From: Paul Morley, Ribblesdale Estate, Long Preston.
IF crime commissioner Julia Mulligan had been a resounding success at improving North Yorkshire Police, then perhaps she should be given a chance to do the same with the Fire Service.
Unfortunately this is not the case, she may have saved fortunes on the police budget (the reason the role was created methinks), but as to improving policing and more importantly enhancing the safety and security of the residents of North Yorkshire, she appears to have been an abject failure.
With the closure of various custody suites around the county and officers having to travel many miles to queue to book their prisoners in, vast swathes of the county are being left with no police cover for considerable amounts of time.
There may be the odd Police Community Support Officer left in charge, but although they are excellent people and do a good job, they are not warranted officers and have no more authority to make an arrest than you or I. Should they have to face the embarrassment of watching crimes take place and having to tell the poor victims that there is nothing they can do?
If you are being beaten up by an abusive partner or watching your quad bike disappear down the drive, you are on your own.
I dread to think what could happen if she runs true to form and fire stations are shut down left, right and centre. A vision of Nero fiddling while Rome burns springs to mind.
I read this week that morale among the county’s police staff is at an all-time low. It came as no surprise, how must it feel to be unable to do your job effectively – through no fault of your own – and then have to apologise to victims for this lack of service, a service they still have to pay for even when its not received?
The brave men and women on the ground do the best they can under harsh and difficult constraints and deserve our praise and thanks, but please please don’t let this happen to our fire service.
The police and crime commissioner post was never wanted by the people of this country and is just another expensive tier of bureaucracy that should be abolished. It wont be noticed that it’s gone, or missed. The huge savings should then be directed to where they are needed, in this case basing our emergency services within a reasonable distance to all of us.
Comedy at the conferences
From: Edward Grainger, Botany Way, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough.
NOT surprisingly Sir Bernard Ingham chose to once again rubbish the party conference season, minus the Conservatives.
His well-chosen comments on the TUC, the Liberal Democrats and Labour gatherings provide us political watchers with the usual comedy offerings such as Sir Vince Cable’s claim to be the next prime minister and Jeremy Corbyn’s not unexpected assertion that the Labour Party under his leadership is the next government in waiting.
However, the accolade for the most hilarious rabble-rousing comment to the party faithful must surely still rest with David Steel, the former leader of the Liberal Party, when they only had a handful of seats and MPs, who ended a conference speech in the 1970s with a call to Liberals “return to their constituencies and prepare for government”.
What would we do without the party season to keep us all amused?
From: Graham Branston, Emmott Drive, Rawdon, Leeds.
THE Tory proposal to increase the repayment income threshold on student loans from £21,000 to £25,000 is helpful, but merely a palliative measure.
A far more popular step, short of reducing academic fees, would have been to cap the interest at say one per cent.
A post-graduate earning say £26,000 will, if the new threshold is implemented, still find difficulty reducing the loan because of the current high interest charges.
Furthermore, the Tories should be brave and close the student loan office in Glasgow, given the privileged position of Scottish students attending Scottish universities, and relocate it to an area of England with a significant level of unemployment, ideally somewhere in Yorkshire.
From: Tim Mickleburgh, Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.
IN years gone by, only a small percentage of the brighest pupils took degrees. Consequently the state could afford to pay for their tuition, and give students a proper means-tested grant.
But for whatever reasons, including the desire to keep the dole queues down, it was felt neccessary to try and get half of all scholars untertaking degree-level study. Not only did this dilute the quality of a degree, but it made the potential educational costs far higher unless steps were taken to introduce fees and loans.
It would be better to “repolytechnicise” some of the lesser universities, to let them concentrate on practical job-related subjects once more. Meanwhile the cleverest students could get a debt-free degree, whatever their background.
Anonymous metro mayors
From: Coun David Sheard (Lab), Leader, Kirklees Council.
YOUR recent headline “Leading Metro Mayors” was fawning enough, but then to go on with “two of the country’s most high profile metro mayors” added to the “puff”. I doubt very much that if you stepped out into the streets of Leeds you could find anyone who knew who either Andy Street or Ben Houchen are.
Two Conservative mayors have been roped in to spread the “message” you can have any configuration you want, as long as it suits the Conservative Party. Ironically we (West Yorkshire leaders) wanted the configuration they are suggesting only to be vetoed by Yorkshire Conservative MPs.