Open meeting report

The Trust’s last open meeting on the 16th October was well attended for a discussion about ‘Improving the Village Centre’.  Fiona Clarke and Nicola Duckworth, from the County Council explained that there was £125,000 of ‘S106’ money available, from the new Shotley Bridge Hospital housing development, that can only be spent within the ‘Article IV Area’, the core of the Conservation Area. It has to be spent by the end of 2014 on improvements to the urban realm but cannot be spent on maintenance works. The officers proposed that some of the funding could be spent on completing the repaving of the footpaths in front of the business premises and invited suggestions of other improvements from those present.

Blooming Shotley Bridge was also on the agenda, with an explanation of the scoring system for the Northumbria in Bloom ‘Silver Award’. Certificates and gardening vouchers were presented to the 3 winners of the Trust’s ‘Best Front Garden’ awards. The Trust’s volunteers will be planting the winter bedding in the tubs on Saturday 27th October.

The 2012 Dickensian Christmas Spectacular was announced, being held this year on Friday 7th and Saturday 8th December.  The Shotley Bridge Business and Community Partnership are finalising the programme and leaflets will be distributed at the beginning of November.  Participating businesses are each contributing £100 to fund the event. Volunteer stewards from the Village Trust are needed for both days.

The Photographic competition has had few entries this year, insufficient for the judging to go ahead.  Councillor Stephen Robinson gave a report on items of interest that he had been involved with since the last meeting.

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