And it was clear at Monday night’s meeting of North Sunderland Parish Council that members are unhappy with what they see as ‘a very significant reduction’ in certain services.
There was criticism of the county council’s decision to spend almost £40million on a new HQ in Ashington – although this is capital investment rather than expenditure from the day-to-day revenue budget – as well as the perceived bias towards the south-east of the county, described by Coun David Donaldson as ‘the People’s Republic of Blyth Valley and Wansbeck’.
Chairman Coun Geoffrey Stewart informed members that the new member of staff responsible for cleaning Seahouses will be in the village from 8am to 2pm ‘most days’.
Councillors were concerned that this leaves the popular seaside village devoid of cover during the key times of the day when visitors and tourists are enjoying their fish and chips.
New member, Coun Mick McCarthy, said that the parish council’s role is to ensure the county council provides the services it is supposed to, adding: “This is a very significant reduction in the service.”
It was agreed to request a county-council representative attends the next meeting so this issue can be discussed.
The parish council is also going to contact the county regarding the state of the roads as there are potholes in numerous locations in the village and surrounding areas as well as some areas where the deterioration is worse, requiring resurfacing.
Later in the meeting, a new resident of the village raised a series of concerns, not limited to dog fouling, rain gullies and the state of the roads.
She pointed out that they used to get the street-sweeping machine once a month in Cramlington – but this is where Labour councillors are trying to keep their seats, said Coun Donaldson.