What’s in Your Parish Plan?

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The Neighbourhood Plan group are collecting and discussing ideas for the future of the Village and Countryside as I write, and are hoping to be able produce a scheme to vote on in 6 months time. You will find detailed info about their ideas if you click the link to the Neighbourhood Plan.

The Plan will have two parts.

  1. “The Planning Framework – which will be a statement about building and development in the Parish that will be a mandatory part of the planning process for building in the vicinity. This will affect new buildings, adaptations, building styles, areas of the community which are considered appropriate for development, and those which shore be protected from it. This part of the plan could affect you, if you want to build something,anywhere in the Parish. So the the group will publish its discussions regularly so you can have your say – and make your suggestions.”
  2. “The Community Plan – working with the Parish Council and Local Groups, we want to devise a plan of action and development that will promote community facilities, activities and action. This was last attempted in 2004 [the Plan is on the Neighbourhood Planning Website] and we want to take it forward.”

Areas the Group are discussing

  • Community Facilities
  • Natural Environment & Bio Diversity
  • Accessibility
  • Housing
  • The Local Economy
  • Heritage, Character and Design

They hope you won’t be surprised if they come knocking on your door for your opinions!

No Contest!

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There will be no election for Parish Councillors on May 4th as there were exactly the same number of candidates as posts. There will also be no change in members, as all previous councillors were deemed to be re-elected. Officers will be elected at the next council meeting on Thursday 18th May.

Belford Middle School Closure Threat

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If you feel as many people do, including the Parish Council, you’ll be angry that the threat of closure has descended on the middle school that many of us have sent our children to, and still do. ┬áSo far, there is no coherent plan by any party to the closure for the continuing education and well-being of the children who attend or would like to attend this school – and this is not a vague threat – it is proposed to close the school this summer.

We, the Parish Council, are demanding that a sensible strategy must be put in place for the short and long term future. At the very least, the threat of closure this summer must be lifted.

If you agree, and wish to support us, contact Susan Graham via the Contacts form on this site, and she will provide you with a questionnaire you can fill in in support.

This situation has arisen because Central Government has so weakened local control of education that no coherent strategy to provide for schooling in Northumberland remains. It has encouraged schools to change their identities, even when this contradicts the pattern of provision that is possible in our county. This must include the rash decisions to allow 2 and 3 tier education in the same adjoining areas. It must also include the thoroughly undemocratic way in which Faith Schools which are the only providers in a community are seemingly able to make decisions about provision without any reference to the needs of the whole community.

Whatever your feelings, it is time to take a long hard look at what is happening to schools in our area, and make your voice count.

Welcome back to The Black Bull

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It’s been a while since the village had the benefit of two pubs, and thanks to Karl Crane, the day is fast approaching. We expect the bar of this historic Inn will reopen on the 24th February, with the food and accommodation following later.

If you have had the chance of a glimpse in to the Bull you will know that a complete transformation has been occurring.

This can only mean a brilliant asset to the community and a new source of pride and economic growth to the village.

If you’re free on the 24th – come and enjoy your favourite tipple.