I’M not the only person who thought highly of Dales councillor John Blackie. He was a figure who many people, including myself, looked up to and respected dearly.
When I first started out on my Save the Friarage Hospital Campaign, he was the first one I knew I could turn to for advice and support, although he had his own health problems to contend with he gave me as much help and encouragement as he could and was always on hand to help.
I am speaking for many people that he came into contact with, he was a man of his word and always put his money where his mouth was, and has now left a void that will be nigh-on impossible to fill. He was on so many committees for his constituency of Upper Wensleydale and for the people of North Yorkshire as a whole that I would need a book to list them all.
Even though we hadn’t known each other that long, he definitely left his mark on me and all who came into contact with him either face to face or via email. It almost seems fitting that he died in the Friarage Hospital, a hospital that was very close to his heart and for which he had fought for tooth and nail.
There will never be a man as full of zest, passion and determination as John was and the Yorkshire Dales will be a poorer place without him in it.
My thoughts are with Jill and his children and grandchildren and we must continue to fight for the Friarage Hospital and all it stands for in his honour.
Loan charge defies logic
From: John Senior, Skelmanthorpe.
WHEN I taught A-level physics, I told my pupils that, if anyone, however eminent, tried to get them to invest in a perpetual motion device, they would cause them to melt away if they whispered the words “second law of thermodynamics” to them.
If someone had come to me and said that, instead of paying me a salary, they were going to give me a loan which was interest-free, which I wouldn’t have to repay and, by the way, would greatly reduce my tax, I would not have believed them.
While not quite in the category of a perpetual motion machine it does rather smack of ‘cold fusion’.
I do not feel qualified to comment on the legality or ethics of what HMRC are doing with regard to the Loan Charge but, as someone who has always been subject to PAYE, I do wonder, that if this scheme has been in use since 1999, what on earth were the Treasury and the Inland Revenue doing not to question it very much earlier.
Lessons from North East
From: Julie Ward, Harrogate.
I WANTED to tell you about our visit to Tynemouth. This area was once all colliery work-based and has had to re-invent itself.
The main high street did not have any empty premises or charity shops. Apart from a small Subway and a Co-op, every other shop was an independent concern. A really wide variety of shops and eating/drinking establishments, mixed with free park and ride, seemed to attract the crowds.
Why don’t Councillor Richard Cooper et al take a trip up to Sunderland and the surrounding areas and get a feel for what could be done for Harrogate?
Schools and a four-day week
From: David Horncastle, Bessacarr, Doncaster.
I WRITE in response to letters regarding schools finishing at Friday lunchtime. If Friday afternoon is unproductive, then it will only force the problem back on to Friday morning.
So why not a four-day week? Schools currently finish around 3pm. How does all this square with preparing children for the world of work?
No need to insult Meghan
From: John E Dodd, Belton, Doncaster.
IN response to Jayne Dowle (The Yorkshire Post, July 11) on the hypocrisy of the Duchess of Sussex, no one knows how they would have acted or would have been required to act if they had been drawn into a lifestyle different to their own. Fair criticism of the system is to be admired, personal insults are not.
From: Jim Howbridge, Marton Road, Bridlington.
BRIDLINGTON a backwater – surely not? No television signal, no digital radio signal worth listening to and no mobile phone signal in many areas. I have written to my MP about this but no reply came either.
There is one consolation. If our Government can’t transmit to us, we might stop hearing the usual excuses.
From: John Courtney BA (Hons), North Street, Wetherby.
AVOID leaving higher education with a crippling debt by simply dropping out to begin a career as a supermarket checkout operative.
After all, it would probably still be the only job available even if you do graduate with a degree in advanced philosophy...