Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Northumberland Tories Create a £65M Black Hole in Eight Months

At this evening meeting of the Ashington and Blyth Area Council, Peter Jackson the Leader of the Minority Tory administration on Northumberland County Council alleged that the council faced a £65m black hole and revealed a 2.99% rise in council tax. The Conservative led administration also announced a 1% rise for adult social care. The rises will last two years meaning residents will see bills rise by nearly 8% over the next two years.

Labour hit back citing the recently released council auditor report by EY which raised concerns about the lack of planning for £30m cuts. Labour also highlighted Conservative decisions which have racked up at least £29m of unnecessary spending and lost revenue, and called for an independent investigation into Tory decisions since 4 May.  

His figures were challenged by the Leader of Northumberland Labour Group Grant Davey as "a crude attempt to cover up dodgy decisions since May and he went on to accuse the Tories of ignoring the auditors report released in the last week. He went on to say that" all members in attendance have access to the external auditors statement and letter to Council and that the governments external auditor to the Council was satisfied that the base budget was correct. Yet you have displayed figures without last years comparable figures being made available for all to see. What are you trying to hide?"

He then said I "will take you back to May this year and remind you of your opening speech to Council".

"Cllr Jackson, you thanked Steve Mason for leaving a strong and stable organisation which would give the new administration time to agree new priorities"

"Are you telling us that officers of the Council mismanaged the accounts and have kept information from the external auditor"?

"Or are you saying that your decisions since May 2017 have led to the dreadful financial position you describe? Residents have a right to know given your report tonight states that jobs and services are at risk so it's time to stop hiding and spinning and come clean with Northumberland".


This contains Cllr Jackson quote on Steve Mason who was allowed to leave under cover of compromise agreement.


£65m Black hole


Cost of Tory decisions since 4 May

1.     Scrapping Labour business plans for savings - £30m (It's in the EY report) 

2.     Stopping move from County Hall - £12m to update County Hall in Morpeth over course of MTFP (next 4 years)

3.     Halting Portland Park project and contract - £9m (and rising)

4.     Scrapping Arch dividend - £4.8m (It's on the Arch website)

5.     Scrapping Core Strategy - £1.1m (it's in an FOI)

6.     New Core Strategy - £1m (estimated more likely to increase)

7.     Steve Mason pay off - £1m + (published in Hexham Courant)

8.     New deal for 2 day per week CEO - £185,000

TOTAL = £59.085M

Shortfall - £5.915m - is this the cost of the secret investigations into Arch and the council?

1 comment:

  1. I have to say last nights meeting was a farce with Captain Peter Jackson Mainwaring of the Dads Army Comedy at the County. Air Warden Hodges Grant Davey his Arch Enemy responding with the usual rebuff of how the Strong and Stable Position has been totally destroyed by the Conservatives, who are creating a mountain of debt just 7 months into their administration. I recall the Conservatives stating when they took over the cost would be just 10 Million to Refurbish County Hall and that was the reason not to build Washington New County Hall at a cost of 70 Million. Fact is this 300 Million deal for County Hall Morpeth was on the table, so take 70 Million from that and you would have 230 Million left over with Labour Administration and a purpose built New Town Hall with Transport Interchange next to it on Flat Land. What Conservative Decisions are giving us is Lost 300 Million County Hall Morpeth, more than 12 Million so far meaning around I understand a 27 Million Bill to Refurbish not 10 Million for a building with No Transport Interchange up a very large bank to walk up to achieve getting to County Hall Morpeth for Disabled Residents wanting to attend County Hall Morpeth. Captain Mainwaring Peter Jackson you really are as clumsy as your Dads Army Character you portray at County Hall as Conservative Leader.