Check out today’s YEP letters
In praise of the Queen’s English
LN Hirst, Mirfield
FOR years before we had television I used to listen to the radio for entertainment.
It was a pleasure to listen to Brian Johnston and Jim Swanton presenting cricket on the BBC. There were many excellent announcers who could speak perfect English. Now both on BBC radio and television, and also ITV, there are people who can only speak the American version of the Queen’s English, especially the world ‘yer’ instead of ‘yes’. One of the bad habits of presenters, both men and women, is the speed they talk. Sometimes you can’t remember a word they have said. How nice to listen to David Attenborough present one of his nature programmes, word perfect and explained to perfection. Not forgetting Alistair Cooke with his Letters from America. I love to hear local dialect.
Questions over fracking waste water disposal
Georgina Perry, Leeds
Since this Government is hell bent on awarding fracking licences regardless of public opposition and since FCC Environment at Knostrop is one of the four sites (all in the north of England of course) with a permit to deal with radioactive waste water and has been mentioned in consideration of disposal of waste from fracking sites in both Lancashire and Yorkshire, I would like to ask Yorkshire Water whether they can deal with the vast quantity of fracking waste water that will come through their water treatment site, since they have never, ever, dealt with fracking waste before and also at the same time continue to deal with sewage water?
If, heaven forbid, fracking is a growing industry, how will it deal with increasing quantities of waste water for treatment and can it absolutely guarantee that when this water is discharged (presumably into the River Aire?) it will be safe and will cause no harm to wildlife? Is Knostrop big enough to cope with the amount of waste water?
My other question to Yorkshire Water is how does it intend to supply the huge quantities of water that will be required to this water intensive industry? Who will monitor the quantity of water used for fracking?
Who will say enough no more water because at some point this will have to be a consideration? Who will monitor the quality of water being discharged?
My feeling is that Yorkshire Water cannot answer these questions because they are in unknown territory.
But these questions do need to be raised if fracking does indeed go ahead in the autumn and they need to be answered now!
Cost of nuclear power
John Wainwright, by email
Dr Glyn Powell (YEP Letters August 8) is right to query the astronomical cost of the Hinkley Point nuclear power station, but it need not be so.
A look at the website of the World Nuclear Association shows that South Korea is currently building four reactors for the UAE that will provide 5.6 Gigawatts of generation capacity at a cost of just over £15 billion or about £2.7 billion per gigawatt.
On the other hand DECC estimate that Hinkley Point could cost as much as £37 billion for only 3.2 gigawatts capacity or about £11.6 billion per gigawatt - over four times as much.
Moreover the Korean reactors are all expected to be up and running by 2020, five years ahead of Hinkley Point, and (unlike us) UAE consumers will not have to pay 200 per cent of the normal price for the power they produce.
I agree with Dr Powell that we should produce more power from coal, but if his comment about environmental benefits is a reference to the much touted carbon capture and storage I have to tell him that it has not yet been made to work commercially anywhere in the world, and there are serious doubts that it ever will - especially for coal fired power stations. This need not be a concern however, and we should continue to use coal until economically viable replacements can be developed, and stop fretting about mythical man-made global warming.
Show Theresa May yellow card
N Bywater, Morley
The High Pay Centre says chief executives of firms on London’s FTSE 100 index saw their mean average income rise by 10 per cent in 2015.
Which is rather strange because the most employees in the UK received a pay increase of around two per cent and even stranger still the FTSE 100 is down around 200 points from its peak in April 2015.
So whilst the UKs largest 100 companies are worth less on the London Stock Exchange, which is surely an accurate measure of the top executives poor performance, they are paying themselves more.
Our new Prime Minister has sacked George Osborne, the man responsible for our country’s economic performance.
We should be showing Theresa May the yellow card, we do not want more of the same.
Response from the BBC
Helen Thomas, Head of Regional and Local Programmes (Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire)
In response to the letter (‘Cost of BBC’s visit to Rio’ YEP Letters August 5), BBC English Regions has sent two reporters to cover the Rio Olympics on behalf of all 12 English TV regions and 39 local radio stations in England.
Our reporters will be producing content for all these different outlets, plus material for the BBC’s regional and local websites and social media platforms.
Major review of HS2 plan needed
Roger Holmes, Sandal
I’m sure that many people in Wakefield district would be pleased to read Councillor Peter Box’s letter (YEP Letters August 6) in which he indicated his doubts about the merits of the HS2 scheme. I think his letter correctly raised many valid concerns about the proposals.
In addition to the concerns of Councillor Box and the wider community, I understand that other council leaders whose communities are impacted by the HS2 proposals are also raising concerns about the impact and cost of this major long term project. I think Councillor Box’s comments/suggestion is spot on that instead of spending resources on HS2 (currently estimated at £80bn) he believes we should be upgrading rail connections between northern cities and making our road network and public transport better.
I hope our MPs and other key interested parties listen to the views of local communities and support Councillor Box in his vision for a major review of the current HS2 proposals and call for an integrated long term transport and infrastructure plan which provides positive benefits for Wakefield and the northern region.
True cost of EU membership
Terry Watson, Adel
The true cost of our EU membership was underestimated by the leave campaigners.
The remain campaigners claimed repeatedly that the £350 million per week was a lie, supported of course by the EU. The National Office of Statistics has just released the true figures. The actual cost of membership of the worst trading block in the world is £375 million per week.
This money could be spent on so many things in Britain, we might be able to pay a decent pension.
We pay our pensioners who have worked all their lives, paying taxes and insurance, a pension of £119 per week, the third smallest pension in the world.
Cameron’s designer shorts he was seen wearing in Corsica cost £225. Spain and Germany pay their pensioners over £26,000 per year.
We could strengthen our borders, at the moment we have three patrol boats to cover thousands of miles of coastline trying to catch the people smugglers. Our armed forces are desperately short of equipment.
The NHS needs money and our roads are Third World standard. If Theresa May considers herself the “heir to Thatcher,”she should start acting like her.
Margaret Thatcher wouldn’t have dithered until next year, she would have ignored Article 50, and instead repealed the 1972 European Communities Act which would mean we could leave in a matter of weeks.