YEP Letters: April 23

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Let’s do what we can to help bees

P Clayden, Leeds 9

IN response to your feature about bees - three years running I have had bees in my loft. I phoned someone to come and take away the hive and the reply was: “I’m not climbing a ladder for a few bees.”

In the summer there can be as many as 60 to 70. I phoned someone else and the reply was: “I will kill them for £50.” I said no-one’s allowed to kill honey bees, the reply was: “Rubbish.” I telephoned the council to be told that there’s a fine of £1,000 for killing bees if caught.

Bees need trees, flowers and plants to pollinate, so we should do all that we can to help. Bees do not attack, only if threatened.

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Say yes to Europe but no to European Union

John Roberts, Wakefield

THANK you to B Johnston (YEP Letters, 16 April) for spelling out with such clarity the Brexit position.

It is interesting to observe that the people who have hope and enthusiasm for the future are in the leave group. The remain position are on the defensive, wheeling out spurious red herring economic arguments to defend their status quo. It will take more than a smooth talking expensively produced booklet through our letterbox to convince me (and many others) of the validity and credibility of the stay campaign.

The likes of Paddy Ashdown and Neil Kinnock (and family) let us not forget have a large personal vested interest in remaining with the EU. Ignore their siren calls.

Recent tragic events in Paris and Brussels have demonstrated quite clearly that the EU is not the bulwark of security against terrorism and assaults on citizens. It is actually NATO which has provided more protection. What good did the close proximity of the EU do during the horrendous Balkan crisis in the 90s? They tell us that we are making a step in the dark if we leave. Equally, to remain is a step into the dark unknown. It is only because we have become so accustomed to the EU that we think there is no alternative.

Many of the social achievements of the EU such as with work conditions and wages could just as easily have been achieved by a committed national government.

I am proud to be part of European culture and civilisation, not some little Englander. Britain is a major part of this civilisation.

The EU is past its use-by date. Europe: yes. EU: no. And there is a difference, a huge one.

We hear lame excuses for the EU, amounting to yes, we know it is rubbish and needs reform but we have no other choice.

Jacob Rees-Mogg referred to the thin gruel of the EU, and how we were scared to lose nanny’s apron-strings. I am not a Conservative, but agree with him on that. The fact that David Cameron had to sweat blood, labouring so hard to obtain a few concessions speaks volumes about the inflexibility of this bureaucratic leviathan.

I hope enough people, young and old of all backgrounds will see reason and vote a resounding leave.

What about Kirkstall?

DS Boyes, Leeds 13

IS Kirkstall in danger of becoming a white elephant graveyard where property developments are concerned?

In the last 20 years two major projects, Beecroft Street and Kirkstall Forge have never so far come to fruition.

The first, after the demolition of the historic print works Thomas Wade & Sons Ltd suddenly cancelled altogether on the dubious premise that the steep terrain was too difficult to work on.

Next, the Kirkstall Forge site was cleared around 15 years ago, with extensive plans for thousands of homes, shops, offices and a hotel even, plus a new train station, put back over and over again by unforeseen events like the 2008 recession then the December 2015 floods.With now, although the station is alleged to be built, its only access road on the A65 at the junction of New Road Side and Abbey Road is still barricaded off.Is the perceived flood risk the problem?

Would insurers offer affordable, or indeed any, cover with a precedent like 26 December 2015. Although the government has devised a scheme for flood insurance, I understand this excludes both business premises and residential property under nine years old, so definitely not new build ones.

Repeated announcements by Leeds City Council’s spin doctors tell us it’s coming soon, but when?

Cut number of councillors

Len Greenwood, Cross Gates

IN her message from the Leader of the council which accompanies the council tax bill for the next financial year, Judith Blake claims that ‘the council itself will continue to get smaller’.

But she’s certainly not referring to the number of councillors. We still have 99 councillors enjoying generous allowances and gold-plated pensions while Judith Blake boasts that since 2010 £55million a year has been saved through efficiencies and the reduction of some 2,500 jobs.

Politicians should also have to make sacrifices when local authority workers face redundancies, and many local people find it difficult to budget for increased council tax bills.

We neither need nor can afford 99 councillors, and it’s time to cull their number by at least a third, saving local taxpayers over £1million a year.

Show was insightful and informative

Edwina Gerry and Freda Ellis, by email

Congratulations to the script writer, Jane McNulty, the producer Steve Archdale and all those involved with St Mary’s Youth Theatre for the excellent production “Our Cousin Flo” at the Carriageworks Theatre (18th/19th April).

It explored Florence Nightingale’s little known early life as discovered in the letters, sketchbooks and diaries belonging to her cousin, Marianne (connected to Lotherton Hall).

As two retired nurses we thought this would be interesting. How right we were. We attended on the first night and thoroughly enjoyed a production which was insightful and informative.

The young people involved were so well disciplined and gave an excellent performance. Well done.

Petrol thefts

S Moore, Halifax

What do I think about all the petrol thefts in Yorkshire?

Give attendants paid jobs in garages where the driver gives an amount of money, that much fuel is delivered then a reciept is passed to the motorist.

They drive away happy and the garage, economy and dole queue all benefit.

The only losers? Corporations who have automated and made redunancies in the interests of their profits for already overwealthy upper staff and investors.

Security for polio workers

Ted Hill MBE, CEO, The British Polio Fellowship

The recent announcement that seven Pakistani policemen were killed in Karachi whilst guarding polio vaccination workers was a tragedy to read, especially when we’re so close to eradicating polio once and for all from the only two remaining countries who count polio as an endemic – Pakistan and Afghanistan.

With nearly 80 people who were helping polio vaccination programmes killed since December 2012,

I welcome the news that security for such workers will be increased.

People who are helping to save lives are ironically and unfortunately putting their own lives at risk. To eradicate a condition which has already caused enough pain and damage, we must all work together – only then will we see polio vanish.

Even when however polio is finally gone, we’ll have to contend with the aftermath in the form of Post Polio Syndrome (PPS).

A condition that affects around 80 per cent of polio survivors of the UK’s estimated 120,000 polio population, PPS affects people in a number of ways, from muscle weakness and fatigue to cold intolerance and muscle/joint pain.

Believed to affect the same number of people in the UK as Parkinson’s, more must be done to help those with PPS, just as those with polio need help as well.