunately, we cannot wave a magic wand and produce available land which meets all of the county council’s requirements.

‘Meanwhile, if plans for parking space at the industrial estate do go ahead (as part of the retail-park proposal), we have asked that there is clear signage to direct people to the town itself.’

At last Thursday’s town-council meeting, county councillor Jeff Watson said he is working with the Cabinet to get more town-centre parking.

He said: “Things are happening, but I can’t say what at the moment.”

Council donation: The town council will donate £500 to purchase equipment for the children’s lantern-making workshops, ahead of this year’s Christmas lights parade.

Measures taken: Coun Jeff Watson said that measures are being taken to stop travellers from settling on The Braid, following an incident last month, which required a court order to make them move.

He said: “The site was cleaned up and we will make sure there are obstacles in the way to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

It’s Inactive: “As far as Active Northumberland is concerned, it is Inactive Northumberland.” That’s the view of Coun Jane Dargue about the organisation’s lack of involvement in Amble.

Councillors feel that there isn’t any will from Active Northumberland to put any significant leisure/sporting funding into Amble.

Change of date: The date of the youth festival in Amble has been changed. It will now be held on October 6.