TV licence insult to over-75s will cost Tories next election – Yorkshire Post letters

From: Bob Swallow, Townhead Avenue, Settle.

Abolition of free TV licences for the over-75s continues to cause consternation.

FOLLOWING on from several excellent letters about TV licences, I find it incredible that the Tories do not yet appear to realise that a General Election is likely only months away and that their inaction over this very heated matter will, in all probability, sink them – quite apart from the many other matters which they choose to ignore.

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Now here is a thought. If you wish to receive Virgin or similar channels you pay a fee. By the same token you should be able to opt out of BBC channels and therefore avoid being stung by them. The technology is obviously there.

Alternatively the BBC might consider reducing the salaries paid to some of their so called stars and executives. My wife and I were one of the few million pensioner licence holders to receive a letter from TV Licensing telling us, in effect, nothing other than the supposedly good news that if you are on Pension Credit then you will not need to pay. This utterly pointless exercise will doubtless have cost a million or two. Never mind, it is only money!

From: Martin Flanagan, Chestnut Crescent, Catterick Garrison.

ONE way for over-75s to avoid paying a TV licence is to go to jail – prisoners, diplomats and the Queen are exempt. Hotels pay one licence for first 15 rooms, then one per further multiples of five.This is a scandal as many elderly people who are on their own for long periods of the day need the television for company and as a means to remain informed.

From: Christine McDade, Morton on Swale.

I HAVE now received a leaflet from the BBC about TV licence changes – a virtual copy of policy director Clare Sumner’s letter in your paper. This is being sent out to every pensioner over 75 at what cost to the BBC? The Government has to take charge.

From: AW Clarke, Martin Close, Louth.

WOULDN’T it be interesting to know just how much the cash -trapped BBC found in order to send so many of their top DJ staff, plus all the other technicians and ‘hangers on’, to Glastonbury? Perhaps the saving made on TV licences for pensioners will have helped out. It makes the sacrifice so much more ‘worth it’.

Life perfect in good old days

From: Paul Kilroy, Spennithorne Avenue, Leeds.

FROM birth, I lived in Harehills from 1946 to the mid-70s. There were strong family bonds and I cannot remember any divorce or domestic upheavals. No visible or anecdotal crime, no fear or threat on the streets, no drugs, drinking was contained within pubs by men primarily.

Police at a distance, cars rare on cobbled streets. Respect for authority in all its forms. Full employment and more neighbourliness.

There was no inter-religious tension or distance between we, as Catholics, and others. My school was well disciplined and respect for nuns, priests and teachers was “a given” even from the rough elements.

Parents almost never visited schools, why would they? Teachers had classes of 45 pupils without teaching aids other than those they made, no in-service training, no policies, targets, strategies etc. I dimly recall or suspecting one little lad been surreptitiously given breakfast or morning sustenance by teachers and by that strange long distance memory phenomenon remember his name. I often wonder if he “made it”.

I otherwise saw no evidence of poverty or child neglect nor of any mistreatment of women. Things began rapidly to change from 1957-8 onwards. Blame what you will – American influence, modernity, prosperity or the Second World War.

Bank’s ugly name change

From: Elisabeth Baker, Leeds.

I AGREE wholeheartedly with Michael Meadowcroft’s sentiments about the change of name of the Yorkshire Bank to the ugly and un-user friendly Virgin Money (The Yorkshire Post, June 27).

I have been a customer of the Yorkshire Bank since 1966, when I opened my account with my first University grant cheque. I have been proud to fly the Yorkshire flag for the bank ever since then and am horrified at the prospect of being lumbered with the name Virgin Money.

The bank’s current slogan “We care about here” has already been disproved by the number of branches which have been closed, and the proposed name change serves only to underline this. Would a compromise be acceptable? Perhaps “Virgin Money: The Yorkshire Bank” would satisfy both factions.

New strategy for libraries

From: Matthew Smith, Hillsborough, Sheffield.

TINSLEY, an area with high numbers of adults and children who speak English as a second language, now does not even have proper volunteer-run library, having to make do with a small room full of books in the local community forum.

This is despite the council owning an empty Carnegie Library literally just over the road. A new strategy obviously needs to be adopted in Sheffield, perhaps following the example of neighbouring Barnsley which has recently announced it is scrapping library fines in an attempt to boost library usage.

Backing EU

From: Tony Sneddon, Dugglery, North Yorkshire.

I AM a retired Merchant Navy engineer and am writing to stick up for the European Union. I remember the days before our entry and do not want to go back to them. The people of Europe are just like you and me, and should never be kicked into touch at the whim of a few hotheads.