Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Fightback starts here say folk of beleaguered Blyth after Jeff calls his home town a DUMP

Fightback starts here say folk of beleaguered Blyth

Folk in beleaguered Blyth were today urged to  restore civic pride  in the wake of "embarrassing" comments made by a senior councillor
Northumberland County Council leader Jeff Reid

Northumberland County Council leader Jeff Reid sparked an outcry last week after describing his home town  as “a dump.”
Now people, businesses and organisations in the town are being urged to use the negative publicity generated by the row as motivation to get behind a local regeneration group and its improvement plans.
The rallying cry was made by  businessman Steven Bradley who chairs the Blyth Town Team – an organisation which has been given £10,000 in Government funding to kickstart plans to rejuvenate the port community.
Coun Reid, who represents Blyth on the county council, sparked fury by saying he travels to Cramlington to shop, because Blyth is “a dump”.
He later admitted his comments had been a mistake.
Now Mr Bradley, who runs Widescope Web Design, said Coun Reid’s “embarrassing” remark is in danger of overshadowing the good work being done in the town.
He said it should now be seen as an opportunity to push forward plans to restore some much-needed pride in the town.
“It has all been very, very negative and the comments were taken badly, especially by local businesses. However, I’m hoping we will be able to get something out of this because it has started a debate and brought people out of the woodwork with ideas and offers of help.
“A lot of people have been in touch to say they would like to get involved with the Town Team or made suggestions about what needs to be done in Blyth. It has also opened doors to meetings with Jeff Reid and other local councillors.
“It affected morale, especially coming from someone who represents us on the council. However, everyone makes mistakes and it is about how they react afterwards. We hope this will achieve something in the long run for Blyth.”
Mr Bradley said the town should take pride in the recent success of Blyth Town FC winning the £100,000 first prize in a national community football competition, and fundraising efforts by local charities to support the work of volunteers running community centres, leisure facilities, dance groups and sports clubs. “This is the true face of Blyth, and now it is the time for our duly elected to work with us to make it even better. As a person who has lived in Blyth my entire life, I am sick of hearing about Blyth in a negative light, without serious solutions being put forward as a response. It’s time to pull together and have some serious conversations about the future of Blyth.”
The Town Team’s work will include helping to create a definitive database of local shops and businesses and a survey to find out the concerns of businesses, community groups and charities. As well as boosting trade and business in Blyth, it also aims to support projects to improve local community.

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