Friday, 8 February 2013

Impact of bus cuts

Impact of bus cuts clear

Cuts to a bus service are already starting to take their toll, councillors in the affected areas have said.

Members of East Chevington Parish Council have voiced their concerns, following the withdrawal of the 20/X20 service from Hadston Square, which Arriva has said is down to ‘low usage’. The change to the service, which came into effect on Sunday, also means that the bus will no longer serve Amble’s Links Estate.
At the parish council’s meeting on Monday night, chairman Scott Dickinson said the impact on residents was already clear to see.
He said: “It is having an awful impact on the residents here and it is also having an impact on the people who come here, like the elderly people who come for their lunches from Widdrington.
“There were college students who were late for school this morning. There was no notification that the bus had stopped. I don’t think it would have taken much for Arriva to put a notice on the bus stop.”
Councillors disputed Arriva’s claims that the service was not well-used and said there had been no consultation.
Amble town and county councillor, Robert Arckless, has also hit out at the withdrawal from the Links Estate.
Nick Knox, of Arriva North East, said the changes were made to improve reliability and provide a faster service.
He said: “Unfortunately it means that the few passengers that were using the service in Links Estate and Hadston Square will no longer be directly served. We carried out extensive communications around the changes with notices on buses, new timetables available on board, sent information to the press, published details on our website and social media. The decision was not taken lightly, with consultation throughout to try to identify other options. We remain receptive to further suggestions.”

Reply to Guy Opperman Journal Letters

Dear Sir

The Journals report of the Right Honorable Guy Opperman's wish to relive the halcyon days of Tynedale District Council was even more off the beam than some of his other rants recently. I presume from his statements that he has recruited Hans Anderson as his Parliamentary researcher, as within Delloites report on the financial state of Tynedale Council their reserves at closure are listed as £4,871,000 not £30M as stated in his report. In fact the Council showed an overspend of £260,000 in its last year.

His attack on the new leisure centre planned for Ashington is also a shout in the wind, Wansbeck District Council sold land and assets to support the renewal of their Leisure Centre with both the capital receipts and the responsibility to build it falling on the shoulders of Northumberland County Council. On his criticism of free parking in Blyth, I'll simply remind him that former Councils in South East Northumberland saw secondary tax on motorists as unnecessary and a burden on local trade. Since his Government has intensified its attacks on market towns and local commerce in the North whilst developing an even wider economic divide from Southern England his Tory mates have woken up at County Hall and are supporting Labours plans to extend free parking County-wide.

On his belief that Tynedale gets a raw deal from Northumberland Unitary Council in comparison with the South East of the County he couldn't be further from the truth, As said in the article by the Liberal leader of Northumberland Jeff Reid they treat all of Northumberland Equally and that’s true, the whole of the County is equally as bad as the area he represents and the people of Tynedale haven't been singled out for special treatment. The combination of a Liberal Executive and the Tories running scrutiny to ensure the vote(many of them ex-Tynedale) has lowered standards, but the real truth is that Tory support and I'll remind your readers Mr Opperman is a Tory, for the Bankers, Eric Pickles and the Parliamentary Lib Dems has lowered the standards Councils can deliver nationally and hiding behind fairy tales whilst watching the last glimmer of hope fade into a Tynedale sunset isn't something I would expect from a supposedly intelligent MP.

Grant Davey,
Kitty Brewster Ward,
Leader,Northumberland Labour Group,

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Prince Charles Duchy of Cornwall Supports Farm Wages Cuts

Northumberland Labour Group found it difficult to accept that the British Royal Family wish to extend the problems of Farm Workers nationally. UNITE the union have attacked Prince Charles for having his Duchy of Cornwall managers  support the abolition of the Agricultural Wages Board a body that has set farm earnings in England and Wales since 1948.

UNITE the union exposed Prince Charles by revealing the manager of his Duchy of Cornwall nursery wrote to the Department for the Environment backing the Condem Governments controversial plans to allow agricultural workers wages to be set  locally and that the protection offered to them for feeding the nation since 1948 be removed.

It is estimated that landowners will benefit by an additional £235M over the next decade through wages and conditions cuts being planned to increase the wealth of the sectors investors at the expense of its workers.

Here in Northumberland over 4000 people rely on the safety net provided by the Agricultural Wages Board, Leader of Northumberland Labour Group Leader Grant Davey said:" Were aware it costs a good deal more to live in rural areas than in an urban environment and although agricultural workers pay is not high this was reflected through the protection offered by their Wages Board, the opportunity now presents itself to erode that protection and ensure growth for the wealth of the Landowner can be expected at the expense of the those who toil and work the land on their behalf".