YEP Letters: April 5

Plans have been revealed to build 550 homes at Lane Side Farm, Victoria Road, Churwell. Residents are furious and say the area's schools are already over-subscribed.
Plans have been revealed to build 550 homes at Lane Side Farm, Victoria Road, Churwell. Residents are furious and say the area's schools are already over-subscribed.
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Homes plan is ‘legalised vandalism’

Howard Thompson, Churwell

Apparently, in old English Morley means ‘open ground by a moor’.

If the Persimmon Homes application to build 550 homes at Lane Side Farm, plus all the other building projects, go ahead, the name Morley will no longer apply. Perhaps ‘ugly’ will be more appropriate? Once the green fields, the green lung and buffer zone between Churwell and Leeds is built on, this area will become urban sprawl.

What the Leeds City Council planning department has done is comparable to Henry VIII’s sacking of the monasteries - legalised vandalism.

City planners think carefully before voting

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

Re:‘Homes decision shows contempt for residents’, YEP Letters, March 23, Coun Finnigan is once again trying to turn the Morley Borough Independents into the Morley Borough Independence Party.

This time his approach is to try and turn planning decision making into a party political issue.

Let’s say this one time and one time only - plans panel members from all parties make decisions on the merits of the individual application on legal grounds alone - to suggest otherwise is a slur on the members who work very hard to make robust and fair planning decisions.

Central government policy has placed Leeds - like many other councils - in the unenviable position of having to make certain planning decisions in the full and clear knowledge that developers can and will appeal successfully against refusals that are not legally waterproof.

These appeals could also lead to significant costs to the council that would divert money away from hard pressed services. Planning decision makers therefore have to weigh carefully whether a decision is strong enough to be defended on appeal. Whatever happens in an individual case, I think a majority of members sitting on plans panels accept this challenge and think carefully before voting.

Of course things may be different in Coun Finnigan’s proposed independent state of Morley - but unless they are also looking to cede control from Westminster they would be required to write their own statutory plans, make their own planning decisions and be accountable for the planning decisions made. Whilst I don’t want to see this situation, I would be intrigued to see how it would work out.

Anger at city’s public transport

Alan Freeman, Bramley

My latest experience of FirstBus in Leeds was as follows. I needed to use service 91 from Bramley to Headingley on Friday early evening, 31 March 2017.

I arrived at the stop in good time only to find the display, CANCELLED.

No attempt at explanation or apology. My anger at this was heightened following the recent revelations that in 2005 FirstBus was lobbying at Government level to deny Leeds, the third largest city in this country, a 21st century transport network.

It would seem that it worked.

If Leeds City Council were doing what they should this should have been the final nail in the coffin for FirstBus in Leeds.

Unfortunately Leeds City Council do not seem to indulge themselves in such issues.

EU: Right decision made

Richard Brown, Wakefield

I am more convinced than ever that the right decision was made in the referendum to leave the EU.

There may be two years of serious negotiation before we finally complete the deal but it is clear that Britain will come out at the end in a much stronger economic and self governing position. Wakefield, in particular will prosper because of the new employment and business opportunities to be created to replace the lost mining industry.

There will be testing times before we reach our goal, but as a traditional trading nation we will create new markets and world trade agreements. In this true democracy of ours we must now accept the decision of the majority and support our negotiators all we can. The decision to leave the EU did not please everyone and some of the dreadful fears as a consequence of the decision have not proved to be as bad as forecast. It should be appreciated that it is not in our interest to disclose our negotiating strategy or tactics at this stage and those people who agitate for more information are jeopardising our negotiating position.

There will be many claims and counter claims, demands and counter demands, ultimatums and walkouts during the coming months – that is the nature of negotiation.

Don’t take too much notice of every single comment you read or hear on the topic in the daily press or news bulletins. However, rest assured the terms and conditions which were in place when we joined the EU will work in our favour.

Also be aware that in the midst of international negotiations there are still internal party politics going on and it may not be in the interests of certain individuals or different political parties to be seen to agree too much with others at this stage.

Cycle lanes are waste of money

Shaun Kavanagh, Leeds 27

PJ Spence (YEP Letters March 28) states what many people have thought for months regarding Leeds City Council’s (LCC) introduction of cycle lanes i.e. they are, despite what councillors would have residents believe, pointless to the masses, little used and a total waste of money.

Liverpool and other cities which introduced such tracks have seen sense following negative feedback and have bulldozed the tracks.

Society is living in struggling times yet LCC wants to waste even more money on senseless schemes which benefit the few because they haven’t got the guts to admit they “got it wrong” with the first two.

The two existing cycle tracks should be bulldozed. Leeds schemes must favour all residents, not the minority and be a meaningful type, not those which failed costing millions and without good reason.

Lower cancer screening age

Lauren Backler,Campaigner

My mum Fiona died of bowel cancer. She was just 56 at the time.

If she had lived in Scotland, where the population is screened from the age of 50, she would have had a far better chance of survival. It breaks my heart to know that I lost my mum to this disease, when she might well have survived if they had caught it early enough.

If diagnosed at an early stage 97 per cent of cases of bowel cancer can be successfully treated but this drops to just seven per cent if diagnosed at a late stage. You’re far more likely to be diagnosed at an early stage through screening than you are via your GP or A & E. So it’s shocking that there are millions of people in their 50s in the UK who are still being denied this chance.

Around 41,000 people a year are diagnosed with bowel cancer – the UK’s second biggest cancer killer – and more than 1 in 10 of them are in their 50s. Currently the screening age starts at 50 in Scotland but not until 60 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This means there are almost 8 million people in their 50s in the UK currently being denied the opportunity to be screened. Like my mum they are being badly let down and they deserve better. That’s why I’ve been campaigning for a change to be made and why I’m supporting the charity Beating Bowel Cancer’s call to equalise the screening age across the UK.

I’d like to ask all the local 50-year-olds, their families and friends to support this change to bowel cancer screening to ensure that the odds are on their side in the future.

For more information go to www.beatingbowelcancer.org.

YEP Letters: August 18