Proposal that could have saved Bramley baths

Bramley Baths
Bramley Baths
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I NOTICE that the uncertainty surrounding the excellent Bramley Baths facility has received significant YEP coverage over recent weeks (‘Locals to be consulted on future of historic baths’, May 30, and ‘Could the community run Bramley Baths?’, May 31).

Given this, I continue to find it baffling that the ruling administration failed to support our proposals for the council’s budget this year that would have seen this popular community facility saved.

Local ward councillor, Ted Hanley, has been claiming credit for the saviour of Bramley Baths for months yet uncertainty continues.

I can only assume that comments made in the YEP in March this year in which he claimed to have personally saved the pool, by finding £40,000, were wide of the mark.

It is puzzling to note that he did not vote for my budget amendment in February that would have seen back office spending on glossy publications, stationery, equality services and furniture reduced in favour of front line services like those offered at Bramley Baths.

Not one member of the ruling administration voted to support what was an undeniably sensible policy to protect the front line, while cutting our cloth accordingly with regard to back office functions.

Everyone recognises that we are facing difficult times in local government, however our proposals would have identified the £80,000 necessary to keep Bramley Baths open, there would not have been this period of uncertainty and we would not now be in a position where the future of the Baths is still the subject of newspaper articles.

It is to be hoped that in future years the ruling administration is prepared to listen to the views and policies of the opposition and be even-handed enough to support proposals that were clearly aimed at improving the service we provide as a council.

Councillor Andrew Carter, Leader of the Conservative Group

CLEAR UP BILL

YET again the ratepayers of Leeds are being forced to pay the costs of first removing the travellers from where they have decided to settle – in the last case the Shaftesbury Sport field – and then, once more, the costs, sometimes running into thousands of pounds, for cleaning up the mess that they always leave behind.

To me, the answer is quite simple and I cannot understand why no-one has thought of it before. These people have a representative or mouthpiece in Helen Jones and I assume that she is in constant communication with the offenders, so what I would do is to make her responsible for collecting any costs incurred in the removal and clearing up operations, for she must know who these people are. Just send her the bill. Job done!

D Lemmon, Broadway, Leeds

TAXPAYER LOSES

COUNCILLOR Peter Gruen writes a good letter with regard to the tackling of the traveller issue (YEP, May 28). If I may pick out the points he raises, they are roughly as follows:

We have carried out an inquiry leading to a report. It relates to meeting then needs of the travellers. It will give better value for money for the taxpayer. There is to be development of temporary and permanent sites. The problem of the travellers is a challenge to the council. It accepts that it is difficult to respond to their housing needs. The council will respond swiftly and appropriately on unauthorised encampments in the city.

I have a problem with all the foregoing, as it places all the problems and costs onto the local taxpayer, and why should they pay anything at all to support a lifestyle that the travellers have taken up of their own freewill? I have seen these promises set out before, many times over the years, and they all fail, as the travellers do not seem to want to take part in anything that costs them, or limits them to doing just as they please.

As far as I can see, high ideals, but hogwash nevertheless, and the taxpayer loses as always, in the end.

A G Goldsbrough, Ilkley

SENSIBLE SAVING

I SEE we are not to have a Deputy Lord Mayor, sad but not such a loss and a good saving of public money. Maybe it will return when we have a better budget but surely a much bigger saving is not to go to the Chelsea Flower Show. It’s wonderful that we have done so well but the cost is so great. Let’s leave that out for a few years.

I once asked the man in charge of Roundhay Park why there was no dog warden. That would bring in good money as so many people do not clean up after their dogs. He said they had no money to employ one.

S Freeman, Leeds

PET IN NEED

THE RSPCA do a sensational job, not a single doubt about that, and I hope more people contribute donations and adopt animals if they can in these bleak economic times (due to the lousiest government ever reducing the ordinary Joe’s finances and wellbeing to a pulp), but yesterday I found a lost dog over our nearby field. He was dehydrated and distressed.

It took me several RSPCA numbers (one person wrongly passed me over to the over-pushed police!), back and forth like a shuttlecock until finally an RSPCA answerphone voice advised me to ring the local dog warden. That was it. They gave me no number. How daft and unhelpful is that? And what if it had been a dire emergency for some poor animal?

As it was, our own dog and the one brought in were very stressed, hot and bothered. We need more clear routes on these helplines if we are truly to help these poor things in need. Please note, RSPCA.

K Wren, Meanwood

ROAD SAFETY PLEA

IF the authorities are serious about installing safety cameras on roads that have seen serious accidents in so many years they should consider the A656 and A63 in east Leeds.

The two mentioned roads are very dangerous and should have some sort of accident prevention covering them. The A63 from Ninelands Lane in Garforth to the Micklefield/A1 junction has seen some incidents in recent weeks also in years gone by.

The A656 (ridge road) is another one, from Castleford to the M1 junction, which has seen its fair share of fatal accidents over many years; just a few years ago I knew one of the men who died near Micklefield from my school days. I felt numb and very sorry for his family when I heard.

These roads are used like race tracks as they are so straight in places and also very little lighting, if any, is provided, so I think very serious consideration should be given to providing and installing safety features so that no more people have to die and their relatives do not get the dreaded knock on the door from the police.

I keep seeing Coun Dobson’s name in the paper, getting things done for Garforth, so I am calling on him to put his full backing behind my proposals for safer roads in the area of his constituency.

Name and address supplied

BIRD RESCUE

YESTERDAY (May 27) my daughter’s puppy brought us a newly hatched bird. We couldn’t find where it had come from and it was very cold.

We warmed the tiny bald bird up and it laid there with its mouth wide open, asking for food. We fed it bits of worm and kept it warm and it was still alive on the Saturday.

We decided to take it to Harewood House, as we knew they had many birds there.

I thought they might say we were daft trying to save such a young bird but no, they were lovely. We arrived at the gates and explained to the lady at the pay kiosk. She rang the bird garden and a lovely young lady, called Seline, took the little bird from us, saying she would put it in an incubator and feed it special fledgling food. She said we could ring next week to see how it was getting on.

We then went to the visitors’ centre to give a donation, then into the cafe for a coffee. Everywhere we went the staff were really nice and we had a wonderful day.

Thank you, Harewood House.

Mrs C Foster, Pudsey

BUS STOP CONFUSION

MAY I congratulate Metro on its mis-handling of bus stop changes for the 51/55 service to Morley.

I found out on Friday that the stop at the top of Vicar Lane was going out of service and temporary stops were to be installed on Woodhouse Lane, but not the current one outside the FAB cafe.

The new stop is in the middle of the road at another stop and outside Jessops on The Headrow. Fine, but thanks from Morley’s bus users for telling us.

There has been nothing in the papers or on the bus or bus stops involved. The new temporary stops have no ID either.

The First bus driver said there would be additional route changes in about three weeks time. Hopefully by then Metro will have got around to telling passengers and maybe about why the changes are happening.

G Gell, Morley

JUST PUNISHMENT

JUSTICE Secretary, Kenneth Clarke, has the right idea to reward people for admitting they are guilty, including rape (YEP, May 24), but not by reducing their sentence.

He should increase it for the guilty who make it drag on, costing a lot more money, legally and police hours.

As for him saying some rapes are not as bad as others, he meant, or should have meant, some are worse than others, as I regard him a true Tory gentleman.

A Hague, Leeds

Expenses fiasco

HERE we go again: MP fiddles expenses, MP brought to book and sentenced to prison. MP serves part of it locked up – at our expense.

What kind of punishment is that? Akin to a slap on the wrist.

What a fiasco!

Mavis Harrison, Saxton Gardens, Leeds 9

YEP Letters: October 19