2019/20 Budget Approved
Councillors approved a budget and Town Council precept of £306,585 for 2019/20. For a Band D dwelling this will equates to an annual increase of £4.62 (8.9p per week) and will be a 4.4% increase. The new Alnwick Band D town council precept is likely to be £109.91 per annum. The 2019/20 budget will include an increased budget to assist town events (increased by £4,145) and an additional £5,000 for grants to local organisations. £3,500 is also budgeted for the painting of Town Centre lighting columns and funding is provided for an additional part-time operative.
Bill Grimsey to visit Alnwick
The Town Council’s Projects and Funding Officer, Tim Kirton, informed Councillors that there would be a special meeting of the Business Forum on the afternoon of Wednesday 13th February which would be attended by the nationally renowned retail analyst Bill Grimsey, author of The Grimsey Reports of 2013 and 2018. Mr. Grimsey would tour the town and then present to the Forum on his vision for what town centres and High Streets must do to increase their viability and ensure their survival in the future.
Update from Alnwick Police
Sergeant Sharon Wilmore-Greaves from Northumbria Police gave the Town Council an update on police matters. She reported that there had been a slight increase in the number of overall offences across Northumbria from 2017/18 to 2018/19 but that in the Alnwick area overall crimes had dropped by 2%.
Sergeant Wilmore-Greaves confirmed that in Alnwick the number of burglaries and drunk and disorderly offences had increased before Christmas but anti-social behaviour offences were down. She advised that several police operations had been put in place in the run up to Christmas, one of which was a focus on theft from small businesses and shops.
When asked about the town CCTV system, which has installed by the Town Council, Sergeant Wilmore-Greaves commented “the CCTV system has been helpful providing evidence in a number of convictions including assaults”. She went on the say “the local police worked with the Town Council to ensure that the cameras were placed at the most useful locations around the town. We have been working together to adjust the locations and angles of the cameras since they were installed, to ensure that they give the best coverage”. The Town Council will shortly be adding two number plate recognition cameras to the town system, this will further help the police in their investigations.
Sergeant Wilmore-Greaves reported that, in the run up to Christmas, there had also been an evening operation run in conjunction with Trading Standards which had targeted underage drinking. She informed councillors that underage drinking had only been found in one out of the ten locations visited.
Alnwick Bike Track
Councillors received an update report on the Alnwick Bike Track and also heard from Ian McCrae from Gallery Youth about their outreach work at the facility. Councillors agreed to place £10,000 into a fund for future repairs and maintenance and then committed the Council to undertake the necessary works for the next 3 years, and then reviewing the situation. It was a requirement of the grant funding received from Sport England that a fund be established for future repairs and maintenance. The Council were granted a 20 year lease for the site by Northumberland Estates, in 2016.
Councillors held a minutes silence and paid their respects to former Town Councillor Ritchie Waddell who died recently. Ritchie was a former town Mayor who retired as a councillor in 2013 and had served Alnwick Councils for 51 years.