Parish blames county officers for uncertainty
Published at 07:44, Wednesday, 20 February 2013
NORTHUMBERLAND County Council has been accused of breeding a hot bed of fear over the Allendale Middle School closure.
At a recent Allendale Parish Council meeting, councillors bemoaned the atmosphere of worry within the community.
Placing the cause of the uncertainty at county council officers’ doors, they said the problem existed because officers failed to keep people adequately informed.
The situation, they said, had been difficult since the county council announced plans to consult on the closure of the failing school last September.
With a decision taken by the council executive to close the school, and only a six week appeal date, many felt the way in which council officers had handled the sensitive issue had not improved.
“The uncertainty could be worse than the actual situation,” said Coun. Robert Philipson. “The whole thing has been a mess from start to finish and it’s affected the whole Haydon Bridge Partnership now.”
Coun. Nick Howard said he believed that the decision was taken for financial reasons and if the county council had been honest from the start it would have been incredibly sad but accepted by more people.
It was agreed to write a letter to the council’s executive to demonstrate the parish council’s frustration at the community not being kept adequately informed.
But chairman Coun. Jan Simmonds said there was little action the council could take against the closure. And she urged Coun. Marc Hydleman, who has been heavily involved in the opposition to the school closure, to make clear he was acting as an individual and not on behalf of the parish council.
Coun. Hydleman updated the parish council on his progress contacting members of the executive asking them to justify the closure.
From the responses received, he said he was concerned executives had not been given the full story.
“I’m aware that (members of) the committee have not been told everything by their officers and I’ve drawn this to their attention, as have others, and it is something they will be looking into.”
The school’s interim executive board gave reassurances at a meeting last Thursday that staff redundancies would not take place until the end of the school year if it were to close.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk
This week in... 1885Saturday, June 20th, 1885
Over 2,000 people attended the Temperance Gala held at Greencroft Park, Haltwhistle.
Led by the Bardon Mill Brass Band, 12 temperance societies paraded through the town, prior to an open air meeting in the park.
During the event the Rev. J.M. Russel condemned the House of Commons for rejecting a proposal to increase taxes on spirits and beer.