Wooler Parish Council: Dog poo, defib and precept

Wooler bus station
Wooler bus station

The parish council is stepping up its efforts to tackle the unacceptable level of dog fouling which is currently plaguing Wooler.

A free dog micro-chipping session is to be held ahead of changes to the law which means that all dogs must be chipped from April 6 this year or owners could risk a £500 fine.

The event, which will take place at Alnorthumbria Veterinary Practice, Ryecroft Way, on Thursday, February 4, from 12pm to 3pm, will also offer the opportunity to hand out free poo bags and educate owners on cleaning up after their pets.

Coun Mark Mather, following discussion with officers from Northumberland County Council, is also planning to go out with them to use fluorescent spray paint to circle dog poo and create warning signs on the pavements.

He added; “We need the public’s help as well. If Mr So and So at this address is a dog-poo leaver, and it is reported to the county council, they will send a letter warning them.”

If these steps don’t work, the parish council will consider delivering leaflets to homes.

• A decision has been made to install a defibrillator at the toilets in Wooler bus station, as it is central and has parking and the necessary power supply. Councillors were keen to get on and install it after months of delays, due to planning issues in placing the unit on buildings on High Street, many of which are listed.

• A planter is to be installed to replace the tree which was at the entrance to the bus station, next to the Black Bull. Coun Robert Donkin suggested one of the three-tier planters, like in Berwick town centre, as it was felt another tree would not grow particularly well in the ‘sunken, concrete square’.

• The precept for Wooler residents – the parish council’s section of the council tax bill – is to rise by around £2,500 in the next financial year. This is due to the council taking on extra responsibilities, notably the two parks and the bus station toilets. It will result in a band A resident paying an extra 22p a week.

• The parish council has agreed to take ownership of the area of land in the Market Place in Wooler following the approval of the fountain monument. Coun Michael Aitchison said that they were searching for a new home for three cherry trees on the site, which was a requirement of the planning approval.