The facts and not fiction

I don’t usually respond to the letters in the newspaper but the allegations by Mark Swinburne, a Tory party member, (News Post Leader, October 9) on me personally need to be answered.

I do think readers need to be aware of the facts not the fiction pedalled which besmirch my reputation.

I can only assume that the truth really did rattle his cage.

Firstly, I did turn up for the council meeting he refers to but had to excuse myself because of a severe illness, which kept me out of circulation for over a week.

Had he checked with his Tory councillors then he would have known this.

I won’t hold my breath for an apology, but of course the Tories are not new to being economical with the truth or apologising.

We won’t hear an apology for beating up the poor and vulnerable with their austerity measures or for paying down the nation’s debt on the back of the vulnerable and disabled whilst giving tax hand outs to the rich, or for robbing every person in Northumberland of £269 a year with cuts to public services. And with planned cuts for another £269 reduction in the next four years.

I don’t hear the local Tories apologising for that or standing up to the devastation heaped on public services in Northumberland by their government.

By the way, that cut is around a quarter of the county council’s revenue budget

Paying down the nation’s debt is a subject close to the prime minister’s heart. He lauded at his conference that his government was ‘paying down its debt’.

In a letter to Labour’s shadow first secretary to the treasury, Chris Leslie MP, the independent UK Statistics Authority stated that the county’s public sector debt in April 2010 was £997.4bn, but in August 2014 it was £1.432.13bn. That’s an increase of £434.9bn – hardly paying down our debt – and a sign his government’s economic policy is in tatters.

In relation to the landscape strategy favouring certain areas of Cramlington, the town council decision was to target linkages to the new hospital given the increased visitor numbers to present a positive image of the town, which his councillors did not oppose.

Does he not know that the introduction of an extensive and expensive strategy needs to have a phased introduction because it can’t be paid for in one year?

The strategy covers the whole of Cramlington and supports our manifesto promise to improve the town which was supported by residents in the ballot box in May last year.

Allan Hepple

Labour Group Leader

Cramlington Town Council