COUNTY HALL: Move needs to be debated

The recent debate – or lack of – on the new Northumberland County Council headquarters should be a real eye opener for the electorate.

This is a massive move for the Labour group and the matter should, at the very least, be given its own debate within the full council.

The quoted costs of around £33m is a lot of money to move from a building that is only 30 years old, especially when we consider the council is trying to save money by closing Haydon Bridge fire station and removing fire engines from stations across the county, despite warnings that lives could be lost.

What the Labour group is also keeping quiet about is the fact that they are sitting on reserves of around £160m, however they still insist on making cuts to public services and increasing our council tax.

The Labour group needs to prioritise. They need to decide whether acting in the public interest and delivering vital services is more important to them than sitting in newer offices and if they believe their policies are the way forward then they should not be afraid to debate them. In fact, with the proposed Ashington HQ, I would urge them to go one step further and put the proposals to the public.

David Cockburn

The North East Party Northumberland Branch