Bus subsidy cut hits rural communities

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From: Judith Mason, Moorfields, Long Preston, Skipton, North Yorks.

AFTER 80-plus years, we in North Craven are going to lose our familiar orange Pennine bus service.

For 80 years these buses have served the public between Skipton and Settle, and many years ago also went through to Ingleton and Lancaster.

Why are we losing our bus service? Because Conservative central government have cut back on the subsidy for concessionary fares. They pay about 35 per cent of the cost of these fares, Lancashire pay about 50 per cent.

However, all is not lost. North Yorkshire County Council is providing some 16 seater buses, these will run six times a day in each direction – first bus to Settle 9am, last bus from Settle 1.30pm, and the last bus from Skipton to Settle 12.45pm.

There will be no buses on a Saturday and there have been 
no buses on a Sunday for over 
20 years.

It is tough if you have a hospital appointment, doctor’s appointment or need to get to work and back home.

Now Hellifield gets an extra three buses – why? In Long Preston we have one shop, and while Aileen and Julie do their best to accommodate the village’s needs, there are goods they do not sell.

Trade in Settle is bound to suffer – especially on market day, Tuesday. There will be more cars on the road, causing more pollution.

We are being penalised for living where we do.

No plans for end of Union

From: Nick Martinek, Briarlyn Road, Huddersfield.

WITHIN a few months, the Scots may decide to secede from the UK. If that happens the English and the Scots will be in the absurd position of being in a Union of European nations, while breaking up our own. And the Scots will discover there is precious little independence as a satrapy of the EU.

The rest of the world can barely tell the difference between the Scots and the English, so closely related are we by history, language, law, ethnicity, culture and genetics. This is not the case with any other EU nation (except possibly Ireland). Yet so many of our leading politicians and businessmen, so keen to tell us of the dangers of leaving the European Union, are strangely silent about the Union of the English and Scottish.

Now the polls tell us the secessionists and the unionists are neck and neck. In these circumstances you would expect that the coalition Government, likewise businesses, particularly the Scottish-based banks and financial institutions, would at least have publicised plans in place to cope with a transition to reassure people remaining in the UK. I have seen precious little evidence of it.

Neither my bank nor the Government saw fit to reveal any information to me about actual plans to transfer English financial or tax affairs (e.g. HMRC at Cumbernauld) out of Scotland, should the vote establish Scotland as a foreign country. I have no idea whether this is because of government and business incompetence (i.e. there are no plans), or fear of the public’s reaction to the existence of such plans.

Perils of self- employment

From: Ian Raven, Cranfield Drive, Skellow, Doncaster.

IN response to your story regarding the number of “entrepreneurs” that have started up, with an increase of 37,000 jobs, it would be interesting to know if the figures take in to account the number of people who have “inadvertently” been forced down the self-employment route by unscrupulous employers who have changed their employees’ terms of employment.

Many people come off benefits to take these posts without understanding the full implications of being self-employed. They blissfully go about their work receiving pay from payroll companies who make their remittance advice look like a standard payslip and fail to register with HMRC and further they think that they are employees.

I have recently stopped working for a payroll company specialising in self-employed contracts, I have seen the underhanded ways in which employees are forced down the self-employed route.

The company I worked for was tiny, but still processed over 1,000 employees. the market for this service is fierce with the really big companies doing up to 5,000 employees per week, so when it comes to the number of “entrepreneurs” this hidden black hole should be taken in to account.

Save our Eurovision

From: Mark Smith, Chapel Hill Road, Pocklington.

WHAT has happened to our once fine sport of Eurovision? Time was when it was about class, dignity and honour. But now it has been reduced to nothing more than a perverted freak show with more block voting than a Lego election. The perversion I am referring to is not Conchita – who is a fine winner – but the other acts. The bland acts. The Dutch entry could not have been more middle of the road if it was sung from a roundabout.

It’s time to reclaim Eurovision from the monotonous bile of “real” music and take it back to a hedonistic world of camp pageantry.

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