Fuel hikes add further strain to families

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From: Rob Tolan, head of policy and research, Elizabeth Finn Care, Shepherds Bush Road, London.

GIVEN the irresponsible track record of the energy companies, who charge extortionate prices whilst ensuring record profits for themselves, the fact that Britons are facing a “postcode lottery” when it comes to fuel prices is, sadly, unsurprising (Ros Altmann, Yorkshire Post, October 21).

In fact, we will be launching our own poverty fuel map in early November, into which the public will be able to tweet in their fuel price rises in order to plot the disturbing reality of this “postcode lottery”.

As a national charity helping people in financial need, we see first hand the devastating effect a hike in fuel prices can have on already struggling families.

Sixty per cent of the people we have helped say that before they came to us they had not been able to keep up with bill payments, and over half say they had been forced to miss one of their recommended three meals a day.

People are choosing between heating and eating, and in a modern, affluent society this is unacceptable.

It is time that greater pressure was brought to bear on power giants in resect to their support for the most vulnerable.

People are not just being stung by hikes in energy bills: on top of this food costs are soaring, petrol prices are rocketing, incomes are falling and unemployment is rising.

The odds are being stacked heavily against more and more people and those with limited incomes, or who have additional needs dues to ill-health or disability, are being bit hardest.

As millions of people anxiously hold their breath in fear of the arrival of their heating bills, they wonder whether they be able to find the money to pay them?

For too many, the answer is sadly “no”.

Too many reps

From: Tim Hunter, Farfield Avenue, Knaresborough.

I RESPOND to the comments made by Mr Davies (Yorkshire Post, October 24) regarding my letter on the size of the Westminster legislature.

Of course I understand there are state legislatures in the US as well. However, I was referring to national representatives that determine overall domestic and international policy for a country.

The UK clearly has too many representatives at a national level.

It’s worth mentioning, of course, that the UK also has an unnecessary level of supra national representation through its MEPs.

However, even looking at an individual US state, we are comparatively overburdened, democratically speaking. For instance, California has 53 Representatives and two senators in Washington. At a state level they have 40 senators and 80 assembly members.

That’s still only 175 representatives for 37 million people.

A reel shame

From: Bob Watson, Springfield Road, Baildon.

MANY Bradfordians still live in hope that our Odeon Cinema building will be retained and refurbished, to provide additional much-needed facilities for our city, and, at the same time, provide a superb backdrop to the new City Park.

The proposed New Victoria Place replacement, totally characterless, is simply not wanted.

However, perhaps the new Odeon will then show a film entitled “Carry on Bradford”, although maybe no-one would believe a plot showing:

The Council allowing the destruction of a shopping centre without obtaining a cast-iron guarantee of its replacement within a laid-down timescale.

A flawed consultation about the Odeon without giving the option of retention, nor indeed taking any notice of the outcome of that consultation.

A proposal for a canal from Shipley to Bradford, including the installation of 12 locks, making one wonder why anyone would want to use it, and for what.

Another flawed consultation regarding the City Park that gave no ability to say no to the proposal.

So it goes on. A make-believe film? If only! This is, of course, Bradford that we are talking about!

Double trouble

From: Gordon Bray, Grange Road, Golcar, Huddersfield.

YOUR article regarding Section 106 agreements between developers and local councils leads one to question the legality of such deals (Yorkshire Post, October 22).

If a manufacturer were to approach a buyer of another company and say “If you place an order with my company for, say, £1m there will be a little brown envelope on your desk with £1,000 in crisp new £20 notes just for you”, this would be classed as bribery and corruption.

If a developer approaches a council and says “If you give me permission to build 200 houses on this bit of greenbelt land, I will build you a community centre for nothing”, this would be called a Section 106 agreement.

Are we not entering the world of double standards here?

In a similar vein our so called defence industry goes all out to sell arms abroad to anyone who wants them for “defence” purposes but if someone else was to do this we would accuse them of gun running.