Amble Town Council Report #143

Posted on 07th December 2023 | in Amble Town Council , Community

Town: 14th December; 11th January at 6p.m. Council Office
Amenities: 25th January at 6p.m. Council Office
D-Day Commemoration Event: Saturday 8th June 2024

Over the last 4 months, Council have visited a number of community hubs to help determine what works best and what they would do differently. The journey to get a Hub for Amble began in earnest with an Expression of Interest in acquiring Amble First School if NCC do not have a plan for after the pupils leave. NCC’s agreement may be to retain ownership but allow the building to be used for this purpose or they may determine a community asset transfer would be best. We await their decision. If favourable, then with other interested community groups a Business Plan needs to be prepared and grant applications looked at for the necessary refurbishment work. There’s a long, long way to go yet.

Students from JCSC are currently working hard to create a website which will have information on all kinds of activities going on in the town. Whether you have lived here a while, are new to the area or are just visiting, you will soon be able to see what is happening. It will have details of things for all age groups from babies to the elderly; whether sporty, leisurely or social, they’ll all be there. Of course, that is the ambition…but it will only work if your group/organisation gives the details to Council. Established and new groups, regular meetings or ‘one off’ events- all are wanted. It is hoped to go ‘live’ by Easter but we need the details and contact information now so the preparation work can be done. All too often ‘there’s nothing to do’ can be heard- it’s simply not true as there are many, many things going on in the town….but people need to know more about the variety available from both professionals and volunteers who work so hard.

In recent months we have seen two resignations, Jeff Watson and Jackie Turpin, both of whom have enjoyed their time working as part of the team but now wish to devote more time to other personal commitments. Meanwhile we thank them for their service and wish them well for the future. We are delighted to have co-opted and to now welcome two new faces, Chris Palmer and Don Carmichael, for our West Ward. We hope they will quickly settle in and look forward to hearing their thoughts about the town.

Plans have begun for this memorable occasion. Saturday 8th June 2024, starts with a tour of the WWII memorials at the West Cemetery at 10a.m. Then a ‘Picnic in the Square’ from Midday when you are invited to bring your own seating and refreshments or buy the latter from vendors with stalls there. At Midday there will be a short Commemoration Service with Wreath laying in memory of all those who gave their lives. This will then lead us from commemoration to the celebrations which happened when the war ended, in the main due to the magnificent efforts of all the forces on D-DAY 6th June 1944. There will be music and singing from Harbour Lights and Alnwick All Stars. So……….save the date in your diary now.

Some queries to our staff come in the form of complaints after someone has looked at various social media outlets or the press. It’s astonishing how people can be so aggressive in their certain belief of the ‘truth’ they have read. A recent case was the removal of shrubs in some areas of the town. Council were not involved in this, knew nothing about it and certainly had not been part of any ‘estate’ walkabout where this was discussed. Yet the press, NCC and Social Media all said we were! In some cases reports may well be true but, without checking, there was an immediate reaction and blame. The voice of reason, which should say check the facts or question what you have read, seems to disappear in the urge to respond quickly. The same can be said of some people about something they see: comment on social media first on what you think is the case, often blaming someone or some organisation, but don’t bother to ask anyone who may actually be in a position to know what is happening! It may turn out that your ‘knee jerk’ reaction is correct. But what if it isn’t? How many people will be hurt or annoyed? Will what you say inflame the situation or lead to unnecessary aggression? Will it make matters worse or even blur the truth? Please take a moment to think before acting, consider others and even, in some cases, offer help if you can.

Council are applying to NCC to carry out a limited neighbourhood development plan which will focus on the important aspects of conservation of the open spaces and heritage within the parish boundary. If accepted by NCC, grants can be applied for to reduce the impact on the precept. Once that is achieved, a few willing volunteers from the community will be needed to form a steering group to progress the necessary information to complete the draft. YOU will all then have a vital role in this as the community needs to let the steering group know what open space and heritage in the parish they would like to pinpoint in the plan. So look out for further information and please start to gather your thoughts to respond to any discussion/questionnaire which will come about.

Where has the time gone? It was 14 years ago that I arrived in Amble and joined the Council. At that time I was told Amble was a fragmented town with a failing industry. Coal and fishing were just about finished and the main factory site at the frozen food factory was shutting down.
I am so pleased that here we are in a town that has revitalised itself. We have a thriving tourist trade, gourmet style restaurants and many cafes to help cater for this increase in trade. A town which is much talked about and sought after for a visit in all seasons. An example to other coastal towns on what can be achieved if the will is there. The community should be proud of our achievements and the many volunteers who worked so hard to make this possible. Well done to them! Merry Xmas for 2023
Cllr Craig Weir


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Office hours: 10.30am-12noon & 1.30-3p.m. Monday to Friday Vicki Smith, Town Clerk Minutes available to view in Office or online

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