Polluters will pay

Mick N asks, (Star Letters, December 12), how a Green economy would work in a car-free world? The Green Party is not calling for a car- free world but we want to rapidly reduce the choking transport pollution that contributes to seven million premature deaths a year across the globe.

Thursday, 28th December 2017, 5:17 am
Updated Thursday, 28th December 2017, 5:20 am

“Polluter pays” is the principle behind Green Party policies, using taxes to ensure the cost of different types of transport reflect their social and environmental impacts. Currently the NHS is at breaking point picking up a massive bill for pollution-related health issues.

We hope that a rapid transition to electric or hydrogen-powered cars will make a big difference although they are not pollution-free. We would like to have seen the Chancellor increasing incentives to help people take diesel vehicles off the roads in the recent budget.

Overall, people urgently need better public transport and safer cycling and walking options so they can choose to leave their cars at home. This would reduce congestion for all road users while improving dangerous air pollution and road safety. I note the absence of cycle routes in the Fitzalan Square scheme despite strong representations from Cycle Sheffield. Close to the rail and bus stations, this will do nothing for joining up cross-town cycle routes.

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Martin Phipps

Sheffield Green Party”

More balance please

In the Star on December 13, Darren Butt of Amey painted a rosy picture of the Streets Ahead tree replacement programme. He says that before this the council could not afford to replace trees after cutting them down, and seems to suggest that Amey is not driven by profit.

Surely he is not claiming that Amey is replacing the trees for free out of the goodness of its heart. Amey is a commercial company, not a charity or social service, so of course profit is its motive.

Then, in his letter on December 20, Councillor Peter Price joins in the self-congratulation and sings the praises of Streets Ahead. But, strangely, neither Coun Price nor Darren Butt mention the threatened “catastrophic financial consequences” to the city that Councillor Brian Lodge has referred to, reported in the Star on August 16. Not to mention the doubtful reasons given for some of the tree replacement work being done, and the secrets hidden in the Council’s long-term contract with Amey.

Can we have more balance and less self-serving argument please?

Paul Heaton

by email

Journey with carol singers

On Saturday, December 19, my friend and I caught the 5pm 218 bus from Bakewell to Sheffield. We went upstairs and a number of young people followed us up and went to the back of the bus.

We hadn’t been travelling very long when the young people started singing carols, it was obvious that they belonged to a choir as the singing was beautiful, tuneful and harmonious. It certainly made the journey very pleasant on a cold, damp December evening.

The teenagers got off the bus in Sheffield and my friend asked them where they were from and they said Stocksbridge. These young people were a credit to themselves, their parents and their school. I would like to say thank you and well done for giving so much pleasure to two senior citizens.

Margaret Hibberd

by email

Operation holly

The Star, december 21, Claire Lewis article regarding the Sheffield undercover police officers looking to catch crooks in the act made for very interesting reading. Her article gave a full report of their investigative technique, but did not mention Operation Holly which is referred to on your website.

In this report it is stated that South Yorkshire police have arrested 21 suspects as part of Operation Holly, for questioning over a range of offences including drugs, burglary, assault, fraud and harassment.

Officers sent a card to the last known home addresses of a list of suspects advising them that they had been specially selected to receive a free hamper and all they had to do was book a delivery slot.

When the suspects replied they were greeted not by Santa but by the long arm of the law!

The police officer who oversaw the operation said “it is encouraging that our innovative approach has yielded positive results, and we will continue to explore new avenues for approaching those wanted which impacts upon the victims of crime.”

Operation Holly is a very appropriate name for this exercise as there is certainly a sting in the tale.

While our police force should be commended for their innovative approach in bringing criminals to justice, the method used may be perceived by defence counsel as entrapment and deception on their part – which may reflect badly upon them if the cases come to trial.

It is food for thought what the police response would be if a law-abiding member of the community used similar deceptive tactics for their own gain – a commendation for innovation or a visit to the Courts?

Cyril Olsen

Busk Meadow, Sheffield, S5

Secret Santa

We heard of so many people doing secret Santa presents this year that my wife and I decided to do the same!

Jeremy Biggin