East Chevington Parish Council: Bonfire Night, drainage and A1068 crossing

The crossing point on the A1068. Hadston is to the right, while Druridge Bay Country Park is to the left.
The crossing point on the A1068. Hadston is to the right, while Druridge Bay Country Park is to the left.

The night sky over Hadston could be lit up by fireworks next year, after councillors agreed to investigate the possibility of starting an organised display in the village.

The issue was discussed at Monday night’s meeting of East Chevington Parish Council and members felt that staging a fireworks and bonfire event for the community would bring numerous benefits. It is also hoped that an organised display would stop people from starting unauthorised bonfires, following a spate of disorder at the weekend.

Coun Scott Dickinson said: “I have brought this up for many years and the police have said that there were issues in Hadston this year.

“I think having an organised display is the right and sensible thing to do for the community and I think we should make sure it happens.

“I propose that the parish council explores the possibility of putting on a display – both fireworks and a bonfire – in a controlled environment.

“Yes, it would be costly, but it would have its benefits and I would be happy to financially support it.”

Coun Ann Elliot was supportive. She said: “I back what Coun Dickinson has said and I am in favour of a community display.

“I am concerned that people are starting fireworks in their back garden. I know it is not illegal to do so, but I think it is dangerous.”

Earlier in the meeting, PC Paul Dent expressed his frustration at a spate of Bonfire Night-related disorder in the area. He said: “I am quite depressed about what happened and I was not laughing. I would endorse anything that is organised.”

While PC Dent was frustrated with happenings over bonfire weekend, he said that it had otherwise been a quiet month crime-wise.

He said that extra patrols were put on over the Hallowe’en period and in the build up to Bonfire Night and told members that ‘we don’t want to take our foot off the gas in the run-up to Christmas’.

• Action is being taken to solve drainage issues at Chevington Cemetery.

Coun Scott Dickinson said that different options are being investigated to alleviate the problems.

But he did warn members that it won’t be a quick-fix solution and work will be costly.

He said: “Engineers are looking at options for drainage solutions, but all of them have huge costs involved.

“The county council has said that we need to work through a business case that demonstrates the cost and the engineers need to provide different options and costings.

“We are proposing to work with the team between now and March to get something in place for the new allocation in April and try to get the scheme worked into next year’s budget.

“We are working on it. It is quite a complex piece of work and there are a whole range of options which they need to consider, and things like ground tests are also needed, but hopefully by March, at the latest, there will be something we can share.”

He added that he would be happy to contribute some money from his members’ small schemes fund towards the project, if there is a shortfall.

• Highways experts are drawing up proposals for a crossing along the busy A1068, between Hadston and Druridge Bay Country Park. A S106 contribution of £85,000 has been allocated for the scheme, which is likely to be a signalised crossing, although councillors have inquired about other options, such as a footbridge. Coun Dickinson said ‘we need to get this right’.

• Coun chairman Anthony Reay raised concerns about a smashed box which is used to house water taps at North Broomhill allotments.

He said that he didn’t think it had been vandalised, but it needed attention. It was agreed to look at a more robust alternative as a replacement.

• The parish council agreed to replace two wooden benches, which were described as awful and rotten, at Charlton Square, North Broomhill.

Meanwhile, it was agreed to place a memorial bench at a spot between Hadston Precinct and the miners’ bungalows.

• Birthday wishes were expressed to the council’s longest-serving member, Coun Alice Charlton, who turned 88 on Saturday.

• Coun Fred Thurgood said that a bent lamppost still needs to be repaired and is in the hands of the county council.