Councillors refuse to back community forum

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A PARISH council has re-stated its refusal to support the Coastal Villages Community Forum.

Members of Widdrington Station and Stobswood Parish Council were urged to re-consider their stance after deciding in September not to offer financial support to the group, even before being asked.

However, at a meeting of councillors last month, they said their position was unchanged and refused to give their backing, moral or financial.

Parish Chairman Joe Sennett said: “It came down to the fact that they are only duplicating what the parish council is doing.”

The forum was set up by residents with backing from Northumberland County Council to represent the communities of Hadston, East Chevington, Widdrington Village, Cresswell, Ulgham and Widdrington Station and Stobswood.

The body was formed following complaints that the now disbanded Druridge Bay Community Forum for the area was acting as a parish cluster, with little input from villagers.

But the Coastal Villages group has failed to win support from parish councils.

Widdrington Station resident Lesley Tollett, who called for the parish re-think, said: “I have to say I am disappointed at the parish council.

“The reason it has given for not doing a u-turn on this issue is that councillors feel the forum is a duplication.

“They obviously feel the community forum is doing the work that the parish council should do.

“I do not accept that as a reason for not supporting the community forum. The community forum is not just about what happens in this parish, but it is about issues that occur in the neighbouring parishes as well.”