YP Letters: Black marks over presents for teachers

From: Fiona Lemmon, Clifton Byres, Clifton, Maltby.

Columnist Christa Ackroyd.
Columnist Christa Ackroyd.

LIKE Christa Ackroyd (The Yorkshire Post, July 25), giving teachers presents was not the practice when I was at school. I agree with Christa that a special card and, preferably, an appropriate charitable donation is sufficient.

I would like to know what schools’ policy is on the practice of presents for teachers. I worked on a paid basis in the charitable sector for many years. On occasion, I was given a present by a grateful service user.

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I accepted only on the understanding that I would have to declare the gift to my manager as it was against organisational policy to accept gifts. I took any perishables e.g chocolates to the office for my colleagues to help themselves.

I understand that hospital policy precludes staff from accepting gifts from patients but know this goes on.

It is hard to refuse vulnerable people.

When I worked for Royal Mail delivering post, any Christmas tips in the form of cash were required to be declared to HM Revenue & Customs as they counted towards annual income. The Postmaster did ask us the question.

From: Barry Foster, High Stakesby, Whitby.

ANOTHER excellent column from Christa Ackroyd. I must agree with her. What on earth is wrong with people these days?

Teachers ought to tell their classes ‘no presents’ and under no circumstances should they accept them.

I am sure that there is no need whatsoever to have this practice.

Teachers, like many, many others, do a job which is often difficult and hard, but they are paid and have sufficient holidays and, frankly, that should be enough. Why not just a thank-you card?

There are dozens of jobs – nurses, police officers, firefighter – that merit having a present. Certainly not teachers.

Perhaps parents ought to get together to support some worthwhile charity.

HS2 wasting time and cash

From: Coun Carmel Harrison (Lib Dem), Leeds City Council.

I BELIEVE there are two questions that need asking of West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

Why is it not demanding that HS2 is scrapped and the money allocated to the leg between Birmingham and Leeds or be invested in local and regional projects to provide sustainable public transport now?

What is the Plan B for when, not if, the leg between Birmingham and Leeds is eventually scrapped, given the prominence it has in Leeds City Council’s most recent transport strategy, 2016 and still not updated?

Having read recent articles that focus on how the cost of HS2 is already over budget on compulsory purchase, my 
belief is that the project will continue to Birmingham, given the level of work and investment so far, and then be mothballed as too costly.

I don’t particularly have an issue with HS2, more a problem with the fact that there is an overreliance on it, while local services, which are essential now, are being neglected.

Local transport remains stuck in the buffers, while costly vanity projects are pursued to be eventually scrapped.

Free speech has been lost

From: J Hutchinson, Kirkbymoorside, York.

I WONDER if Sarah Champion MP (The Yorkshire Post, July 26) would have got the same reaction if she had been reporting on white English men praying on Asian girls?

Racist and racism are 
words that are used so readily that the freedom of speech, of which our country has been so proud, has been eroded to such an extent that it is almost non-existent.

If someone is recording facts, then surely this cannot be racist but simply conveying the truth.

From: Andrew Morris, Station Road, Morley, Leeds.

LABOUR MP Sarah Champion is accused of “industrial-scale racism” for stating a point of fact; the “post-truth” era continues to baffle anyone attempting to hold onto a modicum of intellectual honesty.

Losing the mobile plot

From: C J Ball, Finkil Street, Hove Edge, Brighouse.

HOW many TV viewers like me, particularly of the older generation, are increasingly irritated by the growing practice among TV directors of soaps and dramas of using a screenshot of a mobile phone to convey a line of dialogue? Many of them are so badly lit or with poor contrast between text and background as to be virtually illegible anyway.

In my case, not owning a smartphone and unfamiliar with the conventions of the mobile phone text screen, by the time I have worked out the name of the sender, the name of the recipient, the line of the previous message, and the line of the message I am meant to be reading, the second and third image is long gone.

At this point I usually give up, because I have both literally and figuratively lost the plot.

No need to drink at 9am

From: Shaun Kavanagh, Leeds.

THERE can be no justification for Wetherspoon to open a public house at 9am in Leeds to sell alcohol. How many people would want to drink alcohol at 9am apart from the few? To issue such a liquor licence would be questionable, unnecessary and will demonstrate poor judgement my those responsible.

Such a licence would encourage unruly activity by the mindless members of the community.

It would be irresponsible and offer no justifiable gain other than for the bank balance of Wetherspoon.