IT annoys me the column inches that you allow Ben Houchen to publish in this paper whilst correspondents to HAS are restricted to 200 words.

This is particularly galling when all he ever writes is blatant Tory Party propaganda.

Take his reflection on the results of the local government elections with Labour losing control of all the five Tees Valley councils.

My first observation is that if the lack of control by any political party is not good for progress if the national government is any guide – a prime minister who has no overall majority and after three years is unable to get her big plan through Parliament.

Secondly his lack of any real criticism of the Tories in office is shocking.

Especially given that their adherence to austerity as a policy lasting almost ten years and no matter what Mrs May’s claims, is still in operation.

I remember her predecessor, David Cameron, claiming that “we were all in it together” when those who have suffered the most from this austerity and still are suffering the most are the young, old and poor (working and not).

While those who have suffered the least are the rich who have instead received substantial tax cuts.

Thirdly the Tory Government has reduced public spending through local authorities to such an extent that the very services that they legally must provide are becoming more and more difficult to provide in any comprehensive and strategic manner.

Now unless he can persuade the Chancellor to give more money to local authorities to be spent via their own budgets and not through his mayoral budget, the financial welfare of the five authorities will still suffer.

If Mr Houchen is not willing to provide an accurate analysis of the position and potential of local authorities, then perhaps he would be willing to give an accurate analysis of the reason why the Labour Party has lost the control where they have enjoyed it for so long.

How the year on year of continuing reductions by the Tory Government of local authority spending, has resulted in the Labour Party being blamed for the reduction of services they have had to impose on their residents.

Peter Hanafin, Middleton St George