Saturday, 26 June 2010

Ovingham Parish Notes - June 2010

The Parish Meeting held on 25 June covered many items of village concern. Our Community Policeman was able to attend and contributed much information to the meeting.

The Council are still not happy about the dredging of the burn. Council workman worked for two days and took much of the gravel away, and yet it still appears that the middle culvert is blocked. The Council has asked for a further inspection. Bridges were high on the list for discussion. It is thought that the Packhorse Bridge could need repointing and the Ovingham Bridge is again causing concern. It certainly seems as though the plating is more noisy. The Council have sympathy for all the bridge's neighbours!

Once again parking at the rear of the Church was discussed. Although the Council do appreciate that parking in Ovingham is always a problem, please would all those who have to park there, be very conscious of how they park.

Sometime back the Council was concerned that trees on the ban kside had been cut back with chain saws and it looked as though people had camped there. We have now found out that it is not only Ovingham which is involved but Wylam and others as well. The police are concerned at this random camping which is spreading and would ask that if anybody sees anything which seems wrong to report it immediately to the police. Whittle Dean is one of the areas which is giving concern and the police hope to arrange patrols.

Unfortunately, youth work centred in Prudhoe but including surrounding villages has been hit by lack of funds and also lack of stable leadership. A caravan is to circulate throughout the villages where needed – but we are lucky that we have such an excellent pavilion!

P.C. Charlie Cross was able to report that crime was down this year by 400 cases, though he is having some problems. It was good to hear that Ovingham does not suffer as many or as bad youth crime as other villages. However, very sadly Councillor Jordon has reported that after a lot of hard work planting out plants (mainly Horsley Road) these have been lifted (obviously for somebody's own use). She replanted and these, too, were stolen. If anybody can shed some light on where these plants went, the Council would be pleased to hear.

The date and venue for the next meeting is Thursday 15 July at 7.15 p.m. in the Reading Room. The Council does not meet in August.


The Council received a letter from NCC on the day following the June meeting about the £42,500 Playbuilder Grant. The letter basically says that due to changes in government policy, combined with Northumberland C.C.'s precarious financial circumstances, the Playbuilder Scheme is now on hold.

We are all terrifically upset and annoyed at this development, as will be all the people (including all the pupils who have been consulted) who have put so much time into developing the project so far. There is a possibility that a much smaller scheme might go ahead but at the time of writing we are waiting for more information and considering our options.

Councillor Holden

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Ovingham Parish Notes - May 2010

The Annual Parish Meeting took place on 27 May when Councillor Turnbull was re-elected as Chairman and Councillor Jordon as Vice Chairman. Councillor Jordon was elected as the Council's representative on the Reading Room Committee, Councillors Macdonald and Mennear to the Burial Committee and Councillor Holden as the representative Associate Governor to Prudhoe High School.

The Chairman thanked all the Councillors for all they did and also the members of the public who attend the meetings so faithfully and contribute so much. It must always be remembered that Councillors do much in the village and the work is voluntary. Councillor Macdonald expressed special thanks to Councillor Holden who has done so much for so many years for the young people of the village and Councillor Jordon for creating many areas of beauty throughout. He hoped that it might be possible to acknowledge this publicly by, perhaps, a plaque or some other sign.

A letter has been received showing concern over the parking at the rear of the church. Parking is always a problem in the village - because there is so little space but the Council would ask everybody that when they park at the rear of the Church they do so with care and consideration. Sometimes it seems as though one car carelessly parked can take up the space of two or three. Also there have been times when the refuse van has been unable to get round and then bins don't get emptied. Concern was expressed because in the event of a serious incident it could be impossible for emergency services to get to the problem.

Work is proceeding on the Playbuilder project and Councillor Holden is going out to tender. All the legal details have now been finalised for the 27-year lease on the field and it is hoped that when plans have proceeded a little further it will be possible to have an open day for the village who will then be able to see the progress.

Concern is still being expressed on the burn and prevention of further flooding. It is hoped that the NCC Western Area Mainteance Manager and a representative from the Environmental Agency will be able to come to an on site meeting to discuss the building up of stones in the burn. The burn is just one contributary factor to flooding and it is hoped that these can be sorted out before the winter.

The Council apologises that sometimes the "date of the next meeting" is not correct. This is unavoidable as there are times when there are external factors which make it necessary to change the date after the "deadline for publication". However, we hope that the next meeting will be held on 15 July at 7.15 in the Reading Room.