LIBRARY: Bob will be missed by many

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Once the former library building in Morpeth is demolished I hope it won’t be long before the site has a new use.

I hope it isn’t a temporary car park for too long as the memories of happier days at the old library will linger.

Hopefully it will also not take Northumberland County Council long to develop a new strategy for the library service as problems were found with the previous administration’s perspective on the future of leisure and library services.

The county’s cultural needs are still important in this digital, high-tech era.

It isn’t that long since the last Morpeth Development Plan, which a range of local people put their time and effort into to present their hopes for the future of the town.

If you go back over the last 30 years you will no doubt find that politicians across the political spectrum at all levels of local government have talked about the importance of the community being at the heart of the development of the town.

When you look at the volume of new houses being built around the town you can’t help pick up on the impact it has on infrastructure, from schools to roads and beyond.

Any five-year plan for the town will have to deal with the problems of today, many of which have been around for years, for example, the need for a new bridge over the Wansbeck to redirect traffic flow.

So however well meaning a new local plan may be, it will run up against local cynicism based on years of experience.

I would like to pass on my sympathy to the late Bob Robertson’s wife and family.

I was saddened by the news of his passing, but at the same time a lot of positive memories of talking to Bob over the years came back.

The county council is on the verge of demolishing the old Morpeth library building, a place where I put the world to rights with Bob more than once over the years, but where Bob’s dry sense of humour made both present and past library staff laugh.

A mutual friend recently called Bob ‘the last Morpeth independent politician’, which hopefully, given the long tradition of independent politicians in the town, won’t be the case.

When a certain roundabout gets built at the bottom of St George’s Drive in 2018, hopefully some respect will be given to an independent politician who recognised the difficulties traffic lights there would cause the town and lobbied for a roundabout.

Bob was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in and could find humour in most aspects of life, which is a good balance to have.

He will be dearly missed by a range of people in the town and outside across his range of interests.

Robert Pollard

Northbourne Avenue