Abolish free supermarket parking

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From: Raymond Shaw, Hullen Edge Road, Elland, West Yorkshire.

NEVER far from the headlines is the rising cost of food, unemployment, together with cost of waste disposal, road traffic cost with congestion.

My answer to all these problems is abolish the free car parking which is the most attractive reason for using supermarkets. While the demise of small businesses are creating empty shops in every town, the local authorities make car parking inconvenient and costly, creating a few job opportunities for traffic wardens to conduct their wasp-like activities.

Buying power of supermarkets has not only devastated local shopping centres as well as causing the demise of two of our largest food producers, Northern Foods as well as Premier Label. Anyone in business is aware you can deal with terrorists (some trade unionists) but never with a national retail chain.

Meat, milk, bread and alcohol before duty are basically dirt cheap, retailing now at about 40 times 1939 price multiple against 100 times rise in motor fuel, property prices as well as the minimum wage. This has resulted in supermarkets importing food to out-price our own, which is making meat production unprofitable. Producing dairy products is a way of life, no longer a living.

Another contributing factor is “best by” or “use by” labelling which encourages waste with extravagance. Years ago Walls pork sausages were a household name, produced from waste or swill-fed pigs, which was left over from schools and hospitals, taken at any weight regardless of fat, so profitable that Walls entertained their producers with an annual two-day knees-up in London’s Park Lane every December time of Smithfield Show.

If law made supermarket parking costly, reducing many public parking fees, local production by the local butcher and baker not to mention brewer, would resume with increased local employment largely eliminating all the supermarket pantechnicons which clutter up our motorways transporting goods from one national distribution centre to another.

Stop break up of the NHS

From: Susan Mitchell, Stripe Lane, Hartwith, Harrogate.

I WAS fortunate to have been born after the NHS was formed (post 1947). Had I been born before, I probably would not have survived. It has always been there when I have been ill. I am asthmatic and have been since I was 14 months old; relatively uncommon in the 1950s.

My parents did not have much money so had I have been born before 1947 the drugs necessary to enable me to breathe would have been almost impossible to buy.

Since then I have had major surgery twice for cancer and once the system kicked in I had the necessary life-saving procedures and aftercare.

Unfortunately, our system is under pressure from immigration and abuse from people coming into this country and this is why the Government is being forced to make these changes. They must not be allowed to privatise this institution; the service will be fragmented and the continuity will be broken.

This, most important of organisations, must not be split and farmed out to the lowest bidder. The problem has to be solved at foundation level, I don’t know how, but the NHS must not be split up any more than it already has been. Maybe stricter monitoring of those accessing it for a start. Pay nurses more and GPs less?

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one of more than 150 letters received on the same subject.

India does not need our aid

From: Peter Downs, Director, Industrial Television Ltd, Dinnington.

IT is good to see that pedantry is not yet dead, and that Philip Johnson, in his response (Yorkshire Post, December 10) to my earlier letter, seeks to educate us further with his detailed explanation of the origin of the word charity.

However, in common with many pedants, Mr Johnson has, in his attention to the minutiae, completely missed the point of my letter.

I am not “mean and selfish” and my company supports a number of charitable organisations with a financial contribution each year.

I was not advocating a philosophy of not aiding those less fortunate than us, but questioning the priorities of the UK in sending money to a country not only rich enough to fund both its own nuclear and space programmes, but which has an economy growing at a much faster rate than ours and where a quasi-government organisation defaults on its legal payment obligations.

It is difficult to imagine a scenario where India would send millions of pounds of aid to the UK, should the situation ever be reversed.

If we are to support other nations, let us do it to those less able to help themselves; not to those who may well, in the quite near future threaten our own prosperity and thus subsequently limit our own ability to help the needy both domestically and globally.

Ban on father is way to go

From: Bob Watson, Springfield Road, Baildon.

THERE was a Press report recently concerning a father in America who has been banned by a judge from fathering any more children (he has nine by six women) until he can afford to pay for them.

Perhaps this is something that we should consider in 
this country, rather than seemingly giving an open 
cheque book to those who 
want to continue producing children whether they can afford them or not.

Sadly, personal responsibility appears too often to be no consideration at all for far too many.