A very kind letter from Michael Stevenson in the Herald this week, complimenting me on my work on Castle Morpeth Borough Council – even if it did read a bit like an obituary.
However, I won’t be fading away into obscurity immediately.
Castle Morpeth Borough Council is not actually abolished until March 31st next year, so I remain a Borough councillor for another nine months or so.
In fact, as ‘Executive Member for Improvement’ (assuming the voting at Annual Council on Monday (19th) goes to plan), I’ll be taking a lead role in winding up the Borough Council (no change there, some might say).
We have a brief overlap period, and if we are to make a smooth transition, then tying up all the loose ends neatly at the Borough will be (nearly) as important as making sure the unitary is ready to take over. And that includes continuity in service delivery, making sure partner organisations (GMDT, Business Forum, ENRgI etc) are OK, supporting staff transfers etc, and making sure the Council's assets go where they should go. The local government restructure in 1974 was fairly sloppy - especially that Morpeth Town Council wasn't created in that process. I'd say that a significant proportion of the local government problems over the past 35 years have been down to poor decisions made in 1974.
I'm hoping we'll do things better this time - and I'll be doing my best - but I'm not optimistic
So - thanks - but please save your plaudits till the job is completed.