Chair's Report 2022 - 2023

There have been a few changes to the Parish Council since our last report in 2022.

In December Michelle Brebner stood down to focus on her busines. 

Her role was advertised, and was soon filled by co-option by Alexandra Richards - Welcome Alex!

Towards the end of the year Brenda Huddleston and Amy Riley both stood down from the Parish Council and their seats will be advertised in due course. 

I would like to thank all three for their contributions while part of the council.


Royal Events

We have had a year of Royal Events - both happy and sad.

June saw Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee - The bunting was put up throughout the village and we held a Celebration picnic and Jason Arnup concert in the Jubilee Field which had a fantastic turnout. Thanks to Brenda Huddleston for organising the bunting & the main event and Amy Riley for organising and running the children’s sports events. 

September saw the death of Her Majesty and the Parish came together in mourning with a book of condolence in St Cuthbert’s Church as well as allocated space for floral and children’s drawing tributes. The book of condolence has been sent to be archived as part of Northumberland County Council’s records of the period or state mourning.

More recently we embraced the Coronation of King Charles III. We didn’t need much of an excuse to get the bunting up again and a Coronation children’s party and evening concert was held in the Town Hall. Jason Arnup and his band were on top form and a great night was had be all. Again, these were organised and run by Brenda and Amy. Thanks again for all your hard work with this. 


Parish Assets and Infrastructure

We have continued to maintain our assets and this year saw the refurbishment of the Cemetery Chapel at The Croft ready for the Remembrance Service. This involved a lot of work by members of the Parish Council and I’d like to give particular thanks to Darren Bland from Plastering Direct for giving his time to repair the damage to the walls. This is a fantastic small chapel which we can now rent out for civil services. (Details HERE). The transformation has received a great response from the Parish residents.

Our monthly Indoor Market continues to run and is still proving popular with both customers and local traders.  As well as offering something different for shoppers, one of the aims of the market is to draw people into Bellingham from the surrounding area and encourage them to use the villages facilities while they are here. Hopefully they will continue to use our facilities through the rest of the month and not just a market day. The market also offers something different for visitors to the area and we have some fantastic local traders attending who wouldn’t have a local place to sell their goods. If you haven’t checked it out yet we strongly recommend you do!

Our annual Christmas Lights display was bigger and better than ever and we will continue to build on this year on year. The village really does look amazing when it’s lit up.

Bellingham’s full fibre broadband service from WeFibre went live in October. The Parish Council has helped to promote the take up of the new service which has given Bellingham one of the fastest broadband networks in the UK. We are usually the last to see new technology rolled out so it’s been great to get Bellingham upgraded.


Keeping the Costs Low

At a time where everything is getting more expensive and other departments have increased their charges we have managed to deliver a real work reduction in our Precept which is collected as part of the Council Tax. This has been made possible by ongoing efficiencies as well as other initiatives such as honesty boxes on the public toilets and our Indoor Market which allow us to raise funds by other means. Please continue to support events like our market as they help to keep your bills low. 

The Parish Council continues to work closely with other groups and organisations in the area and these collaborations are bearing fruit. Examples being the Free Wi-Fi service for shoppers & visitors as well as providing communications resilience in the event of blacks outs like were experienced during Storm Arwen in 2021.

Members of the Parish Council continue to be part of the Borderlands scheme which is looking to bring up to £3m of investment to Bellingham over the next 10 years. Planning of projects for Borderlands is continuing through 2023 and more detail will be posted on our website and social media pages as it is available. 


I would like to take the opportunity to thank all Parish Councillors and partner organisations in the parish for their continued contributions to our community.

Thank you.



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