Anne-Marie Trevelyan responds to "challenge" on "Two Councils" proposal

lAnne-Marie Trevelyan, the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate, has responded to a call from her Labour counterpart, Scott Dickinson as to whether she supports the proposals, recently backed by Hexham MP Guy Opperman, to create two separate Unitary authorities in Northumberland.  Anne-Marie Trevelyan said she had not been contacted directly by Scott Dickinson but is happy to confirm that she looks forward to seeing detailed proposals and is examining all the facts and gathering information in order to come to a clearly thought out conclusion on whether this definitely would be the best option.  She said; "I have asked for actual data including on Northumberland County Council employees home locations to better understand the potential impact on them of a move to Ashington".  Anne-Marie Trevelyan added; "when plans were originally brought forward in 2004 to have two authorities, this was supported by the majority of the public as well as the majority of Labour Councillors, the viability of this proposal was verified by internationally renowned consultants, KMPG and PWC."  Anne-Marie Trevelyan added; "members of the public may wonder if this is a political re-calculation on Labour's part as opposed to financial or any other consideration and I would ask Scott Dickinson to clarify why the Labour party in Northumberland appear to have changed their minds on this issue".  Last week, the leader of the Conservative Group on Northumberland County Council, Peter Jackson accused the authority of being "financially illiterate" over the planned £40 million County Hall move, which he described as;  "totally unnecessary, the biggest waste of money in the history of Northumberland County Council and part of the Labour administration's politically motivated bias towards Blyth and Ashington to the detriment of the rest of the County".