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Parish Meeting May 2011

Minutes of a Parish Meeting of Amble Town Council held on Thursday 12th May 2011 at 6.00p.m in The Council Office, The Quayside, Amble.



Cllr Bilboe (Chairman), Cllr Hinson (Vice-Chairman), Cllrs Arckless, Weir, Mrs Lewis and Rev Nicholson together with the Clerk; Miss E Brown.

County Cllr Watson and Gazette reporter James Willoughby were in attendance.




Cllr Bilboe gave his report; copy attached.

This meeting closed at 6.10pm.


The past year has been one of mixed happenings for the town:

Sadly the loss of many jobs with the closure of the food factory which Longbenton foods tried to buy but could not complete and so it remains closed- we can only hope that another concern will come along and reopen it sometime in the future.

However most of our small businesses have continued to trade despite taking a cut back due to the economic downfall; we must all try our best to support them whenever possible as a town only remains viable when it has a variety of businesses to encourage people to shop and stay in it.

On a happier note the Tesco store planning application, which proved to be the most contentious issue the town has had to deal with in many years, has now been passed. Many feel it can only be good for the town as it will bring people in and hopefully also stop the drift of local shoppers to the large stores in Alnwick, Ashington and Morpeth.

Community support is a town’s strength and its continued future- a vital aspect of its survival. Community views are important, even when diverse, and although all Community Forums have lost their administration funding from the County Council making it difficult for many to continue, the Amble area, in which the Town Council plays an active part, will try to continue as a joint venture with Amble Development Trust. It is hoped a range of community organisations will also join in and this new forum will concentrate on issues which affect the Town and its people’s aspirations for the future.

Mr Milburn departed but Julia Aston has proved a worthy successor as Director of Amble Development Trust and works hard to get the best for the town even though grant support had diminished considerably. The old Co-op building is soon to be revealed with its new look, joining other businesses which have been given finance to help recreate more traditional designs in our main shopping and business areas.

The Police forums, online and in person, are being quite well attended and despite some highly irritating vandalism and anti- social behaviour, we are told our area has a very small crime rate. Our local officers are always willing to help within their limited resources.

The introduction of the Young Person’s Awards is a wonderful way of highlighting the good behaviour and work of the younger members of our town; there are a lot of worthy candidates, far outnumbering the more unruly ones whose exploits are more regularly reported in the press.

The departure of the Harbourmaster, Paul Taylor; the welcoming of a familiar face, Paul Allan, as his replacement and the launch of a new lifeboat ensures our own fishermen and the pleasure sailors continue to be well looked after.

After a very anxious time, I am pleased that the library is to be kept open; I believe it is to incorporate other services which Amble was in danger of losing but time will reveal all.

Churches and groups in the town have remained active and I have been delighted to be welcomed by many of them and in turn was pleased that so many could join my fellow Members at the Christmas reception. Lots of people do a great deal of unseen, unpaid work throughout the town to keep our community alive and I was delighted to be able to thank them in some small way.

There really is no excuse for anyone in the town to be bored- there are so many varied activities going on and so many ways in which people can give their time and skills to help others- we are very lucky to live in such a wonderful place.

The newest venture, Amble in Bloom, under the leadership of Councillor Craig Weir is making steady progress but more volunteers are welcome. With donations from local businesses and Amble Town Council, I am sure the group will make Amble a very welcoming sight with its hanging baskets and improved flower beds- well done Craig.

Amble may be a small place geographically but it has a large and generous heart to all who live, work and visit it- we have a town to be proud of.