Dangers of devolving power

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From: Gordon Lawrence, Stemperlowe View, Sheffield.

CLIVE Betts rightly praised the role played by local councils, businesses and other organisations (The Yorkshire Post, July 9) in producing the resoundingly successful Grand Depart.

He then extrapolates from this triumph the need for a regional transformation (and we’d all go along with him on this objective) with local councils leading the way.

Fiscal devolution – the ability to raise business rates, stamp duty, council taxes and other smaller taxes, he articulates should be shifted from central government to the likes of Sheffield, Leeds, Bradford, Hull and Manchester in order to achieve faster regional economic growth for their know-how and empathy at the local level would be far superior to the remote, insensitive fingers of a London-based bureaucracy.

It all sounds plausible. But, unfortunately I perceive, going down this road, some unwelcome consequences.

Clive Betts, in recent years, has moderated his socialist views but I recall the time when here in Sheffield the city was in the grip of a fanatical left wing cabal with such nonsenses as the nuclear free zone and business and household rates that 
soared through the roof that produced just the antithesis 
of economic growth and 
a road system, by lack of 
funding, that emulated a lunar landscape.

The World Student Games was another example of this untrammelled urge, driven by hubris, to behave in a totally impetuous and unthinking way.

Maybe, the Labour councils are now different animals but, although they might have tempered their extremism, they are still obligated to the trade unions and municipal employees.

In addition, left-wing councils are bound to respond to their own electorate, a considerable sector of which is exempt from paying the taxes the city authorities would inflict on the hapless remainder.

Beware the fast buck

From: Bob Swallow, Townhead Avenue, Settle.

WHAT an excellent letter from Mrs G P Hoblyn (The Yorkshire Post, July 22). This has been a wonderful occasion for all those involved in its preparation and execution. I do however have some reservations over the aftermath. It is great for folk from far afield to visit and spend money in our wonderful county. A figure I have read is of 25 per cent of the populace wishing to visit this area.

Let us be wary of those possibly from south of Watford Gap who see a meal ticket in the Dales, Yorkshire Moors and the Peak District to mention but a few. Can’t you see it, a housing estate atop Buttertubs Pass and a theme park at Gunnerside?

Alright, I exaggerate but you get the message. I am an old fella now but I want this special place to remain so for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.

Protect it from the idiots who wish simply to make a fast buck.

Yorkshire 
vs Scotland

From: J Bainbridge, Heys Gardens, Thongsbridge, Holmfirth.

HOW proud I am to be a Yorkshirewoman. Having watched the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, I can only say they paled into insignificance in comparison with the brilliant and outstanding performance presented by the people of Yorkshire and in particular Gary Verity for fighting, yes fighting to bring the Grand Depart to Yorkshire.

The first thought that came into my head was how amateurish the singers and performers were in comparison to our wonderful opening ceremony and the following two days of sportsmanship. Thank goodness Yorkshire won the “race” against Scotland.

Can you imagine what it would have been like had Scotland won, based on Glasgow’s performance?

Well done Yorkshire.

Caravans obey rules

From: Chris Giddings, Springwood Drive, Halifax.

YOUR correspondent Hilary Andrews (The Yorkshire Post, July 22) may well be troubled by holiday caravans on the roads and motorways, but she is quite wrong in assuming they are not subject to restrictions.

Although not they do not attract road tax, they do have to be insured and are restricted to certain speed limits and lane restrictions on motorways.

I cannot believe current travelling is any more of a nightmare because of caravans than it is because of heavy goods vehicles, bad driving and roadworks.

Pioneer of regional voice

From: Mr RF Heys, Bar Lane, Sowerby Bridge.

There is a notable omission from Andrew Vine’s account of the pioneers of regional accents on the BBC (Accentism, a prejudice that dare not 
speak its name, The Yorkshire Post, July 15) namely that quintessential Yorkshireman Wilfred Pickles who became the first possessor of a regional (Yorkshire) accent to read the BBC (Radio) news.