Investment for one town

I read with interest the intriguing reports in the News Post Leader in recent weeks about the amount of investment that is going into Ashington.

There is £20m for this, £78m for that, and the weekly reports from our MPs on austerity and ‘bedroom tax’, food banks, seem all forgotten.

And the carrion call from County Hall is we are getting less from government so more cuts to public services are on their way, and County Hall in Morpeth has to go to save money.

But like a genie from a magic lamp, out pops the county council’s arms length Northumberland development company (and most of the directors appear to be county councillors) with millions for the redevelopment of Ashington.

The start of the redevelopment will be the town’s football club stand. Where was the benevolence when two of the best non league teams in the region were struggling, Bedlington Terriers and Blyth Spartans? They were getting their cash by results and achievement.

The 250-seat stand at Ashington’s Woodhorn Lane ground will be a beacon for all the underprivileged electorate in south east Northumberland.

And given such a high political status by a unitary authority (a football ground?) the statement being fiscal responsibility or irresponsibility.

It is one thing to whinge about the ‘London Labour elite’ looking down on members with accents, it is like the elected powerful diverting resources from the urban poor to their home town.

Perhaps Northumberland’s county councillors should remember we are a unitary authority with a disproportionate number of low paid and unemployed throughout south east Northumberland.

In my opinion this investment has nothing to do with local government, it is more about self indulgence than job creation and renewal.

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