ASSETS: The property of taxpayers

Like other big, often international, companies taking over smaller British firms, Northumberland County Council seems to be busy asset stripping.

Just look at the present market, Alnwick Library, which was a historic primary school with a local history, and Willowburn House, both of which were assets of Alnwick District and belonged to the Alnwick rate and taxpayers.

The new County Hall in Morpeth was built to the high energy-saving standards of the 1980s, with a solar-powered roof, double-glazed windows and walls protected from heat loss due to insulation.

That building, and the land with our purpose-built library, are to be sold for a new multi-windowed office in Ashington, a traffic blocked town, which the councillors say the workers can walk to.

I would like to know how many of our senior, highly costly officers do not even live here?

All that land in Morpeth belongs to the taxpayers of Northumberland.

Those are the buildings I know about, but I have been told that the county has been selling off any books published more than eight years ago, and also old books in the county library in Morpeth, which were the property of all Northumberland residents.

This and national news has made me very unhappy about the idea of private gifts to museums if the powers in the lead are seeing such bequests as something they can just sell, despite private gifting to the nation.

Of course, I know that the present Tory Government and our Chancellor are in favour of such sell-offs.

They are pushing the private sale of social housing, which was developed after the Conservatives sold off the council housing in 1982 and prevented local councils investing the money received in more houses to replace them.

That sale caused the loss of affordable rented housing for our local, lower paid, rural workers so social housing developed.

Having not learnt that lesson, they propose to sell to the sitting tenant so less than the value of the property is received, then those buyers rapidly sell into the open market, pocketing the gain to the true value.

Another asset gain from things that belong to the people.

The Government then suggests that councils sell off assets of other valuable housing to build the replacements needed for the workers we need, such as builders, electricians, nurses, teachers, shop workers, cleaners and all others I am having difficulty remembering, but without whom no society can function.

I despair as the rural people are driven out of the countryside as it is to be filled by the high-waged urban people, who have the money to buy second homes and need no services.

They can afford to do everything themselves, but give nothing to the countryside, killing off all the lovely wild flora and fauna which existed in the last century.

Anne Wrangham,