Northumberland town-centre street branded ‘giant, filthy ashtray’

Queen Street in Amble.
Queen Street in Amble.

A disgusted resident has branded a town-centre street ‘a giant, filthy ashtray’ which is littered by dropped cigarette ends.

Former Amble Mayor Audrey Jones raised the issue during the town council’s public question time at the Thursday, May 8, meeting.

She criticised the ‘disgraceful’ appearance of Queen Street and asked if there was anything that members could do to tackle the issue.

She added: “When smoking was stopped in public houses, they had to provide shelters.

“A number of them are at the rear of the premises, but people are not using them and are standing in doorways, flicking the stubs away.

“Queen Street is looking like a giant, filthy ashtray. It is disgraceful.

“There is one venue where, when it rains, the nicotine runs down the walls.

“Is there anything that the town council can do to write to people and ask that, if they aren’t going to put people in the proper smoking areas, can they tidy up the front of the public houses?

“There is nothing worse than walking down the street and people are smoking in doorways. I don’t want to inhale someone else’s smoke.”

Clerk Elaine Brown said that the town council had previously written to various businesses on Queen Street, such as pubs and eating establishments, about the issue, but did not receive any responses.

Coun Jeff Watson said: “There is no statutory requirement to provide smoking areas in pubs. But I do agree about the cleanliness issue.”

Mayor of Amble, Coun Craig Weir added that there was not a lot that members could do about enforcement. But he said that the town council was in talks with Northumberland County Council about the cleaning policy in the town.

He said that members were pushing for this to be looked at and have been reassured that the cleaning rota will be increased.

Audrey Jones also complained about the parking problems down by the harbour.

She said: “It is getting worse down here on a Saturday and Sunday. People won’t pay to go into the car park, even though it is 50p. Increasingly we are finding that if you go out on a Saturday, you can’t get in front of your front door. It is really bad.”

Coun Weir said that the town council has been in discussions with Northumberland County Council about the current parking review in the town and were aware of the issues.

Coun Jane Dargue added that issues surrounding traffic enforcement were being looked at.