Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Parish News - December 2014

Costs are still awaited for moving the interactive sign on Castle View. Checks will also need to be made with Highways Department to confirm it is possible. County Council have confirmed that the request to move the 30mph sign will be put on the “Local Transport Plan” for consideration, but they have been asked to give the Parish Council an estimate of the cost and when this is received, the Parish Council may consider paying for the sign to be moved out of their budget rather than wait for County Council to do it.
Many thanks to Bob Klotz who has restored the Millennium Bench on the Pack Horse Green. Over 14 years since this bench was purchased for the Millennium – how time flies!  
The drain on Castle View is still causing problems – a request has been submitted to put a camera down to try and establish what is causing it.
Work on the bridge is a further 2 weeks behind schedule – hopefully there will be no more delays but unfortunately, problems often arise only when work starts or progresses.

The first Parish Council meeting of the New Year is on 15th January at 7.15pm in the Blackett Room.
Margaret Davenport
Clerk to Ovingham Parish Council

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Parish News - November 2014

At the October meeting, PC Charlie Cross talked in general, about traffic issues and speeding in the village. He reported that the current 20mph speed restriction in Wylam is being monitored and it was noted that the Parish Council have asked for 20mph for Ovingham to be included in the Local Transport Plan, which was submitted to County Council. PC Cross did point out that volume of traffic is one of the areas looked at when considering 20mph, and currently due to the bridge closure, there is less traffic in Ovingham. PC Cross also stated that whilst speed cameras can be used, enforcement was always going to be a problem. People needed educating and unfortunately, speeding was always going to be a concern.  
The Parish Council are again making enquiries to see if the 30mph speed limit sign, at the entrance to Ovingham by Piper Road Estate, can be moved further down the hill (towards Wylam). They are also obtaining costs for moving the interactive sign on Castle View nearer the eastern entrance to the village. A site meeting with the manufacturers has confirmed it is possible, but no decision can be made until a quote has been received.
Work on Ovingham Bridge is about 4 weeks behind schedule. Updates are available on the Parish Council website, as well as the County Council website. Meetings are held on a regular basis and concerns are passed on to the chief engineer, by Cllr Jordon. There is also a short survey, prepared by Newcastle University for the i-BUILD research programme which is available until 1st December. Please take time to complete it - https:/ /
The next meeting of the council is on 20 November at 7:15pm in the Reading Room.
Margaret Davenport
Clerk to Ovingham Parish Council

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Bridge Closure - Survey of Its Impact

Dr. Arthur Affleck is conducting research into the effects of the closure of Ovingham Bridge and has invited residents of Ovingham and Prudhoe to complete a short questionnaire. His email appears below.

Dear Resident of Ovingham/Prudhoe,

As part of the i-BUILD research programme, Newcastle University are researching different aspects of infrastructure including the value of roads and bridges to society. i-BUILD is funded by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) and the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council).
With the closure of Ovingham Bridge we want to know how this change has affected the people of Ovingham and Prudhoe. Please help us find out some of the social and economic impacts connected to the bridge and complete this short survey about the bridge's closure. It will only take about five minutes. Here is the link to the survey:
Please forward this email to friends, family and colleagues living in Ovingham or Prudhoe, so we can get wide range of views about the bridge's closure.
This survey will be open until 1st December 2014 and we will post the results on i-BUILD's website in the New Year. If you want further information please contact Dr Arthur Affleck by email:

Or by post
Newcastle University
Newcastle University Business School
5 Barrack Road
Newcastle Upon Tyne

Please feel free to complete this survey and draw it to the attention of any resident you think might also complete it.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Arts & Crafts Fair

The Reading Room held an Arts & Crafts Fair on 18 October in aid of their funds. The event was well attended both by exhibitors and customers. What a wealth of talent there is! There was a wide range of stalls covering all sorts from model airplanes to proggy mats to audio recordings and even loom bands.

The event was a great success and raised an impressive £336.10.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Parish News - October 2014

Another on site meeting was held with Northumberland County Council in October. Although there has been a change of personnel, some issues have been resolved whilst others, will be long term. The Parish Council has also been informed that County Council have a programme, starting this next financial year, to replace poles for street lighting.
The Environmental agency has been contacted regarding reports of odious smells and raw sewerage near the first footbridge in Whittle Dene.  
Causes of flooding at Dene Garth were being monitored, Cllr Jordon having met with an officer from the Flood Coastal Erosion Risk Management team. FCERM confirmed a site survey will be carried out, and the owners of Cooks Field be contacted requesting they carry out maintenance/clearance works to the lengths of the watercourse(s) abutting their property. FCERM also confirmed that flood risk areas in Ovingham were being investigated and a report would be available shortly.
PC Charlie Cross, Community Officer had been invited to attend the October meeting and address the Councillors on various traffic issues in the village.  

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Thursday, 16th October at 7.15pm.
Margaret Davenport
Clerk to Ovingham Parish Council

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Ovingham Bridge Closure

As you will all know, the bridge was closed for up to a year in June 2014.
One of its main features was the racket that vehicles made when crossing it. The bridge is 131 years old and it is a tribute to the engineers who built it. They could never have imagined how much traffic it carries today.
But time has taken it's toll. And this clip (link below) secures for posterity just how much the work was needed. Thanks to Dean for recording it.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

WW1 Victoria Cross Recipient Honoured.

On Saturday 28 September 1914 Frederick William Dobson (who was born in the parish) was awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery in battle.
On 27 September 2014 a ceremony was held in St Mary's Church to commemorate his bravery and his life when a stone plaque was presented to the village by Northumberland County Council.
photo credit - NCC
Further details of the service and more photos can be found on the county council's Facebook page by clicking on this link -

Monday, 15 September 2014

Parish News - September 2014

The Parish Council deal with all kinds of enquiries. These range from blocked drains, dog fouling, potholes and (lack of) grass cutting, to speeding and planning applications. A typical meeting will usually cover all of these issues and the Parish Council do try to keep on top of them as best they can. Many queries are ultimately passed on, usually to the County Council, but generally speaking, the Parish Council is the initial line of contact. Any concerns can be expressed to any of the 8 Councillors or the Clerk either personally, in writing or by attending a meeting. Notices of the meetings are displayed on both village notice boards at least 4 days before a meeting – they can also be downloaded from the website ( Meetings start at 7.15 with an opportunity for residents to raise any concerns.
Concerns can also be logged directly with the County Council by ringing (01661) 520005.
Although there are usually only 9 meetings in a year, much is done in between – the number of emails is unbelievable! Many of these are just for information – others are trying to sell the latest in playground equipment at a starting price of £20,000 (Councillor Phil Holden would endorse these but budget constraints…). You will also see many councillors walking round the village on a regular basis checking weeds, rubbish and the like.  
Meetings are also held with the County Council and other local parish and town councils on a regular basis. The Councillors are also involved in many committees some specifically linked to Ovingham, such as the Reading Room Committee, or others such as the East Tynedale Forum.
Finally, our next meetings are 16th October and then 20th November.

Margaret Davenport
Clerk to Ovingham Parish Council

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Parish News - August 2014

The Parish Council have received numerous complaints about motorcyclists and horses using the pedestrian bridge. Signs have now been installed at both ends of the bridge banning this but if you do see anyone, please take a note of their registration number (for motorcyclists) and as much detail as you can, and inform the Police (call 101). Cyclists have also continued to use the Pedestrian Bridge (this is a long standing problem) and County Council will contact the Hadrian Cycle group asking them to warn members/users that cycling is not permitted on the pedestrian bridge at any time. Unfortunately, unless the Police see anyone cycling across, little can be done.

Discussions are continuing amongst the Councillors for suggestions to include in the County Council Local Transport Plan 2015-2016. Each year, Parish and Town Councils are invited to submit their top 3 priorities for possible inclusion in the plan. In the past, Ovingham have put forward, amongst others, a new bridge, extra parking by the school and a footpath between Ovington and Ovingham. Proposals will be submitted after the September meeting and the Councillors are looking at speeding concerns and what could be done to alleviate this.

Quotes have been received and approved for some tidying up in the Churchyard – pruning trees, branches and shrubs as well as holly trees on the bank of the Pant, branches on Pack Horse Green and small tree on The Hill. Some landscaping work around the village cross was also approved.

September’s meeting will be held on Thursday, the 18th at 7.15pm.

Margaret Davenport
Clerk to Ovingham Parish Council

Friday, 11 July 2014

Parish News - July 2014

The council's next meeting is scheduled for 24th July at 7:15pm as usual in the Reading Room.
There is no meeting of the Parish Council in August, but that doesn’t mean the Councillors are idle!
A very successful village tidy up was completed recently. Thanks to all those who helped. The closure of the Bridge seems to have resulted in less traffic through the village and the school holidays should also reduce traffic further.
Cllr Jordon and myself recently attended a meeting with Northumberland County Council which was primarily aimed at improving communication with Parish Councils. On the whole, Ovingham has a good relationship with the County Council and work closely with their contacts.

It has been decided not to proceed with a bus shelter by Piper Road entrance. This has been on the agenda for a few months but concerns about vandalism and ultimately cost, has meant the Councillors agreed not to pursue it. Discussions are still ongoing about Horsley Road parking.  
In order to enable a large crane to access the work site for the Bridge, Northumberland County Council have had to apply for planning permission to demolish part of the Pack Horse Bridge. As this is a listed building, the Parish Council expressed their concerns and assurances have been received that the bridge will be restored to its original state. The Councillors will keep an eye on it as the bridge is of historic value to the village.
Keep Saturday 19th July free for Ovi-Fun's annual Field Day. 1pm to 5pm. Yet another afternoon on the playing field with entertainment and sports for the whole family!
September’s meeting will be held on Thursday, the 18th at 7.15pm.
Margaret Davenport
Clerk to Ovingham Parish Council

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Parish News - June 2014

Two new Councillors are to be co-opted to the Parish Council at the June meeting. They are Neville Gray and Christine Hewitt. Neville has lived in the village for many years and is currently the Chair of The Reading Room and will be known to many. Christine only moved to Ovingham last summer, from Prudhoe, and is keen to become more involved in the Village. I am sure they will both be an asset to the Parish Council. Once again, the Parish Council has its full complement of Councillors (8).
At the Annual meeting of the Parish Council, in May, Doreen Jordon was re-elected Chair, and Ian Heslop, vice chair.
Whilst the bridge is closed, Northumberland County Council will also attend to the weeds by the entrance to the bridge by the Reading Room. Pot holes have been repaired by the White Swan Car Park. The gate at the closed cemetery is to be repaired, Trees in Whittle Dene have been inspected and those requiring removal or attention, marked accordingly. Poppies have been scattered in the Churchyard by the choristers and poppies also planted in the pant area and by the memorial cross.

The next meeting is Thursday, 19th June at 7.15pm in the Reading Room.
Margaret Davenport
Clerk to Ovingham Parish Council

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Litter Thrown From Cars

Local authorities nationally spend millions of pounds every year clearing up litter. A significant amount is thrown out of cars. The cost of clearing it up could be spent on something more beneficial. NCC are trying to do something about this and we have received the following message from them.

Enforcement Officers from Neighbourhood Services have been looking at the issue of litter thrown from vehicles (including cigarette ends) which can be a persistent problem in certain locations but can also occur literally anywhere where there are roads. They have designed a reporting form which contains all of the details that they need to take an incident further. This may ultimately result in Fixed Penalty Notices being issued. I attach a copy of the form for your information and use should you need to report an incident. Please do forward the form to any interested parties in your community.
Yours sincerely ,
Iain Hedley
Locality Development Officer

Enforcement Officers obviously can't be everywhere always so they are encouraging all of us to help them. The form below (click to enlarge) can be printed off or you can get a paper copy by contacting the clerk or one of the councillors.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Parish News - May 2014

The Councillors are considering the possibility of a further lay-by on Horsley Road to ease parking and preserve the grass verges. This is very much in the early stages and the residents in that area have been asked for their views. County Councillor Kelly has been asked to look at options.
Trees to the entrance of Whittle Dene, in the wooded area, have been reported to County Council as concerns have been expressed as to how safe they are and the Parish Council has asked for them to be removed. The County Council will follow this up with the land owner.
A village tidy up is to take place in June, and it is hoped as many residents as possible will help. Details will be circulated. Green Ovingham recently conducted a successful litter pick for which the Councillors are very grateful.
A recent article in the Hexham Courant regarding “amenity” land in Wylam has prompted the Councillors to look at similar plots in Ovingham and seek reassurances from Northumberland County Council that such areas will remain in County Council’s ownership.  
ISOS have been asked to investigate the possibility of the road being widened in Windsor Crescent to allow cars to drive through without damaging parked cars and the grassed areas.
Some playing field equipment has been repaired including the Willow Maze. The Mower has at long last also been repaired and Cllr Holden can often be seen whizzing around the playing field.
The next meeting is Thursday, 19th June at 7.15pm in the Reading Room.

Margaret Davenport
Clerk to Ovingham Parish Council

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Parish News - April 2014

The proposed date for Ovingham Bridge closure is 28th May – further information will be made available on notice boards and the website once available. A large sign is by the Bridge and no doubt this will be updated as the date draws nearer. You may have noticed that stone bollards have been removed to allow easier access to the Bridge End Car Park, a hard-core track has been laid across the village green and a small car parking area for 6 cars has been constructed.
Dog fouling has also been reported to Ovingham Burial Committee who are looking at the issue. Posters have been displayed around the village to remind owners to pick up after their pets.
The Village inspection in February highlighted many issues which needed attention and these are gradually being completed. Potholes are being filled in, blocked drains cleared, overhanging hedges and branches cut back. Parking on Horsley Road, on the grassed areas, continues to be monitored – a possible solution being a further parking bay similar to that outside the Old Police House.
The Parish Council decided to donate £50 each to Tynedale Hospice at Home, Great North Air Ambulance, West Northumberland CAB, TOMA Fund (local children’s cancer charity) and Carers Northumberland as part of their agreed budget.

And lastly, but by no means least, Val Mennear has decided to stand down as a Parish Councillor. After 31 years she will be sorely missed. During this time she has been involved in many committees, latterly being the Chair of the Burial Board Committee. The Councillors thank her for her invaluable input over the years and wish her a long and happy “retirement”!

Margaret Davenport
Clerk to Ovingham Parish Council

Thursday, 20 March 2014

HealthWatch Northumberland

Please click on the image for information about HealthWatch Northumberland.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Parish News - March 2014

At the time of writing, a date has still not been finalised for the closure of the bridge. There was a huge turnout for the meeting in the Reading Room towards the end of February and I hope it answered many of your concerns. Certainly, the closure will have a big impact on most people in the village and surrounding areas.
The stepping stones by Pack Horse Green are unstable and County Council have been informed and will carry out the necessary work.
Dog fouling continues to be a concern and the Parish Council have asked that a dog warden monitor the problem. Most owners are responsible, scooping up after their pets but unfortunately a few do not bother even though it is an offence punishable by a “fixed penalty” of £75.
The Next Parish Council meeting will be on 17th April at 7.15pm in the Reading Room.
Margaret Davenport
Clerk to Ovingham Parish Council

Friday, 28 February 2014

Wylam Road Closure

We have just received notification from NCC of plans to close the Wylam Road.
The road will be closed from 3rd to 6th March between 07:30 and 17:00 each day for resurfacing. It will be an inconvenience but the good news is that it will massively improve the poor surface that currently exists along much of this road.

As it will affect the bus routes, NCC have arranged a free shuttle bus to run between Charlie's Corner in Wylam to connect there with the diverted X84 and also the X85 at Holeyn Hall. This shuttle will be operated by Howard Snaith. NCC will place copies of the timetable on the bus stops affected in Wylam and Ovingham.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

County Council - Post-16 School Transport

The county council is conducting a consultation on its options in relation to the provision of Post-16 Transport from the start of the academic year 2014-15. The consultation is open until 9:00am on 19th May.

If you want to submit your views, please look up
On this page, you will find the Consultation Document. You will also find a link to a questionnaire which invites parents of current and future 16+ students (and others) to respond.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Ovingham Bridge - Public Meeting

The County Council is holding a public meeting in the Reading Room at 6:00pm on 24th February 2014. Representatives will present information regarding the impending bridge closure and answer questions you may have. Click on the image to see the full details.
All houses in the village should receive a copy of this leaflet over the next few days.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Parish News - February 2014

The Next Parish Council meeting will be on 20th March at 7.15pm in the Reading Room.

Cllr Ian Heslop is our Fire Warden for the Reading Room having volunteered after Neville Gray talked us through the requirements.
The Closure of the bridge is imminent – there will have been a meeting in February for residents and I do hope any questions have been answered by now. The Parish Council are in close contact with County Council and will try to update you as much as possible.
The Parish Council have decided to hire a contractor for cutting grass on their own land this season. They will also continue to monitor that which is cut by County Council and Isos.
A very welcome and constructive on site meeting was held in February with representatives from County Council. Areas covered included potholes, overgrowth, parking and it is the County Council’s intention to hold these on a regular basis. Certainly, talking through issues face to face seems more productive.
The Councillors are still considering recycling facilities but recognise that options are limited. Cllr Lesley Richardson is hopeful that a carton bank can be installed and she will provide the Council with more details at the next meeting, including possible locations.

Margaret Davenport
Clerk to Ovingham Parish Council

Monday, 13 January 2014

Parish News - January 2014

Last summer, Cllr Hazel Chalmers, along with resident Ken Rusby, attended a meeting about Community Agreements which partly focussed on flooding. As a result of this she is hoping to set up a working party for Ovingham. Please contact Hazel for any more information.
The first new Village newsletter has been published. This is hoped to be issued on a quarterly basis and submissions need to be received for the next edition by early February. The newsletter is run by volunteers and the Parish Council do hope you give it your support.
Essential repairs have been completed at the Cemetery Lodge and the tenant was able to move back in before Christmas – very timely!
Moles continue to be a problem on the Playing Field and the mole catcher has been kept busy. A martial arts group use the Pavilion on a regular basis and appears to be well supported.
Due to time constraints, the Councillors met in December in order to submit a response to Northumberland County Councils Local Core Plan Strategy. This is primarily concerned with future housing needs and is asking for responses from all Town and Parish Councils. Ovingham’s main concern is the possibility of the removal of green belt to allow housing, and the impact on infrastructure especially increased traffic through the village and across the bridge as well as a knock on effect from Prudhoe.
Our next meeting is 16th January. No meeting in February, so the next date is 20th March, at 7.15pm in the Reading Room.

Margaret Davenport
Clerk to Ovingham Parish Council