Town Council flies the flag for Armed Forces Week

Last week was Armed Forces week and to mark the start and end of the week Alnwick Town Council held its annual Flag Raising and Lowering Ceremonies at Alnwick Castle on Monday June 19th and Saturday June 24th.

Alnwick Armed Forces June 19th 2017





Flag Raising ceremony at Alnwick Castle

Attending both ceremonies Mayor of Alnwick, Councillor Alan Symmonds said “as Mayor of Alnwick and on behalf of Alnwick Town Council I have always felt it was important that as a town we are able to acknowledge the members of the armed forces and I hope that in some way our ceremonies during Armed Forces Week do that”.


Representatives and veterans from the three armed forces, lead my Mayor, paraded through the Barbican entrance onto area in front of the Fusiliers Museum.  The parade also included standard bearers from the RAF Association, Coldstream Guards Association, Fusiliers Association and British Legion, Town Councillors and members of the public.


Monday’s Flag Raising ceremony was led by Reverend Craig, who was a Chaplain to the Queen from the early 1990s until he retired in 2002, who gave a brief introductory address. This was followed by psalm 67 and a reading from St Matthew Chapter 5 entitled Salt and Light which the Mayor read.  Prayers for the Queen, Armed Forces, Army Reserves and Cadets of the Sea, Air and Land were said by Reverend Craig.  A minute’s silence was held at 11am in remembrance of those who lost their lives and all those affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower. This was part of a UK minute’s silence which all government buildings marked.


The National Anthem was sung and Reveille played whilst the Armed Forces flag was raised.


Saturday’s Flag Lowering ceremony again saw representatives and veterans from the three armed forces, standard bearers, Town Councillors and members of the public led through the Barbican into the castle by the Mayor onto the area in front of the Fusiliers Museum.

Armed Forces Flag Lowering JUNE 24th 2017





Flag Raising ceremony at Alnwick Castle


Prayers for the Queen, Armed Forces, Army Reserves and Cadets of the Sea, Air and Land were said by Madeline Russell, from St James’s United Reformed Church in Alnwick, who also led attendees in The Lord’s Prayer and gave the final blessing.


Specially chosen readings included passages from Deuteronomy and the Venerable Bede and were read by representatives of the navy, army and air force. The ceremony concluded with the group standing to attention to sing the National Anthem then turning towards the flagpole on top of the Fusiliers Museum and whilst The Last Post was played the Armed Forces flag was lowered.


Alnwick was one of over 300 locations which held ceremonies to honour Britain’s Armed forces present, past and future sharing the day with the national Armed Forces Day Ceremony which took place in Liverpool.


The Mayor finished by quoting George Orwell “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because men stand ready to do violence on their behalf” and asking the representatives of the Armed Forces to pass on the continued thanks for their support from the people of Alnwick.


Neighbourhood Plan Referendum

Neighbourhood Plan logoPolling cards have been hitting door mats for the Alnwick & Denwick Neighbourhood Plan Referendum on 15th June.


Residents who are over 18 and who are registered to vote in local council elections and who live in the parishes of Alnwick and Denwick will be able to vote.


Anyone not already registered to vote must do so by 30th May 2017. Four polling stations will be in operation for the Referendum, these will be at Willowburn Sports Centre, Alnwick North Community Centre, Lindisfarne Sports Centre and Denwick Village Hall. Residents will also be able to vote by post, provided they are registered by 5pm on 31st May.


The ballot paper will contain a single question, “Do you want Northumberland County Council to use the neighbourhood plan for Alnwick & Denwick to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?”


Bill Batey, Alnwick Town Clerk said “Alnwick Town Council has led the preparation of the Neighbourhood Plan with support for Denwick Parish Council.  A local steering group was established to prepare the plan and this was compiled over some three years and involved local community consultation.  A copy of the plan can be viewed on the Alnwick & Denwick Neighbourhood Plan website or during opening hours at the Town Council office at 25 Fenkle Street, or at the Alnwick Library”.


To obtain further information about voting telephone 01665 624811 or for information about the plan contact 01665 602574.


Vacancies for Councillors in Alnwick

Alnwick Town Council has six councillor vacancies which the council are looking to fill the vacancies by co-option. Three of the vacancies are in the Castle Ward, two are in the Clayport Ward and one is in the Hotspur Ward and the positions will run until May 2021.


Anyone interested in being considered for one of the vacancies is asked to make an application in writing stating, which ward they would like to be considered for (it is possible to be considered for all wards) and setting out why they would like to be a councillor. Applications, of no more than 500 words, must be submitted to Bill Batey, Chief Officer and Town Clerk, Room 5, 27 Fenkle Street, Alnwick, NE66 2HW or emailed to, not later than 5pm on Monday 8th May 2017.


Anyone wanting to find out more about what is involved in being a councillor and how the Town Council operates should contact Bill via the above email or on 07971 810267, to arrange an informal discussion. A briefing has also been arranged on Tuesday 2nd May at 7pm in the Mechanics Institute, Percy Street Alnwick, which anyone interested can attend.


The Town Council is made up of 18 councillors and has an annual budget of around £300,000. The Town Council runs the local cemetery, most play areas and allotments and has responsibility for floral displays, local seats / bins, bus shelters, memorials, town twinning, civic events such as Remembrance Sunday, as well as many local projects such as CCTV and assists many local organisations with small grants. Over the coming term important discussions and decisions will be required on issues such as the Neighbourhood Plan, car parking, transport priorities, promoting the town and supporting local businesses.


Decision will be made by the Council on Thursday 11th May 2017.


Wanted – unsung heroes to receive civic awards

Alnwick Town Council have just launched their 2016 – 2017 Mayor’s Civic Awards.  There are two categories – adults and young people aged 18 or under and submissions can be made, in both categories, for individuals, groups or teams.  The awards were created to formally recognise people for their dedication and contribution to and involvement in the town.


Adult winners




Nine of 2015-2016 adult winners pictured at last year’s Award Ceremony, with Mayor Bill Grisdale.




Last year there were 11 individual awards and 3 group awards given out. Reasons for nominations included contribution and dedication to their school and the wider community, continued volunteer work with local charities, supporting projects which enhance the town, supporting horticultural projects in the town; dedication to those in their later years and for maintaining Alnwick’s heritage for visitors and residents.


Mayor, Alan Symmonds said “It is great to see that the scheme is still popular and that on behalf of myself and the Town Council we are able to recognise some of the unsung heroes in the town.  It’s thanks to the sort of people who receive Civic Awards that Alnwick is the place people want to live and visit. Their involvement, dedication and contribution to our town and its community really makes a difference”.


Awards can be made for a number of areas including voluntary / charity work, caring, community participation, sport, horticulture and heritage. So if you know someone who is worthy of an award just complete the nomination form and send it back to us.  Nomination forms need to be returned by Tuesday May 9th.


Forms can be obtained as downloads by clicking on the relevant link below. Forms can also be picked up from Alnwick Town Council Office, Room 5, 27 Fenkle Street, Alnwick by phoning 01665 602574.


Mayors Civic Award 2016-17 Nomination Form


Mayors Civic Award 2016-17 Youth Nomination Form


Alnwick going for a national clean sweep

Sunday 5th March has been designated an Alnwick town clean-up day organised by Alnwick Town Council in partnership with Northumberland County Council.


A community event is being organised between 10am and 2pm to help get the town shipshape for the many visitors who will come to Alnwick this year. Various cleaning activities will take place during the day including litter picking, street sweeping and weeding.


March 5th has been chosen to be part of a Keep Britain Tidy “Great British Spring Clean” event, from March 3rd to 5th, when clean ups will take place all over the country.  The event is being backed by a large number of organisations including Costa, Greggs, Lidl, McDonald’s and RSPCA.  It also has the support of Deadly60 presenter Steve Backshall who thinks that litter dropped in streets is a horror show for wildlife.


Any groups wishing to take part should contact Bill Batey, clerk to the council, telephone 07971 810267 or email to get details and instructions.


Individuals who are able to give a couple of hours should meet at the end of Northumberland Hall in the Alnwick Market Place at 10.00am on the day.


Support for Alnwick’s Business Community

Alnwick Town Council held its inaugural Business Networking event on Tuesday, January 11th where a number of economic development issues were presented and discussed by over 60 representatives from the town’s businesses.


The event was held in the research premises of pharmaceuticals firm Arcinova, and all the business representatives took the opportunity to tour the laboratories and offices to learn more about the history of the facility and direction of the company.  As well as a presentation from the Town Council there was also a presentation ARCH, the county’s Economic Development body and one of the Town Council’s partners. He outlined the new £1.3million Business Growth Programme, partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund, and available to help businesses grow and boost the county’s economy.


ATC - Business

Alnwick Town Council recognize how vital the expertise of our business community is to the town and this event was a chance for them to provide an opportunity for business people to meet together, share knowledge and expertise, and to identify how, together, we can develop this further.


The meeting finished with informal networking discussions over refreshments.


Reflecting on the event George Mavin, Alnwick’s Deputy Mayor said “The Town Council recognises how vital it is that our town’s businesses thrive and we want to do everything we can to help them grow and increases employment, as well as welcome new businesses.  In a small town like Alnwick we not only have Arcinova but several other businesses with worldwide reputations in their own industries including Pure Fishing/House of Hardy, Hackett’s and tourist attractions such as Barter Books, Alnwick Castle and Garden.”


Alnwick Town Council is proposing to hold networking meetings every three months, inviting speakers on topics of interest to Alnwick business people as well as providing an opportunity to share knowledge.  If you are interested in more information please contact Tim Kirton at the Town Council on 01665 602574 or at