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Council boxes itself in yet again.

Like most contentious subjects, there can be no single solution to the recycling issue.

However, Newcastle City Council, not for the first time, appears to have chosen the cheapest and worst solution to the problem in deciding to use the infamous 'black boxes' which are universally disliked.

The total inadequacy of the boxes is illustrated by my own experience.

Living alone in a small house, with an average number of friends and family visiting each fortnight, finds me pressing overflowing bags and newspapers into my two boxes ( an extra was requested soon after the scheme began when I realised the capacity of one box per household was a joke.

How families are supposed to manage with one box I cannot imagine and, indeed, many of my neighbours have given up on the scheme for this reason. In fact, many of them have requested more boxes but with no success.

Before, and after, collection on rainy days the boxes and their contents are swilling with water, and on breezy days the street is frequently decorated with flying papers and rolling plastic bottles.

It seems to be the practice of some collectors to stand on the lorry and throw the empty boxes back on to drives and paths.

Neither very robust or well-designed, the edges are easily damaged and I have sustained a nasty cut from one of my damaged boxes.

Blyth Valley Council, like many others, have given their taxpayers small blue and green wheelie bins for recycling and garden rubbish respectively.

This way contents are kept dry and, most importantly, contained.

Emptying of blue and brown bins could be less frequent ( keeping garden rubbish out of household green bins and making the litter problem more manageable and recycling more attractive.

Why does this council of ours seem to repeatedly favour the easiest and cheapest solution to so many problems only to be forced, through circumstances at a later date, to have to re-think their decisions or re-do work resulting in twice or thrice the cost to Council taxpayers!

LC, Heaton.

Don't destroy our dreams

WELL, shiver my timbers and stone the crows ( it's here at last.

Is this to be another season full of Toon fans' anger, controversy and screaming headlines?

Is some success afoot or are we to be embalmed in another season of failure?

The outgoing revolving doors at St James' are working overtime. When will the promised new players appear?

As usual we have been linked with everyone from Donald Duck to Hari Kari and his six saki sippers.

We want players injected with a cocktail of fire and fearlessness and a crusading belief in the Toon's objectives. Meat and potato players with pace.

Our midfield's last campaign was so inept I am surprised none were wearing make-up. Rather than trying to be overly clever with formations that do not suit, the emphasis should be on high-tempo football, and players who will compete and run and run.

Who wants so-called superstars who do not care and run off to play with their celebrity partners when their game is duff?

This club has always been a prisoner of under-achieving big names so look to your academy. There are young stars like bulls pawing the ground waiting for a chance to play for the Toon.

I just wonder if the controlling grandees of St James' will take on a dose of realism and not allow failure to become a habit?

The tentacles of suspicion stretch through our fans about the future direction of our club.

So after all the flannel, here is the rub. Toon fans have a right to a return for their unconditional support. They have paid for the official kit for all the family, paid through the nose for season and match tickets and gladly lined the pockets of the players.

With this continuing expense most supporters cannot even afford to venture abroad. Some have lived in a bottle all their lives and never been past the cork.

So no more beaming platitudes ( we want vision with success. Who brings this will get the Toon supporters' vote.

If you do things well, do them better, be daring, be different.

JOHN PEACOCK, OAP, Blackhill, County Durham.

Cuts put our forces at risk

WHILE our apology of a Prime Minister is busy sunning himself in the Caribbean, our soldiers are fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That is bad enough, but a report in a newspaper tells us that back home in England the Noddy men who run the Treasury are planning to implement a pounds 50m cut in defence spending.

This will mean bases closed, ammunition stockpiles reduced and the cancellation of hi-tech missile systems for our forces where they are badly needed.

This is a terrible betrayal of our armed forces by individuals in cushy well-paid jobs in the Treasury who have never heard a shot fired in anger.

If, and I say if, we had a real Prime Minister and a real Government, our armed forces would be supplied with every form of equipment required.

It would be of the highest standard of quality, and all their needs would be satisfied immediately.

It is disgraceful that petty penny-pinching by Treasury officials puts the lives of our soldiers in even more danger.

ERNEST WATSON, Bradwell Road, North Kenton, Newcastle.

Displays are a real delight

MY friends and I felt compelled to write to congratulate Newcastle City Council for the beautiful flower displays throughout your wonderful city.

We were there last weekend for a 'girls' shopping weekend' despite being in our 60s and were stunned by the floral welcome that greets passengers leaving the main station.

The containers on the railings were an absolute joy with their colour and mix of flowers.

These displays were matched by more wonderful floral towers in Northumberland Street. I don't know whether people in Newcastle who see it every day know how lucky they all are.

JESSIE BROMELLO, David Street, Stratford, London.

Market move will be a flop

I WAS sad to hear that the Green Market is to close. I don't think incorporating it into an extension of Eldon Square will be a success.

I can remember where Argos is now ( there used to be a lot of cafes and that was a flop.

The Lib Dems need to remember they are on trial in Newcastle. They can go as quickly as they came.

J BROWN, Gateshead.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 17, 2006
Words:1068
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