Plea made for town to get clean-up

Calls have been made for an urgent deep clean of Berwick's '˜filthy' and '˜dirty' town centre.

Monday, 13th August 2018, 7:58 am
Rubbish littering Berwick's main street.

The plea was made by Coun Georgina Hill, member for Berwick East on Northumberland County Council, and backed by members of Berwick Town Council on Monday night.

Coun Hill wants the clean-up carried out before the town hosts the finale to the Great Northumberland programme on September 1.

She said: “We get visitors from all over the place who think this is an amazing place but tell us the town centre is filthy. It is embarrassing to hear visitors marvel at the walls but comment on how dirty the town centre is.

“The local services team are absolutely fantastic but they are under-resourced, so we are trying to lobby for them to get more money and help.

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“I have asked the powers that be at Northumberland County Council for a proper deep clean of the town centre ahead of the Great Song of the North event which is hopefully going to bring lots of tourists into the town.

“I am sure everyone will agree the town centre is just embarrassing. This, of course, should not be a one-off but scheduled.”

The condition of the public toilets at Castlegate has been highlighted as a particular problem (see Page 5).

Coun Hill has also called for a co-ordinated effort to be made on Berwick’s submissions for funding through the Local Transport Plan to give them a better chance of success. In her ward, she is calling for the resurfacing of Prince Edward Road in Tweedmouth and Spiders Alley linking lower Spittal with Highcliffe and Eastclife. The town council is likely to outline its priorities in September.

Coun Karin Graham said: “I just find we don’t get what we ask for. We never get a look in.”

But Coun Hill said members of the North Northumberland Local Area Council had acknowledged that Berwick had received a bad deal over the years and there could now be an opportunity to put this right but it would require a co-ordinated effort so that it’s submissions fared well in the points scoring system used by the county council to determine which schemes should receive funding.

* The Great Song of the North will see a festival procession of around 300 people along Marygate from 4pm, before a community choir gathers in front of the town hall to sing a rousing selection of well-loved Berwick and Northumbrian songs - concluding with a specially commissioned celebratory fanfare on the newly restored ceremonial Fanfare Trumpets of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers, and a gala tea in the Guildhall.

The event’s formal element is a seated concert at The Maltings at 5.30pm : a musical celebration of Northumberland with the community choir and members of The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, featuring a newly commissioned song suite The Great Song of the North by composer Dominique Le Gendre, Elgar’s Sea Pictures with local mezzo-soprano Tamsin Davidson, and contemporary settings of Northumbrian songs including Bonny at Morn, Whittingham Fair, and Blow the Wind Southerly. The second half of the programme is a celebration of the Northumbrian pipes featuring The Mayor of Berwick’s official piper, Alice Robinson.

Free event, but ticketed – please book your place in the procession and/or your concert ticket via The Maltings box office.