Saturday, 19 October 2013


‘Council aims to increase ‘locally sourced contracts’ by 10%’

The Labour administration at County Hall have signalled their intent to ‘support local business’ by increasing the amount and number of council contracts that are made available to Northumberland’s businesses.
The county spends over £400m a year with around £135m spent in Northumberland safeguarding and creating an estimated 2,000 private sector jobs but now the new Labour administration has signalled its intent to increase that by over £13.5m. The moves come as the council prepares to launch an ambitious house building programme worth an estimated £330m over the next 10 years which is expected to create at least 300 construction jobs each year.
While the next round of cuts imposed by the coalition government will mean tough decisions, the Labour leadership believe this will signal their intent to ‘support and create new private and public sector jobs’ and will mean that ‘the council will become more relevant to its communities’.
Labour group and council leader Grant Davey said
‘We’ve estimated that the county economy benefits to the tune of £135m from council contracts but we promised in the last election that we’d seek to increase that figure. We think we can make more contracts available and we’re aiming to open up another £13.5m for local companies. We’ve estimated this will mean at least 300 new or secured jobs within the supply chain and that will mean that we estimate council contracts have an impact on over 2,500 private sector jobs across Northumberland’.

The Labour administration have also acknowledged that moves by the previous Liberal Democrat administration to ‘suck services and jobs to Morpeth’ have had an adverse impact on both service delivery and local economies. The council is now looking at how they will open up new ‘service hubs’ in local towns like Hexham, Alnwick and Berwick
New ‘customer hub’ planned as council releases staggering figures that show Northumberland saw £704m boost to county economy through tourism

Northumberland’s Labour group and the Council’s Business Chair Scott Dickinson today welcomed the news that the county economy had received a much needed £700m boost from tourism in the last year (figures released by Office of National Statistics) and set out their pledge to ‘invest in Berwick and to help the town take a bigger slice of the ‘tourism pot’.
They also revealed that they were ‘actively scouting’ potential locations for a new council service centre which has been dubbed a ‘customer hub’. The new ‘hub’ is expected to mean over 80 council employees will return to the town centre bringing with it an estimated boost of £13m to the local economy.
One location believed to under consideration is the town’s redundant ‘Kwik Save’ site. The Business Chair Councillor Dickinson also revealed that the council have also started looking closely at a potential site to allow visiting coaches from across the country (and Scotland) to park up and spend some time in the town. The move to introduce parking for coaches is welcomed by the town’s Chamber of Trade as a ‘chance to increase footfall and spending in the town’s shops’. Councillor Dickinson is also exploring how the council can make it easier for local businesses to bid for council contracts as part of what he called ‘delivering Labour’s promises made at the last election.
Scott Dickinson who is the Labour councillor for Druridge Bay said
‘We promised at the last election that we would try to breathe life into the county town centres and this is the start of delivering the promise. We’ve given the powers to town council’s like Berwick to offer free parking to attract shoppers, we’re actively looking at possible sites to locate a ‘customer hub’ which will mean the council will be less remote and local economies will see a boost to footfall and we’re committed to providing a dedicated coach space to allow coaches parties from around the country to sample the delights of Berwick. We’ve also agreed in principle, a scheme which will see the signage around the town ‘refreshed’ and we’re determined that we’ll help the town ‘grab a slice of Northumberland’s £700m tourism pie’.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Ronnie Campbell MP for Blyth Valley can remember this statement.

Last year when Osborne asked all departments to make cuts by 5%, Eric Pickles Local Gov. Minister, went one better and was proud to give 10% cuts in local gov. I can remember him getting a big pat on the back, for the extra 5%.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Massive cuts to council budget as coalition cuts take chunk from households

Massive cuts to council budget as coalition cuts take chunk from households
Labour warns Conservative and Liberal Democrats in Northumberland that they need to stand up for constituents and stop doing governments ‘dirty work’

Conservative and Liberal Democrat silence about the scale of government cuts to Northumberland has been slammed as ‘deafening’ by Northumberland Labour group as the county council prepares to implement the latest increased slice of coalition government cuts which total at least £132m. The latest cut facing the county council will mean cuts to the level of services to households across the county of £260 per year. This is in addition to cuts already implemented totalling £118m and now Labour politicians are turning up the pressure on Conservative and Liberal Democrats who’ve so far refused to condemn the cuts to local families.
Labour is also pointing to the ‘coalition cost of living crisis’ as families across the county have seen their wages fall by over £1200 (House of Commons Library calculations) since David Cameron’s government took power in 2010.
Now Labour are calling for the ‘so called ‘local coalition’ of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats to make it clear to the government that the cuts are damaging their constituents.
A Labour group spokesperson said
‘The silence from Conservative and Liberal Democrat politicians in Northumberland has been ‘deafening’. While families are struggling as the double whammy of coalition cuts and falling real wages bite across Northumberland, we’ve not heard a squeak from the coalition representatives in the ‘provinces’. We’re calling for them to put aside their party political allegiances and join Labour in making the case direct to David Cameron’s out of touch government that the cuts and squeeze on living standards need to be addressed quickly. This is a simple choice for them – decide about whose side you’re on – government or your constituents?’