YP Letters: Give Northern Powerhouse Minister a chance

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From: Ross Taggart, Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees.

MAY I take issue with a recent article written by your columnist Jayne Dowle in which she was highly critical of our local MP for Stockton South, James Wharton, who is the Minister for the Northern Powerhouse.

I have no personal connection with him whatsoever, but I do know that he is no toffee-nosed Southerner. He is in fact a local lad whom, I suspect, was given the job of Conservative candidate in the 2010 election because party officials privately didn’t hold out a hope of winning the seat from the Labour incumbent!

In the event he won by a whisker, probably on local issues. For five years he worked tirelessly on those local issues and was duly re-elected with a thumping majority. His reward, it would appear to me, was to be handed something of a poisoned chalice. As a (very) junior Minister responsible for the somewhat ineptly named “Northern Powerhouse” he seems to be on a hiding to nothing. Credit for success will be claimed by more senior politicians. Blame will be laid at his door, not least by Ms Dowle!

Break with tradition

From: Roger Smith, Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire.

YORK Minster was packed for last Tuesday’s service of nine lessons and carols and the music as beautiful as ever but I came away disappointed. On previous occasions tradition has been combined with a personal touch with, for example, the Archbishop inviting the congregation to give the choir a round of applause. This year, without the Archbishop, every word was strictly from the book.

Christmas tradition is wonderful but if all you want is beautiful Christmas music you can find it on Classic FM. The church has to speak of God being born into our messy world and turning it upside down. If the Minster can’t offer a contemporary challenge to a full congregation, then it’s missing its vocation.

Hunting with no bloodshed

From: Mr R Turner, Upper Cumberworth, Huddersfield.

AS Tim Bonner of the Countryside Alliance states (The Yorkshire Post, December 28) the hunts still gather, horses and dogs get a run out, riders enjoy a workout over fences and hedges etc, without the tearing foxes or anything to pieces. Surely most comments would be ‘we’ve had a great day out’.

Why, therefore, does Mr Bonner say the hunting ban is in “tatters” when the exact opposite still applies? This from a countryman. I’m no townie! I love my countryside.

Will UK vote to quit EU?

From: Richard Thomas, Cayton, Scarborough.

WILL David Cameron’s trips around Europe end the same as thta of a previous prime minister by returning with a worthless piece of paper being waved in the air, as the rest of the European leaders treat his efforts as a joke?

Or will the joke be on them when the UK as a whole votes to leave this sinking European mish-mash of unelected jumped-up despots and return to old money. 240 pence to the pound. feet and inches. pounds and ounces. and make Britain great again (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, December 26)?

Drunk on arrogance

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

FINES and points are to be increased for those who drive with a mobile phone clamped to one ear (The Yorkshire Post, December 21). While not drunk, they are intoxicated by their own sense of self-importance.

Using a mobile phone is not simply a poor judgement, it is an arrogant two fingers up to the law and other road users. The failure of politicians to accept this is perhaps understandable – given that quite a few of them have been so convicted.

North Yorkshire has 20 “traffic cops” (their term) to patrol 3,000 miles of road, so the odds against being caught are very favourable. In a recent TV documentary, the TCs spotted a woman in a white Mercedes, with two children in the back, doing 90mph. She was forced to slow down while tail-gating another driver, travelling at a more modest 80. The TCs pulled her over. She made it clear that the law was an ass and that she was capable of judging what was a safe speed. The police and court disagreed, but she’s still on the road!

Even if caught, these dangerous boors live to drive another day and possibly to kill next time. If they do, they will not be charged appropriately, with “manslaughter” but with the mealy-mouthed “causing death”. I wonder if the traffic police sometimes feel some lack of support?

Sick profits

From: David Treacher, Hull.

WE hear about NHS hospitals making large profits from car park charges (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, December 26). It’s not right to charge anyone for parking at a hospital, especially if they are a patient or visitor to see a sick patient.

Patients and visitors should complain to their MP and let the Government know the public wont stand for it.