'A County That Works For Everyone', Northumberland Conservatives' countywide manifesto

HALT THE COUNTY HALL MOVE No one believes the Labour spin on this. The justifications put do not hold water and 99% of the thousands of residents we have surveyed oppose this absolute waste of public money. A Conservative Council will stop the ridiculous £80 million relocation of County Hall from Morpeth to Ashington dead in its tracks. Independent experts have reported that the existing HQ can easily be refurbished at a fraction of the cost. There is no need to spend millions of pounds of your money relocating to Ashington.

LOCAL PEOPLE LOCAL DECISIONS An autocratic and distant Labour Council will not listen to local people and seems determined to wreck many of our communities across the county. Conservative Council will create 5 Local Area Councils in Northumberland. North Northumberland, Tynedale, Castle Morpeth, Cramlington & Bedlington, Ashington & Blyth. Powers to make local decisions and responsibility to determine planning applications will be returned to these Local Area Councils, local people to making local decisions not dictated by County Hall. We will do away with existing centralised Council Committees.

WAR ON POTHOLES A Labour-run Council does not value the importance of the road network to the working of our very large county. Conservatives care as much as you do about our crumbling roads. In recent years a Conservative Government has given millions to Northumberland to improve our roads. A Conservative Council will spend over £100 million to help repair our roads. These will be real repairs, not just the cheap, short term patches that waste money and which we all hate so much.

INVESTING IN ALL OUR COUNTY This Labour-run Council has spent over 80% of its investment funding on its heartland of Ashington and Blyth to the neglect of the rest of the county. Hundreds of millions of public money have been spent on financially risky schemes such as the £120 million 40 year old shopping centre in Cramlington and many millions as far away as Durham and Teeside – all not creating any new jobs and industry in Northumberland. Their new plan is to risk a further £450 million on even more madcap spending. A Conservative Council will treat all parts of the county with respect and equal importance, introducing Local Area Investment funds to create new real jobs and opportunities in Northumberland. We don’t think the highly-centralised ARCH with its Ashington-only focus is working. That is why we will scrap it.

SCRAP POST 16 TRAVEL CHARGES The Labour County Council introduced a £600 transport charge on post 16 students for travel to school and college. This is a huge burden to families and young people especially discriminating against those in rural areas and limiting the choice and prospects for the futures of those young people. Thanks to Labour’s £600 Teenage Tax, students aged 16-18 have to pay to get to schools or colleges. This is unfair and we will scrap it.

HALT THE MARCH OF THE DEVELOPERS In Northumberland the planning system is out of control with little or no restraint to the march of the large developers, very often now working hand in glove with the Labour County Council. The County Council is years late in its duty to provide a basic planning framework and has failed to ensure that our towns develop with a basic infrastructure of roads that can cope and school with enough places for our children. Our towns are being ruined by Labour. People have told us development is out of control across the county, overwhelming our towns. A Conservative Council will listen to local people, Neighbourhood Plans will mean what they say and carry real weight. We will immediately revise the Core Strategy and we will bring back local planning decisions.

STOP LABOUR'S CUTS AND PROTECT OUR COUNTY'S HERITAGE Labour’s scandalous destruction of our environment. Our promise is to stop and preserve the heritage of Northumberland. The felling of Queen Elizabeth Avenue is just one example of many in our county where local opinion is just ignored.

Attachments

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Northumberland Manifesto.pdf 6.33 MB