Issue should have been decided long ago

I have read with interest the recent reports on supermarkets for Alnwick, and some questions spring to mind.

I have read with interest the recent reports on supermarkets for Alnwick, and some questions spring to mind.

I do wonder why we bother electing local councils. Why can they not make the decision for their electors to have the supermarkets, why do we have to, again, have our destiny decided by some person down the way?

They (the deciders) probably have numerous supermarkets on their doorsteps and probably only come to Alnwick to see our quiet town. It's quiet because everyone has gone to Blyth or Ashington or Kingston Park to do their shopping!

Alnwick and the surrounding neighbourhood, Amble, Shilbottle, Warkworth, Wooler, Rothbury, Longhoughton, Seahouses, have a healthy population, numberwise.

Surely we are entitled to a decent choice when it comes to shopping for essentials.

Morrisons have the monopoly at the moment unless you are prepared to drive further afield.

We shouldn't have to do that. Not everyone has transport or the time.

It would seem, that once again, we're in the news for something that should have been decided long ago without interference from anyone else.

I think the planning committee are dragging their feet.

JOAN MOSES Alnwick, Northumberland

Confusion over two separate colleges

IT was with some concern that I read your news report (The Journal, September 7) on asbestos in schools and colleges.

The article states that "two teachers from Gateshead College are claiming compensation" which is untrue. The teachers claiming compensation are former teachers of Gateshead Technical College, which closed in 1993 and has no affiliation with the current Gateshead College.

The teachers taught at Gateshead Technical College between the dates 1967-1990 and 1973-1990.

In the follow-up article (The Journal, September 8) quotes from Gateshead Council still referred to Gateshead College, and although one paragraph did attempt to clarify this matter the confusion remains.

Readers of these articles might infer the claims are against Gateshead College whereas they are in fact against Gateshead Council, former managers of Gateshead Technical College.

Although Gateshead College and Gateshead Technical College shared the same building, we would like to make it explicitly clear that the two are completely separate institutions.

Students, staff and visitors at the Durham Road campus are not at risk in any way from asbestos containing materials.

Gateshead College has carried out an extensive survey of its estate and where asbestos has been identified it has been contained and removed from populated areas.

DAVID CHEETHAM Principal, Gateshead College

Ideas bear no relation to modern science

FOLLOWING your report (September 20) of the objections being raised by Labour county councillors to the plans for an academy in Blyth, it is timely to remind readers of the unfortunate educational consequences of faith-based sponsorships, such as those of the Emmanuel Schools Foundation, which embrace the teaching of creationism and its pseudo-scientific accompaniment, Intelligent Design.

The attempt to implant in pupils beliefs such as that the world was made in six days and is only 6,000 years old, bears no relation to our modern understanding of science and the universe.

JOHN HODGE, Secretary, North East Humanists, Jesmond, Newcastle

There's no need to bury our used goods

IT was really exciting to read this week that South Tyneside Council are rapidly developing their Recycling Village at Middlefields Industrial Estate in Tyne Dock - which includes a "community warehouse" to encourage the re-use of white goods.

Readers of The Journal should remember that the re-use of unwanted/waste items has been taking place for many years.

Throughout the Newcastle city area and the North-East region there are many charity shops and organisations that collect unwanted books, clothing, mobile phones, computers, electrical appliances, furniture, etc.

Well-known retailers include Oxfam - plus there are community furniture schemes and charities collecting items to send to the third world.

Newcastle is also the home of the Children's Warehouse - a charity which currently operates the only Scrapstore in the North-East.

It collects a wide range of materials from local businesses [as well as organisations and individuals] for re-use by schools, community groups, students and artists.

Individuals, organisations and businesses should look closely at what they are planning to throw away.

There are huge amounts of useful materials and items that could be re-used and diverted from ending up in local landfill sites [in addition to the materials already collected for recycling].

ANDREW COX Secretary, Children's Warehouse, Sunco House, Carliol Square, Newcastle

Disappointed by the exhibits at the Baltic

WHILE in Newcastle on August 18 we looked forward with anticipation to a visit to the Baltic.

We were extremely disappointed, with two floors closed for new exhibits and the exhibits on display were ludicrous and could not be described as art.

One was a truck with a banana shaped chassis, with the front wheels on the ground and the rear about 10ft up the wall.

A pile of rubble could have meant that the builders were in or maybe it was another exhibit.

I was impressed by a lifelike model of a terrier but I realised it was real when it started running around.

We decided to stick to the old school of art and the impressionists.

C HARRISON Ingoe, Northumberland

Religion not immune from criticism

RE the Pope's speech. Why do Muslims think their religion is superior?

Religion is a very personal choice, yet like everything is not immune to criticism.

SHEENA RUSSELL Wooler, Northumberland.

Has Labour got the monarchy licked?

SIR, objective achieved, our Labour government has quietly and surreptitiously rid the country of their ultimate block to complete overall power, removing the Queen's head from our postage stamps.

We no longer have Royal Mail, we have a postage "service".

Why not replace our monarch's head with a hammer and chisel?

Why pussyfoot about?

Now they have made their objective quite clear, then away with majesty or royal in any connection, up the proletariat.

BARBARA TURNBULL, Chester le Street, County Durham

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