Furious at comments

I was astounded and furious to read the comment from Allan Hepple about the Kwik Save decision, (Berwick Advertiser, February 4).

By The Newsroom
Friday, 19 February, 2016, 12:00

“It’s time that the local Conservative -led ‘coalition of the negative’ tried to be constructive and stopped trying to use every decision in Berwick to party political advantage,” he said.

It is to Mr Hepple’s shame he should make such a crass remark, insulting the intelligence of independent minded individuals in suggesting that we are brainless puppets in some kind of Conservative plot.

When the coach park proposals were first viewed and objections started, they were from a diverse group of independent minded, non-political local residents, objecting to Northumberland County Council’s high-handed attitude of seemingly disregarding local opinion.

We didn’t all swap political affiliations, we are not Conservative-led.

Mr Hepple seems to be mistaken if he thinks that the people of Berwick are so ignorant and lemming-like that they are unable to formulate their own opinions and ideas, and he is sadly underestimating the strength of independent action going on here.

We are joined together against a gross waste of money on an ill thought-out plan.

We have met and spoken to a number of county council officials and found them helpful and rational, but tied down by decisions made “from above”.

As public servants, some councillors appear to forget who their paymasters are – the people, and we deserve to be listened to with respect.

The remark “coalition of the negative” is an outrageous slur on the hard work and effort a wide range of people have put in to offer sensible alternatives, showing practical examples of how things might be improved using their local knowledge and expertise in traffic management and tourism.

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We, despite our differences, are working together and would like to work with the county council.

This kind of dig is unworthy of someone who holds public office.

Although an apology would be the honourable thing for Coun Hepple to do, I suspect that I will be labelled as a negative political activist, or maybe a misguided and vexatious individual.

Frankly, any apology should be delivered in person now to the youth of Berwick, who have been denied access to a local further education college in order to build offices that no one wants, and for which there is currently no tenant, and to those who survive on tourism who have asked for proper coach parking facilities for years and are faced with an ill thought-out scheme, already costing in excess of a quarter of a million pounds, as well facing the closure of a popular busy High Street tourist office.

A friend of red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue.

Rose Osborne

Parade School Mews