From: Chris Ramus, Duchy Road, Harrogate.
I READ with interest articles about water leaks, usage and the weather. This is the first drought that we have experienced for several years. It comes during a period where water companies are completing several flood defence systems to ensure fewer homes and businesses are blighted by constant flooding.
I have long held the opinion that we are not short of water in the UK. We are, however, extremely short in reservoir capacity.
With the exception of Kielder reservoir in Northumberland, I’m struggling to think of any major increase in capacity to hold water in recent years.
We are in the middle of a drought year. Yet it is only four months ago that it never stopped raining for weeks. We also had a good fall of snow during the winter and spring.
During this period, our rivers were bank-top high with excess water that just flowed out to sea day after day.
Yet here we are struggling for water and with a hosepipe ban just about to begin.
Reservoirs silt up by natural process year on year, thus reducing capacity.
If Government figures are to believed, 300,000 new homes are to be built every year to meet growing demand. All of these homes will have washing machines and dishwashers, not to mention showers and hosepipes to wash hundreds of thousands of cars. Yet I’m unaware of any programme of increased holding capacity to meet this growing demand.
Can someone enlighten me as to where all this much-needed water will be held to supply all these houses, especially since we are told that long hot summers are to become the normal rather than the exception?
Called to account
From: C Parkin, Helmsley Town Councillor, Bondgate, Helmsley.
MAY I, through your publication, admonish the National Westminster Bank for allowing its former premises in Helmsley Market Square to resemble a commercial slum?
Repeated attempts though various official channels have brought little or no response to reports on the state of the premises.
Peeling paint, filthy windows and doors, plus weeds growing, do nothing to add to the charisma of Helmsley.
In today’s world of High Street shopping facing constant online attack, it is frankly appalling that a nationally-respected organisation can ignore repeated requests to make its former premises at the very least look presentable, whether occupied or not.
TV missed opportunity
From: Joan Burnett, East Cottingwith, York.
WITH eager anticipation, I switched on the television to watch Countryfile because the programme was featuring East Yorkshire.
What a disappointment it turned out to be! Mostly it showed the landscape of the Wolds, mentioning that benches had been placed at intervals, for people to sit and admire the view. Fair enough, but why go on a great length to explain there were boxes containing pen and paper so you could scribble verses.
The scenery is lovely, but fairly unexciting. When you have seen one hill and dale, you have pretty well seen them all. So, why was there no mention of Burnby Hall Gardens, the Buddhist monastery at Kilnwick Percy, Sledmere House – the Waggoners Memorial would have been apt during this centenary year – or Burton Agnes Hall?
All in all, an opportunity missed to show this fabulous area in its best light.
Not a such a smart move
From: David Pentelow, Otley.
I HAD a Type 1 Smart Meter installed several years ago, partly to monitor usage, but primarily to facilitate automated real time billing. I use one-year electricity and gas contracts and then change supplier to find the best value contract.
As soon as I changed supplier, the Smart Meter became totally dumb and I had to go back to reading the meter myself, much more difficult to do than on an old-style meter, and submitting these readings (The Yorkshire Post, August 4).
A false economy
From: Edward Grainger, Botany Way, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough.
IT beggars belief that with another Yorkshire Day over and gone, and our county more popular than it ever has been with visitors to our ancient capital York and our beautiful coastline, that austerity should be so prevalent so far as attracting visitors is concerned.
It appears that Harrogate Borough Council is proposing to have the lovely flower beds in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon reduced to nothing more than areas of shrubs, some 47 in total. Surely money could be found to enhance these towns?
Stress drives teachers out
From: Julian Stanley, CEO, Education Support Partnership.
IT was concerning to read about the increasing levels of stress amongst teachers in the region (The Yorkshire Post, August 4). This correlates with a rise in the number of callers to our charity’s free and confidential emotional support helpline for education staff.
This increased by 18.6 per cent in Yorkshire and the Humber over the past 12 months, with our trained counsellors managing over 8,600 cases last year across the country – the majority calling us at a crisis stage.
With record numbers leaving the profession, we must start prioritising teacher wellbeing.
Failure to do so will be felt strongly by future generations.