Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Political Rivals Clash over Rothbury Landslip Repairs

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Political Rivals Clash over Rothbury Landslip Repairs

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Daniel Northumberland reporter brian.daniel@ncjmedia.co.uk

AWAR of words has broken out between political rivals in Northumberland over repairs to a landslip that has blocked access to a community for two years.

Northumberland County Council's Labour group wants the Conservatives to back its budget plans for 2015-16 - which they say would safeguard road repairs at the landslip site near Rothbury.

Scott Dickinson, the council's Labour business chairman, clashed with the authority's Conservative leader Peter Jackson, after calling on his rival's group to back the authority's budget and not block funding for schemes like the landslip on the B6344.

Coun Dickinson said: "The challenge to local Tories is whether they're going to back this budget or will they try to block schemes like the Rothbury landslip."

Coun Jackson has hit back, accusing his opponent of trying to politicise an important issue for the village.

He said the Coalition Governmnet had handed over money for the repair work, and there has been a cross-party concensus on it being fixed "from day one".

The row broke out following Coun Dickinson's remarks about the council's plans to allocate an additional PS1.5m in its 2015/16 budget towards the cost of repairs to roads damaged by the landslip in 2012.

The original budget for the scheme was PS7.6m, and includes PS4.9m of Government money.

Coun. Dickinson said: "It's welcome news that this tough budget will stump up over PS1.5m to complete the Rothbury works and I'm confident that we're now in the final phase of what has been a very frustrating episode.

"We've had to strip over PS44m from the council budget because of ConDem cuts and now we've got to find another PS3m."

Hitting back, Coun Jackson highlighted the Government's financial support for the repairs. …

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