I AM the “elderly woman” mugged in Settle last Monday (‘Man, 44, is held after woman is robbed’, Craven Herald, February 25) and I want to put on record my great appreciation for the speedy response by our local police.
Within minutes, PC Harry Carpenter was with me, two other officers were already searching the area and by the time I had returned from Airedale A & E they had located my handbag and purse.
The next day, while awaiting surgery for my injuries in BRI, I received a phone call to say that a suspect had been apprehended in Harrogate and was now in custody. The following day he was before the magistrates and remanded in custody to await trial in March.
While one does not expect such an attack in Settle we are lucky to have a really professional and caring team to act so quickly.
I must also thank everyone for their cards, emails, flowers and concern for my welfare. It just proves that in spite of everything that has happened, Settle is still a very special place in which to live.
ONE of the many pleasures of living in the Craven area is the arrival each February of Europe’s largest wading bird, the curlew. This exotic-looking visitor is one of the most recognised birds in the UK, found in upland and coastal habitats.
The curlew’s most distinctive feature is the long down-curving bill (the first part of its Latin name ‘numenius arquata’ translates as crescent moon) that it uses to probe the ground for worms and insects. Before you see your first curlew of the season, you will probably hear their distinctive bleating ‘COURli’ call, that gives the bird its common name. Such calls and behaviour demonstrate the primary reason for their presence in the hills around Craven, from February through to July: to breed on wet grasslands, managed hayfields, heath and moorlands.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park and surrounding areas is home to around 4,000 breeding pairs of curlew. This accounts for about six per cent of the total 68,000 pairs of curlew breeding in the UK each summer. It came as a shock, then, to discover that the curlew has recently been identified as one of UK’s most rapidly declining breeding bird species. Between 1994 and 2010 the UK Breeding Bird survey showed a 45 per cent decline across the UK.
The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has subsequently launched its Curlew Appeal to identify the causes of these declines and to plan potential conservation actions. Details of the appeal and how to donate can be found on the BTO website: bto.org/support-us/appeals/bto-curlew-appeal
Let us hope the declines nationally can be halted and we do not lose for ever one of our most distinctive sights and sounds, seen and heard around the hills of Craven.
SURELY one can be against wind turbines in a particular location without distorting the reality of energy production? Mr Rigby and Mr Smith (‘Striking a Blow’, Letters, February 25) refer to “wind farm subsidy junkies” as if none of the other sources of energy receive subsidies.
In 2014 subsidies for fossil fuel production in the UK equalled £5 billion. Further tax breaks were announced in 2015. The subsidisation of the nuclear industry is even greater. Why aren’t Rigby and Smith railing against these other subsidy junkies?
Their quoting of Thatcher’s press secretary Sir Bernard Ingham is a clue. Virulently anti-wind power (and a global warming sceptic), Ingham is a shill for the nuclear industry as a one-time consultant to BNFL and now a fully-funded supporter. Rigby and Smith respect the big bucks, no matter how great the addiction.
Unless wind power can do what no other source of energy production can — not receive government support and be 100 per cent efficient — it is to be denounced as a “game”. Mr Morley calls for its elimination - ‘Turn off the turbines’ - unless wind power “can provide for all our energy need”. Given that we are dependent on foreign companies and governments, from France to China, for the majority of our energy it is hard to imagine a more vulnerable situation.
Morley’s skewed logic is that if any green/renewable project can’t provide the total solution then it should be scrapped. It’s a little like saying that since seat belts can’t stop people dying in car accidents, let’s get rid of them. Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit.
Apparently the government listens to people’s anger and has given them the power to protect this “green and pleasant land” (unless you happen to live near a coal or nuclear power station). The game is up for fracking, right?
THE announcement that Julian Smith MP will be supporting David Cameron’s “stay- in” campaign in the forthcoming EU referendum - ‘MPs are split on debate over UK’s membership of EU ahead of vote’ (Craven Herald, February 25) is quite a U-turn from his original EU position when he sought selection as Conservative PPC for Skipton and Ripon.
At the US-style hustings in 2009 he promised to fight tooth and nail against further powers being transferred to Brussels and to support and encourage the return of selected powers to Westminster to whoops and hollers of assent from those gathered.
In February 2010 in a letter to me, he further sought to burnish his Eurosceptic credentials, saying that he was the ‘polar opposite’ of David Curry, his uber Europhile predecessor.
But no sooner had he been elected in 2010 than he appears to have had an epiphany, voting for more EU integration, according to theyworkforyou.com, and now supports Mr Cameron’s renegotiation deal, which, in the words of Steve Baker, co-chairman of Conservatives for Britain, “it is pretty spectacular to set the bar so low and still miss.”
Fortunately 140 or so Eurosceptic Conservative MPs appear to be the polar opposite of Mr Smith, seeing right through Mr Cameron’s renegotiation charade and will be supporting the Leave campaign.
Wainmans Close, Cowling
I WAS prompted, in one of the many emails I have received about Wyvern Park, to review Craven District Council’s values which are displayed on its website:
“We believe our first responsibility is to the people and communities who live in, work in, or visit Craven.
In serving those communities everyone within Craven District Council will:
- Treat everyone with respect;
- Act with integrity and honesty;
- Show commitment and flexibility;
- Strive for improvement and excellence."
Sadly, I have little evidence of the officers and elected representatives of CDC currently living their values. However, I am delighted that the Wyvern Park developers, Henry Boot, may be about to show that they do live their values following a most welcome phone call received this week. I will be pleased if CDC will do the same and show “commitment and flexibility”, in particular to work with the community to ensure that the impact of the Wyvern Park development is carefully managed, with safety and conservation as top priority.
If you would like to know more please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
WE thank Peter Rigby and Gerry Smith for their kind comments about our involvement in the fight against the Brightenber Hill wind farm (‘Striking a blow’, Craven Herald Letters, February 25). However, we were just a small part of the Friends of Craven Landscape team.
Our action group comprised several extraordinary people, each of whom brought unique talents to the table. Without the work of each member of this team, things may have turned out very differently. Within the wider community, our supporters numbered many hundreds and we cannot thank enough the two families who made enormous financial sacrifices that proved vital to the campaign.
Ultimately, it is the Craven community who must take the greater share of credit for protecting not only our beautiful landscape but more importantly, the quality of life of the people who live and work within the landscape.
CHRIS AND STEPHANIE EMMETT
JUST before Christmas my eight-month-old puppy found in the garden a pink dog biscuit. The ground was wet, which must have softened the biscuit as he was able to eat it before I was able to take it from him. About two hours later he was very sick, which I believe saved his life.
I had printed some small posters warning other dog owners to be aware of the danger and put them around my house and garden. Shortly afterwards a neighbour called to tell me she had found strange biscuits in her garden, which one of her dogs has eaten and was also ill.
Since then my garden gate has been propped open, just wide enough to allow a small dog through. My dog escaped. Luckily he was found unharmed and is now safely home and the gate padlocked.
I rang the police, who said they could not do anything without evidence.
I do hope something can be done to prevent further happenings.
J CAROL AIKINSON
School Lane, Addingham
I WAS involved in researching, together with Patrick Hargreaves, the Glusburn and Cross Hills ‘Fallen’ of the Great War for the Parish War Memorial erected in 2014. I am now working on the Second World War ‘Fallen’, as well as life in the parish during that time. I would welcome any information about the individuals or groups affected.
The aim is to produce a small booklet, similar to that of the Great War published by the parish council. Would anyone with an interest in forming a Cross Hills and Glusburn local history group or with information about the Second World War period please contact David Birks on 01535 634097 or email@example.com.
SOME of your readers may have watched the recent ITV documentary Churchill’s Secret, which aired on Sunday.
During the summer months of 1953, Sir Winston Churchill, who was Prime Minister for the second time and in his late 70s, had a devastating stroke which was kept secret from the world.
Sixty years ago, little was known about stroke and it was viewed by many health professionals as a sad but untreatable condition. Despite the efforts of the leading neurologists in the country, Winston Churchill never fully recovered, though he continued in office until 1955. He sadly died in 1965.
Recent developments in medicine and research have transformed the way stroke patients are treated, and today far more people survive stroke. But there is still much more to do to help the 1.2 million people in the UK affected by the condition.
The Stroke Association is a charity, and we are proud to have funded pioneering research that has helped to save lives and improve stroke rehabilitation. We want to ensure everyone touched by stroke has the help they need. To find out more about the support we offer, your readers can visit www.stroke.org.uk.
Regional Director for the Stroke Association in Yorkshire and the East Midlands
THE latest Royal College of Physicians report into UK air pollution highlights the importance of getting more people walking and cycling. Road traffic is the most significant cause of air pollution, and with 39 per cent of journeys under two miles being driven, swapping four wheels for two feet is an easy and effective way to tackle the problem.
The Government has a legal duty to protect people from the harmful effects of pollution, which is more likely to affect children and older people. It must prioritise investment to make our towns and cities safe and attractive so that more people start walking and experiencing the benefits it brings.
It’s good to see the report recommending local authorities be given the power to limit the amount of cars on the road, especially around schools. This results in safer, cleaner and healthier streets for all of us, and would go some way to tackling inactivity levels too. Very simply, more walking means less air pollution.
Head of Policy and Research,
Living Streets, London