Announcements will see jobs safeguarded and more investment for key services
The Labour party in Northumberland have welcomed the news that the County’s ‘profit for purpose’ Development Company Arch have bought another large retail site at Westmorland Park in Cramlington for £36m. This compliments the purchase of Manor Walks retail centre adjacent to Westmorland Park and Hexham Retail Park. The purchase was helped by an investment from Northumberland County Council agreed last week (3rd Nov) at Full Council. Both Northumberland Conservatives and Liberal Democrats opposed the investment.
The investments are like those made by the County Council in Northumbria Healthcare Trust Cramlington Accident and Emergency specialist centre, a new infirmary for Berwick and the purchase of Hexham hospital. The purchases, like those of the retail centres, create guaranteed revenue through repayments from Arch and NHS respectively to support and maintain council services and jobs which have been squeezed by over £200m of Conservative government cuts. In addition, Arch contributes a multi-million £ dividend which also goes to support thousands of jobs and services cross the county.
Labour are also welcoming a ground breaking deal involving the NHS, the Indian government and the County Council which will see over £600,000 fed back into healthcare across the county.
The Council are placed front and centre with its Healthcare Partner Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust's in a commercial partnership with international healthcare providers through an ambitious IUIH program endorsed by the UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
The deals have been concluded against the backdrop of the emerging partnership through the North of Tyne Combined Authority between, North Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council, Newcastle City Council and Northumberland County Council following the decision by the South of Tyne North East Councils, not to progress their devolution deal with Government any further until Government make promises relating to the replacement of Euro funding that will be lost post Brexit.
Northumberland County Council has been diversifying its income sources since Labour formed a minority administration in 2013 to run the Council. Investing in Health, Schools, Social and its ambitious affordable housing programme which has added over 1000 homes to the housing sector in Northumberland. It is also at the forefront of plans to upskill its local labour force to deliver its share of new homes to fulfil its obligation to the Governments wish to build 1,000,000 homes during this Parliament.
"I am so pleased that we have taken the plunge and begun to bridge the austerity gap through opening up new sources of income to replace Tory cuts. We are beginning to see the fruits of the last three and a half years of hard work to design a plan to protect local services and jobs and the income we’re generating allows us to invest in the workforce to deliver at a rate not seen before in the history of Northumberland. We’re changing Northumberland through our investment plans which are now safeguarding and creating thousands of jobs across the county. It’s a pity that local Tories have opposed this at every turn and now it’s clear that the local coalition of Tory and Lib Dems which saw 1500 jobs lost and services nearly privatised are back. We’ve just got on with savage cuts from a Tory government and a Say No To Everything campaign mounted by the local Tories and their Lib Dem henchmen and women by coming up with entrepreneurial solutions which are being followed by other council’s across the country. It’s a pity that the Local Tories haven't woken up and smelled the coffee like their Tory colleagues in Spelbourne and Guildford and continue to oppose any plan we put forward to boost the county economy."