YEP feedback: December 26

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Littering of our lovely countryside, your generosity to help the work of PHAB in Leeds, and a robust response from LCC Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning are among the topics debated on our feedback pages today.

Our green and littered land

Don Ramsden, Pildacre Hill, Dewsbury

While I applaud your efforts to brighten our life with photos of our countryside, it is not true.

Our roadsides and pathways are covered with empty drinks cans and bottles. I myself in the last 18 months have picked up over a thousand and these were only the ones that were accessible to me.

I have also reported to the local councils during the same period at least 20 mattresses dumped at our roadside, not quite so many tyres and sofas but still items we can’t ignore when out walking in our green and pleasant land, a phrase that no longer applies to West Yorkshire.

Leeds fans were PHAB-ulous to raise money

Ann Hart MBE, Honorary secretary

Leeds PHAB, run by a few adult volunteers, has been meeting at Prince Philip Centre, Leeds 7 for over 46years.

The charity cares for people in all areas of Leeds aged nine to 90 years with physical disabilities, mild learning disabilities or life-limiting illnesses alongside able bodied buddies. We ensure that all the members have fun at the weekly Friday PHAB Club, and on outings and residentials during the year - or playing wheelchair football as part of PHAB United.

Some of the PHAB drivers, who have given hours of dedicated help, are now retiring and we require some willing volunteers to drive.

We have a fleet of five vehicles, including two new specially adapted minibuses.

The work involves collecting members, spending a couple of hours on a Friday evening at the PHAB Club when you can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee, and then returning the members to their homes. We also require help with the outings and residentials. For more information please contact Ann Hart on ann.hartphab@btinternet.com.

We have to fund raise and recently held a Street Collection at Elland Road where we raised £250. We are most thankful to all the football supporters who gave generously. The funds are going towards our programme of outings next year to enable us to continue to carry out our motto - join PHAB and have FUN.

For more information - please see our website - phab-leeds.org.uk

Gritting our teeth!

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council Executive Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning”

“Shaun Kavanagh (Letters, December 10) asks why the Council doesn’t grit the roads? Well, there’s a simple answer to that, the Council does! We grit primary routes whenever the weather requires it in order to ensure the smooth moving of the road network. Our gritting crews do a fantastic job working through the night and beyond when needed. If you don’t see them it might be because they have come and gone before you were even out of bed! Perhaps readers could leave a mince pie and carrot out for them- I’m sure they’ll appreciate it!

Mr Kavanagh also suggests that the cycle superhighway shouldn’t be gritted and seems to have concerns about us using a mini-tractor (hardly a “specially designed gritting vehicle”!) to grit this route. His suggestion is that we don’t grit the cycleway. Doesn’t he know that will just mean cyclists use the road instead- making things more dangerous for cyclist and driver alike?

Every time I see a new letter on the subject there is a new cost of the cycle superhighway. In his letter of December 15 Mr Kavanagh seems to have inflated the cost to £50 million! Let me say this one more time- the funding for the cycle superhighway, Leeds to Shipley towpath 20mph zones and cycle training was around £29 million, with the majority of this money coming from central government and can be used solely for this purpose. I’m more than happy to remind Mr Kavanagh yet again that this government funding would have been spent elsewhere in England on cycling if it had not been spent in West Yorkshire.

We get that Mr Kavanagh would prefer us to prioritise cars –and of course there are cycling groups that would like us to prioritise cyclists. But what we need to do as a Council is balance the needs of all people travelling so that we can all get about safely.

Finally, I hope readers of the Yorkshire Evening Post take the time to check the authors of letters and that a small number of people tend to write constantly on the same topic. Sometimes what looks like a flurry of letters is just one person with an axe to grind.

We can’t afford to pay for all

Darren Dunwell, Leeds

How foolish does the Labour led Leeds City Council think it’s citizens are?

Following last year’s inflation busting 4 per cent Council Tax hike, many hard working people struggled to comprehend how their falling wages would cover the excessive rise.

We were told the Council couldn’t afford to look after the sick and elderly of Leeds, so 2 per cent of our Council Tax would ensure these people were cared for. A few months later the Labour councillors told the world “Leeds welcomes refugees”.

It appears that Leeds could ill afford another drain on its budget, as again this year we are hit with another massive hike on our Council Tax, a total of 8 per cent over two years. The councillors may be able to afford such payments, but my fear is the proposed 3 per cent social care levy for next year would be forced onto the hard working folk of Leeds to cover the costs of growing numbers of people coming into our already overcrowded city. Labour councillors must only ever speak for themselves, the citizens of Leeds don’t want misrepresenting and fleecing of their money on anyone else’s behalf.

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YEP Letters: September 15