Neither chief or people in charge

REGARDING Northumberland County Council’s chief executive taking a voluntary five per cent pay cut (News Post Leader, December 30), this story brought a small tear to my eyes.

I must applaud his brave decision to attempt to survive on £179,035 for the year, and I am hoping that the post Christmas financial pinch that we are all feeling is not impacting the chief’s lifestyle too much.

If it helps, I do have my nan’s economical recipe for bread pudding, you only need to ask.

This willingness to go without will hopefully spur on the Northumberland councillors to do the same, as 2009-10 expenses and allowances for the councillors totalled £1,308,401.39.

Five per cent of that is £65,420.07. A good start, I think you would agree.

Perhaps the council chief has realised that a five per cent pay cut is the least he could do as it seems that he is not really in control of Northumberland, and neither are the people.

The council refused planning permission for the two wind turbines in Cramlington. The company went to the Home Secretary in London and got the decision overturned.

Then 2,500 people signed the petition against the opencast mining and subsequent Northumberlandia project, the council refused planning permission. Guess what happened next? Yes you are right, the company went to the Home Secretary in London and got the decision overturned. What could possibly be the explanation?

To end on a positive note, I would like to propose that the Northumberlandia project, which is currently putting a 1.5 million tonne ‘naked woman’ on the outskirts of Cramlington, may have some unusual benefits to the community.

The north east has the lowest fertility rates in the UK and I venture that the planners are expecting the naked woman to become some sort of fertility symbol, with couples travelling to perform pagan rituals in the vicinity, thus lowering the NHS fertility bill.

Not forgetting the added benefits as Cramlington hastens to become the ‘Keswick’ of the north east, with walkers and climbers travelling in their thousands from all over the world, to Cramlington to take on the twin peak challenge.

NIGEL BOOTLE

Cramlington