I’ve barely started canvassing (well it’s cold out!) but a number of issues have already been raised with me, including:
- Car parking at the Registry Office in Cottingburn: aside from the workforce parking, it is used as free longstay car parking by the general public. There are no regulations for the County’s traffic wardens to enforce – and no car parking for people using the Registry Office. The official line is that all Registry Office appointments are now at the Town Hall so no visitor parking is needed. But that is evidently not the case in practice. In any event, what is NCC doing allowing unregulated free car parking with access from Cottingwood Lane?
- Flooding at Lancaster Park: the drainage on the central field has been engineered wrongly and the field and footpaths flood regularly threatening nearby houses. I raised this at MTC recently but for some reason the press quoted other councillors not me. The wider issue is that there are flooding hazards all over Morpeth that won’t be addressed by the EA town centre scheme – and many likely to be made worse by development in the future. I’m working to make sure all these hazards are featured in the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan.
- Crafting Centre: Morpeth could do with a centre equipped for crafting – from woodturning to silversmithing to silkpainting – as well as selling local crafts like the Chantry or the new gallery up at Northgate. Such workshops could not only offer facilities for local people but they could combine with local B&Bs etc to offer weekend or weeklong ‘interest holidays’ for visitors.
- Carlisle Park Paddling Pool: It’s great the Town Council runs this and it is hugely popular during the summer, but it is open from the end of May to mid September. Apparently, this is a quirk of the insurance cover (which is substantial) – but it has been suggested to me that it’d be better to open at beginning of May and run through the early September.
So – not everyone is talking about the traffic lights, but don’t get me started on that…