YEP Letters: September 8

Diana, Princess of Wales. PA photos: John Stillwell
Diana, Princess of Wales. PA photos: John Stillwell
Have your say

Check out today’s YEP letters

Let Princess Diana rest in peace

Edna Levi, Leeds

I was a big admirer of Princss Diana and join the millions of people in saying her death was a terrible loss, especially, as has been pointed out in the many tributes this last few weeks, to her two sons.

However, enough is enough. People who barely knew her are jumping on the bandwagon and coming out of the woodwork with “memories”.

Let her rest in peace, we can look forward to her third grandchild and perhaps if this is a little girl, the name Diana may again be a popular choice in memory of a loved grandmother.

Listening to the voices of sexual abuse victims

Professor Alexis Jay, Chair, Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

AS Chair of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, it is my responsibility to examine if and how institutions in England and Wales failed to protect children from sexual abuse.

This issue is not new to Leeds. Operation Yewtree’s investigation into Jimmy Savile has seen Leeds thrown into the spotlight. Now, years on from that investigation, we’re asking all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse from this area to come forward and share their experience with us through the Truth Project in October and November.

Victims and survivors accounts can be given in as much or as little detail as they feel comfortable with, at a Truth Project session. Importantly, this will be in a supportive and confidential environment. The failure to listen to victims and survivors in the past is one of the main reason we are here today.

I know that talking about child sexual abuse is not easy. Victims and survivors have often told me they feel stigmatised, ashamed, and guilty because of what happened to them.

That’s why we ensured victims and survivors were closely involved in the design of the Truth Project so that each session is as supportive as possible. Our trained facilitators will never press you for more information that you wish to share. Some people may be unsure about what constitutes child sexual abuse. It can mean forcing or enticing someone under the age of 18 to take part in sexual activities, it could be encouraging children to watch pornograpy or to ‘sext’.

It might be that the sexual abuse is carried out by a person in a position of power, such as a teacher or someone who works in a care home. Or, the abuse might have been carried out at home but when it was reported to someone in authority, such as a police officer, a teacher or a social worker no action, or the wrong action, was taken.

For too long victims and survivors of child sexual abuse have been ignored, not believed or have been made to feel ashamed for telling the truth. Our aim is to leave a legacy of a society which better understands the causes, nature and impact of child sexual abuse, so that institutions and individuals can never again say: “We did not know.”

If you would like to share your experience with the Truth Project, please visit the inquiry’s website – – Or you can call the information line on 0800 917 1000 (weekdays 8am-8pm and Saturdays 10am-12pm).

Devolution boost for business

Chris Longley MBE, Area Policy Representative for Yorkshire, Federation of Small Businesses.

THE Federation of Small Businesses (the FSB), in common with the majority of business organisations in Yorkshire, has long argued for devolution for Yorkshire.

We believe such a deal is in the interests of everyone who works, lives and runs their own business here in Yorkshire.

To get straight to the detail, the FSB argues that the powers, duties, authorities and accountabilities with which the responsibilities for business support and economic development are discharged across Yorkshire should be devolved from central Government to Yorkshire itself.

The FSB has also long argued that throughout Yorkshire there should be a level playing field for business: common regulations with common standards of enforcement, and business rates set and collected on a common basis. So a devolution deal that covered most, if not all, of Yorkshire would go a long way towards creating the that level playing field we seek.

Such common rules across Yorkshire would make the terms of doing business here in our region clear to all, and especially to the tens of thousands of small businesses that form the backbone of Yorkshire’s economy.

It could also be the end in Yorkshire of a postcode lottery for business support. This is why the FSB, in recent times, has applauded the efforts of all in local government in Yorkshire who are striving to get a devolution deal agreed with Government.

We have also welcomed the attention that we know central Government is paying to all the recent developments about devolution here in Yorkshire.

So the FSB stands ready to help all the different parties involved to reach an agreement that devolves business and economic powers to Yorkshire.

The FSB hopes that others – members of both Houses of Parliament among them – will help as well because we do not want to see Yorkshire left behind other UK regions.

The FSB is watching as the businesses and economies of those other regions reap the benefits of devolved powers and the Government investment that accompanies those powers. We may not get a better opportunity to seal the deal.

Duty to back Repeal Bill

Neil Liversidge, Great Preston

The EU Repeal Bill is due to be debated in Parliament this month. The bill is central to the government’s plan to exit the EU in 2019, because it releases Britain from more than 40 years of the supremacy of EU laws and it repeals the 1972 treaty that made Britain a member of the EU.

It is important that people realise that if the bill doesn’t pass then Britain will remain under the remit of EU law.

It is, therefore, very disappointing that there are reports emerging of MPs planning to oppose the bill.

Any effort to oppose the bill – or to dilute it via a succession of wrecking amendments – would effectively prevent Britain leaving the EU and would fly in the face of the decision Britain’s electors made last year in the referendum to leave the EU.

As chair of Change Britain and former Labour MP Gisela Stuart says: “The Repeal Bill is the first essential step in leaving the EU and will enable us to take back control of our laws in an orderly way. MPs must now do their democratic duty and vote for it.”

MPs should work to make a success of Brexit, not try and frustrate last year’s referendum result.

I urge all your readers who feel as I do to write to their MP and ask them to support the bill and honour the will of the people to leave the EU.

NHS put mum on road to recovery

Anne Merrick, Castleford

It seems that the norm these days is to criticise all things related to the NHS, which in some cases is justified.

However, a recent accident involving my elderly mother has inspired me to write this letter. Mid afternoon on Friday, September 1, she suffered a fall at home which was later diagnosed as a dislocated shoulder.

I cannot give praise enough to the three ambulance guys through to the Pinderfields A&E doctors and nursing staff who all treated my mother with professionalism, respect, understanding, patience and care.

Friday night in A&E is chaotic for obvious different reasons, yet in spite of this the staff were not pressured into rushing the treatment. This has put my mother on the good road to recovery to which I am very grateful.

Get in touch

THE Yorkshire Evening Post wants you to share your views with other readers.

To join the debate email