Serving up a few more ideas about cooking and plumbing

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From: Roger Whitaker, Dale View, Hardwick Road, Pontefract.

TWO items (The Yorkshire Post, December 17) merit further comment. Firstly the letter from Dr Glyn Powell in which he criticises Baroness Jenkins for her comment that the poor “do not know how to cook”.

Like all generalisations, it will apply to some of the “poor”. I suppose it also applies to some of the rich. Can the Baroness cook?

However wouldn’t it better if the food banks gave out fresh vegetables, and if necessary lessons on how to prepare potatoes and other basic vegetables, and pans to cook them in, rather than giving out tins?

While there are tins of peas or carrots, I don’t think I have seen tins of cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts or cauliflower.

For less than £1 you can by a cabbage, cauliflower or a bag of carrots, or for £1, five kilos of potatoes or many vegetables at a well-known freezer shop which will feed a family for more days than a tin will.

Secondly the feedback that the tripartite system of education, envisaged by the 1944 Butler Education Act, was not fully implemented supposedly due to the cost of it is wrong, at least in the old West Riding of Yorkshire.

Although the West Riding did experiment with comprehensive education, we had all three types of schooling and a good system it was too.

In my area we had a brilliant mining and technical college, “Whitwood Tech”, which it was known as locally, where many of our builders, plumbers, secretaries, and engineers of all kinds learnt their basic trades.

Some students from secondary schools were sent on certain days in their final years to start learning a trade. It has been replaced by a college which is part of the Wakefield College, which teaches some of the trades the old college taught, but I think this is only available to students 16+.

In Leeds, there was the College of Technology where many of us went when we were apprentices of local companies

It was as a result of a decision in 1965 by Anthony Crosland, Secretary of State for Education in the Wilson government, which resulted in grammar schools being converted into comprehensive schools.

This policy was also continued by the Conservative government which followed.

Then the Blair regime strived to send most young people to university.

The result? A general shortage of tradesmen and women and importing Portuguese builders at twice the rate of pay that would normally be paid.