TRUST: A good record on delivery

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It was good to hear from Doug Phillips, of the Greater Morpeth Development Trust, that the redevelopment of Morpeth Railway Station is both on time and on budget.

The handout he gave clearly illustrated the thought and work that had to be put into the project to understand the existing buildings at the station, then to work out how to protect and improve the historical value of the building, but to also bring the buildings more to life through increasing their use.

If there are plans to make improvements to Morpeth Bus Station, a project on a totally different scale, the owners could do a lot worse than walk down to the main entrance to Carlisle Park and ring on the door bell of the house at the entrance.

Given the Greater Morpeth Development Trust’s record on project delivery and community engagement over the years on limited resources, I hope that our local county councillors, Coun Bawn, Weamouth and co, do what they can to promote the trust at County Hall.

I hope they will encourage the powers-that-be to decentralise future regeneration work in the town, and also to build on community engagement.

People walking around the town have an opinion on any work being done, such as the latest redevelopment work at the former home of Tweedie’s wool shop.

The development trust’s location and community links keeps it in touch with grass-roots opinion, which is important with project development.

l Community Action Northumberland has done a lot of good work helping people deal with problems that affect them in their day-to-day life in their own area.

I like the idea of courses being run to introduce people to the benefits of slow cookers, which involve learning new cooking skills if people are more used to using the frying pan or microwave, but can also have energy saving benefits.

Who knows, perhaps similar work can be done in a local community centre, for example Storey Park and St James’s Centre, in the future?

l It remains surprising that Morpeth Antiquarian Society members continue to have to fund the storage of the collection of Morpeth’s historical treasurers, which used to be stored in the Town Hall.

The longer this goes on the future of collections of items of local historical value held by local residents will be uncertain.

If someone builds up a collection of photographs or postcards of the town, they want a safe future for their collection for future residents to value and appreciate.

However, many new houses end up being built in the town, new residents still have the right to learn about the history of it, even if there isn’t the flexibility in the county council budget to fund a town museum.

Surely, more can be done as a compromise by the council to protect the history of the town, rather than leaving it to volunteers.

Robert Pollard

Northbourne Avenue

Morpeth