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.
LATE PRESS RELEASE
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.