From: Ken Cooke, Ilkley.
JAMES Brown (The Yorkshire Post, February 12) makes an excellent point.
The two-party system is archaic and has been failing us now for decades. (Full declaration: I canvassed for the Social Democratic Party in 1981).
The confrontational, black or white, live or die bullring does not serve well in reaching representative, democratic solutions. Prime Minister’s Questions might be appropriate for the Eton Debating Society but it cannot engage the interests of real communities.
With some form of proportional representation and the acceptance of more than two main parties in Parliament, we might achieve a sensible balance. Coalitions do not have a good history in Britain, precisely because of our two-party system, but they do serve to concentrate the minds of politicians – our representatives.
I also support James Brown’s idea of creating a modern parliament away from London.
From: Coun Richard Watts (Lab), Chair, Local Government Association’s Resources Board.
BETWEEN 2010 and 2020, councils will have lost almost 60p out of every £1 the Government had provided for services.
Faced with a Government funding settlement that assumes maximum council tax rises and these funding pressures, many councils feel they have little choice but to ask residents to pay more council tax again this year to help them try to protect their local services.
With councils facing a funding gap of more than £3bn this year, council tax rises will not prevent the need for continued cutbacks to local services.
The Spending Review will be make or break for vital local services and securing the financial sustainability of councils must be the top priority. If we truly value our local services then we have to be prepared to pay for them. Fully funding councils is the only way they will be able to keep providing the services which matter to people’s lives.
From: Sharon Calvert, Harrogate.
I HAVE taught in the special educational needs and disabilities sector for 20 years. Previously I taught in mainstream secondary. The rise in exclusions is alarming. However, austerity measures, a rigid curriculum and “zero tolerance” has contributed to this.
These measures also cost money and I believe it is very short-sighted of North Yorkshire County Council to rush through cutbacks until these concerns have been addressed.
In the long term, how much will it cost if these students give up on education and are unable to work? Every child should matter and that begins with an inclusive education that gives them skills for life which will enable them to become active and better citizens.
Electrification trumps HS2
From: Graham Lund, Dalrymple Street, Girvan.
I HOPE we soon see the end of HS2 (The Yorkshire Post, February 12). It has already cost a fortune before a wheel has turned, whilst other real life schemes are further delayed.
Let us have large-scale electrification from Liverpool-Newcastle via both Diggle and the Calder Valley routes.
How we need the Woodhead line reopened too. HS2 is a complete waste of time and money.
From: Coun Tim Mickleburgh (Lab), Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.
HS2 was always a grandiose scheme, but I backed it reluctantly as I’d rather see money spent on railways than roads (The Yorkshire Post, February 15).
So if it is now to be abandoned, I hope funding can be redirected to other railway-relating spending, especially here in the North.
More tram networks would be ideal, or even paying to subsidise the reintroduction of conductors on buses. Not so prestigious, but more valuable to passengers.
From: Thomas Reed, Harrogate.
DAVID Davis wants the replacement of rolling stock on the railways to take precedence over HS2. Why did he not advocate this when he was in the Government as Brexit Secretary?
Critics should lay off Katie
From: Mrs M Bielby, Cromwell Avenue, Loftus in Cleveland.
TELEVISION personality Katie Price has received negative comments since saying she is considering putting her son, who is 6ft 2in tall and 24 stone in weight, into care for five days a week.
He has serious problems and scares the young children, as well as damaging the home.
I wonder if some of her critics would like to help her out at times? I’m sure she would be glad of some help.
Miss Price, in my view, has enough problems in her life without negative comments from strangers.
Elderly falling victim to tech
From: Mrs PZ Frankland, Hull Road, Dunnington, York.
CORRESPONDENTS bemoan the fact banks and post offices are becoming in shorter supply. We old people are being more and more marginalised by modern tech, not everyone has younger relatives to help.
Post offices are better in a supermarket. Ours at Dunnington is good whereas there can be difficulty with access to branches of WH Smith. Another nail in our coffin?
From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.
JUST got my new pension prediction. I will be getting an extra 25p a week when I’m 80 years old.
Wonder if I’ll be able to afford one monthly first class postage stamp by then!