Monday, September 10, 2012

Liberal Democrat Cabinet Member Arthur Pegg labelled Councillor Sanderson as ‘opportunistic and hypocritical’ after Conservative group leader Peter Jackson was disqualified from attendance at the meeting on this motion because of past controversial applications for wind turbines on his own land


 Northumberland Labour Group


                                                                                        
Ian Swithenbank, Chairperson
Grant Davey, Leader
Val Tyler, Deputy
Robert Arckless, Secretary

County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland NE61 2EF
Telephone (01670) 533000
Fax (01670) 533072


Press Release

Labour condemns ‘wind turbine stunt’
‘The illegal motion was a major embarrassment for Tory leader’. 


A row in Northumberland County Council between Tory Deputy leader Glenn Sanderson and the counties ruling Liberal Democrat group was described by Labour group leader Grant Davey as a ‘distraction from the real job of creating and safeguarding jobs in the county’.

The Labour group, along with MP’s Ronnie Campbell and Ian Lavery have launched a concerted effort to push for more support from the coalition government and greater cross party effort to create and support more jobs in the county. Labour have called for the extension of the proposed Port of Blyth Enterprise Zone to take in the former Alcan site at Lynemouth, have backed calls for the dualling of the A1 and have called for council investment in the county’s ‘under pressure’ farming industry through an all-party action plan.

It was feared that the row over the illegal Conservative motion would undermine future renewable energy investment in Northumberland.   

The row broke out after the senior Conservative tabled a ‘controversial motion calling for the drastic reduction in subsidies to the renewable energy industry and increased planning restrictions for onshore wind turbines’. The motion was ruled ‘illegal’ by the council legal officer.

Liberal Democrat Cabinet Member Arthur Pegg labelled Councillor Sanderson as ‘opportunistic and hypocritical’ after Conservative group leader Peter Jackson was disqualified from attendance at the meeting on this motion because of past controversial applications for wind turbines on his own land.

Labour Leader Grant Davey said

‘The row between the Tories and Liberals over wind turbines sends out the wrong message to potential investors in renewable technologies. At least 54 businesses exist across the county that rely on this growing sector and we should be looking to encourage more not to cut opportunities. Councillor Sanderson’s illegal motion was ill conceived, anti-growth and was a major embarrassment to Councillor Jackson who seems to be a fan of renewable technologies’.

We want Councillor Bradbury to appear before the all party committee to discuss his proposals for leisure services especially his ‘giveaway of a £20m council asset in Ashington that hasn’t even been built yet. From the speculation about his privatisation proposals he needs to come clean and his leader should live up to his pledge to the council on 4 July to ‘pause his ill-conceived privatisation. The Labour group will be coming forward with outline plans to create a ‘super trust’ which would allow the current advantages to be maintained along with some efficiencies and a more flexible use of the council subsidy. We want to make sure that the council maintains its assets and we count staff in that category’.





                                                                                         Labour Group
Ian Swithenbank, Chairperson
Grant Davey, Leader
Val Tyler, Deputy
Robert Arckless, Secretary

County Hall
Morpeth
Northumberland NE61 2EF
Telephone (01670) 533000
Fax (01670) 533072


Press Release

Labour calls for leisure ‘privatisation’ rethink
‘Super Trust’ model put forward by opposition.


Liberal Democrat plans to ‘soft market test’ leisure services across the county have been called into question after fears were expressed that the exercise was a prelude to ‘privatisation’ and a ‘fragmented service’. The council which is facing further cuts of £74m after its emergency budget in May is considering ‘outsourcing’ all services with leisure service provision believed to be the ‘pilot’.
Leisure services are currently delivered through a series of ‘trusts’ which are commissioned by the county council. 
The largest groups, BVAL, who manage ex- Blyth Valley and Wansbeck Leisure Services and Leisure Tynedale who are based in the West of the County are Council formed trust companies who now face uncertainty because of the ‘secretive market testing’ approach chosen by the Liberal Democrat leadership.
Liberal Democrat Cabinet Member Neil Bradbury is piloting the proposals to save over £4m by providing incentives such as the ‘giveaway’ of the yet to be built £20m ‘state of the art’ Ashington Leisure Centre to private sector providers but his plans have already come under fire for being ‘secretive’ and ‘privatisation through the back door’ after Liberal leader Jeff Reid pledged to listen to put ‘wholesale privatisation on hold’ at 4 July meeting of the Full Council.

Labour group leader Grant Davey said
‘We want Councillor Bradbury to appear before the all party committee to discuss his proposals for leisure services especially his ‘giveaway of a £20m council asset in Ashington that hasn’t even been built yet. From the speculation about his privatisation proposals he needs to come clean and his leader should live up to his pledge to the council on 4 July to ‘pause his ill-conceived privatisation. The Labour group will be coming forward with outline plans to create a ‘super trust’ which would allow the current advantages to be maintained along with some efficiencies and a more flexible use of the council subsidy. We want to make sure that the council maintains its assets and we count staff in that category’. 



End