Thursday, 21 June 2007

Will it be 2nd July?

A strong runour that work will begin on the town centre ('Dransfield') development on 2nd July...

5th July: No signs yet - but contractors are drilling holes in Wellway, in preparation for installation of storm overflow tanks to stop the road and the Cotting Burn flooding. This will involve a 7m deep hole being dug all the way along Wellway. I'll certainly be taking more care on the way back from the Tap & Spile while its on.

Meanwhile - NCC are starting the resurfacing of the A197 from Makeging Roundabout to County Hall on July 8th - 24 hour working for three weeks. The road won't be closed, but there'll be a 10mph speed limit for the duration.
All lining up nicely for the Britain in Bloom inspection on 16th July!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Shopping Trolleys on the Loose!

I gather M&S shopping trolleys have been sighted in various locations around Morpeth - some considerable way from the Market Place. And apparently, M&S staff have shown little interest in retrieving them.

As far as I'm aware (don't frequent supermarkets much myself) Morrison's and Lidl's trolleys don't wander because a deposit system is used, while Co-Op customers are just too community-minded to go off with trolleys.

So - why don't M&S introduce a deposit system - or are they making so much money in Morpeth they can afford to lose the occasional trolley?

Saturday, 2 June 2007


So what have I sold my soul for in signing up to the "Unholy Alliance". Well I've been given a portfolio on the Executive Board - I'm now the Executive Member for Improvement!

Improvement of what you might well ask? Well - it used to be called "Corporate Governance" but that was considered too obscure for the public to understand.

So, the name was changed to "Improving the Council" - as in "Executive Member for Improving the Council". But that was quickly abandoned either because it seemed too heavy a burden for one councillor - or because it gave cause for too much public ribaldry (and we can't have that!)

Perhaps it's best described as the bits left over from the other (more obvious) Executive Member - Environment, Economy, Communities - I dunno?

So - Improvement? What do you think needs improving?

Friday, 1 June 2007

An Unholy Alliance

I quite like the idea of being part of an 'Unholy Alliance' - as the Tory-Labour coalition now running the Borough Council has been dubbed. It's particularly interesting because - at least for the moment - the two parties seem to understand and trust me and the two Independents rather more than each other...

You have to feel sorry for the LibDems though. They've been 'in power' at the Borough Council - as part of coalitions with the Independents, with Labour, with everyone - for over eight years, and now when they have a huge election triumph with their highest ever number of seats, they find it's their turn to be in opposition.

Of course it didn't help that they went around before the election saying they couldn't work as part of an all-party coalition again - and their 'no holds barred' approach to electioneering seemed to overlook the point that they'd need to be working with at least some of the other parties after the election. You'd have thought that a party committed to proportional representation would have worked out a more integrated approach to coalition-building - and that holds true for their recent performances in the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly.

So - I've backed the "Unholy Alliance" because I think that the Tories and Labour need more help with their "Green" policies - and that the LibDems will make an effective opposition.

I sincerely hope we won't revert to inter-party squabbling and that we aren't in for a year(s)-long election campaign for a future Unitary Authority.