Bus service

AFTER today the last bus on Mondays to Fridays for Leyburn will depart from Bedale at 1.50pm and from Leyburn at 2.25pm for Bedale.

Can it really be correct that there will be no later afternoon bus service between these two Yorkshire market towns?

There is already no bus service at all between Bedale and Leyburn on Saturdays - even though this route is a key link in the A684 bus services between the county town of Northallerton and Hawes/Upper Wensleydale - and Saturday is an important shopping and leisure day.

It happens that the bus route between Bedale and Leyburn is subsidised by North Yorkshire County Council, which is nearing the end of a public consultation (had you heard of this?) on the renewal of subsidised local buses in Hambleton, Harrogate and Richmondshire. The closing date is just two weeks today, on Friday July 13.and responses should go to County Hall or by email to passenger.transport@northyorks,gov.uk

I understand the county council has a policy on encouraging travel to work by public transport. How does the withdrawal of an afternoon service on weekdays between two market towns, one in Hambleton and one in Richmondshire, support this policy?

Thankfully the weekly Sunday DalesBus 856 through service between Northallerton-Bedale-Leyburn-Aysgarth-Hawes/Gayle is not affected by the Monday-to Friday timetable change. But please remember to use it or...

Ruth Annison, Askrigg

Website voice

AFTER nearly two years of suffering North Yorkshire County Council's negative response over the state of the roads in the Broomfield area of Northallerton, including a survey of residents affected, we have submitted a request to the chief executive for a section to be added to the NYCC website where ratepayers can express their opinion (good or bad) about how NYCC departments and county councillors respond to ratepayers’ concerns.

In our case the highways department refused to communicate with us for 17 months, however changes have resulted in improved service.

Information released under a Data Protection Act request showed the county council’s executive member for highways had been 100 per cent biased to highways.

We attempted to raise a complaint to the Standards Committee about the minutes of the county council AGM being drastically altered. The complaint was judged in a secret meeting between the monitoring officer, the senior lawyer governance and an independent person (paid £800-plus by NYCC to be independent) and was dismissed immediately. The monitoring officer decides what goes before the Standards Committee. It meets twice a year - total four hours -and their minutes show they do not have to decide anything.

Complaints about NYCC have to be addressed to the chief executive, who very rarely responds. Constantly we are told to go to the Local Government Ombudsman, whose office acknowledges that NYCC are one of the worst councils in the country for dealing with complaints.

As ratepayers pay for this service, we do not think it unreasonable to have a voice on the council website.

We are asking for utmost support for either a petition or a ratepayers meeting at County Hall. To support our request please contact me at michael.hornsby6@mail.com.

We suggest “Ratepayers Opinion”' to be a section on the NYCC website, classed as non-political, restricted to three lines in order to be as concise as possible and to include a satisfaction scale of 1 to 10.

Michael Hornsby, Northallerton

Medical politics

FIRST we were told that 650 people had died after being given diamorphine at the Gosport War Memorial Hospital before 2000, but later were told that there had been a cover up across the whole NHS and thousands may have been killed by injecting patients with diamorphine using an automatic “driver” which was finally taken out of service in 2015.

This is despite the drivers being declared unsafe in 1995 by the British medical regulator and in 1996 by NHS inspectors. For the NHS to take 20 years to decide to take these drivers out of service is simply incredible.

Investigations of the doctors in Gosport in 2000 by the police simply got the statement “no comment” to all detailed questioning so the inquiry simply collapsed, as a result the problem (deaths) continued for another 15 years.

We have to have fearless people capable of investigating. Our politicians simply give one line statements like “the NHS has moved on and new procedures are in place” or “the NHS has been given an extra £9 billion of new money”.

We are also told that the government has a problem in allowing medical cannabis to be prescribed to overcome excruciating pain in patients which cannot be treated by heroin or other drugs.

Our politicians are in a quandary as the normal political rules do not apply to these problems. With the diamorphine drivers it was better not to make a decision because they could be criticised and it may be wrong. Regarding medical cannabis, cannabis is banned and they cannot think beyond that.

Dealing with issues like these I truly wonder if politicians are capable of looking objectively at the like of Brexit and make it work.

Brian Tyldesley, Middleham


I HAVE had to deal, recently, with a rash of horrendous fly-tipping around Lingdale, Stanghow and Moorsholm.

Even though one perpetrator was recently hit with a £400 fixed penalty fine, these despoilers of our countryside return repeatedly with mountains of builders’ and domestic rubbish.

Daily, we find our verges, passing places, and the carriageways themselves, piled with trash; all at considerable cost to council tax payers because, after officials search for evidence, our men have to remove the offending debris.

Unfortunately, when it comes to builders’ waste, there is little incentive to take it to the Dunsdale recycling centre, because the disposal of rubble, ceramics, asbestos, and plaster board is chargeable.

Why? Over two years ago, Redcar and Cleveland Council’s Labour administration closed Dunsdale on Wednesdays to save money. To have that decision reversed, we agreed to charge for the above items. I believe my colleagues and I made a big mistake.

Instead, to reduce fly-tipping, we should have insisted Labour find the money to open Dunsdale every day and make all categories of waste free of charge.

On both financial and amenity grounds, our whole council must think again.

Cllr Steve Kay, Moorsholm

Could do better

RE the “Council Row” letter published in Darlington and Stockton Times on June 15. I am amazed that Peter Monck has criticised Stockton Borough Council officers who have worked diligently with the residents of Yarm , who live in and around the High Street, for at least 18 months. Residents seem to be happy with the outcome of the consultation.

I notice Cllr Monck is saying town councillors are democratically elected and work for the town representing residents and traders. Hollow words indeed when traders concerns are ignored and residents accessing allotments are treated so unfairly it ends up in the national newspapers and a 40- year-old garden association disbands after being frozen out by the council and its representatives. Cllr Peter Monck voted and helped Yarm Residents Association to dismiss tenants on a trumped-up charge which caused genuine people a great deal of grief. This in fact is something that is still ongoing with further tenants being earmarked for the chop .

I note he mentions the traders from Yarm asked them to attend but I am quite sure the traders would not want any trouble, as they need to have the proposed parking changes to be introduced as soon as possible. As for Cllr Casey wanting to try to work with Stockton Borough Council she has certainly failed to do that after the way they all seemed to conduct themselves.

Cllr Monck also mentions Cllr Cook of SBC attempting to discredit Yarm Town Council by referring to Yarm Council’s challenge to the air monitoring data collated by SBC. What Cllr Monck fails to state is he is part of the problem by requesting the removal of the key air monitoring station in 2007 located at Yarm Town Hall thereby contributing to the so called dodgy data the town council are trying to blame SBC for.

Yarm Town Council’s school report for 2018 would definitely say we have behavioural issues and we could definitely do better for our citizens. Time to show some proper leadership Cllr Monck or are there strings attached?

Marjorie Simpson, Yarm Town Councillor

Honest beliefs

I MUST take issue with your correspondent from East Cowton (D&S Times, June 15) who seems to be attempting to turn your worthy and respected newspaper into one of the less reputable national journals by using your columns to imply that those who believe the UK is better and stronger maintaining links with the EU, and in particular MPs holding such views, are “unpatriotic”’ by referring to ‘us patriotic leavers’.

However people voted, the vast majority will have done so in the honest belief that they were voting for their country’s best interests.

He should also bear in mind when expounding such views regarding one MP that, given a free vote and without having the complications of the referendum result to consider, the overwhelming majority of MPs believe we are better off as members of the EU.

In addition, numerous surveys which, admittedly, do not have the status of the referendum, show that there has been a swing amongst the public to the Remain view of considerably more than the 1.8 per cent by which the Leave vote was carried. The reasons for this are partly to do with the change in the demographics over the past two years but also because some people have changed their minds having learned more about the benefits of EU membership.

There is now a very strong case for a People’s Vote to ratify or reject whatever agreement Mrs May and her team are able to negotiate with M Barnier and his colleagues. If the Leave vote is still the stronger then they have no need to fear. If the vote is to reject, then once again it will be the will of the people.

Unfortunately the main argument for Leave in his letter is essentially the “We won, you lost so shut up” shout used by so many of those who hold Leave views with no further enlightenment as to any anticipated benefits of leaving.

However, my letter is not about the Remain case or the election result. It is about conducting civilised debate in print. I will simply reiterate that to use terms such as “unpatriotic”, especially when referring to our elected representatives, simply for holding a different opinion is not only demeaning to the person referred to, it also belittles the author. The only reason for using it in a respected newspaper such as the Darlington & Stockton Times is because of the importance of the principle of free speech in Letters to the Editor.

Finally I would suggest that patriotism demands greater respect for the correct use of the patriot’s language; ‘… what us patriotic leavers voted for’ should read ‘...what we patriotic leavers voted for’.

Janet Hall, Richmond

Asylum seekers

I SHARE Yvonne's Rose's sadness for the plight of those seeking sanctuary from war (D&S Times, June 15) because this country has a long and proud history of giving succour to people facing death and discrimination for their religious beliefs and ethnicity be they protestant Huguenots, pre/post WW2 Polish Catholics or pre-war Jews facing pogroms in Europe.

I don't hold a brief for David Cameron and have often criticised him, yet I believe he was way ahead of the European political elite when he decided to accept people fleeing war in the Middle East via camps and a vetting process.

It is my belief that the North Yorkshire County Council have housed refugee families in Northallerton already and that they have plans to receive more in the not too distant future. They may not be visible in Bedale but they are in Northallerton, they have been welcomed by the churches and have use of the Methodist chapel each Tuesday for prayer.

However academics attached to the think-tank the Heritage Foundation have found that radicalised asylum seekers have murdered or injured more than 1,000 people in terror attacks in Europe since 2014. In the past four years 32 Islamic plots have involved those who sought sanctuary - or 16 per cent. Three of the potential atrocities were in the UK, including the Palmers Green tube bomber Ahmed Hassan.

The analysis by academics found that 44 refugees had either carried out atrocities or had been thwarted before they could bring bloodshed to the streets. Terror expert Robin Simcox said: "It was disturbingly simple for Jihadists to hide among genuine refugees because the Continent's borders were under such huge strain."

He showed how 11 successful attacks involving asylum seekers, killed 182 people and injured 814. He went on to say: "European leaders were either naïve about the risks or failed to communicate honestly with the public about the impact of accepting such large amounts of people would have on security."

The study found that there were 194 Islamic terror plots between January 2014 and December 2017. The total casualties were 357 deaths and 1,678 injuries. Of these 32 involved asylum seekers, refugees.

Unlike Yvonne however, I am not ashamed of our local council. I submit that in the circumstances it is fulfilling its duty of care to its council taxpayers.

Phil O'Brien, Northallerton