LABOUR CALL FOR TORY LEADER TO WITHDRAW NOMINATION FOR LOCAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE
Tory group leader has ‘substantial land interests’ across county as concerns raised about potential conflicts of interest
Conservative group leader Peter Jackson is being urged to withdraw his application to sit on an important and influential committee which is looking to decide how Northumberland County Council develops the county over the next 20 years.
Councillor Jackson is seeking to oust fellow Conservative councillor Richard Dodds who has sat on the committee for the past two years at a meeting of Full Council at Morpeth on Wed 5 Nov 2014 but is being ‘urged’ by Labour to reconsider given his substantial landholdings across the county. They also point to Councillor Jackson’s public statements about the LDF especially related to ‘protecting the greenbelt around Ponteland’ where many of the Tory leaders farming and land interests are based.
Labour are urging Councillor Jackson to withdraw his nomination from the LDF committee because of the ‘close proximity’ of the top Tories business interests and the intrinsic links between the LDF and local land values.
Labour group and council leader Grant Davey said
“The Local Development Framework has been in discussion and consultation for over 5 years yet Councillor Jackson wants to ‘muscle’ his way onto the committee when it gets close to a final decision. As a major landowner in Ponteland and beyond and a regular contributor to the various party political campaigns around the LDF, he needs to consider what signal that sends to residents and interested parties when he’s seeking to join a group that has an important role in shaping land decisions in the county for decades to come. I’m urging him to reconsider his decision to replace his fellow Conservative Councillor Dodds on the LDF committee and to withdraw his application before the meeting of Full Council on 5 Nov”.
Councillor Jackson declares the following interests in the members Register of Interests in April 2013
1. Edgehouse, Belsay
2. East Coldcoats, Ponteland
3. Westcotes Farm, Ponteland
4. West Low House, Whalton
5. Angerton North Moor, Hartburn
6. West Benridge, Morpeth
7. Land at Eshott
8. Harlow Hill, Stamfordham
9. Higham Dykes, Ponteland
10. Land at Medburn
11. A Jackson (Westcotes) Ltd
12. Greenshields Agri Ltd
13. Meldon Village Drying and Storage Ltd
14. Grainco Ltd
15. Tynegrain Ltd
Councillor Jackson’s public pronouncements on the LDF and greenbelt development in Ponteland