AS the main opposition at the county council, Northumberland Conservatives seek to be constructive and avoid the political knock-about that turns people off.
Since the new unitary council was formed, we have put forward plans for a more efficient and effective organisation with clear priorities. Yet it saddens me that the Lib Dems who run the council are showing a shocking lack of empathy with residents of our county.
The Lib Dems recently banned charities from collecting donations of clothing at county council waste recycling centres, simply because they can make a quick buck by selling this privilege to a private company. This will harm the vulnerable people in our county who rely on charities such as Scope and the Salvation Army for support. Last week, the Lib Dems increased charges for cremations and burials by 50 per cent. This targets people at their most vulnerable.
In their county council budget, set just six weeks ago, the Lib Dems promised that council charges would not rise faster than inflation. The Lib Dems have broken this promise on cremation and burial charges – an entirely unnecessary move, as the council budget has a surplus of £2.8million. Leisure centres and community centres are the sort of facilities, used by people on low incomes, which could now see massive increases in charges. What are we going to see next?