Don't forget power of electorate

HAVE you ever thought, when you are cold in the middle of an extremely cold winter, your money is running out rapidly, and government cuts are priming to take the biggest chunks out of your means of survival, that the jolly policy makers reside almost exclusively in warm places, eat well, have access to refined medical care and a host of highly educated advisers who seek to change your life simply by collecting data in the form of research statistics?

These parliamentary policy makers have many and varied access points to the media whom they seek, tell or work in collusion with to frighten us into thinking of the scrounger next door, never mind that the scrounger last week was made redundant but now, via the media, his neighbours are putting him under scrutiny.

The government who swore not to tinker with the most vulnerable in society now proposes the withdrawal of Education Maintenance Allowance, the loss of Disability Living Allowance to wheelchair-bound residents in residential homes, and funding cuts to organisations in the North of England which help children stay with their extended families instead of going into care.

Perhaps the government should advertise for an unpaid Mr Bumbler to embrace this retrograde act?

I suggest that the electorate should believe in themselves, form groups, join groups, involve friends and campaign to stop the abusive nature of the cuts that are cutting swathes through the vulnerable. It doesn't even have to be a political party.

So just spare a thought this festive season and remember the policy makers all warm and snug, reviewing their statistics. What value do we have if we are all viewed merely as commodities and the moment that we are no longer economically viable we are rendered useless?

Kendal Wilson, Tadcaster

Queue jumping

THERE appeared on your letters page on December 21 correspondence from Samantha Kennedy of The Prince's Trust in which she extols the Trust's ability to move some young unemployed up the jobseeker ladder, but she fails to see that this is an act of jumping the queue.

There are only a limited number of jobs unfilled and there will be others in the queue denied those jobs. What is actually required is a trust dedicated to creating job openings.

Most of your published letters are from people and organisations bemoaning the effect that sorting out the recession has upon themselves. I am a pensioner on a limited pension but I realise that we must all take a share of the strain. The main reservation which I have is the bonus system. Bonuses should only be paid upon improved annual results and relate to the size of those improvements.

B Perkins, Roundhay

Penpal plea

PLEASE help me locate a long time penpal. Andrea Gilliam Rafferty, 64 years, last known address: 97 Station Rd. Kippax. Operated Lyndale riding stables. Husband was Barry, daughters are Dale, and Lyn.

I visited her in you lovely community in 1985, been penpals through church since late 1950. Anyone knowing of this beautiful lady please contact me.

Thank you for any help you can give.

Nancy Bailey Prouse Lewis, PO Box 1831 Mt. Airy, North Carolina 27030 USA, email: nancylewis1@hotmail.com

Still waiting...

IF Leeds City Council can afford to throw away nearly 400,000 on the failed bid for the 2018 World Cup, perhaps they could explain to me why, after nine months without any gas, I am still having to wait for them to reconnect my gas supply?

M J PHILLIPS, Cookridge

Hard times for Royal Mail

THE Government is planning to privatise the Royal Mail. The price of a first class stamp is to rise from 41p to 46p. Royal Mail staff are fighting to protect their pensions, jobs and working conditions. This is a bad time for workers and customers. The only assurance we have from the government is that the Queen's head will remain on postage stamps, even if Royal Mail is sold off to a foreign firm. Is this what we call "being all in it together"?

J Appleyard, Firthcliffe Parade, Liversedge

Singers hit the high notes for charity

YORKSHIRE'S own national heart charity, Heart Research UK, would like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part in our Sing for your Heart campaign in Leeds recently, with a special thanks to all the Leeds-based choirs involved, including Leeds People's Choir, Leeds Youth Choir, the Jewish Choir, Singing for Pleasure Choir, Leeds College of Music, St Marks Choir, Lawnswood Friends Community Choir, Shadwell Primary School and Hawksworth Wood Primary School Choir.

Each group filled local venues with festive songs and put smiles on the faces of busy Christmas commuters and shoppers.

Thank you also to Leeds Train Station and to the shopping centres in the city, that gave us permission to perform, and to all our brilliant volunteers who kindly gave up their free time to collect donations from the public.

They helped us raise over 1,914.31 in Leeds alone – with money still coming in, we hope this will be our best year yet.

If you're part of a choir that would like to get involved in our Sing for your Heart campaign next year please call us on 0113 234 7474, email fundraising@heartresearch.org.uk or visit www.singforyourheart.org.uk

Barbara Harpham, National Director, Heart Research UK