Sad reflection of town

When reading last week’s historic final broadsheet edition of the Morpeth Herald, I found myself wondering how future Morpeth historical researchers, in the mould of our present-day Alan Davison and Roger Hawkins, would analyse the current state of the town.

For me, the Letters page summed it up, in the letters that were published and one that wasn’t.

Firstly, a confusing and overtly political letter from a local Tory who seemed to be criticising a local councillor for not listening to the opinions of his electorate while simultaneously also criticising the same councillor for changing his mind presumably because he did listen to the views of his electorate.

Secondly, a letter from a resident who appears to be suggesting that traffic lights are a key issue for consideration at the forthcoming election.

Yes, they are an issue that many people are concerned about, but their fate is being determined already.

In any event, flood insurance, social care, tackling poverty, creating job opportunities, affordable housing and many other issues surely deserve far more attention and consideration ahead of traffic lights!

And yes, thirdly, I do agree with your correspondent that most people are fed up with the saga of the lights especially, as already stated, they are now being dealt with.

It’s just such a pity that

the Herald allows people

to hide behind ‘Name and Address Supplied’.

I sometimes don’t agree with these anonymous people (or is it always the same person?) but I would respect their opinions much more if they had the courtesy to allow their name to be published. Their opinion is lost to our future historians.

The letter that wasn’t published, although it was delivered in good time (perhaps it’s in this edition) was from Graeme Trotter, reminding the people of Morpeth about the development of the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan, a community initiative that will shape Morpeth and Pegswood in particular for the next 20 years.

Some 200 local residents are putting a huge effort into developing the plan, one of the first of its kind in the country, certainly the first such plan ever in Morpeth’s history.

So our historians of 2113, looking back at the last broadsheet Morpeth Herald, will perceive of a town that whinges about minor issues rather than one that demonstrates that there is a strong community spirit where people give up their spare time for the benefit and well-being of others and for our town.

I think it a great shame that the Herald missed this significant and historic opportunity to paint a more accurate picture of what is really happening in Morpeth.

COUN KEN BROWN

Morpeth North County Council Candidate,

Kirkhill Councillor at

Morpeth Town Council,

Mayor of Morpeth

2009-2011

EDITOR’S RESPONSE: It is testimony to the people of Morpeth that the Herald has a bulging letters bag. It is also a reflection of the regard readers have for their local newspaper. The consequence of that success is that there is a backlog of letters, so unfortunately some correspondents miss out. We also do not dictate what our correspondents write about, living, as we do, in a society of free speech. We tend to put the letters page together on a first come, first served basis. Mr Trotter’s letter arrived on Monday after the page had been completed. As its content was not time-sensitive, it was decided that publication could wait a week rather than jeopardise Herald deadlines by changing the completed page. It is therefore published, fittingly, in this, the first Herald of a bright, new era.