Parking plea

AT a time of unprecedented trading pressures, we appeal to North Yorkshire County Council to restore one-hour free parking on Northallerton High Street to help businesses recover from the devastating effects of the pandemic.

We cannot emphasise strongly enough that 30 minutes of free parking is completely insufficient when social distancing measures remain in place in shops and offices.

While we welcome every new reopening freedom, Covid security measures are still with us, with all the restrictions this places on normal operations.

We call on North Yorkshire County Council to help the public and businesses in Northallerton by restoring the one-hour concession until all Covid restrictions are lifted.

We know how much shoppers appreciated the extra half-hour when it was in force between September 2020 and April 2021, and restoring it for a short period would be an important signal that NYCC is listening to the concerns of our business community and genuinely wants to support us.

Northallerton Business Improvement District has campaigned tenaciously for a fairer deal on parking, and we will continue to do so. We look with envy at neighbouring towns such as Darlington and Middlesbrough where free parking is now available for hours on end.

We have petitioned for a level playing field on free parking with other North Yorkshire towns such as Thirsk, Bedale, Stokesley and Great Ayton because we are passionately committed to preserving the commercial health of Northallerton.

We cannot be complacent. As in every other town in the UK, the pandemic has taken its toll in lost profits, lost jobs and in some cases lost businesses.

That’s why it’s so important to know that North Yorkshire County Council is on our side. We ask them to heed our call for help and consideration at this difficult time.

Lindsay Judd (Chair, Northallerton BID Company Ltd), Guy Barker (Director), Nicky Burton (Director), Tyrone Crow (Director), Joan Dyke (Director), Jacqueline Fedyszyn (Director), Marcus Grover (Director), Julie Hutson (Director), Marianna Kettlewell (Director), David Pears (Director)

Speed deterrent

AFTER reading the article “Plan to review speed camera vans policy” (D&S Times, May 14), I was disappointed to see the new North Yorkshire Crime Commissioner's views on speed cameras.

Speed cameras and the positioning of them has always been a contentious issue. However speeding is a crime and if you're not speeding the cameras don't matter.

Prior to elections last week, the only information to come through my letter box, regarding the Crime Commissioner, was from Philip Allot.

I read the leaflet with interest and was pleased to think he was going to address some important issues.

Let us remember that Mr Allott holds the purse strings but doesn't actually fight the crimes. Of course we will benefit from more police officers and fire personnel as long as they too are in the right place and well trained.

What did disappoint me was the first point I raised. Speed cameras. I live on a busy road in Carlton Miniott, opposite the primary school.

We see a speed camera van every now and then. Just its presence slows people down and possibly saves the lives of both drivers and children crossing the road.

If they bring in some revenue that seems absolutely right if someone has been caught speeding. It's not just to catch people, it’s to deter people, and surely this is a good thing.

Maeve Hird, Carlton Miniott, Thirsk.


I AM writing to correct some of the information contained in a letter from B D Todd “Barnett formula” (D&S Times letters, May 14).

While I agree that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all benefit from payments distributed through the Barnett formula, contributions to these are not paid solely by the English tax payers, but by all the UK tax payers.

As long as all four countries contribute to the tax system, they are all entitled to a share of payments.

Scotland, through democratic choice, pays the highest overall income tax rates in the UK.

I do not think that the Scots who wish independence are naive enough to believe that they will not potentially initially suffer an economic hit from independence, however this would be their choice.

Perhaps it is attitudes such as those demonstrated by B D Todd, that seem to believe that England is synonymous with the UK, which has alienated the residents of the other three countries that make up the UK.

It is surely not surprising that some of them wish independence, even at an economic cost, when such anti Scottish/Welsh/Irish rhetoric exists.

Mirren Hunter, Richmond.

Rhetorical question

I WAS surprised to read Trevor Mason's letter “Green Dream” (D&S Times letters, May 7) which, despite all scientific evidence, denies climate change.

He states “there were always the likes of those who thrive on fictitious facts that sadly they seem to believe – or do they?”

May I suggest that Mr Mason is uniquely qualified to answer his own question.

Ian Tidy, Darlington.

Climate research

TWO things stood out for me in last week's letters from climate change denialists Messrs Coady and Welsh.

One was Mr Welsh's suggestion that your readers should "search the subject on YouTube or Google," the other Mr Coady's advice that people reading material about climate change should ask themselves "who is telling me this, why are they telling me this and what do they have to gain".

May I politely suggest that these two correspondents should have asked themselves exactly those questions when they were forming their erroneous views, since much of the anti-climate change information online and elsewhere was disseminated over decades by a massively funded fossil fuel industry lobbying effort.

If Mr Welsh wants to extend his research beyond YouTube, I suggest he logs on to the Met Office website where he can access a range of reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

These authoritative studies assemble and analyse the overwhelming body of evidence behind the view that we are indeed rapidly approaching a climate change crisis.

Frank Broughton, Brompton on Swale.

Gainford eyesore

WHY doesn't someone with gumption from Durham County Council, make a compulsory purchase of the former St. Peter's school in Gainford, so that this eyesore of goodness knows how many years, can be pulled down?

Perhaps the new housing proposal in Gainford, which is causing such dissention could possibly be re-located to the site and might be more acceptable to the locals.

Secondly, why again doesn't the requisite authority in Barnard Castle do something about the HGVs going through Barnard Castle and thundering along Newgate.

Instead of an expensive by-pass, what about signs warning these vehicles without legitimate access and using Barnard Castle as a through road will be penalised. This can be enforced by cameras.

Thomas Ball, Barnard Castle.

Mystery candidates

WHEN at home I have always used my right to vote, but not this month. All I received was a card through my letterbox telling me where to vote. No information whatsoever.

It could have been to vote for Donald Duck or Pluto for all I knew – perhaps because I’m a computerless oldie.

What a waste of money.

Joyce Rutter, Richmond.

South Park

LAST week I arranged to meet some friends at South Park in Darlington at 9.30am. To my surprise all the streets near to any of the park entrances were full of parked cars.

I think the council should make a large car park somewhere in or near to the park to address this problem.

GO Wright, Sadberge.


IT is a universal, inalienable, democratic human right to talk nonsense otherwise parliament, media correspondents, soccer pundits and letters columns wouldn’t exist.

Indeed, we depend on all these to take the “glum” out of life and save us from politics fatigue – otherwise we would all go mad. I exercise this right myself often.

Accordingly, GB Butler his chipped in his dollop of nonsense with his recent letter about body-disposal (D&S Times, May 14). Rarely have I read such an insensitive and ill-conceived letter about such an emotive issue.

Why does Mr Butler take it upon himself to lecture people that they should bury their beloved dead – (I hesitate to say this) like foot and mouth victims?

It is the very essence of faiths to have great respect for the human body in death regardless of cause, indeed to regard it as somewhat sacred as made in God’s image (the Bible).

Mr Butler doesn’t know this. He doesn’t know the Catholic response to cremation either. It’s a matter of personal choice.

Michael Baldasera, Darlington.

Open Scotland

ONE can see how the cry of "no deportation" might appeal to the adolescent minded, but is this an appropriate attitude for a national leader to adopt?

Is this a serious policy proposal for an independent Scotland or simply a means of sabotage while Scotland remains in the UK?

How is the "no borders" agenda to be reconciled with the campaign for an independent state, or unlimited immigration with the aspiration to restore a nation?

For this is not simply a question of freedom of movement to facilitate tourism and international socialising. It entails the freedom to settle permanently, engage in profitable employment or claim benefits. It means ultimately that citizenship of a country could confer no advantages within that country that aren’t equally available there to every other human being on Earth.

These would be open not just to those who can pay the fees charged by people smugglers but to anyone who can afford a one-way air ticket, for Ms Sturgeon would surely not be so hypocritical as to fine airlines for bringing in passengers without the documentation she proposes to ignore.

For someone of her high moral standing even the barrier of paying for a ticket can hardly be acceptable. There should be free charter flights and transport from one’s home to the nearest international airport.

Those concerned with the environment may wish to avoid millions, indeed billions, of unnecessary long-haul journeys by moving directly to the consequences of such a migration. That would be to establish a global common social security rate and minimum wage. These of course would be very much lower than those currently enjoyed in Scotland.

One may imagine this being avoided by expropriating the assets of the wealthy. But you can’t usefully liquidise such assets without there being other rich people to buy them.

There is perhaps an upside for the English from Ms Surgeon’s apparently extreme idealism. We could cater for uninvited migrants by issuing them with a picnic lunch and a ticket to the Scottish border. But we would need to be prepared for the moment when, as with Venezuela, people begin unaccountably to flee their socialist paradise.

John Riseley, Harrogate.

Well said

WELL done Harold Mackenley in defending Boris Johnson "PM defence" (D&S Times letters, May 7).

I shudder to think where this country would be if anyone else had been in charge.

Kathleen Hird, Richmond.