Council’s number of committees changes from three to two

Coun David Bawn, Finance and General Purposes Committee chairman.
Coun David Bawn, Finance and General Purposes Committee chairman.

A major change to Morpeth Town Council’s committee structure has been adopted.

At the full council meeting that took place last week, members unanimously agreed to reduce the number of main committees from three to two – each with nine councillors plus the mayor.

The Property and Assets Committee is being merged into the Finance and General Purposes Committee. It will be chaired by Coun David Bawn and the vice-chairman is Coun Andrew Tebbutt.

Speaking after the meeting, Coun Bawn said: “We had reached the stage where the council was meeting pretty much every Wednesday, often just for the sake of meeting.

“The streamlining of committees will save money and free up the time of council officers and councillors to concentrate on delivering services people care about.”

The Planning and Transport Committee remains in place, but it will meet less frequently. Its chairman is Coun Richard Wearmouth and the vice-chairman is Coun Johnny Wearmouth.

Coun Johnny Wearmouth said: “We felt that the previous regime of meeting every fortnight to consider every single planning application lodged, no matter how small or uncontroversial, was not a good use of the council’s time.

“Therefore, we’ve implemented a system in which we’ll only seek to comment on significant or controversial schemes, or ones that raise issues about the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan or substantial loss of amenity to residents.”