YEP Letters: March 21

Check out today's YEP letters

Monday, 21st March 2016, 7:26 am
Updated Monday, 21st March 2016, 7:39 am

Hypocrisy over Sunday trading

Hilary Andrews, Leeds

I AM astounded that the SNP voted against the extension of Sunday trading hours in England.

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They already have normal Sunday hours in Scotland. What a hypocritical lot they are.

It is time the SNP MPs were told they could not vote on any issue that is the concern of England alone.

Advantages of the EU are overwhelming

Sheena Vigors, Wakefield

The advantages of belonging to the EU are so overwhelming that I can’t understand why we are wasting time and money on a referendum.

Not only have we had peace in Europe for 70 years after centuries of war, but trade with Europe has kept prices down, we have much stronger employment legislation than any UK government would have introduced, we have Europe-wide environmental policies, cross border security control, the European Health Insurance Card, and the freedom to work and live anywhere in the EU.

Just look at a map of the world – the UK is part of Europe, not part of China, or India, or the USA, or any of the other major world players.

Since we joined the EU, our economy has prospered and the UK now has the sixth largest economy in the world. We have the best of both worlds because we have all the advantages of belonging in the EU while opting out of the things we disagree with, such as the Euro and the Schengen agreement. If we left the EU, but still wanted to trade with it, we would still have to contribute to its finances and follow its rules (as Norway does) but we would have no say in making the rules. I can’t believe that Mr Kasatkin thinks we should be so powerless.

Of course the EU isn’t perfect – what institution is? For instance, I personally would like greater democratic control being given to the European Parliament, further reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, and a co-ordinated strategy for helping Syrian refugees. But the reason why the other EU countries (and the USA) think we should stay in, is because everyone benefits from our membership.

Those who want us to leave include Vladimir Putin, neo-fascist Marine le Pen, right-wing newspaper tycoon Rupert Murdoch, and self-serving politicians such as Boris Johnson and George Galloway – need I say more?

I feel very proud to be both British and European, and I look forward to a time when the UK will contribute wholeheartedly to the future of Europe.

Roads to airport

Geoff Allen, Pudsey.

RE recent letters on Robin Hood Airport.

I have made many trips to Doncaster and several to the airport and I would suggest anyone contemplating travelling from the Leeds area should allow plenty of time over and above the hour it takes to get there when the M62 and A1 are running clear. These roads, in particular in winter, can be notorious for accident and hold-ups. Leeds Bradford Airport may not be perfect, especially the drop off charges, but I would suggest that serious hold-ups are unusual.

Not democratic

Bill Tampin, Pontefract

Because Wakefield Council is under pressure from the government cuts to its budget I understand that Coun Box, the leader, wanted suggestions as to how the council could make savings. I have been a Labour supporter most of my life but I also believe in politeness, fairness and democracy, so when I read that a Conservative amendment suggesting sensible, easy return cuts was rejected by the Labour council, I was angry and disgusted.

I believe the amendment was to eliminate the need for a deputy mayor and for some councillors’ allowances for free parking to be cut.

Considering that the allowances for councillors is in the region of £1.3 million per year then the suggestions seem to me to be very sensible, practical solutions towards making savings. I have suggested similar things myself but it seems that councillors who should be setting an example blatantly refuse to endure any reduction in their allowances whatsoever.

I guess that the deputy mayor will be a Labour councillor too, therefore it is unlikely that such a position will be abolished.

I was a member of Corporate Scrutiny Committee for a short while until I discovered how ineffective it was, and there I witnessed that the two Conservative councillors received very little satisfaction because, no matter how sensible they were, they were just overruled by the overpowering Labour councillors.So I suspect that the same treatment has been given to the Conservative savings amendment.

The land we live in is not as democratic as one may think.

Britain will flourish

Terry Watson, Adel

Why is Cameron so determined to keep Britain in the EU, the worst trading block in the world?

He and so many of the “better in brigade” keep lying about the dire consequences if we vote to leave. The claim that we can have some influence in the decisions made in the EU parliament if we remain is just nonsense and Cameron knows this.

If there is an issue in dispute we can no longer use the veto as they now have majority voting. We have voted against issues 72 times in the past, and the times we have won, none. Cameron and the better in brigade keep warning us that leaving the EU will cost us jobs and loss of business. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our exporters are strangled by stupid rules and regulations even when we are exporting to EU countries.

How does the EU justify 26,911 regulations on the sale of cabbage for instance? We are doing far more trade with countries outside Europe and have done for several years.

Outside the EU we could negotiate our own deals with other countries and would create more jobs in the process.

British farmers receive subsidies from Brussels and couldn’t survive without them, but where do the subsidies come from? They come out of the £55 million a day we pay for membership of the EU. No wonder they want us to stay in.

If we left, then we would have to pay the farmers the subsidies. That would be a good thing for the British taxpayers. Just to pay the farmers the subsidies they are getting now, £3 billion a year, would save us £3 billion as we are paying into the CAP £6 billion.

The French being by far the biggest beneficiary receiving three times as much.Despite what Cameron and his cronies say, British made goods are in great demand all over the world and without the constraints from Brussels, Britain will flourish when we leave and the EU will collapse.

Who cares for carers?

Dr Mark Porter MBE, GP and medical journalist

A worrying new survey reveals 8 out of 10 doctors know colleagues who are experiencing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Yet they are often reluctant to raise the issue - and those affected are unlikely to reach out for help - due to associated stigma and fear of discrimination.

The survey was commissioned by The Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF), a charity which helps doctors, medical students and their families, as part of their new ‘What’s Up Doc?’ campaign. The initiative aims to raise awareness of the need to offer support to doctors throughout the UK, who today are working under ever-increasing scrutiny, workload and pressure.

Every year the RMBF and its network of 250+ volunteers support hundreds of doctors and their families who are struggling with financial concerns or ill health – all in complete confidence. I would urge any doctor or family member in difficulty to reach out – asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

A new free downloadable guide for professionals, called ‘The Vital Signs’, highlights the key pressure trigger points for doctors and signposts organisations for those in need of support.

To access this or to find out more about the RMBF and their volunteer network, visit