Check out today’s YEP letters.
Help celebrate Queen’s birthday
Dame Vera Lynn, West Sussex
It is remarkable that, as her 90th birthday approaches, Her Majesty the Queen is still working so passionately for our country, and supporting the work of hundreds of charitable organisations.
In recognition of her incredible efforts, I would like to invite readers to be part of an historic online commemoration at www.TheQueensBirthdayBook.com
The Queen’s Birthday Book will form a huge digital collection of messages, photos and film to mark Her Majesty’s special day on 21 April 2016. Anyone can contribute for free by adding their birthday messages and personal stories of meeting the Queen, and they can also share photos and videos of their street parties and celebrations for her official birthday in June. One of my own special memories is performing for the Queen and other members of the royal family at Her Majesty’s 16th birthday celebrations at Windsor Castle, a night which I hope she remembers as fondly as I do.
As well as a great digital archive for future generations to look back on, we’ve created this book to raise vital funds for the charities the Queen is patron of, through the sale of specially issued commemorative medals from the London Mint Office. I do hope people will join me in wishing Her Majesty a very happy 90th birthday by sharing their messages, photos, drawings and videos, while also helping to raise money for some very deserving causes.
Cutting costs more important than health
Janice McKinley, Leeds 14
I have just been informed (in the local chemists I overheard a conversation) that Whinmoor surgery is closing and I have to find a new doctors’ surgery.
I cannot believe that in 2016 the NHS cannot afford to provide the population of Whinmoor with a local doctors’ surgery.
It is a great shame that cutting costs and saving money has become far more important than health and well-being.
This situation did not happen suddenly. The NHS has failed to prevent this terrible situation for the population of Whinmoor.
I cannot understand the thinking behind such a poor decision. We have been left without a doctor and no information has been provided to support us to find another surgery.
I imagine there will be no surgeries close by with spaces as there are at least 2,000 people who will be searching for a doctor in this area.
I would like to know how and why this decision was made and the cost savings to the NHS in shutting this surgery.
As an elderly lady this is a shocking situation to be in. I have paid in to the NHS for many years and should be able to access a doctor when I am ill.
Thanks from Mrs Gales
Francesca B Davis, by email
Mrs Gales (Ltd) Tea Room of Street Lane is closing its doors after two very happy years.
This is mainly due to the high running costs for a small business in the current financial climate, we have not lost any money but we have not made any either!
But what we have made are a lot of wonderful friends.
We would like to thank everyone from the knit and natter ladies, Carole and the tea club, the tennis club and the band, the morning boys and the ‘well done’ crumpet crew, the afternoon tea ladies, Barry and the Tuesday 12.30 lunch booking, our lovely girls, Jonny and the boys,‘Dad’ David and the boys,the mums and toddlers, our dog ladies, the cycling girls, the grandmas and grandpas, Beryl and the Golden Girls, the poached eggs ladies, our young man or two!
All the wonderful people, you know who you are, who have made our time on the parade a joy.
You sat by us through burnt toast, hard eggs, coffee machine break downs, crowded days and lack of staff and still came back. Thank you.
We would also like to thank our landlord David Gale. He gave us the opportunity to run our own business plus your custom helped him raise £40.000 by donating our rent to his melanoma charity which he set up in memory of his wife Marilyn.
So, from Mrs Gales ‘girls’ with love and a very fond farewell to you all, a huge thank you for all your support.
More on minning on
John Hartley, Roundhay
MAY I answer the query from your reader Peter Manning, ex-pat from Canada, regarding ‘minning on’?
According to the book The Yorkshire Dictionary of Dialect by Arnold Kellett I quote: minnin’-on term similar to drinkins (qv); snack which staves off hunger until the main meal.
Uninformed on fracking
Andy Shaw, Wakefield
In February Wakefield Council voted to ban fracking in the Wakefield area.
I have reviewed the discussion that took place in the council meeting and I would like to thank the leader, Councillor Peter Box, for addressing all the points I raised in my email to him during his address. However, the level of the discussion was shockingly uninformed and driven by fear.
Not one councillor presented the positive case for fracking. The councillors reflected the press releases and research documents produced by the anti-technology, anti-fossil fuel green lobby.
They didn’t consider the $1 billion raised by the State of Pennsylvania from fracking taxes at a time when Wakefield is cutting tens of millions of pounds from its budget.
They didn’t consider that US citizens have seen their home energy bills cut by 50 per cent and that Yorkshire people might quite like this too, or that energy-intensive businesses would benefit too. They didn’t consider the UK-wide benefits of replacing declining North Sea oil with a boom in gas.
What did they talk about? The councillors’ fear that the continued use of fossil fuels will warm the planet and kill us; the use of chemicals will poison us; the noise and smells of industry will offend us. They quoted “possible links to..” and “may, in some cases cause..” and all the other weasel words used to scare, but not actually state facts.
They didn’t ask why 100,000 wells have been sunk in the US and they are now the biggest energy producer in the world - and nobody has died. This is a better record than the UK coalmining industry. Would they have stopped that too if their debate had taken place at the start of the industrial revolution?
Before future debates on such important issues, I would urge councillors to read more widely and think more critically. Given that human progress and increasing wealth is predicated on cheap and plentiful energy, these principles need to be at the centre of decisions about energy production - at a national and local level.
The Greens have been proved as wrong on global warming as Malthus was on population growth. But you seem trapped by their gloomy view.
Without leadership to drive economic development, the UK will continue to bounce along the bottom and cities like Wakefield will see growth only in low paid, insecure jobs.
Concern over education
Garry Kitchin, Batley
The last few weeks has seen a number of announcements that have really concerned me about our education system.
Firstly, it was announced that a plan to turn all local authority controlled schools into academies is being considered. Later it was revealed that a school board of governors need not have any parent-governors on them.
These two policies have very serious implications for our schools.
While Kirklees LEA doesn’t have a perfect record, academies have no more than a patchy record of attainment, while having very few mechanisms to make them accountable to the communities they serve.
I believe that if every school was an academy, they would over time inevitably group together to improve the organisational efficiency of functions like purchasing and other administrative tasks.
Parent governors would naturally want to ensure that the welfare of their children comes first, but if they are not present, I fear that children’s interests would not be paramount.
So what started off as large organisations running schools with some democratic accountability (LEAs), would become large organisations running schools with no democratic accountability.
We would have in effect a privatised education system run by large unaccountable businesses.
Worst PM in living memory?
Barrie Crowther, Wakefield.
WITH failed EU negotiations, immigration policy, foreign aid, and the shambles of disability payments, David Cameron is fast catching Tony Blair, and Ted Heath, as the worst and most arrogant PM in living memory.