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Views sought on proposed boundary changes to Morpeth Town Council

                 

The electoral arrangements of Morpeth Town Council  are currently being examined with a view to amending its boundaries with Hebron, Hepscott and Mitford Parish Councils.

If these electoral arrangements are approved there will need to be  amendments to the boundaries of Longhorsley, Morpeth North and Pegswood County Council Divisions.

Morpeth Town Council has requested that a community governance review be carried out by the county council to consider whether four areas of land should be moved from neighbouring parishes into its jurisdiction.

It believes that current parish boundaries are out of date and do not reflect the current development of the town.  Morpeth is a hub which provides services enjoyed by a wider population and the town council would like to ensure that in so far as is practical and sensible it recovers the cost of providing these services, through the town council precept charge, by those who use them.

It also feels that it is appropriate that those living in what is regarded as the town of Morpeth should have political representation and be  able to vote for town councillors who are responsible for those services.

Morpeth Town Council also feels it is in a position to provide  services to the new housing estates at a better cost to the taxpayer by utilising economies of scale and the council’s Neighbourhood Environmental Action Teams.   By divesting the rural parishes of the burden of maintaining the services to the new estates there would be less budgetary pressure on the parishes and less requirement for them to raise their precept.

Finally by amending the parish boundaries, the town council feels that the fundamental injustice of one section of the town’s inhabitants paying less for the services used by (in some cases their immediate) neighbours through the accident of a Victorian field line would be resolved.

The areas of land in question are in Hebron, Hepscott and Mitford and maps can be found on www.northumberland.gov.uk  and entering community governance in the search 

If all, or any, of the Parish boundaries are amended as proposed, then there will be a follow on effect on the County Division and these can also be seen on the maps posted on the council’s website.

It is proposed that the boundary between Morpeth Town Council and Hebron Parish Council be amended to allow the transfer to Morpeth Town Council  of 459 new developments at The Northgate, St. Andrews Gardens and The Meadows. In addition, it is proposed that an area of land be moved from Morpeth parish into Hebron parish.

The current 2019/20 Council Tax Band D rate for Hebron Parish is £1,835.76 and for Morpeth £1,947.99.

It is proposed that the boundary between Morpeth Town Council and Hepscott Parish Council be amended to allow the transfer to Morpeth Town Council of two areas to Morpeth Town Council. These are the 438 properties that are being built on Southfields Estate and part of  Stobhill Manor, an established estate which has a parish boundary running through the middle.

The current 2019/20 Council Tax Band D rate for Hepscott Parish is £1,848.32 and for Morpeth £1,947.99

It is also proposed that the boundary between Morpeth Town Council and Mitford Parish Council be amended to allow the transfer to Morpeth Town Council of an area of land bounded by the Lancaster Park estate to the east and the A1 road to the west.  Outline planning permission has been granted for 150 properties and a commercial development on the area in question.

The current 2019/20 Council Tax Band D rate for Mitford is £1,863.07 and for Morpeth £1,947.99.

The County Council is now consulting with local electors and other stakeholders in the area about the proposals.  A report will be sent to the Council in early summer 2020 informing it of the outcome and, if approved a relevant order will come into effect in Summer 2020.

If you would like to make your views known, they should be submitted, in writing, by  28 
February 2020 to :-
Lesley Bennett
Senior Democratic Services Officer, 
Democratic Services, 
Northumberland County Council, 
County Hall, 
Morpeth, 
Northumberland, 
NE61 2EF

OR  E-mail  - cgreviews@northumberland.gov.uk
 
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