Thursday, 18 August 2016

Bank Holiday Bin Collections in Blyth

Monday 29th August is a Bank Holiday, and so bin collections will be delayed by a day that week.

If, for example,  your normal collection day is a Tuesday, that week it will be Wednesday ( 31st August )

That week is a general non-recycled week, ie green bins.,

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Weeds on South Beach

No, this isn't a post about my garden .... although it could do with a good clear up!, but about the weeds in pavements and in the gutters.

Northumberland County Council are aware of the problem, and are doing a programme of weeding throughout  Blyth. The estate will be done "this week or next" ( their words )

I'm not sure if routine street maintenance is being done as I know that many staff have been diverted to the Tall Ships works.

I'll contact NCC if they haven't started by Monday next ....

Friday, 5 August 2016

The Circus Comes to Town

The Big Kid Circus is at Meggies Burn Field from today ( 5th August ) to Sunday ( 7th August )

Details of show times are at :-

Blyth Town Council; Meetings September 2016

The following are the scheduled meetings at Blyth Town Council for September 2016

Unless otherwise stated all meetings start at 6:30 at Arms Evertyne House.  As ever, you should check with the council before attending a meeting.

Thursday 1st September  -  Staff Committee

This is a closed meeting due to staffing matters being discussed

Tuesday 6th September -  Finance Committee

Thursday 8th September -  Planning & Development Committee

Thursday 22nd September - Full Council , preceded by Question Time at 6pm

Tuesday 27th September  - Events Committee

Thursday 29th September - Planning and Development Committee

Southern Beers

Being a northerner, I have always had a slight disdain for beers made "down south". It's not a rational disdain, just "north v south prejudice"

But in the last couple of weeks the only real ale I have had has been from southern breweries, and I have enjoyed them all.

Greene King IPA. Because of what Greene King did to the excellent Hardy & Hansons brewery, I did not drink their beers for a few years, in a type of mini protest. But their IPA was a guest ale in a Tyneside pub the other week, so I thought I'd have a go. Delicious, undercurrents of something I couldn't identify and a pleasant aftertaste. The pump clip said 3.6% alcohol, so this could be a "session beer"

Greene King Abbot. When I was in my twenties this was my favourite draught beer. In fact somewhere I still have a tee-shirt with "Abbott drinker, this way up" emblazoned across the chest. It is strong ( about 5%) , medium dark and with a sweet aftertaste. Not over-hopped, and despite the strength, a refreshing beer. I have seen it in a few Wetherspoons pubs, so I may have to try it a bit more ....

Ringwood Best Bitter. A Hampshire Brewery bought by Marstons about 10 years ago, their Best Bitter was the only handpumped ale in the Chef and Brewer pub we used while visiting family in Bracknell. A very malty taste, almost bordering sweet, but again the pump clip said 3.8%. Believe me, a true session beer!

Yesterday, in a Wetherspoons in Newcastle I had Adnams Broadside. Adnams beers don't often get this far north, so I had to give it another go. I have always thought that describing beer as "fruity" was pretentious, but in this case there were definitely blackcurrant and berry hints to the malty aftertaste.

So four very acceptable southern beers. I don't like strongly hopped beer ( just a personal preference) but obviously not all southern beers have that quality.

More research is called for ......

(PS , I'll be posting about my on / off support for CAMRA later )

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Manor Walks - Cramlington

You may have seen the badly worded news about the "Council buying Cramlington's Shopping Centre" and the attendant protests about it.

If all were as per the BBC's report I might be tempted to agree, but Jeff Reid , leader of the Lib Dem group on Northumberland County Council has written...

"You may have seen an item in the News Post Leader and on tonight's 'Look North' about the purchase of Manor Walks, by the council's Development arm, ARCH.  I thought you may be wondering what on earth is going on, especially as a number of the members of the public expressed concern about the use of council resources.

What the item didn't do was explain what ARCH is, its relationship to the council and what the council can and cannot do in law.

You may be aware that the council's sports and leisure centres are managed by an 'arms-length company', Active Northumberland.

ARCH is the council's arms-length regeneration and development company.  It is a commercial company in its own right but all its shares are owned by the council.  The leaders of all the political parties on the council are on the board, together with other councillors and private entrepreneurs.  Its remit is to look for opportunities to regenerate the towns and villages in the county by operating in the private markets that the council is barred from doing.

In the case of Manor Walks, the council has borrowed money from the Public Works Loan Board at a low interest rate and loaned it to ARCH at a higher interest rate.  ARCH has used the money to buy Manor Walks from the developers, Hammersons, who currently own it.

The council is forbidden under law to borrow such money for its day to day operations, such as running libraries, doing road repairs etc.  But it can borrow money to put into investments and that is what it has done this time, using ARCH to buy and manage it.

ARCH will pay interest on the loan, amounting to several million pounds.  The council can then use this interest for its day to day activities - paying staff wages, cutting the grass, road repairs and so on.
Although this was agreed by council at the beginning of July, I have been bound by confidentiality not to say anything until the information was publicly released.

If anyone has any queries or concerns about this, please ring me. 

I do have concerns about the purchase and voted against it at the ARCH board meeting.  But on balance, it is a good deal for the council, bearing in mind that at one time all of the rents from all of the shops in Manor Walks left the county, paid to Hammersons. This way, the rents paid by all the shops and offices stay in the county."

If only it had been reported that way by the "anti-everyone" press, there wouldn't have been half the complaints.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Blyth Town Council, August 2016

As far as I am aware, there is only one meeting planned for August.

This is :-

Thursday 11th August, 6:30 pm    Planning and Development Committee

EDIT: - This meeting is now cancelled, due to "lack of urgent business"

With the Tall Ships Regatta coming at the end of August, and with the need to appoint a Town Clerk I wouldn't be surprised if meetings are arranged outside the agreed schedule.

In fact, I would expect it.