Berwick peers express concerns over growth deals
The North of Tyne and the Borderlands Growth Deals have been questioned in the House of Lords by Berwick-based peers.
Lord Beith, the former Berwick MP, asked Local Government Minister Lord Bourne when the new bodies would have money to spend in Northumberland, and why the North of Tyne deal required an elected mayor when the Borderlands deal does not.
Lord Beith was also concerned that residents have not been consulted enough.
His wife Baroness Maddock told the Minister that: “If we are serious about growth in north Northumberland, we need to get on and dual the A1 north of Alnwick and across the border in Scotland.”
In response, Lord Bourne said ‘no date can be attached” for when funds will be available for Northumberland, but that consultations on both deals had been positive.
However, Lord Beith said: “These plans involve so much confusion and delay that I cannot see them delivering real improvements for Northumberland in reasonable time. It will be at least 2020 before anything emerges from the North of Tyne plan, as it has to wait for the election of a completely unnecessary elected Mayor, and no one seems to have any idea when the Borderlands scheme ... will be able to do anything for Northumberland.”