Mast woes – again

THE Bilsdale website confirms there are not spots with no direct line of sight for a TV signal – with no TV available from Bilsdale.

In the D&S on October 29, site operators Arqiva replied to my earlier concerns about no signal areas – suggesting a help line.

What happened next?

We did get a ring-back after a couple of days as our combined age is 165 years. As my wife and I had no chance of a signal and little chance of a signal until a full height mast has been built we were given the brush off as we were looking into Sky.

While there is a suggestion of 95 per cent reception, this is of little comfort to those in parts of areas to my knowledge stretching from parts of Leyburn to villages such a Bardsey north-east of Leeds where 35-50 per cent of homes still have reception problems.

How many have no signal is probably not known – based on leaflet drops to Park View area of Leyburn but not to not spots in Middleham Road or Ellerclose Road.

Is the full page Aquiva update in the D&S Times on November 5 part sleight of hand?

Put another way, if you are old or on a low income and have no signal and no broadband will Arqiva kindly confirm there will be no TV yet for you?

There is mention of a £50 voucher for a “dongle” from Curry’s with no mention of how to get a dongle without email.

Curry’s site confirms these devices require a smart phone or home wi-fi to work.

Neither site mentions if you have a mobile phone or computer wi-fi, if you start streaming a few hours of TV a day you could get a big bill from your phone/broadband provider.

We had a very nice man today from Sheffield to install Sky – at a contract price of £390 – which some cannot afford.

During his visit he mentioned he was being put up in a local hotel so that Sky could catch up on their backlog of orders in the area.

Those in not spots without broadband who cannot afford Sky will have no TV this Christmas.

There is no word yet on when erection of a full height aerial will be completed.

Is there a worse-case scenario that some will not have a TV signal by Christmas 2022?

Len Shepherd, Leyburn.

Quiet clause

THERE has been much talk in the media and not a little public disquiet, over this government's intention that there should be no gas boilers installed post 2035.

That, however, only applies to urban Britain as for around one million rural dwellers with oil boilers quite a different and less accommodating regime applies, given that under chapter three, sub section iv, clause 14 of Boris Johnson's Net Zero Strategy document (page 140), they will have only another five years before installing a replacement oil boiler becomes illegal in 2026 and they will then be expected, instead, to dig up their gardens and install a vastly expensive and ineffective ground source heat pump along with all the new radiators and additional insulation that that will require.

When taken together with the welter of environmental impositions on farmers, the unceasing attacks on the meat industry and livestock farming along with the policy of rewilding large swathes of the countryside, can anyone seriously doubt the instinctive hostility to rural England and its people of this oh so very metropolitan government?

A J Gobbi, Bedale.

Hedge destruction

WHEN are Hambleton District Council going to start protecting our environment?

Developers have just ripped out a 300-year-old hedge in our small village of Kirkby in Cleveland, on the edge of the National Park, and destroyed a large piece of agricultural land to build two houses, which most occupants of the village, and the parish council, had objected to.

The single track country lane leads up to The Trod, which has the same heritage status as Stonehenge, and has hedges all the way up, on both sides, and is our route to the Hills.

The hedge and the trees in it were ripped out in a day and a large metal fence erected.

This hedge was the hunting route of our barn owls and many other species of birds, small mammals, insects, for bats and birds.

There were at least three different types of shrubs, ivy, blackberries, sloes, rose hips, wild flowers and grasses on the verge.

We share our special Hill Road with walkers from far and wide, joggers, mothers with prams, people on horseback, who all appreciate its natural beauty and position.

The field itself holds historical and positional importance for the village. The beauty of the hedge can never be revived for many generations to come and the effect on our fragile planet just adds up.

This destruction reflects the nature of developers and the lack of control that Hambleton appears to have over the enforcement of good practice.

The disregard in which both parties hold the inhabitants of Kirkby, who have carefully nurtured and protected our living, expanding and environmentally friendly village is patently obvious.

Local organisations and individuals have been, for years, working towards the aspirations which are currently making bigger headlines at COP26. Unfortunately, this shameful act is not unique under the auspices of Hambleton District Council's planning committee and its approach to the care we expend on our surroundings as a small village which has always tried to negate pollution and reduce our carbon footprint.

Name supplied, Kirkby-in-Cleveland.

First past the post

SUE BARTON (D&S letters, Nov 5) may have missed the point of my letter regarding the Brexit referendum, which was that a majority of the electorate chose to leave, and that not winning did not imply disenfranchisement of those who lost, rather that the long established method of first past the post for UK wide elections and referenda had worked, again, as it would have had the Remain cohort won.

The potent consequences of either result were well reported by both sides throughout the campaign.

Keith Mungham, Potto.

Poor delivery

I WOULD like to know what has happened to mail delivery in Romanby?

There have been up to three days in a row when no mail has been delivered, confirmed by other neighbours, this is happening weekly.

When I did manage to find a postman, they just said that there is not enough staff for a daily delivery. One day I received 18 pieces of mail.

Surely there are enough people to have one delivery a day. I remember the times when we used to get two deliveries a day.

What is going on? If you cannot do a daily delivery now, how are you going to cope around Christmas?

Karen Peaurt, Romanby.

High street support

NORTHALLERTON High Street is my destination once a fortnight where I support various shops, spending up to about £200 in total on each visit.

Maxwell’s is a family shop where the staff are invariably helpful, nothing is too much trouble; in September I bought a fridge-freezer and was delighted with the purchase, to say nothing of the excellent saleslady and delivery team.

Lewis & Cooper keeps me supplied with sauerkraut and handmade luxury fruitcake – a strange combination which works for me.

It goes without saying that Betty's is always a delightful experience; I am awaiting a delivery of their “Father Christmas biscuits” later this month. My granddaughter in Liverpool enjoyed a postal delivery of their chocolate “merry men” when she was recovering from Covid-19. Barkers is my favourite department store where I have bought goods and furniture for the past 30 years. There are many smaller shops too numerous to mention but they all, without exception, provide outstanding service.

However, on a recent tour of the High Street I was so disappointed by my visit to a well-known shop that I feel duty bound to report it.

I’m an elderly technophobe; it isn’t surprising I need help with producing conventional photographs taken by my digital camera. As usual, I walked through to the back of this shop to the reprographics department.

There were no assistants there, nor customers. At the entrance were two gentleman staff members in conversation.

When I asked him for the help I normally receive, he said “no, it’s self-service”. Calmly, I remonstrated but he repeated the same words adding “just follow the instructions”.

The downstairs department was empty, surely one of these gentlemen could assist? But no, he was adamant.

I walked out in dismay to Boots where an assistant helped me produce the photographs in less than five minutes.

Am I alone in thinking that I was badly treated? Yes, I’m a dinosaur but underneath I am a sensitive human being who is willing to support the continuing success of the High Street.

Name and address supplied.

Change deniers

TREVOR NICHOLSON details a whole series of challenges the country faces if it is to become carbon neutral by 2050 and concludes that meeting them is beyond us “Climate targets” (D&S letters, Nov 5).

His apparent alternative is to do nothing, a failure of resolve which will cause untold misery and death from the catastrophic impacts of climate change on future generations in rich and poor countries alike.

Mr Nicholson then repeats the discredited dogma that denies current climate change is man-made.

I can only hope that mankind’s future lies in the hands of the young people who marched in Glasgow and other cities throughout the UK last weekend and not with those whose heads remain firmly stuck in the sand.

Frank Broughton, Brompton-on-Swale.

Sustainable living

THE COP26 conference in Glasgow seems to be avoiding or missing the point with regard to climate change.

The threat to our planet is overpopulation. Everything else originates from this.

Until we stop breeding like rabbits there will be no solution. Surely, the emphasis should be on reducing the population?

Photos of battery beef production in the world's biggest producer, the USA, show cattle crowded together looking like an ants nest rather than a sustainable farming practice.

I have seen this myself in Nebraska. Deforestation for soya production and beef production is unsustainable.

Beef and dairy production in the UK is small scale and well managed, we should be avoiding importing meat products as well as fruit and vegetables from around the world.

Three-quarters of fruit and vegetables in the UK is imported, much of it could be grown here, do we really need insipid strawberries from Spain, Morocco, Israel in winter?

David Race, Darlington.

Illegal migration

THE UK, USA, EU and Australia are all suffering from illegal migration.

There is no surprise, such migration has happened since the year dot.

The only new element is that now such migration is illegal, migration has always involved people from poor countries going to richer countries.

Such migration is a natural process and any effort to stop it is foolish, like in the story of the real King Canute. King Canute allegedly said: "Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws."

If any sovereign power, however mighty, thinks that migration can be stopped by labelling it illegal then they only take themselves and their people further from what is noble and just, cause a lot of anguish and waste a lot of effort.

Chris Pattison, Richmond.

Carefree times

One of the few good things about getting older is all the memories of your younger days before you had to worry about paying the gas bill or mortgage payments.

School years and teenage years were a lot of fun for me, in some ways it’s a shame to grow up.

GO Wright, Sadberge.