YP Letters: Self-help over flooding is self-evident

The river bridge in Tadcaster which collapsed at the height of last December's floods
The river bridge in Tadcaster which collapsed at the height of last December's floods
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From: Edward Grainger, Botany Way, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough.

FROM time to time, The Yorkshire Post’s editorials have put the finger on the root causes of persistent flooding after bad weather and storms.

So it was with the Post’s recent assertion that more could be done to prevent flooding such as regular gully cleaning, the removal of debris from becks, streams and water courses.

With local authorities neglecting this kind of work that years ago was standard highway maintenance practice, residents could, especially on housing estates, keep clear kerb edges and gully grates that so often fill with debris and fallen leaves at this time of year.

Self-help in this regard, where water has nowhere to go, is self-evident, but it seems no one wants to do it.

Residents are not ‘nimbys’

From: Mrs Carol A Gannon, Flats Lane, Barwick-in-Elmet, Leeds.

ENOUGH is enough. I have to disagree with recent correspondence accusing residents of Wetherby and surrounds of being “nimbys”. You only have to drive or walk around such places, to realise just how many housing developments have sprung up over recent years.

Wetherby, in particular, has had development after development, Spofforth Hill is only the latest. I have yet to hear anyone complain that their house price may fall. The vast majority are concerned about the continued eating into precious green belt/farmland/woodland. Continually top of the complaints list in Wetherby is the traffic congestion in town and lack of parking, so of course every development makes the situation worse.

Not far from my home there is a suggested development of 5,000 homes, again it would be destroying green fields and woodland. Naturally everyone wants to protect their own “back yard”, but brownfield sites should be used first before green belt is destroyed.

Engines need to be cleaner

From: Peter Horton, Sandy Lane, Ripon.

REFERRING to your front page item on proposals for lower speed restrictions on motorways (The Yorkshire Post, December 1), I cannot believe that Nice – the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – have come out with this bizarre suggestion in a “bid to cut down on pollution”.

First of all, the impact on the economy in terms of the efficient transport of goods and people would be severe, causing increased congestion, dangerous boredom for drivers and actually increased pollution through the bunching of slow traffic.

In fact, in the interests of efficiency on the roads, the Conservative Party (in opposition) had proposed an increase in the motorway speed limit to 80 mph, thus aligning more closely with actual speeds in practice. In Government, of course, this promise was not fulfilled.

The answer to the problem of air pollution lies not in the lowering of traffic speeds but in the ongoing efforts of the motor manufacturers to improve engine efficiency and in the development of hydrogen-power and electric-powered vehicles. At least Nice have made one sensible suggestion regarding speed humps which they have accepted as a contributory cause of pollution and need to be removed.

Renounce such violence

From: David Rimington, Fairways Drive, Harrogate.

AFTER the shocking murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, perhaps all political groups should renounce the use of intimidation and violence in the future.

The leaders of all political parties now have bodyguards, including Ukip of which I am a member. However, not all members can afford this expense.

None of us should accept that the ends we seek to achieve can justify the use of violence and intimidation. We cannot prevent the acts of one deranged individual, but we can all condemn and renounce the use of violence and intimidation.

Castro was USSR puppet

From: David Collins, Scissett.

MARTIN Deane and Aled Jones were not quite on the target with assessments of Fidel Castro (The Yorkshire Post, November 30).

The Batista dictatorship in Cuba was totally corrupt and supported by the US and some say the Mafia. Castro’s takeover in 1959 was almost a necessity. However, it was funded, fed, watered and controlled by the USSR.

Castro was complicit in the missile crisis of October 1962. I remember thinking that the world was about to end in nuclear war – it was hell for more than two weeks. In the end, the crisis was sorted by two agreements. One public, one secret. The public was the withdrawal of USSR missiles from Cuba. The secret and unreported was the US agreement to remove nuclear missiles from Turkey – the cause of all the problems in the first place.

During this time Castro was no more than a puppet of Moscow. It took him more than 20 years to get some degree of control back from the USSR, even then he was at the mercy of overall USSR finances, particularly in the pricing of the sugar crop.

If life was so rosy then, why did so many risk the sea crossing to Miami? One thing that appears to be missing was the level of corruption in public life which seems to be a mark of dictatorships. What funds were available do seem to have gone on education and health. No flash palaces and a great deal of respect from the people remaining in Cuba.