Reports from our County Councillors #142
I am pleased to see our schools continuing to do well and so much better than they did back in the old days when Northumberland was in the bottom quarter of schools in the North East. It is now in the top quarter and still improving thanks to the effort that this administration has put into them.
You may have seen the recent publicity about RAAC (concrete) in schools across the country, however, I am pleased to say it is not a problem in Northumberland. All our Council managed schools are unaffected.
As a Councillor for many years, I understand that you can’t please all the people all the time. I have grown to accept criticism and generally do not respond to it but in last month’s Ambler a letter regarding the nomination of an unsung hero I feel needs a response to set the record straight.
The award was for an unsung hero, of course the food bank and many other charities do a wonderful job, but they are well recognised by our community, and I (like all NCC Councillors )had only one nomination available for an unsung hero, so I had to choose. I understand that my nomination was the only one submitted for an Amble hero by any NCC Councillor.
Mr Nutting in his letter in the last edition of the Ambler (#141 page 6) suggests that a personal connection influenced my choice. I think this is regrettable and hurtful to the recipient who nevertheless continues to quietly go about her good work as she has done for many years.
I am not aware of the rift that is suggested by him, indeed, until very recently I was a member of Amble Development Trust and had been for many years. I have always supported the food bank and have made several substantial grants to them, as well as being involved in many other charities and organisations in Amble.
I would like to inform readers that my County Council area only includes the West Ward of Amble Town Council, i.e., the Gloster Park area down to the top of the High Street.
Cllr Jeff Watson Amble West with Warkworth
Jeffrey.Watson@northumberland.gov.uk 07802 385367
A new system launched for street repairs:- Fix my street.
We are encouraging people to report issues using their mobile phones. The system enables people to photograph, locate and highlight issues on a mobile phone, computer or tablet, issues can be reported simply by going to nland.cc/fix
The system can be used to report a whole range of issues from potholes, faulty street lighting, and drainage issues to abandoned vehicles, litter and incidents of fly tipping.
This will significantly improve communication with residents, help reduce duplicate reports even speed up responses by giving staff a precise location. (#141 page 19)
The Lord Mayor’s Field and the Local Plan
The Northumberland Local Plan was adopted in March 2022. The Plan is the legal starting point for how the County Council makes decisions on all planning applications. In this new Plan, the Lord Mayor’s Field has been formally designated as “Open Space “. This will give the land a robust level of protection until the mid-2030s.
After this, there would need to be a compelling reason to change the designation, and this would be carried out in a formal review of the Local Plan. In the review, argument for and against all changes would need to be carefully balanced. Given that Amble will have already exceeded its long term housing target by 2035, the need to develop the land would be a difficult argument to make.
In reality, there may not be a reasonable argument to look at changing the Open Space designation of the Lord Mayor’s Field until the 2050s review. Even then, the argument to retain all Open Space in Amble could reasonably be made.
Cllr Terry Clark Amble, Hauxley and North Broomhill.
Terry.Clark@northumberland.gov.uk 07779 983768