Frustrated town councillors have criticised Northumberland County Council for the length of time it is taking to improve CCTV in areas such as Amble.
However, county councillor Robert Arckless has defended the situation, saying that discussions are ongoing.
He said: “Regarding the county roll-out of CCTV, there are a couple of options that will come forward.
“Everybody recognises that the camera situation is far from good and most of it was installed in the late 1990s, but it is being discussed. The technology has changed so much and there are talks going on about that.
“A way forward has been agreed, but some of these involve contracts. There is also an issue about funding. The county council cabinet is cross-party and is supportive. It will come through the council eventually. We need to think strategically on this.”
But Coun Helen Lewis was not impressed. She said: “I find it a bit frustrating that it is at least a year ago that we brought this issue up. I acknowledge the fact that there were difficulties and I acknowledge that the technology has changed, but we are not one iota forward. It is the time it’s taking to work on this strategic plan.”
Last week, the Gazette reported that East Chevington Parish Council is to purchase a new CCTV system for Hadston, which increased her frustrations. On this, Amble Mayor Craig Weir said: “If there is a plan, why are they going out of the plan?”
• A family-fun day is being held at the revamped Paddlers recreation facility to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.
The event will take place at the new-look leisure space, renamed Paddlers Park, on Saturday, April 30, from 11am to 3pm.
The Radcliffe Club will be running the family fun day and there is set to be games, inflatables and music. A fitness demonstration by Park Leisure is to be arranged.
The family fun day will follow the official opening of Paddlers Park, which takes place on Wednesday, April 20, for invited guests only.
Among these will be pupils from local schools.
The town council has also learnt that £5,000 of S106 funding for capital recreational projects is available.
A working group, including a representative from Amble Community Team, is to be formed to see what equipment can be purchased for Paddlers Park. Suggestions so far include a basketball hoop and pétanque.
To help mark the Queen’s birthday,Amble’s beacon on The Braid will be lit at 7.30pm on Thursday, April 21. A working group has been formed to try to arrange some entertainment on the night.
• Town councillors have raised objections to a pizza shop’s bid to extend its opening hours.
Pizza Bella, on Albert Street, has submitted a licensing application to Northumberland County Council.
The takeaway wants to be able to serve food and alcohol until 2am, Monday to Thursday, and until 3am on Friday to Sunday.
Applicant Senol Ayser says the eatery intends to put in place a Challenge 25 policy on all alcohol sales, will have a refusal book and will not empty bottle bins after 9pm to avoid disturbing neighbours. The application also says that alcohol will only be delivered to people over the age of 25. There will also be a ‘leave quietly’ sign to prevent noise to neighbours.
But town councillors aren’t in favour. Coun Helen Lewis said: “This is in a quite large residential area and I don’t think it is necessary to be open until 2am and 3am.”
Coun Robert Arckless added: “I would be reluctant to set the precedent. If it happens in one area, it will happen everywhere.”
• Two community litter-picks are scheduled for the town. The first will take place on April 19, followed by the second on May 25. Anyone interested should meet at the Town Square at 5pm.
• Town councillors will arrange a meeting with a county council officer to find out more about what it would take to develop a neighbourhood plan.
• The town council has allocated up to £400 each to purchase equipment for Amble Coastal Rowing Club, Amble Lifeboat Fundraisers and Amble Detachment – Northumbria Army Cadet Force. It followed grant requests from the trio.