Plans for Eastgate need rethinking

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I SEE plans to develop the Eastgate Quarter are again in the news. To my knowledge, there has been no explanation of what we will lose and gain from it.

All we are told is it will regenerate Leeds and we will all benefit. Who is all?

I have seen compulsory purchase orders posted in the Eastgate car park but you would need half an hour to peruse them.

To my limited knowledge, the scheme starts from Templar Street (Vicar Lane to Bridge Street), goes right through to the Market, and includes the demolition of Eastgate on both sides.

The market itself would be reduced to one third, and Millgarth police station would go, together with part of the bus station and also the George Street car park.

Are any more of the same type of shops needed? Of course not, they will duplicate all the others. and let us consider our market. Of course, we know it is struggling and fresh ideas from commercially-schooled people – not council staff – are needed.

As an example there is a scheme in Liverpool that is working splendidly. It is privately run.

At the moment, the only thing keeping our market together is the George Street car park, for both traders and shoppers. Believe me, if we lose this, then the market, both indoor and outdoor, will go. I don’t believe a multi-storey car park will compensate for its loss.

What do the developers claim? That up to 4,000 jobs could be created. Does that take account of the 1,500-2,000 that would be lost?

There are parts of the scheme that there could be no objection to. For instance, the back of Eastgate (Lady Lane) to Templar Street. This part of the city is long overdue for a make-over but the current scheme is far too over-reaching.

I note that a spokesman for the developers states that George Street will become one-way and have less traffic than at present. That must mean that some traffic is going to be excluded.

If buses and taxis are to use the road, then the only conclusion is there will be no private car access to the market for both public and traders. What will that mean? I think we know.

Instead of a new development housing more of the same shops, let us have something different and unique, an attraction that people from far and wide will want to visit – not a replica of any other city centre with more M&S, Tesco, John Lewis, Primark and so on.

Come on, you councillors, start thinking with some originality and then maybe we will be behind you all the way.

Some of the traders on Eastgate have been there a number of years and have developed fine and maybe unique businesses – like Knock On Wood, the music shop, selling a range of instruments – and many others on both sides of the road. These places ought to be treasured and nurtured. And what about the flats above Vicar Lane, to be swept away?

Let us have another scheme which will be more in keeping with what we really need – not what the developer wants.

A Wilcox, Roundhay

Memorial plea

I HAVE noticed suggestions for some memorial to mark the deaths of Leeds residents in the Second World War.

Can I use the pages of the Evening Post to ask if there is a strong feeling that there should be some civic memorial, possibly in the quiet green space on Merrion Street which is becoming the city’s memorial space?

If there is widespread feeling for such a memorial, I have the assurance of the Leader of the Council, Councillor Wakefield, that the city council would be prepared to be most sympathetic.

Perhaps those with strong views on the matter might send their views to the letters page of our local newspaper or to me at the Civic Hall.

Councillor Bernard P Atha, Civic Hall, Leeds LS1 1UR, Bernard.atha@leeds.gov.uk

Your views on the royal wedding

THE public need something to raise their spirits but it is questionable if mass hysteria over a royal wedding is the right way. This country needs a lift but not one like this. We need more than a Barbie doll and a Ken.

The intelligence of those engaged in this religious substitute is questionable and are surely in need of help for learning difficulties. The monarchy is not the glue that binds the nation together. It is the mechanism for exploitation, inequality, wars, power and undemocratic control.

The Establishment must be well pleased with the saturation propaganda coverage this event has been given. The un-elected monarchy is an insult to democracy and attended by oppressive dictators from Saudi Arabia and African states whilst our last two Prime Ministers are blanked.

This un-elected couple are feted and praised with more reverence than Gods and enjoy and wallow in the excesses of lavish wealth and privilege whilst all around the population suffers.

Wars, money wasted on armaments, money given to capitalists and foreign dictatorships. The latest insult is the additional £2 billion to be spent on an aircraft carrier whilst health and care services are cut. And meanwhile the cost of this wedding is kept secret.

What education have follows of the monarchy had? How do they fill their empty minds? The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent? It’s just another reality show.

The BBC, the Establishment’s propaganda machine, the media and press whip up a false and temporary feeling of happiness. It is a drug for the mindless.

But now back to reality.

A hangover of misery and despair. Will we ever learn?

Malcolm Naylor, Grange View, Otley

l The royal wedding of William and Kate shone a beacon of true love, sheer joy, excitement, duty, pride, achievement, togetherness, and hope across the nation, and reminded us what sets Britain apart.

I was reminded of the scenes around the country at the end of the Second World War. When the nation really pulls together, nothing is beyond us.

George Appleby, Clifton, York

l Did no-one inform Leeds traders of the royal wedding? On my walk through the centre today, to say there were no sign of the red white and blue would be puutting it mildly. Not one shop on Boar Lane to Corn Exchange had a flag, bunting etc on outside of premises where on outskirts of city many local shops and pubs etc were decked for the occasion.

Sign of the times? Pity.

A Smith, Calverley

Neglected area

WHILST I have every sympathy with the NatWest customers in Farsley, we in Holbeck have had no bank, no supermarket, no real bus service (always knocking, and don’t even ask about Sundays) for the last few years, we don’t even have a church.

We are laughingly told that it’s all part of the regeneration scheme, but yet we get no information, other than the YEP, about that.

We have no supermarket, yet Beeston is to end up with Asda (taking over Netto), Tesco new-build and of course the Co-op.

And, to add insult to injury, we are told that we still have to pay the same council tax as in previous years as we are receiving services.

Now I might only be a local yokel, I can be treated as an idiot, but even “idiots” at times see reason. The local election are due, and I, for one, will not be voting for a party that cannot even be bothered to represent its local citizens.

So, whilst I understand the residents of Farsley, please try and understand the residents of Leeds are being “sold down the river” wholesale by those whom are supposed to make things better.

I also hasten to add that I have no affiliation to any political party, quite frankly the whole lot of them are a waste of space, but I do care about where I live.

L GOODWILL, by email

Labour’s lingering legacy of debt

ED Balls and Ed Miliband seem quite oblivious to the horrendous deficit that Labour left us and constantly criticise any cuts planned for the Health Service.They constantly remind us of all the extra doctors and nurses they provided while in government.No mention is ever made of the 60 per cent increase in management over 10 years. These managers, assistant managers and assistant to assistant managers outnumber nurses, doctors and beds – and that is where the cuts could be made, with patient care being unaffected.

Tony Blair’s Private Finance Initiative which was another “con” is also never mentioned by Labour. This scheme provided hospitals originally valued a £11.3 billion, but will now cost the taxpayer £65.1 billion in mortgage payments, the last one due in 2048. The money could have been borrowed much cheaper on the open market but private money could be hidden in Government books, concealing the fact borrowing had increased massively and perhaps unsustainably.

That was Blair and Brown once more putting party before country. No doubt Balls and Milliband would do the same, they were both senior Treasury aides when Gormless Gordon flogged off 400 tons of our gold reserves for £2.3 billion in 1999.

Thanks to rocketing gold prices that gold would now be worth £11.7 billion. Nice one, Gordon.

Terry Watson, Adel

Olympic medal mix-up

DORIS Quarmby (YEP, April 28) would have had great difficulty winning a gold medal at the Munich Olympics – even without a fractured wrist.

The Olympics of 1936 took place in Berlin, and Munich in 1972, although I do not recall Britain winning many medals in the pool. Maybe if Mrs Quarmby had been in the squad, well, who knows?

Martyn Stankler, Scott Hall, Leeds

Dictionary corner

I WAS reading The Bloke last week (April 26), as I got his comments about the royal wedding, the word “snigger” hit me in my eyes.

It was only last week when I discovered that in my 1974 Collins English dictionary no such word exists.

As my favourite choccy bar is a Snickers, my brain worked overtime and I found it spelt that say, saying “laugh slyly, whiny, broken laugh”. I suppose I can blame my dad for this mistake as he used to call one of his sons Sniggsy Wigsy, for er...snickering, a word I can recall anyone ever saying.

A Hague, Bellbrooke Grove, Leeds

Buses on Vicar Lane in Leeds City Centre.  Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

YEP Letters: October 20