Town Council pledges support

TOWN councillors have pledged their full support for the troubled Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade.

The business group has seen most of its funds wiped out in an alleged theft, with around £22,000 missing from the accounts it has built up over decades.

However, chamber members say they are confident that they will be able to continue their activities in the town, including Morpeth In Bloom, Fair Day and Christmas light displays, and are already planning fundraising events to boost their coffers.

Now Morpeth Town Council has offered its support.

Coun Ken Brown said: “The chamber of trade is a valued organisation and contributes a lot to the town. The town council is involved in a number of partnership working projects with the chamber, such as In Bloom, Christmas lights and economic development.

“I would ask that we adopt a positive approach in providing assistance to the chamber.”

The call came at a meeting of the council’s Finance and General Purposes Committee and members were unanimous in their approval. Committee Chairman David Parker said: “I would like to propose from the chair that we write to the chamber of trade, that we express our appreciation of the work that it does with us, express our regret at the difficulties it is having at present and also look forward to continuing to work with the chamber of trade in the future.

“Mindful of its difficulties, we are ready to work with it in any appropriate ways that are helpful to its future.”

Coun Derek Thompson added: “Any organisation can be blighted by this situation and therefore when an organisation with which we have close ties and co-operate with on a number of issues has these sort of problems we need to give it our support.

“I’m not quite sure how comprehensive that support can be, but certainly we should give our support and look at ways in which we can help the chamber to get out of its difficulties.”