COULD SOMEONE from Labour on Leeds City Council please explain to me how the ratepayers in Leeds have been saddled with a £1.44bn debt on which the ratepayers have to pay £4m a year interest?
If this is not enough they wish ratepayers to fork out at least another £50m on the daft trolleybus scheme. Believe it or not, on top of this the ratepayers will be paying £14m a year to run the incinerator for the next 25 years.
Through their wonderful grasp of finances to fund these schemes we have seen three leisure centres close and we lost ours at Halton. Three schools used it. We have the worst pot-holed roads in the UK and they are spending £300m to send trolleybuses over the holes.
The mind boggles as to what occurs in the council offices that allows the councillors to defy logic and common sense and initiate the crazy schemes.
We have an absolute classic at Cross Gates. Three steel farm gates on an island – £140.000. Now someone tell me how they can cost this much. I would have thought £20.000!
G Geapin, by email
Better public transport call
WHILST AS a fellow user of public transport I wholeheartedly sympathise with Carol Gannon’s recent experience (YEP, January 7). The answer to poor public transport is not greater car dependency but better public transport.
It is not smart to have everyone in their own car stuck in congestion when one tram can carry 50-100 people. It is not healthy to use a car for short journeys when you could do it by bike. As we get a foretaste of the very real threat of climate change, going everywhere by car is madness for the future of our planet.
And a city dominated by motor vehicles and overrun by swathes of dual carriageway does not make for European City of Culture – just look how much surface area is covered with tarmac to satisfy private car ownership.
Carol, campaign your heart out for a better public transport service to Barwick, but don’t give up and see the car as the solution when it is the cause of so many problems.
Thomas Miles, Eden Mount, Kirkstall
Tories trying to wreck the NHS
MALCOLM NICHOLSON ensconced in his ivory tower with a nice private pension to boot, no doubt got it wrong when he wrote and said: “If Labour win the election this country is finished”.
What he should have said was “If the Tories win the election the NHS is finished”. The Tories hate the NHS and the welfare system because they did not create it and they are trying their best to wreck it by starving it of funding and blowing every mistake up into a major incident.
When the NHS was launched in 1948 it was the envy of the world and although it is not perfect it’s better than the American system or any other system for that matter.
Now let us just have a look at what the Tories have done whilst in coalition with the Libs Dems. And before that. All our services, gas, electricity, water to name but a few, privatised for way under their true value and of course once privatised they are no longer a service but a cash cow for the mostly foreign companies.
The customer comes way down the list after the directors and shareholders have had their cut. During the Thatcher reign over 50 companies were privatised or sold off thus turning this country from an independent sovereign nation into a dependency on other countries for our basic needs.
The final insult is talk that China is going to finance the building of a new nuclear power station and France is to build it. And this from a country that has just been placed as the eighth richest country in the world GDP by the International Monetary Fund.
And they are still at it with Royal Mail. Here are a few things the Tory-led coalition have done since they got in:
Closed down Remploy factories putting disabled people out of work and on to the scrapheap;
Smashed up nine brand new Nimrod spy planes with brand new electronics instead of mothballing them at a cost of £4bn;
Got rid of thousands of regular experienced military personnel to be replaced with territorial recruits and then realising there was not enough recruits to fill the gap;
Introduced the universal credit shambles with some people not getting their benefits on time or not at all and starting the hated bedroom tax knowing there are not enough properties to downsize to. I could go on....
Now there is just over a year to the general election so out comes the carrot with promises of wealth beyond our wildest dreams, we can have anything our hearts desire in exchange for our vote. All parties are guilty of this but the Tories are masters at it.
One final thing which the Labour party should be contesting is the false claims that they wrecked the economy. As I understand it was the Lehman brothers in America that started it followed by other banks over there and then the knock on effect with Northern Rock and other banks going down over here.
Finally when the Tories scraped in with the help of the Lib Dems the economy was coming out of recession but the coalition soon put a stop to that with their austerity measures.
Mr A E Owens, Swarcliffe Road, Leeds
Please help me find my dad
I AM wondering if your readers could help me. I am looking for my real dad who lives in Leeds. I have tried everything I can to find him. His name is Colin Riley and he is about 67 now. He is with a lady called Betty Duckworth. He used to live at Marian Road, Woodhouse, Leeds. I lost contact with him when I moved. I have been in Scarborough since I was 15 and was brought up by my stepdad who passed away two years ago.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miss Tracey Watkinson, by email
Stupidity of no-hands driver
PERHAPS the man banned from driving for a year because he was caught driving with his hands behind his head should reflect (if he’s capable) on the following.
The sentence given was laughable given the danger he represented to others (as far as I, and no doubt many others, are concerned he can kill himself with his bad driving and the world would not miss him but not other innocent people) and as far as appealing goes, he was breaking the speed limit anyway, irrespective of his idiotic behaviour.
To borrow from a political cliche: “It’s the law, stupid.”
R Kimble, by email
Madness of 60mph on A1
PROPOSALS to set up a 60mph speed limit on a 32-mile stretch of the A1 are another piece of motorway madness.
Modern cars with significantly more environmentally friendly engines are designed for motorways and appropriate speeds. This will not improve the environment as many gear boxes are designed with fifth and sixth gears. The average family car engine performs most efficiently at around 2,000 to 2,500 revolutions, so speed has very little to do with it. Which is why limits too low actually increase pollution.
Cars are in only second or third gear in the 20mph zones. Fourth gear up to 50/60mph and the overdrive or fifth and sixth for high speed cruising will be left dormant. The vehicle incidentally lingers in the zone longer at low speed.
This is yet another attempt to screw more money out of motorists with fines and a bigger strategic EU plan to force motorists off the road altogether.
Godfrey Bloom, MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire and Executive Patron of Drivers Union, Wressle, Selby