Thursday, June 21, 2012


Dear Editor

I find it hard to understand why the Liberal Democrat Leader of Council, Jeff Reid and his colleague, Andrew Tebbutt wish to privatise Northumberland County Council services.

Almost 40,000 people in Northumberland work in the retained public sector. 38% of families rely on their income from the public sector. In South East Northumberland you have some of the poorest wards nationally with a huge increase in poverty levels between 2009 -2011 recently reported to Parliament. 

I can understand why Andrew Tebbut can be persuaded towards privatisation, living as he does in one of Britains least deprived wards of Kirkhill, Morpeth.  Jeff Reid is a native of Blyth and only has to have opened his eyes a couple of times in the last 3 decades to see the impact privatisation of mainstay industries such as mining, British gas, electricity generation, shipbuilding, bus deregulation, BT etc has brought on our local economy and how under his supervision, Northumberland has moved from a four star council to one that has to get rid of its services in only four years.

Since 2008 your administration has almost cut off the public, people cannot contact your staff to discuss their problems and your premium rate telephone line frightens off the elderly and those in need. The public need to have full input into your current plans and a referendum should be arranged to see how Northumbrians feel about this proposed sell off.

I urge you Jeff to think again and keep public services democratically accountable to the public not a profit making scheme for those who can afford to buy shares in our County.

Yours Faithfully

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