LETTERS: Wakefield readers on the state of Thornes Park and the EU

24 october 2013.'Feeding the birds in Thornes Park, Wakefield.
24 october 2013.'Feeding the birds in Thornes Park, Wakefield.

My wife and I decided to have a walk besides the duck pond at Thornes Park the other day.

We have not been to the park for some time and thought the sight of spring flowers may brighten up our day. This was not to be. On one side of the pond was the makings of another duck pond surrounded by mud.

The pond itself was sad and unkempt. The pathway was covered in duck faeces and mud. All the grass verges were, well, cropped down to, sorry for being repetitive, just mud.

It appeared that the pond was overrun with geese.

Apparently, these geese have been there for some time and require moving on as they are making such a mess. Onward past the aviary (you can’t see the birds due to vandal proof netting) to the flower gardens. Not a flower in sight, none.

I wasn’t aware that a packet of spring flower seeds were so expensive? We did not expect to see roses but a few spring flowers or bulbs would have been nice.

On to the large greenhouse at the end of the path. This was just an uninteresting mess. I remember this being loved and cared for by gardeners and a treat to take the kids for a walk through.

We do not understand - why is the state of the park like this? It can’t be just the lack of funds.

All the money being spent on the unwanted refurbishment of the Bull Ring and all the money being wasted on the market but there’s no cash left for flowers in the park. Maybe

Wakefield Council should stop spending money trying to look like a European State capital and go back to being an elected body to look after Wakefield folk, cull these geese and plant some sunshine in our lives.

G L Hall

St Michael’s House,



A report to read

I thank Professor Geoff Pugh for his response to my letter advocating Brexit and note he is prepared to discuss the cost/benefits of staying in or leaving the EU.

I would instead refer readers to a realistic and comprehensive report produced by Open Europe and quote from the foreword written by Lord Wolfson:

“Brace yourself for a barrage of misleading economic propaganda from both sides. Those who want to stay will characterise a British exit, or Brexit, as nothing short of economic suicide. Those who want to leave will overstate the EU’s costs and present prosperity as the inevitable result of new found liberation.

“This report sets out the economic options facing Britain should we decide to leave the EU. It is a remarkably balanced document. To that extent, it will disappoint the headline grabbers on both sides of the European debate. The report unearths one profoundly important truth: if we decide to leave the EU, whether we flourish or fail will depend on the political and economic decisions we take in the wake of departure. Of itself, leaving the EU will guarantee neither success nor failure.

“If we leave and follow the path of protectionism, xenophobia and isolation we will indeed face the economic decline so feared by Europhiles.

The report estimates that, under the protectionist scenario, leaving the EU would cost 2.2 per cent of GDP by 2030. Alternatively, if we embrace free trade, roll back damaging regulation, and take a balanced approach to economic migration, then we could be more successful outside the EU than within. In such a scenario, we could add at least 1.6 per cent to GDP by 2030.”

These forecasts are however the extremes: the more realistic range is between a 0.8 per cent permanent loss to GDP in 2030 and a 0.6 per cent permanent gain in GDP in 2030 - depending, as indicated, on the policies pursued by the UK government.

Visit http://openeurope.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/150507-Open-Europe-What-If-Report-Final-Digital-Copy.pdf - for those interested in an analysis of the costs/benefits of a Bremain or Brexit, the full report is well worth reading.

Ruth Sheard

New Road, Woolley


God help us all

When asked in the House of Commons if he would stay on as Prime Minister if we in the UK voted to leave the EU, David Cameron said he would, to help negotiate the UK’s exit.

God help us, we have all witnessed his style of negotiation, which consists of running around Europe falling to his knees and begging for crumbs. It needs someone at the top of their game to do any negotiation that is required. How about getting Len McCluskey on retainer as he seems to win everything for his members?

Judy Goodwin

Windross Close, Altofts


Liberation day

According to the agreed beforehand rules there is an official body to campaign on behalf of the cause for remain and one equally so for leave.

A lot of people right across the political and ideological spectrum are terribly upset, were terribly upset and will continue to blubber long past their bedtimes over who and how some group got or didn’t get the nod from the Electoral Commission to be designated as official.

It’s all a bit like a pilot back in 1940 throwing a hissy fit for not getting picked to lead the Spitfire squadron taking on the German Bombers. I look at it this way - June 23 2016 will see the Sovereign Electorate of this country, my country of birth and habitual residence, decide to Brexit.

It will be Liberation Day 23/6.

Quite frankly I couldn’t care less as to the who, what, where, why, when and how that goes into achieving this most desirable of democratic outcomes. I’ve heard and indeed conversed with presumably otherwise rational individuals on this topic who have as their starting point that they would not be seen dead voting alongside - and then they lapse into calumny, invective and ideological prejudice – whoever it is they don’t want to be seen to be associating with.

Yes, all well and good, but the actual, epoch defining question confronting the electorate isn’t about personal, vacuous and ultimately untenable and largely irrelevant, personalised political prejudices.

What the decision is about is: what does the Sovereign and indivisible electorate wish to happen hereafter with the UK’s relationship with the supranational European Union. As a participant in articulating the will of that electorate what is your contribution to that answer?

Louis Kasatkin

Pinderfields Road,



Poverty is a killer

Yvonne Sibbald stated that there are no benefits to fracking and that it should be banned due to health concerns (Express letters, April 15).

She may know that poverty is the biggest killer. In the UK between 25,000 and 40,000 pensioners die each winter because they cannot afford to heat their homes. Energy prices are going up because of green policies - carbon taxes, wind farm subsidies and bans on new technology, like fracking.

In the US the fracking boom has halved the price of natural gas. Surely the end of fuel poverty is a massive health benefit? What would the relatives of the pensioners who are no longer with us have to say?

Yvonne cites Greenpeace as an example to us all. Does she know that Greenpeace has successfully banned the introduction of vitamin A fortified rice in Asia and Africa because they oppose any food developed scientifically?

The Golden Rice was created by bio-technologists, using genetic modification, to create a simple life-saving solution for the 1,000,000 children who go blind and die each year because of vitamin A deficiency.

The scientists wanted to help the poor living in slum cities, who can only afford rice.

Green activists have campaigned to ban it and succeeded.

Surely, a food which brings instant benefits should be welcomed by anyone who cares about humanity.

The green activists concern with human health is paper-thin. If it gets in the way of their anti-development agenda, it is quickly discarded.

Andy Shaw

St John’s Grove,