IN CASE anyone missed it in the midst of the Leveson circus, the Government published an Energy Bill which would have the effect of increasing household fuel bills in order to fund ‘green’ sources.

Has the time come to reconsider domestic fuel charges?

Firstly, is energy simply a luxury which we may decline to purchase, or is it a necessity of modern life?

My answer is that it is both. Power to heat, light and cook is a necessity, but the use of equipment such as computers, televisions or electric lawnmowers may be a ‘luxury’.

We have heard much about smart meters, which will eventually be foisted on us at our expense whether we like it or not.

So let’s make technology work for us, and introduce differential charging.

It is not difficult to require energy companies to supply an amount of power sufficient to maintain health to each household at cost price – a ‘social premium’ if you like.

We could then enact that the next X units, enough to provide comfort and a little extra, should be charged at cost plus y% where y is a small number.

Power used above this could be charged at a market rate, including any ‘green’ levy, and may be in bands where increased consumption leads to a higher unit price. Government taxes domestic fuel at, I believe, 8%. Easy enough to set a rate of zero for the ‘social’ band, 8% for the next and 10% above that.

Excessive use could be taxed at an ever higher rate, using the social responsibility excuse which drinkers and smokers are well-used to.

In this way, we help protect vulnerable people and encourage responsible use of resources.

Must be worth considering, and ticks most boxes.

What’s not to like?

Bill Armer


Problem predicted

IN RESPONSE to Primrose Hill Resident (Letters, November 29), I was at the planning meeting at the town hall in January to oppose the development of the student village.

I brought up the problem of parking and I was told those cars would be using town centre car parks.

I pointed out that car parks would not be used and local side streets would be used instead. I was told this would not happen.

Graham Beaumont


Regular collections

REGARDING the letter that appeared in Mailbag (November 29) titled ‘Bin this idea’.

I am happy with the two week collection, as there are only two of us, but what about the people who have families?

Their bins get full and they are leaving black bags at the side of their bins. They get torn by animals and litter goes everywhere!

So Mr Eastlake, it may be ok for you and me but, not ok for everyone out there who has a family.

Sue Shore


Community support

I AM a resident who was born in and has lived in Huddersfield for the past 50 years and it was very emotional and heartening to read your comments about the contribution made by the Sikhs fighting for the freedom of all especially for Great Britain.

By highlighting and supporting such memorials helps us all to understand and bring other communities closer.

The Sikhs are proud to have such great soldiers who have won 14 Victoria Crosses and many other gallantry medals for the services of our armed forces.

I hope and am sure that all the communities will support this great memorial to be built and remind us all that we are all God’s children and are prepared to give our lives for freedom.

Tim Bhullar


Bad call on pricing

MINIMUM pricing for alcohol will hurt sensible drinkers and do nothing to curb binge drinking and resultant health problems.

Imposing a minimum 45p per unit will be a blow for the majority of moderate drinkers in this country who just like a quiet drink at home. But it will not tackle the problem it is designed to solve.

And I find it bizarre that David Cameron, who generally falls over backwards to do as our masters in Brussels demand, is ploughing on with this scheme despite it being illegal under EU laws.

What they are doing is imposing their will on us in the name of it being in our best interests, which invariably means less freedom and higher costs.

I am all in favour of ending loss-leader discounting in supermarkets and off-licences which has played a significant role in the downfall of our pub industry and it would be nice to think it might mean more people going back to them.

But for those who just like to have a glass of wine or two with their meal or a couple of cans of lager while putting their feet up this will hit hard. Everyone has to count their pennies these days.

As always it is the law-abiding sensible majority that pays for all the ill thought out government schemes.

A 10-week public consultation is being launched over the minimum pricing proposal but we all know that 'public consultations' are just politically correct box ticking exercises.

Yes, we have a binge drinking problem, mainly involving young people, but minimum pricing will not solve it.

Godfrey Bloom

UKIP Euro-MP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.

No deterrent

SKY-HIGH tobacco duty hasn’t stopped us smoking, sky-high fuel duty hasn’t stopped us driving, sky-high airport taxes hasn’t stopped us flying.

But minimum pricing on alcohol will stop us binge-drinking.

Yeah, whatever.

Richard Huddleston

West Slaithwaite

Solution must be found

IT IS imperative that the Government and ABI find a way of providing affordable insurance for homes that are at risk of flooding.

The deadlock over subsidising insurance for households in flood-prone areas will not just affect people when they experience flood damage.

It will influence the ability to secure a mortgage, re-selling and ultimately the value of the property.

Equally, without a clear and agreed path forward, the Law Society remains unlikely to produce a Practice Note for flood risk.

We strongly believe flood risk reports should be part of due diligence for all property lawyers but until a replacement for the Statement of Principles is agreed, the Law Society simply does not have enough information to create a Practice Note.

This leaves home owners in an extremely precarious situation as lawyers currently have no professional obligations with regard to obtaining flood risk screen reports for property transactions.

We can only hope that property owners take heed of the current flooding across the UK and, if they are considering buying a property, insist on a flood risk screening report before committing to a purchase.

Simon Boyle

Legal director, Argyll Environmental.

Winter warmers

I AM WRITING to you about Age UK’s Donate a Coat appeal.

I would like to call on your readers to donate their unused coats to local Age UK shops to be resold and loved again to help raise vital funds to keep older people warm this winter.

I am a great believer of supporting things I have knowledge about. I looked after my parents and understand what it takes. So I’ve donated my coat to Age UK to help keep older people warm this winter, it’s just one of the small things I can do to help change people’s lives.

The Donate a Coat appeal is part of Age UK’s ‘Spread the Warmth’ campaign. It aims to make winter warmer for thousands of older people by providing vital information, advice and practical services. These include getting nutritious meals to older people, helping to keep homes warm, and giving free information 365 days a year.

Comedian Miranda Hart, The Saturday’s Mollie King, Stephen Fry and designer Julien MacDonald are among many celebrities who have given their support by donating coats which were sold exclusively through Age UK shops across the country. But Age UK needs your help to warm up Britain this winter.

For more information about Donate a Coat and Age UK’s Spread the Warmth campaign simply call 0800 169 87 87 or visit us at

As many as 25,000 older people could die needlessly because of the cold. That’s around 200 preventable deaths a day. If you are worried about keeping warm this winter please call Age UK Advice free on 0800 169 65 65, where they can also order a free copy of ‘Winter wrapped up’ with a free thermometer.

Please join me to spread the warmth this winter.

Lynda Bellingham