CONSERVATIVES ACCUSED OF ‘HYPOCRISY’ OVER BUDGET SNUB
Local Conservatives like Guy Opperman have to answer for disgraceful snub for Living Wage by seventeen Conservative Councillors
Local Conservatives have been accused of ‘breath taking hypocrisy’ after it emerged that seventeen Conservative Councillors led by Heddon and Ponteland Councillor Peter Jackson voted to block a Labour budget proposal which would see a raft of positive policies for West Northumberland implemented. A proposal to implement the Living Wage at the council from October would have been scrapped had Conservative councillors won the vote on 25 Feb.
Now Labour are calling for Conservative MP Guy Opperman to distance himself from his councillors if he’s to remain credible in his support for the Living Wage policy.
Conservative attempts to stop the Labour budget would have seen a number of big projects for the West halted or scrapped. The policies included resurfacing and street works in the Local Transport plan worth a total of £29.5m county wide with the largest percentage being spent in the west, Hexham Community Fire Station, Hexham Bus Station, new leisure centre for Ponteland, investment in the SILL project, Hexham, Prudhoe and Ponteland school renewals program, Ovingham Bridge and council plans to return hundreds of jobs to town centre’s like Hexham and Prudhoe.
Council and Labour group leader Grant Davey said
“It’s hypocritical for Conservatives to profess support for policies like the Living Wage and then vote against them in the council chamber. Local Conservatives have already been called out by the independent Peer Review over their attempts to damage the reputation of the council and now they’re accused of hypocrisy over their cynical attempts to put politics before people as they tried to scupper the council budget. Residents will rightly ask questions about the motives of local Conservatives who say one thing and do another”.
Notes for Editors – policies which would have been scrapped if Tory vote against budget had been carried
- Resurfacing and street works in the Local Transport plan worth a total of £29.5m county wide with the largest percentage being spent in the west.
- Delivery of the rural broadband grant scheme.
- Essential repairs to leisure facilities and parks remodelling.
- Hexham Community Fire Station.
- Improvements to pavilions and sports fields.
- OAP bus pass scheme.
- Hexham Bus Station.
- Youth provision.
- Care for the elderly.
- New Leisure Centre for Ponteland.
- Saving the Library function.
- Investment in the SILL project.
- Affordable Homes program.
- Street Lighting replacement for LED program.
- Hexham, Prudhoe and Ponteland school renewals program.
- Schools energy program.
- Early Help and Early Years Plan.
- Ovingham Bridge
- Introduction of Living Wage in October 2015
- And the maintenance of jobs, apprenticeships and services for the next two years.