The proposed demolition of the former library and school in Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, to me, provides a perfect example of Labour’s failure in the governance of Northumberland.
A fine building has apparently been neglected to the point at which it is declared ‘derelict’.
The council then demonstrates a lack of vision by deciding it no longer has a purpose when it could provide a wonderful resource as an art gallery and base to display the remarkable family history of the town.
It refuses to allow access for a bid to have the building listed. It seems to ignore the pressing road safety issues on nearby streets, and fails to devise an effective and integrated scheme.
The council then acts as judge and jury by giving itself permission to enact its plans for its own building. This will result in demolishing one of the most cherished buildings in Newbiggin to replace it with a completely unproductive area of hard standing.
Northumberland Labour Group has one chance to redeem itself. This is a politically controversial proposal, and here’s at least one candidate for Newbiggin who will move heaven and earth if elected on May 4 to address all the issues raised.
It would be fair, responsible and in keeping with local democracy if councillors would decide not to go ahead with demolition pending the outcome of the elections.
Will they respect the people of Newbiggin and allow them to have a say? Or are they so nervous of the outcome that they’ll make haste to send the bulldozers in?