HEALTH: Listen to the concerns

When Northumberland County Council changed its mind on a car parking charge policy in Blyth due to a considerable amount of negative feedback, it was good to see it listening to local people’s concerns.

Thursday, 14th February 2019, 05:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th February 2019, 11:47 am

I would hope that the council would listen to the concerns of Rothbury residents about the future of their hospital; to Alnwick residents over the importance of improved GP access; to Berwick residents on their concerns about the hospital there meeting their needs; and the concerns Morpeth residents have about the Whalton Unit.

The provision of healthcare in the local community is a very important issue.

I am in good health so I have limited direct contact with the health service, but people I know continue to share their experiences. When people talk about health it’s important to listen.

Lynne Russell raised a lot of good points about the impact of litter on the roadside affecting wildlife (Morpeth Herald, January 24).

It can often be a life and death issue, and litter in general should bother people more than it does.

With the variety of council community forums in the county, some thought could be given to what can be done by everyone, from individuals to schools, to community groups, to the local authority, to develop a consistent approach to litter collection.

In part, it will be down to working out why some parts of the county are more litter-free than others, then picking up the benefits that brings to a local area and working out what can be done to make improvements.

Good news stories are very welcome in Morpeth at this time of year when people tend to be gloomy. However, the plan to build a new leisure centre in Morpeth is mixed news.

For the county council to borrow money at the comparatively low rates it can to build something isn’t unusual.

But given that we read year in and year out of the need to make cuts in the council’s budget, where will the funds come from to effectively staff and meet the running costs of the facility?

Where will the funds be found to develop a health and fitness strategy to improve the health of local residents by increasing the options available to improve personal fitness?

Unless a new facility can be part of a funded broader strategy, there would be greater financial benefit in investing in other local projects.

It was good to see the late Jim Rudd among a number of familiar faces in the photograph of Morpeth Market Place in 1989.

I had forgotten that Wm Low had been based in the shop unit next to Lumsden Lane at one stage. The unit has always been an important means of getting footfall to shops in the area.

Hopefully in 2019 we will see good news stories about the retail in Morpeth, with the present and the next Mayor opening a new business or two.

Living where I do, I’ve grown accustomed to trees being part of the local environment.

From the trees in the different gardens, both up from where I live and down from where I live, some of the trees could do with some TLC and a prune, some are ok.

But the hill wouldn’t be the same without them.

So it continues to be disappointing when there is not enough effort to protect established trees in the town.

The developers seeking after the fact permission to remove trees they have already removed at the new Goose Hill site isn’t the first time such an act has happened.

However, if someone takes a photograph of a tree under threat and contacts the council, I wonder how quickly the council would take action?

Robert Pollard

Northbourne Avenue