It is great to see the revival of Blyth town centre in its physical form with the opening this week of Poundworld, one of three shops created from the redundant and falling into disrepair Westgate House, opposite the market place in Waterloo Road.
The other two high footfall shops, Bargain Buys and Iceland, will be open within the next four weeks in time for the Tour of Britain cycle race reaching a stage finish in the town on Wednesday, September 9.
The town of Blyth has been bombarded with criticism over the last few years, with the now famous quote from the ex-leader of Northumberland County Council Jeff Reid that Blyth, his home town, “is a dump”, and recent allegations widely reported from Northumberland Tory leader Peter Jackson that Labour is spending “millions” in the south east of the county and nothing in rural areas.
The current Labour administration is delivering new social housing in Amble, Embleton and Shillbottle, all rural areas.
It is building a new school in Prudhoe, a new bus station in Hexham, revitalising Northumberland Hall in Alnwick, working with our NHS acute trust partners in Berwick to fund and deliver a new, much-needed hospital facility, has recently opened a new £4.6m integrated health and social care facility in Haltwhistle, and bankrolled the completion of the Morpeth flood defences, along with a substantial amount of other projects which are too long to list here.
Getting back to my home town, Blyth, it’s good to note that Poundstretchers has had a restoration grant sourced by Arch and NCC, and has informed people that it will be starting to refurbish its store this month.
Also that one of the private landlords in Market Street has a planning application in for a new shop front, and the Town Team has noticed increased activity with commercial landlord enquires.
So Coun Jackson, the private sector as well as the council are working in harmony in the south east of the county.
Instead of setting towns and villages against each other, you should leave your farm and tour the rural areas to see that similar great things are happening elsewhere and the Labour administration is doing its best during a period of savage cuts by your government.
Councillor for Croft Ward