The Labour Party have threatened the closure of County Hall and move hundreds of jobs away from Morpeth disguised as a cost saving to the council. The Labour led council have proposed the decentralisation of services back to offices across the Northumberland area having previously driven the plan to centralise the centralisation of services through the creation of the unitary authorities.
Labour boss Grant Davey has said that the cost of upgrading the building are driving the decision, but local people will remain to be convinced of this argument, especially when it has been suggested by the council that up to 2000 homes could be located on the site.
Conservative County Councillor for Morpeth North David Bawn said, “It is with extreme concern that I hear that the Labour Administration of Northumberland County Council is seriously considering closing County Hall and moving hundreds of jobs outside of Morpeth.
"Such a move would disastrous for Morpeth's local economy. It is bizarre that at the same time that County Council is drawing up the local plan to include hundreds of extra houses in Morpeth over the next 20 years they are considering closing Morpeth's largest employer.
"We have just spent a fortune and suffered disruption in abolishing the District Councils to make savings by centralising County administration and now Labour wants to undo all that work and all the gains that have been made.
"In the current climate the Administration should be concentrating on delivering core services and not waste time and money on grand re-organisation plans which will have the effect of seriously damaging the economy of Morpeth."
Conservative Spokesman for Morpeth Kirkhill Dave Herne said, “I see this as nothing but an attempt by the Labour led council propped up by its tame independents to move jobs away from Morpeth and in to Labour controlled areas in the South East of the County.
“The people of Northumberland voted not so long ago to have a two authority solution for Northumberland, no doubt partly to stop Labour from doing things like this. However that solution was denied to them by Tony Blair’s government and now Morpeth looks set to suffer the consequences of that over-riding of our democratic will.”