Have pride in your town

Helen Lewis, Robert Arckless and Leslie Bilbo at Amble paddling pools.
Helen Lewis, Robert Arckless and Leslie Bilbo at Amble paddling pools.

A RALLYING cry has been sounded by town councillors, urging people to have Pride in Amble.

Members of Amble Town Council are calling on the community to unite and work together to help make a difference in the town.

And they hope it will help to fight back against the ‘small minority’ of people who cause problems in the area.

Town mayor, Coun Leslie Bilboe, said: “It is all about taking pride in Amble. It is only a small element that are causing the problems but it is destroying it for the rest.

“It is a matter of trying to get people involved and getting to grips with it. The more people involved, the less vandalism you are going to get.”

A catalogue of sorry episodes heighten the need for the community-spirited crusade, from reports of people trampling over flower beds in the Town Square to a youngster kicking a football against the War Memorial Clock, which has been subject to thousands of pounds of repair and restoration work.

Coun Bilboe, who asked the lad to stop his soccer antics before being criticised by an adult for doing so, said it was ‘terrible’ that the clock was being abused in this way and admitted that the fact that people – including adults – who trample over flower beds was ‘soul-destroying’.

Meanwhile, the Paddlers play area often comes under the spotlight, with incidents of vandalism and yobs leaving behind a sea of glass – a case made even more frustrating by the big investment in new play equipment there in recent years.

Youngsters have also had to be chased off the site of the former Day Centre on Charles Road while earlier this year, we reported how gangs of youths had turned derelict buildings on The Braid into a late-night haunt for drinking and anti-social behaviour.

Town and county councillor Robert Arckless, has backed Pride in Amble. He said: “This town could be different if the selfish and thoughtless behaviour of a small minority were to stop.

“It is so sad that so much energy has to be directed at dealing with bad behaviour and its consequences.

“I want this town to be the best it can be, but it can only be that way if we support each other when we try to make changes for the better. It is not somebody else’s job, it is about everybody working together.

“One of the best things about our area is a strong sense of community. We do care about where we live. We are lucky to have effective and committed police and community support officers and there is excellent work going on in our schools.

“Let us all work together.”

There are positive signs though, including the volunteers and businesses who joined Coun Craig Weir to help fill the town with flower baskets and tubs as part of Amble in Bloom, while the Amble and Warkworth Good Citizens Award highlights the work between the police, schools and youngsters in the area.

Coun Velda Nicholson said that one of the reasons she came onto the council was to encourage more civic pride.

She admitted the town has been subject to improvements, including a repainted shopping street but ongoing issues include litter and dirty bus shelters.

She said that people could help in many ways, including joining the floral efforts and picking up litter and added: “How can you help? What will you do to show you have Pride in Amble?”