Monday, 19 December 2011

GP Out of Hours Survey

We have received the request below from Northumberland LINk.
Please click on the link to respond if it is relevant to you.

"Northumberland LINk is conducting some research about people’s experiences of using the GP Out of Hours service. The findings of this research will be used in our work to improve health and social care services in Northumberland.

We would appreciate it if you could complete the short on-line survey if you have used the out of hours service, by clicking on this link Please complete the survey by 28th January 2012."

You will probably need to copy and paste the link into your browser as it doesn't look as though it comes up here as a 'hot' link. If you feel that the parish council might be able to assist to with any issues you might have with GP out-of-hours service, please contact one of our councillors whose details can be found on our main site.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

December meeting cancelled.

Many apologies for this short notice but due to illness, tonight's meeting has had to be cancelled.
Our next meeting will be the January one.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Dodgy Vodka Warning

We have received the following warning from N'land County Council that some potentially dangerous vodka might be on sale in the area.
Please click on the image to read it clearly.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Parish Council Notes - October 2011

October saw a large agenda for the Parish Council and a visit from Ashley Brown, Senior Youth Worker for West Northumberland area. Ashley talked about his job and how the focus seems to be changing away from the “traditional” youth club to that of outings, which appears to be what the youth of today want. As the Parish Council are currently looking through the feedback from their recent Village questionnaire that included questions about Youth services, it was agreed that Ashley would be contacted again.

More “tidying up” has been achieved throughout the village. Many of you will have noticed that the trees and bushed have been pruned by the Bridge. This was done with minimum upheaval too.

Although we are still in 2011, the Councillors are already looking forward to next year especially with the Queens Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in mind, and will be considering how to celebrate this later. They also hope to buy a garden bench (jointly with Ovington Parish Council) which will be situated in the Churchyard.

On behalf of Ovingham Parish Council, may I send you all Season’s Greetings and all the very best for 2012.

Margaret Davenport, Clerk to Ovingham Parish Council

Friday, 14 October 2011

East Tynedale Neighbourhood Policing Team

The current Key message from Northumbria Police.

· Police are carrying out operations in every area of the force to tackle doorstep crime.

· People can help themselves stay safe by following simple crime prevention advice.

Crime prevention advice -

· Keep front and back doors locked (with keys taken out), even when at home.

· Look through a spy hole or window to identify the caller.

· Put the door chain or door bar on first before opening the door, and keep it on while talking to the caller.

· Check their identity card carefully even if the caller has prearranged appointment. Close the door while you do this.

· Don’t let visitors who are in a hurry, pressurise or confuse you - ask them to wait outside while you confirm who they are, genuine visitors won’t mind waiting.

· If you need to leave a caller standing outside while you collect or check something indoors, close the door and lock it.

· Never use a telephone number given by the caller – find the number in your telephone directory.

· If you are not comfortable ask the caller to return when someone is with you.

· Never buy goods or services from people calling unexpectedly or unannounced at your door.

· If the caller is selling something or offering work on your house or garden tell them that you are not interested and ask them to leave.

· If they do not leave tell them you will call the police.

· If in doubt - keep them out.

You can contact our Local Neighbourhood Policing Team on

03456 043 043 ext 69191. In an emergency call 999.

The team's email address is:

The team is based at Prudhoe Police Station, Front Street, Prudhoe, NE42 5HN and is open from 8am until midnight.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Parish Council Notes - September.

The main items discussed at September’s meeting were proposals for the Local Transport Plan. Each year the Parish Councils are asked for their three top priorities to be submitted to Northumberland County Council. Ovingham Parish Council has again asked that priority be given to a new bridge, as well as re-locating the 30mph sign at the approach to Ovingham from Wylam (moving it further away from the village). The Council have also asked for parking bays and/or double yellow lines around the schools to ease congestion and that there be a continuous footpath from Ovingham to Ovington.

Councillor Jordon reported that there had been quite a few responses to the recent Village Plan Questionnaire that had been delivered to each household in Ovingham. These will be collated in due course with all the others, which have since been returned. A time consuming task no doubt!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Revised Bus Times - 111 and 686

We have been informed that the timings of two local bus routes are to be changed. Please click on the images to see them clearly - and contact a councillor if you will be adversely affected.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Mobile phone - lost, found and returned!

A couple of weeks ago, a mobile phone was found on the playing field and handed in as lost property at Prudhoe police station.
The person who lost it saw the note that was put up and reclaimed it.
He is understandably very relieved and would like to thank the finder personally.
Give me a ring (Phil Holden 830517) if you found it and I'll put you in touch.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Reminder - Bin Day Is Changing

A reminder that bin collection day is changing starting week commencing Monday 12 September.

All houses should have had a leaflet explaining the reasons for the change and the new day for collection. As collection times might change from time-to-time, residents are asked to make sure their bins are ready for emptying by 7am.

Collection of garden waste bins is not affected.

Full details can be found on the County Council's web site - or you can ring customer services on 0845 600 6400.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

New Litter Bin - River View

The litter bin located at the entrance to the Village Green disappeared in mysterious circumstances some time ago. Where did it go?

Since the county council wouldn't pay for a replacement, Ovingham Parish Council agreed to buy one. In the photo, Cllr. Richard Benjamin is seen testing it out with its first bit of litter. The bin can quite properly be used for bagged dog poo.

OPC also agreed to provide a completely new one at the entrance to the field which leads up to Whittle Dene just off Horsley Road. This one will be installed soon and it is planned to fix both bins up with a dispenser for free poo-bags ... so no excuses now!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Village Plan - Questionnaire

Residents will soon be receiving a questionnaire which invites comments on a whole range of issues. The council will use the responses to plan long and short term targets and will help to form the yearly precept for the next five years. The precept is the annual sum of money we receive and is included in the Council Tax.

The questionnaire is an important opportunity for residents to inform the council of issues that concern them. A good response is also important for the council as it helps us to understand what residents would like us to concentrate on.

Please find time to complete your questionnaire and return it either to one of the councillors or the Reading Room letter box. If you haven't received your questionnaire by the end of August please contact one of the councillors and they will make sure you get one.

Completed forms need to be returned by 3rd September when analysis will begin. Needless to say, the questionnaire is completely anonymous and confidential.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Parish Council Notes - July 2011

PC Charlie Cross from Community Policing, Prudhoe, attended the June Parish Council meeting to give a talk about recent policing issues in the area. Although these did not specifically affect Ovingham, there had been a spate of bogus callers and theft of metals. He asked that people be on the alert, and it was always better to report anything suspicious, than not at all.

Councillor Jordon had been busy reviewing village maintenance areas and presented a detailed list of ones of concern. These included the east end of the village, on the Wylam road were weeds, brambles and overhanging branches were a big problem. Also weeds and overgrown shrubs by Ovingham Bridge and on the bend in Horsley Road.

The Old Post Box has been donated and collected by the Heritage Centre at Bellingham, where they hope to use it to collect children’s completed quizzes. There seems to be lots to do at the Museum and may be worth a visit during the school holidays. The museum is open Mon – Sat 9.30 am – 4.30 pm and Sundays 10.30 am – 3.30 pm, or telephone 01434 22 00 50.

There will be no Parish Council meeting in August, but I hope to keep you updated with some information in the next magazine.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Picnic in the Park

The new play equipment was declared officially open last Saturday 21st May by our county councillor Paul Kelly.

Nearly 300 people enjoyed an afternoon of entertainment by local bands in a marquee, children's games, competitions and informal picnics. The afternoon was a great success and marks not just the end of the project but all being well, the start of renewed interest in the playing field. Lots of people asked if something similar could be organised next year. Watch this space!

Thanks are due to the many residents who got involved in organising the event and making it such a special afternoon.

Photo: Colin Burt Photography 07703 402 982.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Parish Council Notes - May 2011

The Annual General Meeting was held in May. Margaret Turnbull was elected Chairman and Doreeen Jordon as Vice Chairman Doreen Jordon will represent the Council on the Reading Room Committee, Paul Macdonald and Val Mennear on the Burial Committee and Philip Holden our representative at Prudhoe High School.

The Chairman's Report showed a full and active year for the Councillors, all of whom were thanked by the Chairman. Unfortunately at the start of the year Melanie Morton resigned. She has been missed but Ian Heslop was co-opted to the Council and has proved already to be of great value. Especial thanks were given to Doreen Jordon who keeps the village so beautiful with her flower beds and Phil Holden who works so very hard keeping the recreation ground perfect for the many users. A new mower was purchased during the year and this has made his job a lot easer. Perhaps it is not known how much work Phil puts into keeping the pavilion up to a very high standard.

There have been cuts in maintenance work done by NCC but on the whole most jobs have been undertaken, though routine work perhaps hasn't been done so often and there always seems to be drains blocked somewhere.,.

The most successful undertaking of the Council has been the installation of the Playbuilder Scheme on the Recreation Ground. By the time this is read it should be well and truly used and we hope the young people of the village do enjoy it. So far it looks as though they are all very happy with it.

During the year, following the death of Angus Armstrong who has rented one of the grazing fields for many years, it was decided to offer further land to the Allotment Association.

We would remind all parishioners that the monthly minutes are on our Web Site and can always be read. Georgina has now resigned as clerk and we welcome Margaret Davenport who has taken her place.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

New Play Equipment - Official Opening - Picnic in the Park

Click on the images above to read about our plans for the official opening of the new play equipment on the playing field. It promises to be a great, fun, family afternoon out. The weather is bound to be scorching ... but even if it isn't, there'll be a great big colourful marquee there. Entertainment, music (from local youth bands), drama, games, competitions .... a fun afternoon. Bring a blanket, bring a picnic, leave your car and have a great time. Be there .... or miss it!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Parish Council Notes - April 2011

The meeting which took place on 14 April was well attended. The Allotments Association have now taken over the extra land and a letter of thanks was read to the Council.

Georgina Harper, the parish clerk for the last five years, is retiring at the end of May. The new clerk is Margaret Davenport (Ovington) and she will take over from June.

A long standing request has been answered - what to do with the old village post box. Bob Klotz is arranging for it to be loaned to Bellingham Museum, where it should have a good home. If there is anybody who has a photograph of the old post office, this would be good to send with the postbox.

The Parish Council are still very concerned about the state of our roads. Some clearing of the gutters has been carried out but still many of the drains have not been cleared and cause very large puddles across the roads. Some potholes on Horsley Road have been cleared but still many remain and the subsidence on Castle View is still giving concern.

Councillor Holden must be congratulated on all his hard work with the Playbuilder Scheme which as I write this is almost finished and by the time you read this we will have had what we hope is going to be a very happy afternoon launching the new play scheme. We hope that the young people will find it a good asset to the village.

Councillor Jordon, together with Councillor Jackson are well on the way with producing the new village plan and their appeal is to everybody for things they feel would improve village life. Please, when you receive your copy, do think, write and return to the Council your "wishes".

For two years now the Council has been producing a monthly magazine which is circulated to all households. However, under the economies which they are having to make this is to be discontinued, though hard copies are to be produced which will be found in some of our libraries.

On a rather sad note - our Community Policeman has reported that there is a crime wave at the moment here in the village on the Piper Road Estate and in Wylam. The police are urging everybody to be vigilant with property and especially cars and their contents.

Additional notes from OPC councillors:-

As you will have read in the notes above, Georgina Harper is retiring at the end of May. The job of parish council clerk involves a wide range of skills including perseverance, diplomacy, flexibility and above all a commitment to the community. Much of the work goes un-noticed by residents. Phone calls, meetings, letters, emails, chasing up un-answered emails, ... the list goes on. Georgina over the last 6 years, has done all of this on our behalf extremely successfully for minimal remuneration but we know with a lot of satisfaction. For that Georgina, on behalf of all the councillors and residents, many, many thanks. We wish you well.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Parish Council Notes - February 2011

It was so good to know that at long last it appears that the culvert at the Pack Horse Bridge has now been cleared. NCC worked hard to dig a large hole and remove much of the gravel which has made the burn run so very slowly. However, following all the recent rain it appears that all is well and the Parish Council hope that at long last the burn will not block again and flood.

Once again the post box which was donated to the village some time ago was discussed. Has anybody any good ideas how it can be used? If you have a bright idea, please let one of the Councillors know.

Once again, the condition of our roads was discussed. There are pot holes in many places but those on Horsley Road have been reported as very dangerous. Also so many of our drains are becoming blocked by leaves and when it rains there are many places throughout the village with standing water. These have all been reported and it is hoped that NCC may find the money to put them right.

Councillor Holden was able to report that the Playbuilder Scheme is progressing well and the scheme should make its target day of the the 31 March. It was good to note that quite a few people had attended the "pop in" and it was very good that there were several offers of help when the scheme is up and running.

Councillor Jordon is forming a new "Village Plan" and needs the village's support and ideas. She has placed a notice on the boards in the village and would be delighted to receive any ideas for the requests which should be included in the survey. The last Plan was produced six years ago, when more than 50 ideas were brought forward. These have all been investigated and many introduced.Green Ovingham who were represented at the meeting offered their support

The next meeting of the Council will be 14th April (the first of the new financial year) and the Annual Meeting will be held 12 May.

Parish Council Notes - January 2011

The Council welcomed Ian Heslop to the meeting on his co-option. The Councillors hope that he will enjoy working alongside them, and already his input is being felt.

It has now been decided to split the field previously let as grazing land, some going to the Allotments Association and a larger amount to be kept as grazing land and let. There was much discussion over this decision as Green Ovingham had prepared plans for the Council which they hoped would allow them to take over the field. Although sympathising with the Group the Council felt that their decision should stand. They did, however, have much pleasure in granting Green Ovingham £100 towards their running expenses. The Council was also glad to hear of the many things which the Group has done in the past and hope to do in the future.

It may be noted that one culvert at the burn remains blocked, even though it had been hoped that the heavy rainfall would clear the gravel. However, as I write this I have just had the assurance from the Northumberland Bridge Inspector that a much deeper hole will be dug which should take away the gravel.

The Parish Council has agreed to pay for a longer grass cutting schedule this year. If you do have complaints about grass cutting, please report them to the Parish Council.

The Council have received complaints that horses are being ridden on the pavements and in one place have left droppings. This is very anti-social and the Council would ask all residents to report back and let them know if this happens again. The same rules concerning dog-fouling apply to horses, so please do help us stop this occurring.

There will be vacancy for a clerk in the future. If there is anybody who would like to know more about what the position involves, please ask Georgina on 01661 831897.

The March Meeting will be held 16 March at 7.15 in the Reading Room.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Village Appraisal

Cllr. Doreen Jordon is putting the wheels in motion to start the process of conducting a village appraisal.

A village appraisal is an important opportunity for residents and village organisations to flag the issues which are of concern to them and about which the parish council might have some influence. We all know it is a time of big change in the level and manner in which public services are to be delivered - even if at the moment we don't yet know just how these might change.

For starters, Doreen would be grateful for suggestions from residents and village organisations about what issues they feel might be included in the appraisal. If you have suggestions, please email them to Doreen at . Alternatively, you can contact any of the other councillors or clerk whose contact details are on the website.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Parish Clerk Vacancy

Our clerk is due to retire soon. If you are interested in the position and would like details of the post, please contact Georgina Harper on 01661 831897.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Newcastle A&E moves from the General to the RVI

We've been asked to draw your attention to the fact that Accident & Emergency services in Newcastle have been moved from the General to the RVI. Please click on the image to view it full size.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Play Equipment Scheme - Pop-in session

The re-scheduled pop-in session has been arranged for Saturday 29th January in the pavilion from 11am until 1pm. The original session due in early December had to be cancelled due to flooding. Please feel free to come along.

It will be an opportunity to find out in more detail what the plans are, make comments, raise any issues of concern and perhaps even get involved in. The scheme has to be finished by the end of March and is clearly causing some disruption in the meantime for which we apologise. We'll do our best to keep disruption to a minimum. Incidentally, the car park will be re-instated as soon as possible and the football clubs have been asked again to avoid blocking the road by parking considerately elsewhere.

During construction and installation, please impress on youngsters the importance of keeping well clear. The equipment needs to be inspected and 'signed off' before it can be freely used.

Click on the image and you should get a full screen version of it.