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Councillor Wallace - The unacceptable face of Bedlington

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Completely unacceptable behaviour yet again in in Bedlington Market Place last night.

This incident occurred at 3.00 am this morning. Given the current financial constraints it is clearly unrealistic to expect a 24/7 police presence in the town. It is also right to point out that Bedlington is fortunate to be served by an outstanding Police team who have our full support.

As County Councillor for Bedlington Central I wrote to the Chief Superintendent earlier this week to request that Northumbria Police reverse their recent decision to discontinue the presence of Police Officers in the town centre after 10.00 pm in the evening, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.

I have written again to the Chief Superintendent to ask for an urgent review of both the current situation and measures that can be put in place to prevent this level of wanton, mindless vandalism becoming even more common.

Having spoken to shop owners this morning, they are determined not to give in to this form of behaviour. I will be talking to other shop owners next week to gather their views. We need to give them all the support we can.

View on Councillor Wallace's Blog

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  • 2 weeks later...

Absoloutely  disgusting!

Methinks people like this also  get into thieir cars and  drive recklessy aroond the toon like the one who broadsided me and my Wife two years ago,nearly killing us and LBJ.[My Wife was knocked unconcious and I seriously thought she was dead.]

They are nothing but scumbags who should be droonded in the river Blyth.

Almost every weekend Little Black Jess and Me have had abuse from drunken [or drugged..] idiots hare'in  aroond the roads at Bedlington Station and alang the road past the Welwyn factory,in the early hours of the morning.

They wind the window doon,throw GLASS beer bottles oot..smashing them aal ower,risking LBJ getting cut paws,and any other dogs [even little bairns] risk having an accident if they tread on the shards.

I just wish I could get hold of a Taser,and a Stinger,to carry in my pocket when I am oot!

I have been threatened to be "filled in" several times by idiots on pushbikes late at night ...no lights...dark, usually hoodie clothes,and when I have shouted back for them to come and put their money where their mouth is...not one has had the guts to turn and come back at me....cos' they are all big-mouthed drunken cowards.

One day....just one day......!!

Now I read about Police Stations shutting up shop early.......Mr Criminal is highly delighted ....Methinks!


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In the good old days when Lucy's was open the police would drop back some of night shift at weekends to ensure there was an extra police presence both in Bedlington and Bedlington Station between 10pm and 3am. You would generally see a panda parked opposite the Blue Bell and another at the Market Place observing what was happening. A task force of police and special constables would coast up and down Front Street and everyone was aware of the police presence if they were intent on kicking off.

The Bedlington Sergeant would head the task force and his team would conduct licensing visits so that even the pubs patrons knew the police were not far away.

I hope Councillor Wallace has some success speaking with the Chief Superintendent although methinks otherwise.

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    • By Russ Wallace
      Local issues involving road safety and town parking have come to the fore over the last week or two.
      Potholes! All 67 NCC Councillors have been asked to nominate three potholes for filling. If you are aware of any potholes please email me at the address below. Don’t worry if they are not in Bedlington Central ward – I’ll pass the information on to other Councillors. Along with West Bedlington Town Councillor Victoria Thompson I met with Richard McKenzie, NCC Senior Programme Officer, to discuss problems on Windsor Gardens where uncontrolled parking has led to both road and pedestrian safety issues as well as creating access problems for emergency vehicles.  After consulting with residents, Richard’s view is that for a trial period of 6 months the road should be double yellow lined: ie no parking, from the Front Street to the junction where Windsor Gardens loops back to re-join the main thoroughfare. This will create an opportunity to evaluate the impact on parking elsewhere in the area. If it simply moves the problem further down Windsor Gardens and beyond NCC will again consult over the introduction of a Resident Parking Scheme. I would welcome views on this via the email address below and I will also be in direct contact with the residents involved. I have asked NCC to investigate opening the Car Park behind the Council Offices for public use as at least a temporary measure. This will alleviate some the parking problems in the town centre and allow easier access to venues on the south side of the Front Street such as the Community Centre and Trinity Church. I have also requested that NCC  review the crossing at the Old Police Station by the roundabout at the west end of the Front Street – it is at best tired and needs updating. Officials from St Bede’s Church and parents escorting young children to local schools have expressed concern at the frequent ‘near misses’ that occur at the crossing. I am particularly keen to hear residents’ views on all of the above. Please contact me at: russ.wallace@northumberland.gov.uk or drop into my Surgery at 6.30 next Thursday, 4 July, in the Community Centre.
      Thanks for reading.

    • By Russ Wallace
      In a meeting with Cllr Richard Dodd, Conservative Business Chair of NCC, Bill Crosby and I raised the issue of Bedlington’s position in the Local Area Council set up, as large parts of Bedlington are part of one LAC and most of Bedlington Station part of another. Richard was sympathetic and promised a review early next year. This may lead to something or nothing but we are determined to pursue the issue. Furthermore, I recently attended an East Bedlington Parish Council meeting as an interested observer and I was pleased that the Council agreed that Sleekburn is part of Bedlington and as such should be included with the rest of the town.
      The main item of the recent Full Council Meeting involved the Core Strategy recently submitted to the Secretary of State for approval. Debate centred on the need to reduce the amount of new house builds contained in the submitted document and how this would be best achieved – either by modifying the existing document or by withdrawing it prior to resubmission. After voting in favour of a defeated motion to delay the decision to allow further consultation, I voted in favour of withdrawing the Strategy to allow it to be modified. My reasons for this were:
      excessive house building across the County is an issue for many communities and it was easily the number one concern expressed by residents during campaigning even though a delay might prolong the current free-for-all among builders, it is important for the future as a whole to take the time and get it right I felt my decision best reflected the views of Bedlington Central residents. Along with residents and County and Local Councillors, I recently met with Police Superintendent Andy Huddlestone and Inspector Trevor Oakley to discuss the recent crime issues in Bedlington. I was pleased with their agreement to fund increased PCSO presence in the town until some of the current issues have been resolved. In addition Andy and Trevor were very much of the view that the community has a crucial role in reducing both crime and anti social behaviour, highlighting the need for the Police, schools, families and the community to work together. Couldn’t agree more. It is our community and we all have a role to play in making our town the best it can be. Should we all be thinking about possible monitoring schemes such as Neighbourhood Watch? – “interested” neighbours are invaluable in alerting authorities to antisocial activities!
      As a standing item at the West Bedlington Town Council meeting, fellow Councillors Bill Crosby and Malcolm Robinson and I each give a verbal report to members on our recent activity. I believe this is an excellent example of good practice and fits in with our commitment both to work closely with our local Town and Parish Councils and to improve our communication with residents.
      As reported on local social media Facebook pages, a highly encouraging meeting took place last Friday (14 July) involving local Town and County Councillors and representatives of ARCH to discuss the Tesco site development. I gave a commitment not to comment on the content of the meeting as there is much behind the scenes work in progress – however I eagerly await the imminent ARCH announcement.

    • By Russ Wallace
      Before moving to the more political, a big thank you to those behind the Bedlington Picnic held yesterday, Saturday 1 July.
      It was an outstanding event, superbly organised and supported by a huge number of Bedlingtonians. Vic Thomson deserves a medal for her efforts – but she was incredibly well supported by Daniel Wilkinson, Colin Patterson from Station Entertainments, Mayor Chris Taylor and the rest of West Bedlington Town Council, Allison Healy, Dave Johnson and Brian Sykes, to name just a few. Great day, thank you – and roll on Bedlington Picnic 2018!
      My last blog was entitled “Accentuate the Positive” and introduced “The Bedlington Show” as a way of showcasing the good things about our town. The first show was intended as a taster to highlight some of the people behind the positive aspects of Bedlington.
      I’m a tad overwhelmed by the response! Firstly by the positive comments from those who have listened to the show – I’m very much aware I’m no Chris Evans – but even more so by those happy to become involved in promoting our town. As a result there is another (at least one!) taster show currently in production. Keep you posted.
      Down to business!
      Like many, I am very concerned by the increase in crime in Bedlington over the last few weeks. Vandalism, threatening behaviour, robbery, car damage and arson have no place in our town. With that in mind, the announcement that the Bedlington Police Station Front Desk is to close overnight, is at best an own goal!
      Fellow Town and County Councillors, along with community group members have been in dialogue with the Police and will be formally meeting with officers in the near future in order to express residents’ concerns and hopefully bring improvements to the current situation.
      My interpretation of conversations so far is that the Police are as frustrated and concerned as we are, but remain hamstrung by the financial constraints under which they have to operate.
      In the last week I attended two meetings that are worth highlighting.
      The first meeting of the ‘Family and Children’s Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee’ took place at County Hall. Due to its direct link in dealing with children and educational issues I am delighted to serve on this group. What pleased me most was the complete lack of politicking and point scoring which is part and parcel of so many meetings. All members, Tory, Labour and me, as the single Independent, were completely focussed on matters in hand. The result was a highly productive and constructive meeting.
      This week also saw the first meeting of our Local Area Committee. The agenda in truth was not contentious and once the meeting was underway it was completed quickly and efficiently.
      The beginning of the meeting was thought provoking. A Labour member began by expressing concern over the value of such a committee, citing previous style groups as being less than effective. Malcolm Robinson got his hand up first to express our disappointment and disagreement at that point of view.
      It was good to see so many Bedlingtonians present in the audience. They far outweighed any other group. They led the open session with a series of pertinent and focussed questions to committee members. The answers given to questions were full wherever possible and a promise of a prompt personal response given when they could not be answered there and then.
      I was therefore disappointed to then read on a local Facebook page that all one audience member decided to refer to the committee’s ‘snazzy Tory name’ rather than praise, or even mention, the full and positive responses received to his questions.
      There is a full Council Meeting on Wednesday. The agenda shows changes made to other Local Area Committee boundaries but confirms there are no changes affecting Bedlington. Disappointing, as this means the town remains split in two when local decisions are being made. Although I support the Local Area Committee principle and will do all I can to ensure its success, I cannot in all conscience vote in favour of something that splits my town in two!
      Thank you for reading.

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