GROUP: Public’s been booted out

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As independent members of the recently disbanded Bedlington Steering Group we would like to draw residents’ attention to recent events concerning the development of the town.

In 2015, we were asked to become steering group members in order to assist with the redevelopment of the former Tesco site. Initially, there was a big thrust to get us all ‘on board and up to speed’. This included training by a local architectural company.

However, after losing our Town Champion Dean Jackson, things have rapidly deteriorated.

For example, at what turned out to be the final group meeting in August, neither Northumberland County Council nor Arch saw fit to send a representative.

We became aware on October 24 that the group had been disbanded. This was after querying the lack of agenda and venue for a meeting scheduled for the next day. Only then were we informed of the county council’s decision to disband the group. This was done via a letter, which looked to have been written weeks before, and emailed to us through a third party.

Obviously, we were disappointed at being so summarily and curtly dismissed.

However, to realise a few days later that the steering group had been replaced by a ‘delivery group’, consisting of our four local county councillors supported by Arch, made the reason for our removal clear – Northumberland County Council no longer wishes to engage in public discussion, debate or consultation over the development of Bedlington, and in particular the Tesco site.

Like us, Bedlington residents can only speculate as to why this would be.

The final insult to the town is implicit in a delivery group quote from Coun Tyler on behalf of the town’s county councillors: “We feel it’s time to get behind the town.”

What on earth have they been doing since they were elected?

Russ Wallace

Make a Noise for Bedlington

John Krzyzanowski

Bygone Bedlington