We must fight cuts to our fire service

From: Paddy J Cawkwell, West Street, Conisbrough.
Are proposed cuts to fire cover in South Yorkshire avoidable?Are proposed cuts to fire cover in South Yorkshire avoidable?
Are proposed cuts to fire cover in South Yorkshire avoidable?

SOUTH Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service recently proposed a reduction in firefighters on each fire appliance from five to four.

This will mean that for a house fire there will be three fire appliances sent to plug the gap if the cuts go ahead.

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As a result of more resources going to that incident, resources will then have to move around the county to prevent gaps in fire cover appearing, which puts us all at risk. This means that anywhere in South Yorkshire could be left with a dangerously low level of fire cover.

The resources we have can only be spread so thin and if our Chief Fire Officer, James Courtney, goes ahead with this cut in firefighters, every South Yorkshire resident will be in danger, and the first people to get hit by cuts to services will be the most vulnerable.

The Fire Authority has £27m in reserves and also a year on year underspend and here we are looking at further cuts. This comes on top of Rotherham Fire Station having a 50 per cent reduction in fire cover at night.

The Fire Authority say it’s only possible to spend the reserves once, which is correct, but they aren’t even doing that. Nick Hurd MP is the Minister of State for Fire and it doesn’t seem there will be any more funds coming from central Government until the Fire Authority spend the reserves they have. I have a lot of sympathy with the view Mr Hurd takes.

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This is an unacceptable state of affairs and as a result there has been a petition set up to fight against this terrible idea of slashing essential services. I urge all residents to lobby their local councillors, some of whom are up for election in Sheffield and Barnsley, to speak out against this plan by engaging with the Fire & Rescue Authority to ensure they reject this dangerous, unworkable and unfair cut in lifesaving resources.

May’s big mistakes

From: Graham Branston, Emmott Drive, Rawdon.

I KNOW hindsight is a very precise science and it is often easy to blame people after an event, but as a historian, I do feel Theresa May will go down in history for making at least three major errors of judgment over the endurance test that is now Brexit (Patrick Mercer, The Yorkshire Post, April 27).

First, calling the last election. At a time when a good working majority in Parliament was needed, the balance of power was significantly eroded after the election.

Second, knowing how the nation as a whole and even political parties were divided over Brexit, to have a unilateral approach to shaping the deal was a serious mistake. A cross-party working group should have been established from the outset, one term of reference being to provide an outline deal that would be acceptable across parties. The working party being chaired by the Brexit Minister, so views could be aired in negotiations with the EU.

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Third, after the catastrophic defeats in Parliament on her deal, that speech she made castigating MPs for not supporting what for many was a weak, conciliatory and unacceptable deal just upped the ante and really sealed her fate.

From: JA King, Thurgoland, Sheffield.

THIS is my opinion. If others agree, then great. If you do not, well it’s my opinion.

After spending time analysing letters to this newspaper, other newspapers and political journalists on TV, I have come to the conclusion that ‘Remainers’ are pessimists – people who fear change, fear the unknown, are satisfied with their lot in life and don’t like a challenge – while Brexiteers are optimists who look forward to a challenge, and go out and get things done.

Solutions to bed blocking

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

INTERESTING to read Andrew Vine (The Yorkshire Post, April 23) suggesting that those patients treated for their medical condition should go to a halfway house until they are recovered sufficiently to go home with minimal help.

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We did have these for many years, but they were called convalescent homes and were very successful in preventing bed blocking, foolishly they were disbanded along with the small cottage hospitals where the GPs could admit patients with chest infections and do minor surgery.

Amazing how medical provision goes round and round in repeated circles.

From: Jarvis Browning, Fadmoor, York.

IF peers want to stop OAP benefits, should we not ask them to give up their wages to sit in the House of Lords?

Knowing right from wrong

From: Michael J Robinson, Berry Brow, Huddersfield.

I WAS proof reading an application and came across a “met with” (met) and two descriptions of “incredible” (very, or extremely). This came after hearing “There has been somewhat of an atmosphere” on BBC Radio 4, another of what seems to be a growing number of people who don’t know to say “something of a”.

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To make my point, I “reguly” hear “itinery”, “particul”, and “tempory” among so many more examples of how spoken English continues to “deteriate”, that I have almost given up shouting at the radio. Almost, but not quite.

I have never been able to refer to females, or a mix of the genders, as “guys”, and those who have taken any notice of my banging on about it will know that I shall continue to defend “affect” from the invasion of “impact” used as a verb.

I understand about how languages evolve, as with the way we have come to say “got” whilst our American cousins retain the original gotten’d, and yet I hold to the view that evolution is one thing, but that wrong is surely always wrong.