County council gets good write-up from fellow councillors

Coun Grant Davey
Coun Grant Davey

Northumberland County Council has recently been reviewed by a group of council bosses from around the country.

The Corporate Peer Review for the Local Government Association saw a team spend four days at County Hall looking at how the authority is run.

A draft report is due to be published on Friday, December 12, but the Gazette understands that the initial feedback was largely favourable with praise for the passion and positivity shown by staff and councillors and their desire to do their best for Northumberland.

However, what won’t come as a surprise is that there are also references to ‘political negativity’ which is ‘destructive and not in the interest of residents’.

Grant Davey, leader of the council and the Labour group, said: “The LGA peer review represents the first independent assessment of the progress of the council over the past 18 months.

“We’re quietly confident that the great steps taken by the current administration will be recognised against the backdrop of significant central government cuts.

“In the first 18 months, we’ve built hundreds of council homes, we’ve reduced the number of so-called ‘fat-cat managers’, we’ve protected council services and jobs and most importantly balanced the budget.

“We’ve cleared the pothole backlog, introduced free parking in our market towns and are preparing to restructure our services to make them more accessible and create added value across the market towns of the county.

“We’re not complacent and this budget will mean tough choices, but we’re committed to strengthening the county both economically and socially.”