Survey weighs up local priorities

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A SURVEY of services has been launched by Morpeth Town Council to help weigh-up local priorities.

The questionnaire has been compiled as part of a review of the Town Plan, which was produced two years ago, outlining how the community would like the area to develop and actions and policies the council will use to bring about the vision.

However, councillors also hope the consultation will give them a clear view of what is most important to residents as they prepare to sit down with officials from Northumberland County Council to discuss which services could be devolved to them.

Morpeth Mayor Ken Brown said: “We are reviewing the Town Plan because it was produced a couple of years ago and the information that we gathered through surveys and events was collected three years ago.

“We are carrying out the survey primarily because the information we have could be out of date.

“The timing of it is great because Northumberland County Council is possibly going to be devolving some services to town and parish councils. We got a list before Christmas of the kind of things that might be devolved so we thought this would be a good opportunity to ask residents their views on those services that potentially could come to the town council.

“We would like to find out what they think of the quality of the current services and whether they think they are of value to the town.

“That will help us understand when we do the business case for each and every one of these services what the value is.”

Residents are being asked how often they use certain services, how important they are to them and how they would rate the quality.

Items included in the town council list of responsibilities for discussion are allotments, Carlisle Park facilities, community centres, public toilets, the River Warden services, street furniture, grants, the Mayoralty and annual events.

In the county council list there are cemeteries, public spaces, playing fields, car parking, street cleaning, Morpeth Library, markets, crime prevention and waste recycling.

Questionnaires are available at Morpeth Town Hall or online at www.morpethtowncouncil.org.uk

The review will also be discussed at the council’s annual assembly in Morpeth Town Hall on Wednesday, May 4, at 6.30pm.

People who return their survey to the authority by Friday, April 29, will be entered into a £25 prize draw.