Tory accusations of Labour group’s refusal to listen

Northumberland County Councillor and conservative leader Peter Jackson at County Hall.
Northumberland County Councillor and conservative leader Peter Jackson at County Hall.

The leader of Northumberland Conservatives has hit out at the county council’s Labour administration, saying they refuse to work with others.

It comes as a proposal to set up regular meetings between the leaders of all political groups was rejected at last week’s county council meeting.

Coun Peter Jackson said: “It is a great shame that our fears of a one-party state in Northumberland have proved to be correct.

“It is a shame on our council that this sincere offer of partnership and cooperation was flatly rejected by Labour and the three Independent councillors.

“As well as the forthcoming budget pressures there are many issues such as the current prevarication over free car parking which we should discuss and make progress.

“Consensus rather than confrontation is what our residents expect, but unfortunately, Labour will not listen.

“They are intent on pursuing their party politics ahead of the pressing needs of Alnwick and indeed our county of Northumberland.”

A Labour group spokesman said: “Coun Jackson is invited to the council’s policy board where all substantive policy discussions take place before policy is finally decided. The door is always open to constructively engage in policy development, but unfortunately Coun Jackson always seems to have another more pressing engagement.

“Residents will contrast his ‘carping’ from the sidelines with his silence over his Conservative-led Government’s £70million savage cuts to Northumberland’s public services.

“Families in Northumberland will lose the equivalent of £222 per household in services, but the Conservatives seem content to ignore that fact while they continue to wander around aimlessly looking for the latest ‘press release’.”