Hundreds sign up to petition

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THE campaign to fight for Morpeth flood defences has got off to a flying start with almost 750 people signing up in a week.

But we are seeking far more for our petition to press home to Environment Agency chiefs and the Government that the Morpeth flood alleviation project must be a priority.

The campaign was launched after it was announced that the Morpeth scheme would not be included in the 2011/2012 budget. We are calling for that decision to be reversed and for work to start this year as originally planned.

Hundreds of people showed their support for the campaign by dropping by the Morpeth Flood Action Group’s (MFAG) stall in Sanderson Arcade on Saturday.

And about 50 took away envelopes to write letters outlining their experiences of the 2008 flood and the impact it would have on their lives if the alleviation scheme is delayed.

Already MFAG has received 14 completed letters from residents.

Chairman Alan Bell said: “The event went very well. There was a good response from people and a lot of anger shown towards the people who have made the decision to defer the Morpeth scheme. Everybody was commenting that something has to be done about it. The personal letters are very moving and some have brought our members to tears. If these letters don’t have any effect on the decision-makers, nothing will.”

Petition forms have now been distributed among Morpeth shops, community groups, churches and businesses, and they are also available in Morpeth Town Hall, the Riverside Leisure Centre, the Chantry and Morpeth Library.

Extra forms are available from the Morpeth Herald office in Newgate Street.

MFAG members and councillors will have the petition to sign and be at hand to help with letter-writing again in Sanderson Arcade on Saturday, from 10am to 3pm. There may also be a stall in the Market Place.

Letters about the flood scheme can be sent to MFAG member Vanessa Braidwood, 10 Queen Street, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 1TX. They will be sent on to the Environment Agency Board.

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