Wooler Parish Council round-up

Glendale Middle School
Glendale Middle School

A bid to take on an area of land to be used by the community, including for a new Scout hut, is set to move forward with two applications going in this week.

Parish councillors have agreed that the application for an asset transfer, for part of the former school farm field, next to the Glendale Middle School playing fields, should be submitted alongside a pre-application planning document for the change of use of the land.

The latter will cost around £300, but Coun Anthony Murray said: “I do think a pre-app is value for money, because you could go back and forth with the planning application if you don’t get it right.”

As reported at last month’s meeting, the grant of a long-term lease for the land requires the parish council to draw up a business plan.

• The future of Wooler’s youth drop-in, which it was feared could fold, is looking much rosier after more funding was sourced.

Chairman of trustees, Guy Richardson, told the parish council that the service can run for at least another year after landing £10,000 from the Northumberland Children’s Trust and £3,000 from the Rural Youth Fund, both of which are administered by the county council.

A bid has gone into the EDF Barmoor windfarm fund to run an outreach programme, while an award from the High Sheriff backed by the Rotary Club will be used for an outside visit, organised by the young people themselves.

There are also three applications going through the Community Foundation system for £10,000 each.

• Retired police officer, Mark Lynn, attended the meeting to thank the parish council and the Wooler community for their support after being awarded the High Sheriff’s Cup. He served in the police for 30 years, including five at Wooler.

Meanwhile, PC Daniel Perry told the meeting that there had been three crimes in the parish in the past month – a public order offence; damage to a premises on High Street, which had been dealt with; and a burglary, which is still being investigated by CID. He also issued a warning about doorstep sellers.

• Members are frustrated that wagons continue to park on the pavements, which have just been relaid. The parish council has already written to traders and other suggestions were made, but Coun Michael Aitchison said: “They (the drivers) couldn’t care less.”

• A contractor on behalf of the Environment Agency has cleared the rubbish from the gravel island in Wooler Water. It was said that further work to trees is set to take place, but members are doubtful that the gravel island will be removed as they have raised it for years.

• The public toilets at the bus station have been cleaned thoroughly with broken and missing items replaced. The guttering has also been tackled. The county council has provided paint and the parish council plans to repaint the interior of the facilities.

• Councillors heard that the Men in the Shed project, originally set up as a RVS scheme at Haugh Head, now has funding for another year. Sessions are held three times a week. Despite its name, it is now open to women as well and has several female members already.

• The aim is to draw a line under previous issues and hold another meeting with Katherine Dunn to discuss her plans to brighten up the High Street with planters and window boxes. There was some bad blood after a recent meeting, causing a row at Monday’s meeting.