Wednesday, 26 March 2014


Berwick, Alnwick and Morpeth see huge rise in resident free parking ‘discs’

Labour politicians across Northumberland are heralding the introduction of free parking across the county as demand for residents ‘free parking discs’ continued to grow.
Demand for the discs has been steadily rising in Berwick and Alnwick but Morpeth is leading the way with over 5,000 discs issued to date. The introduction of free parking was a manifesto promise in last May’s elections for Labour and they point to this measure as a ‘win-win’ for both local businesses and residents with a predicted ‘gold rush effect’ for local companies. The administration at County Hall are privately highlighting a ‘real shot in the arm for the local economy with an expected £500,000 bonanza with hopes that the measure will also lead to more new jobs being created.
Portfolio member Ian Swithenbank said
‘This measure has proved a really popular measure which will help safeguard and create jobs by making it easier to access our towns across the county. For the first time in many years, local communities have been able to decide whether they want free parking and how they want to implement it. Morpeth is leading the way with over 5,000 ‘discs’ issued to date but demand is steadily picking up in the other towns who’ve introduced this scheme’.
Labour are pointing to this measure as real and tangible help for both hard pressed residents and struggling businesses who have seen their commercial advantages undermined by restrictive parking measures and they’re pointing to this measure as a real example of the difference between what they’ve christened ‘the phony council tax freeze’ and their approach to the first budget of the new administration which saw council tax rise slightly to ensure long term stability.
Grant Davey, leader of the Council and the Labour group said
‘Communities will notice the difference of a fake council tax freeze offered by our own local version of the coalition and our ‘honest’ deal with Northumberland. The last Liberal Democrat administration got used to relying on ‘parking stealth taxes’ and failed to tackle excessive top tier management. We’ve tackled both within 6 months and we’re now on course to save £1.2m from our top management ‘shake up’.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

He's 'forgotten' yet again that he voted against Labour's £600,000 investment to clear up the backlog of pot holes left by the previous Lib Dem administration

Councillor Jackson has once again 'forgotten' how he voted against Labour's #potholepledge only 6 weeks ago

It's becoming a bit of a habit. First he 'forgets' he's got a planning application for wind turbines in his back garden now he's in the newspaper again trumpeting his support for the government's £2.3m pot hole cash for Northumberland. He's 'forgotten' yet again that he voted against Labour's £600,000 investment to clear up the backlog of pot holes left by the previous Lib Dem administration. That was only 6 weeks ago. He's also 'forgot' that his recent comments on the rural broadband programme would mean 700 fewer rural homes would be 'connected'.

It's about time Northumberland Tories stopped playing party political games because residents won't 'forget' that you keep 'forgetting' what you're against and what you support.
C'mon Councillor Jackson when are you going to stop 'digging' and back Labour's #potholepledge ?

We welcome the government's investment (see its easy to welcome the other side when they do something good for the community) and we also eagerly await Northumberland Tories 'conversion' to the Labour #potholepledge coming soon to a street near you.

Councillor Jackson has once again 'forgotten' how he voted against Labour's #potholepledge only 6 weeks ago

b>Potholes in Northumberland following heavy snow
A Northumberland councillor wants extra funding from the Government to fix roads concentrated in the rural areas of the county.
Peter Jackson, the leader of the Conservative opposition group on the county council, has called for the Government grant of £2.7m which was allocated to the council last week, to go towards tackling problems on the roads in the west and north of Northumberland.
“We think this extra money is a good opportunity to try and tackle the problems in roads in the north and west and make a real difference in the future,” said Coun Jackson.
Northumberland County Council received £2.7m to repair roads, bridges and other structures damaged as a result of the recent tidal surges and severe wet weather.
Coun Jackson claimed money budgeted to repair non-principal roads in the whole county was not split proportionately between the north, west and south east. He said he hoped the new funding grant would be used to tackle problems in rural Northumberland.
“Obviously the number of miles of these non-principal roads in both the north and west of Northumberland amount to thousands of miles whereas in the south east it is a limited number of those minor roads and it is those minor roads that have fallen into disrepair in recent years,” said Coun Jackson.
“It is the number one thing that people talk to me about in rural Northumberland. We do not have very good conditions in any case, there’s limited mobile phone coverage in Northumberland, there’s no high-speed broadband in rural areas.
Councillor Peter Jackson
“The roads are absolutely essential to keep communities going and also to grow the local economy and try to increase jobs in those parts.”
He said he hoped the money would be used for long-term work instead of temporary pothole filling.
Northumberland County Council said the funding was provided after a bid which identified that nine miles of road and 25 bridges and other structures were damaged by the recent weather. This was all over the county, but particularly in the rural areas to the north and west.
Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for streetcare and environment at Northumberland County Council said: “This additional funding is very welcome, and confirms the need for funding that we have demonstrated in our bids to Government. It will enable the council to accelerate its work to repair roads and structures which have been badly affected by extreme weather.
“The funding will allow work on roads, bridges and other structures, as well as repairs to landslips. A programme of work is currently being confirmed and we will be starting to roll this out at the earliest opportunity.”
The council said all of the damage identified would cost over £5m to repair and the funding will be spent in line with the work outlined in the bid.
It is hoped the majority of the work will be completed by the summer.
Grant Davey, leader of Northumberland County Council added: “It’s a signal of how much the west was left out of the thinking under the last Liberal Democrat administration that the number of potholes has been allowed to grow to such a backlog.
“We know how important it is to local communities to deal with the menace of potholes which blight our roads.
“We aim to clear the backlog by June and then we’re aiming to stay on top of future pothole reports.”

Monday, 24 March 2014

Fact 1 Barry Elliot was in a polling station at Cowpen shouting at staff. He lives in Wensleydale. He may have upset the staff but did not commit a crime.

Fact 1 Barry Elliot was in a polling station at Cowpen shouting at staff. He lives in Wensleydale. He may have upset the staff but did not commit a crime.

Fact 2 Grant Davey was in a number of polling stations on behalf of the Labour Party to ask presiding officers how many constituents had polled. He lives in Kitty Brewster. This activity is undertaken County wide by all parties and independent candidates. He did not commit a crime.

Fact 3 Susan Davey was not in any polling station. She did not commit a crime.

Statement of fact:
We are aware of a number of allegations on social media sites concerning the outcome of the local election on May 2013 and in particular the Cowpen ward.

We are also familiar with the concerns raised and have fully co-operated with Northumbria Police in its investigation. At no time have we been accused of any offence and have received in October 2013 confirmation from the CPS that no charges would be brought against others as there was insufficient evidence to provide realistic prospects of conviction for any offence.

Allegations by the UKIP party to the contrary are entirely false and without basis in fact or law.

Northumberland County Council, who ran the election, has well established and robust systems in place for managing local elections.
Susan and Grant Davey.

Fact 4 At the election count 31 votes from Cowpen ward were classified as 'spoiled' due to being incorrectly completed. Spoiled papers are commonplace, it is a voters democratic right to spoil their papers if they so wish and abstain from the democratic process. Agents and Candidates from all parties involved in the election are called together and on the day, they agreed with the election officer which were spoiled voting papers.

Fact 5 The 'others' referred to were not members of the Labour Party.

Fact 6 No agent from any party involved, lodged an appeal with Northumberland County Council in regard to this election.

Using its wholly owned Development Company ARCH, Northumberland County Council has begun a new development in Seaton Delaval to widen its housing portfolio.28 New homes in Seaton Deleval


Using its wholly owned Development Company ARCH, Northumberland County Council has begun a new development in Seaton Delaval to widen its housing portfolio.
28 New Homes are being built on the site of the former Council Offices to be let on a private basis through ARCH housing and will be ready from October 2014.

Since Labour took over the administration of Northumberland County Council in May 2013 they have embarked on the creation of a quality mixed housing market place to expand the opportunity for people to get a sound roof over their heads. They have almost 100 new Council Homes ready to let with more in the construction phase and a good range of sites through planning and in the pipeline, the Council are also working with several housing associations to develop additional social housing to satisfy need and have had a good look at the private let market.

Councillor Allan Hepple, Policy Board member for Housing and Regeneration said "In the private let market field we have some very good landlords who manage their housing stock very well but we have encountered problems with a number of absentee landlords and a lack of investment by some landlords in the buy to rent sector. We have embarked on the formation of a 'Quill' a Quality Landlord List to promote good practice among landlords, we have begun promoting those landlords letting's through our arms length choice based lettings scheme 'Northumberland Homefinder'"

Councillor Gordon Webb, Chairperson of the Housing Working Group said"
I'm pleased the Council's site at Seaton Delaval has begun as there is a prime need for quality rented accommodation in that area. The Quill will lead on to us Licensing landlords in areas where problems of low quality and low investment is affecting or running down communities. Those landlords who are already members of the scheme don't need to worry as they have attained the status Council requires to offer good homes to tenants. Those in need of a home should register with Northumberland Homefinder through Northumberland County Councils website using the housing link or visit one of our One Stop Shops"