A vital library we should not have to lose

From: Edmund Bell, Cliffe Court, Monk Bretton, Barnsley.

IAN McMillan, “The Bard of Barnsley”, has been vociferous (if that’s possible on the written page), on the closure of so many branch libraries in the face of the local authority cuts.

Some are being saved by volunteer staffing, and when the economic corner is finally turned some time in the future, we should hope to resurrect these lost services.

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However, the loss to Yorkshire of the Wakefield Music and Drama Library has not been fully reported. Almost it seems by stealth, or under the smoke screen of other spending issues, the 10 local authorities who have long supported this facility, unique in Yorkshire at least, are of a mind to pull the plug completely.

The availability of all the thousands of collected works in sets, at one location has for a long time ameliorated the poor facilities for music and drama in typical local authority Central Libraries.

In the provision of play books and musical scores, hundreds of performance events per year, have been supported by the Library at Balne Lane, entertaining thousands of audience members. Students of the performing arts must also be vastly supported by the presence of this collection.

As we read of cuts in support for professional organisations such as Northern Ballet, and theatres like Wakefield Theatre Royal, it is obvious that we must all be touched by the recession, but surely the Wakefield Music and Drama Library should remain as the core for performing arts in Yorkshire after the recession; and not be lost for all time?

Devolution for the North

From: Professor Paul Salveson, Huddersfield.

TIMOTHY Kirkhope (Yorkshire Post, November 4) is right to

call for greater regional co-ordination of regeneration initiatives.

However, we need to move beyond the current mish-mash of unaccountable bodies. Other regions across Europe have benefited enormously from having directly-elected governments. Germany in particular, but also Spain and France.

Here in the UK few would argue that devolution for Scotland and Wales has been anything other than a success.

The North needs to get its act together and build a case for devolved government with strong powers to promote economic growth.

Proud to pay for our NHS

From: George Appleby, Clifton, York.

AS 82-year-old patients who both have York Hospital to thank for our very existence, my wife and I thoroughly endorse recent testament to the staff and the care and treatment we have always had.

My wife, in ward 34 and others for terminally diagnosed lung cancer, which she was given clearance from after five years, involving intensive chemotherapy and treatment at York and daily radiotherapy at Leeds.

Me for a mini heart stroke. We are both having regular treatment for our eyes, Sylvia for sight-threatening wet macular degeneration with regular injections into her eyes. Me having had both cataracts replaced and laser treatment with daily drops and checks for glaucoma.

We have also used A&E for bad falls and bone breaks on two occasions and physiotherapy afterwards.

None of this was ever imagined when we were younger, but we have both had full working lives and been proud to pay our full dues in taxes over the years for these possibilities and towards all the other public services our taxes contributed towards.

We are still paying and proud to do so, but cannot imagine what the situation would have been for us and our family without York hospital and the NHS.

David Cameron, you have no mandate to take over the NHS for you and your tiny minority of supporters. Leave it alone. All organisations have room for improvements, including your own and those of your pals, the big money one per cent.

With the NHS, it should be done by people who use it, truly need it, love it and are prepared to pay to keep it.

There are much more lucrative untapped fields for your cuts to pay off the deficiency with benefits for us all. Then we will all be in it together.