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Journal story over mayor comes in for criticism.

How totally pathetic I found the headline in yesterday's Journal, pictured below right, about North Tyneside's Tory Mayor Linda Arkley allegedly telling Coun Annette Mcglade to "p*** off" . I hear worse language from the kids going to school everyday - walking past my house.

Get a life Councillor Mcglade! When the world is in such a state with that poor unfortunate young American being beheaded in a "reprisal" atrocity on Iraq television and the Middle East problems going on and on ... Our elderly 95-year-old ma-in-law keeps telling me that everything is a repeat on TV - including the news - and she is right, what has changed in the last decade? Please Journal in a newspaper of your calibre - let's have something more sensible as a front page story than that! I might have to change my daily read to a horrible national tabloid !

Beverley D Thompson,

Vision for the future to boost tourism in North-East

I AM writing to respond to your lead story on Monday, May 10, "Betrayed hoteliers in tourism rebellion".

The Northumbria Tourist Board voluntarily wound itself up in April following a series of meetings with One NorthEast on the future of tourism in the region.

The vision of that future included:

1. The establishment of a new regional board for tourism.

The new board will be recruited through an open and transparent process, the board will be business led and will represent the interests of all tourism stakeholders. The new board will be in place by the autumn of this year.

2. A commitment by One NorthEast to increase investment in tourism in the region. In the short-term One NorthEast has ensured that marketing of the region's tourism assets and accommodation continues as it did under the Northumbria Tourist Board. Moreover significant increased resources have already been set aside from 2005 for future marketing campaigns and key activities such as infrastructure improvement and business support.

3. The publication of a Regional Tourism Strategy. The draft of this strategy is now complete and over the next three months One NorthEast will consult widely on the strategy and seek to incorporate the views of all tourism businesses and stakeholders.

I would ask those involved with the "Save Northumbria" Campaign to set aside personal agendas and work with the rest of the North- East tourism industry as we seek to deliver a world class visitor experience in the region.

Tim Cantle-Jones,

Interim Regional Tourism Forum.

Majority must voice views

SURPRISE, surprise, first school heads vote in favour of two-tier system.

Call me cynical, but does such a move not enhance the salary and consequently the pensions of this small unrepresentative group of people engaged in education in Northumberland? Would there be equal enthusiasm for the formation of separate infant schools for Key stage 1 pupils and the resulting loss of pupils to such schools?

What do the majority of teachers who are not heads in a first school feel? More importantly what do parents, the consumers and the largest interest group, feel? What voice do they have?

What chance have the authority given to the people of Northumberland to voice their opinions?

I urge them to contact their representative on the council and make them known and for parents to mobilise themselves and throw out these proposals that do not address the fact that it was the authority that performed so miserably in its Ofsted inspection, not the middle schools.

Ex-Northumberland teacher,

Article on first school heads was a very biased report

YOUR article on the first school heads was a very biased report. In all reports so far about this issue the county council has had the last paragraph as a reply.

No such courtesy was given to the amateur concerned parents of Northumberland.

You quote a 90pc support level from first school heads, yet not all first school heads were in attendance.

No report of the question supported or indeed were the terms offered to first schools reported. No breakdown of the number of rural first schools to urban first schools was reported.

The issue is why should rural communities sacrifice their provision for urban schools and why should private companies make profit from our educational infrastructure?

Personally I am saddened by such an article at such a time but it only makes us more determined to bring our first school heads on-side and to fight the financial shenanigans of new build private money versus refurbishment public money and stuff to the consequences for our children that this whole exercise is arranged round.

Three cheers for three tiers.

Paul Graham,

Strategy over Newcastle players was a high-risk one

METHINKS Bobby Robson doth protest too much about the impact of injuries upon Newcastle's season, perhaps to deflect criticism away from him and his decisions.

Obviously Woodgate is a miss but he is a player with a history of injuries and Robson let three centre backs leave in January.

Similarly Craig Bellamy has probably played less than half a season over the last two years but Robson allowed LuaLua and Cort to leave during the transfer window.

Finally, Dyer is another who always seems to be injured but Robson let Solano, one of our most creative players, join one of our main rivals for a pittance. Surely one of the duties of a manager is to try to anticipate difficulties and plan accordingly.

On past history it was obvious that allowing so many to leave and rely on players known to be injury-prone was a high-risk, if not foolish, strategy.

Wallace Wilson,

by email.

Crime figures rose 17pc, not 170pc, due to rule changes

YOUR correspondent, Mr Savage of Cramlington (10th May), is unfortunately quite right about not being good at sums.

Crime figures in this force area went up by 17pc the year before last, not the 170pc he conjures out of thin air, because of changes to the rules by the Government, including more types of crime.

Beneath that total, what matters most are those crimes of which we might be personal victims - burglary, theft of or from our car, or robbery. The good news is that they have gone down virtually every year for a long time now, and this is a safe place to live and work. In 1991, there were over 60,000 burglaries in Northumbria; last year, just 20,000. In 1991, thefts of and from cars were over 62,000; last year, just 18,000.

Robberies have always been at a low level - around one per 1,000 people locally. Northumbria Police is committed to reducing these figures further and to reassuring people worried about any crime, even if it turns out only to be children playing in the street.

The force and the police authority have invested in geographically based officers working in partnership with all local communities, and people are telling us that they know their local bobby well and enjoy local policing.

That's the way to combat fear and catch criminals, and that's our pledge to your readers.

Crispian Strachan,

Chief Constable.
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 13, 2004
Words:1171
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