Putting down roots

FOUR seats on the town council will be contested in an election on May 5.

The vacancies arose after councillors Jane Mann, Susan Bell, Dorothy Hankin and Deputy Mayor David Archer –all representing Castle Ward – stood down at the February meeting.

Town clerk Bill Batey said a request had been received from 10 electors, which meant that a by-election had to be called.

“The formal process is now up and running and the proposed date of the election will be May 5, to coincide with the UK referendum on voting reform,” he said. “Northumberland County Council will run the election and the next stage will be to publish the legal notice of election for candidates to come forward by April 4.”

A briefing session for prospective candidates will be held on March 22 at the council chamber at 6pm, which will explain the role of a town councillor and provide further information on what is expected.

APPOINTMENTS to committees and outside bodies have been made by the town council, following the resignations and retirements of four councillors last month.

Coun Martin Harrington was appointed vice chairman of the playgrounds and allotments committee, with Coun Bill Grisdale as vice chairman.

Coun Ken Moore and Coun Symmonds will become the town representatives on Alnwick In Bloom, while Coun Walton will join the charity committee and Coun Blakey will be town representative on the Local Multi-Agency Problem Solving group.

TOWN councillors have agreed to support a bid for the planting of new trees in Alnwick, which is being led by the community development trust.

Two sites have been identified for the Big Tree Plant initiative, next to Alnwick North Community Centre and on a vacant council allotment at Ratten Row.

A REQUEST is to be made to the highways authority to use a compatible colour for asphalt being laid on Bondgate Within.

Coun Ritchie Waddell said a ‘patchwork’ effect wouldn’t be acceptable in Alnwick’s conservation area.