SMALL businesses in Ryedale are struggling against bankruptcy.

By contrast, large corporations such as Amazon have thrived from the pandemic, concentrating power and wealth in fewer and fewer hands.

Boris Johnson has made loud noises about a “new deal”, but his investment is chickenfeed compared to President Roosevelt’s initiative in the 1930s, and barely four per cent of Germany’s recent economic stimulus package.

Roosevelt created a state holding company to support small businesses until they could be relaunched, and France, Sweden and Singapore have made similar arrangements. In England we have no such support.

We need to establish public holding companies at local level to help our ailing small businesses.

The Local Growth Hubs, such as the one for York and North Yorkshire, provide an existing infrastructure that would be closer and more responsive to local needs than a system controlled from London.

They are also best placed to inform investment in green developments, as recommended in the latest report by the Institute for Public Policy Research, that could create 1.6 million new jobs.

This matter is so crucial to the survival of our local economy that, instead of sitting in his hands, our MP Kevin Hollinrake should have been on his feet weeks ago to champion its cause.

Dr Peter Williams, Malton

Caution needed

THE Council for the Protection of Rural England’s Regeneration Manifesto, recently launched, is welcome as are its recommendations, such as those for improved broadband and mobile phone coverage. 5G trials are imminent in Ryedale.

A note of caution here, however. This intervention by government to improve the local economy comes with risks of which not all will be aware - risks to health for all and in particular our young from increasing exposure to electromagnetic radiation. Although reports of actual harm are legion, cause/effect takes a generation to demonstrate.

Government, it seems, are prepared to take the risk, preferring commercial, economic interests to public safety, just as we saw with its fracking agenda.

In setting safe levels for public exposure to radiation, Public Health England depends upon the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)’s determining of these levels. However, by its own admission, ICNIRP lacks the manpower to assess the considerable evidence pointing to biological harm at levels far below those currently accepted. The result is that the science justifying current levels is extremely unsafe. With 5G, exposure to radiation is expected to rise.

We must resist further expansion of our exposure to radiation until reports of biological harm to humans, animals and plants are properly appraised - the precautionary principle. The World Health Organisation’s report, pending, is unlikely to suffice in view of the possible conflict of interest allegedly present in membership of its and other relevant reporting bodies.

David Cragg-James, Stonegrave

Ideas please

LOCKDOWN thoughts: being a vegetarian is a good way to help lower the pressure on the planet. It will also mean less animal suffering.

During lockdown there has been time to think and experiment, and yesterday was the day of announcement: “From today I’m not going to be cooking any more dead creatures.” Partner looked thoughtful.

Many veggie recipes involve lots of chopping and grating, so my next job is to create tasty meals that use few ingredients and brief preparation. Game on! Suggestions please. Three main ingredients at most.

Here’s my first: Big Lentil and Feta cheese omelette – or with pastry this can be a quiche. Very tasty. Can elaborate with herbs in the pastry or in the omelette. Red onion marmalade dolloped on top a delicious extra, as is broccoli or salad on the side. Shall we start putting them on our town blogs? Oh yes, I’ll try to use local produce as much as possible.

June Emerson, Kirkbymoorside