YEP Letters: November 13

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Our benefits system needs fixing

A Hague, Leeds 9

So people claiming unemployment benefit must wait six weeks or more for their money now.

It’s well known that less than half of us have a bank account and if you miss your rent for two weeks they send a warning letter.

Worse still, if you don’t have relatives with spare money you are in trouble. My grandaughter once had to wait 12 weeks for her money but thankfully her parents could tide her over.

The system stinks and needs someone with intelligence to fix it.

Bill’s provision is constitutionally perverse

Keith Wells, chairman of the Wakefield district branch of the UK Independence party

The Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Bill received an unopposed second reading in the Commons on October 20.

The bill increases the maximum sentence in England and Wales for attacking an emergency worker from six months to a year in jail. I find this provision constitutionally perverse.

Equality before the law means that no-one convicted of an offence by a court receives a greater or lesser penalty because of who they are.

By the same token, no-one should be liable to a lesser or greater punishment because their victim belongs to a particular category.

I do not seek to downplay the gravity of the crimes which the bill attempts to deter.

The penalty for an assault, however, should depend on the severity of the action and the criminal record, if any, of the offender.

Arthritis is a complex subject

Christine Thomas, RGN (retired), former Rheumatology Research Nurse and Arthritis Champion.

I write to correct an impression given in the article about arthritis sufferers (YEP November 8) that CPPD (Calcium-Pyro-Phosphate Disease) is a form of rheumatoid arthritis.

There are over 200 kinds of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is one of them.

It is an auto-immune disease for which there is currently no cure, it can affect anyone at any age, even children can have a form of it.

However, osteoarthritis is much more common, being associated with increasing age and CPPD often occurs in conjunction with this.

It can be controlled with steroid injections as stated by Dr Martin.

I am delighted to read of the effect it had on Mrs Maureen Pullan, but concerned that people with rheumatoid arthritis may believe this may help them, their treatment is life-long and involves greater drug involvement.

Arthritis Research UK has an excellent website which describes in greater detail the many forms of arthritis and treatments available, perhaps your reporter would find it useful for future reference, it is a very complicated subject.

All drivers make mistakes

Ernest Lundy, by email

Regarding drivers being retested in old age, once and for all please accept the fact that all drivers make mistakes.

It’s the same with insurance charges when one becomes old, they are presumed likely to be guilty of poor driving, without charge. The only criteria as to drivers being obliged to be retested should be the number of accidents they have been involved in, and found guilty (on record with the police and insurance companies). Any who have a history of bad driving should be put off the road completely or priced off it.

After over 70 years on the road, still accident, claims free and on full NCB, I could reveal my views as to which groups the worst drivers come from. But I would have to leave the country.

As for handing in my own car keys, when the time comes I’ll be the first to know!

Get used to Brexit vote

Chris Sharp, Leeds 25

With reference to John Cole’s letter ‘Lack of logic on Brexit vote’ (YEP Letters November 8), the referendum was stay or leave, not what do you advise us to do.

It doesn’t matter how the figures are interpreted and massaged, we voted to leave, get used to it. Remainers have become boring with their accusations of ignorance and stupidity. 52:48 is a majority whatever slant you care to put on it.

And by the way,Britain is not a golf club or musical society, we are a country who voted leave.

Long wait for repayment

Janice Eastwood, Drighlington.

I WAS interested in the recent comments by James Staton, head of dispute resolution at Schofield Sweeney.

Yes, one does have the Legal Aid repaid. Many years ago, during divorce proceedings, I was made to take on Legal Aid by my then solicitor, even though I told him repeatedly that I did not need this facility.

I had to pay out each month, making my then outgoings far more than my income.

Twenty-two years later I received a cheque from the Law Society Financial Department (in my former married name) for the amount I had paid for Legal Aid. I did not receive any interest, nor was my request for information as to why it had taken so long for this money to be returned ever answered.

Who gets the interest on the money we pay to the Law Society?

Beware! If you cannot afford to wait 22 years for this money to be returned, be cautious about paying out.

Challenge the system

Hilary Andrews, Leeds.

I AGREE that Oxford and Cambridge should never lower their admission standards, but I do feel that some teachers in the state school system do not encourage their bright students to apply to these universities.

The admission interviews are hard and maybe daunting to students not used to the environment of these ancient colleges, but teachers should encourage initiative in their charges. We will never improve social mobility unless we dare to challenge.

Stop the vaping

Trevor Wainwright, Castleford

I write with reference to Dr Michael Lowry’s letter about banning vaping in public.

I would agree, as there is currently no medical evidence to prove that it is harmless, and often the smoke from these vapes is in a greater volume than that produced by cigarettes. Having once had a lung infection I found that going anywhere near vapes aggravated it. I would also like to see smoking and vaping banned from entrances to public buildings with a dedicated vape/smoke free zone around it. It is all well and good banning these from public enclosed spaces, then expecting people to walk through a smoke screen because users are too lazy to move further away.

It is like leaving the job half done. I for one will not enter any public enclosed space, shop or other when there are people smoking/vaping in the doorway. It is time those who make these rules made them properly and fully.

Thanks for supporting our church

David Dews, Church warden

Recently St Paul’s Church, Alverthorpe, Wakefield, was vandalised.

The response has been phenomenal and all at St Paul’s would like to thank the individuals and groups who have so generously donated, both financially, and Wakefield Window Repairs who made the church secure again and will replace the broken glass. As much as the financial support, we value the hundreds of supportive messages from around Wakefield and beyond, which remind us of the huge number of residents for whom this is their church, even if we do not see them often.

It is sometimes hard to keep the church open for the times when it is needed, so this groundswell of support when an event like this happens is both encouraging and also a humbling experience. We are most grateful.

Join the scouts as a trustee

Ann Limb, chair, The Scout Association

Trustees’ Week starts on the 13th November and what better time to celebrate the vital contribution of these fantastic volunteers.

Across the UK, there are over one million trustees and in Yorkshire and the surrounding area there are over one hundred trustees working on behalf of Scouting.

Each one has a special responsibility to provide the stability and good governance every charity needs in order to flourish.

As Chair of The Scout Association’s Board of Trustees, I ask myself, what difference do I make as a trustee?

For me, it comes down to five things: stewardship, scrutiny, strategy, support, and skills.

It’s about ensuring the right procedures and policies and are in place to create a safe and secure environment.

It’s our role to ensure there is a clear plan for the future and that there is the right level of challenge and accountability.

So this Trustees’ Week, I would like to say a huge thank you to all those who have already stepped up to the plate and are putting something back into their communities.

I would also like to encourage more young people to come forward and serve as trustees – your energy and ideas are invaluable if we want to continue to help the next generation develop the skills to succeed in life.

Charity boards benefit most when there is a range of ages and backgrounds and they are at their strongest when there is a healthy mix of experiences and perspectives.

I urge you to join us.

Plea for air gun licensing

Jacqui Cuff, Advocacy and Government Relations Manager, Cats Protection

In addition to the terrible human deaths and casualties that have been inflicted by indiscriminate use of air weapons, many pets have also been the unfortunate victims of air weapons.

Cats Protection’s air gun licensing petition has already received over 76,000 signatures and we would like to thank all of those who have signed the petition. Cats receive life-changing injuries from air guns such as limb amputation or loss of an eye. We are asking the government to licence air guns in England and Wales, bringing us in line with Northern Ireland and Scotland. To sign the petition go to

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