YP Letters: Long wait for action over tax affairs of water companies

Yorkshire Water's finances are in the spotlight.
Yorkshire Water's finances are in the spotlight.
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From: Peter Rigby, Beamsley, North Yorkshire.

YOUR recent report stated that Environment Secretary Michael Gove told water industry chief executives that they stand accused of a “dizzying complexity of tax avoidance on an industrial scale”. One of those companies was Yorkshire Water.

Mr Gove went on to say “these handsomely rewarded” directors shielded themselves from scrutiny, exploited their monopolies to benefit shareholders, whilst customers bore the brunt of leaks and pollution.

The water industry regulator Ofwat was clearly fast asleep until alarm bells rang. It has taken seven years between my “tax avoidance” letter to the Press of March 31, 2011, and Mr Gove’s robust statement.

Now that the game’s up, my thanks go to a small team of forensic accountants (pro bono) who revealed the astonishing truth of the hundreds of millions of pounds lost to Her Majesty’s Government. I also thank my MP Julian Smith who put my letter straight on to Chancellor George Osborne’s desk at the time.

Hopefully it will now lead to pride in Yorkshire Water. Their employees, Britain’s taxpayers and the Chancellor of the Exchequer deserve nothing less.

Visitors can still show care

From: Christine Daker, Abelton Grove, Haxby, York.

BEFORE being criticised by fracking supporter Lorraine Allanson and others for being concerned about Ryedale whilst not living there, I would like to point out that I am very lucky to be able to spend most of my weekends in the summer in this beautiful area.

My husband and I support local attractions with our grandchildren, we shop in local shops, drink coffee in local cafes and support local pubs and restaurants.

I love North Yorkshire and everything it stands for and want to see it safeguarded for future, and not handed over to some greedy energy corporation that ultimately will do nothing for the people of this wonderful county.

Appalled by bad manners

From: Susan Abbott, Melbourne Road, Wakefield.

I AGREE wholeheartedly with letters bemoaning a lack of good manners. What is the answer?

I only know that moral standards are falling. There are few boundaries, especially on the television. Everything seems to be acceptable.

Are children taught right from wrong from an early age? Many people have no faith. Modern technology can be used for good but can also be used for evil.

Perhaps we should, if it’s safe to do so, speak and act when we see something wrong in our society. Surprisingly not everyone is aware that they’re guilty of anti-social behaviour. However there are many good and kind people out there, so let’s not give up just yet!

Free parking boosts trade

From: Michael J Robinson, Park Lane, Berry Brow, Huddersfield.

KIRKLEES Council is reported to be planning to impose parking charges in districts where parking is free at present.

The centre of Huddersfield is pretty much derelict since shoppers prefer to buy on-line for a variety of reasons.

Instead of imposing parking charges where presently there is none, I suggest that – notwithstanding the loss of £1 per 45 minutes parking – the council should aim to maximise revenue from rent and business rates by removing all on-street parking charges to keep shopping centres alive.

Further revenue could be raised from charges for the recovery of vehicles parked illegally which should be ruthlessly clamped and impounded.

Save libraries for rest of us

From: John Appleyard, Firthcliffe Parade, Liversedge.

I WELCOME letters and comments in your newspaper opposing library closures and hope they are successful in keeping them open.

I’m particularly concerned about the future of Heckmondwike Library which seems to be receiving very little attention.

This library is used by schoolchildren who have no computer at home and are reliant on the library’s computers to do their homework.

Similarly unemployed 
people use the library for the 
Job Club which helps them to find work.

One library that won’t be closing is the House of 
Commons Library used by MPs and their researchers, and regarded as the best in the country.

If it’s good enough for MPs, then it ought to be good enough for the rest of us.

Thanks for memories

From: Catherine Watson, Norman Road, Hatfield, Doncaster.

I WOULD like to congratulate 
The Yorkshire Post for publishing the delightful Picture Past each week.

As a Leeds ‘lass’ in my 70s, it gives me great joy each week to be reminded of many different events and places, not just in Leeds, but elsewhere in 
Yorkshire, that have been a
part of my life.

In particular the front page 
of the edition on February 20 – a photograph of the front terrace at my old school, Fulneck Girls School in 1963.

I had left by then, but the girls in the photograph were still wearing the same summer dresses that we wore some years earlier. Thank you.