‘We have delivered most of the pledges we set out in our manifesto, but there is more to do’.
That is the New Year message from Northumberland County Council leader Peter Jackson, who promised that the Tories will invest significant funds to improve the county’s roads and scrap post-16 transport charges.
The Conservatives came into power at County Hall in May, after defeating the ruling Labour administration. Coun Jackson said: “I am proud of the work we are doing to deliver a county that works for everyone.
“Northumberland has a great future. We must build on our strengths and prepare for the new information age. We must make sure that we have a county in which young people see good prospects for their futures, a county which has pride in its culture and a real place in the world after we leave the EU.
“Next year we will deliver on our pledge to abolish post-16 transport charges. We promised to spend £100million on the county’s roads over our four year term and we will deliver on this promise.”
Reflecting on 2017, Coun Jackson said the Tories halted Labour’s controversial project to relocate County Hall and created Local Area Councils, which ‘are bringing decision-making closer to local people’.
The group also withdrew the Core Strategy – a key planning document; a move criticised by opponents. In November, the Government threatened to intervene in councils who have failed to establish a local housing plan – including Northumberland.
Following a review of development company Arch, Coun Jackson said that it is ‘being scrapped and work is already underway to deliver a replacement company that will focus on delivering benefits for residents and businesses.’