LETTERS: MP is happy for us to be Cinderella region

THIS month the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR North) updated its transport investment report for the north. It reveals that in London, planned transport spending is seven times more per capita than in Yorkshire and Humberside – the Cinderella region with the poorest investment. That’s GBP3,636 of public money for each Londoner, compared to GBP511 for each person in our region.

Since 2010 there has been much hype from the Government about a “Northern Powerhouse”, but the report shows that far from narrowing, the spending gap is getting worse. In 2003, moves for a Regional Assembly for Yorkshire and The Humber were ahead of their time, but now that time has come. The hopes for a One Yorkshire devolved authority with the clout to challenge London were rejected by the Government earlier this year in favour of divide-and-rule that would keep our region weak.

Depressingly, this was supported by our local MP Kevin Hollinrake, who once again chose not to rock the boat and seems quite content for us to remain a Cinderella region. The IPPR North report recommends devolution of a GBP400 million project development budget to the north so we can take responsibility for managing our own infrastructure. It also calls for delivery on promises made for a full Northern Powerhouse Rail project: one to benefit the whole region and not just Leeds-Manchester.

However, even a limited northern rail project may now be doomed, as HS2 has been placed under review. The Northern Powerhouse Rail was due to connect to HS2 with a high-speed service to match the one France has enjoyed since 1981. It now seems likely that HS2 will go no farther than Birmingham, keeping the north ignored and neglected.

So what is Mr Hollinrake going to do about this? Based on his past performance, I’m afraid we can expect very little. Dr Peter Williams, Malton

Weary of campaign I WISH to respond to the recent letters from Dr Thornton and Cllr Potter. Like many others who support the Ryedale Shale Gas Industry, I am getting weary of their constant vociferous campaign against this industry.

Both of them are fortunate to own visitor holiday complexes. Both complexes advertise that they have wood/log burning stoves (quiet evenings by the flickering flames) and for one complex gas combi boilers. Can I point out that wood burning has been described as producing more harmful air particulates than a diesel truck.

Wood smoke is thick with the tiny particulates, known as PM2.5, that are linked to heart attacks, strokes, cancer, dementia and various other ailments. Domestic wood burning is the largest single source of PM2.5. According to one analysis of government data, it produces more than twice as much as all road traffic and an atmospheric chemist at the University of Birmingham has stated that wood smoke carries more carcinogens than diesel or petrol exhaust.

For consistency and in accordance with their beliefs Dr Thornton and Cllr Potter should really practice what they preach and get rid of their wood burners and gas combi boilers. David Pasley, Pickering

5G consultation THE UK government is holding an under-publicised consultation on the Electronic Communications Code (EECC).

This is on the conditions for a more rapid adoption of 5G mobile communications technology, the first wave of which was launched recently. The advice MPs have received is that the technology is safe for mass use, but this is yet to be proven. The guidance only covers limited heating effects.

A planned wave of 5G will use very high frequency pulsed radiation (MMW). Safeguards on other ionising radiation suggest that this should not be trialled in public places such as near schools or via antennae on lamp posts outside our homes. More than 200 scientists have called for a halt on expansion until it can be proved safe.

The authorities should concentrate on safer alternatives such as wired broadband and Light-Fi.

You can respond until September 10 via EECC@culture.gov.uk.

Mark Taylor, campaign manager, SayNoTo5G

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