Wooler Parish Council news round-up

Wooler Fire Station
Wooler Fire Station

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is having difficulty recruiting retained fire-fighters in Wooler, particularly during working hours.

NFRS is set to approach employers to ask if any interested staff members can be on-call during working hours, while a series of come and try days will be organised. Wooler Parish Council said that it would help to recruit volunteers.

Chairman Mark Mather said that Wooler is fortunate to have all three emergency services in the village and it would be a big loss if one of them is lost due to not enough incidents being attended.

Firefighters must be over 18 and volunteers must be fit and able to pass a fairly intensive training programme. They must live within six minutes of the fire station, although this may be extended in an attempt to widen the level of interest.

Water plan: Northumbrian Water has plans for a new water-treatment works in Wooler.

The company has said that the building could be potentially located at the mart.

It would replace the works at Fowberry, which is poorly located and requires constant maintenance to keep it running.

The borehole sites at Fowberry will still be used and the water pumped to the new treatment works via pipe.

Public engagement events will take place in the village over the next couple of months, with construction of the site potentially starting this time next year.

Northumbrian Water has also said that there are plans to upgrade the existing sewage treatment works at the end of this year, with £3–4million worth of investment to the site.

Academy concern: Coun Anthony Murray is concerned that the troubles at Berwick Academy – recently placed into special measures – could cause future problems for pupils in the Wooler area.

Coun Murray said that pupils who live from the middle of Wooler northwards are in the Berwick catchment area, therefore if they elect to go to Alnwick, they are not entitled to free transport.

However, Coun Murray hopes that there will be improvements at the Academy.

The parish council will write to MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan and the county council to express concerns about the problems at Berwick.

Panto donations: Wooler Panto group has donated £1,000 towards the purchase of a defibrillator. Coun Mark Mather is looking at the possibility of siting it where the old phone box on the corner of Ramsey Lane/Broomey Road was located. The group has donated £500 to the Christmas lights.

Pub disorder: Disorder at a Wooler pub has resulted in eight males being issued with out-of-court fines for a public-order offence. Five of those involved were placed on the Pubwatch banning list for between six months and two years. Police said that disorder in pubs won’t be tolerated.

Adoption bid: Plans for the parish council to adopt the former first school site for community use are progressing well. Parish and county councillor Anthony Murray has been assured that the parish council should be able to take on the site, subject to the proper business plan.

Parking times: Members agreed in principle to change the parking time to two hours on High Street. The clerk will ask the county council for a quote to change signage stickers, before this goes ahead. Meanwhile, double-yellow lines could be placed on Brewery Road, to alleviate traffic issues.

Island work: Coun Mark Mather said that he had seen the Environment Agency working on the island adjacent to Glendale Garden Centre and asked if there were any plans to dig it out. However, the workers were only there to remove vegetation growing on the island.