It is great to see the revival of Blyth Town Centre in its physical form with the opening this week of Poundworld, one of three shops created from the redundant and falling into disrepair, Westgate House, opposite the marketplace, on Waterloo Road in Blyth.
The other two high footfall shops, Bargain Buys and Iceland will be open within the next four weeks in time for the Tour of Britain cycle race reaching a stage finish in the town on Wednesday 9th September 2015.
The town of Blyth has been bombarded with criticism over the last few years, with the now famous quote from the ex-Leader of Northumberland County Council, Jeff Reid that Blyth his home town “Is a Dump” and recent allegations widely reported from Northumberland Tory Leader, Peter Jackson that Labour is spending “Millions” in the South East of the County and nothing in rural areas.
Needless to say, it is obvious that Jeff Reid didn’t bother to act to improve the town and if Peter Jackson read some of the papers he is sent by Northumberland County Council and the public access material from ARCH where sits on the board of directors he would know his statements were entirely wrong.
The current Labour administration is delivering new social housing in Amble, Embleton and Shillbottle all rural areas. Is building a new school in Prudhoe, a new bus station in Hexham, revitalising the Northumberland Hall in Alnwick, working with our NHS Acute Trust partners in Berwick to fund and deliver a new much needed hospital facility and have recently opened an new £4.6M integrated Health and Social care facility in Haltwhistle, bankrolled the completion of the Morpeth Flood Defences left in the lurch by the outgoing administration, along with a substantial amount of other projects too long to list here.
Getting back to my home town, Blyth, its good to note that Poundstretchers have had a restoration grant sourced by ARCH and NCC and have informed people they will be starting to refurbish their store this month. Also that one of the private landlords on Market Street has a planning application in for a new shop front and the Town Team has noticed increased activity with Commercial Landlord enquires up.
So Councillor Jackson, the private sector as well as the Council are working in harmony in the South East of the County, instead of your long term aim of setting towns and villages against each other, you should leave your farm once or twice and tour the rural areas to see that similar great things are happening elsewhere and the Labour administration is doing its best during a period of savage cuts by your Government.
Councillor for Croft Ward, Blyth
The link to Jeff Reid calling his home town a dump