Yorkshire’s firms defying the gloom

From: Stephen Newman, Station Street, Huddersfield.

YOUR front page story “North left behind as chasm in prosperity widens” (Yorkshire Post, August 15) doesn’t tell the whole story.

Baxter Caulfield has conducted an evaluation of announcements made by companies this year relating to jobs, investment and new contracts which serves as proof of the strength of West Yorkshire’s private sector.

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Yorkshire’s businesses are not only weathering the storm but many are thriving. Since research began in January, the numbers have been increasing rapidly, with no sign of slowing. Yorkshire businesses are reported to have won over £383,600,000 of new contracts this year alone.

Private sector companies have announced 11,500 new jobs since the beginning of this year with a further 15,000 in the pipeline.

The new jobs would appear to be in sustainable and growing industries, with 10,000 jobs for example created in wind power and 5,000 in potash. The firms currently hiring and expanding in West Yorkshire will be a permanent feature of our region’s economic landscape.

The difficulties faced by councils who must cut and those who have lost their jobs cannot be overstated. However, the outlook is far from hopeless. So long as we continue to support the private sector, the successes seen in West Yorkshire could continue and spread. Despite the negativity, there is still growth in Yorkshire.

From: Dr David Hill, chief executive, World Innovation Foundation.

CHINA’S economic rise over the past 40 years is at the opposite end of the spectrum to that of the UK. Where China has soared year-on-year, Britain has in comparison declined year-on-year.

China is a command economy that can stay the course until their aims are achieved and where that has been happening for at least four decades now. The UK in contrast changes its political thinking every 10 to 15 years on average, as either Labour ideologies or Conservative ideologies take command and dismantle most of what the last political incumbents have created. China is led by engineers and scientists of merit – their president and premier both come from this techno-class.

Britain, on the other hand, is led predominantly by lawyers or politically-educated university sorts who have never had a job in Civvy Street outside the confines of a political system (the EU included). Therefore is it no wonder that China is marching ahead and that Britain is in the sheer economic nightmare that it is? Common sense really.

Jobs must fill moral vacuum

From: Paul Andrews, The Beeches, Great Habton, York.

WHILE agreeing with almost every word of Malcolm Barker’s article about Old England vanishing (Yorkshire Post, August 13), I wonder if we are all missing one important point.

Our country is overpopulated, overtaxed, cannot produce enough food to feed itself and has little industry. We don’t make many things any more and have little to export, so that we no longer worry about balancing imports against exports or “the balance of payments”, as it used to be called.

As a result, we have a huge underclass of fifth and sixth-generation unemployed – people who have little hope for the future except to survive on benefits or benefit fraud. They are an easy prey for crooks, drug-dealers and religious fanatics of the worst kind. They have seen all hopes of improvement dashed by policies of public service cuts, which all political parties are committed to – the differences being only in relation to their depth, duration and severity.

In the moral vacuum so eloquently expressed by Malcolm Barker, this is a powder keg waiting to explode. In these circumstances, what is surprising is not so much the extent and violence of the most recent riots, but the fact that they were not far worse, did not start earlier and have not been far more frequent and widespread.

The only way out of this situation is to stimulate private industry and create new jobs. The only way to do this is through lending – as there is not enough money in the way of government grants to make a big enough impact on employment. Lending is possible because the government controls the banks.

The sale of the Government’s shares in the banks should be postponed, and the Government could use its controlling interest to compel the banks to lend money (in a responsible way) to rebuild our country’s once great manufacturing capability and provide jobs for the masses.

If this is done, perhaps then there will be the incentive for greater discipline at home and for a more structured education at school.