WHILE I read with some agreement the letter last week from the Leader and Deputy of the Northumberland Conservatives, it’s simply not the whole story nor is it explaining to the Northumberland people what they will support the Lib Dems on.
While I agree with them over the total embarrassment of the current Lib Dem administration and the total mismanagement of the entire proposals to transfer services to parish and town councils I must ask one simple question: Are both the Leader and Deputy of the Northumberland Conservatives seriously telling me that they agree with residents being double-charged for the services they already receive and have already paid for?
While the Lib Dem slash-and-burn tactics over services (which, may I add, are often supported by the Northumberland Conservatives) carries on with the people receiving less services while seeing a council tax increase last year, how can it be morally right for residents then to be charged for these again by parish and town councils?
I am not too sure how in touch with normal people the Conservatives in Northumberland are but I can tell you wards such at that of Mr Sanderson simply cannot afford to pay more in tax to cover the costs of services they have already been receiving. I agree with the points on localised services being delivered by town and parish councils that have the capabilities of doing so but not without the financial support that residents have already paid into from the county council.
We see the Lib Dem Northumberland County Council (NCC) wasting hundreds and thousands on executive office furniture, community forums and many other areas.
Why not use this money to set up a ring-fenced fund to support parish and town councils deliver the services they wish to unload?
You can’t simply say during this financial climate at NCC the parish and town councils should take on these services. What about the climate in every household in Northumberland where we see incomes reducing and people being made redundant?
This cannot go on and I hope the Northumberland Conservatives would agree with me. The loss of experienced officers and the clear lack of expertise within the Lib Dems running the council is having a clear impact on NCC, hence the removal of our four-star status achieved by the previous administration. The fiasco surrounding the transfer of services is simply another one to add to the long list achieved by this Lib Dem Administration.
Coun Scott Dickinson
East Chevington Parish Council & Executive Member
Labour Northumberland Local Government Committee