CONSERVATIVES gathered in Birmingham have warned that infighting among Labour's North East councils is costing millions in investment cash.
Regional Tories have revealed ongoing concerns that a “silo mentality” among Labour leaders is threatening to undermine job creation efforts.
Hexham MP Guy Opperman and the North East MEP Martin Callanan were joined by senior party leader Jeremy Middleton in their warning that some in the region were more concerned with making “political capital” out of spending cuts than in encouraging firms to come to the region.
At a fringe event, warnings were sounded that the local enterprise partnership, set up by ministers to bring businesses and councils together for economic growth, was being held back.
Mr Opperman said: “It is a constant source of frustration that the North East Local Enterprise Partnership is not pulling its weight.
“Either it is failing to work with the councils or the councils are not working with it. That issue is still very much there, it has not gone away.”
He was backed by Mr Middleton, who himself sits on the partnership, who told The Journal there was “a silo mentality” among too many council leaders in the North East.
“We had to have the partnership forced on to us and it shows,” he said. “If you look at Manchester, they secured millions and millions of pounds for the whole of the Manchester area.
“Here we just see Newcastle getting a city deal, but no wider approach.
“The result of that is that we are not getting the chance to create jobs in the same way as other areas are.”