The Parish Council were delighted that the Playbuilder funding has been reinstated and work has already started. Plans have been drawn up and holes have been dug! To conform with financial restrictions it is hoped that the work will be completed by 31 March (the end of this financial year). Already other parishes with similar schemes are appealing for extra time. However Councillor Holden is quite convinced that providing we have a not-too-hard winter our target will be achieved. It is hoped that Ovingham will think of this as their project and once there is real progress it is hoped there will be a demonstration in the pavilion where the scheme will be on show and anybody who can offer help in any way will be very welcome.
There are many trees which need cutting back at this time of year. The Council would ask that any trees or bushes on private land which overhang roads and pavements be cut back. Northumberland County Council are beginning their annual Autumn cut-back and there are several places which they will be pruning.
The Council’s budget and finances were discussed in great detail at the meeting and the precept has been set again at £15,000. This means that there has been no increase in the precept for 6 years. However, to maintain this amount it may mean cutting into reserves, bearing in mind that there may be a cut-back of essential services by NCC. Luckily Ovingham has no bus-shelters to maintain, the allotments belong to the Council and have always been managed by the Association and the Playing Fields have always been managed by the Council. Unfortunately, where there has been and will be large cut-backs is in the provision of trained youth workers. The Council feel that there is always a need for work amongst our young people and at the moment there is no youth club being run in Ovingham. It is hoped that the situation may improve.
The Council were delighted to donate £100 to Tynedale Hospice at Home and other charities who had submitted applications will be discussed later. It is the Council’s policy to donate to those charities who are or have a potential to be of benefit to the village.
Some time back the Council received a request from the Reading Room Committee that the old Royal Mail post box be disposed of. It was pointed out that this box was given to the village and could only be disposed of by the village. However, there is a danger in keeping it in the Reading Room and the Council are asking where it could be placed in the village. Of course, it would need to be sealed up and would need a coat of paint - but does anybody have a constructive idea?
Once again Councillor Jordon has maintained the flower beds beautifully and it has all been done from donations - it hasn’t cost the Council anything. She has just received another donation and this time she has purchased bulbs for the schools to plant for a good show in the Spring.
Last, but certainly not least the Council are delighted to be able to co-opt Ian Heslop to the Council. He will “sign in” at our next meeting which will take place 20th January. It was also agreed that there will always be an item on the agenda where Green Ovingham can inform the council of their activities and plans for the future.