Rural or urban – this is an insult

I READ in the News Post Leader with great interest the debate over the charges for parking in ‘rural’ towns such as Alnwick, Hexham and in particular Morpeth.

When are people going to stop whinging?

Firstly, I am incensed at the fact that such towns are termed as ‘rural’ and towns such as Blyth and Ashington are termed ‘urban’.

Ashington is no less rural than Morpeth, Alnwick or Hexham. Such snobbery.

Have these people driven between rural Morpeth and urban Ashington recently? If they did they must have had their eyes closed and therefore did not see the green fields full of sheep, lambs, cows and horses.

You cannot separate Northumberland towns in this way.

You can, however, separate them using these terms, affluent and non-affluent.

Nonetheless, towns like Ashington may be less affluent but we should not been seen as the poor relation.

Morpeth, Hexham and Alnwick are tourist traps. They are pretty Northumberland towns where people like to visit, if they can only get a parking space.

My husband and I can never get a parking space in Morpeth.

I suggest to the Chamber of Trade it considers the fact that people don’t shop in Morpeth is because there are not enough car parking spaces.

Trade is lost as there is nowhere to park because, like I say, car park spaces are like hen’s teeth in Morpeth.

Maybe businesses could invest energy in setting up business in Ashington, Blyth or perhaps Bedlington. There is an abundance of empty premises.

Can I put it to all that when great sums of money are invested in all Northumberland town centres, and shops such as Marks & Spencer, the Body Shop, Waterstones, to name but a few, spring to life in Ashington, Blyth or Bedlington that may be parking charges can be justified.

Thereby hangs another tale, doesn’t it. The talk of unfairness. Some people clearly don’t know what the word means.

The difference between Morpeth and Ashington is immense.

You cannot compare the towns, they are so different.

I know because I am a Morpeth lady (Morpeth mort) born and bred, and may I say proud.

I do, however, live in Ashington, a town of which I am equally proud.

Why? Because of a far bigger problem Morpeth has. People born there have to leave because not all are able to afford a home in the town they were born.

You are not subsidising free parking in ‘urban’ towns. Urban, it’s an insult.

Come and experience the poverty in Ashington and then justify parking charges.

Let’s be fair, towns like Morpeth, Alnwick and Hexham have more of the lion’s share.

MRS ANDREA HESLOP

Ashington