Venue: Remote Meeting
Contact: Lesley Little
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from Councillor T Clark and G A Roughead.
The minutes of the meeting of the North Northumberland Local Area Council held on Thursday 21 January 2021, as previously circulated, to be agreed and signed by the Chair.
RESOLVED that the minutes of the North Northumberland Local Area Council held on Thursday 21 January 2021, as circulated, be confirmed as a true record and be signed by the Chair.
POLICING AND COMMUNITY SAFETY UPDATE
The Northumbria Police Neighbourhood Inspector has been invited to attend the meeting to give an overview and answer questions about policing in the north Northumberland area.
The Chair welcomed Sgt Robson, Sykes, Budge and Vickers to the meeting and invited them to give an update on policing matters in the North of Northumberland.
The following issues were raised:-
• Sgt. L Bowman (Amble) - Over the last 12 months there had been a drop in some types of crime such as burglary but an increase in others such as anti social behaviour and drugs related issues. The neighbourhood and response teams were actively tackling the issues.
• Issues had been identified in the Church Street and Queen Street areas of Amble and meetings were being arranged with other bodies such as the Highways Agency.
• An operation would take place soon targeting drugs, social disorder and violence.
• Planning was in place for the removal of lockdown and the lifting of restrictions. Licensed premises and restaurants would be reopening.
• P Sykes (Alnwick/Rothbury)
• Similar situation to Amble. Issues in the Alnwick area included the use of second homes and having holidays during the lockdown.
• Reduction in the contact with schools whilst they had been closed, although this was being stepped up again.
• Mindful of what happening in coastal areas following the increase in tourism in 2020. Joint operations were planned for the whole coastal area.
• Proactive with the housing department with a lot of housing enforcement in the Alnwick area. Closure notice in place for Narrowgate Court, Alnwick. Actively working to reduce anti social behaviour.
• Sgt. Vickers (Berwick) - Similar to other areas crime was generally down in the Berwick area with an increase in anti social behaviour, both were linked to the COVID pandemic.
• Challenging year, County Lines was identified in Berwick and had been dismantled and offenders involved would be receiving Court dates.
• Rural crime team introduced who would look in detail at crimes being committed in rural areas.
• There had been a high number of issues relating to holiday and second homes when lockdown was eased during summer 2020. Efforts had been put in place to find solutions rather than being reactive.
• Work was ongoing to deal with the re-opening of pubs, holiday parks and other licensed premises to try and pre-empt future problems.
The following comments were made in response to Members’ questions:-
• The local sergeant for a particular area could be contacted via telephone, personal e-mail, office e-mail or e-form on the Northumbria Police website. In an emergency 999 or 101 should be used. Any incident should be reported via 999 or 101 rather than contacting a particular police officer direct.
• Progress on the installation of the automatic number plate recognition system paid for by Councillor J.G. Watson would be investigated. A number of such systems had been installed in undisclosed locations.
• Forward planning was being undertaken around issues for residents such as parking and anti social behaviour over the summer months. A ‘coastal summit’ was being held to deal with visitor issues and ensure staff such as parking ... view the full minutes text for item 183.
LOCAL SERVICES ISSUES
To receive a verbal update from the Area Managers from Technical Services and Neighbourhood Services in attendance about any key recent, ongoing and/or future planned Local Services work for the attention of members of the Local Area Council, who will also then have the opportunity to raise issues with the Area Managers.
The Area Managers have principal responsibility for highway services and environmental services, such as refuse collection, street cleansing and grounds maintenance, within the geographic boundaries of the Local Area Council.
G Bucknall, Highways Area Delivery, updated Members on highways issues in the North of the County.
• A huge programme of work, double the normal amount, had been delivered despite the pandemic and the recent poor weather.
• Of 205 major schemes in the County, 176 had been delivered with the remainder expected to be completed in April/May.
• 59 schemes were in the northern area with 49 completed and the remainder would be completed in the next few weeks.
• North Road Berwick was deferred indefinitely to allow for the Flood Team to identify a solution to the problems there.
• Recently completed LTP schemes included Hazon, Wilkinson Park, Alwinton, Grange Road Shilbottle, Warkworth Avenue and Dial Place Warkworth, Chathill, Ford and Etal and Branxton
• In the next few weeks, two schemes at Norham, the Peth at Wooler, Percy Terrace and Lovaine Terrace at Berwick, North End Longframlington, Coldrife, Low Road to Weldon, North Middleton and Duddo
• There were also two footpath schemes in Alnwick and Church Street Amble.
• Traffic Safety Schemes such as 20 mph zones, dropped kerbs and car park improvements continued to be delivered.
• Bridge schemes were ongoing along with the cleaning and jetting of gullies.
• There was a number of potholes following the poor weather and additional resources had been made available to deal with this.
• The COVID signage in town centres had been renewed.
The following responses were made in relation to Members’ queries:-
• Reports of a number of potholes, particularly in Percy Terrace and Percy Street, Alnwick would be chased up. Work to pavements in Alnwick were likely to begin in April.
• Reporting of faded road markings could be made either electronically or directly to the Highways Manager. This type of work tended to be carried out during the summer months.
• Officers were aware of the poor state of the road verges at Swarland.
• The issue of water on the road between Longframlington and Swarland and potential to flood a property could be dealt with as part of a scheme in the next LTP programme.
• A Signs Team was to be set up to deal with the large number of damaged road signs in the County. The team would be asked to look at the damaged road sign at the Northumberland Arms, West Thirston.
• The bus shelter at Shilbottle was being dealt with by the Structures Team and a retaining wall was being designed.
• The latest situation regarding the chicanes in Longframlington would be investigated.
• The road surface at High Cliff Estate, Berwick was in a poor state and on the list of priorities for repair.
• The grass area near the school on Osborne Road, Berwick could be assessed as potential additional parking area.
• The condition of the road outside Belford Primary School would be assessed.
• The position regarding the damage done to the village green in Elsdon would be investigated along with timber lorries not ... view the full minutes text for item 184.
Details of the Members Local Improvement Schemes for the North Northumberland area are provided for information.
Members noted the details of the Members’ Local Improvement Schemes which were provided for information. It was requested that these reports be updated.
BERWICK REGENERATION COMMISSION
This is a standing item on the agenda for verbal updates, if any
Members were informed that the Borderlands Exclusive Growth Deal had just been signed. This was very good news for Berwick. The next step was to draw up a design brief and this would be completed in April/May 2021. There was much appreciation for the work of Officers and Members who had worked very hard on this deal.
To note the latest version of agreed items for future Local Area Council meetings (any suggestions for new agenda items will require confirmation by the Business Chair after the meeting)
The work programme was attached to the signed minutes. Members were asked to contact the Chair if there were any issues which they wanted at future meetings and these would be taken to the Local Area Council Chairs’ Briefing.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting will be held at 2.00 pm on Thursday 20 April 2021.
The next remote meeting will be held on Thursday, 20 April, 2021, at 2.00 p.m.