True cost of voting rights for prisoners

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The vexed question of whether inmates of HM Prisons should be allowed to vote in elections, as they are alleged to be entitled to by the arcane Human Rights laws imposed on this country by the EU is now compounded by lawyers queuing up to offer them help to sue the Government is those rights are denied.

With conservative estimates of the potential costs based on likely numbers of inmates involved already around £100 million, this is a burden the taxpayer could well do without.

Also, with our secret ballot system, ie where ALL votes, no matter who they are cast in favour of remain anonymous, what does it really matter and how many prisoners, if given the option may actually bother to vote at all if there was no longer any chance of making a claim for compensation?

Human Rights law can never be eliminated here, unless we leave the EU no matter what David Cameron or anyone else might suggest and so far that appears to be out of the question, so we are stuck with it.

However, the conduct of some lawyers in this matter indicates to the layman that they are in fact, not practising the noble profession of the law but a very low form of prostitution and I hope the Law Society takes note of it, because some are in danger of being regarded with the same contempt as certain politicians have over expenses.

D S Boyes, Rodley Lane, Leeds

Mr Balls is not the man for this job

Having presided with Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband over the ransacking of our finances, Ed Balls has the gall to say that the Tories should learn from history and remember the unemployment of the Thatcher era. I sincerely hope that he now reads some history concerning the last three Labour administrations, which have all ended in ruin for the finances of our country. Promoting him to Shadow Chancellor is like putting a drug addicit in charge of drugs policy. How can Balls tell Osborne how to clear up the mess he helped to create. He is part of the problem, not the solution. It is a fallcy to think that he strikes any chord with the public. He is one of the most loathed politicians of our times, even within his own party. His lack of popularity was highlighted at the general elections, when he almost lost his parliamentary seat of Morley.

With him at the helm, Labour is further away from power than ever.

M Nicholson, Barwick in Elmet

Parking mess is no strategy

I HAVE watched with anger and interest Leeds City Council placing parking restrictions on our highways without it seemed having any rationale.

It started for me on St Anne’s Road in Headingley. They had a residents only area set out, though I am not sure why as most houses there have their own drives, and the consequences of that is that it is difficult for people to access Beckett’s Park and that just outside the area cars park all over the grass verges creating a mess and a depressing environment.

More recently Hyde Park has been under attack. Firstly the area around Woodhouse Street was decorated with double yellow lines which prevents potential shoppers from popping into those currently attractive shops, I wonder how much longer they will last.

After a period of further change the whole area is now pay as you park. Here the consequence is that the parking there is empty but now people using cars are almost unable to collect parcels from the GPO office at Sackville Street, Sheepscar.

This parcel office is quite difficult to reach by bus.

The parking strategy can be found by an internet search of “leeds parking strategy’ and indicates a continuous process of controlling more parking spaces, making them short term and charging more for them. This might be great if we had sensible park and ride system, we do not!

Entering Leeds on the website “http://www.parkandride.net/” reveals nothing, rather a difference to other nearby centres like Doncaster.

Yet again I feel that our planners are failing the city and its residents. There is nothing in the strategy that indicates how the process will help Leeds move forward except a rather woolly “It is part of the wider strategy to tackle congestion across West Yorkshire.”

Paul Hudson, Headingley

Madness of pension credits

Wasn’t E A Lundy right about the ethos of saving for that rainy day or retirement being a waste of time?

New Labour in its 13 years in office did everything possible by extending means testing to make people’s modest saving or pension contributions worthless!

Gordon Brown’s crackpot pensions credits being a good example. For under that scheme, someone who had never paid one penny of tax or national insurance eg the feckless or immigrants and asylum seekers, is at age 60, entitled to a minimum of £130 a week!

This is in contrast to the worker who after 44 years of contributions gets £97 a week basic state pension.

If they were foolish to save anything besides, or have a small occupations or personal pension, the dreaded means testing criteria would deny them anything else.

Under Labour work and thrift became dirty words.

D S Boyes, Rodley Lane, Leeds

Labour MPs are millionaires too

At last – somebody else is also fed up of Cheryl Cliff’s ridiculous rantings. Valerie Turner’s comments (Evening Post February 10) were spot on. I would add, however, that Labour MPs are also millionaires, her hero Tony Blair and his wife being the biggest, and as for John (Lord ha ha) Prescott - well say no more.

I also think it is wrong for the Evening Post to print so many letters in support of the left wingers and should show more support for the other parties.

B Kerrigan

Parking badge abuse is rife

I read with interest your story covering the abuse of car parking blue badges.

I must say that the figure of 130 badges reported for abuse must be the tip of the iceberg, and out of this figure I wonder how many returned to abuse the system as it seems to me such an easy method to save up to £200 per month on city centre car parking fees.

If any of your readers use the council parking bays or car parks and pay for a ticket then they must be in a small minority, just look along the streets of Leeds in the pay and display bays, they are full of vehicles displaying these free parking blue badges, yet disabled bays remain empty.

The reason is that drivers want to park all day, I assume for the purpose of working and the disabled bays only offer four hours free parking.

It is ironic that we hear every day of council closures of day centres and facilities for the disabled yet the council is prevented from obtaining what could be £500,000 per year if they charged for all vehicles to park in any non disabled designated area.

The method for charging for parking your car outside of disabled bays is the only method that will stop the abuse of these blue badges. The council inform us that difficult decisions need to be made, well I say charge all cars that use pay and display and with the extra income keep open the day centres and libraries we all need.

James Tammert, Headingley

Trolleybus loss is worst of all worlds

As one of the few members of Leeds City Council to have critcised openly the NGT trolleybus project, I was not surprised to see that in the long run officialdom has had to admit the obvious. NGT in Leeds would be poor value for money and unlikely to proceed. All it ever seemed to be was an attempt to save face for the promoters of supertram by reviving it along parts of the same routes in a diluted form. That is not to say that there never could have been a place for trams or trolleybuses in West Yorkshire; the right scheme on the right routes could have been viable, though after the wasting of nearly £50m over more than 20 years, it is unlikely that anyone will get another bite at either cherry.

It was pleasing to see that schemes which I have supported are still alive; the new southern entrance to Leeds railway station looks almost certain to be built and plans for the proposed stations at Apperley Bridge and Kirkstall Forge are being examined favourably.

As I said in July, the council should have tried to do a bit of horse-trading when the coalition government was new and its spending plans were open to all suggestions; the £235m government cost of NGT should have been traded in to get funding for city centre flood relief. To have claimed that this would not have been possible because each was in a different ring-fenced area of spending was to have lacked imagination and to have failed to see what was going on. Leeds should have taken the chance to strike a deal when government thinking was totally fluid, before it began to crystalise out in new forms.

Now we have no NGT and the city centre remains at risk from floods which would cause widespread and long-lasting physical and economic damage.

COUN Tom Leadley, West Ardsley, Wakefield

Sell our park?

Conservative minister Eric Pickles wants local authorities to sell assets to close the gap left by funding cuts!

Leeds could sell Roundhay park to property developers. That would raise enough money to balance the books for a year or two!

A Waterworth, Harrogate Road.

Leeds, Briggate, 5th December 1971

pedestrian crossing.

YEP Letters: June 24