Region’s MPs must back clean coal

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From: Ron Firth, Woodgarth Court, Campsall, Doncaster.

IT was good to see your Comment column (Yorkshire Post, December 7) taking the Government to task over its abject failure to support the many schemes within the region to promote renewable energy sources and the highly regarded carbon capture and storage (CCS) scheme at Hatfield Colliery.

Their catastrophic error is compounded by their failure to take up the significant EU funding for CCS which had Hatfield in poll position, leaving the field open for our European competitors to take advantage.

Mr Sumner in his letter (Yorkshire Post, December 7) shows succinctly the great benefits to our future supply of low-carbon energy available from clean coal systems set against the severe limitations, particularly in winter, of onshore wind turbines.

It is all the more galling for us in South Yorkshire, as the Hatfield project is in the constituency of Ed Miliband and the Shadow Energy Secretary, Caroline Flint represents another Doncaster area.

Had these two put their full Parliamentary weight in support of CCS at Hatfield, in support of their electorate, then this debacle may have been avoided. Unfortunately, they have chosen easier targets on which to score party political points.

It may, of course, be the fact that Hatfield is in Ed Miliband’s constituency that Ed Davey ignored its special claims to Government funding and Ed Miliband’s outspoken commitment to wind farms which precludes him from giving more than token support for CCS.

If we are to solve our requirements for a reliable supply of low-carbon energy, then we need to de-carbonise the fossil fuels which, with nuclear, represent the backbone of energy supplies, with offshore wind farms, solar, AD and hydro giving the grid some flexibility, with the possibility of shale gas to follow.

The major power stations in the region are making significant strides to lower their emissions. Politicians of all parties will not, and should not, be forgiven if they fail to support these schemes in the best interests of all their constituents.

Two sides of the Games

From: Bob Crowther, High Street, Crigglestone, Wakefield.

HURRAH to Dr Sentamu for his deliberations regarding the aftermath of the Paralympics, as highlighted in your Editorial (Yorkshire Post, December 8).

While not wishing to denigrate the wonderful achievements of such competitors, I find it rather sad and upsetting that given all the millions of pounds lavished upon the Games, we now find that a section of our disabled people are to be thrown on to the scrapheap of life.

The closure of the Remploy factories is a devastating blow to these people; they were given the opportunity to contribute to the economy and at the same time, provide them with a sense of dignity and respect.

The closure of these factories is nothing new. The closures started many years ago on a “drip, drip” campaign. I had several friends who, many years ago, worked in local factories producing first class clothing for our armed services. These services were slowly hived off abroad to slave labour producers and the UK staff were discarded and the factories closed.

Taking into account the enormous expense of the Olympic Games, what is good for the goose should also be good for the gander.

New role for 
a media star

From: Martin Hickes, High Street, Farsley, Leeds.

WITH reference to the recent Leveson inquiry, it was interesting the other day to see Hugh Grant, on Channel 4, narrating his battle against the Press and his fight for privacy, as part of a special documentary.

In Hugh Grant: Taking on the Tabloids, we effectively had a media organisation (Channel 4) observing a media star (Mr Grant) complaining about the intrusion of the media (the tabloids).

If the new overseeing body which Lord Leveson advocates is to be devoid of newspaper Editors, one wonders who might sit on such a body – and in fact who to trust?

While no-one can justify the extreme actions recently of the tabloids, without a free media to discern who might be fit for such a watchdog role, how can a fettered Press, under the leash of such prospective mandarins, then begin to question the efficacy of such paragons?

In a world where everyone is seemingly seeking the limelight, perhaps a media star should even head such an august body?

Way to better schooling

From: Paul Muller, Woodthorpe Gardens, Sandal, Wakefield.

TRUANCY in Yorkshire is not the fault of parents, teachers or their children. Nor even poverty. It is the fault of the education system in England.

Children have differing rates of physical development, and a very wide range of intellectual progress in early life.

Primary education should start at seven (as on the Continent) not at three and a half to four years of age.

At the end of each year, children must be tested to see if they have understood what has been taught in that year.

The ones that pass the test go up one year. The ones that do not grasp what has been taught in that year repeat the whole or part of the year until they pass the year-end test.

On entering the senior school there will be an age range of three years, but all the children will have the same level of education.

The students will all understand the lessons being taught, and progress happily through school.

If a child doesn’t understand what the teacher is talking 
about in lessons, he/she will 
play truant.