YOUR recent coverage (The Yorkshire Post, April 27) calling for rural-proofed policies to allow the countryside to become a land of opportunity is both timely and correct.
The Government is currently devoting much time to the Brexit deal, and all parties will be spending time digesting the results of the local elections. While these have significant implications for the future, so too does the health of Britain’s rural areas. The recent Lords Rural Economy report noted that it is high time that real energy and urgency was focused on the critical need to define a new settlement for these areas.
Years of an inadequate rural policy framework and public sector austerity have left significant challenges for service delivery in our towns and villages. This can no longer be ignored by the Government. Brexit will only compound existing deep-seated challenges if they are not adequately addressed and also if the current model, which, in many respects, is heavily reliant on EU funding streams, is not suitably replaced.
England’s rural areas are home to more people than live in Greater London, yet the needs of rural communities are rarely a focus for the Government. It is estimated that unlocking the digital potential of rural areas could add at least £12bn of extra productivity each year to the economy. We cannot afford to squander this potential.
The Government must look beyond Brussels to create a comprehensive, long-term and properly resourced rural strategy which raises rural opportunities and challenges up the political agenda and ensures mainstream policies are workable in these areas. Not to do so would be contrary to our national interest.
Labour never learns lesson
From: Brian Sturdy, Honley, Holmfirth.
SO much for Colne Valley MP Thelma Walker’s rant on schools and education (The Yorkshire Post, April 30). How and who does she think is going to pay for all these schemes?
She lists all the shortfalls, but gives no solutions or costs. We would all like to live in a perfect world, but someone has to pay. I suppose Labour’s answer would be to “borrow, borrow, borrow” – as with all their schemes – until we are in the state that the last Labour government left the country in.
From: Hilary Andrews , Nursery Lane, Leeds.
FOR how many teachers will the introduction of tests for four-year-olds be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and cause them to leave the profession?
When are these so-called pundits in the Department for Education going to realise that teachers are perfectly capable of assessing a child’s ability and leave them alone to get on with their job?
No stopping China dream
From: Dr David Hill, Worldwide Innovation Foundation, Huddersfield.
IN 1992 our foundation first started monitoring China and its economic growth. We concluded that perceived elitism is ignorance and a road to declining wealth and prosperity for us all in the West.
Time will tell, but the Chinese dream is now destined to take the world by storm for the next few centuries, at least through ignorance of those that rule us.
This unfortunately is predestined now through “the Belt and Road Initiative” – and where the Chinese will definitely take no economic prisoners other than to economically enslave them of course in global terms.
It is time therefore that our politicians got a sense of reality and what is on the horizon!
Trump should address MPs
From: Edna Levi, Leeds.
ALTHOUGH I am not a great admirer of Donald Trump, he is the elected leader of our greatest ally and should be recognised in this capacity on his forthcoming visit to the UK (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, May 4).
Whilst not expecting him to be coach-driven down the Mall, I do think he should be invited to address Parliament and be greeted with courtesy by members in view of his status.
Her Majesty is hosting a banquet in his honour so it also can be regarded as a “minor” state visit – just so long as he keeps his nose out of Brexit.
Time to turn back the clock
From: Mrs Isobel Wylie, Guiseley.
WHAT a wonderful article by Neil McNicholas who has put into words what most right-thinking “older” people think about today’s society (The Yorkshire Post, April 29). It is so frustrating to watch the world unable to turn back the clock to when common sense prevailed.
He points out the abuse of social media. We managed to get through life without these toys, and to see them in the hands of every young person nowadays, as if they are a permanent part of their bodies, makes my blood boil.
Maybe I am another grumpy older person, but good manners, and the knowledge of what’s right and wrong just seem to be disappearing in today’s world and I hate it. Thank you Mr McNicholas, you speak for millions of us.
From: John Appleyard, Firthcliffe Parade, Liversedge.
I WONDER what the people who have been kicking up a fuss about halal meat being served in our schools think about recent revelations that 50,000 animals have been killed in military tests during a series of experiments on pigs, monkeys and guinea pigs?