Fee rises wreck students' dreams

I AM a first year student at Leeds Metropolitan University and I am writing to you to discuss the rise in tuition fees that have shocked the country's future students.

As a student myself, I know that if I was asked to pay at least nine grand a year, I would not have been able to come to university. I would probably be stuck in a dead-end job with no prospects.

I know that university is not everyone's dream and it is not the only road to become successful but surely the Government realise that they are taking away the chance and dream of gaining a degree for a lot of people.

I am not going to pretend I am an expert on politics, but I do know that when the new government came into action, everyone expected change; change that would benefit the country, and raise the morale of Britain.

I do not agree with the violence that the protests have caused and I think that if students continue to cause violence and disruption, then it takes away the importance of the message we are trying to deliver.

I think that it is important to recognise that not all students are trouble-making protesters and we do not approve of the violence.

I hope that the country will still support students and the minority group who have promoted the disruption have not tarnished the message we are trying to get across.

I hope that this letter encourages the readers to support the students in Britain and not think of us all as advocates in the disruption that has already been caused by the student protests.

Please do not stereotype us all and, maybe, if the protests continue to be calm, the government might realise how outrageous it is asking potential students to pay for an education.

Micha Kirkbride, BA Honours Public Relations with Marketing student, Leeds Metropolitan University

Unfair treatment

MY 87-year-old mother, who lives in a council flat in Otley, reported her bathroom taps dripping two years ago and is still waiting for this to be sorted.

The council-appointed plumber who first called told her that the taps are that old need replacing; the bath itself is the old cast iron one, and he would report this to his manager when he got back to his base.

My mother has been in touch with Otley Council and Leeds City Council about this matter numerous times and has got nowhere. All they say is that there are no funds to carry out the work.

The flat itself is the upper one of two; the new tenant below, who is in his twenties, had his flat completely refurbished when he moved in.

My mother has not even got a shower in her flat and, after a recent fall resulting in her having back problems, finds it very difficult to get in and out of the bath, and requires two hands and a flannel to turn the taps on and off. She has been told by one person from the council she should have a shower with a seat fitted but then she is told she cannot.

She has now been told that an occupational therapist is calling this week to assess her needs.

I find this completely and utterly disgusting the way Otley and Leeds City Council are dealing with this; it seems to me that they are just putting this matter off till she dies.

Ian Stewart, Hawkhill Gardens, Leeds

Save libraries

Before politicians start closing and privatising libraries, doing as much damage as Beaching did to the railways, can I make a plea for the public to be alert and fight for this essential service?

Don't let's make the same mistake and lose our most precious and valuable assets.

Is this a real or imagined threat?

Under the present undemocratic political regime nothing is safe.

Libraries are a source of lifelong pleasure, reading, education, information and now technology, and must be preserved for future generations.

We will be emotively told it is a choice between either care or libraries. This is rubbish. Both are equally important and neither should be cut. And I say this as someone whose life has been dominated and drastically affected by care inadequacies. If anything should be cut it is the number and exorbitant salaries of bureaucrats who populate the councils.

In these days of austerity the best form of defence is attack and that is what we should do to defend our libraries.

Please, what do other readers think and will our councillors confirm or deny there are any plans to cut or privatise libraries?

Malcolm Naylor, Otley

Parking problem

THE Lingfield and Fir Tree estate is a nice, quiet estate that has lost its local pub. Now they want to turn it into a Muslim community centre, with the usual parking problems.

They have already upset the neighbours by erecting an ugly fence all around the building.

We know their religion asks them to pray three or four times a day. This building is in the centre of the estate with dwellings all around it, so we can see the problems with traffic, ie narrow roads and a bus service to contend with.

I would like to ask the council, did you give planning permission for the fence and would you like to live at the side of a building that's going to be busy at least 18 hours a day, with people coming and going all day long? Please think of us who will have to bear this intrusion into our lives.

L E Slack, Lingfield View, Leeds

Law and order

I CONGRATULATE Labour winning so easily in Oldham.

The writing is on the wall for Cameron and Clegg. After all, they have no experience in government and in less than one year they have both done more U-turns. It is no wonder that they are both that dizzy they don't know what to do next.

The Tories have always been a party for the rich and the last time they were in power only went to prove that.

One of the first things Labour must do is to bring back law and order to the streets. This can only be done in a referendum that concerns millions of families. Let me make this clear. It is not a democratic country if we allow criminals to injure and do worse things and to walk away with light sentences. Many of our forebears gave their lives in order we could live in peace and safety.

N Knott, Gamble Hill, Leeds

Labour's fault

I WRITE to address two recent articles on the issue of bin route re-organisation, one of which ('Leeds bin bosses in double trouble', YEP, January 14) highlighted how poorly the current Labour/Green-controlled administration have handled the city's bins over the past three months, and the other, a letter from MM Illingworth, which made a number of questionable assertions.

I would firstly like to address the letter which refers to the industrial action of 2009.

The changes that were brought forward at that time were aimed at increasing efficiency, modernising the service and bringing equality to the work done by the bin crews. These were agreed by the bin crews in November 2009 and, if they weren't introduced so badly, would have brought improved services and significant savings to the council – aims that I feel the people of Leeds would support.

The changes were accepted by the current administration and introduced in October 2010.

The fact that this has been handled so badly is no-one's responsibility but the current administration, there is simply no hiding from that fact.

The bin re-organisation has been a complete failure, thousands of bins have been left uncollected and angry residents have been left to wonder why they pay their council tax.

This is a basic service that should be delivered efficiently and effectively.

The fact that it hasn't and that we are now in a third month of chaos raises serious questions about the ability of this administration to deliver a level of service that the people of Leeds deserve.

Councillor Barry Anderson, Conservative Group Environment Spokesman

Unemptied bins

LEEDS City Council haven't collected our bins for three weeks now and the refuse in my street is attracting rats and I'm concerned about my young children playing out in the street with their friends.

We just keep getting told to contact LCC if they haven't been emptied. The bin men come so far down and then leave the rest.

Martin Whittaker, Stanningley Road, Leeds

Super service

MANY complaints have been reported about bin men not collecting bins.

I would like to compliment our bin men, as they have never missed a collection over the winter weather.

Well done.

MRS S DARBYSHIRE, Haselwood Drive, Leeds 9

Costly camps

I AM aghast that councils should be considering the further creation of travellers' caravan camps and turning areas into shanty towns, to the dismay of local residents.

What do the environmental agencies have to say about it?

The mind boggles at the cost, at a time when councils are financially unable to cope with serious problems such as bin waste collection in Leeds area etc, which would escalate this problem with more caravan camps. How many of the travellers pay council tax?

Madge Meadows, Castleford

Have some pride

M Nicholson's letter comparing our Prime Minister unfavourably with the French President was printed on the day that this same President insulted the fiercely proud French people of Alsace by placing their country in Germany.

If Monsieur Sarkozy is so good at standing up for his people, how did he manage to make such a crass mistake?

This is also a man who seems to have so many scandals attached to his name it's a wonder the French still accept him as President.

Instead of constantly carping and complaining about our country, and comparing us so unfavourably to every country in the world, let's start to have some pride in ourselves – and put the "Great" back into Great Britain.

A Ward, Leeds 8