GO on, it’s Christmas, let your imagination run away with you.
As I recently stood within the remains of the old Derwent village, effectively by the side of the River Derwent, I began to picture what it would have been like back in the 1930s.
Undoubtedly, it would have been a very depressing time, made worse by a war with Germany looming.
Trying to picture the scene, I construed a country lane following the river down to the village of Ashopton with its church and steeple. Then the lane would branch out for Sheffield, Manchester and Bamford. Then would come many construction workers and the Ashopton bridge and both the dams of Derwent and Ladybower, the one which would eventually ensure the submerging of their properties.
The best people, in my opinion, to understand ‘‘Derwent’s plight’’ are those now affected by HS2. But what if the dam(s) had not been built? Wouldn’t the Derwent Valley today still be as popular? Could the training of Lancaster bomber pilots have made a difference? By my reckoning, the Derwent Dam was built just in time to support the Dambusters’ preparations.
Support our high streets
From: Steve Crees, Wakefield.
THESE are difficult days for traders on the high street, with expensive rents and also with online competition.
I accept you can’t always get what you want locally, but if you can help local businesses, we should do our best to support them. We have seen a lot of money being invested on the renovation of town centre shops.
We have also seen money being spent on reviving some of the local pubs in the town centre.
As local people, we need to get behind the business community, and “keep your pound local”.
Problems of attitudes
From: Gillian Heard, Leeds.
NEGATIVE attitudes towards disabled children and their families are a blight on our society that needs to be challenged.
As a local resident, I’m encouraging my neighbours to sign up to the charity Scope’s campaign on this issue.
Three-quarters of parents of disabled children across the country say they have experienced negative comments from the public when they go out with their child.
Negative attitudes and inadequate support leave families feeling judged and isolated. Now is the time for a new Minister for Disabled Children and their families who can lead Government thinking in how to tackle negative attitudes.
Raise road tax on 4x4s
From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.
THERE is much talk about reducing our carbon footprint. This of course is an impossible dream. Cars are getting bigger and we often see massive 4x4 vehicles struggling to get through our overcrowded streets.
Parents cannot let their little darlings walk more than a few yards to school even though, in many cases, it would be good for the child. It would be far better if the Government was to impose a much higher rate of road tax on these Chelsea tractors, and which have become status symbols.
Bring back polytechnics
From: Coun Tim Mickleburgh (Lab), Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.
I AM pleased that there are plans for those who failed to get three Grade Ds at A-Level not to receive so much financial support to go to university.
Sadly many students have been conned into thinking that a BA (Hons) degree is the same, whether obtained at Oxbridge or a former college of education. It most certainly is not, and alumni of the latter will struggle to get a graduate entry job and wonder what was the point of their three years of post-18 study.
We should convert some of our institutions back into polytechnics, and make them concentrate on the practical subjects that would be more use to the workplace.
Action needed on drug gangs
From: PL Taylor, Milner Street, Lockwood, Huddersfield.
WHAT is Theresa May’s pathetic Government doing about drug gangs? A competent and capable Cabinet Minister should be put in charge of this issue immediately.
Those people responsible for this atrocious national situation should receive the heaviest penalties such as life imprisonment. I used to be a great admirer of Mrs May. This admiration is now very much eroded. This country is now travelling in reverse.
Strange logic of new vote
From: Peter Bye, Park Crescent, Addingham.
I FIND it hard to understand the logic behind the idea that if there is a difference of four per cent or less in the result of the Brexit referendum, then the vote should be taken again. If that were the case in Parliament, there would certainly have been some weird decisions made over the years.
Time to give
From: Ruthven Urquhart, High Hunsley, Cottingham.
THE greatest gift we can give at Christmas is our time – especially to those who are alone and/or lonely.