Times have changed

Last week Mrs Trevelyan asked me about the Labour Party’s opinion on the two-council idea for Northumberland having ‘supported’ it in the past.

She should realise that times change and policies have to reflect changing times.

In 2008, local government was awash with resources. In 2014, local government has been squeezed by her government and her lack of understanding of the scale of her government’s cuts.

Her Government is currently slashing the county council budget by £130million. She should realise that times have changed and there are 130million reasons why the council has to change and it’s unforgiveable that she seems so out of touch not to realise the scale of her cuts.

Ms Trevelyan says she needs to see the facts so I’ll oblige her.

The west and the north account for less than 50 per cent of the county population yet account for 97 per cent of the geographical area.

The fewer the people, the lower the tax base and the fewer the people and larger the distance, the more expensive it is to deliver services.

A rural council would attract a smaller grant from central government (which her government is further cutting by a third).

We’ve estimated that this would mean council tax tripled in a rural council at the very least. So now she’s got the ‘facts’ - tripled council tax, more pressure on services and savage cuts by her government, does she support a madcap plan to create a rural council?

Moving from County Hall would save millions, shares out the economic benefits by putting workforces back in market towns benefiting Alnwick, Berwick and Amble giving the council localised services more easily accessed by residents.

I trust now she’s got the ‘facts’ that she’ll give the people a straight answer on her Tory colleague Guy Opperman’s plans to create a rural council.

Some people have cruelly dubbed the rural council ‘Guyana’, she needs to tell us whether she’s in favour of ‘Trevelyanland’.

Coun Scott Dickinson

Northumberland County Council