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Talkback.

Here's what you had to say about the stories making the headlines over the past week:

Two weeks after the promised deadline to sort out the Child Tax Credit mess, we are still being inundated with calls.

Christine Holmes e-mailed us to say: "We have in the last two days received six letters from the Inland Revenue, three to me and three to my husband, saying we have no qualifying children.

"We do have three children, all in full-time education. I do not work, but my husband does, so we did not need to claim for childcare. We have tried the helpline, just to be told to call back later."

John Phillipson said: "Thank you to The Journal for responding to my e-mail - a lot quicker than the `Child Tax Credit' did!

"After weeks of phone calls and letter writing, my wife and I have finally received an annual award, and some of the monies have already been paid.

"Hopefully, over the next month all the back-payments will have been resolved. It was just so good to know that someone like yourself cared.

"Well done The Journal for standing up for the weak and vulnerable."

The proposed closure of around 30 schools in Northumberland also provoked comment.

James Mead, of Morpeth, said: "Coulson Park is an extremely high-achieving school with excellent Ofsted results.

"Both my children went there and in my view there is no justification whatsoever for closing this school down. On many occasions, it has actually been oversubscribed.

I think it is very interesting that all these proposed closures were suddenly announced after the May elections. Isn't it a shame the county council did not have the courage to tell us before."

On Clare Short's tirade against Tony Blair and his Government, Gwen Powell, of Morpeth, said:

"Clare Short has voiced perfectly what a lot of us have been thinking for a very long time and I very much hope that other MPs will endorse what she has said and that it will eventually lead to a change in Prime Minister and a change in Government."

On London's bid for the 2012 Olympics, Kevin Robson, from Darras Hall, said:

"It just appears to me this is another example of an ego trip for the South of England and the political environment down there. What I would like to know is what specific economic impact this will have on the rest of the country and particularly the North- East."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:May 19, 2003
Words:410
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