YEP Letters: June 23

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WITH SERIOUS concerns at Government level over extremism in schools up and down the country, isn’t the only way to keep such trouble out of the classroom to make British education 100 per cent secular?

In my opinion, faith schools only serve to maintain or increase segregation – and even ill will – between different groups.

Now we’re a multi-faith, multi-racial, multicultural society, surely the only way for everyone to get a fair deal in education and learn to appreciate each other is for religion to be confined to the family home and designated place of worship.

France has led the way in this with bans on extreme religious clothing such as the burka (never seen in this country until recent years) and has forbidden children to take overt religious symbols into the classroom.

Of course, many vested interests in Church of England, Roman Catholic, Jewish and Islamic schools would feel threatened by such a change.

But don’t we owe it to our children and grandchildren to give them all the same chance of living, learning, playing and working together for a united future?

DS Boyes, Rodley

I’m paying £100 extra for gas

I am nearly 91 years old, a veteran of the Second World War, and I totally agree with everything Mel Smart (YEP, June 13) says about these energy companies.

This year I paid more than £100 over and above what I paid last year – despite using exactly the same amount of gas.

On my pension that is quite a lot of money to fork out.

I hope my councillor and MP get together and fight these profiteers and robbers.

Most of us know that the Labour Party gets the blame for everything and I admit they made a lot of mistakes.

But in my opinion this government is worse than they were and it is about time that they thought about people such as myself.

And why spend billions on a railway to save half an hour’s travelling time?

That money should be spent on the NHS and pensions for us old folk and workers.

John Layfield, Hunslet

Ambulance bill is soaring

I NOTE that our ambulance costs have soared as private ambulances have been called out to the NHS in Yorkshire nearly 20,000 times in four years (YEP, May 26).

The number of calls to the region’s ambulance service responded to by private firms rocketed by more than 1,000 per cent between 2010 and this year.

Yorkshire Ambulance costs have risen from £782,000 to £2.8m in just nine months.

Increased demand has been blamed, but I don’t recall any recent disaster on that scale.

What gets me most is how can we spend money willy nilly on private ambulances and yet turn away people who desperately need help from our National Health Service.

AE Hague, Harehills

More honesty on golf costs

IN A recent letter I asked why existing facilities provided by the council’s Parks and Countryside department are under threat when new projects are being proposed and going ahead (YEP, June 6)?

No answer so far, but a document entitled ‘Consultation on the future of Gotts Park Golf Course’ has appeared.

Using the figures that Leeds City Council has provided, I see that total wage costs are currently £133,288, but all staff would be transferred elsewhere.

The maintenance costs of the building will continue.

Costs of the proposed new project will be £20,000 and all these expenses will still have to be met by the council, making a total of £168,801.

Moving staff from one area to another and then claiming massive savings is surely dishonest and not worthy of being put in a serious discussion document.

Still using the council’s figures, income at the golf course for 2013/14 was £76,690.

If the course is closed, obviously this income will no longer be available.

Add the ongoing expenses as already shown to the loss of income and the total reaches £245,491.

As long as the golf course remains it is regularly patrolled and monitored by golfers.

Any problems are promptly reported and dealt with.

Currently, incidents are few and far between.

But it is worth considering what will happen to the security of this park should the golf course be closed.

Trying to get costs of other parks has not been possible.

Therefore, to make fair comparisons to evaluate if the council’s proposals are good, economically viable and generally beneficial to the community, more honest and accurate information needs to be made available.

Alan Blummer, Armley

Let Richard III lie in Yorkshire

I HAVE read a lot over the past few weeks the debate over where Richard III should be reburied.

I personally think he should be laid to rest in Yorkshire.

I have a book on Yorkshire and for me the following sums it up:

London streets shall run with blood

And at last shall sink,

So that it shall be fulfilled,

That Lincoln was,

London is,

And York shall be the finest city of the three.

This is a prophecy of Robert Nixon, the legendary Cheshire Merlin, taken from the book.

As I said, this sums it up.

M Fell, Pontefract

Salute to heroes of Arnhem

IN September, three months after the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, it will be the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Arnhem.

On September 16, I will lead a coach party from the North of England to attend the special Arnhem ceremonies, including a parachute drop at Ginkel Heath.

We will also attend the ceremony at Oosterbeek Airborne Cemetery where Dutch children lay flowers on the graves.

King Willem of the Netherlands and Prince Charles will be in attendance.

We will have a full tour of the Arnhem battlefield area and follow the route of XXX Corps after the break out from Normandy.

We will visit the site of the Rhine Crossings and the Reichswald Forest.

We also visit the post Great War home of the ex-Kaiser Wilhelm at Doorn.

We have a few places left and I will be happy to supply full details to your readers if they contact me at 2, Eden Gate, Warcop, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria CA16 6PL. Alternatively, phone me on 017683 41060, or email me at johndavidraw@gmail,com

David Raw, Cumbria.

No assurance of insurance

WHEN applying for car insurance, owners are asked to declare their estimate of a car’s value.

But as a vehicle’s value depreciates, insurance companies only pay out market value – not enough for the owner to purchase a similar vehicle, should it be irreparable. One would expect the premium to reduce in the same way. When it doesn’t, surely this should be regarded as unfair practice.

Therefore it is high time that insurers should be made to set premiums according to the true value of the vehicle – not put up the cost annually.

Of course some companies are now offering what they call ‘Gap Insurance’ to cover the difference. In effect, they are adding just another expense to a system devised by insurers where we now seem to be paying insurance to insure insurance. How do they get away with it?

Ernest Lundy, Beeston

Bernard Kenny, the man who tried to save Jo Cox from her attacker.

YEP Letters: August 16