The election for a the Unitary County of Northumberland on May 2nd is being fought hard by the two parties leading the popular vote, Labour and the Conservatives. Both parties are chasing seats to become the largest Party with Labour out in the lead, on target to form an administration and run the Council for the next four years.
One of the last acts of the outgoing Liberal Democrat Administration was to force the trade unions into a corner over the matter of employee car allowances. The Trade Unions after months of being let down and strung along eventually balloted their members on the matter and industrial action begins next Tuesday May 7th. This leaves the problems of the old council to be faced by a brand new administration that will not have had its annual meeting to form a council.
A Labour spokesperson said: "This is typical of the outgoing lib dem/tory coalition administration at County Hall, simply sweep the problem under the carpet and leave the work to others. Our councillors in opposition have had to pick up the pieces on many occasions where the coalition partners have fallen foul on Health and Safety and Employment issues with the trade unions at County Hall. The employees are exasperated that the coalition partners hacking at their terms and conditions both locally and from Parliament have forced them into an industrial action situation by refusing to negotiate in line with national and local agreements on this issue."