RIGHT TO PROTEST: I FELT I must write to show my support for the words of Ada Burns, the chief Executive of Darlington Borough Council (HAS Nov 5).

It is totally unacceptable that anyone should have to endure bullying, intimidation or abuse (accusations aimed at the campaigners trying to save Hurworth school).

Could she please then explain why teachers and staff at both Hurworth and Eastbourne schools are not allowed to voice on opinion on the future of the schools and their own futures?

If no pressure is being brought to bear, then why aren't Labour councillors allowed a free vote on this issue and allowed to speak freely. Lastly, why it is necessary to call the police to mainly parents and children who are exercising their democratic right to protest in a peaceful law-abiding manner. - T Stubbs, Hurworth.


IT is disappointing to hear that the Education Village has been delayed again until April because of vandalism.

As a parent of a child at Springfield Primary School, I have been looking forward to my child going to the Education Village and one of the reasons why I chose Springfield Primary was because I knew my child was going to benefit from being educated there.

It is more disturbing however to hear that a group of parents are objecting to the Education Village with a petition. This group must be a select band of people because I was never approached to sign their petition and neither was anyone else I know.

As a supporter of the Education Village, I am very annoyed that these people submitted a petition that is not supported by all parents. I would suggest that the petition organisers have a hidden agenda and I do not want to be associated with their views.

Springfield is a wonderful school. It is getting very good results and I am delighted with the standard of education that my child is getting. I can only see the Education Village making standards better and I look forward to April when it opens - V George, Darlington.

BULLY TACTICS RE the Ada Burns letter. It seems ironic she used the term bully to describe the behaviour of a number of campaigners at a recent rally staged outside Darlington Town Hall.

Recently, Darlington Borough Council has given the green light to many controversial projects within Darlington with little or no consultation with the residents of this once great town, surely this is closer therefore to the definition of bully.

Incidentally, my wife was present throughout the entire rally and witnessed an entirely peaceful demonstration. I suggest that Ada Burns should provide some evidence of the alleged behaviour. Perhaps she could contact the police, who should be able to confirm or, more likely, deny her allegations.

Another comment made by Ada Burns referred to the publishing of personal attacks on websites. As registrant and administrator of the www.SaveTheWhite Horse.org site, I can confirm that I have received no complaints from any member of the public or indeed anyone at Darlington Borough Council.

Darlington Borough Council have been accused by many lately of denying the people of Darlington their democratic right to have an opinion and indeed voice their concerns in a public arena. I think Ada's letter simply serves to prove that this is the case. - Mike Cartwright, www.SaveTheWhiteHorse. org


I REALLY must take exception to the misrepresentation by Councillor John Williams (HAS, Nov 7) of David Cameron's views on the proposed replacement school for Darlington.

As (for the time being) the Shadow Secretary of State for Education, David is perfectly well aware of what an academy is and how it operates. His point is that the decision to close the existing schools and hand the children in them over to a new, market place alternative is very much the decision of Mr Williams and his pals.

Even the Prime Minister refuses to intervene, despite the fact that Hurworth school is in his own constituency.

No, Councillor Williams must take the responsibility for the loss of two LEA schools, and he must take the resentment of angry parents, too.

That is the opinion of most people in Darlington. It is also the opinion of David Cameron. I suggest local Labour politicians take note of what David Cameron says; a growing number of people now believe that David will be Prime Minister in about four years time. - Ian Galletley, Conservative Party area chairman

Cheek of it

I READ (HAS, Nov 5) on the school debate with a little disbelief and, after recoiling from the cheek of two of the three letters, felt I had to put pen to paper. Firstly, Mrs Burns' accusations of our use of bully tactics - we at Share (Save Hurworth and Rural Education) are peaceful demonstrators.

The Teesside Airport demonstration resulted in children crying. If that's not intimidation and bully tactics, I don't know what is.

They are constantly using the threat of the police as if they are their own personal army to stop our right to a peacefully demonstrate.

Secondly, the cheek of the letter from Mrs Copeland. Surely the veracity of her letter proves she is not an unbiased Governor and should never have been elected.

Ian White, Hurworth.