Letters – These sham negotiations represent everything that is wrong with modern politics

Dear Editor,

The sham negotiations currently being held in Brussels between David Cameron and EU leaders represent everything that is wrong with modern politics.  Whilst Cameron has asked for nothing of substance, it appears to be a heavily choreographed charade designed to make voters think that Cameron has played hardball and won significant reforms that the EU was unhappy to concede.

I would respect the Prime Minister much more if he simply admitted the truth: he wants Britain to stay in the EU regardless of any renegotiation. Instead, he is using the same old dirty political spin and propaganda tricks that have ruined public trust in Westminster to try to trick the British public into thinking that he has secured reforms that will change the nature of our relationship with the EU.

As Mr Cameron has been unable to convince his own party that he has secured a good deal, I have no idea how he hopes to fool the public – but I have no doubt that it will involve plenty of scaremongering (a tactic that has formed the basis of the “IN” campaign’s strategy in recent weeks).

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Letters – Congratulations to Durham Constabulary

Dear Editor,

In recent months we’ve heard so much about problems within North East police forces, funding cuts biting hard, a lack of officers on the streets, reduced front-line services and crime on the rise.

Let’s not overlook the great work done by a great many local officers. In particular, I would like to congratulate Durham Constabulary for being the only police force in England and Wales to be rated “outstanding” in a recent review by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary.

Bad news is often the easiest to remember, but good news should also be remembered and celebrated – and this is no small achievement!

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Letters – Maternity rights will not be impacted by leaving the EU

 

Dear Editor,

As far as I can tell, the core strategy of the “IN” campaign so far has been to scaremonger about a post-Brexit UK.    The latest example of this scaremongering caught my attention; Frances O’Grady from the TUC Union has warned that leaving the EU could threaten maternity leave rights in the UK.

I would like to take this opportunity to reassure both Frances O’Grady and your readers that they have do not need to worry about this. The UK already offers better maternity leave rights than the EU requires; maternity leave will be unaffected by Brexit.

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

 

Jonathan Arnott MEP calls upon Hartlepool Council to support local justice

Following the announcement of the closure of Hartlepool’s Magistrates Court and County Court the town’s concerned MEP Jonathan Arnott has suggested the council could investigate helping out.

He has put the idea forward in the wake of Northumberland County Council offering to host courts in their buildings as Morpeth County Court is also being axed following a national review of court services.

“In the same way that it is wrong that people involved in cases will have to travel to Newcastle it is wrong that Hartlepool people will have to journey to Middlesbrough,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.

“Magistrates courts are meant to be about local justice dispensed by local people and the Courts and Tribunal Service has been turning this on its head by deciding to close 86 courts.

“The driver for these closures is, of course, money rather than justice and they have  been made despite opposition from local people.

“While it should not be the responsibility of local authorities – who are all struggling to balance the books – to step into the breach if it can be arranged then that would be a great asset to the town and I would urge Hartlepool Borough Council to give it consideration,” said Mr Arnott.

Letters – Voters should weigh up the key issues and decide for themselves how to vote

Dear Editor,

Your article (17/2/16) declared “Prince William backing is boost for ‘stay’ camp.”  If this were so, I would have been concerned about our future King attempting to sway the outcome of the upcoming referendum.  Constitutionally a future monarch must walk a tightrope when expressing opinions; the Queen has handled her role with gravitas and dignity for many years.

But the Prince hadn’t even mentioned the EU in a speech that actually stressed the need to work with the likes of the UN and NATO.

When your readers are deciding how they vote in the upcoming referendum, I would encourage them to weigh up the key issues and decide for themselves how to vote.  I hope they won’t base their decisions on spin from the Westminster bubble – this speech by Prince William is an excellent example of politicians twisting a narrative to suit political aims.  Such spin has had a toxic impact on UK politics for years; it is time to move past this.

Indeed, if we do free ourselves from the shackles of the EU, the many international organisations we’re proud to be members of could well become even important than ever as we re-establish our nation as a leading player on the world stage.

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

Urgent investment needed to improve job situation

The latest unemployment figures for the North East paint a depressing picture which cannot be allowed to continue, said local UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott.

“The government must invest in this region as a matter of urgency, this is people’s lives we are talking about. We are fed up with hearing talk about the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and we want to see action.”

Data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has shown that the rate of people out of work in the region for the three months ending December 2015, was highest in the UK at 8.1%.

They also show that the largest decrease in workforce jobs for September 2015 was in the North East at 26,000.

“The North East repeatedly comes out worst in terms of employment, house prices and  pay and this is unfair on my constituents. The government must give special attention to this region and put in the investment needed” said Mr Arnott.

 

Justice should be seen to be done in the local community by local magistrates but year after year the justice system is being eroded

Local MEP Jonathan Arnott has reacted angrily to the planned closure of Hartlepool and Consett magistrates’ courts.

Following today”s announcement about the closure of the courts Mr Arnott said the principle of magistrates’ courts is that justice should be local.

“Closing down magistrates’ courts runs totally contrary to that principle and it will necessitate witnesses and victims having to travel much further and at greater expense to attend hearings.

“Justice should be seen to be done in the local community by local magistrates but year after year the justice system is being eroded.

“And this is happening while crime has gone up 22% in the Cleveland authority area. Closing down this court is sending out completely the wrong message. It is all very well the Justice Minister saying access to justice “is not diminished” but the reality is it will be,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.

“Hartlepool’s county court is also to close as is Morpeth’s and that will also cause inconvenience all round. Local people have expressed their disagreement with the proposals but these courts are to be closed down along with 83 others up and down the country,” he added.

Letters – Northern Powerhouse? All I see is yet more cuts and underinvestment

Dear Editor,

In the run up to the recent General Election we heard much talk about ‘the Northern Powerhouse.’

Today the Government has announced that Consett Magistrates Court, Morpeth County Court and Hartlepool Magistrates and County Court will close.  This is on top of the previous closure of Courts such as Langbaurgh East and Tynedale.

Police budget cuts continue to bite hard with many front line services being cut across the North East whilst simultaneously crime has risen significantly in many areas of the region (22% in the Cleveland Policing area.)

Is this what David Cameron and his Conservative colleagues meant by the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ in the run up to the election?

Powerhouse? All I see is yet more cuts and underinvestment, no matter how many press releases they send out, it seems that the North East simply is not a priority for the Westminster elite.

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

My letter – Council cuts, crime on the rise, police budget cuts, Court closures – is this the Northern Powerhouse?

Dear Editor,

In the run up to the recent General Election we heard much talk about ‘the Northern Powerhouse.’

Today the Government confirmed that Hartlepool’s Magistrates’ and County Court (along with others across the North East) will close next year.  So, that means that the town has no A&E and an entire hospital that remains under threat, a significant and long running unemployment problem, deep Council cuts that have resulted in the loss of many frontline services, an underfunded police service (not to mention a 22% rise in crime in the last year) and now will lose its Courts.

Is this what David Cameron and his Conservative colleagues meant by the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ in the run up to the election?

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott, UKIP MEP