Friday, 14 August 2015

Letter to local residents in Bedlington

Alyson Wallace
Bedlington Councillor Letter

Sir

There’s been a lot of negativity and misinformation spread about emerging plans for Bedlington and some of the misinformation has been clearly used to score party political points. We, as councillors, who are passionate about the town and its 9000 residents, want to leave the past mistakes by the former Lib Dem administration in the past and we want to learn from those mistakes as we launch ‘Labour’s new beginning for Bedlington’ over the coming months. 

Mistakes made over the former golf course and decisions made by senior Lib Dems should be remembered but it’s the future that residents are interested in not point scoring.

The county council will be launching a consultation in October giving local people a chance to put forward their views on what we can do to revitalise the town but we start from the stark realisation that central government led by David Cameron’s Conservatives have cut local budgets by up to 40% and that means that we have to live within our means. 

It also means that we have to find areas to compromise and Bedlington’s Labour team have been working hard to secure early ‘wins’ as we prepare for the consultation in October.

For example, we’ve been instrumental in lobbying Arch to secure the old Tesco site to open up new retail opportunities and we welcome the news that LIDL will be investing in Bedlington, we’ve worked hard with officers from the council and the local community to secure £135,000 investment in Gallagher Park, we’re making sure the new sports facilities at Bedlington High School will be open to the public too and we’ve secured green flag status for Dr Pit Park, our hidden gem.

We’re preparing the ground for significant private/public led regeneration of the town worth many millions but we want to do this with residents and in a spirit of compromise. There’s been too much unnecessary action so far which hasn’t helped our community.

We can’t pretend that there’s a money tree at the bottom of the high street and we’ve got to reflect and include the whole of Bedlington not just the noisiest voices. We’ve got to look at opportunities in the cold light of day economically and that will mean compromises.

Let’s make sure that Bedlington benefits from this new beginning and let’s start the consultation as we mean to go on in October – with open minds, new ideas and a realisation that we all want the best for the town.   


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