Rural community could seek judicial review after their parish council was abolished and precept rose

A rural Northumberland community could seek a judicial review after its parish was abolished.

Friday, 4th December 2020, 7:00 am

Easington parish was abolished by Northumberland County Council in February and the area transferred into neighbouring Belford parish.

The community governance review had been proposed by Belford Parish Council on the basis that there has been no council in Easington for some years.

But Cllr Guy Renner-Thompson, speaking at a Belford Parish Council meeting, revealed: “There are some people in Easington who are not happy about this.

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Easington parish has been abolished with its area incorporated into Belford.

"It’s all been agreed at county level but there has been a threat of a judicial review so we will see what happens with that.”

The increase in the number of people in the newly enlarged parish will reduce the precept Belford residents pay as part of their council tax if the budget remains the same.

Conversely, Easington residents where there was previously no parish precept will have to fork out.

Cllr Renner-Thompson, parish council chairman and local county councillor, also reported on a Local Transport Plan workshop and revealed the resurfacing of a section of Cragmill road is likely to be included in next year’s budget.

The view across Budle Bay to Easington.

He is also hopeful that microsurfacing of the High Street will be included.

Concerns about the deteriorating condition of the road at the school were raised by Cllr Thomas Keys.

Cllr Renner-Thompson has approved funds from his county councillor small schemes budget for a speed warning sign for West Street.

He has raised concerns about weeds on the High Street, particularly around the Market Cross, and hoped it would be tackled soon.

Belford village.

Repairs to the stonework at the war memorial are needed, reported Cllr Kerry Noble. It was agreed to get quotes for the work with a view to applying to the Belford Community Fund for financial support.

The parish council has agreed to purchase three replacement cradle swings for the play park at a cost of £433. It was also noted that the rope bridge is showing signs of wear and tear.

Allotment rents are to be raised by £5 from £25 to £30, the first increase since 2016.

"I think they’re still really good value for money,” said Cllr Julian Cunningham.

Belford Market Cross.

A letter of thanks will be sent to Chillingham Wild Cattle Association for the donation of the village’s Christmas tree.

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