Why I wasn’t bowled over at Headingley

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From: Shaun Riordan, Horsforth, Leeds.

IT is with regret that I write this letter but do so out of necessity in order to raise a number of issues experienced at the recent one-day international at Headingley between England and Sri Lanka.

We arrived at the ground at 10.15am to be greeted by huge queues at the turnstiles. The staff we asked regarding delays and suggestions as to where to go greeted us with blank looks and shoulder shrugs.

We walked all around the ground and saw no sign of any area of improvement so decided to retire to a café until the initial rush had died down. Thankfully, the café had a TV so we were able to see the two Sri Lankan run-outs.

At 11.30am, we returned and successfully got in the ground and took our seats in the main stand. At last we could watch some live cricket.

Part of the day out is to enjoy a few beers, some banter with friends and people seated close by. This proved another challenge. Unfortunately, the staffing levels and the organisation at the bars left a lot to be desired. Again, it took between 40 minutes and a hour just to buy a drink and at lunchtime the bars were closed for two hours.

If the recent events at Headingley continue, Yorkshire CCC will find themselves firmly at the bottom of the list for hosting future international matches.

All in all the day was a thorough disappointment, the enjoyment and atmosphere of previous years has disappeared and I fear it will not return if the voice of the cricketing public is not listened to.

Teachers’ records

From: Geoff Sweeting, Station Road, Wressle, Selby.

WHAT a totally misleading letter from Peter Asquith-Cowen (Yorkshire Post, July 5) in defence of teachers and their pensions.

I’m not sure of his background, but would suggest that it was certainly not in economics. What he and fellow supporters do not understand is that it is the private industry taxpayer that pays for everything that the teacher earns and therefore, his or her pension contributions also.

To accuse the Government of dishonesty is hypocritical at least, and downright misleading.

If the teachers have a pension fund, then let us see the value of it and whether it is in credit or deficit, able to cater for its liabilities or not.

In any case, it is all paid for by the Government, that is, the private industry taxpayer. The Government is the employer and therefore employer contributions are also paid by the taxpayer. The tax and pension contributions that a teacher makes are simply giving the real wealth creators a little of their money back.

As for teachers’ salaries and benefits, if these were evaluated at an hourly rate of pay they would rank amongst the highest in the country.

To briefly mention the undervalued teacher, our country is consistently slipping down the international education league tables, while our greedy teachers go on strike to protect their benefits. What a record to defend!

Priorities in nursing

From: Dr Robert Heys, Bar Lane, Ripponden, Halifax.

the worrying deficiencies in nursing care of the elderly recently revealed by the Care Quality Commission rarely in my experience occurred before registered nurses were largely replaced by degree nurses, many of whom seem to regard duties such as assisting frail patients with food and drink, toilet needs and other “hands on” caring, as outside their remit.

One would therefore expect managers to be encouraging experienced registered nurses, who consider such duties as essential to their caring role, to return to the wards after absences due to child rearing, care of elderly relatives etc.

However, this is certainly not the case in the Yorkshire and Humberside NHS region where “return to nursing” courses (without attending which nurses cannot resume their careers) have been withdrawn – a policy sure to cause continuing shortages of caring nurses in that NHS region.

Home and dry with a dam

From: David Bentley, Pickering.

ANNE McIntosh gives us four options (Yorkshire Post, July 6) regarding the Pickering flood defences, but there is a further one.

Build a dam where the downstream bund was planned, install a hydro-electric generator, and the good burgers of Pickering will have the best of both worlds – dry feet and endless (very cheap) power.

The sizeable reservoir would also be a massive tourist attraction, and the railway line would only require raising by a small amount to clear the dam.

Additional costs would be minimal, provided the Environment Agency were not involved more than absolutely neccessary.

Saturation point for aid

From: BJ Cussons, Curly Hill, Ilkley.

FOR once, our excellent Archbishop of York has got it wrong when he upholds constant aid to Third World countries.

India’s population was 1,173m in 2010, 1,189m in 2011 and projected to be 1,656m in 2050, nearly yet another 50 per cent growth.

This may not affect readers in their lifetime but will affect our children and grandchildren who should be our prime concern.

Sticking plaster attempts to “green” the planet are virually useless if populations continue to expand at these rates.

Someone must address the causes of poverty and deprivation. Aid is a short term solution rapidly reaching its saturation point.

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