Tory levelling up plans don’t make up for their decade of deliberately
levelling down, say Northumberland Labour
Northumberland Labour says the government’s levelling up plans go nowhere near what’s needed after a decade of deliberately levelling down.
Deputy Leader Liz Simpson said: “This government does not seem to see the irony in throwing a few crumbs of comfort our way after more than decade of deliberately stripping money, jobs and opportunities away from counties like ours.
“At the beginning of the LibDem/Conservative coalition and faced with multi-million pound cuts the then Labour-led county council had no choice but to radically reorganise services to try and protect the most vulnerable in our county.
“The then Labour-led council knew libraries were important to people and it didn’t want to close them (as many counties felt forced to do). Where they could they combined libraries and tourist information services with leisure centres. This was not popular with a lot of people and it was disruptive for council staff, but it was either that or close them completely which the council was determined not to do. Their focus was always retaining services for the most vulnerable in the face of eye watering cuts in local authority budgets.
“The damage that more than 10 years of cruel cuts has done will take more than a few words to put right. Under the national Tory government we’ve seen high streets perish, more and more children and families being plunged into poverty, cuts in transport and education budgets and little or no affordable house building.
“We are fiercely proud of the wonderful county and we know it has the potential to be the best place in the country to live. To do that though, we need proper support from central government, based on local need. We will be lobbying our council and the Labour Party at a national level to ensure that levelling up really does what it is supposed to do. Counties like ours need more resources to make up for a decade of under investment.”