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Save on the buses, not the green bins
THE Labour Party’s intention possibly to introduce a garden waste collection tax in York is a punishment too far, particularly for the poorest.
Annual figures of £26 to £80 are bandied about. Assuming a middle figure of £50, this would mean almost a ten per cent increase for average taxpayers since Labour were elected in 2011.
James Alexander is adept at political spin, so he will recognise a potential elephant trap when he sees one. Let me to come to his rescue by suggesting an alternative method of raising revenue.
In York, under First’s virtual monopoly and with council connivance, there is a system of public transport apartheid.
Most resources are poured into the council’s Park&Ride services, operated by clean, comfortable, frequent, air-conditioned and well-heated fleets of modern buses.
The majority of First’s normal service fleet are not of such a high standard. It is therefore appalling that on these buses, mainly used by lower income groups, fares are 40 per cent higher than on Park&Ride.
The majority of Park&Ride users are by definition more affluent and mostly travelling for occasional leisure purposes from outside York.
I suggest that the service will still be a bargain if fares are increased from £2.60 to £3.50 and from 60p to £1 for bus-pass holders.
Richard Clark, Manor Park, York.
• THE PROPOSAL to maybe start charging extra for green bin rubbish collection has to be opposed (The Press, January 17).
The principle of council tax bills is that residents pay for a comprehensive service available to all. Where would this extra charging end once it had started?
On the same basis, would taxpayers who have no children at school get a rebate for a service they don’t use?
Would low-crime areas get a rebate from the police precept? Of course not, otherwise the fairest way would be for each household to have an individual bill for just the services they receive.
The same article said that recycling rates were 90 per cent in affluent areas but as low as 20 to 25 per cent in some other areas.
What has affluence to do with recycling, unless you can afford a butler to do the job for you? It is about having a bit of pride, not inertia.
Geoff Robb, Hunters Close, Dunnington.
• Time has moved on, Mr Whitehead (Letters, January 4) from 20 years ago, in spite of you fighting to get these public holidays off work.
It is fortunate for us all that workers in the water and power industries, the police, medics and many other workers do not see it your way.
Just think again of all the additional employment created in these areas and the retail trade and by treating public holidays as “business as usual”.
The operations manager of First has said (The Press, January 4) “more people travel to work by bus than all forms of public transport combined and simply underlines how important the bus industry is to the future of local economies...”
My concern is for the people of York to have the facilities to get about during public holidays whatever their reason, be it work or leisure.
So once again I implore, in particular, City of York Council to get together with First Bus and address this issue.
If you have issues, Mr Whitehead, with bus timekeeping and the traffic system may I suggest you direct them to the appropriate authority and not cloud the issue of bus transport on public holidays.
Gerald Haughton, Strensall, York.
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