Reports from our County Councillors: Dec 2012

Posted on 18th December 2012 | in Northumberland County Council , Young People’s Activities

Commissioner Baird
Thirty years ago I met a young barrister who had just moved to Amble.  She went on to become a QC, Member of Parliament, and was Solicitor General in the last Government.  Recently, Vera Baird was elected as Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria.
Like many, I have concerns about the new system.  I do not want a “political” police force. I have no doubt that Vera Baird will do an excellent job in her new role and I am looking forward to working with her again.
She is formidably intelligent, has relevant experience, is tremendously hard working and I know she wants to work with the police and local communities to make a difference.
Just as important, I know Vera loves this area.  She understands that Northumbria is a mix of urban and rural communities each with their own problems.
It isn’t every day that a former Amble resident takes on such an important task. Vera persuaded me to become a Councillor in the first place.  She has worked all her life to help others.  And she has never forgotten her roots.
I am glad she will be working for us!
A real community
2012 has been a very tough year for many people.  My abiding memories of this year will be positive ones.  Amble has a true community spirit.  It has shone through so many times; the Jubilee events, the Olympic torch relay, and the Royal visit.  The events organised for the Christmas lights switch on were great fun and well supported.  They brought together so many different groups and a large crowd joined in the celebrations.
I hope they set the tone for a wonderful Christmas season and for a better year ahead.
Robert Arckless
Telephone 01665 711938

Surgeries will be held 10- 11am in Fourways2, 6 Dilston Terrace Amble NE65 0DT and not as advertised in The Ambler


Over the last few weeks I have been busy helping with the Poppy appeal. I am delighted that the local branch has done so well. The huge turnout at the Remembrance Service on the Town Square was  a tribute both to our armed forces and also to the people of Amble who showed they really cared.

I have recently been involved in the debate regarding the funding of the new High Schools in Alnwick, Bedlington and Hexham. I feel it is a great pity that the Government and the Council cannot find the money to both build and properly equip these new schools. The outcome is that the new schools will have to borrow money from the Council (albeit at zero interest) to furnish them and install I.T.facilities. The result of this decision (which I did not support) is that Alnwick High School will have to pay back over  £100,000 a year for ten years from its own budget, and it is quite likely that the equipment will be worn out and need replacing long before they finish paying for it.  No other schools in Northumberland have this burden to carry and it seems very unfair to me. I sincerely hope this sort of arrangement does not become the norm and that when our local High School needs new equipment it is properly funded.

Now the dark nights are here I want to make a little “plug” for Amble Youth Project, open four nights a week in a safe and pleasant venue for young people to relax  and perhaps participate in activities. A group of our younger children are visiting Alnwick every Thursday night to take part in Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food project, learning about  hygiene, healthy food and how to cook it. They get to eat what they make! Next year we hope to repeat this  free ten week course for some of our older young people. More information from the “Drop in” on Dilston Terrace.

Finally I wish you a very happy Christmas and a new year that gives Amble the opportunity to prosper and grow.
I am available on  and by phone 07802385367
Jeff Watson, County Councillor Amble West with Warkworth

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