LABOUR SLAM TORY ATTACK ON MARKET TOWN BOOST FROM COUNTY HALL MOVE
Northumberland Tories need to answer the charge that they are trying to block new jobs for market towns in North and West
Northumberland Tory leader Peter Jackson has been challenged to back up statements from his party about the true impact of the move from County Hall to Ashington and the market towns of Northumberland after it emerged that he refused to back Labour’s plan to decamp services from the current Morpeth site and return them to towns like Hexham, Blyth, Alnwick, Berwick and Prudhoe.
Labour are pointing to the significant savings from the ‘invest to save’ move and are also highlighting benefits of hundreds of new jobs based in the county’s market towns. The overall costs to the council over the next 25 years of a new build in Ashington are £38.54m, compared to £54.25m for staying at County Hall and modernising the buildings – a total saving of £15.71m or £630,000 a year in an ‘invest to save scheme’.
Now Northumberland Tories have been accused of ‘seeking to mislead residents about the move’ and Labour are challenging the Tories to explain why they want to stop a plan to reduce the cost of the council building by over £15.7m over the next 25 years. Tory attempts to derail the plan also put at risk,
Labour’s plans to ‘decentralise’ the council with services returning to the market towns of the county. They’re pointing to the economic impact of hundreds of good quality jobs returning to the towns and are accusing the Tories of a ‘shabby party political stunt’ to block the so called ‘market town spin off’.
Grant Davey who leads the Labour group along with the Council said
“Northumberland Tories need to explain why their party is against our plans to return council services to the counties market towns and why they want to spend £15.71m more for the privilege of holding council meetings in Morpeth?
Their government has slashed the council budget by over a third and we’re preparing for another round of 30% cuts to our budget by his chancellor yet they want to stop us making savings.
Most people will see that this is setting community against community and playing a low political game. Their in danger of misleading people by making increasingly unsubstantiated statements about the proposals and they needs to answer our questions.
Why are they against more jobs for Hexham, Alnwick and Berwick? We know they’ve got form attacking the south east but why are they now trying to undermine economic opportunities for the towns in the North and West?