From: Geoffrey Thorpe, Lister Avenue, East Bowling, Bradford.
IN the 60s, workers were paid cash at the end of the week. When said wage was spent, they could not buy anything until payday. On the council estate I was raised on, there were many large families, and these children grew up to be the so called ‘baby boomers’, but all the kids I played had a warm meal at school and a tea at home. There seemed to be little sign of so called poverty. At Christmas time, we received presents of games like Snakes and Ladders, Ludo and draughts to name a few.
Forward to the 70s, workers’ wages started to get paid into banks and the dreaded credit card was born to the working man. Then overdrafts became part of life so a large proportion of people used this facility, not realising that it cost money.
Forward to the 80s, lenders began offering up to 125 per cent of the cost of a property. Forward to the 90s and things go ‘bang’ – interest rates rise and a lot of homeowners end up in negative equity.
For the past 10 years interest rates have been very low. How many carried on paying the original mortgage cost and how many paid the lower amount and spent the difference?
We now come to the present day – there seems to be more poverty and more food banks. Children now demand computers, iPads and so on.
In my opinion, most of the blame lies with people’s inability to manage their finances. They want a new car because a neighbour has got one. More monthly payments. They must have exotic holidays, probably paid for on a credit card.
It is time that the public took the responsibility for their actions and stopped moaning.
Poor deal on policing
From: Nigel Boddy, Solicitor, Fife Road, Darlington.
YORKSHIRE has more people living within the county boundaries than there are in Scotland. Yet Scotland has well over 17,000 police officers and Yorkshire has around 8,500 to 9,000.
Humberside and Cleveland have half their areas outside the Yorkshire county line, which disguises the exact number. Northern Ireland is the same size in terms of area as Yorkshire and has only a third of its population.
Yet the Police Service of Northern Ireland has a similar number of officers to Yorkshire, possibly slightly more. They count their officers differently than elsewhere.
The current fragmented nature of policing across Yorkshire is disguising the problem.
Whitehall is shortchanging the Yorkshire taxpayers, but, at present, no one sees by how much.
We need to combine the police forces across Yorkshire. Complete the picture by bringing in half of Cleveland and half of Humberside forces too. Then we can really see how much Whitehall short-change Yorkshire in terms of police numbers.
From: Andrew Mercer, Guiseley.
IF Yorkshire embraces county-wide devolution, can we assume that we will have one Yorkshire-wide police force – the same for the fire service too – in order to cut management overheads?
Long wait for repayment
From: Janice Eastwood, Drighlington, Bradford.
I WAS interested in the comments (The Yorkshire Post, October 31) by James Staton, head of dispute resolution at Schofield Sweeney.
Yes, one does have the Legal Aid repaid. Many years ago, during divorce proceedings, I was made to take on Legal Aid by my then solicitor, even though I told him repeatedly that I did not need this facility.
I had to pay out each month, making my then outgoings far more than my income. Twenty-two years later I received a cheque from the Law Society Financial Department (in my former married name) for the amount I had paid for Legal Aid. I did not receive any interest, nor was my request for information as to why it had taken so long for this money to be returned, ever answered.
Who gets the interest on the money we pay to the Law Society?
Beware!If you cannot afford to wait 22 years for this money to be returned, be cautious about paying out.
Challenge the system
From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.
I AGREE with Jayne Dowle (The Yorkshire Post, November 6) that Oxford and Cambridge should never lower their admission standards, but I do feel that some teachers in the state school system do not encourage their bright students to apply to these universities.
The admission interviews are hard and maybe daunting to students not used to the environment of these ancient colleges, but teachers should encourage initiative in their charges. As Ms Dowle herself, states, she managed to do well in the Oxbridge system even though her father was a steelworker. We will never improve social mobility unless we dare to challenge.
A mark of remembrance
From: Mrs MW Whitaker, Harswell, East Yorkshire.
IN this centenary year of the Battle of Ypres, we will be remembering Colonel Tom Clitherow. When the conflict finally ended, he returned to his home in the peaceful hamlet of Hotham in the East Riding.
But he never forgot the horrors he had seen or his comrades in arms; he put a plaque where all could see it, outside the entrance to his house near North Cave church. It can still be seen by all who pass by.