Resident sets up petition opposing County Hall move

County Hall in Morpeth.

County Hall in Morpeth.

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A petition has been launched against controversial plans to re-locate the county council’s headquarters from Morpeth to Ashington.

The administration says that the move will cost less than refurbishing the current County Hall up to modern standards.

Political opponents of the proposal believe it is an unnecessary project and they are sceptical about the costs cited for the required works at the building in Loansdean because a proper structural survey of the building has not been carried out.

The move will be confirmed if the funding allocation for it is approved as part of the council’s vote on the 2016/17 budget.

But many people in Northumberland are unhappy with the plans and Ponteland resident David Greenwell has set up an online petition that will be sent to the Local Government Ombudsman.

He says he did it out of frustration that the council administration is keen to drive through a project that the majority of residents in the county do not want. More than 500 people have signed it so far.

The petition states: ‘Ashington is not a central location for Northumberland. It has no major road or rail links and it is inconveniently situated to all council tax payers living south and west of the town.

‘Morpeth is central, straight off the A1 and easily accessible. Why make travel longer for many staff and council tax payers?

‘We are still coming out of a recession, so why spend £40million plus on something that’s not needed?

‘We are all asked to watch what we spend and keep out of debt, does this not apply to the county council?’

To see and sign the petition, go to www.change.org/en-GB/petitions and click on the search icon. Typing ‘NCC spending’ in the space provided is the final step.