Call for education and skills

A Berwick resident who complained about Northumberland County Council's handling of the planning application for the Kwik Save site has called for a line to be drawn under the affair.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 12 February, 2016, 11:25
Eric Goodyer

Eric Goodyer complained to the Local Government Ombudsman which subsequently called on the council to issue an apology to him.

Mr Goodyer, also a town councillor, said: “I hope that we can now draw a line under this affair, with county and town working together towards an outcome that is in the best interest of Berwick.”

However, he dismissed claims the complaint had been made on political grounds and said county council assertions that it would protect 100 jobs in the town were wholly unfounded.

He said: “To understand the depth of anger and betrayal felt by so many requires a look at our perilous economy.

“We have endemic low wages, the TUC named Berwick as a Living Wage Blackspot.

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“We have suffered a series of job losses. We have an ageing population, and young people are leaving because they have no prospects.

“Investment is required in jobs that people need, skilled and unskilled manufacturing, design and construction.”

He poins out that the Walkergate site was previously identified as the preferred location for an education and skills centre.

“The construction of more offices will damage our economy and will remove a key site identified for education by councillors, after widespread public consultation,” he said.

“If an apology is to be issued it should be to our kids, the redundant workers of Jus-Rol who may want retraining and anyone who wants reasonable and affordable access to skills and training.”