As part of the Improve and Renew Actions as outlined in the Community Led Plan, the following issues were identified as being important to Acomb residents:
In May 2014, a special meeting was convened where all those living and working within Acomb Parish were invited to attend. The focus of the meeting was the Village Approach A6079. Residents raised concerns about the following:
- Traffic speed
- First impressions of the village warranting landscaping/planting improvements to enhance the approach to the village
- Safety aspects of crossing A6079 for vehicles and pedestrians
The A4A Committee approached Philip Barker, Landscape Architect at Glen Kemp who kindly offered to walk the area and agreed to develop a draft master plan, this has since been revised Download. Philip Barker considered pedestrian and vehicle traffic, parking, potential for new routes through, safety and landscape/planting improvements. Residents views, identified at the public meeting, were also included in the considerations. Key aims have been identified with regard to promoting environmental improvements to the public face of the village. These are:
- Improve road safety
- Improve connectivity with the main village centre
- Promote semi rural character of road corridor
- Enhance public image of Acomb
A public meeting, held on Wednesday 27 May 2015, chaired by Linda Wright, A4A Chair, with its main focus to consider draft plans prepared by Philip Barker, Landscape Architect (Director Glen Kemp) for the A6079 and adjacent areas.
Philip, who was in attendance, has given his time free to work with Acomb residents to undertake this piece of work. Following the analysis of the questionnaires, the section pertaining to this area of the village was presented. Download There was opportunity for all those who attended to comment on the draft plans after Philip outlined his assessment of the A6079, based on both residents’ views and walking the area. Local residents, members of the Parish Council and Terry Robson, County Councillor attended.
It was agreed that:
- communication and engagement with residents/businesses to actively continue
- Philip Barker took away the contributions from the meeting to revise the plan
- extend membership of the A4A Approach to the Village Action Group
- future multi agency meetings – to support planning and funding
- 3 priorities to be agreed at A4A committee meeting in July to progress action
Thanks are extended to all those who attended with particular thanks to Charles Enderby, Parish Council (PC) Chairman for his introduction and the ongoing backing of Acomb PC ; Philip Barker for his continuing time and involvement; Terry Robson for his continuing support and pledge of funding (£7,000 this coming year) and David Penn for his considerable time and support with the statistical analysis, all of which makes it possible for Acomb to move towards making considerable changes to the Approach to the Village over time to improve the appearance and road safety.
Following further suggestions made by those who attended on 27 May 2015, the draft plans have been revised Download. An open meeting to view these took place on Tuesday 20 October between 4.45 and 5.45pm at Day Break, on the Industrial Estate.
A first action group meeting with clear Terms of Reference met on 20 October. Those on the group were:
Linda Wright; Jim Wright; Kathryn Thomas; Gwyn Thomas; Rachel Gagliano; Lorna Farr; Erica Carter and Carol Boothby. Want to be involved, then come on board! Local resident, Erica Carter is the nominated Chair of the group.
The next stage was to call a multi agency meeting and encourage as many local residents to attend . This took place on Wednesday 25 November 2015 with partner agencies and a good number of local residents to take forward actions that will make a difference….. improving the signage at the Industrial site to improve the appearance……but we know that there are priorities relating to safety – Cross Banks has been highlighted so many times. There has been a speed survey undertaken in recent weeks. The plan would be to look at ways of slowing the traffic down. See also the 20’s Plenty survey. There is Japanese Knotweed. This is being dealt with by the County Council who are legally bound to eradicate it.
Cross Banks – new mirrors
2 new mirrors purchased by Acomb Parish Council erected at Cross Banks to help drivers see approaching traffic. The old mirror has been placed to enable pedestrians to see oncoming traffic to safely cross the A6079. Replacing the old mirror with new was one of the actions identified by local residents to make this dangerous junction safer for drivers. There is a disclaimer, however, as Highways no longer take responsibility for roadside mirrors and therefore local drivers and pedestrians use the mirrors at their own risk.
Acomb Flood Plan
Did you know that Acomb has been flooded six times since 1996? These flash floods can be sudden and serious and could happen again. This is why it has been one of the first areas A4A addressed.
Acomb now has a Flood Plan approved and adopted in March 2014, supported by the Environment Agency to determine the main areas of concern along with meeting with local residents who shared their vast knowledge and experience of local flooding.
This Flood Plan has been reviewed (March 2015) and updated to make it a workable document. 14 volunteer Flood Wardens now cover the 4 identified flood zones with Jim Wright as Lead Warden. He can be contacted on 07702 539736 in the event of flooding. This activates a string of agreed actions including a direct link to the Environment Agency.
Flood Wardens have been actively supporting those most affected with the recent flood events through filling sand bags and distributing to replenish the new bins for the storage of sandbags with locations at Morrison Terrace; Garden House Bank and Orchard Avenue. Download
Acomb Flood Wardens, article in Hexham Courant
Flood management and prevention
We plan to undertake work in collaboration with partner agencies to alleviate the source of the flood water and put in place methods to reduce the volume and intensity of water coming down into the village causing Flash Floods. Data capture will support this process. We await the outcome of a report as to how this might happen.
CITIZEN SCIENCE PROJECT
Public meetings were held with Eleanor Starkey, a PhD student from Newcastle University who had undertaken work at Haltwhistle setting up a Citizen Science Project. We wanted her to replicate the project for Acomb Parish.
It was agreed to progress and several local residents have volunteered to be involved. If you are interested, there is still opportunity to volunteer. All will be offered training and support. [Read more] Volunteers will monitor water depth, quality of water, take photos etc. We have been successful in our LEAF Grant application to cover the cost of equipment. Acomb First School was also to be involved and now have a rain gauge that can be monitored as part of the project.
We have had delivery of the equipment and now we are ready to go under Eleanor’s guidance. The data captured by volunteers will be collected and analysed and fed into the University and the Environment Agency to help predict flooding. Ultimately, we want to use this information to devise a plan in conjunction with the interested parties to prevent medium to long term flash flooding.