The 2010s were defined by cuts in public spending and the decision to inflict austerity upon our communities. Yet the 2011 York Fairness Commission provided a guide to how, even with reduced spending, a fairer city is possible.

A new decade provides a similar opportunity to change direction and approach. But instead, against the guidance, council leaders continue to oversee widening inequality across our city.

The outcome of austerity policies are painfully clear: increased child and pensioner poverty, under-resourced schools and a lack of access to vital health care services.

Years of cuts to children’s centres, youth services and early intervention work continue to embed inequality across our city from an early age.

Our low wage economy, largely accepted by political leaders locally, means better paid career opportunities are scarce. Instead of the decline, we need a shift in approach to create jobs, growth and prosperity, protecting the most vulnerable and allowing York to flourish going forward.

The York Labour group will continue speak out for a radical alternative vision that can be delivered locally, built around fairness and opportunity for all. In doing so, together, we can re-kindle York’s historic place as a pioneering city for the future.

Cllr Danny Myers,

Leader of the Labour Group,

St Olaves Road, York

Post-Brexit Boris must be bold about Yorkshire

Regardless of your political persuasion, people agree that Sir Winston Churchill was Britain’s greatest Prime Minister. What made him special was his intelligence, imagination and great foresight.

People who have shown extraordinary foresight are often rather unconventional. They take calculated risks. They aren’t afraid to be bold.

In 1912, then an MP for Dundee, he proposed that English regions should be governed by regional parliaments and powers devolved to areas such as Yorkshire, Lancashire, the Midlands and London.

In Boris Johnson, we have a Prime Minister who is intelligent, unconventional, bold and a risk-taker. He has yet to prove he has the foresight.

As London Mayor, he successfully led the assembly and must realise the great potential that Yorkshire has to kick-start the economy after Brexit. Yorkshire can firmly establish itself as a global brand and deliver economic benefits for not just Yorkshire but all of the UK.

John Philip Hall,

Walker Terrace,

Follifoot, Harrogate

We need to train more home-grown NHS staff

Dan Walker proved to be direct and competent in his interview with Boris Johnson for BBC Breakfast, insisting on answers to all his questions.

As regards the NHS, the problem will not be solved by building new hospitals. Our present hospitals are so understaffed by exhausted, hard-working doctors and nurses. New buildings will not rectify the problem. We need to train more doctors and nurses, not rely on recruiting more staff from overseas.

Perhaps it is time to revise our training schemes and so encourage more of our own young people to train and join the NHS. Do all nurses really need such a high degree to train to care?

Kath Powell,

Cawood Common, Selby

It’s time we all stopped being so greedy

I FIND it shameful and disgusting that we should have lost so many species due to climate change.

These animals and wildlife live an intricate lifestyle. Through warfare and sheer greed for the Earth’s resources we are killing them off.

How dare we exterminate so many species just to fulfill our gluttonous lifestyles?

If we do find a solution to climate change we will all have to live a different lifestyle. Instead of people worshipping money and the car we should be worshipping nature and treating the Earth as a living organism: as though it was our mother.

Robert D Greaves,

Alder Way, New Earswick, York