POLITICS: In defence of councillor

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Having spent almost 20 years working in local government, I would like to think I am reasonably well qualified to identify what makes a good county councillor and representative for our town, and I would like to address some of the comments made by Labour candidate for Alnwick James Mathewson against Coun Gordon Castle, (Northumberland Gazette, March 16).

As chairman of Alnwick Town Juniors FC I have been working for some time on delivering a major project for Alnwick that would see us finally get the facilities we need, and frankly deserve. This has in no small part been facilitated by Coun Castle, and I would go as far as to say that without his significant input we would not be within touching distance of success.

Any suggestion that Coun Castle works against investment in our town is therefore, in my eyes, beyond ridiculous.

I recently felt obliged to challenge Mr Mathewson on other allegations relating to the Alnwick Playhouse project, where he suggested Coun Castle’s input to the successful improvements planned were overrated. This is simply not true and I am sure other members of the Playhouse management team would gladly lend vocal support to the role of Coun Castle should this be required.

Voting against the annual budget proposed by the Labour administration at County Hall does not mean that Coun Castle is voting against investment in Alnwick. It simply means that Coun Castle felt he couldn’t agree on large parts of the budget, and therefore voted against it. I would be truly concerned if our representative did anything else.

The forthcoming election, however, should not be about party politics.

Thankfully, I trust the good folk of Alnwick to make a wise choice and re-elect Coun Castle, a man who has already done much for this town and for whom we should be extremely grateful to have represent us.

Peter Hately,

Prudhoe Street,

Alnwick