Chairman Coun Robert Donkin, who was re-elected for a further 12 months, reflected on ‘another very busy year for a proactive group of councillors’ in his annual report.
In the past year, the parish council had lost its previous chairman Colin Burn as well as long-serving councillor Joyce Robertson, but had gained Couns Ian Fleming and Mark Mather. There has also been a change of clerks with Linzi Reid replaced by Lynda Cairns.
In terms of the major projects the council has been involved with, Coun Donkin highlighted the installation of interactive speed signs on the A697, moves towards developing a neighbourhood plan and continuing to fight county-council cuts, the brunt of which are faced by rural areas.
In the wider community, he referred to the creation of the boxing and exercise club, the continued success in Northumbria in Bloom and the project to reinstate the fountain in the Market Place.
Coun Alfreda Hindmarsh was elected as vice-chairman.
• The council had received a quote of around £1,900 for installing an automatic winding system in the clock in St Mary’s Church, which is the responsibility of the parish council. Currently, a number of residents are paid around £150 a year to wind the clock manually. Members are keen to investigate if any funding may be available for the project.
• Repairs to the fencing around the play area in Scott’s Park are to take place as a number of the uprights are missing. The county council is to be contacted as the matting beneath the zip wire is badly damaged and that piece of equipment is badly in need of more bark chippings to make it safe to use.
• The Royal Voluntary Service’s Men in the Workshop project, based at Haugh Head, has repaired a damaged seat which used to be along South Road. A couple of new positions in Scott’s Park were suggested, but members decided to put it in the play area at Bryson’s Park, where there is no seat currently.
• Members are keen to organise a litter-pick for the area of land to the right of the Peth as you enter the village from the south.
They are to approach Smiths Gore and, failing that, Fergusons Transport, which owns the land, for permission to tidy up the area. The clean-up will also extend along the riverbank.