YP Letters: Keep up good work on fighting alcohol abuse

From: Dave Roberts, Director General, Alcohol Information Partnership.

Under-age drinking is falling, says health experts.

UNDER-AGE consumption of alcohol in the UK has been falling for many years as young people themselves develop a less accepting attitude to under-age drinking.

In the last decade, the proportion of secondary school pupils who thought it was okay to get drunk has fallen from 46 to 24 per cent.

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The proportion of children aged 11-15 that have had an alcoholic drink has declined by 38 per cent.

According to data from the Government’s Health and 
Social Care Information Centre, the number of children that 
have had a drink in the past 
week now stands at only eight per cent.

In every region of England, under-age hospital admissions due to alcohol are falling, including in those areas that in the past have been disproportionately affected by alcohol-related harms (Andrew Vine, The Yorkshire Post, January 24).

While the fall in under-age drinking is to be welcomed, it is important that family members and friends do not facilitate children drinking by buying alcohol on behalf of a young person.

Partnerships between retailers, public services, licensees and industry are working to prevent the purchase of alcohol by under-age teenagers.

It is through these partnerships that further progress can be made.

Israel’s woes down to UK

From: Sue Cooke, Windmill Rise, York.

KNESSET member Haneen Zoabi spoke last week with passion about the real situation for Palestinian people who are living in Israel and the occupied West Bank.

While the new US President has pledged to move the American embassy a few miles down the road from Tel Aviv, the Israeli capital, to Jerusalem the Prime Minister of Israel has announced plans authorising the construction of more houses in illegal settlements in the Palestinian quarter of East Jerusalem.

This is happening while Israeli Occupation Forces are destroying villages of Palestinian families – people who have lived on their land for centuries, but who, since 1948, have the misfortune to be ‘citizens’ of Israel.

This is unjust, unfair and brutal. People who have never lived in the Middle East can move into Palestine, if they happen to be Jewish, while Palestinian families are forced to make way for more Jewish immigrants. Many describe this as ethnic cleansing. It is important to remember that this sorry state of affairs is the continuation of something our British government set in train 100 years ago this year, with the 1917 Balfour Declaration. It is time our Government apologised and helped correct the historical injustices we are responsible for.

Debacle over street’s trees

From: Graham Wroe, Save Norfolk Park Trees, Glencoe Road, Sheffield.

RECENT pronouncements from Shefield City Council suggest they will now be more “transparent” in their dealings with the public regarding street trees. It is a great shame this is not working out in practice.

Two weeks ago Save Norfolk Park trees wrote to all the councillors in Park and Arbourthorne Ward (Julie Dore, Jack Scott and Ben Miskell) about six healthy trees that have been listed for felling. We have been ignored. Now felling notices have appeared on some of the trees so they could be destroyed any day.

The three whitebeam trees on Guildford Avenue, opposite Norfolk Park Community School, are a good example. The survey for these trees was completely flawed so they should now be referred to the Independent Tree Panel. There were zero responses to the survey about these trees, which is a record low for any Sheffield City Council consultation. I strongly suspect there was a mistake as no one I have spoken to received a survey.

A local independent ecologist has examined the trees and believes there is no reason to destroy them. A petition was set up last week to save the two healthy whitebeam trees, along with four other trees, in the Norfolk Park area. It has 174 signatures online and 105 on paper. This is a more significant sample of the local population than the council survey.

Electronic ways to play

From: Tim Mickleburgh, Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.

I’M surprised that a picture of a Scrabble set illustrated Jayne Doyle’s article about a decline in board games (The Yorkshire Post, January 26). For there were times last year when I played this game three times a week, namely at a friend’s home on a Monday, an over-50s club and with a friend at a care home on Fridays. What’s more many use the like of electronic dictionaries, or play Scrabble, over the internet.

It isn’t a case of electronics necessarily stopping people playing traditional games.

Short memory on transport...

From: Andrew Mercer, Guiseley.

ANDY Wood of Grant Thornton describes Leeds City Council as ‘visionary’ (The Yorkshire Post, January 26). It’s not the same as actualy delivering policies for local residents, like a world-class transport network. Anyone remember Supertram and Trolleybus?

From: J Murphy, Leyburn.

I AGREE with your Editorial (The Yorkshire Post, January 27) – east-west rail links must take precedence over HS2 after Transport Secretary Chris Grayling confirmed the North had been shortchanged.