Generations thrown on the scrapheap

I HAVE always been interested in current affairs via newspapers, BBC news and Radio 2. However, not any more!

I was listening to the Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2 today with some Tory MP talking about why the Educational Maintenance Allowance has to be abolished. This being a brilliant Labour initiative keeping kids like my granddaughter in full-time education.

I had to turn the radio off, and replace it with a calming CD, because I could feel my blood-pressure rising.

On the same day, we hear that unemployment has gone up to 2.5 million, and the highest it has been since 1992 for 16 to 24-year-olds. Hundreds of thousands of young people thrown on the scrapheap before their lives have even begun – a disgrace in 2011.

Fast on the heels of the unemployment figures, we hear of big plans for the NHS and budgets devolved to GPs and major concerns being expressed about the dismantling of this most wonderful institution, the National Health Service. Typical Tory ideology.

Truly, if I hear one more Tory or Lib Dem cite the "economic inheritance" argument I will go mad. It allows these out of touch people, with no real mandate, to launch a brutal assault on working class people. They seem immune to the impact of their policies because they are not affected by them.

The only way they can be stopped is through the ballot box and the mobilising of millions of ordinary people who are seeing their standard of living receding back to something even worse than the Thatcherite years.

I have every faith that people like me will say, "enough is enough". It has happened before and it can happen again.

Cherril Cliff, Armley

It's time dissident Lib Dems rebelled

SO Greg Mulholland thinks that it is wrong to cancel the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) without first announcing its replacement? Why, then, did he and 47 other Lib Dem MPs obediently troop through the lobby to vote with the government against Labour moves to make them think again?

The loss of EMA is going to represent a devastating blow to those coming up to 16 making choices about their future, including thousands of teenagers across Leeds. Institute for Fiscal Studies research suggests that the cost of EMA is more than offset by the benefits to the economy that it brings. Meanwhile, our Coalition government is still planning to introduce a tax break for married couples which is going to cost almost exactly the same as is being cut from EMA.

The priorities of this Coalition government are plain to see. If Lib Dems like Greg Mulholland think they are wrong, they should vote according to their conscience, rather than according to the Tory whip.

Daniel Gaunt, Cross Flatts Road, Leeds

Hands on deck

I WRITE to say a word of thanks for your coverage of the Royal Park School issue since the occupation in 2009, that was when I got involved.

It is without doubt that your reporting of the activities and issues surrounding the Royal Park School which have helped in this very late in the day but positive outcome.

The community group alone would never have been able to raise the profile of their aims and activities with out the press highlighting what was going on.

Even though we are now at the start of the process to make Royal Park School into a community hub, the six years of even getting this far has taken its toll amongst those most active. Fortunately there have always been enough people to replace those who have, through the fatigue of dealing with the various councils, fallen by the wayside.

Now with the recent city council executive decision more have come on board to help surmount the mountain that has to be climbed in raising the 750,000 for the 250,000 lease and refurbishment of the first spaces in phase one of the re- build.

I, for one, am looking forward to the hanging gardens that will cover the external walls of the later additions to the Victorian building itself. The high-rise bit of the community garden venture.

The teams are now busy with fundraising events (a Sunday event at the Brudenell Centre recently raised over 700); funding applications; money raising; outreach; business development etc while at the same time working with Brewster-Bye, the architects, and Community Builders who may be able to help fund phase one of the development. All hands on deck does not even come near the mark.

So thank you again for the part you have played in enabling the current city council to respond favorably to some of it residents.

Paul Hudson, Ash Road, Leeds

School's sad fate

I CANNOT believe what I saw today when passing the old Ash Tree primary school on Leeds Road in Kippax. Demolition signs all around this historical and once proud building. I am so sad and annoyed that this has been allowed to happen.

No doubt we'll be told that the place had to be demolished as it posed a risk.

This may well be true now, but if it had been taken care of when the school shut then this problem would not have arisen.

Ash Tree is over 100 years old and should have been preserved, and I'm amazed that this has not been the case.

What is to become of this site now? Is it going to become a car park or are more properties going to be built there?

Kippax, with its many empty and boarded up properties is quickly becoming a forgotten place, which considering its history is so sad. It needs investing in in the same way that Garforth and Cross Gates have had.

If properly thought out, all the empty buildings could now be busy with shoppers instead of looking as ugly and as bleak as they do now.

The high street is close to becoming a ghost town if investment does not come quickly to this village, and this can bring nothing but problems.

I am convinced that, with more thought, the old school could have been saved and used sensibly.

I believe this was a listed building; obviously this means nothing these days.

Richard Lloyd, Hollins Beck Close, Leeds

Act responsibly

Myself and my children moved to Rothwell last June, on the Wood Lane estate, and we are very happy here and so far the people are nice and friendly too, but what really upsets me is on a morning when I take my nine-year-old twin daughters to school we have to dodge dog mess all over the pavement.

I sometimes take my baby in her pram but last time I did I had dog mess plastered on every pram wheel.

I just wish the dog owners would be a little more responsible for their dogs. I'm sure they would be annoyed if they stepped in the disgusting mess.

M Edwards, Rothwell

National interest

WAITING lists for council housing across the country have increased by 12 per cent – or 11,000 applications.

Rich Kemp, vice-chairman of the Local Government Association, says there is no long-term solution to the problem. So what is he doing in the job then?

The Coalition says it is working on a solution; I hate to think what that is, taking into account some of the policies they have introduced on a wide range of subjects so far whilst in government.

May I suggest a solution. Scrap the right to buy, introduce a proper tax on bankers' bonuses, use some of it to help deliver increased numbers of social housing.

Surely there is a moral obligation to deal with chronic housing shortages, homelessness, overcrowding etc but morals and the Coalition government can't be put in the same sentence. Whatever solution the ConDem government come up with, they will spin out the line "it is in the nation's interest".

M Duffield, Gipton

Battlefield trips

EVERY year, the Lancs and Yorks Historical Society organise pilgrimages to the battlefields of the First World War. The tours are in August and September, covering France and Belgium.

This year, we plan to visit the Somme battlefields and the Ypres Salient, we can also visit the battlefields at Arras, Vimy Ridge and Loos if these are requested.

The trip specialises in visiting specific cemeteries or memorials on the above mentioned battlefields as and when they are requested and an experienced battlefield guide will accompany each trip to commentate on the various battles and the many historic events that occurred.

The Historical Society was formed as a charitable hobby in 1990 by ex-servicemen, who have many years of practical experience in conducting visits to the battle areas of France and Flanders, and we support a variety of ex-service charities and instititutions. These trips are open to anyone who might be interested and we welcome all enquiries.

We are a not-for-profit organisation. Anyone requiring information should write to or contact:

John Battye, 32 Rhodes Street, Hightown, Castleford WF10 5LL. Tel: 01977 734614

Open to question

HERE we go again. In a recent letter, Robert Tee made a verbatim quote from the Bible, perhaps hoping for some sensible discourse. So what was the response?

Well, Tony Stott's reply was that Mr Tee was misusing the quote and missing the point of it. He then proceeds to tell us what is, (or in his eyes), the correct interpretation, and surprise surprise, it doesn't resemble the written word of the holy scripture.

He says that when Jesus used the word "sword", he was obviously meaning "division". I fail to see it.

It is fact that there are an infinite number of ways to interpret the scriptures, which begs the question, why do people believe them unquestionably?

John McGuinness, by email

Buggy find thanks

PLEASE can I thank the person who returned my abandoned buggy on Templegate Crescent to Whitkirk Primary School last Friday.

I had forgotten to place it in the boot of my car and had driven off, realising five hours later. I am very grateful that it was found.

Fiona Radford, by email

Path to social harmony

Baroness Warsi has made out that prejudice is fuelling intolerance and misunderstanding in respect of Islamophobia, and to use her term, "It has passed the dinner table test". This is followed, in principle, by "It is the British people who are at fault".

I would respectfully suggest that Baroness Warsi takes a step back, and looks at this subject again. Contrary to what some people would like us to believe, the British are extremely tolerant, so if there is any intolerance, she might do well to look for the reason why.

I would like to suggest where she might start her quest. The question of wanting to bring Sharia law into this country is abominable to most people. Another thing that annoys a lot of people is the crying out of racism whenever they do not get their own way. There is also the question of Muslim radicals who denigrate us whilst still taking the advantages of being in Britain. These are a problems for the Muslim community to solve, I don't want to be involved in any way.

If Muslims wish to be accepted as a part of British society, then they must take the steps required for proper integration. The ball is in their court.

A G Goldsbrough, IlkleyBaroness Warsi has made out that prejudice is fuelling intolerance and misunderstanding in respect of Islamophobia, and to use her term, "It has passed the dinner table test". This is followed, in principle, by "It is the British people who are at fault".

I would respectfully suggest that Baroness Warsi takes a step back, and looks at this subject again. Contrary to what some people would like us to believe, the British are extremely tolerant, so if there is any intolerance, she might do well to look for the reason why.

I would like to suggest where she might start her quest. The question of wanting to bring Sharia law into this country is abominable to most people. Another thing that annoys a lot of people is the crying out of racism whenever they do not get their own way. There is also the question of Muslim radicals who denigrate us whilst still taking the advantages of being in Britain. These are a problems for the Muslim community to solve, I don't want to be involved in any way.

If Muslims wish to be accepted as a part of British society, then they must take the steps required for proper integration. The ball is in their court.

A G Goldsbrough, Ilkleypeople would like us to believe, the British are extremely tolerant, so if there is any intolerance, she might do well to look for the reason why.

I would like to suggest where she might start her quest. The question of wanting to bring Sharia law into this country is abominable to most people. Another thing that annoys a lot of people is the crying out of racism whenever they do not get their own way. There is also the question of Muslim radicals who denigrate us whilst still taking the advantages of being in Britain. These are a problems for the Muslim community to solve, I don't want to be involved in any way.

If Muslims wish to be accepted as a part of British society, then they must take the steps required for proper integration. The ball is in their court.

A G Goldsbrough, Ilkley

Card holders set to lose out

SOME months ago there was a big hoohah about the possibility of the council removing the free admission to Tropical World and Temple Newsam from LeedsCard holders (you featured this quite heavily in the paper).

The last I heard it looked like Leeds City Council was backtracking and "looking again" at the proposals.

I renewed my LeedsCard today and only then noticed that, as of January 4 2011, the card only entitles me to a 20 per cent discount. I haven't seen any publicity about this either from Leeds City Council (unsurprisingly) or from YEP (more surprisingly). Has this just been slipped past everyone?

Neil Webber, by email

Sir Bruce Forsyth.

YEP Letters: August 22