YP Letters: Safety culture feeds epidemic of obesity

From: David Downs, Sandal, Wakefield.

Children at Ten Town Adventure Playground in 1972.

IT was reported on Tuesday that a fifth of children under 11 years old were clinically severely obese.

I then sat down to read The Yorkshire Post, opened Picture Past and saw the nostalgia photo of the “Ten Town Adventure Playground” at Woodthorpe, Sheffield, in 1972.

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What a contrast to today’s approach to health and safety where children are not allowed to play conkers without wearing safety glasses. I looked at the smiles on the children climbing up the precarious pole, the stacked barrels, the slide that would rip the backside out of your pants, the tyres forming a climbing frame and the child climbing a rackety timber ramp.

Is there any wonder that children today have more mental and obesity problems which, in my opinion, stem from our current idiotic health and safety regulations?

Yes, we had accidents in those days resulting in broken bones as we still experience today. We should revert back to the belief at the time of that photograph that a dirty kid is a healthy kid and give the children of today the freedom to exercise in their own way without legal restrictions.

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

YET again we read that Government cuts are responsible for childhood obesity (The Yorkshire Post, May 29).

Rubbish. Children are overweight because their parents allow them to eat foods that make them fat. The Government has no powers to give children or adults self-control.

Church and loneliness

From: Coun Paul Andrews (Ind), The Beeches, Great Habton, York.

COULD I suggest a way to deal with loneliness (Jayne Dowle, The Yorkshire Post, May 28)?

Why not try the local church and join the local church community? It costs nothing: donations and collections are voluntary, and it provides a mutually supportive network for churchgoers. Churches are led by professionals who will listen to people’s concerns and can be trusted not to break confidence.

The church is not just about religion: if you are worried about keeping your teenage children away from drugs and out of trouble, a Christian upbringing may help. The church teaches people to be ‘good neighbours’ and good citizens, to stand up for what is right and to respect each other. It provides a forum for older people to meet and sick people are visited and cared for.

Far from being boring, some of the world’s best stories can be found in the Bible, and are read in services. It is a great pity that the Christian church is in decline in so many parts of the country, but it is not just the church which is going this way. Village stores and post offices have all but disappeared; local pubs are closing everywhere, and in many villages and neighbourhoods the only centre for the community left is the local church. If we don’t use it, we will lose this too – and all the good things which go with it.

Qualifications are welcome

From: Dr Jonathan Tummons, Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the School of Education, Durham University, Leazes Road, Durham.

ANNE Milton MP (The Yorkshire Post, May 29) is to be congratulated for foreseeing the need to reform technical and vocational qualifications.

The investment in T-levels, alongside newer models of apprenticeship, is long overdue, although it will only be through providing a level of investment in awards such as these that is equal to the investment in the academic curriculum, that the technical and vocational education sector can provide meaningful, high-quality alternatives to a university degree.

This investment needs to include appropriate, and mandatory, professional as well as occupational qualifications for teachers and trainers in the sector.

Let us hope that the Government will now allow enough time for these curricular changes to settle in, and eschew the excessive interference in the sector that has characterised much recent education policy from governments of all hues.

No fooling us over transport

From: Granville Stockdale, Hardwick Street, Leeds.

I CONCUR with the stance taken by The Yorkshire Post regarding the antics of Chris Grayling regarding the provision of rail transport (or the lack of it) in the North of England. Grayling clearly believes in the Latin saying Stercus tauri omnia vincit. He is misinformed.

Speed feat so reckless

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.

THERE is a report that a man has driven a car from John O’Groats to Land’s End at an average speed of 90mph. Why am I not surprised by this road traffic offence not being stopped? Simple really, we see fewer and fewer traffic patrol cars to prevent this kind of reckless behaviour.

When will this Government see the light and take action against these speeding idiots?

This county doesn’t exist

From: Terry Wright, Bempton Lane, Flamborough.

ON your report about the drug menace on Yorkshire’ towns, you say that evidence has emerged of multiple county lines operating in North Yorkshire and Humberside (The Yorkshire Post, May 26). No such such county exists. No reference was made at this point to the awfully named Humberside Police. We, by a vast majority, hate the name Humberside.