Race against the clock for beacon repair plan

It is hoped to have repairs carried out to Berwick's beacon in time for it to be lit to mark the Queen's 90th birthday later this month.

Friday, 15th April 2016, 8:00 am
Repairs to the beacon on the town walls will hopefully take place before the Queen's birthday

Beacons across the country are being lit to mark the occasion on the evening of Thursday, April 21.

However, Berwick was at risk of missing out after concerns were raised about the safety of the beacon.

Berwick Town Council agreed to investigate the situation and requested three tenders for the work.

Local joiner Mike Lee, whose firm put up the beacon some 20 years ago, thought the stem of the brazier was corroded, although other companies indicated they thought it could be patched up.

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The finance and resources committee has now approved remedial repairs up to £1,100 to be carried out. It will examine the need for further repairs at a later stage.

However, the council has acknowledged that the timescale is tight if repairs are to be done to coincide with the national celebrations.

Councillor Gregah Roughead said: “We want to get it done by April 21, and for it to be safe so I suggest we agree expenditure up to a certain amount and delegate it to the clerk to find out which one can be done in the timeframe.”

Councillor Georgina Hill suggested a limit of £1,100 and this was agreed.

Mayor Hazel Bettison felt it was important the beacon was properly repaired in the long-term. She was backed by Councillor Ivor Dixon, who feared the council would be liable if there was an accident. This was agreed.