8:50am Saturday 7th April 2012
Sir - The recent tragic events in York to a woman de-canting petroleum spirit from a container reminded me of the number of people who have been badly injured, disfigured or who have died as a result of the use of petroleum spirit stored in containers.
As a retired fire brigade officer, over many years I have attended several petroleum spirit related incidents in the UK and USA including murder, self immolation, explosions and other incidents. Each has been tragic, but most accidents were due to the person involved not understanding the dangers of Petroleum Spirit.
I was somewhat dismayed to hear a Cabinet Minister announce on television that the jerry can containers of Petroleum Spirit should be used to ‘Top Up’ vehicles with no mention made of the legislation covering its carriage, storage or use.
I am unsure what the legislation is today covering the carriage in containers, carriage in and on vehicles, storage and use of Petroleum Spirit but I am sure there will be, as there was, regulations covering these basic points of safety.
1. The carriage of petroleum spirit in containers.
2. The carriage of petroleum spirit containers in and on vehicles.
3. The storage of petroleum spirit in containers.
4. The use of petroleum spirit Such regulations did cover the construction of containers, carriage of containers. construction of storage areas and use of petroleum spirit and were enforced by the County Council’s Designated Officer. In the case of North Yorkshire this happened to be the county fire officer but in the case of other Counties I am unsure now who is responsible.
However, I am sure advice will be given readily and free of charge by simply contacting the local fire prevention officer or county council of the area concerned.
Grant Salisbury, Embsay
Sir - I am getting more than a little tired of reading in the Craven Herald about the antics of Carstoppers of Haworth on a part of Craven area within the bounds of Craven District Council.
I can understand the frustration of business people in Skipton caused by the use of their premises for parking of cars not using their businesses.
What really angers me is that these property owners who employ Carstoppers will be paying for their services, whilst at the same time Carstoppers are raking in a fortune from Craven District ratepayers who fall foul of the company’s remit, but the firm itself is contributing nothing to Craven District Council’s coffers through its business.
Their head office, if there is such a thing, with a rateable value, is not a contributor to Craven District Council coffers.
Not only are they exporting exorbitant sums of money from the area, but the finances of Skipton-based businesses, ie ratepayers will also suffer through would-be shoppers being discouraged from visiting the town centre.
Kathleen Robinson, Hellifield
Sir - I would like to congratulate our MP Julian Smith on his fine work regarding the extension of superfast broadband to rural areas.
It is great news that everybody in our constituency will be able to have access to the internet. However, I would encourage Mr Smith to oppose the coming legislation that will allow the Government Communications Headquarters, GCHQ, to monitor and read e-mail messages at will.
As David Davis, the former Home Secretary, has stated, this legislation will allow the government “to eavesdrop on vast numbers of people”.
If this legislation is passed, there is the risk that MP Smith’s hard work could seem slightly sinister. One could be forgiven for thinking that the Conservative Party wanted broadband in rural areas for all the wrong reasons. The Government should have no need to read people’s e-mails or text messages, and such a capability would do little to advance counter-terrorism or national security.
When I heard of the GCHQ legislation, I honestly thought that it was an April fool’s joke!
I would like to think that MP Smith will use his influence to vote down this Government proposal. After cutting child benefit, increasing the student tuition fees along with value added tax, and freezing the age-related allowances for pensioners, the Conservatives will, rightly or wrongly, be portrayed as the “wicked Tories”.
The last thing they need to do is infringe upon privacy. An elitist party that finds itself out of touch with the public should not turn to monitoring e-mails as a solution.
With such Orwellian schemes, it is easy to see why people, on mass, will be prepared to pin their hopes on fringe parties and independents.
I encourage Herald readers to write to Julian Smith and urge the cancellation of the GCHQ legislation. I can only think of one advantage to Government snooping- it might help MP Smith and his colleagues to write quicker responses to my angry letters.
Matthew Harrison, University of St Andrews, Scotland
Sir - With reference to your front page article last week regarding the closure of the main Post Office in Skipton. I would like to point out to anyone unaware, that there is another Sub Post Office close to Skipton, in The Paper Shop at Embsay.
We are happy to offer our services to customers who normally use the main office until the re-location is completed.
Please check our opening times on the Post Office website to avoid a wasted trip, as we open slightly different hours to the Skipton office.
Barry Steel, Sub Postmaster, Embsay
Sir - Since my call for people to sign an e-petition calling on the government to exempt Air Ambulances from duty on fuel, the number of signatories has soared past the 100,000 mark, up to 130,000.
That was what was needed for a debate on the issue in the House of Commons. It requires an MP to propose a debate and Huw Bailey, MP for York Central, has promised to take this matter forward, so we can expect something soon.
So well done all those readers who have helped with this petition. The air ambulance is a vital part of our emergency services. Last year alone they carried out over 19,000 missions. Your help will save more lives. Thank you.
Godfrey Bloom, UKIP MEP for Yorkshire & North Lincolnshire
Sir - Upon reading the anonymous letter in your letters page last week (Guilty of cat death) I found myself relieved of a huge burden.
I had thought that it was me that ran over the Bennett Street cat, and the only reason I didn't stop to check the unfortunate feline was because I was terrified of being clamped by one of these cowboys I have read about.
It would seem it isn’t safe to leave the house in Skipton these days, either as a cat or a motorist.
What a disgrace.
Maj MT Marmot (Retd), Skipton Rd, Silsden
Sir - Isn’t it good in these austere economic times to be able to laugh like a drain at the expense of an upper-class Tory?
Firstly you reduce to a bare minimum the personnel, the equipment and reponse times of the fire and rescue service, then you advise the nation to store jerry cans of petrol in their own homes.
One may safely assume that Francis Maude possesses the IQ of a single-celled organism.
B Smith, Main Street, Cross Hills
Sir - Local elections are being held across England on May 3 and now is the last chance for everyone to ensure that they can take part in these important elections by registering to vote by Wednesday, April 18.
Our research shows that 44 per cent of people who are not registered to vote mistakenly believe they are.
Those particularly at risk of losing the chance to have their say are people who have moved house since last autumn and younger people.
Registering to vote is a simple process. Go to aboutmyvote.co.uk and print off a registration form (which is also available by contacting the local authority electoral services department).
At local elections anyone aged 18 and over can vote if they are a British, Irish, qualifying Commonwealth or European Union citizen - and are on the electoral register by April 18.
Our message is: it’s your vote, don’t lose it!
Barbara Lines, Regional Manager, North of England Office, Electoral Commission
I agree with Councillor Naylor (Letters, Herald, March 22). I have been given no information about what an elected mayor will do or what powers they have.
I think we need somebody who will be aware of local issues and local needs.
I do not see how somebody who is not familiar with the needs of the locality will be of benefit to us in Silsden.
This applies whether it is a local mayor or a local councillor.
What I want to see is someone who delivers, and that is someone who lives in the area, knows what the local issues are and has a track record of delivering them.
Whether it is councillors or a mayor, I don’t want to see the major parties parachuting in outsiders just because they think its a ‘safe seat’.
I don’t think that a Bradford-based mayor would have Silsden’s best interests at heart.
We need somebody who will look out for the the best interests of Silsden, and for me that would be Coun Naylor, who has a stake in Silsden doing well.
Margaret Croft, Oak View, Silsden
Sir - I will be running in this year’s Virgin London Marathon on Sunday, April 22, for The Children’s Trust, Tadworth, a national charity that provides specialist therapy, care and education for some of the UK’s most severely disabled children and young people, and rehabilitation to children with an acquired brain injury. I would like to extend a special invitation to runners, who have secured a place in the marathon but have yet to decide on a worthy cause to support, to join me and be part of the Trust’s team. Joining the Trust’s team will offer a great way to enjoy the world famous running event, with lots of enthusiastic supporters cheering you along the route at four ‘cheering’ sites. There will be a warm welcome at the finish, with physiotherapists on hand to massage weary legs. And, finally, runners will be able to relax and enjoy food and refreshments with their family at a nearby venue to celebrate their marathon achievement.
Having sustained a serious brain injury myself as a result of an accident, I am only too aware of the daily challenges that the children receiving rehabilitation at the Trust have to face, so I am delighted to be supporting The Children’s Trust in this way. On a recent visit it was inspirational to see the work that goes on and to meet the children who are working so hard in rehabilitation. When I’m running the London Marathon, these inspirational children, their amazing parents and the phenomenal staff who work alongside them all, will never be far from my thoughts.
So please join me and help make a difference to some very special children. Look out for me on marathon day. I will be joined by 18 runners from BMW Group, who are also raising money for The Children’s Trust – the company’s chosen charity of the year. If you would like to sponsor me, please visit: www.virginmoneygiving.com/cracknellrunslondon For further information about The Children’s Trust and details about other UK and overseas running events please visit: www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/londonmarathon, or telephone: 01737 365018.
James Cracknell On behalf of The Children’s Trust
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