Axing waste scheme must end cuts

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From: Carl Stitt, Boroughbridge.

FOLLOWING the pulling of the PFI funding for the Allerton Park waste incinerator, there is absolutely no reason why North Yorkshire County Council should have to make extra cuts to its budget or services (Yorkshire Post, February 22).

It has previously been suggested to Coun John Weighell, the council’s leader, that there are alternative methods of dealing with waste other than incineration that cost far less than the Allerton Park plan. He and the staff at NYCC appear to be totally deaf to any such suggestions.

The council has failed to respond adequately to the mounting evidence that the financial model upon which the waste problem was originally put out to tender is fatally flawed.

When adding the withdrawal of the PFI funding to the flawed model, the cost to the taxpayer and consequent reduction of further services is outrageous and must not be allowed.

The incinerator project must be halted immediately and adequate consultation taken with competent parties on the options open to the City of York and NYCC. A failure to do so constitutes negligence in the extreme.

From: Jack Duckworth, Rossett Holt View, Harrogate.

WHAT a surprise to learn that the Government has withdrawn its support for this very expensive and unnecessary PFI scheme. Has common sense woken from its deep slumber?

PFI should be outlawed whenever and wherever it appears. It is a fiscal disaster and it is a mortgage on a national and unaffordable scale.

Denial of justice

From: Kevin M Hogan, Upper Hoyland Road, Hoyland.

South Yorkshire Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright has announced he requires council tax rises to help replace 60 police officers due to retire from the force in 2013-14.

The police nationally are presently permitted to retire or resign, which they utilise so as to bring misconduct proceedings to a complete halt. The House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee wants this loophole blocked.

Here in South Yorkshire our police service has been severely castigated for its role in the 1989 Hillsborough football disaster and also for its involvement in the miners’ picketing at Orgreave coking plant in 1984.

The inquest verdicts of accidental death on 96 fatalities at Hillsborough have been quashed by the Lord Chief Justice. A new investigation has been set up which could lead to fresh verdicts of unlawful killing. Some 164 written statements made by the police were altered and 116 were amended to improve the police version of events.

The Coroner’s Court decided that all 96 deaths had occurred by 3.15pm on April 15, 1989. It has now been determined that 41 persons could have survived beyond that time.

At Orgreave it has been established that about 100 
police statements were 
collusive. Riot charges were dropped.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has 
now stated that more than 2,400 police officers from 20 of our 43 forces are to be investigated by them over the Hillsborough tragedy.

It would be a dreadful denial of justice in both instances if Commissioner Wright permits any of his officers to retire or resign if subject to IPCC or police investigation.

Lack of fuel policy in UK

From: Gordon Smith, Sharow, Ripon.

SO now we know officially. In the next few years our power generators are going to lack capacity, resulting in load shedding or power cuts, and increased costs for everyone using electricity and gas (Bill Carmichael, Yorkshire Post, February 22).

And who is to blame for this situation? The abysmal decision making (or lack of it) by governments of all parties over the last half century. Fifty years ago, I was involved in the sale of industrial coal-fired plants for heating and steam raising, and at that time, it was agreed in our industry that the country lacked a fuel policy, and it still does.

At that time, we had companies who could provide the UK with coal, gas, oil-fired or nuclear power stations, and export them to the rest of the world.

We also had the Central Electricity Generating Board who were responsible for the forward planning and running of our power plants, and the distribution network. If the CEGB was still in place today, with some of our famous engineering companies, we would not be in the situation we now find ourselves where we have a panic situation in that this Government is trying to persuade a foreign supplier to come and build us some generating stations.

The same situation will probably unfold with regard to HS2. The engines and rolling stock will probably come from abroad, supplied by foreign manufacturers where once we were a major force in this industry. The railway track will probably come from a UK steel works but owned by an Indian conglomerate. How did we get into this situation?