What you say… #142

Posted on 06th October 2023 | in Bord Waalk , Community , Letters & Email

Bord Waalk opening not publicised

As a resident of Amble I would have liked to have been at the opening of the Bord Waalk Trail. I have spoken to many other residents, who also would have supported it. However, nowhere was the date/time/place advertised for any of us to see.

The Duke of Gloucester – “a minor Royal” (not sure he’d be happy with that description) – must have wondered whether the people of Amble were at all interested in the Bord Waalk Trail.

There’s always a great turn-out for community events such as this, IF WE HAD KNOWN WHEN THEY WERE TAKING PLACE.
Another missed opportunity, is all I can say.

Sue Swanston

Ed: We asked Julia Aston, director of Amble Development Trust for a comment. She said, “I appreciate and understand the comments made by Sue and that she felt disappointed. The process of being able to confirm all the details required for the royal visit took a great deal of time and were only confirmed the Friday before it took place. It was only then we were allowed to publicise the event – which we did on The Ambler’s Facebook page.”
We are not aware that any of our mentions of the Duke have described him as a minor Royal.

Should we have a tourism tax to build affordable houses?

I loved the piece in the Ambler (Population falls in Amble #141 p9) and it should, to many residents, provide some interesting figures to think about. Well, you did ask the question “What do you think?”

I think that there are many who have taken the opportunity to purchase the cheaper older properties to create holiday lettings businesses without serious thought to the consequences, either in reducing the number of available affordable houses to buy or to rent, or in the dangerous congestion caused by the extra vehicles coming into the town.

Judging by the different accents, many people from outside the area have bought properties to retire here adding to an aging population.

We should all be concerned at the low number of affordable houses being built either to buy or to rent. I’ve just heard on the radio that although Cornwall is one of the poorest areas in the UK, to purchase a house there you need to be a millionaire! Amble will not be far behind as many of the new housing finished or still being built in your first list, are in the high bracket purchase price. In fact the seven new houses built at the bottom of the Wynd, (Marina West), were originally marketed as holiday homes, and have since been put on the market at over £700k each.

I think if everyone living in Amble carried out a quick count of the number of key safes at each house in their street they would be surprised. Let’s be fair, there are not many who need them to let their carer in, so it is likely that these properties are purchased as holiday lets, including some of the new builds.

Several weeks ago I carried out a spot check in Wellwood Street, Byron Street, Middleton Street and King Edward Street, including three in Bede Street but not counting those in the High Street or Church Street, and found 36 were now holiday lets – all of these were once affordable houses.

How about we reverse the situation by charging a tourism tax on those businesses and individuals who have one or more holiday lettings and use this tax to build truly affordable housing!

Jennifer Dunn
via email

I’m now scared to go out in my scooter

It was a sunny day in August so my friend and I decided to take a walk down to the harbour in Amble. I was in my mobility scooter.

Cobbles in back lane

I love to visit Salt and Co to see what new silver jewellery Martha has made and I am able to manoeuvre my scooter into the shop and reverse out again. This time I didn’t buy anything but I already have four rings and two bracelets.

It looked like it might rain so we made our way home. I have to go over the cobblestones at the back of Church Street to get to my house. There seemed to be a pothole at the top and my wheel stuck in it and I couldn’t get a purchase on the cobbles to get out, I was stuck.

My friend said she couldn’t push with me on it so could I get out for a few seconds while she tried to push it out of the way. She fetched my quad stick and I stood up. I immediately fell over onto the cobbles on my right side. My friend dialled 999 and I lay on the cobbles for half an hour until the ambulance arrived.

People who lived nearby were marvellous and brought me blankets; I particularly want to thank Emily, and her daughter Maisie, from Straffen Court and Alison, Emily’s mother, who all stayed with me.

When the paramedics arrived they produced something which sounded like a “Mangalift” and with this they were able to sit me up then transfer me to the scooter.
I was able to drive back to my yard with the Paramedics and walked a few steps into the house. I didn’t want to go into the hospital, so they did tests (including an ECG) at my kitchen table. I wasn’t bleeding and had very little pain so they declared me well, and left.

I am scared to go over the cobbles again in my scooter. This accident would not have happened if the cobbles were in a decent state of repair or replaced. As it is, I am left a prisoner in my own home.

Please Northumberland County Council, sort this out so there are no more accidents. It could have been worse, I could have broken something, but as one of my carers pointed out I am well padded and I landed well. Cobbles look nice but they are a safety hazard.

Chris Herzberg

Save the A1068 woods

This is a public plea to save around 500 sq m of the established woodland shown in this photo next to the A1068 approaching Amble from the south.

Persimmon already have permission to demolish the ENTIRE woodland, to build a dangerous new T-junction to access 166 new houses in the field behind at “Hauxley View”. This permission was originally granted when a separate developer couldn’t get the obvious safer access direct from the roundabout, as Persimmon owned the adjoining land. This was used for construction access to the adjacent Coquet Grange development. Persimmon, who actually complained about the traffic dangers of the original proposal, have now taken this development over, so why haven’t they changed their design to provide this much safer access and save the woods?
Come on Persimmon, there’s a golden opportunity here, to :-

• save these trees and the habitat they provide
• give us a safer road layout by making Percy Drive a 4 way roundabout
• reduce traffic noise for your proposed housing behind the trees

• share the cost with Tantallon whose development in the fields behind desperately needs a direct A1068 vehicle access to avoid overloading Acklington Road
I’ve had no response from the NCC planners on this, so just think what great publicity you could get by initiating the change yourselves !

Tom Lloyd

Percy Drive pedestrian crossings

Great news to discover that Councillor Clark’s plans for the installation of drainage and the re-surfacing of the Southmead Footpath No. 16 are about to be made real by Northumberland County Council. The path will be closed off for the duration of the work but that will be a small inconvenience compared with the number of times it is likely to be impassable due to future flooding.

But why stop there? In the same week as the notices appeared, a cyclist was injured in a road traffic accident and received roadside medical treatment at the Priory Park junction on Percy Drive which has become a bit of a race track in recent months. It is becoming increasingly risky trying to cross the road on foot at the same point particularly from the Southmead side. The field of view towards Philip Drive is restricted by the bend in that section of the road and the speed of the traffic leaving Amble doesn’t leave much time for pedestrians to cross safely even if they are young and fit.

I know that the Fontburn crossing point is the preferred option for a pedestrian crossing at the moment but I would suggest that the Priory Park crossing is the more dangerous and therefore just as essential.

With the improvement to the Southmead path there will probably be an increase in the number of pedestrians crossing Percy Drive in both directions so why not install a safe pedestrian crossing here as well as at Fontburn.

Hugh Tindle
via email

Proposed closure of railway ticket offices

This is a copy of the letter I’ve written to Ms. Trevelyan, MP.

“This proposed closure is a contentious issue. It seems to me that the arguments against closure are overwhelming, and the only people to benefit will be the train operators’ shareholders. They will think it’s Christmas and obviously don’t care about the impact on train users, just the financial benefits to themselves.

Your Northumberland constituents, and people further afield, value the exemplary services at Alnmouth station. If the station shuts, staff will have to spend the working day braving the elements outdoors and providing information and support that is not available on websites. What if disabled people can’t access ticket machines or are not computer literate?

So where do you stand on this issue? I’m sure thousands of voters will take this into account as the 2024 elections draw closer. They have long memories and you stand to gain a lot of votes and goodwill if you take a clear position against the closures.

Please let us know your position in unambiguous terms. I look forward to hearing from you.”

John Bird


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One thought on "What you say… #142"

  1. Mona Lott says:

    I will not be employing the Tories again even if the MP keeps Alnmouth station office open or in a last minute bid, duals the A1. They haven’t delivered Brexit or controlled legal and illegal immigration. Neither will I ever vote Labour on the rebound as there is no difference between the two Parties. The only thing they know to keep open is our borders.

    A new MP, Cabinet Minister or Prime Minister has no previous experience and yet gets to rule the country and make our laws. You would need more experience to pack shelves. Hence I’ll vote for a new Party to reform and reclaim. No more the devil I know.

    I definitely want over the counter service and cash transactions. Thank you for writing to the MP.

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