COUNCIL: Listen to the taxpayers

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An item and a reader’s letter in last week’s News Post Leader seemed to confirm that under the current Northumberland County Council we are in some kind of social experiment of “just how much will they take?”.

First, there was the gentleman from Guide Post on the front page putting a case forward, quite rightly, that the infrastructure around his area would not warrant any further house building. Can I invite him to Blyth?

If Cowpen Road is the entrance he would use, he will see lack of road planning, and if the planned 142 houses behind the new Lidl have been built it’s going to take some time. A bit of advice – put up some sandwiches and a flask.

Once here, he will find thousands of new houses, without any infrastructure in place. We have no new schools, doctors or roads.

As we mere taxpayers appear never to be listened to, good luck with any protest.

Of course, there have to be more houses built, no one would deny that, but surely there has to be some kind of plan for infrastructure to be in place first.

The letter from the lady about the enormous price hikes in the sports centre highlights how out of touch the council seems to be.

Speaking as part of a well-used exercise class at Blyth Sports Centre, we have left in droves. Desperation has obviously set in as there was a stand in Manor Walks offering free cloth carrier bags to join. Drop the prices back down – simple.

The staff are great at Blyth Sports Centre and we who have left feel sorry for them. Even many of the people on Health Quest, sent by their GPs, have left.

The government and the NHS wants us all to be healthy. Northumberland County Council obviously knows better.

I know friends who paid membership for the year and refuse to pay the price increases are trying to get their money back. The amount of emails Active Northumberland receives asking for refunds must be huge. We will never know as no one I know has, to date, had a reply, let alone a refund. It cannot be too busy to reply now as I suspect new membership applications will have decreased.

Grid-locked roads are stressful and trying to get doctors’ appointments are a nightmare in some practices. We really need to be keeping our children and ourselves healthy with subsidised sports centres. Not everyone is on benefits, but people do have low incomes.

We know there has to be cuts, but it has to be false economy to build brand new sports centres and create a decrease in numbers.

K Brown

Blyth