Extra jobs? I've heard that one before

Iread with interest that the new Northumberland Business Park at Cramlington is to begin construction, bringing up to 3,000 new jobs (The Journal, September 26).

Iread with interest that the new Northumberland Business Park at Cramlington is to begin construction, bringing up to 3,000 new jobs (The Journal, September 26). Well, forgive me for being cynical, but I have heard that one before.

The new business park at North Seaton was heralded as the new beginning for the Ashington area, and was going to bring hundreds of desperately needed jobs. As of now, all that has been achieved is the building of a larger roundabout, the planting of enough trees and bushes to replenish the Brazilian rainforest and the erection of a piece of ironwork in the name of art.

Not one brick laid. Not one job created. All that is there is a field as empty as the promises of Wansbeck Council and One NorthEast.

The business park at Cramlington will be better situated for transport, being closer to both the A19 and the A1, and it will not have a waste facility behind it.

The people of Ashington said that it would be a waste of money, but the council went ahead, as usual not listening, but pandering to the whims of ONE. No doubt it will be turned into another housing estate with no facilities in the near future.

And talking of the Woodhorn Museum (Voice of the North, September 27), am I the only one who thinks the new logo looks like a cannabis leaf?

IAN FORSTER, Ashington, Northumberland

Frustrated over lack of help on dumped items

IN July we found items dumped in one of my fields between Belsay and Whalton, so I went through it. It was sort of plaster and bathroom stuff, but I found an address of a house in a village.

I made inquiries and found the owner of the house had a tenant who was moving out and had done something to a bathroom without the owner's permission and had to put it back as was; the tenant was moving two doors along.

At this time I received a leaflet about the new, non-emergency 101 service which referred to fly tipping. That's what I want, I thought, so I rang because I had the evidence for something to be done, maybe a prosecution. The lady who answered was nice, but seemed to me to know little of what she was to do. It was not an emergency or life threatening, but I hoped that, on a quiet day, someone would be interested in this matter.

She then put me through to Castle Morpeth Borough Council, who said that as the items were not on council land it was up to me; so my side of the gate is mine and the road side theirs. I went back to 101 and said the council were not interested so they put me on to the Environment Agency who said it was not their problem and referred me on to CMBC, who again said it was not their problem.

I feel frustrated. I've been sent something that tells me to ring a particular number for a non-emergency response and months later nothing is done. Do I put the items on the verge and break the law? Put them in the garden of the person it came from and break the law? Put them in my bin for CMBC to pick up, so the person who dumped them gets away with it to do it again?

I could easily put them in my vehicle and take them to the Kirkley waste centre two mile away, but as I have a pick-up I need a licence from Northumberland County Council. Ring 101? Don't bother.

RICHARD DODD, Belsay, Northumberland

Older people need a say on post offices

RURAL post offices are an essential lifeline for many older people in the North-East region, yet their future is at risk unless the Government acts quickly.

The Government will decide whether to extend its current subsidy of rural post offices this autumn. If it decides not to, thousands of post offices across the country could face closure, leaving large numbers of older people struggling to manage.

Rural post offices provide much more than just a postal service to many older people. They also offer important services including access to cash, benefits and information, as well as somewhere to meet and socialise with other people. Closures must be prevented to protect vulnerable older people from becoming more isolated from their local community.

As the heaviest users of post offices, older people must have their say in what happens to them. That's why we are launching our "Stamped Out" campaign, to encourage people to get involved in the debate and support their local post office. Visit www.ace.org.uk/stamped_out.asp or contact your local Age Concern for more details.

KAREN PETTETT, Regional Development Officer (Policy & Communications), Age Concern in the North-East, Age Concern England, c/o Astral House, 1268 London Road, London SW16 4ER (mobile: (07899) 980-595;Email: karen pettett@ageconcern-north east.org.uk

Each week thousands giving up smoking

I'M in total agreement with Iain Miller of ASH (Voice of the North, September 23) with regard to the next Prime Minister in waiting, Derek Platten.

Does this gentleman think the voters will take him seriously? The simple answer is no, because in this country we have more important issues to think about - health, jobs, education, transport and for some, illegal wars - rather than repealing the smoking ban. This is a non-starter so Mr Platten should take a reality check.

My wife had smoked for over 30 years and recently gave it up and five months later, still hasn't smoked another cigarette. The money saved is a blessing, yet she hasn't spent the cash on pies or the like and become obese as mentioned in a letter from Robert Handyside, which also featured in Saturday's Voice of the North.

Each week we see many thousands of smokers giving up this disgusting and unhealthy habit and Derek Platten's so-called fan base is being gradually "stubbed" out. NHS figures show that between 2003 and 2006 over 800,000 people have kicked the habit. As for Mr Handyside, how about some consideration for the passive smokers.

G WILLIAMS, Wallsend, North Tyneside

CO2 is the real culprit

I'M afraid Mr Shepherdson misread my letter of September 18 on the effect of sun on ambient temperature. The letter was changed a bit by the editor but I was actually pointing out that the heat of combustion (from coal or oil) was not as significant as the effect of the carbon dioxide blanket in terms of global warming. CO2 is the real culprit and, until we can find a way to capture CO2, the burning of oil or coal will continue to create a bigger problem.

RAY FARNSWORTH, Alnwick, Northumberland

NUFC should think again over Kevin Bond

WEREN'T Newcastle United rather hasty in their decision to sack Kevin Bond after he was named in the Panorama programme on BBC1? I am certain that Panorama took a lot of comments totally out of context. How do we know that Kevin's answers were really to the questions which we heard asked? I think NUFC should think again. They've lost a good man!

JULIA RICHARD, Westerhope, Newcastle

Journalists

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