From: Dr Peter Williams, Newbiggin, Malton.
A NEW report by a Parliamentary Select Committee has found serious shortfalls in Government support for rural communities.
The Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act of 2006 established a new agency, Natural England, to conserve, enhance and manage the natural environment.
The Commission for Rural Communities was also created to promote the interests of our region. This Commission was subsequently abolished, to be replaced by a unit within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) which was itself later abolished. We are all the poorer because of these cuts.
The Select Committee finds that most of the NERC Act’s provisions have been abandoned, leading to a neglect by Defra of its duty of care. The Committee recommends “balanced protection and promotion of the natural environment and a reversal of the biodiversity decline. This must be coupled with better recognition of the potential of rural communities and the rural economy, and a greater effort from the Government to ensure that policy changes do not work to the detriment of rural areas”.
As a neglected rural area, we are now easy prey for fracking companies such as Third Energy and Ineos. I urge readers of this letter to write to their MP, to demand restoration of the NERC Act’s provisions and funding, and for a democratic say in the future of the countryside we will pass on to our children.
PM hits form at right time
From: John D Clark, Burnsall.
JEREMY Corbyn dislikes Israel, hence quite liking a mural showing wealthy Jews playing monopoly on the backs of the oppressed. If he did not look at it carefully enough, then he should not have accepted that it was acceptable in a decent society.
He supports Hamas, who wish Israel was not on the planet. How can he be so close to those who promote the world’s oldest hatred?
He also apparently believes that all oppressors are Western, strong supporters of America, capitalist and democratic.
In addition, he finds it difficult to be critical of Russia.
His many Northern Labour MPs, for whom we who are slightly right of centre in our political views have, in most cases, a great deal of respect, must be ashamed of him.
His actions are not those of a future leader of our great country, so it is fortunate that our Prime Minister has had a much better week, being held in respect by many other world leaders.
Perhaps she is hitting form at just the right time!
We need her and those of her ilk more than ever.
A lot to lose with Brexit
From: John Van der Gucht, Cross Hills, Keighley.
BREXITEERS are fond of pontificating about democracy and how the people ‘spoke’ in 2016, ignoring the fact that the 52-48 per cent outcome clearly indicated that we were divided as a nation over the issue, and still are.
Only an ageing 37 per cent of the total electorate voted to leave. We are a representative democracy, our MPs are not delegates. We have never been governed by referendum. It is an imperfect system, to be sure, particularly because of the first past the post electoral system.
Given the recent events in Salisbury, and the Putin kleptocracy, plus a lout in the White House, however over bureaucratic the EU is, I feel we – and the rest of the EU – would be safer and more prosperous with us in he EU, not out. We have an awful lot to lose.
Anticipating a further attack
From: Paul Morley, Ribblesdale Estate, Long Preston, Skipton.
ALTHOUGH I sympathise with people interviewed on TV who rubbished the report into the Manchester Arena terror attack (The Yorkshire Post, March 28), I feel that they are taking a very narrow view.
Yes, many of the people trained to save lives were kept out of the Arena for some time, but imagine if the incident had turned out differently. All the professional lifesavers had run straight into the venue to help and either a secondary device had been detonated or an armed terrorist had opened fire and they had all been killed. Who would then have been left to save lives?
It might seem like a callous decision, but many things have to be taken into account before appropriate action can begin.
True message of Easter time
From: W Forrest, Huddersfield.
WHILE shopping, I was reminded how much things and attitudes have changed since my younger days. With Easter approaching, greetings cards, Easter bunnies and eggs of various sizes were in abundance to tempt us to part with our money – luxuries our parents could not have afforded had they been available.
Then, as we were leaving the store, a lady behind us, in vigorous annoyance at something or somebody, emphasised her disgust by using the name Jesus Christ as a swear word, something not uncommon these days and contrary to when I was a youth.
For those who may think what relevance has Jesus Christ today, we need look no further than the example of the event in the French supermarket last week, where a policeman unselfishly took the place of a hostage, who having been freed, will forever be grateful. In the same way, Jesus was condemned in our place and we can be either eternally grateful or refuse his offer of freedom and take the consequence ourselves. The choice is ours. This is the true message of Easter.
From: Ruthven Urquhart, Cottingham.
ON the weather front, does anyone know when we can fairly expect the ‘Best from the West’?