Site covering all things Morpeth is proving popular

A NEW online forum to discuss issues happening in a Northumberland town has already attracted more than 1,300 members.

One of the unintended consequences of the campaign to remove the traffic lights at Telford Bridge was the birth of the Facebook page Morpeth Matters in October.

Chairman of the Lights Out campaign and one of the founders of Morpeth Matters, David Towns, said: “We were overwhelmed by the popular support garnered by the Lights Out campaign and we wanted to find a way to keep that newly energised interest in town affairs going by widening the issues from the junction to cover matters of concern to residents, in a non-political way.

“Issues raised so far concern free parking, dog fouling, littering, flood protection and much more. People also use the site to share old photographs and memories of the town. It has been really educational.”

Co-founder David Bawn, who also serves as one of Morpeth’s county councillors, added: “We wanted to create a kind of virtual Speakers’ Corner, where local people could raise and debate current issues and also share memories and reflections on Morpeth past and present.”

In recent days, there has been a robust debate about the merits and drawbacks of introducing an automatic number plate recognition system for when parking is free in Morpeth.

Other co-founders are independent town councillors David Clark and Bob Robertson.

Coun Clark said: “The site does not have a party political bias and we accept posts and comments from those across the local political spectrum.

“Our aim now is to have over 2,000 members.”