LETTER: We don’t need another tier of government

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TOMORROW Hartlepool Borough Council is expected to endorse a decision to turn the clock back to the last millennium, by voting for a combined authority called The Tees Valley.

It is, in my opinion, Cleveland County Council by any other name.

Cleveland was a largely artificial county, created in 1974, and was bitterly resented by the boroughs, particularly Hartlepool.

The commission when Cleveland was abolished said it will save an average household £46 a year in council tax bills.

And now the Labour councillors in Hartlepool want to bring it back (under the name of Tees Valley).

At what cost?

They say they have the authority from a public consultation exercise in which less that 10 per cent of the population gave an opinion.

They will not allow a referendum.

Democracy in action?

In commenting about the abolition of Cleveland County Sir John Banham, chairman of the commission, said: “Community identity was one of the strongest reasons for the proposals.”

Sir John said that, in a Mori poll, 84 per cent of residents said they identified “very” or “fairly strongly” with County Durham, the highest level of community identity in any shire county in England.

Eighty per cent of a Mori Poll, and not, what I consider to be a “Mickey Mouse” consultation.

Establishing a new Cleveland County, under the new name of Tees Valley, is not the way ahead.

If this proposal is carried, which it no doubt will be by Labour councillors, the people of Hartlepool might as well forget about openness and transparency as far as I’m concerned.

We don’t need another tier of local government.

John Riddle,

Chester Road,