Trouble in store if we don’t end free supermarket parking

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From: Raymond Shaw, Hullen Edge Road, Elland.

NEVER far from the headlines is the rising cost of food, unemployment, together with cost of waste disposal, road traffic cost with congestion.

My answer to all these problems is abolish the free car parking which is the most attractive reason for using supermarkets. While the demise of small businesses is creating empty shops in every town, the local authorities make car parking inconvenient and costly, creating a few job opportunities for traffic wardens to conduct their wasp-like activities.

The buying power of supermarkets has not only devastated local shopping centres but caused the demise of two of our largest food producers, Northern Foods as well as Premier label. Anyone in business is aware you can deal with terrorists (some trade unionists) but never with a national retail chain.

Meat, milk, bread and alcohol before duty are basically dirt cheap, retailing now at around 40 times the 1939 price multiple against the one hundred times rise in motor fuel and property prices as well as the minimum wage.

This has resulted in supermarkets importing food to outprice our own, which is making meat production unprofitable. Producing dairy products is a way of life, no longer a living.

Another contributing factor is “Best by” or “Use by” labelling which encourages waste with extravagance. Years ago Walls pork sausages were a household name, produced from waste or swill-fed pigs, which was left over from schools and hospitals, taken at any weight regardless of fat, so profitable that Walls entertained their producers with an annual two day knees-up in London’s Park Lane every December time of Smithfield Show.

If the law made supermarket parking costly, reducing many public parking fees, local production by the local butcher and baker, not to mention brewer, would resume, with increased local employment largely eliminating all the supermarket pantechnicons which clutter up our motorways transporting goods from one national distribution centre to another.

From: Dr David Hill, chief executive, World Innovation Foundation, Huddersfield.

I CAN fully understand why the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement (Yorkshire Post, December 6) is so dire.

Every government since the end of the Second World War has done much of the same and never really backed the people when it comes to national innovation and its exploitation into new industries providing jobs, long-term economic security and meaningful pensions.

They may think that they have been doing what intelligent people do, but where they have neglected what creative people should have done, something that they are completely lacking in knowledge and understanding.

Successive governments have tried for decades to get the university-business model working without any real meaningful success and where it should have provided 100s of thousands of new technology jobs, if not millions.

This should show our politicians that they have got their thinking totally wrong. But does it? I think not. In this respect, for years some people have known that it is going to be a very long haul to get the UK on its economic feet again and where politicians have only lived on “hope” basically for an economic strategy.

It is therefore time that all political parties looked at the only way to get Britain economically vibrant again and that is by involving the creative thinking of all our people, not just those who think that they know best and where history has clearly shown that they know very little. For if we do not start thinking in putting the creative infrastructure in place for our future, we simply have not got one.

From: Rodney Atkinson, Meadowield Road, Stocksfield, Northumberland.

THE former editor of The Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie, has demanded a party to represent London and the South East, because this incredibly rich part of the UK apparently needs help to pay less tax!

But it is the rest of the country that needs redress through a new political party – one which would stop the State-dictated flow of resources, capital and people to London and the South East from everywhere else. London is the centre of law, business, the Stock Exchange, Whitehall civil servants, Parliament, foreign embassies, commerce, insurance companies, investment banks – often led by the best from the rest of Britain either taxed or subsidised away from the regions and into the South East.

High inheritance taxes, high capital allowances for investment, Government nationalisation of and subsidies for industry, the rescues of the London banks, the Olympic Games, Paralympics, subsidies for the best art galleries and theatres – all paid for out of the pockets of the rest of the UK.

With a name like MacKenzie, our Kelvin has forgotten his roots!

From: Terry Duncan, Greame Road, Bridlington.

WHY is Lib Dem Treasury chief secretary Danny Alexander unable to give a straight answer to a simple question?