East Chevington Parish Council: Affordable housing, chicane concerns and wind-farm fund

Councillors have expressed an interest in finding out more about community-led affordable housing, with a view to exploring options for the East Chevington parish.

Andy Dean, chief executive of Community Action Northumberland
Andy Dean, chief executive of Community Action Northumberland

It comes after Andy Dean, chief executive of Community Action Northumberland (CAN), attended Monday’s meeting to speak about the charity’s work in the county.

He said: “CAN has four real key priorities and one of these is affordable housing, specifically community-led housing.

“There has been a renewed emphasis in this from the Government, whereby the community provides affordable housing for itself. We are helping to provide this across Northumberland.”

Councillors agreed that they would like to have further discussions with CAN to see if a viable scheme could be implemented in the local area.

○ A chicane on the outskirts of Hadston has been branded a disgrace, amid calls from councillors to either improve it or remove it.

It isn’t the first time that the traffic-calming measure on the B1330 heading towards North Broomhill has been criticised by East Chevington members.

Coun Rev Sue Reilly said: “If it is to stay, it needs to be properly lit. It is dangerous.”

She added that more needs to be done to make it a proper chicane to ensure it slows traffic.

But Coun Fred Thurgood believes it should be removed, adding: “Why spend money on it? It is a disgrace and nobody slows down for it anyway.”

Coun chairman Anthony Reay said that a lot of people who use the road say the chicane should be there.

○ The first meeting of the Sisters and North Steads Community Benefit Fund has taken place with major grant funding available for local projects and good causes, Coun Fred Thurgood said.

The Fund, managed by the Community Foundation on behalf of Ventient Energy, will make a payment of £133,500 in annual benefit for an expected 25-year lifetime with an extra £50,000 being made available in the first year. It follows the installation of 13 turbines near to Widdrington, with nine on one site and four on another.

For more details, visit www.community foundation.org.uk/apply

○ Members of the council criticised people smoking outside shops in Hadston Precinct. Coun Thelma Morse said you often have to walk through smoke, while one of her colleagues described the area as stinking. One or two members thought no smoking signs should be put up in the area.

○ Coun Alice Charlton raised concerns about numerous paths in Hadston, saying that tree roots are causing them to crack. Councillors also criticised the amount of horse muck that is being left on footpaths, including near to the play area. Coun Kevin Hogg described it as filthy.

○ Attempts are being made to install extra lighting at Hadston House, to illuminate a footpath which runs alongside one side of the building. The issue was raised last month and clerk Rose Hudspith updated members by saying that contractors have been asked about costs.

○ Hadston’s Christmas pantomime, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, was a success, councillors said. The show was performed by Chaplins and council chairman Anthony Reay said: “It was well attended and well enjoyed.” Coun Rev Sue Reilly said: “The children were engaged.”

○ The next parish council meeting is Monday, February 5, at Hadston House Youth and Community Building, starting at 5pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend. One of the items on the agenda is set to be a discussion about setting the parish council’s 2018/19 precept.