Voting is open for civic awards

Voting is under way to decide Morpeth’s champion of the community.

Three organisations have been shortlisted for the Community Award in this year’s Morpeth Civic Awards.

And members of the public will decide the winner.

Morpeth RAFA (Royal Air Forces Association) Club, The Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan Preparation Group and the Greater Morpeth Development Trust’s (GMDT) Arts and Culture Group are all vying for the honour.

The RAFA Club, which has about 200 members, has been nominated for its support of ex-service personnel and their families, as well as its contribution to the wider community of the town.

Branch Chairman Doug Harrison said: “It is great to be shortlisted for this award. We have never been recognised before with anything like this.

“Over the last seven years the work we have put into Morpeth has come more to the fore, but we have always supported the town.

“The club is very much part of civic events, we also help ex-service personnel families, we provide things like a week’s holiday for ex-service people who can’t afford to get away, and we get involved in the national Wings Appeal. We are there to help if we can.”

Volunteers in the Plan Preparation Group have spent hundreds of hours preparing the consultation document for the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan, including text, maps and images.

Once approved, the Plan will set policies to shape the character of Morpeth and surrounding parishes for the next 15 to 20 years.

Coun Nic Best said: “This is a group of volunteers who have given their time over the past two years, and without them the Plan would not have come together at all.”

The GMDT Arts and Culture Group is involved in organising the Picnic In The Park and World Book Night, hosts the Northumberland Theatre Company, and runs Morpeth’s community cinema.

Director Frank Rescigno said: “I’m surprised and very pleased that the group is shortlisted for the award. We do these things not really to get awards or recognition, which is nice because there are several people involved in the various projects, but we do them to improve the quality of life for people in Morpeth.

“The community cinema was the result of some of the older citizens who couldn’t get to a cinema in Newcastle wanting one on the doorstep. That is what we have tried to provide.”

Voting closes on Sunday, April 19. To vote visit www.morpeth-tc.gov.uk or call into Morpeth Town Hall.