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Bill Crosby

Councillor Crosby - Projects and Events

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Hello everyone. It’s been some months now since my last blog, so I thought it was time I updated you on what I’ve been doing in that time.

In February I attended a meeting to decide on an event organiser for the live event in Gallagher Park. I think it’s been well documented what happened there and East Bedlington Parish Council decided to go it alone and run the event. As Gallagher Park is in my ward I was always happy to support this event but was unsure as to whether I would be allowed to use my small schemes allowance as this was not a capital spend. This turned out to be the case and for me this was always a worry from the outset, hence my suggestion that we should try and attract external funding.

To get around this problem I agreed to work with East Bedlington Parish Council to help pay for one of their capital schemes so that they could release the funds to pay for Northumberland Live. As it turns out, two Parish Councillors subsequently agreed to contribute to the event from their own pockets so, in the end, external funds have indeed been needed. It’ll be interesting to see if sponsors can be attracted for the next event … perhaps we Independents don’t have such bad ideas after all.

The scheme I have agreed to help with is the upgrading of the play facilities in Jennings Field. Although this is not strictly in my ward it is just across the border and will be of great benefit to my constituents and their families who live in the nearby streets that are in my area. (Waverley Avenue, Roslin Park, Fontburn Road, The Oval, etc). Hopefully, work should be starting on that project soon.

In May I met with Councillor Glen Sanderson (Portfolio Holder for Environment and Local Services), together with the Service Director for Local Services; I requested this meeting to discuss the playground facilities in Gallagher Park. As Chair of the Friends of Gallagher Park (FOGP), this is a subject I am very interested in. The gentlemen agreed with us that the facilities currently in the park leave a lot to be desired and they were extremely supportive of improvements taking place. To that end, NCC have said they will work with the FOGP to progress this project. They will look to agree the precise location and the scale/size of the facility towards the back end of this year and will undertake a procurement exercise to have a design/supplier in place ready to begin work at the start of the next financial year. This will be capital funding and will need cabinet approval, so the FOGP will be looking at other funding avenues to make it easier for NCC to invest in the park. All ideas will be greatly appreciated.

In June I was asked if I would contribute to Bedlingtonshire Academy’s WW1 Legacy Project Battlefield Tour. I felt it was a great opportunity for the pupils who were attending from my ward to better understand what happened during that great conflict and I was happy to lend a hand.

Recently I was asked to attend Stead Lane Primary School to have a look at their Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) playground area. It is in dire need of renovation and, in its current state, is not allowing the children to access a high-quality play area. Given the current concerns over childhood obesity I feel that it’s important to foster positive attitudes to fitness from an early age. Hopefully, a much improved EYFS play area in the school will achieve that aim and I was more than happy to lend my support to this venture.

Following the tragic events of August 19 last year, petitions were submitted for speed deterrents on Rothsay Terrace/Victoria Terrace. I subsequently agreed to fund one Speed Indicator Display (SID) sign and Northumberland County Council confirmed that they would supply another, and I am pleased to say that both these SID signs are now in place.

In the wake of this, I have been working closely with Isabel Easson to help her in organising an event to raise funds for a further speeding deterrent project. Her vision was to have a 1940’s style tea dance involving the more elderly members of the community who have very little social interaction with others and arrangements are now in place for an event to be held at Meadowdale Academy, Hazelmere Avenue, Bedlington on Sunday 19 August 2018; the date obviously commemorates the date of the incident but also happens to be Beth’s birthday. It will be a hard day for Issie but I am proud to have helped her with this and her campaign for road safety and witness how dignified she has been throughout this past year.

These are the main things I have been involved in so far this year in Bedlington. I am also trying to address fly tipping down the woods below the Dene View/Poplar Grove area as well as parking issues in various locations, although I am pleased to say that the parking issue at The Oval seems to have been resolved with the completion of extra parking spaces at Foundry House.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read this blog and if you need to contact me you can email me at:  bill.crosby@northumberland.gov.uk

Tel No 07779 – 983656.

If you are interested in the FOGP, we usually meet on the first Monday of the month at The Pavilion in Gallagher Park at 6.30pm. Alternatively, you can visit us at our Facebook page.

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Thank you Bill. One question: can I ask what efforts were made to attract sponsors to this year's Live event?

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