SINCE the last blast furnace on Teesside was allowed to close, there has been much discussion about the need to create a whole raft of new jobs to replace those lost.

The need for new jobs has been agreed universally.

That agreement has not just been universal in terms of just numbers but also in terms of types of jobs.

These new jobs should be well paid, full time, skilful, fulfilling and satisfying.

Other features of this general agreement were the vastness of the vacated site and the high quality of the workforce available.

Of the many ideas forthcoming, those generated by Ben Houchen, the directly elected Tees Valley mayor have been the most expansive in quantity and shortest on detail.

His recent article in your newspaper (Echo, Jan 29) was generous in physical size, being a quarter to a third of a page but somewhat lacking in content.

As a mere correspondent to Hear All Sides I am not afforded such largesse.

If I were, I would provide a detailed analysis of that content.

However I must remain brief.

Of his contribution what can be gleaned is: He agrees with Brexit; he doesn’t like the arguments of the opponents of Brexit; he doesn’t admit to the increasing extent of under-investment in the North-East of successive governments; he and a number of legitimate business interests have called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to allow a free port on Teesside.

His article in this newspaper should have detailed what he really means by a free port. Only by such a mechanism can the ordinary owners of the grit and optimism who will live in proximity of this free port know what to expect from the smiling mayor and the rest of the Tories in Westminster whom it is, that he really represents.

Peter Hanafin, Middleton St George