LABOUR councillors have been accused of acting irresponsibly as a war of words continues over a Christmas parking offer in Northumberland.
Liberal Democrat leaders at County Hall have condemned Labour’s U-turn on the issue of allowing a week’s free parking in the run-up to Christmas in Berwick, Alnwick, Morpeth, Hexham and Corbridge.
Last week the county council approved the concession by one vote after Conservative and Labour councillors joined forces to vote through a Tory motion.
The Labour group supported the motion just a day after describing it as “ill-judged, too late and not thought out”.
Lib Dem executive member for corporate services, Andrew Tebbutt, said: “I’m very disappointed with the attitude Labour have shown.
“They had initially planned to vote against this motion, for sound reasons, but completely contradicted themselves and decided to back the Conservatives’ ridiculous plan because it’s more politically expedient.”
Yesterday, Labour leader Grant Davey said his group’s policy was to get rid of parking charges across Northumberland, by working in partnership with parish and town councils on local transport plans.
“The reality is that once we debated this Conservative motion as a full group, we decided that for this one-week period before Christmas we should support it, because we would like the Tories’ support for free parking right across the county, which we think is achievable,” said Mr Davey.