CRAMLINGTON Town Council has increased its budget this year.
At the same time it is likely Northumberland County Council will not increase its demands for more money and will set a zero tax rise for the second year in succession.
The major items for expenditure are on floral displays for roundabouts and for the improvement of children’s playgrounds.
Refurbishment of the playgrounds will cost around £150,000 undertaken over the next two years.
A low interest loan will be taken out to do this.
This makes sense because if they were done one by one, which would be done first?
And it would take well over ten years. The lucky ones would get theirs straightaway and the last ones would be married with children.
But, let me sound a word of caution.
In Eastfield, which is my ward, two playgrounds have completely disappeared over the past ten years and a recent addition has had its expensive rubberised surface ripped up.
The play equipment installed by the former Blyth Valley Borough Council has caused injury and has been removed.
Cramlington council is learning from this. We have appointed a top rate company to look at all the playgrounds in Cramlington and to provide new equipment, but they will consult with the people.
The council will replace all the signs by the playgrounds and provide up to date information.
The playground in Alderley Way carries a sign which states ‘The area is supervised by Leisurewatch trained community members and residents’.
I would be interested to know if these people still existed and what organisations exist to exercise some control.
Perhaps they would thank Cramlington Town Council for spending £5,000 to provide a secure metal fence around the playground.
Finally, the council wishes to get rid of the idea of Cramlington New Town.
There are some suggestions that it be known as a ‘Garden Town’ but first of all we need the gardens.
We need the inequality between the roundabouts of Cramlington and Blyth to be tackled.
This summer we have every hope that people will notice that the Cramlington in Bloom project is the first step for a very ambitious and determined council.
Cramlington Eastfield Town and county councillor