YEP Letters: August 25

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Check out today’s YEP letters

People of Holbeck ‘badly let down’

Liz Goodwill, by email

The Holbeck red light area is not only not managed, but the reason complaints seem to have fallen is because no one does anything.

I live in Holbeck right next to the area. The prostitutes do not stick to the rules, they constantly not only work out of it but also work during the day.

I have been threatened with a knife by one, spat at and asked if I’m up for business. The dedicated line only operates at certain times and even one of the local councillors (none of whom live here) said to me “oh that’s so not important anymore”. Leeds City Council do not care about the residents or businesses but they want your full rent and council/business tax nevertheless.

We the people of Holbeck have been very badly let down by Leeds City Council.

Speed signs driving me to distraction

Jane Dally, Addingham.

THE other week, I drove from Leeds to Guildford on the M1 and M25.

I hadn’t used the M1 for a couple of years and was surprised to find myself being subjected to a constant stream of variable speed limits (VSL) with cameras on every gantry going.

By the time I had reached Leicester, my acceptance in good faith of VSLs serving a purpose by making motorways safer places had waned and by the time my A3 exit on the M25 had arrived, I was shouting out expletives every time I saw another one ahead. Not good for the health.

There were so many speed changes on my 225-mile trek that I sometimes couldn’t remember what the limit was, particularly when the traffic on my left often seemed to be moving at about 40mph and on my right it was whizzing past at 70mph!

I was forever cruising along (happily) at 70mph only to be ordered to reduce speed to 60mph (if lucky) or even worse 40mph followed by the inevitable congestion caused by everyone slowing down.

What a joke. Apart from roadworks, I saw no breakdowns or other hazards to explain or justify these VSLs. I saw only more congestion and felt a growing sense of frustration as my journey progressed.

I was also concerned that I may well have a pile of speeding fines awaiting my arrival back home in Yorkshire.

I hope I never have to suffer such trauma again. I wisely returned using the A1. It was like a holiday and I arrived back home chilled and relaxed and, miraculously, there were no nasty fines waiting for me.

PFI an albatross around the neck

Bryan Denson, Sandal

I must agree with the comments made by David Hinchcliffe and the position that he has taken on the NHS, PFI contracts that were imposed upon us by an earlier Labour Government.

These are an albatross around the neck of the Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trust.

The fact that the contracts are traded for significant profit by the companies involved is outrageous but that is not the end of it.

While we obtained new hospitals, there are still significant building works, ongoing modifications and alterations required to meet the demands of the changing service that these hospitals provide, much of which has to be paid for by The Mid Yorkshire Trust as the work falls outside the original PFI contract.

It could be questioned if the hospitals were designed with the future in mind or just made to a price that was competitive at the time.

The point is that the NHS hospital trust still has to find large amounts of cash from its heavily stretched budget, year on year in order to keep the service running. Money that could be better spent on the frontline of patient care while the private companies continue to make ongoing profits from their investment.

Some Trusts have managed to find the money to buy out the PFI contracts but Wakefield and The Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trust is not able to do this even if it could find the money as I believe that the PFI contract prevents this as bonds are involved within the investment.

The contract that was signed off may have been poorly drafted.

Martin Barclay makes the valid point that we are benefitting from two more state-of-the-art hospitals for £20m per annum and I could agree if that is all we have to spend or if that amount covered every refurbishment, replacement or upgrade that the hospitals will require in the future but I don’t think that is the case as several millions of pounds have to be found for work that falls outside the PFI contracts and it would be interesting to see how much has been spent on new works, paid for by The Mid Yorkshire Trust since the contract began.

We are better off in prison

Hilary Andrews, Leeds.

WHILST having a coffee in Leeds, I overheard a young man telling his aunt that his friend had recommended prison to him, having just served a spell.

They get up at 8am. do some exercise, breakfast, then go to their job of their choosing until 1pm, lunch, then more work until 5pm, followed by dinner, the gym or TV and then bed.

Three meals a day, access to a good gym, no travel costs, rent, heating, lighting water bills or council tax.

I’m sure many pensioners would love that life. No wonder re-offending rates are so high. What a country we have become.

Devolution must not cost diversity

David Schofield, Garforth

WITH regard to Yorkshire devolution, much has been written recently about the ”Northern Powerhouse” and a “Yorkshire Parliament”, but I feel I must take issue with comments made by Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones and Barnsley Council leader Sir Steve Houghton.

They imply that devolution for the whole of Yorkshire, would make it the “greatest county of them all.”

As a 68-year-old Yorkshireman born and bred, I and many others believe that Yorkshire already is the greatest of them all.

We are told by the omniscient politicians and business leaders that this is the way forward. However, I am not sure that total devolution is the right answer.

One of the things that makes this county great, is its sheer size and diversity.

In Yorkshire, we have Leeds with its thriving commercial and cultural heritage, Bradford and the surrounding area has the heavy woollen industry, Sheffield is famous for its high quality steel industry, North Yorkshire is famous for the Dales and North Yorks Moors national parks, the East Coast has its fishing industry.

On top of all that, there is the massive tourism and farming industries. Diverse, to say the least.

So how can a devolved Yorkshire be governed fairly without omnipotent politicians favouring localism?

To quote Coun Houghton and Mayor Jones: “As leaders of Doncaster and Barnsley, we have only one objective – to do the best for our towns.”

Devolved Mayor should be in city

John Finch, Horbury.

Re the Yorkshire devolution debate, in my opinion, the elected mayor should be based in Leeds as this is the most successful of all the city councils in Yorkshire.

Manchester has made it work on this basis. I think it’s time that an agreement is made and to stop all the bickering.

Rail fares rip off working class

B Leonard, by email

once again it’s time to rip off the working class of the country, what with gas, electricity, bus fares, water, now train travel.

All these, transport and gas etc, sold off under the Tory government run by Margaret Thatcher.

No wonder this lot in power won’t put a cap on utilities or transport, they just keep saying what they can and should, but it never happens.

It should all be brought back into the hands of this country. Maybe after Brexit it will, but don’t hold your breath.

Helping young people excel

Natalie Whipday, England and Wales Director, The Boys’ Brigade

British sixth formers achieving some of the best A-level results seen for several years on exam results day was fantastic news, and we should rightly be proud of these young people.

In The Boys’ Brigade, we believe every young person should have the opportunity to reach their full potential – whether this be in the school or another setting.

This year we are delighted that approximately 50 BB young people took part in our flagship King George VI Youth Leadership Training (KGVI) course. Founded in the 1950s in memory of the monarch, KGVI has provided over many young people throughout England and Wales with leadership skills.

The two-year KGVI course is aimed at installing key skills and developing and providing confidence and empowerment strategies whilst also covering keys aspects of the Boys’ Brigade training to equip young leaders to lead activities in their local BB groups. The course provides a qualification in First Aid and Holiday Leadership. The course makes a significant impact, using their time, talent and enthusiasm to make a difference to the next generation of BB members.

Significantly, this learning experience also allows young people to show and develop their skills, regardless of academic ability, which they can transfer into the workplace or further education.

Through our programmes, we are committed to providing more opportunities for children and young people to excel, achieve and have fun.

Rewarding hard work in homes

Sharon Allen OBE, CEO, Skills for Care, Leeds

Day in and day out in your local care homes, community services or in people’s homes social care workers are supporting adults who access care and support services and that’s why the Skills for Care Accolades were created to reward their hard work and dedication. Skills for Care needs your help to persuade employers who may be supporting you, your family or someone like you to enter the Accolades that reward excellence in developing the skills and knowledge of their workforce.

Many people are not aware that 1.48 million people work in adult social care and the Accolades is designed to recognise the work they do that change people’s lives.

So please talk to your care provider to make sure that they know they can enter.

You may be a care manager or worker who thinks your own service should enter because you know just how good it is.

All entries are made online and all potential entrants have to go to www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Accolades to fill in the entry form by Thursday 21 September 2017 to enter one of the 10 categories.

The much coveted Accolade trophies are presented to the winners at a national awards ceremony in London next year.

All too often we only hear about poor services but the Accolades awards reward outstanding care provision in your community so please talk to your provider today so they can get their chance to shine at the Accolades awards.

A lament over leisure facilities

M Halton, Castleford.

What an absolute disgrace it is to see what was once great place to go to keep fit and socialise.

Castleford baths with its excellent staff,swimming and spinning classes and the playing field in Savile park, which once had a football, rugby and cricket field.

Both have gone to wrack and ruin apart from a small area of field, which is being cut by parents of a junior football team.

And then our traveller friends have the audacity to park their vehicles on it.

Do the people who have made the decision to close these facilities really know how many people’s lives have been affected for the worse?

All the new housing developments that are being built, attracting thousands of ratepayers and we can’t even look after our leisure facilities.

I just wonder where this town is heading? It’s a good job we have the Castleford Tigers to brighten the place up.

Get in touch

THE Yorkshire Evening Post wants you to share your views with other readers. To join the debate email yep.newsdesk@ypn.co.uk Please keep letters under 300 words.

Leeds has been battered by storms  - Picture Gary Longbottom

YEP Letters: August 26

Arthur Ransome  
Coutesy Special Collections at Leeds University,

YEP Letters: August 24