IN 1980, I was thirty years old, with two very young children, living in New Earswick and working as a Lab Technician.

I look back and wonder whether it was better to be a young parent then or now? How much has improved?

I was on the Rowntrees Housing Trust waiting list for a year before getting a good quality 3-bed house with a controlled rent that never exceeded 20 per cent of my salary.

Now, thanks to the ‘Right to Buy‘ scheme, more than two million council houses have been sold off - over half of them now owned by private landlords - there are no controls on rents and the country is in the grip of a housing crisis,which is only going to get worse.

Apparently over 15 per cent of private tenants are behind with their rent.

As a technician, I was a member of a Trades Union. We weren’t aggressive, never went on strike, but our pay and conditions were negotiated nationally. disciplinary procedures were held with a union reprentative present.

But again short sighted employers and workers decided none of that was necessary and we end up with 800 employees being sacked, instantly, on the click of a mouse.

Now, we have zero hours contracts and the ‘gig’ economy.

And finally you’ve got the NHS.

In 1980, I could ring the surgery and see a doctor, the same doctor, within a couple of days.

If you had a child who was seriously ill, there were home visits. Remember them?

So I can only conclude that I’m glad I was 30 in the 20th Century rather than the 21st.

Progress? What progress?

David Lindsey,

Dodsworth Avenue, Heworth