Two stories show the state we’re in

TWO stories which tell us much that is wrong with the state we’re in.

The ‘sale’ of the Alnwick Youth Hostel and your proposals for alternative uses for the useless Alnwick turbines.

I shall leave it to those with more skill than myself to create photo montages for the Defra, taxpayer-funded white jumbos, built by a bankrupt company called Proven Energy.

Ah, such sweet irony.

They should never have been built. They were nothing more than a taxpayer-funded showcase for the ‘award-winning’ Lion House.

Warning, when anything is preceded by the words ‘award-winning’, stand well back. One large turbine would have been more efficient (or at least, less inefficient) than three small ones. The design was clearly flawed and the manufacturer has gone bust.

So, the taxpayer will have to pay for the repairs? Have we lost all touch with reality? The taxpayer doesn’t have any money, the Government spent it on bailing out the banks. (As an aside you could use them as gallows - to string up Goodwin, Applegarth et al, but I digress).

Ask yourself, if the turbines were yours, would you have them repaired? They are yours – you paid for them.

They are ‘Proven’ alright. Thoroughly proven to be no good, useless, inefficient and badly designed. They look like they were knocked up in a garden shed. So, Defra, don’t borrow any more of my money to get them repaired.

Here’s what you do, Defra; flog the land with the turbines on it and put that money towards paying down the public debt. See if any private developer will take on the risk that these windmills will ever work, my bet would be no. The lucky purchaser could then sell them off for scrap and redevelop the site.

The hostel? The fortunate secured creditors will get some of their money back. That’ll be our feudal masters, a foreign bank and a part taxpayer-owned, bailed-out British bank. Which is nice for them.

The small local businesses that are owed money will get nothing.

Well, excuse me, are small local businesses not a vital part of the local community? Is the private sector not supposed to be pulling us out of the mess we’re in?

The message is clear to local businesses – don’t deal with anything with ‘community’ or ‘trust’ in its name.

The sooner we stop talking about ‘funding’ for this, that and the other and start encouraging small business, the better.

And you don’t encourage local family-owned traders by shafting them like this.

While we’re talking about reality, Alnwick is ‘the country’s finest retail destination’?

I don’t think so, Google.

Alnwick is a pretty market town with some good businesses trying hard in a very tough environment. Shop rents are far too high and the parking charges are a disgrace – if Northumberland County Council gave tuppence for the future of Alnwick, they would scrap them. But we know where their priorities lie.

For shoppers and visitors to Alnwick, parking is a major issue. People would rather drive miles to a free parking, out-of-town destination rather than cruise around looking for somewhere to park and be ripped off for the privilege.

Here endeth the rant of today.

R Handyside,