APC – Chairman’s Report 2017-18
Traffic Management heavily dominated both the agenda and the level of public contributions for 2017, and remains one of the biggest challenges facing the village. Whilst many residents are in favour of the one-way system, the resulting parking squeeze has undoubtedly affected trade, visitors, and continues to divide the village over residential permits.
There has been little progress in 2018, partly due to the ongoing Argyle Street Experimental Order which runs until December, however the Easter and Bank Holiday traffic shows that a more Holistic view and more radical thinking is needed to truly resolve the issues within the village and engage the affected parties.
Shaun has dedicated a large amount of his time to pursuing both parties responsible for Church Hill, following the significant erosion that resulted from the bad storms last year. The PC was at the point of going to the press and the Duke in order to gain further support when a breakthrough was made at the 11th hour. The survey of the damage is due to take place over the summer, and hopefully remedial works will start later this year or early next. Church Hill has such significance in local history that the prospect of this falling into the sea would be a tragedy, therefore it will remain high on the PC Agenda until the matter is resolved fully.
The next challenge is to maintain the wall along lovers walk, as following 2 recent repairs by Northumberland Estates, there are further sections which require attention.
The Parish Council remains committed to maintaining the Public Conveniences all year round, and contributed to keep these facilities open again through the winter. The general condition of the building is poor, and there have been a number of complaints made over the last year, therefore a long-term solution for ownership and investment needs to be found to maintain this village asset.
David and Bill conducted a survey of all the Seats and Benches around the village, as there are a significant number in poor condition following limited or incorrect maintenance over the years. Harvey and Sarah drafted a Bench Policy, which will cover all future benches and ensure the maintenance and ultimate replacement is agreed upfront without exposing the PC to onerous upkeep.
The ROSPA Survey of the Playpark did not highlight any major concerns, other than the condition of the Burma Bridge which has now been fully repaired.
The renewal of the Information Boards was resurrected after the project had stalled, and Suzy has worked with Helen and the Local History Group in order to get the content mutually agreed and to a point where it can be printed. The final preparations are now being made and hopefully we will see the new boards in place this year.
The Small Boathouse lease was terminated, allowing it to be used by the PC for storage due to the upcoming loss of space at the Hindmarsh Hall, and the terms of the lease for the Large Boathouse with ABCRA are under re-negotiation to ensure that the local villagers feel the benefit of having such a fantastic resource on their doorstep.
Following a number of significant planning applications which could impact the village, the PC performed a Village Survey, aimed at quantifying the breakdown of Residents vs Holiday Lets, and the results were unsurprising with only 50% residential occupancy. The next step for the PC is to develop its own local policy through which any planning applications would be assessed, with the aim of protecting the long-term sustainability of the village.
The Arts Festival was a success, and remains one of the highlights of the Alnmouth calendar, building on the foundations of the previous year. There has been more scrutiny of the financials from the PC, and a number of meetings have been held with Andrew Scott to gain further clarity of progress/issues.
Bonfire Night was a roaring success even without the official ‘guy’, which can only be due to Harvey’s catering, and thanks go to all involved as this is becoming an increasingly well attended event to rival much larger organised displays who charge admission.
The Christmas Lights went without a hitch, and special thanks goes to Darran and his team for their fundraising, along with all those who support it behind the scenes through organising, erecting and powering.
The Hindmarsh Hall Fundraising Committee are incredibly busy following the official launch by the Duchess in February. The totalizer is now displayed outside the hall, and there are a number of new ventures being explored in addition to the successful Craft Fair / Food Festival / Quiz Nights / Coffee Mornings.
A Flood Alert Team has been set-up, aimed at rapid response to install the flood defences for those less able, and the first training sessions were held in April.
Many Thanks to Robbie Moore for representing the County Councillors on a regular basis, and for setting-up the Monthly Surgery
Last but by no means least – Hazel. The PC have adjusted the hours that Hazel is reimbursed, which goes some way to recognise the long hours and dedication that she shows, working tirelessly to ensure information is cascaded to the PC. She is a huge asset to the PC, and I cannot thank her enough for the work over the last 12 months. We as a PC need to ensure that we provide her with the support she needs to continue in this role.
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