Councils consulted over services

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MORE than half of the county’s town and parish councils have been consulted about plans to transfer services, a meeting heard.

Last week’s Northumberland County Council communities and place overview and scrutiny committee heard from leader Coun Jeff Reid that officers have been visiting local councils across the county since April to discuss which services will be transferred.

“I think the process is going very well,” he said.

“We have managed to clear the air a bit and apologise for the initial rush to it. We are coming to a far more sensible arrangement.

“Every discussion so far has been well worth doing and I am glad that we have done it and I’m glad that it has gone the way it has.

“There is a lot of good coming out of it.”

He added: “I have no doubt that we will get it all done, it will be against the wire but it has to be done properly.”

One councillor from Stamfordham asked why Coun Reid and the deputy leader, Coun Roger Styring, had not been to all the meetings as was said previously.

But Coun Reid said it was not ‘physically possible’ for the two to go to every town and parish council.

Coun Trevor Thorne added: “As a county councillor who has been to some of these meetings I have to back Jeff Reid. It is not a steamroller exercise by the county council.

“What we want to do is to see if parish or town councils will take on services. It has been an excellent exercise and has been well-received.”