COUNTY HALL: Delay until elections

I read with interest the recent letter from Lib Dem Leader Coun Jeff Reid regarding the motives for moving County Hall (Morpeth Herald, April 14), and find myself in the rare circumstance of agreeing with much of what Coun Reid says.

However, one point he makes is mistaken.

Several times the Labour Leader of the council, Grant Davey, has claimed that the move of the council headquarters to Ashington was in his party’s manifesto at the last election.

It patently wasn’t.

There was a list of capital commitments that did not include any mention of spending money on relocating the council’s headquarters.

The Labour manifesto mysteriously vanished from the Northumberland Labour website shortly after the election.

But, fortunately, I have a copy.

Repeatedly in the council chamber, and recorded in the minutes, Coun Davey has claimed this move has democratic approval as it was in his manifesto, and he ‘won’ the election. This is patent bilge.

As he is refusing a referendum on the issue, I call upon the Administration to delay this move until after the next elections and let the public have their say.

I am confident that the current County Hall will last another 12 months without collapsing.

Coun David Bawn

Morpeth North