YEP Letters: February 6

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Cash could make powerhouse 
into a reality

Phil Crowther, Bingley

Many will remember the underhand tricks employed by British Railways in the 60s to close lines by stealth i.e starve a route of services, claim it has minimal revenue and passengers, hey presto, closure followed.

In many instances, such as Wetherby to Leeds, we are now suffering for that short term thinking by politicians and accountants. It is happening again with the Bradford-based National Media Museum. Visitor numbers have dipped over the years since opening, so in the light of “The Northern Powerhouse” concept it would be reasonable to expect government would at least support it in every way possible, if not financial?

Instead, we first get the removal of many exhibits back to London followed shortly after by the International Film Festival being cancelled, I suppose to reappear “ down south”. All now expect the next move will be to remove the word National and job will be done. This is not just an insult to Bradford or Yorkshire but the north of England, site of the Northern Powerhouse. Northern MPs I hope will respond accordingly.

Meanwhile, Leeds trumpets the number of tower cranes on the skyline and we are told they are building more offices and retail. The offices again we are told are partially pre let or preleased. That means majority are not. Do not our current crop of letting agents remember we have been here before when offices and flats stood empty as developers took the tax benefits of empty property leaving Leeds to flounder? Whilst we all want success, more than a weather eye needs to be kept on forecasts by the Bank of England that financially, the national and international outlook ahead is far from rosy or predicable. Therefore, it seems this surge in building could have some wobbly foundations and that retail and partly let offices will not sustain a healthy growth.

I was amazed to see the recent article in the YEP which advised that £600 million was allocated in European funding in 2014 to help Yorkshire’s economy, but not one penny had been claimed by the end of 2015. This is in addition to £56 million remaining unclaimed between 2007 and 2013. How can this largesse go untapped when every day we hear the woes of funding cuts and we are paying £55 million a day to be in this club? Surely this cash could help to make the Northern Powerhouse a reality as opposed to the Tory kidology many fell for at the last election.

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Shoddy service

Lyndsey Janes, by email

I am contacting you to make you aware of the shoddy bus service in Pudsey.

The X14 continually does not turn up (three times in the last month that I have been waiting for it and I only work three days a week).

It is imperative that I get that bus in the mornings, they are scheduled every 30 minutes so if it doesn’t come you are left waiting for the next one in this horrible weather. I wait for the 7.40 service at Valley Square to Leeds. Upon further investigation looking at other commuters complaining to their Twitter account (they never seem to reply to my tweets), it seems the bus is leaving but not actually serving the Valley Road / Valley Square/Fartown part of the route! We have no other bus to get (there is a Yorkshire Tiger 60A at 7.18 but this does not fit in with my childcare arrangements). I have been late on several occasions and using the “bus was late” excuse is wearing pretty thin at work. I can’t believe bus drivers can get away with not serving the whole route, it’s not fair on the customers!

Sympathy over parking fines

Geoffrey Joseph, Leeds 17

I too have sympathy with your correspondents who receive harsh parking fines.

Recently I parked in Leeds after 6pm, paid the £2 and attached the ticket inside my windscreen. When I returned there was a yellow violation ticket on the windscreen even though I had clearly paid. I contested it by email and was told to send a photocopy of the ticket to their office. This I duly did and shortly afterwards got a letter which said the charge would be cancelled, but in future I should make sure the ticket was clearly displayed.

To add insult to injury, enclosed with their reply was a photo of my windscreen clearly showing the ticket on the right hand side with the yellow violation on the left!

Sunday trading

John Hannett, General Secretary, Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw)

Local shopworkers are very concerned about government plans to devolve Sunday trading hours to councils and the effects that will have on family life, local shops and the community.

The change could lead to large shops opening for longer, even though they are already trading for up to 150 out of 168 hours a week, so shopworkers will have even less time to spend with their families.

It won’t help small stores, who are already allowed to open whenever they like, and may put some of them out of business.

It isn’t even clear who is actually calling for this change, with many retailers opposing it.

The Sunday Trading Act has worked well for over 20 years. Retailers can trade, customers can shop, staff can work; 
whilst Sunday remains a 
special day and shopworkers can spend some time with their family.

We encourage readers to let their MP know what they think so their vote in Parliament reflects local views.

Leeds, Briggate, 5th December 1971

pedestrian crossing.

YEP Letters: June 24