Rural north is missing out

Conservative Councillor Peter Jackson

Conservative Councillor Peter Jackson

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Concerns have been raised about the limited economic growth ambitions for north Northumberland over the next two decades.

Northumberland Conservatives are unhappy with the new core strategy on housing and employment up to 2031 currently being drawn up.

Councillor Peter Jackson, group leader, said: “Labour seem content to propose that the majority of future development in Northumberland should go to the built up commuter towns in the south of the county.

“So the growth rate for the south of the county is set at 12% and that for the north at only 6%. This is an attempt to highjack most of any economic growth for the south of the county.

“There is clear discrimination in the county council plans against the north and against the needs for rural development generally. With the spread of high speed broadband in particular in the rural areas, the true picture should be one of great growth and potential over the next few years.”

He is also concerned about population growth estimates used to draw up the council’s core strategy.

“Labour hopes of imposing a 10% population increase on our county are fanciful in the extreme,” said group leader, Coun Peter Jackson, pointing out that Government figures predict a 4.2% rise to 2031.

Coun Jackson also dismissed Labour claims that increases in population will lead to economic growth.

“Basic economics and common sense dictate that business growth and job creation have to come first,” he argues.

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