Group vows to pay off its debt

A CASH-STRAPPED Morpeth business group has confirmed it will pay off its outstanding debt.

The Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade was left virtually penniless earlier this year following the suspected theft of its funds.

And when members investigated the extent of the black hole, they found a £3,500 bill for last year’s Christmas lights had still not been paid to Morpeth Town Council.

The authority had told the chamber there was no hurry to settle the bill, but after a meeting with council representatives about the issue, the business group now plans to pay it in August.

Chamber Chairman John Beynon said: “The committee members all agreed that it is vitally important for the chamber to be seen to be paying any debts.

“The idea now is to wait until after Fair Day and Golf Day until we have more money in the account and we intend to pay the debt in the first week of August. For the credibility of the chamber, we need to do that and the town council was very happy with that.”

He added: “For this year’s lights we will have to wait and see what we have in the budget and the town council was very understanding about that. We feel we want to contribute, but we can’t say yet how much that will be.

“For Britain In Bloom activities we are doing everything that we would normally do.”