Don’t make us watch TV from Lancashire

From: Geoffrey Bayley, Stoneswood Road, Delph, Saddleworth.

SOME of the most loyal and vociferous supporters of the County of Yorkshire live in the periphery of the county, particularly those such as Saddleworth (West Riding of Yorkshire), which for local government purposes, are attached to unitary authorities outside Yorkshire.

Those who live on the periphery of our county should be ever vigilant. There are still those who attempt to deny us our culture, heritage and identity. There have even been instances reported of children who attend school in Saddleworth, being told “that Saddleworth is in Lancashire”, (clearly some teacher re-training required!)

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I am not sorry to hear of the demise of the inappropriately named, “Yorkshire Forward”, as it apparently never promoted the whole of Yorkshire, and even worse, represented part of Lincolnshire. How bizarre!

Many residents of Saddleworth do their shopping in Huddersfield or Leeds, avoiding Oldham whenever practicable, and would like more appropriate representation by the main TV channels of BBC and ITV.

The topography of the area prevents most residents of Saddleworth from receiving Yorkshire transmissions from Emley Moor. We have to make do with Manchester (North West) and Granadaland.

However, with the introduction of digital TV and Freeview, I notice that during sports programmes, pressing the “red button” on the TV remote control enables access to additional sporting events. It should be possible for this technology to be used such that a choice of regional programmes be made available to communities located on the fringes of the “regions”.

It is possible to receive other “regional” programmes via a free to air sat box, but not via a free sat box, once the viewer’s post code has been entered.

So come on BBC and ITV, we in Saddleworth, have been denied access to Yorkshire-based TV for too many decades.

Parking ‘hero’ sickened me

From: Norman J Hazell, Woolgreaves Drive, Sandal, Wakefield.

WHEN I went to the annual meeting of Yorkshire County Cricket Club last Saturday at Headingley, I was aware that there is an everlasting problem of parking and it must be a nuisance for residents on match days.

I drove round carefully, eventually finding what I assumed to be a “safe spot” in a quiet road with just four or five cars parked, widely spaced. No sign of the dreaded yellow lines, so I chose a spot for my car, causing no obstruction.

I locked it and walked down to the ground for the meeting. I suppose it would be two hours later before returning, to find a Leeds City notice stuck on my windscreen, notifying me I was now invited to contribute (£70) half of my weekly pension to the city coffers.

Looking around, I spotted a small notice – Permit Holders Only – high up on a lamppost, but what really sickened me was the time of my offence, 9.27am.

That must have been seconds after I left my car, so presumably the enforcement officer had watched me arrive, then rather than think to offer a word of advice to an octogenarian (nearly). What a hero! I bet he must have felt great as he clicked away, watching me walk slowly away.

In future, I’ll keep my car well away from Leeds after this, my first offence in over 60 years of motoring.

It’s wrong to tax charities

From: Eamon McNicholas, Barrister, Temple Tax Chambers, London.

I READ with interest MP Nic Dakin’s article (Yorkshire Post, March 15) “In the Big Society, hospices should not face this tax blow”.

It is wrong for the Government to take advantage of public generosity to charities in this way.

The Government, as part of its new healthcare changes, wants to get charities and voluntary groups to provide some kinds of healthcare, like hospices, that would normally be carried out by the NHS. The tax problem is that while the NHS and government bodies can claim back the VAT they pay out, charities and voluntary groups doing exactly the same cannot.

This means a charity will have to provide healthcare for the same, or less, money but then have to pay tax on top of it in the form of lost VAT which it cannot get back.

The money to pay for that of course comes from the public, while the Treasury makes money out of the tax loophole.

This is why I support Mr Dakin’s solution. It would put charities and voluntary groups in the healthcare sector on the same footing as an NHS organisation doing the same work. That way charities and voluntary groups are not taken advantage of by having to pay wasted VAT from scarce resources and the Government does not make a profit at their expense.

Why should English pay?

From: Harold Laycock, Sunnybank Avenue, Mirfield.

REGARDINg increased university tuition fees for English students, despite their pre-election promises the Liberal Democrats have supported this increase in fees, leaving future students with massive debts.

English students will pay more than citizens from any other EU country, including Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Brussels is not thought to have sufficient powers to stand up for English students as England is only a constituent part of the UK, its students are not officially “an EU nation”.

The English are the only citizens of the European Union who can be treated apparently differentially, to their detriment.