YEP Letters: April 18

First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon visits a photo booth during the SNP Spring Conference at the AECC in Aberdeen. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 17, 2017. See PA story POLITICS SNP. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon visits a photo booth during the SNP Spring Conference at the AECC in Aberdeen. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday March 17, 2017. See PA story POLITICS SNP. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Sturgeon is just an empire builder

Shaun Kavanagh, Leeds 27

Many will regard Nicola Sturgeon as nothing short of an empire builder, as are her SNP cronies.

If Scotland were to stay in the EU, severing their connection with the UK and the financial benefits they enjoy from Westminster, then what could Scotland realistically offer Europe apart from whisky, not very much? Scotland would be a laughing stock as a stand alone country within the EU with little or nothing to offer.

So Ms Sturgeon get off your self-erected pedestal, and stop whinging about Scotland’s association with those who do actually govern at Westminster and who provide Scotland with much needed benefits via its treasury. Your predecessor failed in his attempt to gain home rule for Scotland and, if you continue your crusade, you will undoubtedly end up with egg on your face too.

Listen to the people you are supposed to represent. They knew best at the last referendum and no doubt will at another, if Theresa May were to authorise it!

Leeds should choose city region route

Lionel Pyrah, by email

We have recently learnt that the government wishes to end the deadlock over powers being given to local authorities in Yorkshire (Yorkshire Evening Post, April 11).

With elections scheduled for next month, it is vital therefore, that Leeds in particular selects the ‘city region’ route over all others on the table.

Several authorities have already bitten the bullet and will have a ‘metro-mayor’ installed in each of their respective regions in May so it beggars belief that collective dithering in the corridors of power in the White Rose county is still happening.

In my view, the forthcoming mayoral election, if proceeded with hereabouts, presents a splendid opportunity for the Leeds City Region as a whole to beneficially showcase itself to industry and commerce both at home and abroad whilst, at the same time, continue to provide the usual raft of local government services to its residents.

Moreover, such a move would ensure Leeds kept pace with the likes of Birmingham and Manchester. I also think the city region would ultimately be provided with fresh ideas from amongst each of the region’s present authorities.

It would be a tragedy, surely, if Leeds became a back-marker, ultimately having to play catch-up with the rest.

On this day...

Ray Rebane, Bramley

I didn’t know so many important social and political events took place on April 8 in the last 208 years including Herbert Asquith becoming Prime Minister (1908), low interest loans to Britain by Australia (1925), the deaths of Nijinsky (1950), Pablo Picasso (1973) and Margaret Thatcher (2013), Sandie Shaw winning the Eurovision Song Contest (1967), Clint Eastwood being elected mayor of Carmel (1986) and the funeral of Pope John Paul (2005).

And then included in those significant events was a comment by Mrs Rooney defending Liverpudlian ladies - wow! Not even controversial but I’m sure many of us will hang onto her pearls of wisdom (and so unbiased too!).

It is perhaps not surprising that ‘celebrities’ have such an inflated view of their worth, especially as their far-reaching and profound opinions are recorded by the media ad infinitum (or should that be ad nauseum?).

I wonder if Mrs Rooney’s comments should have appeared in the ‘They said it’ section of the paper where they would have been more at home with life’s other real and noteworthy achievers.

Searching for old friends

A Simpson, Bradford

I’m 76 and wish to trace some of my old friends from the Armley Palace skating rink, in particular Barry Newton, Neil Wilson, Sandra Deerbell and Christine Todd. Are you still out there? Please get in touch.

Rocketing cost of roundabout

K Smith, Guiseley

Seeing your recent ‘Picture of the Day’ showing the Cross Gates roundabout, the cost of which, I understand, rocketed from an initial estimated £70k to £143k, it would be interesting to see a breakdown as to how this figure was arrived at, though I expect months of deliberation went into this, as usual.

It occurs to me that the name Cross Gates could have been depicted more effectively and at cheaper cost and with less distraction to motorists if only two gates had been used, intersecting the centre at right angles.

Could the planners not have seen this at the outset? Of course, when taxpayers money comes into it, cost effectiveness seems to be a low priority.

Giving support to carers

Stephanie Stone, Revitalise

Many of us enjoy heading off on a spring getaway around Easter time, but what if you were simply unable to take any time off? Well, this is very much a reality for many of the UK’s 6.8 million carers.

Do readers know that our own research has shown over a third of carers have never had any significant time away since they started caring? Astonishing when you consider that more than five out of 10 had been in a caring role for 10 years or more and 30 per cent are 70 or over.

That’s why we’re reaching out to carers everywhere to say that with our support things can change.

I work for a wonderful charity called Revitalise; we run the Jubilee Lodge respite holiday centre in Chigwell, providing much-needed respite breaks for disabled people and carers from all across the region and beyond.

We touch the lives of thousands of disabled people and carers each year through our respite breaks. Now, we’re able to provide even further support via the ‘Simplyhealth Care Community’ - an online carers’ forum developed by our long-term partner Simplyhealth and powered by the social network HealthUnlocked. The Simplyhealth Care Community enables unpaid carers to be part of an online support community, a place where they can talk about their concerns, experiences and ask questions to others in similar situations.

With more than half of carers we asked admitting they did not know how they would be able to cope if things continued the way they were, we know it’s likely that there are thousands more carers out there who feel the same and are in need of our support – you can help us to provide it.

To find out more about Revitalise, our breaks or ways you can support us please visit www.revitalise.org.uk or call 0303 303 0145.

Battlefield pilgrimages

John Battye, Castleford

Each year the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry Battlefield Tours organises pilgrimages to the battle areas of the First World War. The tours are in September.

This year we plan to visit the Somme battlefield, the Ypres Salient, Arras, Vimy Ridge and Loos battlefield areas, if requested. This year 100 years ago battles that rages were the third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), Arras, Vimy Ridge, Messines and Cambrai.

The trips specialist in visiting specific cemeteries or memorials on the above mentioned battlefields as and when they are requested and an experienced battlefield guide will accompany each trip to commentate on the various battles and many historic events that occurred in the areas we visit. We can also assist people in tracing war graves from the First World War.

The KOYLI battlefield pilgrimates was formed as a charitable hobby in 1990 by ex-servicemen who have many years of practical experience in conducting visits to the First World War battlefield areas of France and Flanders and we support the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and other institutions.

These trips are open to anyone who might be interested and we welcome all inquiries. We are a not for profit organisation.

For more information write to me at 32 Rhodes Street, Hightown, Castleford, WF10 5LL enclosing a medium sized SAE or call 01977 734614.

YEP Letters: September 20