We warned there would be trouble
I AM writing about the dreadful scenes that were witnessed at the proposed Islamic Centre on Saturday.
Firstly I would like to thank all the people that turned up at the meeting at the Willow Pond on October 3, which may I say was a very productive meeting which was non-racially based and was attended by the people who I would say really care about Millfield.
The meeting was based on the way the city council has conducted itself in coming to the decision to grant planning permission for the Islamic Centre. We came up with at least 10 points of how the council engineered the decision to suit their own means and agenda and I would like to reassure those residents that turned up and ones that did not, we are exhausting all avenues in getting answers from the council.
I would like to point out the council and members of the Islamic Centre were invited, which could of answered a lot of questions and put the residents’ minds at rest, but as has been in the past, our request was ignored.
The council must take the blame for the terrible scenes witnessed around Millfield, as this was highlighted by many members of the community that this would happen. But Coun Paul Watson said: “We should make our decision on facts, not what might happen in the future”. Coun Watson, we told you that your decision would bring trouble to our streets and you failed to listen to us.
Regional pay here
With reference to Paul Callaghan’s opposition to regional pay, it should be pointed out that it already exists in both the NHS and the courts system.
The pay agreement for the NHS was inherited from the Labour Government’s Agenda for Change, which allows pay to be varied in line with market forces.
Labour’s NHS legislation allowed foundation trusts to set their own terms and conditions for staff which may include regional differences.
In 2007, market-facing pay was introduced into the courts system and this year regional benefits was discussed at the Labour Party conference.
Councillor Robert Oliver
Conservative Council Group
A Wright laugh
IT was nice to see Alan Wright recently bounce back from his election defeat and provide some light entertainment on the Letters page.
Mr Wright’s writing gave me the impression that he was laughing hysterically at his own jokes, similar to Ken Dodd with his tickling stick.
When he was joking about so-called Red Ed Milliband I felt his comedy might sound good to Tory ears, but a little absurd for the normal people.
Then Mr Wright quoted straight from the Tory comic propaganda book and said: “Labour are trapped by their own record of grotesque financial mismanagement.”
That line is not as rib-tickling as Mr Wright thought. Indeed if he was acting in Only Fools and Horses he would have been called a right plonker.
The facts reveal that his Tory-led Government will borrow more in this five-year Parliament than Labour did over 13 years.
Oh dear, it appears the laugh’s on Mr Wright.
The consolation for him is his jokes will go down well with his fellow comedians who are on stage at the biggest comedy show of the year, The Tory Party Conference, where they are posing as politicians.
Switch a success
THE Digital TV switchover in the North East is now complete, extending Freeview coverage to more than 200,000 extra viewers. Every viewer in the Tyne Tees region is now digital and most found the change straightforward.
We wish to thank everyone who helped to make the transition to digital television successful. Local retailers and installers, housing providers and an army of relatives, friends and good neighbours have all played their part – as did local charities, led by Age UK County Durham. It really was a community effort.
More than 50,000 older and disabled people in the region have so far contacted the BBC-run Switchover Help Scheme to take up the practical help that’s been offered to them. Eligible people in the North East can still apply until 26 October. For information about Help Scheme eligibility you can phone 0800 40 85 900 or visit helpscheme.co.uk.
Readers should remember to retune their Freeview box occasionally to make sure they’re receiving the latest services.
If you need general advice about switchover you can still get in touch with Digital UK’s advice line on 08456 50 50 50, or visit digitaluk.co.uk.
John Askew and Emma Speed