ARTS: Town needs cultural space

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I am greatly troubled by the direction Northumberland County Council has been taking and the value that is being given to commerce.

Morpeth is a pleasant town, but in great danger of being a place without a heart. A heart provides the life blood that allows a body to thrive.

Morpeth Library provided a spiritual home for the whole community. It was a haven for many people, a provider of opportunities for learning, and a safe and welcoming refuge and meeting place for children, the unemployed, the retired, and for all lovers of books.

After the flood it was a pleasure to return to the refurbished centre of our community.

How sad it is now to see it deteriorating and to think that it might be demolished, along with the decaying buildings adjoining it.

We should keep our library and consider a good use for the buildings.

Morpeth has very little provision for the arts.

Other comparably sized towns, such as Hexham, Alnwick and Berwick, have designed spaces providing galleries, cinemas and theatres.

Morpeth alone is without any cultural spaces that are available to all citizens.

There are, of course, societies that cater for specific needs, but these are not enough.

Today, when schools are experiencing cuts, it is the arts that are being marginalised.

Music, drama and art are the least valued of all subjects, and yet these are the ways in which society expresses itself.

We are all poorer without this self-expression.

We need this mirror to reflect what our values are, to see where we are going, and to check that we have the best interest of all members of our society in mind.

Jane Murray

Morpeth