Challenge of affordable housing

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From: Rt Hon John Healey, MP for Wentworth & Dearne, High Street, Wath-upon-Dearne, Rotherham.

THE National Housing Federation is right to raise the staggering long-term challenge we face in Yorkshire of building enough affordable homes (The Yorkshire Post, October 15).

With house-building now at its lowest level since the 1920s, even those of us who do own a home worry about how our children, or grandchildren, will cope.

Labour commissioned Sir Michael Lyons to look at how we can build at least 200,000 homes a year by 2020 and his report sets out some of the vital steps we could take to reach that target. Olympic Park-style new homes corporations, new garden cities and more scope for councils to borrow to build are all big steps forward.

Ultimately though, it will be the political will to deliver the big changes and investment needed that will determine whether we succeed.

When voters come to mark their ballot papers next May, I hope they will vote for good homes for the next generation. If they do, it is the Conservative Party who should be very worried indeed.

From: Mr R Hanson, Swallow Lane, Golcar, Huddersfield.

RATHER than causing urban sprawl by using green belt land, could small areas of National Parks be used where appropriate?

As compensation, National Parks could be extended in many areas.

Links with world of work

From: Philippa Coutish, Philippa Coultish Associates Ltd, Huddersfield.

I READ with interest Jayne Dowle’s column (The Yorkshire Post, October 20) on why we all need to work better together on career’s advice in schools. This topic is something that Shelley College near Huddersfield has been working on for some time now. It started with a conversation with a local manufacturer who was struggling to find a suitable apprentice.

From this was borne the “Entice Project” which invites local business people in to give Professional Futures talks to the students weekly, arranges “try before you hire” work experience, regular business breakfasts with local businesses attending as well as careers events and mock interviews undertaken by genuine local businesses, some of whom then offer places to those they have interviewed. The ultimate goal is to place students with local businesses as apprentices and with the enthusiastic support of a few key people in and out of the college the scheme now has the support of Kirklees College and has been taken on by other schools/colleges in the area as a successful model.

We are fortunate to have a variety of excellent businesses in the South Kirklees area which are often owner-managed by people who also live in the area and have a genuine interest in supporting the local schools and colleges. I would encourage any businesses to contact their local school and build relationships and the students always enjoy hearing “a day in the life of…” talks from real people rather than trying to do research on the internet as it gives a much better understanding of what is involved in a very practical way.

Neglected positives

From: Brian H Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

I WAS about to inform P Lambert (The Yorkshire Post, October 22) that the word “gruntled” as opposed to “disgruntled” is a neglected positive like “ept”, “ert”, “kempt” and “ane” but it transpires that the word has never existed, which is a shame, according to Aishwaria Subramanian’s amusing “Ode to the neglected positives” (The New Indian Express, 2011). The author also laments the non-existence of, among other examples, “paraged” and “turbed”.

Town’s act of remembrance

From: Dale Senior, Mirfield.

OVER the last several years, I have attended the Remembrance Day Parade in Mirfield, a small mill town in the foothills of the Pennines.

This parade has grown in stature and in numbers and is now recognised as being the largest parade of its kind outside Whitehall, London.

Last year over 5,500 people attended and this year the numbers are set to increase. I know they have two brass marching bands, a concert band, a pipe band and a marching corps of drums from the RAF ATC. The parade is organised by Royal British Legion official and landlord of the Old Colonial pub in Mirfield, Tim Wood. This has to be totally unique in Britain and is a proud tribute to those that gave so much.

Sir Bernard’s gale force rant

From: David March, Tadcaster.

I’M often accused of being a ranter but Sir Bernard Ingham (The Yorkshire Post, October 22) is in a league of his own. He claims that he is a rational environmentalist but he is ardently anti-wind farm, and an outspoken advocate for nuclear power. To constantly refer to environmentalists as “daft” shows a lack of respect for people who are genuinely concerned for the future of the planet.