Belford Parish Council round-up: Crimes, junction improvements and speeding

West Street junction Belford
West Street junction Belford

Councillors were given an update on the crimes which had been reported in Belford in recent weeks.

As the parish council does not meet in August, Sgt Andy Pullen provided details of incidents dating back to the July 21 meeting.In that time, there were seven reported crimes in the village, of which one was an offence of threatening behaviour and another was a case of internet fraud.

There was a report of furniture stolen from Smeafield Farm, although this took place at some point between November 2015 and June 2016.

Between August 13 and 15, £500-worth of damage was done to a Nissan Qashqai which had its bodywork scratched and there was an assault on August 21 in which the victim had their cheek scratched.

Between August 1 and 27, £30-worth of petrol was taken from a RIB (rigid-inflatable boat), which was stored in a secure yard at the industrial estate, while, from September 5 to 6, fuel was taken from a tractor at Twizell Farm.

In terms of anti-social behaviour, there was a noise complaint about a housing-association tenant, who is well-known to parish councillors, and has since been evicted from his property.

• Members are keen that the double-yellow lines at the junction between West Street and High Street are extended so that the visibility is improved for motorists and pedestrians.

The request, following a meeting with Northumberland County Council officers, will now require a public consultation.

• Members are continuing to look at ways in which speeding through Belford can be tackled.

Following discussions with county-council officers, the possibility of putting parking places along one side of North Bank, away from the houses, to narrow the road and hopefully slow the traffic is being investigated.

Meanwhile, the parish agreed to change its priorities for funding from the Local Transport Plan to include ways of improving the streetscape – and slowing traffic – in the centre of village.

County councillor John Woodman has said he will also make it one of his priorities and pledged some money for any improvements.

• Belford Neighbourhood Plan is progressing well with housing surveys set to go out to residents towards the end of this month. The responses will be looked at and analysed by a member of staff from Northumberland County Council.

Chairman Coun Brenda Stanton also reported that students at Newcastle University may be able to help with the plan moving forward.

A business and tourism survey has also been created and this led to the concept of creating a business directory for the village, to ensure that all businesses, no matter how small, are consulted.