Chairman Myra calls it a day

Myra Blakey.
Myra Blakey.

A COMMUNITY champion who has led a village through more than three decades has closed her last meeting.

Myra Blakey, 87, has served Netherton as the parish council chairman since it was formed on June 11, 1979.

She has worked tirelessly for the village and its residents to give them a voice.

Myra was a councillor in the former Rothbury Rural District Council before it was amalgamated into Alnwick District Council.

“When the Rothbury council finished we didn’t have a direct input to anywhere so we decided to start our own, and I was chairman. And I could never get anybody to take it over,” she said.

But Myra, who lives at Netherton Northside, has enjoyed her time as the village’s leader.

She has seen numerous developments over the years, the most memorable of which was securing affordable housing for residents after council housing was sold off.

“About 10 to 15 years ago we managed to get Johnnie Johnson housing to build 10 properties for local people,” she said.

“We didn’t have anywhere for local people to be able to stay in the village.”

The parish council also introduced computers to the village and ran very successful courses until there was no longer a demand for the service because everyone knew what they were doing.

But Myra will not be taking it easy during her retirement.

She said: “There is so much to do, I’m so busy I haven’t noticed that I’ve left. I won’t be going back though, once you’ve finished that’s it.”

County councillor for Rothbury and Coquetdale, Steven Bridgett said: “Myra leaves the next chairman of the council with some enormous boots to fill, and has shown a distinct dedication to public service and a commitment to improving her community, her perseverance in pursuing the interests of Netherton and Biddlestone are second to none.”