On 21 February 2018, the three Berwick County Councillors, Councillors Hill, Seymour and Roughead, voted to strip Berwick of £19.1m of investment.
This £19.1m was secured by the previous Labour Council on 22 February 2017 when councillors voted through a budget which included £19.1m investment in the re-build of the Swan Leisure Centre. The re-build was to be complete by April 2019, with £2.628m allocated to 2017/18 and £16.5m allocated to 2018/19.In May 2017 a new Council was elected with three new County Councillors for Berwick. The new Council put the re-build of the Swan Leisure Centre on hold. Now on 22 February 2018, Councillors Hill, Seymour and Roughead voted to slash this investment in the Swan Centre to £0m in the year to April 2019.
At the same time as voting to strip Berwick of this investment, Councillors Hill, Seymour and Roughead voted to:
Spend £47.8m on building a new school and Leisure Centre in Ponteland over the next two years
Spend £17m on refurbishing County Hall in Morpeth over the next three years
Spend £24.3m on Arch over the next two years
Lend £66m to third parties, including Arch, over the next three years
Borrow £342m over the next three years
In contrast, the capital budget defers investment in the Swan Centre to a measly £1m in 2019/20 and £5m in 2020/21.
Councillor Hill is using terms "fake news" and "outright lies" and trying to turn the fact that she, along with the other two Berwick Councillors, voted to strip Berwick of £19m investment as "figures being peddled by Labour".
Facts are facts and Councillor Hill, along with Councillors Seymour and Roughead voted to strip Berwick of the £19m allocated to deliver a new Leisure Centre by April 2019. Ironically, after running a campaign against Arch, it would have been expected that Councillor Hill would have ensured that the investment in Berwick happened before spending on Arch.
The facts can be verified here:
The 2017 Budget numbers can be found here:
The 2018 Budget numbers can be found here: