Crime candidates

I HAVE been disappointed to see that, in the upcoming elections on May 6, there is only one female candidate standing in North Yorkshire. We have now had two women prime ministers and currently have 219 women MPs, so, I had hoped to see more representation in our local candidates.

I have been following Alison Hume’s campaign for Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner with interest. Alison has made several pledges, addressing issues critical for North Yorkshire, including drug dealing and wildlife crime. She is also the only candidate who has pledged to tackle violence against women and girls.

In North Yorkshire, the charge rate for domestic abuse-related crime last year was just four per cent, compared to nine per cent across the whole of England and Wales. This disparity is shocking, and needs to be fixed. Following the events of the past few months, I know many women are on high alert and are feeling unsafe on the streets, particularly at night.

We need a Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner who not only takes these issues of harassment and violence seriously, but who also has a clear action plan to tackle these issues head on. So, I think it is really important for women across the county to check out Alison Hume’s campaign, as she is the candidate who will most stand up for their interests. I for one would be very happy to see North Yorkshire elect Alison Hume as its next Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner.

Rosalyn Cousins, Pickering.

Renewable energy

I HAVE great sympathy with the plight of Richmondshire District councillor Clive World in his efforts to resist bullying from the Green minority, regarding comments made in debate over proposals to tackle climate change (D&S Times, Apr 23).

Let’s be clear. There is no “climate crisis”. Demonising carbon dioxide (CO2) upon which, together with water, all life ultimately depends, is asinine. It is not a “pollutant” nor the thermostat controlling our climate.

Whilst indeed currently rising, CO2 comprises 0.041 per cent of the total atmosphere. Not far above the lowest ever recorded.

Average atmospheric temperature has risen too, by about 0.2C since 1979. That is what climate does. Both have fluctuated wildly for the billions of years before humans discovered organic fossil fuels.

Atmospheric CO2 concentration has never grossly correlated with the temperature of the planet. There have been ice ages with CO2 at multiples of today's levels.

Even at four times today’s concentration, the laws of physics render CO2 incapable of absorbing enough infra-red radiation reflected from earth to “greenhouse warm” the planet more than a maximum 2.5C.

The whole basis of the “emergency”, and the multi-billion pound “carbon reduction” industry is computer modelling. Where have we come across that recently?

The actual average temperature has steadfastly failed to exceed the low end of those predictions.

I have a rather ugly solar, panel array. It is unreliable and quite useless at night or in winter. Has anyone seen all the Hilton wind turbines rotating recently? And both are going to power all our vehicles as well?

The renewable energy scam is economic only because of Government subsidy. By “subsidy”, I mean our energy bills. Your hospital’s energy bill.

Our electricity is much more expensive than it need be, and set to increase if Government pursues “carbon-neutral” lunacy. More will die, cold, from fuel poverty.

The coronavirus debt could be eliminated in very short order if we abolished all subsidies, “carbon” taxes, and just went back to efficient power generation – like the Chinese. Without fossil fuels advanced, safe, nuclear is the only route to sufficient power generation.

Our real environmental problems include fly-tipped waste and particulate pollution. It is about time the climate alarmists were called out for being what they are – nihilistic, scientifically illiterate, eco-narcissists.

Martin Coady, Great Broughton.

Air pollution

YOUR article headlined “Fresh efforts to tackle air pollution hotspots” (D&S Times, Apr 23) gave details of North Yorkshire County Council's limited attempts to tackle air pollution, linked to road traffic. One of the hot spots was given as parts of the Selby district.

No mention was made of the largest wood burning power station in Europe, Drax, operating in the Selby area.

One of Drax’s sister companies has recently had to pay a $2.5 million fine in the USA for air pollution.

It is daily emitting many tons of air pollutants from burning wood pellets imported from Europe, USA and Canada.

The generation of these wood pellets is destroying valuable forests. Unbelievably the UK government gives Drax operators a large subsidy to run the power station and Canada gives one to a wood pellet producer.

North Yorkshire County Council should, with other government bodies, be constantly monitoring Drax and if its emissions are exceeding legal limits have it closed down for the sake of the health of the people of Yorkshire and the rest of the world.

Michael Chaloner, Aiskew, Bedale Green Party candidate for 2022 county council election.

Housing cost

IT was recently reported that my MP, Kevin Hollinrake, claimed £2,925 per month between April and November last year to rent a property in London. This was to enable him to undertake his parliamentary business. As Mr Hollinrake himself has pointed out, he accepted a substantial reduction in his earnings to become an MP and represent his constituents. He is perfectly entitled to claim expenses and perhaps rents of close to £3,000 per month are the norm in the parts of London MPs choose to stay in, albeit IPSA put rental caps at under £24,000 per annum.

At the same time however, Mr Hollinrake’s government has seen fit to freeze the local housing allowance upon which many of the poorest in our society depend. From April tenants in privately rented accommodation, including those on universal credit, will have their allowance frozen even though their rents have increased. In effect the government has quietly imposed a real-terms cut and in some parts of the country tenants will lose more than £1,000 a year. Citizens Advice are already concerned that half a million private tenants will lose their homes when the current ban on evictions comes to an end in May. This new cut to crucial support will only make matters worse.

For government to do this at any time is disappointing; to do it in the midst of a pandemic when so many are suffering additional financial hardship it seems unnecessarily cruel.

R Henley, Appleton-le-Street.

Duke memories

WITH reference to “Looking Back” (D&S Times, Apr 16), I was delighted to see a photograph of HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, opening Darlington High School in November 1955.

Although living in South Shields at the time, I was a second year student at Darlington Ladies Training College from 1954-56 which became the Arts Centre and then private housing.

We heard about the duke’s visit and were given permission between our lectures to go and stand on what was the road leading to the new High School (now Edinburgh Drive), wearing our very distinctive green and yellow scarves.

After waiting patiently, we were rewarded for our cheers and hand waving by a very handsome duke, pointing to us and asking his companion in the car who we were.

What a wonderful memory I’ve had over these years.

Margaret Carney (nee Storey), Stockton-on-Tees.

Better spent

HOW right Marion Moverley is in her letter on verge cutting by the Highways department of North Yorkshire County Council, “Verge mowing” (D&S Times letters, Apr 23)

I have noticed that they have cut the verges which were just a few inches high on the A6055 Leeming Lane from Junction 50 A1(M) to Leeming and have probably done so from north of Wetherby to Scotch Corner.

They even cut the grass in front of the three metre high signs as if it causes a visibility problem. Over the hedge on the A1(M), not the responsibility of the county council, they even cut the grass behind the crash barriers.

The county council probably spends hundreds of thousands of pounds each year on verge cutting across the county, degrading acres and acres of wildlife habitat.

This money could be better spent repairing the thousands of potholes on the roads all across the county.

Last Saturday I drove into a pothole or a drain without a grid in Osmotherley. I telephoned County Hall to report it and gave fairly precise details of where it could be found. I was asked for a postcode. For a pothole! I said I could not give one because I did not live there.

"Without a postcode I cannot send anyone out" she said. In frustration I replied "Have you no one with a pair of legs and eyes" and rang off. No doubt others will run into the hole and risk damaging their car.

David Law, Melmerby.

Roadside rubbish

WHILST I empathise with last week's letter writer, Marion Moverley, (D&S Times letters, Apr 23), over the loss of roadside flora due to grass cutting, they can be reseeded.

Only a short distance further north we do however have many brightly coloured verges, examples ready to take your breath away, with a large variety of pizza boxes and pretty takeaway packaging together with colourful contents, notwithstanding the many variously coloured drinks containers, ie plastic bottles, energy drinks cans, coffee cups and many others.

Passing points along our lanes are ideal places to exhibit modern art, using the most basic of unwanted furniture, with different shades of chairs, suites, beds etc, the various colours are eye watering. How wonderful it would be for us country folk if this unwanted verge decoration could be returned to those responsible for "seeding" these "weeds", preferably back into their own gardens, Oh joy! Or would they even notice?

Trevor Mason, Swainby.

Volunteers sought

BLUE CROSS is looking for volunteers to help with the charity’s pet bereavement support service, which has been running for more than 26 years.

The charity has seen a huge increase in demand for the UK-wide service, and as a result has launched a new web chat facility to help reach even more people who are in need of advice and support following the loss of a beloved pet.

Volunteers will be helping to provide support to people contacting the bereavement support service by phone, email and the new webchat services between 8.30am and 8.30pm every day. The role will require volunteers to undertake a ten-week training course and to be able to commit to working a minimum of 15 hours per month.

If you would like to help you can find out more information at

Diane James, Manager, Pet Bereavement Support Service, Blue Cross.

Secret clause

I WAS amazed to read, (actually knowing Boris Johnson I was not amazed) to read that he is signing up to trade deals containing ITDS (Investment to Trade Dispute Settlement) agreements. These ITDS agreements allows any company, which feels that its ability to trade and make profits, because of laws passed by a government, to complain to the ITDS court (which meets in secret) with a view to either receiving vast sums in compensation or having the laws struck off. As the court operates in secret, the public have no idea of what is occurring.

It has been reported that any attempts to limit tobacco sales (for health reasons) are being fought. Similarly attempts to cut coal sales for both health reasons and future climate benefits are said to be taking place. The NHS is no longer safe if USA firms are allowed to use these courts to restrict access to cherry pick parts of the NHS.

Boris Johnson should not sign up to any agreements containing ITDS clauses, but he probably will and we will never know.

Eric Gendle, Middlesbrough.

Populist PM

In attempting to show himself appealingly popular and knowledgeable on issues of the day Boris Johnson has portrayed himself as:

a) Part of the hospital medical team .

b) As a member of the vaccine testing laboratories

c) As a member of an armoured tank unit.

d) As a bulldozer driver.

e) Most recently ,as a soccer enthusiast and table tennis player.

Now without Dominic Cummings to advise, can any reader suggest what appealingly popular and knowledgeable role Boris can portray himself in, relative to the current publicity he is receiving.

Alan Kelly, Ferryhill.

Rotten heart

THE Prime Minister claims that the public aren’t interested in claims of sleaze against him and his colleagues. He could not be further from the truth.

We do care if, as one of his former cabinet colleague claimed, that the refurbishment of his flat in No 10 Downing Street was effectively paid by a “money laundering” operation by Tory Central Office.

We do care that his government has not published the list of ministerial interests since July 2020 despite rules stating that they should be published twice a year.

We do care that contracts were doled out to friends and chums during the pandemic without due diligence being carried out.

We do care that a former PM can jump the queue and lobby at the highest level on behalf of a businessman who had previously been involved in drawing up policy that would help his business.

And we do care passionately that people who have lost loved ones without the chance to grieve properly have been left devastated by the PMs crass comments that he would rather let thousands of bodies pile high rather than back down on his position of not reinstating a lockdown that both his medical and scientific advisors were calling out for.

And I know that Johnson will cry foul and try and bluff his way out of this sleazy pit in which he is mired. But we are so used to him being a stranger to the truth that when he accuses others of lying then, frankly, we simply don’t believe him.

When trust in leadership goes then democracy itself is at risk. We need a full enquiry now to get to the bottom of just how rotten things are at the heart of this government .

Dave Anderson, Middleton in Teesdale.

Who are they?

I HAVE noticed that lately a lot of TV programmes are advertised as celebrity participants examples being Celebrity Mastermind or Pointless Celebrities, then when these people come on I have never seen them before, what a load of rubbish.

G O Wright, Sadberge.