NORTHUMBERLAND RETAIL: Make decisions for the future

editorial image

For all of the worries expressed over alcohol, drugs and even gaming addiction, there doesn’t seem to be as much concern about gambling addiction, particularly as the whole industry has moved on from the days of smoke-filled bookmakers to the well-advertised online gambling opportunities.

Hopefully, all of these company taxes can help provide the support that gambling addicts need as whatever the means that someone uses to support their addiction, both addicts and their families generally have challenges in getting support to deal with the impact of the addictive behaviour.

It has been good to see some of the World Cup 2018, particularly after a day at work.

Ok, like many, I have wondered why the best of the three matches in a day wasn’t always shown at the latest time slot, but the positives outweigh the minuses, such as the diving and play acting.

Hopefully, the television viewer statistics will continue to remind the powers-that-be of how important it is to keep the World Cup on terrestrial television.

But also that if there is something people want to watch on terrestrial television, the viewer numbers will be sizeable.

Now that the Arch rebranding exercise has taken place, I hope that Coun Wearmouth is encouraging the staff at Advance to look at the retail challenges each town in the county faces.

Some include projects that weren’t progressed, for example in Bedlington; some include projects where there has been a policy change or three, such as Ashington; and Blyth faces the closure of much-valued pound shops.

As Advance has to consider the potential look of retail in this area in five or 10 years’ time, the indecision or decisions of the past are not as important as the decision made now for the future.

It is difficult to believe that we will all be shopping online in 10 years, but how complicated it may become to buy the basics is another question.

Given the positive work that Barry Scarr did during his time at Castle Morpeth Borough Council, it was good to hear that he has been recruited by Northumberland County Council for a senior financial role.

Clearly there are a range of financial challenges facing the county council, from changes in Government support to the problems with the former Arch operations and Active Northumberland’s operation. These are just a few examples.

Hopefully, Barry will be able to help develop a plan of action – a plan which will engage with both county councillors and residents.

Robert Pollard,