Practicalities of politics at street-level

From: Peter Horton, Sandy Lane, Ripon.

Andrew Vine’s article on election canvassers (The Yorkshire Post, February 24) makes the point that our elected representatives are only seen when seeking votes.

While this is largely true, I would like to point out a few facts about elections.

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As a county councillor in North Yorkshire I represent an area where there are 6,131 registered electors living in 3,303 properties – and this is only a fraction of the numbers represented by each Member of Parliament.

To visit and speak to each voter, taking only say three minutes for each doorstep, would amount to 165 hours. At a rate of three hours canvassing each evening (between people arriving home from work and settling in front of the television and it getting dark) it would take 55 days to call at every property.

No candidate can do this on his or her own and this is where helpers and supporters are essential, and they are not always easy to come by.

For an elected representative, be it MP or councillor, to repeat this operation on a regular basis between elections is quite impractical.

My colleagues and I do distribute a newsletter from time to time and this will always give contact details for our local members.

It is really up to the individual to initiate contact with their councillor or MP about any issue which needs their attention rather than the member attempting the impossible.

A burial not fit for a king

From: Richard Hodgson, Kirklevington, Yarm, Cleveland.

While wishing to respect the view of your correspondent Harry Santiuste that we should embrace the re-interment of Richard III at Leicester Cathedral next month (The Yorkshire Post, February 17), I cannot imagine this will close the matter.

Respect for a monarch being buried does not automatically confer acceptance of the place of burial.

As a Yorkshireman I would have been proud to welcome him to York but my real feeling is that unless he is buried in the capital then the modern age has heaped more humiliation on him by not putting him to rest amongst his peers. How Henry VII must be smiling.

Prospect of SNP power

From: Ann Brennan, Stoops Lane, Bessacarr, Doncaster.

tom Richmond’s article (The Yorkshire Post, February 17) regarding SNP power being a possibility in our Parliament fills me with dread. It is quite evident that Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon intend to continue with ever more demands, leaving England the poorer.

There should be no question about which MPs can vote on English-only issues. It should be English voters who decide this matter. The Scots have had their vote and we should have ours.

I am also writing to Mr Cameron to remind him of his promise after the referendum.

For the record, my maiden name is Ritchie of the Macintosh clan but I was born and bred in England and proud of it. I am equally proud of my Scottish heritage but dismayed at the present regime.

Confidence in British pork

From: Richard Longthorp OBE, Chairman National Pig Association, Howden, Goole.

i WAS interested to read the article regarding the debate about the proposed whole of life Red Tractor Assurance for Beef (The Yorkshire Post, February 14). It particularly caught my eye because the picture that accompanied the story was of one of the banners in my field adjacent to the M62 – promoting Red Tractor pork.

UK pork, sausage, ham and bacon already have the whole of life Red Tractor Assurance. It covers the whole chain from farm to fork and more.

Furthermore, traceability is backed up by industry-funded analysis of the isotope footprint of a pig to determine the region from whence it came.

With the second anniversary of “Horsegate” having just passed and recent YouGov survey data indicating that many UK consumers’ shopping habits are still being influenced by that particular debacle, people can take confidence from the huge lengths that the UK pig industry goes to give its customers both great value and confidence in its production methods, provenance and traceability.

Clarity on the clock change

From: Dr John D Rayner, North Ferriby, East Yorkshire.

Alan Greenwood (The Yorkshire Post, February 20) asks why the clocks do not return to British Summer Time in mid-February, which falls just as many days after the winter solstice as the late October end of BST falls before.

The answer lies in the asymmetric progress of sunrise and sunset either side of the solstice in late December. Although December 21 and 22 have the shortest period of daylight, these days have neither the earliest sunset nor the latest sunrise, which occur around December 13 and 31 respectively.

The seasonal switching between BST and GMT is more about morning darkness, relating to school journeys and outdoor workers.