AT a time of peace on earth and goodwill to all men it is good to see Scrooge is alive, well and living at County Hall.
Although Alnwick traders have made every effort to encourage people into the town with an outstanding display of Christmas lights and special markets, the Executive running the council in Morpeth has worked hard to sabotage their efforts.
The traditional week of free parking has been reduced to two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon, thus dealing a blow to the shops which are still recovering from last year’s bad weather and the disruption and a year’s reduction of visitors, caused by the A1 road works.
Will it improve next year? I am afraid it will not. Already bus services to the rural areas are being chopped, making it impossible for people without their own transport to travel into the town.
Tesco and Asda must be rubbing their hands at the thought of the increased trade that will come to their internet business, from those fortunate enough to be able to get a broadband connection.
What about the ‘jewel in the crown’, the Olympic Flame staying the night in Alnwick?
Although county is claiming this as their triumph, I understand the budget for floral displays has been cut and the gap will be filled by Alnwick Town council tax-payers.
Meanwhile the south east corner is showered with new leisure centres, link roads and schools.
The haemorrhaging of money for the rural areas must be stopped and county must realise they have responsibility for the whole of Northumberland. I hope we all endeavour to make our voice heard in 2012.