POLITICS: Opportunity jeopardised

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I am a recently retired businesswoman from the energy industry looking to buy a retirement home in Northumberland.

I have been avidly reading local newspapers and your web pages to see where I would benefit most in what may be my last move.

Through my work, I became familiar with an energy project that excites me enormously, that of Energy Central in the River Blyth estuary – massive cables from Norway, offshore giant wind farms and long-awaited storage battery manufacturers all sited in a deep water port facing the near continent.

It’s an energy provider’s dream come true.

Northumberland County Council and its development company Arch is leading on this project for all of the partners.

It is expected to create between 3,000 and 5,000 jobs for local people. It’s an amazing project by UK standards at this time of austerity and Brexit, and I know many of the companies involved are determined to ensure its success.

This week I came across the 2017 election manifesto of Northumberland Conservatives and I almost froze to my chair. Northumberland Conservatives want to scrap Arch.

I don’t know the make-up of Northumberland Conservatives, but this looks like a ‘farmers’ mart’ manifesto. It’s a pity they have issued such a negative manifesto.

Jobs in the energy industry are well paid and if local people miss out on this once-in-four-lifetimes opportunity set up by the county council because of politics, then I believe the Conservatives don’t understand what being an elected councillor is about.

I would still like to move to Northumberland, but I think I’ll make my choice after the May elections.

May Smith

Bewdley