From: Karl Sheridan, Old Lea, Holme upon Spalding Moor.
THE disclosure that Santander is closing even more branches is appalling (Jayne Dowle, The Yorkshire Post, January 28). My ‘local’ branch at Goole is to close, but even that branch is a good half an hour away from me, yet Santander suggested in their notification letter that I might use their Scunthorpe or Doncaster branches as an alternative – a 45-minute drive each way. I think not!
This, however, is typical of the new trend of banks to force us ‘oldies’ to use the internet to bank, meaning that the banks save money both on staff and premises. That might be fine from their point of view, but many of us don’t wish to use the internet to bank; in fact a third of the nation prefer face-to-face contact and not via a website that is more like an obstacle course and with the risk of IT failure that is so common lately.
I have actually written to Santander HQ and told them what I think of them and that offering an all-round service is what counts, I also informed them that when the Goole branch closes I shall transfer my bank accounts to another nearby bank with a local high street outlet, and a British one to boot.
What many banks fail to realise is that not all of us have access to the internet, many older folk unable to afford the astronomical cost of line rental and broadband. Many prefer to deal with a real person and not struggle with obstacle-ridden websites – or alternatively in some cases a faceless wonder at the end of a phone-line.
Maybe if Santander stopped sponsoring overpaid racing drivers they wouldn’t need to close so many branches.
From: David Turner Rhodes, Back Lane, Ripley, Harrogate.
IN response to your high street series (The Yorkshire Post, January 26), might I draw your attention to another article in The Yorkshire Post last year on the scheme/report by the Federation of Master Builders advocating Homes on our High Street.
I am now a retired architect, but from 1990 to 2005 I was the Head of Conservation and Design at Harrogate Borough Council. In those days the threat was from the major large edge of town retail stores and we led a ‘Living over the shop’ scheme in Knaresborough, Ripon and Harrogate.
In short, we managed to create between 30 and 50 new dwellings above and behind derelict shops and other town centre property.
Today the threats are to the main retail stores (from Aldi and Lidl) and more serious ongoing internet shopping is impacting town centres and out of town shopping.
The Government needs to help local authorities to get people living in the heart of our derelict properties, along with start-up studios, workshops and offices.
From: Jarvis Browning, Main Street, Fadmoor, York.
ALL the town shops could be well filled if the owners set a sensible price for the rents due. Shops will stand empty if you impose city rates in a small market town.
The more shops that are filled and used, surely that would generate a good return for everybody involved?
Free parking would help too, like they do in Malton and partly free in Thirsk. In Helmsley, there is a miserable 20 minutes slot, which leaves you just 15 minutes by the time you’ve collected your ticket and back to your car to place the ticket in the windscreen, then a quick dash round as long as there isn’t a queue anywhere.
Police need public contact
From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.
THE Police Federation is so right when it says the police need boots on the ground (The Yorkshire Post, January 25).
How on earth can the police be expected to operate efficiently when they no longer have contact with the public?
We always operated on the principle of ‘walk and talk’. It was surprising the amount of information was gained by listening to the people we met on the beat.
Detectives used to visit pubs, have a drink and listen to the chat going on – they gained information that way.
As a country bobby, I used to patrol my patch and call at farms and chat to farmers who would keep me up to date on rural matters. I actually made arrests as a result of such visits.
Contact with the public, which is vital, has been lost simply because the current officers have no time to do anything but record incidents and crimes. They even fail to do that on occasions. With 20,000 officers lost, we have reduced the efficiency of our own admired forces.
Don’t exempt the care sector
From: John Riseley, Harcourt Drive, Harrogate.
CAROLINE Abrahams of Age UK (The Yorkshire Post, January 25) seeks an exemption for some EU nationals from the planned exclusion of new migrants from jobs paying less than £30,000 per year so as not to exacerbate the shortage of care workers.
There is, however, a reason for this shortage: the pay and conditions being offered are not sufficiently attractive to British workers. What Ms Abrahams is asking for is a continued supply of cheap foreign labour to keep pay in this sector depressed.
The Migration Advisory Committee is eminently sensible in proposing a lower limit on migrant pay. It is not in the public interest to draw in yet more workers whose pay will need topping up through the benefits system, however much employers may crave them.
Answers on a postcard
From: Granville Stockdale, Hardwick Street, Hull.
JUST a thought after receiving one of the prints by Yorkshire artists – why not produce a series of postcards showcasing the work of The Yorkshire Post’s photographers? This will get people to write, instead of using email, and also bring Yorkshire, and the newspaper, to a wider audience. Any good?