From: Air Vice-Marshal David Murray, Chief Executive, RAF Benevolent Fund.
LAST month’s vandalism at the Bomber Command Memorial highlighted the very worst and the very best of our communities. I cannot thank your readers enough for their incredible support in the wake of this shocking paint attack.
To date we have received more than £25,000 in donations to help the RAF Benevolent Fund meet the repair bill. Repair works have now been completed on the memorial and it is now returned to its former glory.
As well as the donations received, the RAF Benevolent Fund had thousands of messages of support from around the world. It was heart-warming to see how well the memorial, the veterans and the 55,573 men it stands to represent are thought of.
We must never forget their sacrifices and the RAF Benevolent Fund is proud to be the guardian of this tribute to their legacy, for generations to come.
As the fund enters its 100th year of support for the RAF family, we must not forget those veterans who are still with us. Our aim this year is to ask for the public’s help in reaching more of these veterans and their families, while we still can.
Our support could help pay for the care costs of an RAF widow, or provide for mobility aids to keep an elderly veteran at home, or simply allow a veteran to enjoy his retirement in dignity and comfort, through a regular financial grant. Put simply, the RAF Benevolent Fund looks after the RAF family. If you know someone in need of support, contact our free support line 0800 169 2942 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wrong site for development
From: Rachael Maskell, Labour MP for York Central.
SIR David Attenborough has urged me to try and stop the proposed housing development adjacent to Askham Bog.
Having already met with the Wildlife Trust, there are many sites across York where development can take place. However any alterations to the environment surrounding the bog will have serious consequences for this Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Askham Bog is a favourite place for so many of us to visit and hosts some unique species. Changes in our climate are already impacting the site, but it is clear that any changes in the way the water flows could have a further detrimental impact on the bog. Once it has gone, we will not be able to get it back.
Even with the housing developers seeking to put water diversions into their plans, this development will still have a negative impact. Domestic animals near the site will also change its character.
York urgently needs affordable and social housing, however this Tory/Lib Dem Council is set on building the wrong kind of housing in all the wrong places. When you have such a renowned expert calling for a moratorium on this planning development on this site, those making the decision must heed such wisdom and evidence and reject this plan.
Helpful way to cut crime
From: Shaun Kavanagh, Leeds.
POLICE use of facial recognition technology should be introduced nationally as soon as possible if it is considered to be successful.
There are too many do-gooders in society who bleat about anything. If technology is available to enhance law and order, then it is a no-brainer and should be utilised.
Law and order is in decline so any system which reduces criminality must be welcomed. As a retired police officer, I have to say the UK will never be in a situation whereby it becomes a police state. Those who fear such an introduction should keep looking over their shoulder.
Slow to act over FGM
From: Otto Inglis, Inveralmond Grove, Edinburgh.
WHILST the news that Britain has had its first successful prosecution for female genital mutilation is encouraging, it does raise very uncomfortable questions.
Why has it taken so long for us to have a successful prosecution? By contrast, France has managed to successfully prosecute over a hundred individuals for FGM over the last 30 years.
Female genital mutilation is a hangover from the worst forms of slavery. Will our politicians continue to drag their feet over ending it, the same way they dragged their feet for decades over the grooming gangs?
Library needs refurbishing
From: Matthew Smith, Hillsborough, Sheffield.
SHEFFIELD needs to do more to preserve its heritage in the city centre and elsewhere. I miss the hustle and bustle of the thriving Castle Market. It is appalling that so much effort has gone into rebuilding tracts of the city centre at the top of the Moor whilst much more important concerns such as refurbishing Central Library and finding a use for the Old Town Hall are being neglected.
The council should at least attempt to get funding to refurbish Central Library.
A political turn-off
From: Andrew Cliffe, Sandal, Wakefield.
IN these troubled times it was comforting to watch the live TV coverage of the House of Commons on Monday evening, when our elected representatives could once again demonstrate that they collectively have their fingers on the pulse and live in the real world.
The debate was on the subject of sport in the UK. While Premier League football was being discussed the Shadow Minister of Sport said “To any supporters watching...” It was at this point I switched off.