Letters – Build houses on brownfield sites

Dear Editor,

I welcome the Journal article of 26th November which highlights the urgent need for house building in the North East, specifically on brownfield sites.

In the UK we simply do not build enough houses (or other infrastructure) to support an ever growing population and our constantly growing immigration numbers.  So it is a damning indictment on our housing infrastructure in the North East that we are below even the national average.
A focus on brownfield sites has been UKIP policy for many years and would generate significant improvement in our region. Let’s make sure that this includes affordable homes for first-time buyers whilst protecting our cherished greenbelt.
Jonathan Arnott MEP
UKIP, North East

Letters – Thoughts on Hartlepool Power Station

Dear Editor,
I welcome the news that the local Power Station has been declared safe.  Not only is this great news from a public safety standpoint, but it is important for the local economy.  This should help to secure the long-term future of the power station and the hundreds of high quality jobs which it provides.
 
We need to rebuild our power-production base in this country.  I would like to see us diversify our sources of power by increasing the use of efficient renewables (once they are in a position to provide value for money on your bill), and producing clean coal with carbon capture and storage ourselves rather than importing millions of tons of coal from abroad.  Shale gas and nuclear offer short- and medium-term options.
 
But however we develop our energy, if it’s done cost-effectively and we become more self-sufficient then (unlike the wind turbines which benefit only rich landowners) we can create jobs in the energy industry without higher prices which hurt our manufacturing industry and cost jobs.
 
Jonathan Arnott MEP
UKIP, North East

Two fantastic UKIP public meetings this week‏

UKIP have held two fantastic public meetings in the last two days, with the region’s UKIP MEP, Jonathan Arnott, and Blair Smillie, UKIP’s Spokesman on the UK coal industry as guest speakers.

The first of the two public meetings was held in Killingworth, in the North Tyneside constituency.

Following the meeting, UKIP’s North Tyneside Chairman, Gary Legg, said “It was tremendous to see so many people turnout and hear the two UKIP speakers on a cold November evening. People are fed up with lazy Labour neglecting the people of North Tyneside, only UKIP are proving to be a viable opposition to the Labour Party here”.

With around 150 people in attendance across the two nights, and with the audience having the opportunity to ask any question to either of the speakers, the evening proved to be an enjoyable event, providing some great debate.

The second of the two public meetings was held in Bedlington, in the Wansbeck constituency, where UKIP’s prospective parliamentary candidate, Melanie Hurst, made a speech about her vision for Wansbeck, and then took questions from the floor.

UKIP Wansbeck Chairman, Richard Hall, said “It’s rather ironic, but not surprising, that an evening which had been publicised beforehand by a self-proclaimed ‘anti-fascist’ group in the North East, who clearly had the intention of disrupting the meeting, was full to the brim of such entertaining discussion and debate. It was great to hear the three speakers provide such a positive array of policies which UKIP have developed. I am very confident that our people’s army in Wansbeck will take the fight to Labour next May”.

If you would like Jonathan to speak at your public meeting, please contact Chris Cassidy on: chris.cassidy@jonathanarnott.co.uk

Thanks to UKIP North Tyneside for a great evening

Last night I spoke at UKIP North Tyneside’s latest public meeting with my UKIP colleague Blair Smillie.   Thank you to the North Tyneside team for organising such a great evening!

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Letter – The NHS must put patient care above all else

Dear Editor,

Recent reports show that more than a thousand patients a day are taking up beds in NHS hospitals because nobody is available to look after them at home.

The solution to the NHS crisis is more than just throwing money at the problem – it is about careful management and spending money wisely.

In recent years the NHS has spent millions on art, and local hospitals employ huge amounts of back end staff in non medical functions, many doing what has been referred to as “non jobs.”  Whilst cutting services and medical staff, NHS hospitals have hired huge numbers of spin doctors, an “EU office director” and an “arts in the hospital co-ordinator.”  The NHS is currently advertising a “Senior Media Manager” position for which they are offering an annual salary of £53,367 – enough to hire 2 nurses for the year.

The NHS needs to be refocused upon patient care.  Is it acceptable for the NHS to lay off medical staff, shut A&Es and cut down key services but spend millions on art and hire legions of PR staff that do nothing to deliver frontline patient care?  I don’t think so.

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Jonathan Arnott MEP criticises “culture of disbelief” over rape cases

–   UKIP MEP claims a ‘culture of disbelief’ exists among some of our region’s police forces surrounding rape.

–   The Euro MP welcomes independent scrutiny panel which seeks to ‘shine a light’ on the way Durham police force investigates reported cases of rape.

 

A ‘culture of disbelief’ exists among some police forces in the North East surrounding rape, according to UKIP’s North East Euro MP, Jonathan Arnott.

The claim came as the MEP welcomed an independent rape scrutiny panel which is seeking to ‘shine a light’ on the way Durham police force investigates reported cases of rape, and improve police practice.

Its findings will then be presented to police, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and external agencies.

Last month, Northumbria Police announced that nearly a third of rape cases that had previously been dismissed by the police force are now being reopened.

An audit previously said some rape cases may have been incorrectly recorded as a ‘no crime’.

Cleveland Police also said it would reopen 14 such cases from recent years, after an audit highlighted the same issue with the force.

Mr Arnott said “There has been a culture of disbelief for too long surrounding rape, which is why I welcome the independent rape scrutiny panel to make sure that victims are not denied justice for one of the most serious types of crime imaginable.

“Both Northumberland and Cleveland police forces have announced recently that they are reopening cases which they incorrectly recorded as ‘no crimes’. Together, police forces across our region need to send out a clear message that reported cases of rape will be dealt with seriously”.

Analysis of data earlier this year by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary showed that almost 1,500 allegations of rape were classified by police forces last year as “no crimes”.

Arnott added “We need to ensure victims of rape have every confidence in the criminal justice system, and this independent scrutiny panel is a step in the right direction”.