Amble Town Council round-up: Hotel plans, bikes and a new member

The hotel is planned for the area in blue.
The hotel is planned for the area in blue.

Amble Mayor Jane Dargue has encouraged as many people as possible to attend tomorrow’s public consultation event for hotel and leisure plans in the town.

Arch, the Northumberland Development Company, is behind the proposal to build a 30-bedroom hotel and 150-cover restaurant and bar on land at Coquet Enterprise Park.

On Wednesday, the public will be given the opportunity to see and comment on the proposed development, during an event at the town’s Fourways 2, between noon and 7pm.

Coun Dargue, who has previously told the Gazette that she welcomes the scheme, said: “I hope the public consultation is well attended and provides a useful forum for the public to discuss things with Arch.”

If approved, it is hoped that the development will support and build on the town’s tourism offering. Subject to consultation and planning, the scheme would commence in May 2017, aiming for completion by July 2018.

• Talks are continuing about making Amble a cycle-friendly destination.

A meeting took place at the end of last month between various groups, including the town council, business club, AONB and local bike outlets.

The meeting was productive and an action plan has been drawn up for next steps.

These include meeting the county council to discuss future cycling and walking signage.

Funding streams will also be looked at, while research and costings of fit-for-purpose bike lockers and a shelter outside the Tourist Information Centre will be explored.

Ann Burke, chairman of Amble Business Club, said she would ask traders and firms in the town what they can and would like to do to promote Amble as a cycle-friendly town. Nick Spurr, of Amble Boat Company and Spurreli Boutique Ice-cream, said that he plans to open a bunkhouse and offer repair kits etc for cyclists.

As part of the discussions for the future, it was questioned whether a 20mph speed limit could be introduced in Amble.

The speed of traffic driving through Amble was mentioned at the cycle-friendly meeting, while Coun Kate Morrison was critical about the state of the roads for cyclists in and around the town, saying that they were littered with potholes.

A further meeting will be arranged once progress has been made on the next steps.

• The town council has agreed to a £500 donation request from the police, to allow the Force to purchase two new pedal bikes.

The police want the cycles to help their patrols in and around Amble, saying the bikes will make officers more visible and help to deal with certain incidents more effectively.

Amble Mayor Jane Dargue said she thought it was a good idea, while Coun Helen Lewis added that it would make for better policing, but she questioned who would purchase the helmets and safety gear.

Coun Lewis also said that she wanted the bikes to have ‘sponsored by Amble Town Council or wording to that effect’.

However, Coun Jeff Watson was not impressed and said: “I am gobsmacked they are asking us to pay for bikes. Should this not be part of the police budget? They pay for the training, but not the bikes?”

Coun Watson chose to abstain from the vote, but the rest of the members voted in favour of the donation.

The Amble police team are based in the Fourways 2 building.

The town council has also agreed to donate £50 to the Amble Darts Open. The money will allow two dart boards to be purchased for event.

• Terry Barton has been co-opted onto the town council’s West ward.

Clerk Elaine Brown is ready to fill out the grant application to the War Memorials Trust for the clock tower.

Mayor Jane Dargue said various sites in the town to house CCTV have been looked at and ‘we will see how we can move on with it’.

Coun Robert Arckless has been told from the county council that the 472 service and the new Travelsure bus offers ‘a better service overall’, but he has said that linkages to areas outside the town centre and the longer-term commitment to the service were important.