Now ignore the EU and start dredging our rivers to prevent future flooding

From: Mr V Platt, Cold Bath Road, Harrogate.

The flooding at Snaith last weekend.

I BET that 99.9 per cent of British people are unaware of EU directive “EU Natura 2000 Strategy”, adopted and implemented by the Environment Agency (EA).

This demands that certain parts of the UK have to be allowed to flood in order to encourage wildlife habitats in the interest of biodiversity. Under EU rules, no draining of rivers, dykes, ditches or canals was allowed. They had to be encouraged to silt up.

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At the time Owen Paterson was the Environment Secretary and any request to dredge or clear debris had to be approved and sanctioned by Brussels; residents’ objections had to be ignored.

Network Rail engineers inspect a flooded railway in East Yorkshire.

So come on Boris Johnson, if you really mean business, tell the EU to stick their “EU Natura 2000 Strategy” up one of their silted-up back waters and let us get on with the task of clearing up the mess they’ve created in our beautiful country.

From: John Turley, Dronfield Woodhouse.

PERHAPS Michael Hilder (The Yorkshire Post, March 4) could enlighten us as to which particular piece of EU legislation, or directive, he believes bans dredging.

I worked for the Environment Agency and its predecessor organisations for over 40 years. Dredging rivers was always an operational issue and was never decided by the EU.

This was the scene in Snaith when the floods struck.

No doubt if Britain was to suffer from a plague of locusts, followed by a sudden death of the first born, then Michael Hilder and others would also blame this on the EU.

From: David Craggs, Shafton Gate, Goldthorpe.

WHEN I saw the photograph in The Yorkshire Post of the flood water east of Snaith, I got thinking.

Such expanses are often shallow, maybe about a metre in depth. Let’s assume it was a square kilometre. This would give us a total volume in the region of a million cubic metres. Could a large hole be excavated to accommodate this volume?

I am aware that the hole would eventually fill up and river diversion would no longer be possible, but such a system would give threatened villages vital hours to prepare.

Elbow taps in public toilets

From: Elisabeth Baker, Leeds.

I HAVE believed for a long time that every washbasin tap in a public place should be an elbow tap.

That way, no hands straight from the lavatory would touch the tap to turn it on – and, more importantly, no cleaned hands would need to touch it to turn it off.

The best I can do in such a place is to use a paper towel or similar to turn the tap on and off. The number of people who do not wash their hands appals me, so maybe the publicity about hygiene will serve to persuade them otherwise. If so, the panic will have served some useful purpose.

Incidentally, I have tried to use the touch screen at my local surgery with a surgical glove so as not to have to touch the screen with my finger. It did not work.

From: Jeff Coupe, Bawtry, Doncaster.

THE decision by airlines to cancel flights from mid-March displays no consideration for passengers who have booked seats.

Seats for the early March flights have already been paid for and cannot be cancelled, so airlines are happy to hold on to this revenue in the knowledge that all the passengers involved will be requested to self-isolate on their return to the UK.

This cynical approach towards passengers demonstrates that “customer care” has been abandoned en bloc.

From: John E Dodd, Doncaster.

BEARING in mind the coronavirus outbreak, should not we be celebrating the demise of red phone boxes (Neil McNicholas, The Yorkshire Post, February 29)? The transmission of infectious disease was highly increased by their use – especially as anyone having symptoms would more than likely have used one to call the doctor.

Mandarins – follow orders

From: Peter Rickaby, Selby.

THE problem with our “elite” clique of mandarins in Whitehall is they all appear self-satisfied, self-opinionated and well-paid with excellent pensions.

Their way of life is cossetted and cocooned. For the past three years they have all contrived to thwart the will of the people over Brexit.

Now we have a Government with real power, they are acting like children denied access to the school “tuck shop” – as evidenced by Priti Patel’s difficulties at the Home Office. If they are not prepared to follow instructions, they should be sacked without compensation.

Miliband and coal mining

From: Dave Daniels, Crompton Avenue, Doncaster.

MARGARET Thatcher is often accused of destroying the mining industry. No, it was Ed Miliband who, by slapping tariffs on coal, made it uneconomic and that saw the end of mining with the closure of Hatfield and Kellingley collieries.