Closer councillor co-operation will strengthen town

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COUNCILLORS have pledged to work together to get the best deal for Morpeth.

Morpeth Town Council has requested closer co-operation with the area’s three county councillors to ensure a stronger, more co-ordinated response to any issues that may arise.

The matter was raised at a meeting of the full council following an incident at a recent county planning meeting when a lack of communication between town and county members Ken Brown and David Bawn meant there was no co-ordination of their objections to an application.

Coun Brown said: “There is no criticism intended. Both sides have to improve their communication to make a stronger case.”

Mayor Joan Tebbutt said: “One of the things we have found quite useful in Morpeth is working with members of the community and discussing between us the different issues that we need to raise. Some people have even practised together so they get all their points across within the time limit. We should find some way of doing that with the county councillors in the future.”

Coun David Parker said he supported the idea of co-operation, but warned there will be times when town and county councillors have different views.

Coun Bawn, who represents Morpeth North and was at the meeting, said he would be happy to work with the town authority.

He also agreed to discuss major issues with fellow county councillors for the area Andrew Tebbutt and Ian Lindley.

“There is nothing in place yet between the three of us, but I’m happy to sit down and discuss any issues that come up. I don’t propose that there should be a standing meeting to come together all the time, but if an issue comes up I’m quite happy to meet councillors Ian Lindley and Andrew Tebbutt to discuss it,” he said.

Town councillor Nic Best said: “We need a level of co-operation between the three county councillors in the interests of Morpeth town.”