Loss of support

I READ with great sadness in the D&S (Nov 20) that Garget Walker House in Richmond is to cease offering a day support service, through The Alzheimer’s Society, for people suffering with dementia and their families.

I would like, through this medium, to express how much this provision meant to me and my husband at a time of rapid and uncertain change with a deteriorating condition, a few years ago.

The staff, some whom are volunteers, have a special place in my heart and I thank them for their gentle attention to each person, patience, new ideas and the music.

Gwen Clark, Gayle.

Charging future

I READ with a chuckle your comment about electric cars with some amusement (D&S Times leader column, Nov 20).

Although I agree with all you said, it was the vision of charging cables running across pavements to lines of parked cars that got my mind going.

I have seen another version in Shanghai two years ago. Most Chinese people in this huge city live in blocks of flats, mostly 20 floors plus with no lifts below the seventh floor.

Buying a car is almost impossibly expensive but the roads are jammed. They ride electric scooters – a larger version of the ones being trialled here.

They speed about with no regard for road rule or pavements, but need charging. What do they do? They hang the wires from the windows to the ground!

Chinese flats will be very small, where do you store 20 storeys of cable? Sounds crazy I know but it’s quite a sight and maybe a thing to come here.

You never know.

AE Reid, Northallerton.

Bypass need

I REFER to your report “Calls to relieve flood-hit bridge” (D&S Times, Nov 6) on the flooding and closure of the A684 at Morton on Swale.

Because of climate change it seems to be becoming a regular occurrence, causing chaos to traffic on this important route.

For several years a bypass for the villages of Ainderby Steeple and Morton-on-Swale has been considered and discussed at length.

It is time for the authorities to confront this problem and recognise that urgent action be taken.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

A bypass with new bridge and raised carriageway would seem to be an obvious solution.

The new road would link up with the Bedale bypass which has proved to be an overwhelming success in easing traffic flow.

Morton-on-Swale and Ainderby Steeple would also benefit by becoming quieter and safer places to live.

B Simpson, Kirkby Fleetham.

Brexit deal

“EMBRACE no deal with high hearts” says Boris Johnson (Oct 16, 2020).

He will argue that this statement was all part of his negotiating strategy if a poor deal does happen to be negotiated.

Of course, we are all ready and willing “with high hearts” to compound the economic woes inflicted by coronavirus with the failure to negotiate a deal or a deal of any worth.

Remember what Rishi Sunak said on December 21, 2017: “I have every confidence in the ability of the Government to secure a deal that guarantees a deep and special partnership with the EU.”

Well, here we are after four and a half years.

What a wonderful deep and special partnership has been achieved with the EU. We can embrace it with high hearts.

And now on November 23 I read that Mr Sunak says that the UK should not accept a Brexit deal at any price. “We will prosper in any eventuality”.

He has moved some way from his view of Brexit in 2017. So much for a deep and special partnership.

John Hopkins, Crakehall, Bedale.

Covid funds

EARLIER this year, our Government allocated a budget of £3.2bn to give local councils immediate assistance in their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

An initial release of £1.6bn was made in March, having been calculated by a formula that sought to benefit those councils having the highest levels of deprivation.

This has resulted in many councils in our area being amongst the greatest beneficiaries.

However, when it came to the remaining £1.6bn being distributed in May the allocation formula was altered by ignoring deprivation and replacing it with a “per-capita” factor.

The effect of which was to reduce the “North’s” share by £100m whilst substantially increasing the funding of many Southern based councils.

Those benefitting most, by an increase average of over 35 per cent, were Buckinghamshire, Windsor, Surrey, Wokingham and Oxfordshire.

Furthermore, this revised formula will now be used for all such future resource allocations.

Consideration of such an outcome did not appear to sit easily with the Government’s well publicised promise to address the current long-standing unfairness within the North/South divide.

With that in mind I wrote to my MP, Rishi Sunak on June 17 outlining the above scenario and asked for “an outline of the rationale behind such a change to the allocation process”. Since then I have written to him on a further five occasions, and although I have had replies, it has not been explained to me.

Keith Elliott, Stokesley.

Yorkshire signs

INGLEBY BARWICK councillor Ross Patterson’s demand for more road signs welcoming people to the historic county of Yorkshire has had wide publicity.

Since 1974, with the creation, solely for administrative purposes, of Cleveland County Council, we, south of the Tees, have been fighting to re-establish our rightful Yorkshire identity.

In fact, there should be no struggle at all because, unlike Cleveland County, the North Riding of Yorkshire, including Yarm, Thornaby, Ingleby Barwick, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland, has never been abolished.

In Redcar and Cleveland, we recognise that Yorkshire is not only a major part of our heritage but that the iconic Yorkshire brand will sell us to the world.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

In 2015, we erected signs on all major roads entering the borough promoting Redcar and Cleveland as “On the Yorkshire Coast”. Earlier this year, we replaced the EU flag with the Yorkshire flag outside our civic centre. Soon, we’ll be hosting the Tour de Yorkshire.

As shrewd Tykes, when it comes to a choice between a vibrant Yorkshire, with everything going for it, and a defunct Cleveland County, we know which side our bread is buttered.

Steve Kay, Redcar & Cleveland Councillor.

Dangerous timing

WHY do cyclists need to go out at twilight?

I regularly use the back road from Coulby Newham to Tanton near Stokesley.

It is a rat run. At this time of the year, the light is poor, and sun very low. But, there comes along a cyclist, oblivious to what’s going on around them.

It’s clearly not someone who’s on their way home from work with no other form of transport. Eddy Merckx with his yellow jersey decides he’d like a run out.

Cue long tail backs, and near head on accidents. I ride horses so appreciate the kindness of road users.

I go out when roads are quiet and will pull off into a gateway so people can safely get past, something some cyclists should bear in mind.

Please publish this and stop a preventable but inevitable tragedy.

Gill Lonsdale, Stokesley.

BBC censorship

FOR once I am in total agreement with the “woke” BBC.

They have decided to ban the original version of The Pogues song “Fairytale of New York” from Radio One.

Quite right, a classic song like this should not be played next to the rubbish that passes for music they churn out.

P Curtis, Darlington.

Ice cream weather

“STOP me and buy one” – years ago was the ice cream vendors advert.

But not any longer, because on Saturday afternoon (Nov 14) a Brymor ice cream van vendor was going around Richmond, playing the well-known song:

“The Sun Has Got His Hat On,

Hip Hip Hip Hooray

The Sun Has Got His Hat On

We’re Coming Out To Play”

As the day’s November weather was thick grey clouds, drizzling and with thick mist around and really cold as well, I wonder if the ice cream vendor sold many ice creams that day, especially as the sun wasn’t out?

I just thought the above combination might cause a smile on someone’s face because of the logic of it all, and because of the Covid-19 pandemic misery.

Roland Bramham, Richmond.

Green measures

THE Government has just announced a ten-point plan to cut carbon emissions, support new technologies and boost employment.

But just how much does the Government really care about the environment?

And is Boris Johnson’s “green industry revolution” just a load of recycled hot air jam-packed with tired, rehashed and reheated announcements – the one form of recycling we don’t need.

There’s talk of zero emission planes (‘’jet zero’’), something even Walter Mitty would feel embarrassed announcing.

Carbon Capture is back. Tories have been talking about Carbon Capture for over a decade – and are at it again.

Expect the next announcement in another ten years.

Offshore wind farms come next, with plans to energy power every home by 2030, according to Boris that is.

The very same Boris who once claimed wind farms ‘’couldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding’’.

If the Government really cared about the environment they could actually start introducing some realistic measures here and now.

How about a complete ban on the sale of fireworks. It’s an outdated celebration and causes untold damage through air pollution.

The once November 5 annual event has turned into an all-year environmental nightmare.

Stephen Dixon, Redcar.

Death penalty

I APPLAUD Thomas Ball’s letter in last Friday’s D&S Times (Nov 20).

Britain introduced legal abortion in 1968 and abolished the death penalty in 1973. How ironic!

Society allows the killing of the innocent, live, unborn child but will not sanction the judicial killing of abhorrent murderers, mass murderers and terrorists.

There can be no moral argument against reversing at least one of these Acts of Parliament.

There at least five good arguments for reinstating the death penalty.

1. It is a deterrent.

2. We cannot afford to keep murderers alive until they die in custody. Every reader could come up with 100 better ways to spend the money spent on appeals and prisons.

3. The last time I looked, seven murderers have been convicted, imprisoned, released, and committed further murders. Where is the justice for relatives and friends of the victims? I would argue that you are more likely to be killed by someone who has served a sentence for murder, than you are to be wrongly convicted of murder and be hanged.

4. Imprisoning someone for life is immoral, however, experience has shown it is also too dangerous to release them.

5. The adverse effects on decent prison officers who have to put up with violence and abuse because Parliament reached the wrong decision in 1973.

As a matter of urgency, we should re-instate the death penalty for treason.

This would solve the current problem of so-called “British” ISIS fighters and their wives wanting to be repatriated from foreign war zones based on their claims to be British.

We need to encourage a political party to promise a referendum on either or both of these matters.

UKIP got circa four million votes and frightened David Cameron into including a promise of a referendum on Brexit.

Alastair PG Welsh, Aycliffe Village.