Belford Parish Council

Parking could be an issues

Members raised no objections to plans to transform the former Barclays Bank building in the village into three flats.

However, they did raise concerns about car parking, with a potential three or more extra cars needing space in an area of the village that can get quite congested.

It was explained that there was no obligation to provide parking spaces as part of an application in Belford.

Coun Geoff O’Connell said that the current building was an ‘eyesore’ and that it would be better to demolish it and then build new properties, suggesting four small townhouses could be accommodated on the site.

But other members were satisfied that something was going to be done with the building rather than it being left to fall into disrepair or ruin.

The bank building was gifted to the community when Barclays left and was used by the development trust as a charity shop and more before it was sold.

Backing for bus shelter scheme

Coun Reg Carruthers raised the possibility of replacing the bus shelter on the High Street with a stone version to prevent further damage to it.

He also said that it would be more in keeping with the Community Woodland, which is situated just behind the shelter. Other members were very supportive.

Sign not up to scratch

Coun Chris Rosby pointed out that the new sign erected opposite the fire station for the Meadows needed sorting, as one of the posts was wonky and the sign wasn’t fastened on properly at the back.

He passed the concern onto Bob Thorne, the county council’s north area maintenance manager, who was at the meeting.

Have your say on future of unit

Coun Brenda Stanton is organising a meeting for residents in the Belford area to have their say on the future of Berwick’s Maternity Unit, for which the consultation closes on March 19. The meeting is set to take place next month. Coun Stanton is also to write a response to the consultation on behalf of the council.

Decision reached on precept

Belford’s parish precept is to remain at £7,700 for the coming financial year, although the council will accept a £659 non-recurrent grant from the Government, which is designed to offset the reduction in the tax base.

Cuts to council tax benefit mean that around 100 homes will no longer pay into the parish precept.