WITH reference to the King's Cross derailment, why if the points were set incorrectly did signals allow the driver to proceed? - G Gregg, Ferryhill.


OF COURSE Ruth Ellis should not have been hanged. She had been kicked in the stomach while pregnant, lost the baby, given a gun and instructed how to use it whilst mentally disturbed.

Myra Hindley who enjoyed killing young children, should have been hanged with her partner. - E Reynolds, Wheatley Hill.


THERE has already been debate about the future of local government in North Yorkshire.

If there is a "yes" vote for a regional assembly in next year's referendum, then the county council believes that a single unitary council for the whole of North Yorkshire would be the best solution to deliver local services.

Some commentators have suggested that such a council would be too big and too remote.

Who and what, we ask, would a unitary North Yorkshire Council be remote from?

As just one of many examples we already provide care for the frail and vulnerable in our society directly into their own homes. What could be more local than that?

With 400 schools the county council is at the very heart of every community in the county. We deliver one of the best education services in the country, education more than 80,000 pupils each day.

We maintain about 6,000 miles of roads in North Yorkshire - including those that link most people's household drives to the national network. Remote?

The county council already delivers services which account for 85 per cent of local government spending in North Yorkshire.

Developing North Yorkshire as a unitary council is not a barrier to local services and local accountability.

Any amalgamation of districts would create artificial subdivisions of North Yorkshire. - John Weighell, Leader of the Council, North Yorkshire.


BETWEEN the signing of the EU Constitution in June 2004 and before ratification in Westminster in 2005, our Government should publicly scrutinise its contents, then allow the wishes of an informed public to be heard in a referendum on its acceptance.

To do otherwise will inevitably lead to the suspicion that there is something to hide.

Decisions set down within the constitution are irreversible and future generations will not be free to change them.

I consider this reason enough to reject it. - Mrs Gillian Wetherell, Darlington and Sedgefield Democracy Movement.

WHY do eurosceptics object to the EU Constitution? At the last referendum, we joined the Common Market in the belief that it was a trading organisation. It wasn't.

Particularly since the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, the EU has looked and acted as the government of Europe. We were reassured that British sovereign powers were safe. They weren't.

We were promised that membership would increase our trade. It hasn't.

Our ministers must barter for "influence" like 18th century aristocrats in Versailles, before the revolution.

The EU is anti-democratic and not an acceptable alternative government. I reject its constitution. - Charlotte Bull, UK Independence Party.


THE Mayor of Middlesbrough has been to York, where he saw some beggars on the streets.

He could have saved himself the trip. There are still beggars on the streets of Middlesbrough too. In fact, had he chosen to emerge from his self-imposed sanctuary at the council the other day, I could have introduced him to one.

Homelessness is an issue for councils to resolve and Middlesbrough Council has a one-stop shop system for dealing with the homeless. However, for beggars, homelessness is a Catch-22 situation.

In order to be "domiciled" in a B&B, a bond of £25 is expected by the landlords and for someone without an income, this is impossible.

What's more, even if a beggar has a trade or skill and attempts to get a job, again he/she is stymied because they do not have a fixed abode.

How then, is this circle to be squared? Certainly not by sweeping the subject under the carpet, moving the beggars on, or arresting them and incarcerating them.

On the other hand, were the Mayor of Middlesbrough and fellow leaders to exhibit a little of the milk of human kindness, rethink their strategies, start to treat beggars like any other homeless person and stump up the £25 bond, then not only would our streets be beggar free, but these forgotten human beings would be able to live a meaningful life, get a job and thus contribute both to the local and national economy. - Jackie Elder, Independent Councillor for Linthorpe Ward, Middlesbrough.