YEP Letters: January 22

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Nothing new about NHS in crisis

Richard Saberton, by email

The NHS is in crisis, nothing new in that and for the same old reasons; chronic underfunding and poor management.

Both these failings need to be addressed simultaneously and soon or the much vaunted ‘best health service in the world’ will become just ‘better than nothing’.

The management side is easy: get the best, pay them well and sack them if they don’t perform. The money should also be easy - if the government can find billions to bribe minor political parties so they can cling on to power and billions more on a couple of aircraft carriers that everyone knows will be sunk in the first ten minutes of any serious war we get into, then they can afford to adequately fund the NHS.

Mrs May needs to be very careful because a few more people dying in hospital corridors and Margaret Thatcher’s won’t be the only effigy being burned and it won’t only be in mining villages.

Petty rules at rubbish sites add to fly tipping

Geoffrey North, Leeds.

THERE have been several articles recently concerning the effects of fly-tipping on the environment and particularly farmers. Isn’t the situation being compounded by the petty regulations that exist at waste disposal sites?

Last year I had occasion to take a small amount of non- hazardous household waste to my local recycling centre from my daughter’s house and it was convenient to use her own small van for the work.

When I arrived at the site, I was told by an official that vans were not allowed on site without a waste disposal licence. I had to take the waste back to my own house, break it up into smaller pieces so I could transfer it into my car and then take it back to the site to dispose of it. A complete waste of time and energy and a wasted journey adding extra pollution to the environment. Utterly frustrating. Why doesn’t the council give the recycling centre managers some latitude in allowing vans on site where they are clearly carrying household waste or even just allow all vans and light commercials up to three tonnes free access? While this would lose some revenue, it would be interesting to see how much it might save in clearing up the mess of fly-tipping.

Mills programme would pay off

Nicholas Pennington, Addingham.

Regarding a mills investment programme, from every conceivable point of view, it is right that such a programme should be created as a matter of priority.

The development of brownfield sites (within which definition mill premises fall) must always be preferred to greenfield development, to protect our countryside and valuable open spaces.

These old buildings are iconic in symbolising the industrial heritage of the region, as well as being classic period architecture in their own right. However, unless they are given a new lease of life through conversion for residential or other uses, they will fall prey to decay and demolition or become a target for wanton vandalism.

Developers will always look for the easiest means of realising a profit. To make the conversion of mill premises an attractive proposition, there has to be some form of incentive put into place.

In addition to the desirability of preserving old mill buildings on the basis of visual amenity, these structures are extremely well built – both a significant advantage in the conversion process and, subsequently, a valuable asset in the hands of future owners and occupiers.

Diplomacy for President Trump

Mrs A Rotherham, Wetherby

Should Donald Trump come to London? That is a matter for diplomats in both countries.

Although the initial response is briefly an appalled silence on all sides, we must remember that we are, in effect a long-established neighbourhood of nations, and we have had within our own country in living memory those who have not been a credit to us and whom we would have preferred to disown.

We have welcomed in the past, for reasons of diplomacy, those whom we would not invite into our lives or into our homes, and this is no different.

A single ill-disciplined youth does not disturb a respectable street for very long, nor does one foul-mouthed tenant disturb a neighbourhood for ever – although the experience is very unpleasant while it lasts.

Donald Trump may not wish to come here any more than we would wish to welcome him, but there may come a time in the general way of things and of international affairs that such a visit becomes appropriate.

If that does become a necessity, no doubt diplomats on all sides will work to ensure that the proprieties are observed and that offence is neither given nor taken. We hope.

MPs should provide a CV

CR Lancaster, Guiseley

WHAT do you really know about your MP?

Whenever I applied for a new position throughout my years in employment, I was required to submit a comprehensive CV detailing, in full, my educational background, academic and professional qualifications, working experience, previous positions held and achievements.

When was the last time that any prospective Parliamentary candidate provided the electorate with anything approaching this volume of information as proof of their capability?

Isn’t it time that we, the electorate, demanded that candidates in both national and local government elections provided such detailed information at the commencement of their electioneering campaign rather than relying on the party “spin” leaflets which fall on our doormats?

Maybe that way we will avoid electing those ill-equipped, incompetent, incapable, pretentious and dubious candidates who now frequent the Commons, supposedly on our behalf. Furthermore, there are over 820 appointees to the House of Lords which sits for approximately 170 days each year entitled to the £300 tax-free daily allowance.

Can we really afford these unelected individuals?

Sad reflection on schools

Elisabeth Baker, Leeds.

THE current fact that some university students have to attend remedial classes in English grammar and language is a sad reflection on the schools of today. I wonder if, before it is too late, the “Use of English” examination, which was taken simultaneously with A-levels in the 1960s, should be revived. Even this paper was somewhat “dumbed down” as it offered multiple-choice answers, but my top marks in it set me on the enjoyable road to pedantry and I have never looked back!

YEP Letters: January 23

YEP Letters: January 20