TWO weeks ago, as part of the campaign for the European Parliament elections, the Yorkshire Party published a leaflet. Prominently placed on the front was an infographic highlighting the shameful disparity in education spending across the country.
As a former primary school teacher, it appalls me to see schools in London receive around £6,800 per pupil per year (in Tower Hamlets this rises to £6,965). Those in Manchester are given £5,281.
Meanwhile, schools in York recieve a paltry £4,163. This chronic underfunding results in schools being overstretched, staff pushed to breaking point and our children losing out.
The Yorkshire Party’s campaign leaflet was delivered to almost one and a half million households across Yorkshire, including the houses of many Conservative Party members, councillors and MPs.
On Monday, Conservative leadership hopeful Boris Johnson wrote that “it is simply not sustainable that funding per pupil should be £6,800 in parts of London and £4,200 in some other parts of the country”.
The inequality of school funding is a campaign many people, including the Yorkshire Party, have been fighting for some time. However, it is noteable that the matter is given prominent place in the launch of the former Foreign Secretary’s leadership bid so soon after it was given a prominent place in the Yorkshire Party’s election campaign.
I didn’t join the Yorkshire Party to be a protest vote. I joined because of a desire to tackle the inequality that plagues our region and a genuine belief that we can make a difference. Ensuring fair education spending so our children are granted the opportunities they deserve is just the first step.
Our vision is for our children to receive a world class education, connect our region with modern and reliable transport infrastructure, address the environmental challenges that threaten us and give a voice to our communities so people across Yorkshire can participate in shaping our future. In short, we seek to build a stronger Yorkshire with a fairer United Kingdom.
Cheap but not cheerful train
From: Mr KG Redshaw, Wentworth Drive, Harrogate.
IN response to ME Wright (The Yorkshire Post, June 1) on Pacer trains. I travelled to school in Leeds from 1945 and subsequently worked with British Rail from 1948 to 1989.
I can certainly confirm that I have never seen any form of train worse than the rail bus. The Springer eventually became the template for future rolling stock.
Although British Rail and the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive had a very good working relationship at the time of Pacer introduction, a choice was put before their political masters, the then West Yorkshire Passenger Authority, and that choice was between a conventional bogie train and the dreaded Pacer which was considerably cheaper,
I leave you to guess which choice they made. Eventually we finished with the existing 142 Pacer which thankfully goes to the scrap yard (apart from three gifted to the communities).
Might I suggest that communities in the London and South-East be offered them so that they can see the “train” from which they have been spared.
Post boxes are iconic, Pacers are not. In terms of Yorkshire devolution and transport spend in the West Yorkshire area, I leave readers to draw their own conclusions.
From: Jarvis Browning, Fadmoor, York.
PARK the Pacers in Chris Grayling’s garden (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, June 1)!
Predators are out of control
From: K Umpleby, Spring Lane, Hutton Wandesley, York.
FURTHER to the letter recently regarding the decline of song birds, the number of magpies and crows is out of control.
Also, why have councils and landowners taken to mowing roadside verges just at the vital time that ground nesting birds and insects use these areas for breeding? Surely the same law that is there for hedge cutting should apply?
The beautiful much-needed wild flowers and grasses are ruthlessly cut down destroying everything – nests, young mice, voles and hedgehogs to name a few, leaving behind unsightly brown debris.
Are these people lacking in understanding of wildlife conservation – or do they just not care?
Why no use bottles again?
From: David Craggs, Shafton Gate, Goldthorpe.
HAVING just squashed, then placed, a large white plastic container into my recycling bin, it got me thinking. The container had held 3675 ml of Persil washing machine liquid. It was now empty, but it was in pristine condition.
Why couldn’t this container be sent back to the Unilever plant where it had been originally filled, refilled, and sent out to the supermarket again, like empty lemonade bottles were when I was a child?
Hopefully it will be processed into something useful, with the worst case scenario being that it ends up in a landfill site somewhere.
From: B Murray, Grenoside Grange Close, Grenoside, Sheffield.
I THINK that the time has come for pensioners to make a small contribution towards their bus fares – some may even be willing to make a donation towards keeping their bus services running in the Dales.