Time to catch breath between the end of summer and the start of the run-up to Christmas and the key phrase seems to be “bounce back”: bringing people back into Morpeth after the roadworks are finished.
Belated congratulations to all those involved in “In Bloom” this year – we returned to our winning ways with the “Best Town” award plus no less than five Gold awards. A lot of time, effort and resources go into our “In Bloom” entry each year, but sometime I think we don’t blow our own trumpet quite enough. To coin a phrase – it isn’t the winning that counts, it is getting visitors to come and see the town that keeps on winning.
The Food Festival continues this “bounce back” theme – bringing people back into Morpeth – for me, the Festival isn’t just about one or two very busy days, but it is a showcase for the town, so that visitors think “we should come back and have more of a look round Morpeth”. And then we are into the run-up for Christmas… with the Christmas Lights, and two or three Christmas markets including one with students from KEVI and the two Middle Schools selling products they’ve designed and marketed themselves.
In the next month or so, we are going to see consultation starting on the much-anticipated “Morpeth Masterplan”: following the recommendations in the Neighbourhood Plan, NCC are going to put all the Council-owned sites “on the table” together with a list of the services (library, infopoint etc) that they want to run in Morpeth, and a list of the facilities wanted by the Council and by the local community (e.g. leisure centre, art centre, new-build school) plus some ideas for (non-housing) private sector investment. And the consultation and Masterplan will be about getting a “best fit” across all the available sites. This comprehensive approach is something that the Town Council has been advocating for three or four year now – and I hope that it can be followed through properly.