Demand for rail price hike to be scrapped

Readers who rely on the local railway network may find it interesting to note that Kris Hopkins MP has at his disposal a complimentary first-class pass courtesy of the Grand Central Railway Company (

So what chance is there of Mr Hopkins supporting the views of tens of thousands of rail travellers who have signed a petition, handed into 10 Downing Street this week, by Jenny Agutter, no less? The petition organised by the Campaign for Better Transport demands that planned fare rises are scrapped. If they are not, they warn that fares will rise in excess of 25 per cent by 2015.

The private profiteering owners of Britain’s railway companies know exactly how to limit any scrutiny by our representatives in Parliament — they treat them to first class tickets thus ensuring they are ignorant of what it is to travel like sardines in overcrowded, filthy carriages.

If any parliamentarian ought to take note of Miss Agutter’s welcome foray into politics, then Mr Hopkins should.

Paul Carr


Kris Hopkins MPresponded: “In common with many Yorkshire MPs, I do make use of a pass provided by the Grand Central Railway Company, thereby saving approaching £200 to the public purse for each return journey to Westminster I make.

Anyone who might suggest that I am in some way influenced in my views on train companies by this arrangement clearly does not know me very well. Judging by his comments, I would certainly put Mr Carr into this category. On the issue of rising rail fares, I have no hesitation in standing shoulder to shoulder with passengers who feel both angry and worried about future price hikes.

The Government’s argument is that fares have to rise as a means of reducing the amount of taxpayers’ money spent on our rail network and there is clearly a logic to this.

However, given the huge financial pressures currently being endured on people’s pockets at the present time, I would hope that an appropriate compromise can be found.

Take the risk of peace upon ourselves

With the approaching Remembrance Day commemorations we certainly must remember, but it is time to acknowledge that outbreak of armed conflict is a sign of abject failure, not success.

Martin Luther-King commented: “High tech or low tech the result is the same — war not only kills, maims and displaces people but also perpetuates anti-inhumane values which cripple us all.” The writings of the 1914-18 war reflected the horror, the sorrow and the futility of war; the writings of 1939-45 reflect the horror inflicted on civilians, Jews, gipsies, communists and anyone speaking out against the Nazi regime.

The ensuing Cold War, with its threat of nuclear annihiliation has dumbed our senses. While acknowledging that with hindsight different paths, policies and decisions could have been taken, at some point war was inevitable.

Since the 1930s, the white poppy has been worn to symbolise the need to work to create the conditions in which the warmongers will not prosper.

This is not to deny the suffering and bravery of those actually involved in armed conflict, and it could be argued that it is not the military which initially takes the decision to go to war; it is the politicians who are acting on our behalf.

It is, therefore, the responsibility of each and every one of us to live and act to make the war machine redundant.

So many people are working through charities and agencies to make the world a better place, yet the act of war is contrary to these efforts.

At this time of remembrance let us take the risks of peace upon ourselves, not impose the risk of war on others.

Can we, as a society, put more energy into preparing to take such risks rather than preparing for war.

Sylvia Boyes

Wimborne Drive, Keighley

Help wanted with research into health

I am writing to ask if your readers might be able to help me with my research.

Earlier this year I started a PhD entitled The Mental Health of the British in Colonial India, 1858-1947, at the University of Huddersfield.

It may be that some of your readers lived and worked in India before 1947.

Perhaps there are local people who have family diaries and letters or were told stories of colonial life there.

I would welcome the opportunity to meet with them and listen to their memories, particularly any which may relate to mental ill-health.

I retired last year after 35 years in local authority social services work in West Yorkshire. I am a qualified social worker who moved into senior management in psychiatric services.

I can be contacted at the address below, (01274) 565468 or

Mike Young

5 Langley Avenue Bingley

Car park needs closing down

Why has nothing yet been done about the ongoing disgrace that is the Changegate car park, in Haworth.

It seems the good folk of Haworth are content to turn a blind eye to the despicable situation where unwitting, decent visitors to the village – often Brontë lovers from around the globe – are fleeced of nearly £100 at the car park. It is daylight robbery.

I watched a family return to their clamped car, to be greeted by the two heavies sitting in wait in their Land Rover, before then demanding £80 from the family to release the clamp, for parking slightly outside the bay. I watched as the dad had to borrow money from his children, their distress so clear.

Moments later these fine men were ruining someone else’s day. I couldn’t watch any more, it was too upsetting.

Clearly some legal loophole allows this disgusting practice to continue. The people involved in running the car park are beyond contempt, in my opinion.

What upsets me more is how the people of Haworth can allow this appalling situation to carry on in their community.

It is shameful that the car park has not been closed down.

It seems that local people are content to make profit from visitors to Haworth but care not a jot once they’ve spent their money and headed for their cars. There is nobody there warning parkers about what will happen, no signs up, nothing. The car park needs closing down immediately by any means possible.

Rob Hardy

Coventry Road, Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

Pleasant surprise at town council meeting

I had the pleasure of attending the town council meeting on November 3 and was expecting to see much controversy and in fighting.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.

Apart from one occasion when a councillor got a bit irate about whether or not they should be discussing a set of minutes, the rest of the meeting went very smoothly, with many councillors getting their chance to ask questions and make points and votes being cast.

Seemed like democracy in action and pretty much what I was hoping for.

There were even two Bradford councillors there who were being very pleasant and spoke openly about happily working together with the town council for a common purpose.

It seems that if I am ever going to see the famous “back biting, bear pit” of a council fighting among themselves then I’ll have to attend future meetings as I saw nothing of the sort at this one.

I’d like to say many thanks to all the councillors who were there, for making me feel most welcome and putting my mind at rest about the people who represent our interests.

Andy Wade

Providence Crescent, Oakworth