From: Edward Pearson, Moor Lane, Haxby, York.
THE public meeting on local policing at City of York Council’s West Offices last month allowed me to raise concerns over the mounting costs of policing at the Kirby Misperton (KM8) fracking site.
Since August 2017, North Yorkshire Police have sent scores of officers to deal with entirely peaceful protests, incurring costs of over half a million pounds, on top of day-to-day costs of posting officers there. While local businesses such as York City FC and York Racecourse are required to stump up for the costs of policing their activities, it is disgraceful that multi-million pound Third Energy has not contributed a single penny.
While our hard-earned council tax is subsidising the dedicated KM8 police force, we are losing valuable police resources from our streets and communities where we need them most.
I was glad to hear that the police have put in place measures to reduce waiting times on the 101 number, and also that more PCSOs are being trained. In the meantime I urge North Yorkshire police to prioritise community policing over subsidising the oil and gas industry.
Betrayal of transparency
From: Michael Meadowcroft, Former Liberal MP, Waterloo Lane, Leeds.
THE Yorkshire Post exposure of the budgets and accounts of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, including the apparent expenditure on luxury items, has pointed out the lack of transparency and accountability. Now Tom Richmond highlights these points in his op-ed article (The Yorkshire Post, December 30).
No-one yet has pointed out that all the services included in the WYCA were both transparent and accountable when they, and very many others, were part of the West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council. As such, the minutes of the meetings were publicly available month by month and were reported to the full council meeting where they could be challenged and debated in public.
However, all this went out of the window when Margaret Thatcher abolished all the Met County Councils, along with the Greater London Council, in 1986. The advent of the WYCA with its secretive and unaccountable proceedings is entirely due to this action of the then Conservative government.
With devolution to this region, preferably with the One Yorkshire proposal, the WYCA can be brought within its powers, along with the police commissioners, the fire authority and other unaccountable services.
All other proposed solutions are all partial.
Adonis lives up to name
From: Bob Watson, Springfield Road, Baildon.
LABOUR peer Lord Adonis has resigned as the Government’s infrastructure tsar (The Yorkshire Post, December 30), complaining about Brexit, which is no great surprise coming from one of those Remainers who is unable to accept the will of the people.
However, one has to wonder whether this man is just too full of his own self-importance? On November 22, he tweeted that his train was 15 minutes late as it had been stuck behind a freight train.
Two days later he added that he was stuck at Leamington Spa due to points failure and a slow-moving freight train, then commenting about getting trucks off rail and daytime roads, suggesting motorway freight platooning instead. It transpired that the delays to which he referred were due to signal and points failures, and not freight trains at all. It seems that this man’s name must be going to his head! In my view he will certainly not be missed.
Confused by wrong Duke
From: Jane Mitchell, Church Croft, Barkston Ash.
THE article about the commemoration of the Battle of Wakefield (The Yorkshire Post, January 1), which saw the demise of Richard Duke of York in 1460, and the question over whether he was the Grand old Duke of York in the nursery rhyme was interesting.
It caused some confusion in our house however, because the portrait shown was of Richard III, who died at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 and was the son of the Duke of York killed at Wakefield! Thanks to your researcher’s mistake, I was encouraged to brush up my rusty knowledge of historical dates.
Hope for elms of the future
From: John G Davies, Alma Terrace, East Morton, Keighley.
WHILST your correspondent Robert E Fuller may be correct about mature elm trees being a rare species, that is not true of immature specimens.
On the side of Otley Road, East Morton, there are a dozen or more young examples growing strongly. Another place where elm seems to be thriving is along the banks of the River Wenning.
Though it will be many years before these trees acquire the stature of the trees lost from the 1970s onwards, let us hope that they will survive long enough to provide homes for the many animal species that rely on them.
Strangled by the BBC
From: June Fountain, Dallowgill, Ripon.
OH dear, whatever has happened to the BBC? No choice of programmes leading up to the New Year firework display on the Embankment in London, and then that was totally ruined by some highly inappropriate “music”, which sounded as if someone had their hands round the throat of the woman who was trying to sing. Hopefully things can only get better in 2018.