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Russ Wallace

Councillor Wallace - Accentuate the Positive!

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Bedlington has been my hometown for over 40 years.  During this time it has changed enormously – not always necessarily for the better – but there is nowhere else I would rather live.

I have always been aware that Bedlington has many positive features, eg a fabulous, tree lined, Front Street and stunning walks along the river at Humford.

However we regularly hear of what we do not have and what we need – and I agree with many Bedlingtonians over this – but what is often played down and disregarded are the numerous good things about our town

In order to ‘accentuate the positive’ Radio Northumberland, a local community radio station, has agreed to broadcast ‘The Bedlington Show.’ This is a non-political, one hour show which highlights some of the many positive aspects of our town – and the people behind them – through music.

The first show is currently being broadcast at:

5.00 pm Friday 30 June

3.00 pm Saturday 1 July

9.00 am Sunday 2 July

10.00 am Monday 3 July

7.00 pm Tuesday 4 July

10.00 am Wednesday 5 July

You can tune in at Radio Northumberland by clicking one of the carriers at the bottom of the home page.

If you can, please listen in – and find out who is included in show one and discover their choice of music!

The presenter is working on his skills – but would very much welcome feedback and, hopefully positive, suggestions.

Normal ‘blog’ service will resume shortly, thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Andy Millne
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Shared today on Facebook group Bygone Bedlington :- 

 

In response to requests (yes, really!), Radio Northumberland are re-broadcasting the first ‘Bedlington Show.’ The response so far way beyond expectation!

The show highlights the good things about our town and the people behind them by asking about their favourite music – and why.

So if you want to learn about Brent from La Torre or Lynne from The Chiropody and Podiatry Studio’s choice in music – or which civic dignitary picked “Funkin’ for Jamaica” as their favourite song – listen in!

The re-run will be on air at the normal times, starting Thursday 13 July:

Thursday @ 7.00 pm  - Friday @ 5.00 pm -  Saturday @ 3.00 pm - Sunday @9.00 am 

Monday @ 10.00 am  - Tuesday @ 7.00 pm - Wednesday @10.00 am

Radio Northumberland can be found at www.RadioNorthumberland.comAt the bottom of the page there are a number of carriers where you can click and listen.

Thanks for your support.

Russ

http://www.radionorthumberland.com/

 

 

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Edited by Eggy1948

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      I did manged to question one of the cabinet who attended this meeting.  I am extremely unhappy about not having the smalls scheme allowances rolled over to me from the last councillor.  This is the £15K each councillor gets annually to spend supporting small projects in their wards.  The last councillor left very nearly £20K unspent and this has now disappeared!  I told the cabinet member I would be challenging them on this decision and he promised to get back to me with the full details of why that decision had been made. Loosing £20K because someone didn’t know what was needed is not something my ward can afford and I will fight it.  I have the council constitution and I’m awaiting our equalities policy.
      Well it’s the end of the month and another good live music event in Gallagher Park.  It’s going to be a struggle to put something like this on again due to cost implications but there is no reason why something can’t be put on.  It’s actually something I asked East Bedlington Parish Council about working together on a few years ago when I was on the West Town Council, but they said they had other commitments at that time.
      Looks like we will soon be getting the press release off Arch about the Town centre redevelopment, about time!
      I have been delegated to chair the NCC community Chest scheme for our LAC and I have put a proposal out to the LAC chair and the officer about how this panel is made up.  It will be proportional with 3 labour members, 2 Conservative members and 1 Independent member.  We have just received the new rules concerning this funding and it’s set of go live next month.
      I put the details of the “Pot Hole” fund out and several of my constituents have been in touch to suggest areas.  I have taken them all on board and visited each one and I now have the 3 suggestions I will put forward.  I’m also working on proposals for the Local Transport Plan.
      Next month looks a bit quieter.
       
    • By Russ Wallace
      Local issues involving road safety and town parking have come to the fore over the last week or two.
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      Thanks for reading.
      Russ

    • 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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