Mitford Parish Council 

Mitford Parish Council Annual Report May 2024

We were all sorry to see our Chair, Alyson Young, step down for personal reasons last summer.  Alyson has been a stalwart of the Parish Council for many years, and I take this opportunity to thank her for all the hard work and dedication that she has given to our community and for her support during my first term as Chair.  We have welcomed Carole Burn to the Council, she has taken on the website and represents the communities to the east of Mitford Village.  Recently we also said goodbye to Eric Dodd, again for personal reasons, Councillor Dodd had represented Tranwell Woods and had dramatically improved community engagement during his short time with us.

We have continued to work with Northumberland County Council to improve road safety in our villages. In Tranwell Village we expect to see speed calming measures installed this summer, this will include extending the 30mph limit, installing gateway features, plus an interactive speed indicator which has been funded by Councillor Glen Sanderson.  A similar scheme for Tranwell Woods is in the pipeline and should be installed later this year.  A scheme for the east and west approaches to Mitford Village is at the design stage, and an interactive speed sign has already been installed on the west approach funded by the Parish Council.

Road improvements continue to be made with resurfacing of sections of Mitford Steads Road. A collapse of the riverbank at Abbey Mill has resulted in 6 months of traffic restrictions, it is a complex repair and we have worked with Councillor Sanderson to progress this.  One of the Tranwell Woods roads is in very poor condition and has been included in our 2024 transport improvement bid. Water continues to flow down Spital Hill, but the additional drainage installed at the bottom of the hill and opposite Wansbeck Cottage has largely resolved the flooding issue on Mitford Road in all but extreme weather conditions. Blocked drains have been an issue but are generally cleared promptly when reported.

Another significant landslip behind the village hall has occurred with another section of the allotment sliding into the river Font. We continue to monitor this; a layer of boulder clay has been exposed by the erosion and it is hoped that this will slow the rate of erosion.

We continue to Improve aesthetics and environment of the parish, we are replacing the older public benches, looking for new sites for additional ones, investing in flower tubs, and keep the parish tidy with regular grass and hedge trimming. 

Over the course of the year, the Parish Council has considered and commented on 18 planning applications, our objective is always to ensure that any development or change is appropriate and not out of character with the settings of our villages and communities.  Mitford parish is part of the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan, it is 10 years since this plan was made and a review is underway.     

Financially the Parish Council is in a strong position, we intend to reserve £6000 to allow us to contribute to the Parish Hall resilience project, and set aside a further £2000 to buy one new and replace another outdoor bench, leaving current total unreserved funds of £8,328 with a further £4,650 (the 2nd precept instalment) to follow in September.  A small increase in our budget for 2024 does not change the parish component of council tax due to the increase in housing stock.  

Finally, I wish to thank my fellow councillors for all their hard work during the last year, our Clerk for keeping the show on the road, and our County Councillor for his continued support despite his heavy workload.

Dr MRG Sharp, Chairman