Come, join us

SO the two rival factions north and south of the Tyne appear now to be heading towards a forced reunion to create a new elected mayoral area with all the promised investment that that brings "North-East devolution could be back on agenda" (Echo Sept 5).

However, why the constant reference that it will be the new North-East elected mayor? After all we already have one and he is very very good!

He is Ben Houchen, the elected Tees Valley Mayor, and the Tees Valley is in the North-East.

I voted against a North East Regional Assembly as I was against the prospect that it would be too Newcastle centric.

After working for 12 years on Tyneside in Newcastle Forth Banks and Gateshead Low Fell railway depots, I certainly got the feeling from my Geordie and Mackem colleagues that they did not consider the Tees folk as part of their North-East.

Based upon my experiences I feel that Ben Houchen should approach the final part of the Tees Valley jigsaw – Teesdale – and ask if they would like to become an important part of the Tees Valley Mayoral area, or become an insignificant part of a new Geordieland?

Do the people of Barnard Castle and Middleton in Teesdale etc wish to join up with a Tees Valley area that is comprised of both South Durham and North Yorkshire, given that even today some parts of Teesdale still consider themselves Yorkshire folk, even though a boundary change plonked them in Durham?

Or, do they wish to be a distant outpost of a self-serving and dominant Newcastle whose folk constantly hark back to their glory days of coal mining and shipbuilding?

Come on Ben, get Teesdale into the Tees Valley mayoral constituency area before it is lost to us forever.

That way High Force to Redcar seafront will be linked by a common bond of people who all grew up within a few miles of our great river. If not we will always be missing an important limb.

Mark Anderson, Middleton St George.

Deal breaker

BORIS JOHNSON is set to announce a deadline of October 15 for an EU trade deal to be agreed, after which the UK will walk away, and settle for a no-deal Brexit.

Presumably the idea is to draw the EU leaders into the negotiations, with a view to breaking the current deadlock, but there are worrying signs that they are more focused on the coronavirus, and are rapidly losing faith in the UK’s desire for a deal.

Moreover, the Government is apparently to introduce legislation that would renege on the terms of the EU Withdrawal Agreement over Northern Ireland. Why should the EU trust a UK Government that will not keep its word?

The UK already faces a difficult economic recovery from the effects of coronavirus, and the disruption of a no-deal Brexit will make this far worse.

Boris Johnson is thus recklessly gambling with our country’s future, based on the right-wing fallacy that the EU is desperate for a deal, and will thus kowtow to our demands, whereas the facts are the exact opposite.

In the words of the famous quote “(those) whom the gods would destroy they first make mad”.

Alan Jordan, Middridge.

Town litter

MUCH has been written about rubbish and litter on the streets.

Recently Darlington Council had enforcement teams around the town jumping on people throwing rubbish, including cigarette ends, and fining them. Suddenly there were cries of unfair and unreasonable and the company dealing with it were dropped.

Now we see the results in more rubbish being dropped.

Have look on Tubwell Row at the discarded cigarette ends outside the pubs despite there being bins provided. Some people don’t care unless it hits their pocket.

It is time we took a no tolerance approach to these simple breaches of the law, including parking on double yellows, until people learn to not be so selfish.

It could also increase council income which could be reinvested in the environment of the town.

Eric A Wilson, Darlington.

Firefighter attack

ANOTHER shocking attack on one of our emergency services going about their duties "Firefighters come under attack from youths" (Echo, Sept 5).

I think these firefighters would have been totally justified turning their hoses on these morons, but I guess the human rights brigade would not agree.

Keith Knox, Billingham.

Activist disruption

HOW to be a left-wing activist. Firstly choose a cause, any cause, doesn't matter what – fracking, climate change, capitalism – then think of ways to cause maximum disruption to fellow citizens, blocks roads, climb on trains, stop newspaper distribution.

Just avoid deportation to your socialist heaven in North Korea, otherwise you'll end in a labour camp, whereas here you get a slap on the wrist and allowed out to continue disruption.

B. East, Bishop Auckland.

Art exhibition

THIS year is the 80th anniversary of the historic Battle of Britain which was a fought in the skies over County Durham as well as in many other parts of the UK.

The fledgling Royal Air Force, formed in 1918, including No.607 (County of Durham) Squadron, RAuxAF, then based at RAF Usworth near Sunderland, was heavily outnumbered when German bombers, together with the fighter escort, attacked the North-East on Thursday, August 15, 1940 from their bases in occupied Denmark and Norway.

This significant air battle, which became known to the Luftwaffe as "Black Thursday" due to their very heavy losses, has been captured in a series of paintings by Durham artist, Denis Fox.

This art exhibition, which is free to the public, will, with the permission of Durham County Council, be in the Town Hall in Durham City on Battle of Britain Sunday, September 13 between 10am and 3pm. On the same day, the City of Durham Parish Council has made arrangements for Second World War fighter aircraft to be on display in the Market Place.

In the immortal words of Sir Winston Churchill, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".

James A Cowan MBE, Durham.

Abbott appointment

SIR KEIR STARMER will not bring Boris Johnson down. Tony Abbott will.

When Mr Johnson looks back on this year, he won't regret Brexit, he will regret Mr Abbott.

There is just so much childish nonsense female voters will take, this for me was the last straw.

Anyone who feels as though we have been taken for mugs, please write to your member of parliament. No good contacting Mr Johnson, he is too busy playing to his gallery of sycophantic followers. And if Mr Abbott wasn't good enough for Australia, why have we got him?

Alexandra Bailey, Darlington.

Clean it up

WHAT a great job volunteers have done in West Auckland with our village greens – they look superb. But on walking across the green on Friday I came across an enormous load of dog mess.

Whoever left this ought to be ashamed of themselves and don't deserve to have a dog, things like this take away all the hard work the volunteers do to make our village look lovely.

Clean up after your dog or let it make a mess in your own garden, you disgusting people.

Lynne Davies, West Auckland.