Website founder in ‘snub’ claim

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THE man behind a new website showcasing Morpeth’s businesses and community events says he has been snubbed by the town’s Chamber of Trade.

Morpeth Central, set up by Dan Bond, has details of shops, pubs, restaurants and services, as well as a discount section, information about local facilities, and a social diary including pub quizzes and scout groups.

The business consultant says he approached the chamber a few months ago, met with committee members and asked to present his work to the group with the intention of joining, but this was rejected.

“This decision seems to have been made because Morpeth Central is seen as some sort of competition to the Chamber of Trade, which is just ridiculous,” he said.

“The stated aim on its website is to promote Morpeth and District as the centre of business excellence and this is our aim too, so what is its problem with us?

“We are led to believe that the group is implementing a loyalty card scheme and this may have had something to do with the rejection of our application. ”

He added: “It has taken a lot of time for us to get all the information in one place and both individuals and businesses who have seen the website have been impressed.

“Telling everyone what is going on in Morpeth is vital. If someone comes to something like a yoga class they will have their yoga mat in one hand and their wallet or purse in the other, ready to enjoy the rest of the town, so this must be a way of increasing footfall.”

The chamber says that although Mr Bond’s business is similar to its own More in Morpeth site, he is welcome to apply to be a member.

Chairman John Beynon said: “There are now two separate brands running in parallel, with More in Morpeth set up to promote the town centre and raise funds for the chamber, but there’s no reason why we can’t keep talking to each other.

“We think it’s very important to showcase what the town has to offer.

“Mr Bond has yet to ask to join our group, but he is more than welcome to approach us for an application form.”