LETTERS

Newcastle Council cuts

Dear Editor,

Just a few days ago the Labour group on Newcastle Council decided to give some of the city’s highest paid Council staff very significant pay rises.  It was reported staff who already earned significantly more than £100,000 per year will receive pay rises that can be counted in the tens of thousands.

Yesterday (28/9/2016) I read an article on the Chronicle Live website which stated that Newcastle Council has created an online tool which lets local people decide how they would balance the budget in the face of £30 million cuts.  This tool is designed to give residents the chance to experience the decisions councillors face when drawing up a budget.

Of course, I fully understand that scrapping fat-cat raises for the top Council earners would only save a fraction of the £30 million that’s needed. But the point is one of principle – just like when I introduced amendments this week in the European Parliament ‘s Budget Committee to cut my own salary and allowances (but sadly was outvoted).

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott

(UKIP Member of the European Parliament for North East England)

LETTERS

It is great to see Co-op supporting British farming

Dear Editor,

Co-op have announced that they will switch to 100% British bacon and lamb in all of their own brand products.  Co-op already have an impressive record of backing British farming and I would like to take this opportunity to commend them for taking this one step further.

This is a move that will be appreciated by many of their existing customers and I have no doubt that this policy will attract new customers to Co-op stores.

British farming has faced many challenges in recent years and support from stores like Co-op and restaurants like McDonalds already play a key role in supporting literally tens of thousands of farms all across the UK.   I hope that more companies will following in Co-op’s very impressive footsteps.

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

LETTERS

Re. the new UKIP vision for the North East

Dear Editor

Well done to John Graham (Sep 9) for a spectacularly inaccurate letter attacking me over UKIP’s Vision For The North East, and rebranding it as ‘my’ vision. That’s somewhat insulting to those in the region who worked hard on this document, including our regional chairman Coun. Turner, the leader of the opposition on Hartlepool Council Coun. Tennant, our North Tyneside Chairman Gary Legg, and our Wansbeck Chairman Allyn Roberts to name but a few.

Apparently I’m ‘locked away in Brussels trying half-heartedly’ – a bizarre claim given my 97% voting record and more speeches than any other British MEP of any party, but don’t let the facts get in the way of your stereotypical view of UKIP!

And yes, the North East gets some money back from the EU. But all European Union funding, everywhere in the UK, comes back from the money that we send to them in the first place through our taxes. We could, and should, replace every penny of that money from the UK exchequer – as I have consistently argued.

Then it seems to irk him that we want the Ashington to Newcastle railway line reopened. We’re apparently not allowed to want that because another party also wants the same thing. That represents everything that’s wrong with politics; our Vision is 12 detailed pages but heaven forfend if one sentence happens to agree with another party!

I wonder if he wants a no-platform policy for UKIP on railways?

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

LETTERS

KLM investment could be an important step in reviving the fortunes of Durham Tees Valley Airport

Dear Editor,

I was very pleased to hear that after seeing a rise in passenger numbers KLM have agreed a new deal to continue operations at Durham Tees Valley Airport.

UKIP believe that Tees Valley Airport is a viable venture, we want to see a vibrant airport for both passenger and freight flights operating at Tees Valley site and we welcome this investment from KLM.  We feel that the North East needs to receive significant investment in local infrastructure and we believe that investing in Tees Valley Airport should be a key part of this strategy.

Although it seems that opportunities to advance the airport may have been missed in the past, I believe that this commitment from KLM could be an important step in reviving the fortunes of this airport  I hope that the airport management and its owners will continue to work with airlines, local businesses and political figures to work towards opening up more routes, services and flights in Tees Valley.

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

LETTERS

Letter – Further prison reform is required

Dear Editor,

Hate preachers spreading unacceptable messages within British prisons has been an issue for a long time – with many experts suggesting that some prisons have become recruitment grounds for terrorist organisations.

Whilst I was glad to hear that the government plans to open special units within prisons to separate hate preachers like Anjem Choudary (who may be held in Co. Durham) from the general population, I am also alarmed that this has not been done a long time ago.

This is only the first of many badly needed reforms.  I hope that the government will build upon this move and continue to support our Prison Service by providing the long overdue additional resources and staff that will be required to get the British justice system back on track. If not, we in UKIP will be there to hold them to task.

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East

LETTERS

Paralympic athletes deserve better

Dear Editor,

I have been very dismayed to read that this month’s Paralympic Games have been hit with deep budget cuts at the last minute.  These cuts will impact infrastructure, the size of the workforce and will even close some venues.  I have even heard that some athletes may be unable to travel to Rio as a result of promised funding not coming through.

The Paralympic athletes deserve much better than this and serious questions must be asked of the organisers of these games.  Why was funding not secured long ago?  And why are venues, staffing and infrastructure plans only being put in place in the weeks leading up to the tournament? It seems that Paralympic athletes from all around the world have been badly let down, presumably by the International Paralympic Committee.

Regards,

Jonathan Arnott MEP

UKIP, North East