Reports from our County Councillors — August/September 2012

Posted on 14th August 2012 | in Education , Heritage & Tourism , James Calvert Spence College - Acklington Rd , James Calvert Spence College - South Avenue , Northumberland County Council


I am still saddened by the recent news about Border Laird closing down. Many people tried very hard to prevent this heavy blow to but to no avail. I will be working very closely with N.C.C. and other agencies to bring new businesses to Amble and I hope that we will be able to convince companies of Amble’s potential for small to medium sized businesses.
Many residents are concerned that wind farms are getting closer to the Town and I have been advising caution to our planners to ensure they do not encroach on our landscape to the detriment of tourism which is becoming increasingly important to our community.

I have agreed with the Highways department that the single yellow line on the North side of High Street is of no practical use and they have already set the wheels in motion to have a traffic order change that will enable its removal (eventually).

As you may be aware I have lived in the area for over twenty years and now my wife and I have decided to move to Amble, hopefully in  early August. My mobile number and email address will be unchanged and you will still be able to contact me on them.

I hope you enjoy what’s left of the Summer! and on 07802 385367

Jeff Watson
Councillor Amble West with Warkworth

Looking to the future

Sometimes it is difficult to be optimistic or look beyond present difficulties.  The failure of the attempt to sell the former Border Lairds factory is depressing.  For the staff involved and their families this is tough.  Amble seems to have more than its share of knocks in the present economic crisis; the food sector has been badly hit – and we cannot depend on tourism.

I was pleased to take part in a presentation to the Chief Executive of the County Council and his deputy on their recent visit to Amble.  Professor John Shutt presented his 2020 report and a number of issues were discussed.
We also visited a number of sites including the Industrial Estate and the harbour area.  The sun shone! There is an understandable focus on South East Northumberland, but  Amble also faces challenges.

School funding consultation

The Government are committed to a new funding formula for schools; a new national formula (to be introduced after the next election) and changes to the current system of funding to be introduced locally from next April.
The problem for Northumberland is introducing any new formula means moving money between schools.  There will be winners and losers.  I attended a briefing on this.  A new system based on the Government’s guidance has been put together and is now out to consultation.  At first glance it appears to move money from smaller Middle and High Schools to larger Middle and High Schools.

There could be a significant impact for James Calvert Spence especially in the core funding. which depends on pupil numbers. I hope the worst effects of the new formula can be ironed out before next April.

Robert Arckless 01665 711938

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