I thought we were in this together

THE word ‘council’ is defined as an administrative body, constituted to meet regularly and discuss community matters.

I’m not sure why Coun Tebbutt (News Post Leader, August 4) thinks a letters page is the forum for personal pot shots at other members, but perhaps 20 minutes in a pub car park might solve the matter with his opposite number, which is a nice segue to issue number two.

Parking charges remind me of the aphorism ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’, the idea that improvements in the general economy will benefit all participants.

It’s a good analogy to illustrate implied motive, but as we already have sporadic charges in hospitals, towns and beauty spots, its proponents will be telling us next that speed cameras are there to reduce speed and an £84 speed awareness course is not a cynical, profit-making alternative to three points and a £60 fixed penalty.

Quite what tourists have to do with the wider problem in urban centres is beyond me.

The problem seems to be that the past goals of excluding traffic from town centres in favour of pedestrians and greater use of public transport, have now collided with the realisation that where cars are concerned, a candle can be burned at both ends as long as the net result is money.

But there’s another point to be made, and not the usual whine that motorists always have to find a bit more for the ‘luxury’ of driving. That’s taken as read.

The weeds in my estate and the town generally, have now moved from the untended council garden plots to the gutters, where they have been struggling bravely against water overspill from the winter potholes.

They seem to do well in cracked Tarmac for some reason, but at least we now have roads which match the neglected, litter strewn paths.

Amazing where you can save £100m when you put your mind to it.

You were all astute and democratic enough when it came to selling school land and brown field sites to developers for estates which had the narrowest road widths so more houses – and car owners – could be accommodated.

If the council wants more money from more cars I suggest they join forces and think about street maintenance, road repair and volume parking which benefits communities and commerce in the long term.

It should not be the catalyst for petty, partisan point scoring and the inevitable mug-a-motorist line.

As far as I’m aware, no car owner is begrudgingly ‘subsidised’ to any great extent by a non-car owner, any more than I begrudgingly ‘subsidise’ cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders when I pay my road tax, a non sequitur if ever I heard one. I thought we were all in this together!

Look at the state of the place, councillors. Must try harder.

STEPHEN HISLOP

New Hartley