I DISAGREE totally with Peter Hanafin’s letter (HAS, May 9).

I urge the Echo to continue giving as much space as possible to articles by the Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen.

I always find them uplifting in his efforts to promote the area.

I was against a Tees Valley mayor initially, but I did vote in the election but not for Ben - but I would now.

Peter is wanting the mayor to persuade the chancellor to give more money to local authorities.

Did he read the recent edition of the ‘One Darlington’ magazine produced by the council in which it stated every year £26m of money given by central government to the council remains unclaimed by the residents of Darlington and district?

I have challenged Councillor Chris McEwan by email on three occasions in April to advise me what happens to this money – is it returned to central government? Chris’s silence is deafening. It is like trying to find out what the ‘mark-up’ value is of the ice cream tub at the New Hippodrome.

Mike Taylor, Darlington