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Future is not all negatives; Your say.

THE BBC recently aired yet another slanted view of the North-east and North Yorkshire as part of their State of the Region debates.

As a member of the audience at the broadcast, I was saddened that not only was I a lone voice of positivity but also a silenced one. The BBC focussed on those who had negative views of how the Government's Spending Review will affect the region in October.

Though there will be tough times ahead, I like to consider myself a realist who believes that tough times breed innovation and opportunities for the private and public sectors. I was made redundant in one of the worst recessions of 1981 and set up my own software business, eventually growing and employing over 120 people before being bought out by a major plc in 2000.

Subsequently I set up another software business employing 20 people in North Yorkshire. I have experienced the vortex of the economic cycle over the last two decades. Despite the slowing down of the economy, Sawfish Software's innovats ive edge is helping public sector bodies and councils save money and improve their working practices, but also support the local economy by being able to recruit several new members of staff.

It is important that the positive voices are not drowned out. Both businesses and people need to be ready to take advantage of the opportunities that will arise from the Government's tough spending decisions.

STEVE HULL, North Yorkshire * * * * * * IT has been revealed that the coalition Government is moving away from free NHS car parking, but it is important to remember that it was Labour's former Health Secretary Andy Burnham who in 2009 promised to scrap the fees which raise over pounds 100m a year.

Long-term patients and families need these small but essential necessities. Labour was using a funded plan to phase them out. I fear there is more to come from this Government.

SAJAAD KHAN, Gresham, Middlesbrough * * * * * * FURTHER to R Dobon's letter Holiday Funded (10.09.10), what should be of concern to everyone is that huge substantial Con-Dem Coalition cuts are here now. However the impact of such cuts will hit us shortly.

Redcar & Cleveland Council will be looking at cuts of pounds 3.1m and pounds 9.8m in Value Form Money savings totalling pounds 12.9m for 2010/2011.

For any local authority to take such huge cuts and maintain front line services is a very big ask.

COUNCILLOR GEORGE R DUNNING, Leader, Redcar & Cleveland Council * * * * * * I CHALLENGE the assumptions that welfare claimants should be forced back to work by depriving them of payments and virtually reducing their families to real hardship.

I challenge the supposition that the numbers engaged in the public sector should be reduced and that would oblige more to be employed in the private sector.

It is based on the idea that a job in the public sector is something like a sinecure.

Middlesbrough has declined with less employment available for which men and women have been trained because of the decline of traditional industries. There are fewer manual jobs in manufacture and allied industries. This poses a challenging problem and one that has not been tackled quickly enough. It calls upon individuals to adapt to new skills, and this is not easy.

I know individuals who have the aptitudes that would be valued were they to be lucky enough to get employment. What they need is the opportunities so far denied them.

GEOFFREY BULMER, Billingham * * * * * * THE people of Teesside have always been resilient. The Government - whoever they were - have always left us with the small portion of whatever they were giving out, and we survived.

In a news article (11.09.10), Sir Stuart Bell says we are vulnerable but resilient and that we are governed by the computer. With a limited workforce we can manage to employ 42% of our workforce in the public sector, with gold plated pensions, that we the private sector help pay for.

With regards to the 28 years Sir Stuart has been our MP and the Labour Party been in control for the same length of time, have we let complacency creep in? ALAN ROGERS, Teesside * * * * * * NICK Clegg has made a deal with the Tories that puts the interests of his party and his ambitions of his MPS ahead of the principles he stood on in the general election. He has backed a hard-line Tory agenda, gambling with economic recovery and making the poorest pay the most towards the deficit.

People voted Liberal Democrat on the basis that they were a progressive party and represented a new kind of politics. Nick Clegg has betrayed their trust signing off a big increase in VAT and cuts to child tax credit that will hit ordinary families hard, especially pensioners who will get no extra tax allowance to compensate them for paying more in VAT.

GILES HARRIS, Hardwick * * * * * * IN these days of economic frugality, George Osborne is to lead by example by trimming 25% (350) of his treasury staff over the next four years.

We all know "redundancy" is not a word the Civil Service knows too well - I have yet to hear of any jobs at Whitehall fall to the spending axe, only through the natural process of retirement.

So it will come as little surprise that Mr Osborne will not be reducing a single member of his staff. He will craftily re-arrange them by not replacing any employee who leaves over the next four years.

Mr.Osborne's headline-grabbing 25% reduction in staff will not save a penny, yet it is to be used as a tough yardstick for other departments, especially on a local level, to cut their cloth accordingly.

Three of our local authorities Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Hartlepool are in the 10 areas in the UK who will suffer the most during the economic turmoil.

The possible withdrawal of a Government cash pot to tackle deprivation in Hartlepool from The Working Neighbourhoods Fund(WNF) is one such example of Osborne's inabilty to practice what he preaches.

STEPHEN DIXON, Redcar Shape the news What do you think of Mayor Mallon's comments? * Should we be tougher on the scroungers? * Are the comments merely papering over the cracks? * Would you shop a cheat? We want to hear your views on this and other topics. Email
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Sep 14, 2010
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