Long history of not listening
I read with interest, and some little exasperation, Coun Peter Jackson's letter regarding the hospital.
Some of the phrases in the letter, to me, are derisory – ‘investment in Berwick’; ‘local voice would be heard’; ‘revitalising the town’; ‘taking into account local views’.
In the past few years, against local wishes, Northumberland County Council has;
• Moved the Tourist Information Office from the Main Street to an upstairs location on a side road.
• Closed West Street to traffic and pedestrians for months.
• Spent a needless amount of ‘investment’ taking away parking places closest to the centre of town to make a coach park. This decision was later reversed thanks to Coun Seymour and local opposition.
• Given permission for a large development for office space in Walkergate with no allowance for parking spaces for employees.
• Given permission for Premier Inn to build a 60-bedroom hotel on an iconic site at the bottom of the town, with not a single parking place for staff or visitors.
• Allowing the removal of a classic 1920s’ building and the erection of the abomination at the end of the new bridge.
I am sure there are many other instances of not listening, especially about the hospital.
All of these matters were objected to by local people and our councillors, who were consistently ignored.
As a resident of Bridge Street, I am anticipating with horror the coming months of disruption by the Premier Inn build.
The preparation for construction has already taken over 20 parking places from the traders. Parking is the lifeblood of Bridge Street, and more widely of Berwick. Closing off Dewars Lane will cause chaos at the lower end of the town.
But you, Coun Jackson are 60 miles away.
Don’t just look to financial investment in the town, consider the heritage, loss of facilities and wellbeing of residents.
Marion J Mead