PLAN: Repair damage to engagement
Given that Morpeth Town Council has made little comment on the way Northumberland County Council has treated the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan, which a number of town councillors and local residents dedicated a lot of time and effort to, I hope that during private discussions, the town council has asked how the county council will repair the damage done to community engagement.
This is particularly relevant if the image of Morpeth in, for example, 2020, is going to be noticeably different to what residents asked for in a certain local plan.
It is more likely that a town councillor, like Nic Best or Bob Robertson, will be stopped in the street and talked to about it by a concerned resident than a planning official at County Hall would be.
But if the county council has clear and transparent plans, with a commitment to engagement, it would help a town councillor to point a resident in the right direction to get a query answered.
It is surprising that the county council hasn’t published more information on how successful it has been in selling off the many properties it has put up for sale.
But its success can be judged by how many were sold for the asking price, and how the sales affect the council’s planning for the financial year 2017-2018, which will be well under way at County Hall.