Forward planning

IN support of Ken Tunstall’s letter (D&S Times, letters Jan 10) may I offer the following as further proof that North Yorkshire County Council do not seem to “forward plan and evaluate the consequences of road schemes”.

Just prior to Christmas there was an electronic traffic survey around Northallerton. I suggested to a county councillor of my acquaintance that the survey was being undertaken to help justify not building the proposed North Northallerton link road.

The councillor assured me that it was not so and that the survey was part of long term traffic planning.

It only occurred to me later that what is the point of doing a traffic survey when a major piece of roadway, ie the link road, is not yet built and will undoubtedly have an impact on traffic flow around the town?

So either my suggestion about not building the road was correct or Mr Tunstall is correct and the NYCC traffic planners do indeed not forward plan and evaluate properly.

Robert Carter, Brompton, Northallerton.

Care thanks

WE would like to thank a number of people who assisted my wife when she fell in Richmond recently.

One minute we were crossing the street and the next my wife was unconscious on the cobbles.

Before I had time to assess what had happened I was aware that four people had come to our assistance.

A couple from Darlington, Kim and her husband, stayed with us until the ambulance came. One of the two others ran to get the AED at the request of the emergency services.

Once into the system, the staff at Darlington Memorial Hospital and at James Cook, have both offered wonderful care.

We would like to thank everyone involved and also the staff at the Buck Hotel in Richmond for offering a warm place to sit while waiting for the ambulance.

John and Celia Richards, Richmond.

Debate needed

NORTH YORKSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL have applied for a grant to fund the infrastructure for 5G in the Dales. Cllr Mackay said in the D&S Times that people might not like the extra transmitters but will want the connectivity. But would people want the health and environmental hazard if they knew about it?

I believe something as big and potentially catastrophic as this (if many scientists are to be believed) should be open for public debate.

There will be a massive increase in inescapable, involuntary exposure to wireless radiation. These 5G plans threaten to provoke serious, irreversible effects on humans and permanent damage to all Earth's ecosystems.

Despite widespread denial, the evidence that radio frequency is harmful to life is already overwhelming.

Current safety guidelines are based on the obsolete hypothesis that heating is the only harmful effect of EMFs. Hundreds of scientists have proven that many different kinds of acute and chronic illnesses are caused without heating. New safety measures are needed and should be based on cumulated exposure. Public Health England follow safety guidelines that are 20 year old – before even 3G and 4G.

Twenty thousand satellites will go into Earth's ionosphere and magnetosphere with tens of thousands more applied for altering the Earth's electromagnetic environment with unknown consequences.

Frank Cleg, retired president of Microsoft Canada, has joined with The Environmental Health Trust informing people of the dangers of 5G.

We need to apply the precautionary principle.

The hundreds of people who live in the Dales have signed a petition calling for a halt until proven safe.

Please read the information on the website and be informed.

Brenda Adey, Marske.

Navy reunions

REGULAR readers to the letters to the editor columns of this newspaper, will recall the insertion of a letter of mine, explaining the camaraderie of those who had served in the Royal Navy.

I explained that this could be re-lived at the various reunions held around the country and that these were listed on the site under “reunions.”

Well thank you to all of the local newspapers; you have certainly scored and made a lot of ex-servicemen think back again.

They have emailed me on and the secretaries of various associations have contacted me.

The consequence? A lot more reunions have been held and a lot of old shipmates reunited and re-lived their past experiences!

With Christmas and the New Year celebrations behind us, reunions are again on the agenda, therefore could I ask reunion organisers and secretaries to let me have details of your reunion for listing.

This is a free service and can be done by themselves on site under “reunions” or by emailing the details to me on

Does a letter to the editor work? The printed word stays. “Dear Mike, six months ago we were packing to move to a new house. I used pages from the local newspaper to pack the glassware. I have just unpacked the last of the glasses and I have just read your letter on one of the ‘straightened out’ pages!”

Mike Crowe, RN Shipmates, Isle of Wight.

Tree planting

I’M delighted Andy Preston is planting 10,000 trees in Middlesbrough, and pleased he doesn’t claim they’ll save the planet; but rather wants them for aesthetic and recreational purposes.

I say this because I recently learnt that, relying on trees alone, we’d need to plant 500,000 to achieve carbon neutrality for Redcar and Cleveland Council. And, to get the same result for the borough as a whole, we’d need to plant nine million.

Since Redcar and Cleveland has roughly the same population as Middlesbrough, I guess the latter would need similar amounts of tree planting to obtain the same results.

Of course, a significant advantage Redcar and Cleveland has over Middlesbrough is that we have more countryside to plant the much-needed forests.

Can we cash in by growing a few million trees on Middlesbrough’s behalf?

Steve Kay, cabinet member, health, housing and welfare, Redcar & Cleveland Council.


WHEN it comes to preserving Northern England's iconic moors for wildlife and from wildfires, ensuring they are wetter really would be better.

The vast upland spaces which span the Pennine hills are home to half of all peatlands in the UK. It is a travesty that approximately 80 per cent of these globally important ecosystems — which act as the green lungs of the country by storing tonnes of climate-altering carbon, as well as hosting threatened wildlife and plant life — are dried out and damaged.

Grouse moor burning is driving degradation of peatland landscapes where gamekeepers deliberately set fire to habitat to artificially engineer grouse breeding grounds.

The dried out peatland has become a tinderbox which ignites very easily and can burn for days and weeks.

Sensible moorland stewardship can deliver functioning peatlands which sustain wildlife and mitigate wildfire through blocking up drainage ditches, re-planting peat-forming sphagnum mosses and ending grouse moor burning. Where there is a strong conservation case for heather management a mixture of grazing galloways and cutting suffices.

We are pleased to see Yorkshire Water — the county’s largest landowner — committing to restoring peatlands on its land with a pledge to end burning. This precedent has rightly been followed by the Environment Minister, Zac Goldsmith, who has vowed to put an end to peatland burning “one way or another”.

Luke Steele, spokesperson, Ban Bloodsports on Yorkshire’s Moors.

Nuisance calls

I WOULD recommend readers pestered by nuisance phone calls to purchase a landline (if people still buy them) with 'call blocking'.

I bought a new phone last July and setting it up I activated 'call blocking' quite accidentally.

I then couldn't get rid of it despite reading the manual but it has been a revelation.

Since then I have not had to race to the phone only to find it was a nuisance call.

Prior to that, and I am not exaggerating, I received at least two a day, sometimes in excess of five.

This went on for years and I just accepted it. I do however apologise to those who phone the house and have to identify who they are before they are allowed through.

Mike Taylor, Darlington.

A curse?

WHATSAPP, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, are they destroying human social interaction between people?

Everywhere I go I see people staring intensely into their mobile digital devices sometimes putting their lives at risk when driving or walking along the pavement and crossing the road.

I am concerned the human race is becoming obsessed in a digital manner with what other people are doing to the extent that we are losing the ability to communicate verbally.

Even sat in a coffee shop which by right should be a place to talk and socialise, people are all looking down at these mobile devices.

It is a slow downward spiral to relationships and families breaking up when people don’t talk or verbally share their lives anymore.

I find this sad and these social media apps have contributed to destroying human interaction even in some cases leading to egging people on to take their lives with certain group chats on suicide/self-harm etc.

These apps can also be responsible for stalking behaviour in some cases.

I used to have a Facebook account and found it was taking up quite a bit of my time when I realised my quality of life was going to diminish and I questioned myself ‘What have I achieved today?’

Maybe we need to detox by having a day or a week without using any form of digital technology like they do with Dry January after Christmas.

Colin Telfer, Darlington.

Dog owners

WHEN out on a walk this past Sunday around the Tees Loop to Broken Scar, near Darlington, there were lots of dog owners and their pets enjoying the good weather.

In an adjoining field there were a flock of sheep. As I came closer to the dam there I saw, a friend also witnessed, a dog in the field chasing the sheep.

The owner was frantically shouting at her dog which of course took no notice as it was enjoying the chase.

How irresponsible can some owners be by not keeping their animal on a lead to prevent this happening? Don’t owners know, well don’t seem to want to know, that most dogs will chase sheep and for allowing their animal to do so there are severe penalties?

Sheep at this time of the year can be pregnant with new lambs and by being harassed and chased can lead to lambs being aborted.

Luckily for this lady the farmer, his farm just a field away was not around but I wished he had seen this incident.

Dog owners always will say that my dog will not do such a thing but it’s the dogs instinct to chase and will do so.

So the message is clear and simple enough – keep your dog on a lead and be responsible for your pet.

D. Reed, Darlington.


THERE has been much speculation as to what Prince Harry will do now.

One thing is certain. Unlike thousands of others, he will not turn up at the Labour exchange, to be told that he cannot claim anything

Bill Bartle, Barnard Castle.