Scotch Corner

WITH reference to your headline “Garden centre approved despite traders’ concern” (D&S Times, July 2) expressing dismay at the potential impact commercial development will have on surrounding businesses, I can sympathise with the views of scores of people expressing their concerns.

I noted that the developer has already planned to open a designer outlet in 2023 running in tandem with the latest application for a garden centre.

Having lived in north Buckinghamshire, I noted with interest what was going on in Bicester where a designer outlet was built. It attracted hundreds of Chinese tourists visiting London. Coachloads were driven north up the M40 motorway to inspect the goods on sale – ironically much of it produced in their own country.

Upon inspection of these sites, one can confirm that they are erected on concrete rafts with no footings and the minimum amount of brickwork. Seventy five per cent of the construction is timber and painted in various pastel colours. I can envisage by now, over ten years on, that the shop front timbers will be deteriorating and I can perceive that in a year or two the outlet would be ideal for film crews to film a spaghetti western there.

Recently I have been contacted and subsequently completed a survey entitled Infrastructure 2021 up to 2039 – nine pages in length – and I have returned it to North Yorkshire County Council.

Primarily, as I always stress to Cllr Carl Les, leader of North Yorkshire County Council, when he attends our village parish council meetings, we haven’t got the infrastructure to support developments such as the one above.

The introduction of the new dual carriageway sections of the A66 at Scotch Corner will speed up the traffic flow and even longer tailbacks will ensue.

In West Yorkshire, the Lofthouse Gate interchange enables southbound traffic to take the M61/M62 westbound link for Manchester, to go under a tunnel beneath both carriageways and be swiftly on one’s way. Consequently I suggest that the A66 is re-routed over farmland enabling a similar construction to the one at Lofthouse Gate to be constructed at the Piercebridge/Barton interchange. The exodus from the proposed developments will add a tremendous strain at the existing Scotch Corner junction.

Ken Walsh, Tunstall, Richmond.

Tea party thanks

ON Monday afternoon Northallerton School & Sixth Form College hosted a “thank you” tea party for a group of the volunteers who were marshals for the Covid vaccination centre in the Forum, Northallerton.

I am sure that I can safely say on behalf of those who attended, a very big thank you for this very thoughtful gesture. The afternoon tea was an excellent, traditional selection of tasty school baked cakes and savouries and the speeches from the students were very much appreciated. Sadly the weather did not match the significance of the event.

A big thank you to the students and staff involved in organising the event, your efforts were very much appreciated.

Robert Carter, Brompton, Northallerton.


I READ with interest the letter from Barbara Walker “GP services” (D&S Times Letters, July 9) indicating that ear syringing can still be carried out on the NHS by contacting the GP who can make arrangements with the Friarage Hospital rather than being forced to pay for private treatment.

Not long ago, an elderly relative in his 80s was told by his surgery at the Garrison that it no longer provided the procedure and was given the telephone number for a private ear syringing service in Leyburn. The cost £30 plus for one ear, £60 plus for both.

He believed he had no choice and duly paid for both ears to be treated.

From what I have so far gleaned, a reason for removing ear syringing from GP provision is linked to the increased workload due to the Covid outbreak.

If it is indeed the case that the procedure can still be offered on the NHS, why are patients being denied this information and instead being channels towards the private sector?

Lilian Philips, Catterick Garrison.

England’s loss

LIKE almost everyone, I, too, have an opinion. The entire English team fought hard and gallantly to achieve the final of the Euros.

From what I saw, the English team played very professionally and I would regard them, bearing in mind the ordinary goal situation being 1-1, as a joint winner.

I would suggest that the much-disliked penalty shoot-out is unfair and not worthy of the sport.

A points system should be adopted, as they do in boxing, and points awarded to the better team; in my view, on this occasion, it was England.

It is also appalling that some, who call themselves English purely by accident of birth, display such disgraceful racism against those who behaved in a gentlemanly and sportsman-like manner, when the point was to bring success to English football.

To reach that stage is in itself a success and I would recommend to those people that they should read, if they can, Robert Burns’ poem “A man is a man for all that”; our team were men.

English football should be an honourable game. Race and colour don’t come into it – it’s the conduct and commitment which matters.

In the good old English tradition, this should be protected against the influence of intolerant and ignorant people.

Games and sport in general are honourable activities and should be conducted by a team and its supporters accordingly. I waved my flag in honour of the entire English team, and with pride.

Bernard Borman, Leyburn.

Money wasters

I READ with interest (D&S Times, July 9) that £165,000 is to be spent to employ someone for three days a week at Hambleton District Council, then further into the paper, Yorkshire taxpayers are being asked to stump up a possible £900,000 for a bike race that the organisers will not pay for. In that case the riders themselves should pay as I suspect the majority of people in the county are not interested in it anyway.

I also read that Richmondshire Council will not provide much-needed facilities for HGV drivers, the very people who deliver virtually all our goods, and have kept us supplied during the pandemic.

I feel that councils now are hell bent on wasting money and we as council tax payers are being overcharged and are getting reduced services. Surely these ridiculous figures quoted would be better used to support the NHS?

CP Atkinson, Great Ayton.

Jab notices

IN view of the proposed lifting of many Covid restrictions, surely it would be a good idea for the Government to make it mandatory for service providers such as hairdressers, beauticians, barbers, etc., to display in their windows a notice stating whether they and their staff have been fully vaccinated?

People have the choice to be vaccinated and this would then also give customers the choice of using their services or not.

Caroline Harvey, Middleton Tyas.

Restrictions easing

YOUR editorial comment (D&S Times, July 9) was timely.

I have life-long serious chest problems, and was shielding. I have had my two jabs but remain especially at risk to Covid. There are many thousands of others in the same position because of medical issues. It is no exaggeration to say it may prove fatal in some cases.

The Prime Minister, in his typical cavalier manner, says he recognises that face masks offer protection to wearers and the public generally, but he thinks it should not in future be legally required to wear them.

He says he can leave it to the common sense and personal responsibility of the British people. If it were not such a serious matter, I might fall off my chair laughing.

There are many people who will treat this seriously and wear masks, especially indoors and in confined spaces. But there is a sizeable minority who could not care less and will spread the virus around quite unconcerned about the injury they are causing to other people.

The Prime Minster is equally guilty for allowing this to happen.

What are the thousands of people in my position to do? Perhaps go into long-term lock down?

Is there another explanation for the Prime Minister’s seemingly bizarre conduct?

In the early days of the pandemic he denied it was government policy to look to herd immunity to provide a solution. But several ministers let it slip that that had been in mind.

Is the Prime Minister now willing the virus to run amok with that intention?

Mervyn Wilmington, Harmby, Leyburn.

Cricket correction

THE caption to the photograph of the 1921 (not 1920-21) Australian cricket team in Chris Lloyd's "Looking Back" (D7S Times, July 9), whilst correctly asserting it was "one of the greatest of all time", did not go through the 1921 season unbeaten.

England were thrashed 5-0 over in Australia in 1920-21, and then in the return series in England in 1921 were defeated 3-0 in the five tests played, the other two were drawn.

Sensing a mood of despondency in the country, a former England captain, Archie MacLaren, claimed he could pick a side capable of beating the Australians. He duly got a side together, consisting entirely of amateurs, which he captained at the age of 49, and a first class fixture was arranged against the Australians, played at Eastbourne.

Incredibly, despite being dismissed for just 43 in their first innings, MacLaren's side eventually won by 28 runs. Scores: A C MacLaren's XI 43 and 326, Australians 174 and 167.

The Australians then moved on to Scarborough to play against C I Thornton's XI, which they also lost.

Don Bradman's Australian team, which unsurprisingly later became known as the "Invincibles", went through the whole of their 1948 tour of England (not forgetting a two fixtures in Scotland) undefeated.

Charles Allenby, Malton.

Child poverty

YES, Kevin Hollinrake it’s happening on your watch, children in your Thirsk and Malton constituency are being left behind.

Despite national headlines that "no child will be left behind" Government data published this month shows that child poverty (using both absolute and relative measures) in our constituency continues to rise.

Between 2014-2020, child poverty rates increased from 12.5 per cent to 16.3 per cent (relative poverty) and absolute poverty rising from 12.8 per cent to 13.7 per cent. That means 365 more children in Thirsk and Malton are living in absolute poverty since Kevin Hollinrake became their MP.

The figures hide the reality for more than 11,000 children and their families who have seen support for those eligible for free school meals, Pupil Premium and "Catch Up" funding under threat. The government’s response to widespread pressure from campaigners, such as Marcus Rashford, to feed eligible children during school holidays, was to provide funding of just £1.25 per hour linked to involvement in holiday club provision.

Most recently, schools have seen a reduction in Pupil Premium funding (worth approximately £1,000 per eligible pupil, for example those on free school meals) after the government changed the way eligibility was calculated. In North Yorkshire, more than 800 of the most vulnerable pupils will miss out this year because of this change.

The most recent child poverty figures do not show the picture during the pandemic but we know that some of our most vulnerable children will also lose out as the recently announced education Catch Up premium “does not come close to meeting the scale of the challenge” (quote from Sir Kevan Collin ex Catch-up Tsar).

If Kevin Hollinrake is serious about getting a better deal for these children, can he tell us his plans to address child poverty in his constituency?

BA Southwell, Bagby, Thirsk.