Thursday, November 22, 2012

It seems Councillor Jackson has jumped in and got his sums wrong yet again.


It’s nice to see in Voice of the North 21 November 2012 that Peter Jackson and his Northumberland Tories wish to degrade public properties and create slum areas on our high streets in order to fund his ill-judged cardboard discs.
Where do we start on the weaknesses of Councillor Jackson’s ‘big idea’ on car parking? 
The administration costs and added bureaucracy of managing an individual per car scheme will be immense and hasn’t been acknowledged by the Tories, he’s ‘flip flopped’ on last year’s ‘big idea’ of a £15 charge ‘for free parking’ and the building asset ‘fire sale’, he describes as funding his basic scheme is on very shaky ground as I’ll set out below.

It seems Councillor Jackson has jumped in and got his sums wrong yet again.
The administration of Northumberland County Council has transferred 50% of building assets out of the Councils budget to a partner provider, lowering the maintenance cost of empty buildings well below the level of savings required to replace car parking revenue.
If he and his chums wish to fund car parking losses from building maintenance then they must be planning to lower the working conditions of staff because that’s the only cost to reduce.
I'm sure he hasn’t consulted staff bodies and trade unions before making his ‘phony pledge’ in print.

Peter Jackson needs to remember that he had an opportunity to vote with Labour to introduce free car parking in a fully costed motion. They sought to vote with the Liberal administration which they are so at pains to distance themselves from to deny free car parking.
If Labour is successful and able to form an administration in May 2012, we’ll introduce a locally determined fully funded free parking scheme in consultation with our Parish partners.
We won’t dictate from high what local people want which seems to be the objective of Councillor Jackson’s Conservatives and our plan isn’t an attempt to score cheap political points.

Grant Davey

Leader, Northumberland Labour Group

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