Thursday, 5 March 2015

“It’s hypocritical to pretend in public you support a policy like the Living Wage and then vote against it in the council budget


CONSERVATIVES BRANDED ‘HYPOCRITICAL’ AFTER COUNCIL BUDGET VOTE SNUB

Local Conservatives profess to support policies like the Living Wage yet vote against them in Labour’s budget

 

Wansbeck and Morpeth would have missed out on dozens of much needed investment projects had local Conservatives led by Councillor Peter Jackson and Morpeth Councillor David Bawn got their way after last week’s budget vote (25 Feb).

The Conservatives voted against the Labour budget at meeting and now Labour are pointing out that a raft of policies would have been sacrificed by the Conservatives as they put ‘politics before people’. Polices such as new leisure centres’ for Ponteland and Morpeth, extra cash for the flood defences in Morpeth, schools capital investment program, new affordable homes program and the Living Wage from Oct 2015 would have been scrapped if the Conservative attempt to derail the budget had been successful.

Labour group and Council Leader Grant Davey said

“It’s hypocritical to pretend in public you support a policy like the Living Wage and then vote against it in the council budget. Local Conservatives couldn’t even be bothered to put forward an alternative budget and relied instead on a cynical attempt to wreck our budget which put a whole raft of polices at risk. The recent independent Peer Review highlighted deliberate attempts by the opposition to discredit the council as a barrier to further progression and this attempt to block £350m worth of capital investment was the latest example of that. Local Conservatives will have to answer to residents in the future for these attempts to block progress”.

 

 

Notes for Editors – the policies which would have been halted or scrapped if the Conservative vote had been successful

  1. Morpeth Surface Water Scheme to enhance the flood barrier scheme.
  2. Schools capital Investment Program.
  3. East Sleekburn Enterprise Zone Job Creation.
  4. Morpeth North bypass/A1 Link Road.
  5. Ashington Leisure facilities Ph2.
  6. Disabled Facilities Grant.
  7. Ashington Blyth and Tyne Rail Line Investment program.
  8. New Schools Reorganisation for Morpeth.
  9. Ashington Schools Partnership program.
  10. Park Refurbishment program.
  11. Street Lighting Renewals Program.
  12. Highways repair and maintenance program.
  13. Elderly care grant.
  14. Solar farm projects.
  15. Biomass for schools project.
  16. Priority School Building Programme for Bedlington High School.
  17. Gallacher Park pavilion project.
  18. New affordable homes program.
  19. Living Wage from Oct 2015

 

 

Local Conservatives like Guy Opperman have to answer for disgraceful snub for Living Wage by seventeen Conservative Councillors


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”.

End

Notes for Editors – policies which would have been scrapped if Tory vote against budget had been carried

  1. 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.
  2. Delivery of the rural broadband grant scheme.
  3. Essential repairs to leisure facilities and parks remodelling.
  4. Hexham Community Fire Station.
  5. Improvements to pavilions and sports fields.
  6. OAP bus pass scheme.
  7. Hexham Bus Station.
  8. Youth provision.
  9. Care for the elderly.
  10. New Leisure Centre for Ponteland.
  11. Saving the Library function.
  12. Investment in the SILL project.
  13. Affordable Homes program.
  14. Street Lighting replacement for LED program.
  15. Hexham, Prudhoe and Ponteland school renewals program.
  16. Schools energy program.
  17. Early Help and Early Years Plan.
  18. Ovingham Bridge
  19. Introduction of Living Wage in October 2015
  20. And the maintenance of jobs, apprenticeships and services for the next two years.