Labour blasts council for cut, cut, cut

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IN the Liberal Democrat county council ‘very little has happened at all apart from cut, cut, cut’, Labour Group Leader Grant Davey said.

The Blyth-based councillor said: “In 2008 you had 8,500 kids in poverty, now it’s 11,000; 6,100 were on the housing waiting list, now it’s nearly 12,000. You have paid off 1,500 breadwinners from families in the last five years. I hope you are proud of that because I think it’s absolutely disgraceful.”

He said that the county had inherited money from a district council for a leisure centre and still did not have it off the ground.

And he added: “You talk about the A1 – you haven’t got the route planned, you don’t know the cost of it and you haven’t put the effort into it. But you like to talk it up and so does your MP for Berwick.”

He said: “We want to protect frontline services, we want to build hundreds of homes, we want to fix the potholes — proper road renewal.”

Coun Davey accused the Liberal Democrats of striking a secret power-sharing deal with the Conservatives at the outset, in which the Liberal Democrats run the policy-making executive and Tories run the scrutiny committees that examine its decisions.

“You should be asking for your money back,” he said.

He said the first thing Labour would do if voted into power after the May election would be to tackle parish council worries about dwindling income as many households would no longer be yielding council tax. This year the county is passing on to parishes more than £600,000 in a one-off transition grant from the Government, but there is no commitment to future aid.