YEP Letters: April 4

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Satisying political correctness?

A Cheeseman, Hyde Park

I can’t understand why people such as Boris Johnson are entertaining the absurd suggestion that Muhammad Ali should be knighted.

What has this man done that is so special, apart from devoting his life to trying to injure other men and, in the process, ending up being brain damaged himself? He is hardly a role model for the young to aspire to. The same could be said for Mary Seacole, who is touted as a black verion of Florence Nightingale. As a long-serving nurse, I’d never heard of her until just over a decade ago. In reality she was little more than a Victorian opportunist who provided personal services for army officers in the Crimea, purely for financial gain.

As a black woman, I’m embarrassed that these individuals and others like them are being portrayed as heroes just because they too happen to be black.

In any case, as British citizens, aren’t we all supposed to be equal, irrespective of our colour and background? Can’t we recognise our true heroes without have tohave them colour coded to satisfy the needs of political correctness?

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Town litter is eyesore and embarrassment

S Thornton, Morley

I regularly walk into and around Morley, and it seems everywhere you look these days there is litter and rubbish strewn around.
The actual town centre doesn’t seem too bad, but once you venture outside the centre by more than 100 yards there is rubbish everywhere, it’s on footpaths, on grass verges, in shrubs, bushes etc, and most of it has been there for months.
Is it me, or has the situation got progressively worse over the last couple of years, to the point now where it is becoming an eyesore and an embarrassment to everyone who lives here.
What must our visitors and those passing through the area think?
I appreciate council budgets are becoming increasingly tight, but it seems to me that the council have more or less abandoned any form of street/litter cleansing outside the confines of the town centre.
I cannot remember the last time I saw anyone from the council picking up litter or removing rubbish in any of the outlying areas of the town.
Perhaps someone can prove me wrong and confirm there is a programme or schedule in place for these areas?
Whilst on a similar subject, whatever happened to regular clearing of gulleys and drains?
Quite often I see drains blocked with rubbish, leaves, silt and soil etc and it is no surprise then that roads and paths are regularly getting overwhelmed with water during heavy rains. Is this another victim of council budget cuts?
I would urge all the local councillors, and our elected MP, to open your eyes and have a good critical look around the area to see the extent of the problem for yourselves, and then ask one question...are you happy with what you see?

What do we get from EU?

G Lancaster, Featherstone

I keep reading about how dreadful it would be if we left the EU.

Does nobody remember just how well we did before we were forced to join? Edward Heath took us in after the death of De Gaulle, who kept saying no, refusing us entry. Then Harold Wilson gave us a vote to either stay in or get out, but then added: ‘if the vote is to leave I’ll do my utmost to keep us in’.

The vote, as you know, was to stay in, but speaking to my friends who worked in factories, they told me that, included in their weekly pay packets was a note that said all their jobs were at risk if they voted to leave. Most of the factories are now closed. To me it was a form of blackmail. I think since then decimalisation cost us a packet because everything was rounded up not down.

Metrication was, and still is, a puzzle to me. I still think in feet and inches and buy a pint of milk.

I would like to close my letter by asking if someone could tell me just what we get out of the millions of pounds that we contribute to the EU each week?

Just think how many hospitals could be running as they once were or how many roads would be fit to drive on if we had those millions to spend here in our own country. America and China are not in the EU and seem to be doing very well trading with EU countries, don’t they?

Plans should be rejected

Mark Smith, Morley

I have just returned from Persimmon Homes’ consultation event at Morley Victoria Primary School for their proposed developement at Laneside Farm and felt compelled to write and voice my (and I suspect many others) complete opposition to this developement.

Having lived close to the proposed site for all of my 50 years I feel it would be a tragedy if this last piece of ‘greenfield’ land (I understand it is not officially classed as greenbelt) were to disappear under yet more houses.

This is not a case of ‘nimbyism’ on my part - Morley has tolerated many large developements over the last 20 years or so and has grown massively. I understand Leeds City Council has to find new sites for housing developements but surely Morley has already had its fair share? Traffic on Churwell Hill is already heavy at morning and tea time rush hours - this development of over 500 houses will only exacerbate this.

It will also affect already overstretched infrastructure - schools, health centres, etc.

I would encourage all Morley residents who care about the destruction of the area’s remaining open spaces to object strongly and I sincerely hope common sense prevails and Persimmon Homes’ proposals are rejected.

Campaigner deserves medal

John Marsden, Pontefract

The contribution that Coun Dagger and Wakefield Council have made to making Pontefract a better place through the restoration of roundabouts at Town End cannot be understated.

I have been through them walking and driving, but mainly sitting in a traffic jam, six days a week, there and back for 20 years.

Now we fly through, the only delays being from the daft lights they have left in at Ropergate End and drivers who are incapable of making decisions on their own.

My friend Steve Kidd has tirelessly campaigned to bring about this change, producing papers, films, travelling abroad, organising meetings and even going to court.

How many thousands of people, like me, now have an extra two hours a week because of what he has said and done? How many now breathe easier and are safer? How much better a place is Pontefract to live and work? I am baffled that not one bit of thanks or praise has been uttered by anyone. Steve should be thanked and praised, not ignored. He deserves a medal.

Expectation gap

Andrew Perkins, Global Head, Kaplan Leadership and Professional Development

Released this week, the latest report from CIPD, the UK’s professional body for HR and employee development: Employee Outlook Survey: Focus on Skills and Careers, in which 2,000 employees across the country were surveyed for their thoughts on their career progression, makes for depressing reading. A full third of employees report their career progression has failed to meet their expectations.

It’s worrying enough that so many of us working long hours are spending those hours engaged in work that fails to meet our expectations. But it becomes truly troubling when we learn that the reasons given for that expectation gap are not mysterious, difficult or costly to fix.

Information that new recruits rely on to make their decisions about jobs are usually based on marketing messages about their sector – for example, salary levels and travel opportunities. There is little awareness of what it’s like to start at the bottom, navigate internal politics, or of the hard work needed to prove oneself.

Factors cited by employees in the study as contributing to their failure to achieve their hoped-for career progression included lack of training opportunities, an absence of mentors or coaches, and poor line management. Often the job of a mentor or line manager goes to someone recently hired themselves under the assumption that ‘you are closest to knowing what it’s like to start a career’. That these not-yet-experienced managers lack the training and mentoring they need just perpetuates this expectation gap.

At the outset, employees need to understand the basics: acceptable workplace behaviour, being a good follower, navigating the political landscape and how to make commercial decisions. Employers need to support new line managers and train them to nurture new talent. We all have to start somewhere.

St George's Crypt, Leeds

YEP Letters: July 20