Published at 07:41, Wednesday, 28 November 2012
I WAS disturbed to read that the haemorrhaging of highly trained council staff from Hexham to South-EastNorthumberland is still continuing (Courant, November 16).
There is a feeling among local people that Northumberland County Council is becoming increasingly remote from the people in the west, as services and staff are moved away.
Apart from the cost to the individual council employee, both financially and in terms of time, these moves place additional stress on staff who are already working hard to provide a public service.
There is an ongoing impact on the local economy, as staff who have to travel long distances are more likely to shop where they work, and also have less disposable income.
And, of course, new job opportunities are being removed from the local area.
When the unitary council was created, the New Council Blueprint pledged to keep services local and to retain grassroots consultation and contact through community forums. The forums have been disbanded and the council’s local face is shrinking.
I was delighted to hear that the Labour group on the county council has promised to support the retention of those posts currently outside Morpeth, and to work to move frontline staff and services back to the communities they serve. Apart from the individual and community benefits, this policy will save fuel and travelling time, create local jobs and divert more resources back into the local area.
Published by http://www.hexhamcourant.co.uk