Maitland councillor Mitchell Griffin resigns from Morpeth Museum Committee

Cr Mitchell Griffin.

Cr Mitchell Griffin.

One week after Maitland Liberal councillor Mitchell Griffin declared there was a need to protect Morpeth’s heritage, he has resigned from Morpeth Museum Committee.

An item on Maitland City Council’s Tuesday meeting agenda, calls for a new councillor representative on the committee.

In a Mercury opinion piece last week, Cr Griffin declared there was a need to protect Morpeth’s Heritage and commended Morpeth Conservation Group for its ongoing efforts to protect the town.

“I feel there is a need for protection in some sections of Morpeth, although I do hold concerns for the current nomination (from the Office of Environment and Heritage to have the entire suburb placed on the State heritage register),” he said in the editorial. 

“Morpeth is now a mixed suburb with its historical precinct, as well as new outlying estates. The proposed area would include these new sub divisions such as Morpeth Manor and Closebourne Estate which contain houses less than 5 years old,” Cr Griffin said.

He told Fairfax Media he has to resign from the museum group because of work commitments.

“I was quite excited to be part of the Morpeth Museum, especially considering my family’s strong links to the area over the last 180 years,” Cr Griffin said. “Unfortunately shortly after appointment to the committee I found meetings met at a regular time which was not possible for me to attend due to work commitments. I have tried to have the meeting moved to another time to allow me to participate, but council was unable to do this.

“Morpeth Museum is a very important part of our city, and I feel it needs a councillor on the committee who is able to make each of their meetings. Therefore I have made the decision to step aside.  Despite resigning from the committee, I will continue to support the ongoing growth of the museum, especially in regards to the restoration of the building,” he said.

Morpeth has been in the spotlight recently after council voted not to act on a request from the Office of Environment and Heritage to hold a community consultation process on the possibility of placing the town on the State heritage register.

The decision has outraged members of Morpeth Heritage Conservation Group who have vowed to fight to have the decision overturned. This consultation would allow residents to express their views and concerns.

The group has organised a community meeting for Monday, November 27 at 7pm at Morpeth Public School. Representatives from council and the Office of Environment and Heritage will attend to explain the State’s plan for the town.