Amble Town Council: Oct – Nov 2014

Posted on 16th October 2014 | in Amble Town Council , Community

Town-Crest-webMeetings 6.30p.m. unless stated otherwise.
Town:   13th November (at Fourways 2)    Amenities Committee: 25th September, 27th November
Remembrance Sunday Service: 11am  9th November  Town Square then at R.C. Church

New traffic regulation orders are now in force and should ease some of the problems in town; however  other options are still being investigated. Talks are ongoing to reach a more permanent solution to Amble’s parking. Being an old town, there are few parking areas close to the centre of town and most of them are privately owned.

People often think the ideas they have put forward have been ignored, but that is not the case. NCC is currently talking to land owners to see if spaces can be leased or bought for parking. In the meantime, temporary ideas and areas have been trialled. As with all trials, there are problems but, as we may need to use them again at busy times, everyone is working hard to address them.

With the limited designated parking, the lack of available land and the desire of so many people to come and enjoy what our town has to offer, there may never be an ideal solution, but strenuous efforts are being made to do something about the problems.

The bank balance of the council was recently highlighted. Details have always been publically available; however few seemed to have seen them and many expressed surprise at the amount – £200k.

There were calls to spend it in the community immediately – if only we could! Space doesn’t allow us to print all the details but every penny is accounted for. We are responsible for many things in the town such as seats, litter bins, bus shelters, floral displays, a flagpole, noticeboards, the War Memorials, the clock tower, two cemeteries and two allotment sites.

We have equipment and buildings to maintain and replace, insurances to pay, offices to rent, staff wages costs associated with health and safety.  We also support community organisations through grants and donations and put money aside to go towards larger projects such as the Paddlers. We have always been a forward looking council who try to budget wisely. We could easily spend a lot more every year on the town but that would mean asking each household for more.

At the moment the average household pays around £6 a month. Would you pay more if all the extra went towards town improvements?

Demolition of the old buildings took months of combined efforts by NCC, Amble Town Council, Amble Development Trust, Northumbria Police and the Local Multi Agency Crime Prevention team.

It was hampered by many changes of management at Tesco and their stance of ‘the normal practice is to demolish when we develop’ despite being told of the deterioration and the safety problems on the site. When completed it will look much better and be safer too. Sadly, we don’t seem any nearer to getting the revised plans for the new store and must wait until Tesco business heads decide the time is right to go ahead.

Approximately four years ago, a grant bid was made to the ‘Wild Play’ scheme which made it to the final round, but then funding was pulled. Next we tried to get the surface painted so JCSC students could decorate it.

Last October, tired of all the promises made by NCC, and despite not owning the area, we thought: ‘Our town needs this area improved. Enough time has been wasted – let’s get started on something.’

A long term solution needs grant funding. Firstly a feasibility study is required, and this was set up in November 2013. Over six months we had our wildly fantastic ideas whittled down to more practical realities, but we never moved from our priority of an area for the whole family to enjoy. In May these final draft ideas were shown to the community for comment at the parish meeting and the Puffin Festival; they appeared in the Ambler and the Gazette; and have since been displayed in the Development Trust and the Council offices but if you haven’t seen them, call the clerk and arrange a visit. We want as many views as possible to take forward.

Talks with NCC officers on how to move forward have begun. Funding is limited, but we think our town deserves some of it and we will work hard to get the estimated £500,000. We already have promises of funds from our local NCC Councillors and this Council is saving towards it too. We want this to be an area to be proud of, whether it’s circuit training or  walking through, playing ball or climbing about. We hope that in another year funding will be in place and work started.

Ian Hinson

It is disconcerting to be told you’ve got cancer, which happened to me at the end of April. Since then, I’ve realized just how many others know that feeling. Knowing that doesn’t make it easier to cope but I do appreciate the sympathy and concern for me expressed by so many people.

Losing my voice and having difficulty swallowing made me realize something was wrong. After visiting almost every hospital north of the Tyne, having scans, biopsies and photos, it was decided I had a tumour in my gullet. It was difficult to operate, because of the position, so  chemotherapy, followed by radiotherapy was prescribed.

Unfortunately, I suffered a reaction to the chemical, which was stopped immediately and I spent a week in hospital. I am now going through six weeks of radiotherapy travelling  daily to Freeman Road, alternating between bus, car and good friends who transport me. At the end of September I hope to know if it has been successful.

I could not take part in council meetings when my voice disappeared, and then I did not feel well enough, but hopefully I will soon be returning to the fray.


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