Services in the spotlight at council

A whole-scale review of services has been carried out by Morpeth Town Council.

The authority has conducted a base budget review to ensure it is providing value for money.

Members have spent six months studying policies, working practices, costs and delivery mechanisms to ensure the council is handling issues efficiently and effectively.

Coun David Parker, who led the review as Chairman of the Finance and General Purposes Committee, said: “As with all councils, there is significant pressure on Morpeth Town Council to make sure we spend the council taxpayers’ money wisely.

“There is a high expectation in Morpeth that the town council aims to provide ‘added value’ in funding and delivering local services.”

The full council was expected to endorse the review at a meeting last night.

It was also recommended that the committee undertakes further work on specific activities, along with the Property and Assets Management Committee.

Included in the review will be an examination of the council’s staffing structure to ensure it is aligned with the authority’s current and emerging priorities.

The town council is responsible for a number of services, including the provision of litter bins, some play areas, Carlisle Park paddling pool and the skateboard park, as well as seats and benches, bus shelters and toilets at Morpeth Bus Station, The Terrace and Carlisle Park.

It provides grants and subsidies to local organisations and is a lead partner in Northumbria In Bloom and the Morpeth Christmas Lights displays. It is also a partner in the Morpeth Market Partnership and Town Team and is the lead authority for the Neighbourhood Plan.