YEP Letters: April 30

Dion Smith who has been told to stop distributing food to the homeless from his Leeds based jewellers which receives donations from the public through a hole in the window. See Ross Parry Copy RPYBEGGAR: A jeweller has been rapped for helping the homeless - after being told by a street warden that he is attracting intimidating people to the area. Businessman Dion Smith runs his own jewellers store in the iconic Corn Exchange area of Leeds City Centre, an area frequented by the city's homeless population. Caring Dion, who has run his business in the same spot since 2010, had built up a rapport with the local homeless and over the years had often raised money and handed out cups of tea. In January, in the bitter cold, Dion decided to up the ante and left an urn out at the front of his shop for cups of tea, packs of cup-a-soup, and biscuits and bread.
Dion Smith who has been told to stop distributing food to the homeless from his Leeds based jewellers which receives donations from the public through a hole in the window. See Ross Parry Copy RPYBEGGAR: A jeweller has been rapped for helping the homeless - after being told by a street warden that he is attracting intimidating people to the area. Businessman Dion Smith runs his own jewellers store in the iconic Corn Exchange area of Leeds City Centre, an area frequented by the city's homeless population. Caring Dion, who has run his business in the same spot since 2010, had built up a rapport with the local homeless and over the years had often raised money and handed out cups of tea. In January, in the bitter cold, Dion decided to up the ante and left an urn out at the front of his shop for cups of tea, packs of cup-a-soup, and biscuits and bread.
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Use money to help homeless

Glenn Middleton, Rawdon

I read with disgust and mounting anger the article ‘Jeweller told off for helping the poor’ (YEP, April 21).

Presumably these pompous, bowler-hatted people are employed via funds garnered 
from the overly expensive council tax and business rate bills produced by the Leeds City Council.

In my view the monies used to fund the 
BID department would be better spent providing food and shelter on a daily 
basis for these unfortunate homeless 
souls.

Yes, it was probably something they instigated that put them on the streets in the first place, but once on that slippery slope it is very, very difficult to get off – even with help. People like Dion Smith deserve all the help and thanks they can get.

I suggest there is only one lesson to be learnt – by Leeds City Council, get rid of this drain on public funds and close this department down.

If we need wardens on the street, let’s have more Community Police Officers.

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Home closures part of wider strategy

Councillor Caroline Anderson, Adel & Wharfedale Ward, Leeds City Council

I read with interest your recent article on residential home and day centre closures (‘Call for rethink of home closure’, YEP, April 21).

I was particularly interested in the comment attributed to Coun Lisa Mulherin that suggested that the Council’s home closure programme is a result of funding reductions, yet it is in fact the case that this strategy has been in operation in Leeds for 10 years.

The closure programme was a strategic decision to deliver savings and increase efficiency while delivering improved services to older people in the city.

Funding is clearly an issue in today’s environment but the driver for this was to better meet service user needs and to close homes that were no longer used to their full extent.

The direction of travel in Leeds and nationally has been to encourage independent and assisted living amongst older people as a means to improve lives and also deliver savings.

The Council has been encouraging direct payments as a means to allow older people to pay for their own care requirements, opening up alternatives to residential homes as more people pay for care at home or simply choose alternatives to a residential setting.

The Council has a revenue budget approaching £500m for 2016/17, if it chose to it could keep open homes such as the Green and Siegen Manor.

The closures are part of a wider strategy and not purely a result of funding shortfalls.

Coun Mulherin needs to be clear, it is either about forced closures due to funding reductions or a strategic direction of travel that the Council chose to do many years ago.

Plan to shut down Otley?

Marjorie Whitehead, Leeds 7

IS there a plan to shut down Otley?

I ask this as a frequent visitor over the years to this particular market town. Small independent shops are fast disappearing.

One that we visited every week on Friday (market day) was such a useful shop and now we are a bit lost; it stocked such a wide range of things.

Apparently during the rest of the week the town is just dead, in which case it must be hard to make a living.

The tenants of another card and gift shop informed us that not only did the owners advise of a rent increase but wanted them to take out a ten year lease also.

Well, if you are in middle age you perhaps don’t want to do that, feel that it might be too much of a burden.

So that is another shop we miss. We counted six empty shops when we were there last week.

Is it since the arrival of the supermarkets, so people 
don’t go right into the town centre?

There is a surfeit of 
charity shops, but that isn’t the same.

I have a feeling Wetherby might be going the same way.

As the saying goes, “use it 
or lose it”, and this would be very sad as a trip to a market town is a pleasant day out, 
and these towns are 
uniquely attractive and part of England.

Get out while we can

Terry Watson, Adel

The speech by Obama of the consequences should Britain vote to leave the European Union was obviously planned weeks ago by himself and our Prime Minister and Chancellor, George Osborne.

His statement that Britain would have to go to the “back of the queue” to get a trade agreement with America was obviously Cameron’s choice of words, the American word for queue is line!

I am sure the British people will not be fooled by this. 
We are not as naive as Dave thinks.

Why should we vote to stay in a crumbling dictatorship which gives us nothing but stupid rules and regulations which benefit no one and only subservient Britain obeys?

A typical example is the fact that while all the we are closing all our coal mines and concentrating on green 
energy, Germany has 
scrapped nuclear energy and are producing 40 per cent of their electricity from new 
coal fired power stations burning the dirtiest fuel of all, lignite.

The EU is collapsing mainly because of the single currency forced onto countries who didn’t really want it but had no choice in the matter even though their economies were not strong enough.

Greece should have been allowed to drop the euro 
but that would have been 
admitting that the single currency had been a 
disaster.

How can Dave or anyone 
else say we are safer by 
being in the EU? The open borders policy has been a disaster.

We should get out of the EU while we can, the unelected, unaccountable dictators will have a field day if we stay in and we won’t be able to do a thing about it.

Straight to recycling

J S Pearson, Pontefract

My apologies to all the hard working tax paying men and women.

I just received a pamphlet from the Government. It went straight into recycling.

At least it wasn’t wasted.

Charging policy is inappropriate

Bryan Denson, Sandal

My sympathies are with the Dale family who were asked to pay a bill of £70 for the opportunity to scatter the 
ashes of Peter R Dale (YEP, April 23).

It is not uncommon for 
there to be a delay in 
disposing of the remains of a loved one as there is the sense of loss, the need to feel them close and then the decision to finally let them go to an appropriate resting place.

When dad died we held his ashes for a time while we decided on the most appropriate resting place for him.

He had been President 
of the Lancashire and 
Cheshire Cricket League for many years and a member of Lancashire County Cricket Club.

I approached the club to see if we could scatter his ashes at the ground.

The marketing manager agreed to my request and arrange for their chaplain to be present.

They put his name in the book of remembrance and invited us to view the book anytime that we wanted.

They did this without any charge.

I believe that this policy of charging is inappropriate and that any costs should have been included at the beginning, irrespective of when the ashes are actually scattered.

As long as the family 
are directed to the appropriate area of the crematorium or the garden of remembrance it should not be too difficult for the staff to suggest a suitable time for the scattering and there is no need for staff 
to be present as this is a special moment for the family.

LCCC introduced a no smoking policy in the grandstand. Dad had not visited the ground for many years.

After the scattering I said to my sister: “He’s made more ash here today that he could have made had they allowed him to smoke.”

Not a football for politicians

Ann May, Ilkley

The NHS is not a political football.

The Tories and Labour should be working together to help the junior doctors rather than scoring cheap points off each other.

Do others agree?

PIC: PA

YEP Letters: November 16