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Vent your spleen.

Regarding a letter from a pensioner in the Chronicle saying firefighters have a cushy life, she does not know what she is talking about. She wants to spend a day with the fire brigade and see exactly what they do. If she listens to the news and reads the paper she will find that there are fires every day. Firefighters also do road traffic accidents, chemical leaks, people stuck in lifts and so much more. She should put her hand over her mouth or go to her local fire station to see how exactly the fire service works.

JM, Wallsend.

HOW on earth does North Tyneside Council expect the public to get involved with the recycling scheme when the company they use employs such arrogant personnel. On several occasions I have asked politely if they could close the gate after them. Instead the gate is left wide open and the empty box is thrown across the garden, damaging the flower beds. Unless they get something sorted out I will be withdrawing from this recycling lark.

EJ, Killingworth.

I AGREE with BG about smoking in shopping centres. In Wallsend I had to move when I was breast-feeding my child because a smoker came and sat next to me, knowing full well what I was doing, and there were plenty available seats elsewhere. It should be banned in all shopping centres. DM, North Shields.

I WOULD just like to say I think it is disgusting the that MetroCentre will be open on Boxing Day. I work in the MetroCentre and I have found out that there are only going to be two or three shops not open. Is there anything that we, as employees, can do to not actually work on Boxing Day? I think it is ludicrous how somebody would want to walk around the MetroCentre on Boxing Day buying a pastie or a bag of sweets.

JH, Gateshead.

WITH reference to car parking on Holy Island, I suggest Northumberland County Council considers allocating residential permits only to the small number of the island's permanent residents. I would suggest the majority of second home owners who pay only a small percentage of their council tax assessment receive no concessions. These people, who no doubt are behind this demand, are renting their properties to holidaymakers at extremely lucrative rates and no doubt if given allocated parking would pass this benefit onto their customers. It seems to me the needs of the permanent residents and indeed day visitors play second fiddle to these well-heeled people who regard their island as their own personal fiefdom.

DT, Whickham.

IN response to CH, of Low Fell, Tony Flynn would not like to ban the St George's flag from the Civic Centre. We are English and as such should be allowed to fly the flag of England without being accused of being racist.

AM, Durham.

COME and live in Elswick, Newcastle. It's great. We've got burglar alarms going off 24 hours a day. Want the No 1 bus to town? Wait an hour and five pass you on the other side of the road. Want any peace and quiet? We've got Transco generators operating traffic lights 24 hours a day and there's no traffic. The workers only work 50 per cent of the time and guess what, we get our mail at 1 o'clock in the afternoon. Come and live in Elswick It's great.

GC, Elswick, Newcastle.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 3, 2003
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