Journal opinion: A crass own goal in North Tyneside

The Journal's opinion column for Tuesday, February 24, in which we argue that Tyneside Labour councillors have given Eric Pickles a golden opportunity

Andy Stenning Communities Secretary Eric Pickles gives his speech to the Tory conference on Tuesday
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles

NORTH Tyneside doesn’t contain too many marginal parliamentary or council seats.

Therefore it is unlikely that Labour in North Tyneside will pay a high price for accepting a 24% increase in councillors’ allowances.

Yet it is quite possible that those councillors could find themselves dragged out as Exhibit A when the Conservatives want to make a point about profligate and selfish Labour councils. Which they will.

Cuts in jobs and services at North Tyneside Council may have been a necessary result of the squeeze put on the borough by the Government – but it makes the rise in allowances look so much more crass.

The council’s defence – that the rise in allowances was recommended by an independent body – sounds lame. That’s because it IS lame.

Did Labour in North Tyneside really want to give Eric Pickles a stick with which to beat Ed Miliband? Because that is what they have done.

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer