David Clark, thank you for your response to my letter regarding new late-night drinks licensing in Morpeth centre.
The level of sarcasm you used disappoints me as does your apparent lack of understanding in the area.
While the Chancellor of the Exchequer does benefit from the trade, so do many others – the staff working at the venues, the local people that own these businesses, Morpeth-based taxi companies, the North East-based suppliers, the landlords, the local council (business rates, tax etc), independent takeaways and so on.
Let’s not forget it also benefits thousands of local people and those from the surrounding areas who enjoy having, and making use of, these venues close by.
It also disappoints me how you appear to have attempted to belittle the hundreds of valuable jobs created by the industry, a full-time career for many people in Morpeth as well as providing much-needed part-time hours and work experience for younger people; something that is in very high demand.
You also commented that Morpeth has ‘changed beyond recognition for the better’. For the chains such as Wetherspoon, Pizza Express, Dransfield and Morrisons. I’m sure it has; for many other local businesses, I’m sure this statement is very questionable.
As to your comments about my location and motivation behind raising this issue, having lived in Morpeth centre and Newcastle centre, it is part-and-parcel that noise levels are generally increased in town-centre locations, at all times of day.
There have been bars in Morpeth for hundreds of years and there are many ways landlords and managers can help control noise and disturbance during opening hours and after last orders.
I appreciate some people will have legitimate concerns and I do hope these are responded to in a way that benefits local residents but also the licensed trade equally.
There have been two separate occasions recently when you have made comments in the paper immediately arguing against new licence applications (previously Ice Bar) and felt the many positive points these venues can bring to the area should also be accurately publicised.
By the dramatic way you described the industry in your previous letter, it is clear you personally do not support it.
However, I do hope some of my comments have given you a slightly clearer understanding of the area.