Scout groups deserve huge

credit for stunning effort

SIR, - If you were at Otley Methodist Hall on Saturday night you are already well aware of what a talented group of young people we have within the scout movement in Otley.

If you weren't there, you missed an absolute treat. The scouts, who include Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts, got together to raise money for scouting in areas affected by the Tsunami.

The show was the brainchild of Peter Young of 2nd Otley, who deserves great credit for the vision he brought to the rest of the scouts within the town.

The baton was picked up by everyone involved in the other three scout groups but deserving special mention are Alan Pratt, of the Methodists, Alan and Christine Patterson, of Bridge, Bev and Mark Rothery of Parish.

There are many others, in scouting, involved and I beg their forgiveness for not mentioning them by name. The show was a success due to the efforts of the young people involved but pulling them together, giving time to visit rehearsals at different scout huts was the producer Meg Morton, who worked tirelessly to make sure the show was put on and was the success it was.

Scouting in Asia will be helped by the efforts of Otley scouts. Well done everyone, it was the best five quid I have spent in a long time.

Richard Bleasdale

33 Weston Ridge


Cheer up

SIR, - Otley's publicans should have more to talk and think about than 24-hour licensing applications.

In fact, it's about time some of them paid more attention to what goes on between 11 in the morning and 11 at night and the answer is 'not alot'.

I'm afraid to say whilst there are some good landlords and landladies in town, there are also some who need to stop looking so miserable, put a smile on their face and start offering a genuine welcome along with some value for money

And if it's not too much trouble, a bit of action or entertainment. You know what I'm talking about, that thing called fun.

Go out on the traditional Friday or Saturday night and what do you get, flocks of sheep congregating in a dull boring pub in the hope it can't be worse than last week (but it usually is).

They dare not do a disco because they fear an outbreak of drug-taking and break-dancing or both!! and so they settle for the 'hush hush' version, a toned down blend of Shania Twain and Elton John and quite frankly it's a pathetic offering to the people of Otley who would like a half decent nightlife.

My advice would be to lighten up, try to look happy, ban smoking outright, provide some quality entertainment and stop going through the motions.

They could then go to bed after midnight with more profits and a smile on their face.

Dan Cooney



Bad housing

SIR, - As ever, local house prices are a hot topic, but there is rarely any mention of the flipside to the property boom.

Every day in Britain, more than one million children have to suffer in housing that doesn't have room for them to play or do homework, that is dangerous, or that makes them sick - and it's happening near us.

With property prices rocketing, and affordable housing in short supply, will the next generation of children have anywhere to call home?

In a recent survey carried out by Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity, I read that more than 90 per cent of people believe that the answer is 'no'.

I urge this paper and its readers to remember the children who are paying the real price of bad housing, and take every opportunity to remind our politicians about this shocking situation.

Dr Harry Bardgett

The Eshams,

Burras Avenue,


The budget

SIR, - Is anyone fooled by the Brown election budget? It is as tangible as Scotch mist and sticky as the lollipops offered to the pensioners.

If Labour is re-elected these promises, like all others, will end in a gooey mess. It is jam today, tax tomorrow.

The pensioners' council tax payment of £200, for one year only, will be swept away by the April revaluations, new tax bands, and increased taxes.

And after the first year, what then? Another three years of Labour betrayal and lies.

No increase in basic pensions, no link with earnings, no end to means testing of pensions. An increase in the age of retirement.

And before pensioners rush out to spend their £200 they should understand that those on pension credit and council tax benefits will not get it.

Brown's attempt to match the Conservatives on inheritance tax is pure electioneering. His increases in allowances will not keep pace with runaway property inflation. This policy will mean homeowners will pay more inheritance tax, not less, and Brown insults our intelligence. Brown's own prediction is, that another one per cent more people will pay inheritance tax than they do now.

And, at last, pensioners in England are considered as worthy as those in London, Wales, Scotland and N Ireland with free local transport. But only local transport and only at off peak times.

Are we really so stupid as to fall for this? The truth is Labour is anticipating fiscal difficulties after the election as we become net importers of oil and the American deficit shakes the world economy.

Put your tin hats on. If Labour is re-elected you are going to need them for more reasons than war with Iran and Syria.

Malcolm Naylor

21 Grange View,


Dirty toilets

SIR, - May I through your paper draw attention to the state of the disabled toilet in Otley.

I am a disabled person and have a bladder problem. I need, therefore, frequent visits to the toilet for which I have paid to obtain a key from the Council Offices in Otley.

It has been a total waste of time and money as the toilet is in such a poor state of cleanliness. One cannot even sit on it, it is so dirty. The floor is wet and filthy. The toilet is far too high to reach and there is no toilet paper or soap for washing hands.

It is so unhygienic that I go in and come straight out and have to pay 20p to use the other public toilets which are not much better.

I think the citizens of Otley and the many visitors to the town deserve better, particularly the disabled.

I trust something can be done about this disgraceful state of affairs and soon.

Mrs P Berry

55 Throstle Nest Close

Otley .