OPENCAST: No value for money here

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How many hundreds of thousands of pounds of council taxpayers’ money is Northumberland County Council willing to waste, seeking to uphold its short-sighted approval for the huge opencast coal mine at Highthorn, beside Druridge Bay.;

It must be a vast amount because it wants to keep it secret.

A recent Freedom of Information request, submitted by Berwick-upon-Tweed Constituency Green Party, for the council to reveal the amount of money and officers’ time that has been allocated to deal with the forthcoming public inquiry has been met with a flat refusal.

There is no value for money here — the council’s insistence that the proposal would bring new jobs is not right. It is clear that more jobs, more business and more business rates would be lost from the damage that will inevitably be caused to the tourism industry.

The most vocal proponent of coal mining at the moment is Donald Trump. It seems that Northumberland County Council has a similar attitude to the future and to our environment.

This is our money and we have a right to know how much of it being used in the council’s determination to turn the calendar back by 100 years.

Thomas Stewart

Berwick-upon-Tweed Constituency Green Party