YP Letters: Let's celebrate Yorkshire by abolishing divisive boundaries

From: Ian Stevenson, Midland Road, Royston.
Yorkshire Day was a source of civic pride.Yorkshire Day was a source of civic pride.
Yorkshire Day was a source of civic pride.

I MARKED Yorkshire Day by asking everyone to think on that our towns are well known both at home and abroad.

Tiny Haworth and old York, Redcar and Pontefract races, Middlesbrough chemicals, towns with sports venues and longstanding manufacturing industries from Skipton to Sheffield are all nationally important. Furthermore, there is only one town in Britain called Huddersfield, one Harrogate, Wakefield, Doncaster, and so forth. When I hear “Halifax” I do not think of Nova Scotia. Our “Carltons” can be identified by their nearest town.

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In local news reports, there is no value in prologues that introduce Leeds Grand as “a West Yorkshire theatre”, Thirsk as “a North Yorkshire racing venue”, Bridlington as “an East Yorkshire resort” or Experience Barnsley as “a South Yorkshire museum”.

These divisive terms are seldom used in national news and are utterly useless to a home audience. Some of them are obsolete.

After less than 12 years, the disbanded South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire County Councils were replaced in 1986 with local unitary authorities that we have today.

It is now 30 years since my home area was freed from those experimental funding zone authorities – time for some kind of anniversary to mark that liberation, one might think.

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A few organisations are still locked inside their 1980s funding boundaries and they perpetuate a bureaucratic barrier to local authority cooperation, to North-South public transport and to environmental projects.

The Berlin Wall could be physically demolished. How can we demolish the ghost of an experimental administrative division?

I urge you all to break this habit of using the vacuous terms “South Yorkshire” and “West Yorkshire” in your conversation and your mailing addresses – unneeded, if you give a postcode. We can build for tomorrow on the deep heritage of York’s Shire, founded as a kingdom 1,139 years ago.

From: Jonathan Cooper, West Witton.

YOUR continued campaign for fairer funding for Yorkshire is a credit to your newspaper – Monday’s edition will, in time, prove far more effective than 
any Parliamentary speech because of the ineffectiveness of our MPs – but what about devolution?

Surely it is time that our councils embraced the concept of a single elected mayor for the whole of Yorkshire rather than putting this issue on hold?