What’s happened to all the pledges?

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IN January 2008, I was a member of Alnwick District Council.

We had just set our final council tax for the area and our element had been frozen for the second year running.

The district council was efficient and served the area well and this was recognised in the final report by the Audit Commission.

We also knew that in 2009, all district councils in Northumberland would be abolished.

The ruling Labour Government had decided that 300 democratically-elected councillors would cease to exist in order to form a unitary authority which would be leaner and fit for purpose.

This would save the £17million in administration which would be paid back to the residents of the county.

Three years later, I am wondering what happened to this promise.

We have seen successive rises in council tax bills, services have been savagely cut, day centres for the elderly, care services, transport and road maintenance to name but a few, and many loyal and hard working members of staff have been made redundant.

Where has the money gone? We have been told that successive cuts in the government support grant have caused these crises. Is this true?

If it is, will someone explain to me how county managed to find £180,000 to build an executive suite, complete with showers, at County Hall, spend £250,000 to publish the reviled Northumberland News and pay £330,000 to a director (Prime Minister please take note), whose job is to decide who to sack next.

I suggest he looks at the top and not the front-line services.

The electorate of Northumberland has been deceived and it is time we were told the truth about what is happening to this once-proud county.

David Rixon,

Newton on the Moor