UP TO DATE: Chairwoman Cllr Jeanette Newell and Cllr Ken Cook review Lynesack and Softley Parish Council's new-look website
UP TO DATE: Chairwoman Cllr Jeanette Newell and Cllr Ken Cook review Lynesack and Softley Parish Council's new-look website

A PARISH council is hoping its revamped website will bring members closer to the 1,000 or so people they serve.

Lynesack and Softley Parish Council members are hoping to hear more from the people they represent in six villages and hamlets in the upper Gaunless Valley, including Butterknowle, Copley, Lynesack, South Side, parts of Woodland and Lanehead.

They also hope their new look website, lynesackand softleyparishcouncil.co.uk, will let villagers know more about what the parish council is doing for them.

Chairwoman Cllr Jeanette Newell said: “The website is much easier to operate and it is much easier for our parish clerk to update.”

She explained that the complicated nature of the previous website meant the parish council had to pay for anything to be posted to it.

Along with councillors’ details and minutes and agendas of monthly meetings, the website contains a short description of each of the villages and hamlets in the area.

Plans are to develop this in future to include a brief history of each, which is to be produced by the Gaunless Valley History Trust.

In addition members want to link it to a future Facebook page.

Cllr Newell said: “We want to develop the website so it is more interactive with people in the parish.”

Cllr Ken Cook said the site could be useful in gathering more information about what people want from the council.

Recently, the council installed new planters at the entrance to each of the villages and hamlets which they replant annually, and during the past year they have replaced the more than a dozen wooden benches in the parish with more durable plastic structures.

Cllr Cook added that people can also help the council to update the information it has, an example being the first names of the men from the parish who died during the Second World War.

Various war memorials in the parish only list their initials and surnames – a problem that became evident when Cllr Cook read out the names during the recent Remembrance Day service.

He said: “People got a little bit upset about it. It is very cold and impersonal when you read out only initials and surnames.”

While the parish chairwoman has uncovered the first names of five of the men, uncertainty surrounds several others and six remain a complete mystery.

Although further attempts are be made to uncover more about the Second World War heroes when the county’s records office reopens in the New Year, Cllr Cook hopes people who know more will get in touch.

The names concerned are L Blenkinsop, W Dowson, G Kirkup, T Kellett, W Kellett, MS Lowson, JP Reed and T Reed.

Anyone who can help can email lynesackandsoftleyparishcouncil@outlook.com