County Council Report June 2011
Pride in Amble
The campaign by Town Councillor Craig Weir, which he has called “Pride in Amble” is gathering support and deserves success. It has also set me thinking just how different this town could be if the selfish and thoughtless behaviour of a small minority were to stop. It is sad that so much energy has to be directed at dealing with bad behaviour and its consequences. A case in point is the situation at the Paddlers; there has been a big investment in new play equipment in recent years. Safety surfaces are damaged, and all too often the area is littered with glass. The future of the site will form part of important discussions to take place between the County Council and Amble Town Council. Previous joint working led to the installation of better lighting and CCTV cameras. I have been promised that the camera will soon be back in operation. It would be so much better if it weren’t needed! I hope that some good ideas to involve local schools in a simple scheme to brighten up the old paddling pools can be carried forward.
I can confirm that a quote has now been agreed to repair the CCTV camera and waterproof it (apparently that is what caused the problem in the first place). Hopefully it will be operational soon.
I have also had confirmation that the lining in the old pools is being removed today and tomorrow and that repairs are being carried out to the safety surface of the play area together with a “tidy up”.
One of the best things about our area is a strong sense of community. We do care about where we live. We are lucky to have effective and committed Police and Community Support Officers. There is excellent work going on in our schools. Let us all work together to make pride in Amble a reality; where things are wrong, then let us say so, but don’t just stop there – we need every one who cares to get involved and make a difference.
The italicised part of this Report was written for The Ambler some time ago. Ironically lots of my time has been spent on similar issues since. The former Day Centre on Charles Road has been secured and boarded up and will be demolished soon. I raised the issue as the result of chasing off some very young children from the site one Sunday afternoon in broad daylight. I was horrified at how young these children were and at the risks they were taking.
On the last day of the half term I attended morning assembly at Amble Links First School. Mr. Heeley the head and his staff are doing an excellent job in emphasising how important it is for children to keep themselves safe. I know that the local police have been very active too. But it will take a real effort by all of us to make a difference.
As I reported last month I have been involved in trying to help with similar issues at the Tesco site. As a result, at fairly short notice, I met two senior Tesco staff, Andrew Lambert and Doug Wilson for an informal meeting on Monday morning.
I emphasised how important it was to deal with the problems arising from the derelict site, but also some wider issues, including managing the implementation of the development, working with local residents, and local traders.
I was reassured that Tesco realise how important this site is to our community.
They have given a commitment that once the land is transferred later this month priority will be given to clearing the disused buildings.
Early priorities will be to work with residents and local traders. I stressed my view that the pedestrian link to Queen Street would be crucial and that there was an opportunity here to considerably improve the area.
I suggested there were a number of ways that Tesco could get involved in community initiatives and specifically mentioned “Pride in Amble”. I also hope it would be possible to develop links with local schools.
Douglas Wilson is the Corporate Regional Affairs Manager for Tesco. He is willing to meet the Town Council in the very early stages of the development phase and I will pass his contact details on to the Town Clerk.
Further to my last Report Lorraine Dewison, who is the Service Manager has contacted me to confirm that she had been in touch with the Clerk. Amble is now proposed as one of ten libraries in the county hopefully to be upgraded as part of the “Front Office” project. Plans are being drawn up which will include other county services in the present library building.
As part of a wider review of library provision a “Sounding Board” is being established by the relevant Executive member “to discuss specific proposals for modernising the library service”.
As Chair of the Alnwick Library Consultative Committee I have nominated Cllr. Bilboe to attend the first meeting.
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