November 28: Enterprise zone boost for York site

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From: Coun Chris Steward, Conservative Leader of City of York Council.

THE Chancellor’s Autumn Statement contained more sensible steps in continuing the economy’s recovery and nowhere was this more true than the announcement of the York Central Teardrop site as one of the new enterprise zones (The Yorkshire Post, November 26).

This is a huge announcement not just for York but for the broader region and is surely a demonstration of how the term “Northern Powerhouse” translates to a better region and prospects for residents.

Hopes for the site have grown and been dashed for more than two decades, but the EZ status and ability to retain business rate growth will enable us to unlock £100m of value and could be worth over £1bn to the regional economy, through the creation of some 7,000 jobs.

With the number of houses on the site that can be delivered now being far higher and probably over 2,000, it also sits well with the Conservative wish in York to prioritise brownfield development and protect our green belt. Thanks go to all those involved in the bid, including of course the North Yorkshire and East Riding LEP. The hard work continues, but with far more clear deliverables now in sight.

From: Hilary Andrews, Leeds.

SO George Osborne has decided not to make tax credit cuts for working families. I’m sure they are all relieved but we know that it will be portrayed as a “u-turn” by the Government, as has been the case. When will people realise that this Government is in touch with the people and they listen when their policies are challenged? Please, Labour Party, give credit where credit is due and don’t start denigrating the Chancellor.

From: Dave Croucher, Pinfold Gardens, Doncaster.

GREAT to see the Chancellor finally putting some money back into our Armed Forces (what is left of them), and the police (what there is left, once again) after ripping them to bits over the past few years. Now the Government need to listen to what the public has been telling them for months regarding migrants. It was reported last week that one of the murderers in Paris was rescued from a sinking boat in the Mediterranean.

What a way of showing thanks.

Open and tolerant

From: Zulfi Karim, Senior Vice President, Council for Mosques, Bradford.

WE in Bradford have over 10,000 children attending supplementary schools daily in Bradford with over 100 Islamic institutions. The community has been operating mosques and madaris for over 50 years in Bradford without government intervention. Yes we need to do more to prevent abuse and we could be more inclusive. That’s no different to society overall, these issues are not exclusive to the Muslim community alone.

Do we have a problem of radicalisation in our mosques and madaris? No more than schools, universities and places of work may have where people gather. People think we teach hatred and division within our institutions, my advice is come and look for yourselves. Our mosques and madaris are open to everyone and anyone; places of worship are sacred and should be treated with respect. None of us like to witness scenes where armed police are breaking down doors of churches, synagogues or temples like what happened in Paris.

Britain can lead the way here and show the rest of the world that Britain is a tolerant place, we all wish to see a safe and secure country. Muslims have a duty to this country as British citizens and must play their part to ensure that we remain safe and secure and don’t allow what happened in Paris to happen on our shores.

Egypt safety concerns

From: Susan Goss-Clements, Harrogate.

FURTHER to your recent coverage about the Russian plane that took off from Sharm El-Sheikh and shortly after crashed, killing all 224 passengers on board due to a bomb, it is no surprise, to me, that this happened in Egypt.

We flew back from Luxor five years ago and saw three men go through security with large bottles of what looked like water – they were not challenged nor were the items confiscated, which is contrary to standard airport security rules and procedures.

We often moan when we have to go through rigorous security checks when departing from UK airports, but clearly it’s essential and we should be grateful that we’re taking the real threat of terrorism seriously here in the UK. Recent tragic events in Paris show how far these terrorists will go to achieve their aims.

Egypt is a glorious country but it needs to follow robust checks or risk further tragedies and the impact on its tourism trade.

Corruption and sport

From: Phil Hanson, Baildon.

AS the media delves into the events surrounding the awarding of the World Athletics Championships and football World Cup, more and more dubious and corrupt practices emerge, yet those involved don’t even blink! The sponsors need to show some integrity and walk away, and only then will the corrupt leave these once dignified sports.