Members are to look at what can be done to improve the appearance of public parks in the town, following complaints from a resident.
Coun Castle had spoken with someone who compared the state of the public spaces – including Swansfield Park and the Column Field – unfavourably with those in Morpeth.
The town clerk, Bill Batey, explained that in Morpeth, Carlisle Park is a strategic park, which means the county council takes responsibility for the planting and displays. etc.
In total, Morpeth has a budget of around £50,000 for planting, displays and the like around the town.
By contrast, Alnwick spends around £14,000, in part due to the much smaller amount of money it gets from its precept.
However, it was agreed that members could look at ways of improving the appearance of parks. In the case of Swansfield Park, there is an endowment of £100,000 from the developer which could be used.
Coun David Farrar wanted to know how a strategic park was designated, saying it seemed illogical that a town like Alnwick didn’t have any.
It was agreed that the issue would be discussed further by the council’s recreation and amenities committee.
GRANTS AGREED FOR COMMUNITY GROUPS
Alnwick and District Playhouse Trust £1,250; Alnwick & District Camera Club £300; Northumberland Theatre Company £500; Alnwick Community Centre £500; Alnwick Branch of Arthritis Care £125; Alnwick Young People’s Association £500; Lionheart Radio & Media £500; Alnwick and District CAB £900; Alnwick Civic Society £250; Hospice Care North Northumberland £1,000; Alnwick & District Sports Council £350; 2nd Alnwick Rangers £250; Alnwick Town FC £350; Carers Northumberland £500; Alnwick Age Concern Bowling Club £250; Alnwick Amateur Boxing Club £350; Choysez £250.
PROGRESS ON SCHOOL CROSSING PATROLS
Despite long-running problems in trying to attract school crossing patrol officers for Alnwick, which led to safety concerns for children on busy roads, there is now cause for optimism.
Coun Castle said that the county council has received two applications for the vacant posts in the town – one at Swansfield Park Road/Lindisfarne Road and the other on Howling Lane outside St Michael’s First School – which are currently being processed.
CALLS FOR BETTER HALL MAINTENANCE
The town council is to contact the county council regarding the upkeep of the Northumberland Hall, for which the county is responsible.
Coun Castle told the meeting that he had raised the issue as a county councillor, but felt support from the town council in his request for a continuing management agreement, would be helpful.
FURTHER DELAYS, BUT BACK ON TRACK NOW
Coun Castle told members that the new parking regime for the Market Place featuring parking, disabled and loading bays had been delayed again.
Local Living, which runs Alnwick Markets, had raised concerns about whether the proposed signage was adequate for market days. These have now been resolved and the scheme is progressing again.