Much-criticised Welfare undergoes major revamp

The litter-pickers at the Welfare.
The litter-pickers at the Welfare.

Action has been taken to transform the look of a much-criticised leisure space, just days after a passionate public meeting to address the problems.

Concerns over the lack of grass cutting and the general state of Amble Welfare were voiced during the packed forum, which was organised by town businessman Bruce Durham, on Monday, August 11.

Bruce Durham and Scott Dickinson at Amble Welfare which has now had the main grassed area cut.

Bruce Durham and Scott Dickinson at Amble Welfare which has now had the main grassed area cut.

But in the week that has followed the well-attended, and at times, heated debate, the state of the site, owned by Amble Development Trust, has undergone a dramatic overhaul.

Coun Scott Dickinson, who is the county council’s ward member for Druridge Bay and business chairman, stepped in and made arrangements for the Welfare field, including the football pitch, to be cut and baled last Friday.

He said: “I contacted local services and asked for the issue to be solved and the contractors were authorised to get it cut.”

He said he would meet the development trust, which doesn’t have the money to cut the grass, to try to identify funding streams and find a long-term solution.

Last Thursday, Amble Town Council said it would make arrangements for several further cuts at the Welfare as a short-term measure.

The council has also arranged for the remainder of the Welfare, which was not cut and baled last week, to be strimmed. This is due to commence today or tomorrow.

Speaking at the meeting, Coun Jeff Watson said that he welcomed the county council cutting the grass last Friday, but was puzzled at how the authority had managed to cut the grass when it wasn’t their land.

On Monday, The Welfare Clean Up Project, which was formed after the public meeting, carried out a litter-pick at the Welfare.

There were around 20 helpers, including Amble Mayor Craig Weir, and Julia Aston, of the development trust, and the county council provided equipment.

The group will have a stall at Amble RNLI Lifeboat Day on Sunday to raise funds.