Ideal man to be ‘Boris of the North’

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From: Gerald Hodgson, Spennithorne, Leyburn.

YOU recently ran the headline “Boris of the North needed to close gap with the South” highlighting the need for a charismatic personality to bang the drum for the North 
of England (Yorkshire Post, January 2).

The man with the right credentials is here in Yorkshire and demonstrating his phenominal ability to make things happen. I am refering to Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, whose impact is illustrated by his achievement in getting Le Grand Départ of the Tour de France to Yorkshire in the teeth of government pressure to steer it to Scotland.

Gary Verity has a remarkable CV of achievement having been CEO of Prontaprint and of Johnsons Cleaners and a director of the Bradford & Bingley Building Society when it was an institution to be proud of. In two years there he turned round the property services division from four years of losses to profit and successful sale. This is a man with a track record of success.

I am sure Gary Verity is looking forward to seeing Le Grand Départ through to the success I am sure it will be. After that, I suggest he has won the right to a bigger stage and I would like to see the day when the name “Gary” is as familiar to the nation as “Boris”.

From: Richard Thomas, Brackenthwaite Lane, North Rigton, Harrogate.

IN December, I attended a concert in Leeds Town Hall by the Orchestra of Opera North. This was subsequently given a five star review by David Denton (the same concert in Huddersfield).

Having attended some fantastic concerts in Leeds Town Hall over the past 50 years or so, I reflected on the growh and maturity of the Opera North Orchestra, surely now in the “premier division” nationally.

I only recently came to appreciate that The Northern Sinfonia, based in Gateshead, had achieved Royal status from Her Majesty the Queen.

With fine performances by Opera North and its orchestra in Leeds and elsewhere in the North, is it not time that we had the Royal Opera North?

I am sure this proposal would receive wide support in the region, including that of the likes of Patricia, Lady Harewood, the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dame Fanny Waterman, the City of Leeds, not forgetting Gary Verity and many others.

From: David T Craggs, Shafton Gate, Goldthorpe, Rotherham.

AS I’m sure all your readers are aware, your paper has more than its fair share of “experts” who are quite prepared to tell the rest of us how we should speak and write the English language.

It has therefore surprised me that not one has commented on a mistake that your paper makes every time it displays an article about the start of the Tour de France in our area.

Surely the start should be described as ‘The Grand Depart’ (English) or Le Grand Départ (French), but surely not ‘The Grand Départ’ (a sort of mixture of the two).

Or am I just being picky like some of your other correspondents?

MP has form over gambling

From: David Hinchliffe, Former MP for Wakefield.

The Conservative MP for Shipley, Philip Davies, mounted the strongest possible defence of bookmakers in his article “Dispelling the myths about gambling” (Yorkshire Post, January 11).

The current House of Commons Register of Members’ Interests indicates that he has taken considerable time and trouble to research his subject.

It records that, during 2013, 
Mr Davies accepted hospitality from Coral to the value of £1,200 at Cheltenham Races, Royal Ascot and Sandown Races. It records him receiving hospitality from Channel 4 at Aintree Races to the value of £458 and from Ladbrokes at Ascot and Doncaster Races to the value of £900.

I am sure such hospitality in no way influences Mr Davies’s views on gambling but it might have been helpful to inform your readers of it.

Divisive figure for local party

From: RM Robinson, Sutton.

OVER the past few months I have received various missives for or against selecting Anne McIntosh MP as the candidate for Thirsk and Malton at the General Election. I have a sense of déja vu in that this is a re-run of the attempt at de-selection before the last General Election.

Anne was re-selected and the executive was replaced with her supporters. As a consequence of her re-selection, and possibly disenchantment with the present Government, many loyal members cancelled their subscriptions and played no further part in the Association.

I am wondering, therefore, what lessons Anne has not learned from the fact that 11 chairmen have been unable to work with her, and what it is that is driving her to attempt to cling on as the Member of Parliament in the teeth of opposition?

Whatever happens as a result of the ballot, there will be a lot of ill-feeling and division in the constituency.

I also wonder what kind of democratic organisation I have been supporting for over 60 years when the governing body can deny an open and frank discussion of the issues.

Best place 
for Vaughan

From: David Cheesbrough, Northfield Lane, Horbury, Wakefield.

OVER the years, I have enjoyed having Test Match Special (TMS) on in the background, but alas, that enjoyment is diminishing (Tom Richmond, Yorkshire Post, January 11).

The main reason for that diminution in interest is because in my humble opinion, the standard of broadcasting has reduced.

In particular, my ‘bête noir’ is Michael Vaughan.

He gives the distinct impression that he is talking to a group of people who have spent much of their time in the pub.

I would suggest that he be 
used more sparingly on 
TMS, adding his undoubted technical expertise, but if he 
must be heard more (is that 
really necessary?) then 
he would be confined to 
Radio Five Live, along with 
Phil Tufnell.