Chairman Mark Mather said the possibility of the parish council acquiring the vacant first-school site for community use was being explored.
He said the sub-committee had met potential community groups and looked around the plot, on Ryecroft Way.
He told members that the meeting had been positive and the groups were interested in the site, the existing building and the central location in the village. He believed that the parish council should try to adopt this site from the county council, rather than the school farm field – located next to Glendale Middle School playing fields – as previously planned.
The meeting agreed, believing it to be a good opportunity. The sub-committee will meet to discuss the next steps and adapt the existing business plan for the school farm field.
○ Police reported on crimes committed in the Wooler area since February 23.
One of these was a large pub fight which took place in the village over the weekend of March 24 and 25.
A number of people were identified and police will deal with them in due course.
Anyone suspected of being involved in this or future disorder in a licensed premises in Wooler will be considered for the Wooler pub watch banned list.
This is as well as any action taken by the police, as the levels of violence displayed were ‘totally unacceptable’.
There were two shop-lifting offences from the Co-op in Wooler. The offender was identified and dealt with.
Inquiries are ongoing into a theft from a caravan at the Riverside Caravan Park.
○ Members discussed Scott’s Park and Bryson’s Park.
Coun Mather said that a lot of broken glass had been found in Bryson’s Park.
Concerns were raised about cat faeces in the zip-wire area. Coun Caroline Cumming will investigate whether there are any cat deterrent sprays which are safe to use in a children’s public park. Dog mess also seems to becoming a problem again. The clerk will ask the county council dog warden to re-visit the village.
Slater’s Fun Fair asked for permission to put back their dates for using Scott’s Park until the weather improved. The meeting agreed.
○ As part of Wooler Neighbourhood Plan talks, shop owners will be asked if they want to re-establish a Shop Keepers’ Association, the county council will be asked if a parking review can be done and an idea to change High Street parking from 45 minutes to two hours will be explored.
○ Coun Mather said that the communication group has decided on a bi-monthly booklet (volunteer editors and readers wanted) and two screens which will sit side-by-side in the village centre, to publicise events and possibly to promote work carried out by the parish council.
○ Coun Robert Donkin will form a group to look at additional fund-raising for Wooler Christmas lights. Funds already set aside in the parish-council precept and raised at the annual coffee morning will go towards the cause. Residents are welcome to join the festive lights group.
○ The county council is doing a feasibility study to improve the A697 pathway and bridge, but the works are subject to Local Transport Plan (LTP) funding. The parish council will include the bridge in its LTP priorities next year, but members feel that the path needs attention now.
○ Eighteen volunteers took part in the Wooler spring clean, which included litter-picking and painting railings. A drop in the amount of litter from previous years was reported. The county council, the volunteers and organiser Patrick Sheard were thanked for their efforts.