The importance of day centres

WITH reference to your article regarding a mental health crisis centre facing closure.

I attend Stockshill Day Centre, which along with the Vale Day Centre, faces closure in July 2011. Both these day centres are for people with mental health problems.

We were told about the closures on December 10.

I have been attending day centres for 14 years and, for myself and many others, they are a lifeline. When people suffer mental illness, and I speak from experience, you feel isolated and the centres become a safe environment to help get people out of their homes for just a few hours.

There still seems to be a stigma against mental illness and because of that stigma, people become isolated and the centres become a place which helps them to come out of isolation.

I feel that if the day centres close people will again become isolated, leading to further problems with their mental illness, including going back into hospital or even worse.

The day centres work very hard getting people back into society, with classes both in and out of the centres, something that the council are trying to say they don't.

I feel that Leeds City Council don't know what their day centres are doing or achieving with the mentally ill.

We realise that under the government cutbacks things are difficult and some things may have to change but the closure of day centres should not be one of them.

T Peacock, Holbeck, Leeds

Hold to account

WHAT right had Leeds City Council to waste 377,000 of our council tax money on a gamble they couldn't win?

The papers and the TV slagging FIFA spoilt any chance we had had of coming anywhere near winning.

Over the years those on the council come up with all sorts of stupid ideas that cost us money. This has got to stop now.

First off, we council tax payers want to know what is in our council bank accounts. We have a right to know, plus what the councillors pay themselves, plus expenses. All this should be printed in the YEP for all to see. Any fiddling of the expenses would mean those responsible being brought to account, as those caught in Parliament have been.

The council are making hundreds redundant, plus cutting services to try and save money, yet making sure there's money there for their needs.

A Britt, Dewsbury Road, Leeds

Cuts yet to bite

A Shipman states that the Coalition government has aided OAPs. I wonder if the opinion will remain the same when the comprehensive spending review cuts become apparent.

Cuts to the NHS budget will have a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of elderly people.

Cuts to budgets for local councils will have an impact on social services provision to the elderly, such as home care and probably closure of some care homes to start with.

Although A Shipman rightly outlines that the Coalition government has retained the winter fuel allowance and the minimum wage, what the winter fuel allowance will cover in relation to upcoming fuel bills will be significantly less due to massive increases in costs to the customer by privatised utility companies, in addition to increases in VAT. With regards to the mininum wage, it is something bitterly opposed by many Conservatives and business leaders and, if not scrapped, will probably wither away in the coming years.

M Duffield, Gipton

Wasted money

WHAT a joke Leeds City Council's Refuse Department are sending out letters advising of revised bin collection dates, the day after the bins were collected.

Now they are blaming the Post Office; whoever is to blame it doesn't help us to get our bins emptied. How much money has it cost for letters to be sent out and who pays for them?

wyn kidger, by email

Save the cassette

TECHNOLOGY appears to have met its Waterloo regarding the humble, seldom problematic, cassette player.

The carefully orchestrated phasing-out operation has clearly hit a puncture, the way stores like Argos and Wilkos are continuously selling out of Walkmans, radio/cassette players and tapes.

Indeed, why should we be held to ransom and forced into settling for complicated varieties of new (easily scratched) disc formats with their characterless cases (which are temperamental and awkward to label neatly, or decorate)?

Surely then the likes of Argos will be making a mistake, business-wise, to discontinue such a popular product but retailers are often candidates for Braille when it comes to what we, the powerful buying public actually want.

Meanwhile, as with the general reluctance, from what I witness, the majority of supermarket shoppers to succumb to rogue unemployment-mongering self-service machines, it's admirable that a multitude of us public joes are unwilling to be pushed around by technology.

Name and address supplied

New slogan for the left

EVER since the Coalition government came into being, the decimated Labour Party and others on the Left have experienced difficulties in their attempts to misrepresent the policy proposals of the Coalition. "ConDem" is the Left's catchy slogan and is meant to sound like condemn, get it? In the interests of balance, when referring to the Labour Party and the rest of the Left, red and socialist should equally be conflated and when Miliband and his bunch propose anything it is a pronouncement from the RSo's.

LOUIS KASATKIN, Wakefield

St George's Crypt, Leeds

YEP Letters: July 20