Belford Parish Council round-up

Coun Geoff O’Connell brought to the council’s attention the discrepancies between two very different maps of the parish.

The main difference between the two maps, provided by Northumberland County Council, is that one does not include the ward of Middleton.

The differences may have significant effects, particularly when it comes to the delivery of the Community Fund from the construction of the Belford Burn windfarm.

It could also affect the Neighbourhood Plan if one were to be formulated.

The Neighbourhood Plan is the most local level of planning guidelines, intended to dovetail with the county’s core strategy.

Coun O’Connell also noted that, with the Middleton ward abutting land not under any parish council, there may also be implications for the proposed railway station at Belford.

It was decided Coun O’Connell would write to MP Sir Alan Beith to confirm whether Middleton is part of the parish.

• Councillors were reassured that Belford volunteers for the region’s Community SpeedWatch scheme, aimed at calming traffic, would not work in the village. It was decided to ask the scheme’s organiser, Sgt Andy Pullen for posters detailing how to apply and the commitments involved.

• Two arrests were made in the village since the police update at the parish council’s previous meeting. On April 7, there was an arrest made for ‘the possession of a bladed article’. Five days later, on April 12, there was an incident of shoplifting from Belford’s Co-op. Again, a single arrest was made.

• Members agreed to look into ways of dealing with a rookery in the Croft Field area. It is hoped that they can prevent anticipated problems with noise and other disturbances from the nesting birds. The rookery will be discussed at a future meeting. The council’s AGM is on May 15.

• The future of the village’s bus shelter, recently damaged by people using it ‘as a climbing frame’, was discussed. Various suggestions were made, including its possible sale to another council and its being removed to a children’s playground. The seat it presently protects is to remain.