Amble Town Council report #126

Posted on 03rd February 2021 | in Amble Town Council

All meetings at 6pm via Zoom until further notice – details on website
Town: 11th February 2021, 11th March, 8th April
Amenities: 25th March

2020- 21
What a year we have left behind- so many changes to the way we live, work, shop, socialise. For the foreseeable future Council will have to continue holding virtual meetings via Zoom.
The office will remain closed to the general public although staff, mainly working from home, will call in for essential items and mail.
Please continue to contact us by email or telephone- calls will be returned as soon as possible. If a physical office call cannot be avoided, we ask you to please respect all the precautions. Thank you for your patience.
Let’s hope it will not be too long before our wonderful medical staff can arrange vaccinations for as many as possible- we are very fortunate to have such caring professionals looking after us all.

Unfortunately due to the gusty winds we have had and will experience, the living trees installed at the Memorial Gardens and High Street will need to remain ‘staked’ for some months until the roots are firmly established. We are aware that this does not look very attractive- particularly when hazard tape has to be used as a warning of them- but the end result of two magnificent trees for many years to come should make it all worthwhile.

The Covid pandemic meant 2020 was a difficult year for many with less social contact and interaction with loved ones and others. Council decided to try and bring a little cheer to some of the youngest and oldest in the community. Amble First schools staff decided key stage related colouring books would help their pupils whilst staff at both JCSC sites felt books to help the pupil’s literacy would be ideal. Dolphin Care Home recently obtained a DVD player and suggested a selection of DVDs including some Christmas movies and classics would be well received. Hopefully this small gesture will help to relieve any stress and bring a smile.

Just before Christmas, the draw took place from nominations received for the refurbished bicycles. These were originally donated to Northumbria Police just over three years ago to help them access estate areas and be a more visible presence. However, due to manpower and working practices restructuring, they were rarely used. Mike Breeze, who had originally supplied them for the Council, offered to fully service them for free so they could be gifted again. The two recipients, who both work locally co-ordinating help and assisting the elderly and vulnerable in our town, were highly delighted with their new wheels.

Amazing how fewer people out and about seems to have done little to ease the litter problem throughout the town- added to considerably by irresponsible dog owners and those discarding used masks. For all our sakes, please put litter, especially dog waste, into bins.

A wonderful early Christmas present- approval of plans for a large central car park. This, long fought for by many in our community, is something the town welcomes and hopes will not be too long in construction. There is provision for bicycles and electric charging points.
We are aware of the calls for spaces for larger vehicles such as motor homes which are being seen much more frequently on our roads.
It is hoped that after the feasibility study, NCC will be able to look more closely at accommodating these at the Braid area. Alternatively perhaps some enterprising person could look at opening such a facility.

The new living tree means that the annual bedding display cannot be placed in the central area as the roots will likely make it unsuitable, so this will be grassed over.
The rear wall will have variegated laurels planted to brighten the backdrop.
Meanwhile Council are considering removing the foundations where the wall was alongside the footpath and placing a planting border there as another colourful welcome to our town.

Still being undertaken but delayed due to Covid restrictions on non-essential work as well as NCC planning department requiring lots of extra information. However all the items and work are being donated or carried out by volunteers- a fine example of our wonderful community working with local businesses to produce a long lasting memorial. Also held up- plans for a commemorative board about the Coquet Mouth disaster and the role of Merchant Seaman; however a smaller board has been placed at the end of the pier to mark the 80th anniversary. Stand at the board, look out the harbour mouth and you are looking towards the wreck site.

Two points of view have been mentioned to me over the past year- both relevant to Covid.
First, how lucky we are to live in Amble when compared to an inner-city high rise. We have access to gardens, we are surrounded by open spaces and beaches all accessible within minutes. I know it is difficult during this weather to get out, but the maxim applies “there is no bad weather only inadequate clothing.” So getting out for an hour and returning cold and wet to stay warm for 23 hours is surely better than staying in for 24 hours!
Secondly, the use of the buzz word “wellbeing”- so many ways of helping ourselves. Some friends, once a week take out their holiday photographs from any year and reminisce about the good times that they had during that break. Why not phone a friend, read that book, cook that recipe, clear out that cupboard, fix that door handle- as I know there are large number of put off jobs. Why not? A Latin phrase covers this “Carpe a Diem” – seize the day. So why not seize the day- enjoy 2021, become vaccine jabbed and covid free. Stay safe.
Cllr Craig Weir


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