August 17: Time to make the case for more arts funding

From: Michelle Dickson, Arts Council England.

YOUR coverage (The Yorkshire Post, August 8) implies that Yorkshire receives less funding from the Arts Council because we are based in London. We have nine offices across England including three in the North and I wanted to work for the organisation because I’d be based in Yorkshire, working with a huge array of arts and cultural organisations who are creating and sharing brilliant experiences for people of all ages in all sorts of places.

Yorkshire deserves to have world-class theatre, dance, music, outdoor arts, literature, galleries and museums, and it does. We fund larger organisations like Opera North and Northern Ballet, who you quote in your piece, and who tour in Leeds as well as nationally and internationally. There are fantastic theatres in our cities and festivals across the county including the wonderful Yorkshire Festival, which returns in 2016. And, of course, there is our £3m investment in Hull’s year as City of Culture in 2017.

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The job in hand is to make the case for more funding for arts and culture on a national basis – from central Government, and for people’s benefit, wherever they live – and we’ll continue to work closely with local and national Government to do so.

Medics cannot run hospitals

From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.

THE idea that doctors and nurses would do a better job at running hospitals than professional administrators is frequently put forward – even by those who should know better – as the answer to the woes and inefficiencies of the NHS.

It is, of course utter nonsense. During my time as a governor of an NHS Trust, I realised quite early on that running a modern NHS hospital is a hideously complicated full time job for people with the necessary business experience. You shouldn’t ask a doctor (at any level of seniority) to shoulder the multitudinous burdens involved, any more than you would be happy for a clinically unqualified hospital manager to take out your appendix or deliver your baby.

Foisting the job of administration on to clinicians would be a horrendous waste of doctors’ and nurses’ clinical skills. And, to give them credit, most would say that their primary concern was for patients, not paperwork and they wouldn’t want the job anyway.

Cameron’s broken pledges

From: Dave Croucher, Pinfold Gardens, Doncaster.

SURPRISE, surprise. For a couple of years before the election, the Government was declaring week after week that unemployment was dropping. What a shock then that just three months after the Conservatives get back into power, the number of people unemployed rises by 25,000 (The Yorkshire Post, August 13).

After David Cameron promised a crackdown on illegal immigrants, there appears to be more and more piling into the country in foreign-registered trucks. It has changed from the odd couple getting in as stowaways on vehicles to double figures being shipped in containers and trucks.

If Cameron & Co stay in office for too long, there will be standing room only in the UK and Europe will still dictating what we can and can’t do.

Laughable sentence

From: Arthur Strickson, Wrelton, Pickering.

AN attractive young woman is disfigured for life by a drunken man (The Yorkshire Post, August 12). He is taken to court on a charge of grievous bodily harm. The man is “sentenced” to one year imprisonment suspended for one year. If this was not so serious, the so-called sentence would be laughable.

I ask one question. If this unfortunate lady had been a relative or friend of the judge, would he and his family have been satisfied with the sentence?

Good reason to back Corbyn

From: Dai Woosnam, Woodrow Park, Scartho, Grimsby.

JEREMY Corbyn looks set to get the Labour Party leadership. And no guesses as to which duo are bad-mouthing him at every opportunity?

Not surprising Tony Blair and his enforcer Alastair Campbell feel the way they do: Jeremy Corbyn is the only one of the candidates for the leadership who has said that he would like to see Blair face trial over Iraq.

And that in itself is enough to almost make we want to join the Labour Party to vote for him. The thought of a handcuffed Blair – like his partner-in-crime Milosevic – being helicoptered into The Hague at dead of night, is indeed a glorious prospect.

Legitimate concerns

From: Peter Hyde, Kendale View, Driffield.

ONCE again, the Government is trying to ride roughshod over the wishes of the people when it warns locally elected councils not to delay fracking applications (The Yorkshire Post, August 13).

The fear of pollution of water supplies and the real risk of minor earthquakes is bound to unsettle people who live near proposed fracking sites. Should profit be put first until all the concerns of local people have been answered? I think not.