YEP Letters: March 9

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Have more respect for environment

John Finch, Horbury

On my travels around the Wakefield area on my bicycle I have noticed the large amount of litter spoiling our town and countryside.

Plastic bags, plastic bottles, takeaway food cartons, dog excrement on footpaths etc. Why don’t people have more respect for our environment and take pride in what we have?

How can we change this attitude? As a start I would like to see a nationwide campaign to promote “Not to drop litter”.

Token sentences won’t tackle animal cruelty

Dr Mike Lowry, Leeds.

THE disturbing case of extensive animal cruelty by staff at a Thirsk slaughterhouse (YEP, March 3) is made even more shocking by the paltry hand-slap sentences they each received.

Despite overwhelming evidence of their persistent and extreme cruelty, three defendants received suspended prison sentences (of between 16-20 weeks) and all received fines. Why were the sentences suspended?

This equates to nothing more than a timid hand-slap by the court.

If the same cruelty had been meted out to a human, the sentence would be more likely to be something in proportion to the crime: and let us not pretend these are anything less than criminal actions by dangerous individuals.

In any civilised society, criminal activity should be punished proportionately, which includes acts of cruelty to animals, otherwise we are at best only pretending to be civilised.

Those responsible for determining sentences should be made to look again at this case and revisit guidelines for sentencing, otherwise psychopaths who want to vent their deranged needs onto others will do so, knowing
they face no more than a pretend sentence that will deter no one. Next step a human victim?

EU met match in President Trump

Dick Lindley, Altofts.

AT last the EU bully boys, who are threatening dire consequences for the UK if we don’t submit to their vicious and vindictive conditions for leaving, have now met their match in President Trump.

It is so easy for these unelected bureaucrats to bully a small nation like ours, but not so easy to frighten the leader of the most powerful nation in the world.

If President Trump imposes tariffs of 25 per cent on steel and cars from the EU, the whole EU economy will collapse like snow before the summer rain, bringing an end to EU dreams of a United States of Europe.

End this cancer postcode lottery

Sheree Taylor, Tingley

I was alarmed to read a new report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Breast Cancer, A Mixed Picture, which uncovered stark contrasts in the diagnosis, treatment and care of breast cancer patients across England.This variation is unacceptable.

Depending on where they live in England, some women are more than twice as likely to die from breast cancer under the age of 75.In our own area, the Yorkshire and Humberside region, there is significant variation in premature mortality rates between different Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). For example in Greater Huddersfield CCG on average 15.2 women under the age of 75 per 100,000 die from breast cancer but in North East Lincolnshire CCG it is 29.1 – nearly twice as many and well above the national average.

Access to the best breast cancer services shouldn’t be dictated by where you live, so that’s why I have joined a new campaign by the charity Breast Cancer Now to end this postcode lottery.

I have emailed my local MP asking them to urgently contact our local Cancer Alliance to discuss how these issues can be addressed, to ensure that women throughout England receive the best possible treatment and care no matter where they live. I would encourage others to join me and email their MP by visiting: breastcancernow.org/postcodelottery

We need energy to be supplied by the government

MJ Ellison, Purston

Yet again we see how the government and the power regulator have no power over the energy suppliers.

Now the benefits of having paperless bills, dual tariffs and monthly debit payments are being removed.

So I call on all the elected councillors to ask all the elected party leaders to get round a table and have a discussion on the government providing an energy supplier run by the government with only one fair tariff for gas and electricity.

The benefits of this would be that the profits, instead of going to the shareholders, would go in to the NHS and looking after the elderly. So taxes do not need to go up or new taxes made for the need of these services.

Perhaps the name of the supplier could be Power for the People? To me this is a win win for the government and people - the only losers being the energy suppliers and shareholders. I would be interested in the elected councillors’ and readers’ views on this idea.

Nominate an unsung hero

Murray Edwards, secretary to the trustees of the Community Foundation Wakefield District

We are very conscious that the wintry weather that we’ve been experiencing during the last couple of weeks has made it very difficult for many people to get out.

This has produced a really positive community spirit with neighbours offering to go shopping for people living alone and helping them in other ways too.

The Community Foundation is currently seeking nominations for its Unsung Heroes awards in June, so if you know of someone who has helped in this way, please consider nominating them for an award.

Full details are available on the foundation’s website at www.wakefieldcf.org.uk

People are our greatest strength

Dr David Hill, CEO, World Innovation Foundation, Huddersfield.

PEOPLE are concerned about Brexit, but in reality it does not matter if we are in or out of the EU in the long term. What counts vitally is that this nation has the most dynamic economy in the world – and this does not mean the largest economy either.

But unfortunately, government and Whitehall have never listened to and applied anything other than ‘bog standard’ economic strategies that basically have in real terms, suppressed the greatest intrinsic strength that we have as a nation.

Our people are our greatest strength when it comes to the ‘fundamental thinking’ that is the basis of three-quarters of all new global wealth creation, but government does not understand this.

Fairtrade is making a difference

Cheryl McGechie, Director of Public Engagement, The Fairtrade Foundation

with the second week of Fairtrade Fortnight in full swing people up and down the country are celebrating the difference Fairtrade makes and standing with the farmers and producers who make the products we love.

This year we are inviting people to ‘Come On In’ to Fairtrade and find out about the lives of the people who make the things we love to eat, drink and wear.

We want people to stop and think about the people behind the products they enjoy every day, and find out how Fairtrade helps producers in developing countries. It’s a sad fact that exploitation is still rife in our food chains.

It’s not easy to think about but when you consider that: 1 in 3 people in Kenya’s coffee and tea growing regions live in poverty, or that the average cocoa farmer in Côte d’Ivoire lives on less than 40p a day you can see that Fairtrade is as needed now as it ever was.

So, next time you buy a coffee or tuck into some delicious chocolate, pause for a second and think about where it came from, the farmers who grew the coffee beans or the cocoa, and consider choosing Fairtrade to ensure they get a fair deal.

You can find out more about Fairtrade Fortnight and the work of Fairtrade at www.fairtrade.org.uk

Long wait to end toilet charge

Edna Levi, by email

I look forward every day to the YEP cartoon which is always so topical. Perhaps this clever artist can illustrate one to show why (by about time) Network Rail are withdrawing their charge for use of toilets but not until 2019.

Passengers cannot wait so long!

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