Rothbury Parish Council news round-up

Crowds at  Rothbury Food and Craft Festival. Picture by Mary Scott
Crowds at Rothbury Food and Craft Festival. Picture by Mary Scott

Concerns were raised about traffic congestion in parts of Rothbury during this year’s bank holiday food and craft festival.

A resident has asked for double-yellow lines to be placed along Whitton Bank, following issues along the stretch.

Coun Ashley Arkle said they needed them everywhere during the festival, especially on Gravelly Bank and outside the County Hotel.

She said that the police should have been ‘proactive rather than reactive’, and placed cones on the streets.

Coun Steven Bridgett suggested raising the issue with the festival committee.

He said: “A few years ago, there were problems with traffic on street-fair day towards the Cottage Hospital and we raised it with the street-fair team and we’ve never had the problem since.”

○ Coun Bridgett said that he is working with various housing developers who are building homes in Rothbury to install interactive speed signs at various entrances/exits of the village.

○ Citizens Advice Northumberland has asked parish councillors to suggest potential village venues to hold sessions. The council recently donated £250 to the service.

○ Coun Jeff Sutton was elected as the council’s new chairman. He replaces Caroline Dawson, who did not stand for re-election. Coun Steven Bridgett will continue as vice-chairman.

○ The parish council has agreed on a possible design for a village gateway sign, to be installed as part of Robertson Homes’ Cragside Gardens scheme.

Coun Bridgett proposed that the ‘Welcome to Rothbury’ sign has a dry-stone wall with images of sheep – either ‘Cheviot or blackface’. He suggested having red and yellow tulips in front of it – the colours of the Northumberland flag and the colours of Rothbury Football Club.

○ A plan to open a hot-food takeaway in Rothbury high street has split councillor opinion.

Coun Jeff Sutton said: “I’m not for it. I don’t want to stifle business, but you might get litter and noise problems.”

Coun Avril Graham said that people have approached her raising concerns.

But, Coun Hannah White said that everyone she has spoken to has been ‘really positive about it’, while Coun Steven Bridgett added: “The applicant has said a bin would be put outside, there have been no objections from residents and it won’t be in competition with other businesses.”

It will be decided by the county council, but the parish council voted to support it, by a majority decision.

Proposed opening hours are 5pm to 10pm, Mondays to Fridays, plus Sundays and Bank Holidays, and 4.30pm to 10.30pm on Saturdays. It would create 10 part-time jobs.

○ Residents are to be consulted about a possible boundary change in Rothbury.

The proposal is to incorporate Jubilee Crescent, as well as two new housing sites either sides of Garleigh Road, into Rothbury parish.

Explaining the reasons, Coun Steven Bridgett said: “Jubilee Crescent forms part of the settlement of Rothbury and for all intents and purposes is part of the village.

“However, due to a boundary/administrative anomaly, it is included as part of Whitton and Tosson parish.

“Rothbury Parish Council, proposes to correct this by moving Jubilee Crescent into Rothbury parish so to avoid any issues with regard to the maintenance of open spaces, representation, and differences in council tax.

“The parish council also feels that Jubilee Crescent and the two areas either side of Garleigh Road which are not currently designated as being part of Rothbury parish, fit within the settlement of Rothbury more naturally than they currently do within their respective parishes as the settlements of Whitton and Cartington are some distance away.”

However, newly-elected parish-council chairman Jeff Sutton said that he was not in favour of changing the boundaries.

The parish council is also requesting a review of how many seats are available for the parish council, as the population of the village has increased significantly in recent years.