Published on 26.12.2022

A seasonal message from Alnwick Town Mayor, Councillor Geoff Watson

“During this season of hope and joy, I offer my sincere appreciation and gratitude to the residents of Alnwick for their continued partnership, engagement and support.

I am so proud to call Alnwick, the County Town of Northumberland, my home.

I would also like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to our Town Council staff for their dedication and hard work. In particular the way in which they valiantly dealt with the aftermath of Storm Arwen. Also to my fellow Councillors who have given their time and expertise to their town.

We are all feeling the pinch this year, but I know the people of Alnwick will once again be generous with their community spirit and I am grateful for the many groups, organisations and charities we have that thrive because of the volunteers and people who work behind the scenes.

As we welcome in a new year it is natural to reflect on the past 12 months and here too the community was at the fore in Alnwick.

Alnwick responded to the plight of the people of Ukraine, and we were overwhelmed by the donations we received. In a mark of solidarity our residents came together in a parade, led by the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, and voiced support for the courageous people of Ukraine. I can report that the Ukrainian refugees who have settled in our area are well supported thanks to the help from Homes for Ukraine Community Support Group.

The Council presented its Civic Awards which give recognition to those citizens and groups who make a substantial contribution to Alnwick. We will soon be asking for nominations for next year’s awards so have a think – who are your local heroes?

The Town, Alnwick Castle and The Alnwick Garden came together to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Remember the joyous celebrations of Alnwick Town Council’s four-day music concert in the Market Place? Also the wonderful children’s parade with hundreds of people watching young people carry their colourful banners.

We were honoured that the Queen’s Baton came to Alnwick where again residents turned out in force, this time to cheer on the Baton Bearers.

Then just a few weeks later we paid our final respects to our beloved Queen. The residents of Alnwick were united in their grief for our Monarch and tributes in our Book of Condolence recorded a lifetime of service and duty from a truly remarkable woman.

We had outstanding success at the Northumbria in Bloom awards. As well as the town receiving a Gold Award it was declared Best Town and Best Entry in Spring. There were also a record number of community initiatives that received awards. Alnwick Town Council is proud to encourage and support Alnwick in Bloom who work so hard to keep the town looking great.

So what will 2023 bring?

We look forward to the Coronation of our King in May – a historic occasion which will once again bring our community together in celebration.

The Town Council will continue to support local community groups and organisations with its grant giving programme, the details of which can be found on the Alnwick Town Council website.

We are also in the process of updating the Neighbourhood Plan to ensure it continues to reflect the aspirations of our community.

Our Advisory Groups are hard at work on a variety of subjects including the environment, heritage, housing, economy, sustainable travel and Town centre.

We are working closely with Northumberland County Council on the proposals for Narrowgate, The Cobbles, and the Bus Station and we will continue to press for these and other improvements to our Town.

So finally, thanks to all who have worked so hard for our community and as 2022 draws to a close my wife Dianne and I wish you all a happy and healthy 2023.