Dog walkers

TWO recent morning walks were nearly spoiled by inconsiderate dog walkers. Firstly, we were amazed just how many dogs were being walked on both occasions on a week day.

In Saltburn gardens we had to stand and wait more than once while leads were withdrawn as the oblivious owners were on one side of the path and the dogs on the other preventing our passage. We also had to avoid dogs leaping from the beck soaking wet.

On the Richmond Drummer Boy walk our passage was again blocked by extending leads. At one point there were more than ten dogs and owners spread across the albeit wider path when one large dog came bounding up to us.

Its owner could see we were not pleased and "reprimanded" the dog saying to it in a baby voice "oh you are such a friendly dog, aren't you"!

On reaching St. Agnes Church cemetery we followed two ladies,whose dogs were not on leads, through the gate. They sat down, ignoring their dogs wandering around the cemetery. This is despite obvious notices asking for dogs to be supervised on leads.

And, of course, the black "fruit" hanging in the trees.

We do not have anything against people owning dogs and walking them. But please realise that not everyone wants to share them with you.

Ian Wilson, Guisborough


I THINK John Harris (D&S Times letters, April 5) must have missed that bit in Rishi Sunak's public meeting about the Friarage Hospital when the doctors were specifically asked about the impact on the ambulance services of the changes at the hospital.

Dr James Dunbar, the hospital's clinical director (who I have to say was most impressive throughout with the clarity of his responses) explicitly stated that the Yorkshire Ambulance Service had made available two additional ambulances in the Northallerton area with the appropriately-trained crews.

And as for the Conservative Government not addressing the problem of not enough doctors being trained, he's obviously forgotten the additional 1,500 medical student places funded by the Government which kicked in last year and, thanks to Rishi's lobbying, many of them will be at Hull York Medical School.

A case could be made that the Government should have acted sooner but then if he really wants to apportion blame for our current shortage of anaesthetists, he might like to point the finger at Blair/Brown Labour Government before 2010. That's how long it takes to train a consultant anaesthetist.

Jane Saunders, Romanby

College Square

THE new layout and re-marking of parking spaces in College Square, Stokesley, is an opportunity to place Stokesley at the forefront of towns to visit which have very convenient, free, and advantageous parking facilities.

Current legislation, which is well out of date, requires parking spaces to be at least 4.8m long and 2.4m wide. It is widely recognised that cars are now 12.5 per cent longer and wider. As a result it is difficult for the non-agile to alight from, or enter, a car. This is due to it being impossible to open vehicle doors wide, as the adjacent car is so close.

It is hoped that the re-marking of College Square will have parking spaces at least 5.4m long and 2.7m wide (12.5 per cent increase).

Another problem which needs attention is that two of the three Blue Badge parking spaces in College Square do not conform to current legislation. A disabled parking bay must have, in addition to the size of the parking space, a minimum width of 1.2m on each side and also at the rear to allow wheelchair access (cross hatching in yellow). Raised kerbs, obstructive bollards, etc., which hinder wheelchair movement, are illegal.

Probably, not an issue in College Square, but should be borne in mind in Stokesley High Street, is the provision of parking for motor cycles, mopeds, taxis, and delivery vehicles. The Institute of Highway Engineers has issued guidelines which are freely available to read on the internet.

If the forthcoming re-marking (April 28 and 29) does not comply with the above then it should be postponed and a new design created.

This is an opportunity for Stokesley and its businesses to steal a march over competing towns, and attract shoppers, by having excellent car parking. I hope we are not going to be disappointed.

It is noted that local councils, and others, do not always comply with legislation regarding layout of Blue Badge parking spaces.

David Williams, Great Ayton

Police concerns

WITH reference to the article "Police dismiss concerns over forces co-operation" (D&S Times, April 5).

Inspector Grainge's statement – "What Cleveland don't have is this attitude to solve the problem because it's not their problem and that's understandable to an extent because it's a North Yorkshire problem" – is to my mind inaccurate.

Acquisitive crime is carried out either to obtain particular goods for one's own use, or to fund other criminal enterprise.

It is not a problem owned by either force but a problem which impacts on the residents of either county.

While ever the decision makers impose boundaries, be they geographic, logistic or financial, then the criminal element will continue to cross them.

Perhaps the time has come to reorganise the structure of our police.

Timothy Wood, Guisborough

Just a habit

IAN HOBSON (D&S Times letters, April 5) asks why Richmond MP Rishi Sunak, voted for a no-deal Brexit, against the interests of his constituency.

In the absence of a reply from Mr Sunak, we can only speculate. But one thing is certain, Mr Sunak can confidently expect to be re-elected, almost irrespective of anything he does. People in the Richmond constituency will vote for the Conservative candidate in their thousands, on autopilot – as they do, in their millions, around the country.

The results are catastrophic. In the century since the end of the First World War, Conservative governments or Conservative-dominated coalitions have held power for two-thirds of the years.

They have brought us the great depression, appeasement, the Suez fiasco, the three-day week, the Miners’ Strike, the poll tax, harsh austerity, and now the Brexit shambles. The Conservative Party is the natural party of mis-government.

At the local level, we get arrogant, complacent, out-of-touch councillors who know they will be re-elected whatever they do or fail to do.

It doesn’t have to be like this. When it became clear that smoking cigarettes increased your chance of getting lung cancer, many people stopped smoking. People stopped drink-driving, and started wearing seat belts, for similar sensible reasons. They would find equally favourable results if they stopped voting Conservative.

It’s not an addiction, it’s just a habit. There are no painful withdrawal symptoms. Voting Conservative is like punching yourself in the face – no one is making you do it, it’s easy to stop, and you’ll feel much better when you do.

Dave Dalton, Richmond

Voting pattern

WORRY not Mr Hobson about the voting pattern of our MP, and in particular your concerns for our farmers and small businesses in a no-deal Brexit.

The markets of Germany, France et al might be denied us, but Rishi Sunak’s richly-talented government colleagues have negotiated trade deals with tiger-economies such as the Faroe Islands and Liechtenstein to fill the void.

Doesn’t that make you feel better?

No. Take aspirin then. Oh you can’t – they’re stuck in Calais.

Richard Wells, East Witton

Market plans

THE plans for a new Market Place in Darlington look very exciting and something to look forward to, now that a lot of shops are closing down.

The town needs to attract people from outside of the town like it has in the past. After all it was always classed as a market town. Also, with exciting venues like the library, Hippodrome and Hullabaloo we do have both learning and entertainment to entice people into the town.

There are plenty of restaurants, and wine bars to choose from. The only criticism I have is there is nothing in town for the teenagers in comparison to what we had in the 1970s.

Dance halls with no liquor but a cloakroom to hang your coats. A bowling alley, a skating rink, youth clubs, even boats on the lake. Even friendly policemen who would clip a lad’s ear whilst telling him to behave

We were taught discipline in those days, first at home, then at school, to prepare us for the future.

We had to show respect for our neighbours to build up trust and went to church and Sunday school and that was before you had to work from 14 years.

Then came the war years. We knew hardships but so very different to what the younger generation call it.

They want the vote at 16 but what do they know of life.

We got fountain pens for birthdays or Christmas gifts. Pocket money had to be earned, usually in pennies. I hope that young people are taught about the war years and the many recent disasters in poor countries because that is real poverty.

So yes, Darlington Council, anything that enhances our beautiful old buildings and history will get a grateful thanks from me.

After all you have put the council tax up so it would be nice to have something to show for it, so thank you.

Mavis River-Horton, Darlington


THROUGH your pages may I publicise the 60th anniversary of 2337 (Northallerton) Squadron ATC.

The cadet squadron was formed in July 1959 and had paraded in various locations across the town. Currently based at the Drill Hall on Thirsk Road and parading Wednesday and Friday evenings, the squadron is keen to celebrate its past successes and history by inviting anyone associated with the squadron in the past to make contact with their stories, pictures and memories.

Past cadets, staff and committee members I am sure can recall events and achievements and who went on to do what after being a cadet. We are also keen to put names to faces in many of the older pictures of camps and events and meet former squadron members.

To that end there will be a coffee morning in the Town Hall on July 17, for all to reminisce about camps, visits meet and chat. There will also be a celebratory dinner in September. Anyone with information or who wishes further information on the Squadron dinner please email in the first instance to make contact.

There have been many many hundreds of air cadets in Northallerton since 1959, some of whom I hope would like both celebrate and add to the squadron’s history.

David Mollard, chair, Squadron Civilian Committee

Farm plastics

THERE is no excuse for any of us to be unaware of the catastrophic consequences of careless management of plastic. So this is a plea to our farmers. Please take responsibility for your plastic feed bags and bale wrapping, so much of which seems to end up in our beautiful Dales rivers and hanging from the branches of the trees which line their banks.

Such debris does much to detract from the wonder and beauty of the natural environment as well as being a risk to our seas and oceans.

Julia Cardy, Wensley

Tall stories

ON a glorious, bright April morning amid the gloom and doom of endless Brexit, I was delighted to read your story “Firm unveils huge Sausage of the North statue plan” (D&S Times, April 5).

By heck, I’ve heard some tall stories in my time, but that takes the biscuit, or should that be sausage!

I told my sheepdog Nellie and she, being partial to a bit of sausage herself, wonders whether dogs will be allowed into the visitor centre (don’t worry, we’re all barking here).

PS Could the new fence around the factory be lowered, as we miss the seeing the sausages being made?

Sandra Stockburn, Copt Hewick

By Heck

A "SAUSAGE of the North"! By Heck, the Angel could only think that the idea had been dreamt up by a head banger.

Graham Thompson, West Burton