Check out today’s YEP letters
Grand transformation in Gipton
Jaimes Lewis Moran, Member of Leeds Green Party
In case you weren’t aware, one of the oldest fire stations in Gipton (and for Leeds too I believe) dating back to 1937, is currently undergoing a grand transformation, the kind that includes healthy eating food projects on a local level, a myriad of community art projects both with supportive wellbeing groups and more importantly, progressive grassroots change through this.
In my opinion, they couldn’t have picked a better location in Leeds to have such an encouraging community venue. I sincerely hope you’ll join me in wishing it all the best, a quick completion time and a full house for its upcoming opening event. yet even if, it runs over its unspecified timescale to complete, the fact is it’s worth the wait!
It’s now time to reclaim our health service
Carith Archer, Leeds 10
According to the British Red Cross we are in the middle of a humanitarian health crisis with the National Health Service almost at breaking point.
Back in the 1960s/70s our NHS was the envy of the world due to a free at the point of need healthcare system.
This was funded by everyone through national health insurance contributions which went directly to pay for a system of excellent healthcare for all.
This care system changed in the 1980s due to greed and money grabbing politicians cutting the health budgets back to the bone and introducing backdoor privatisation for some services.
These funding changes led to devastating waiting list for NHS treatment however the same greedy politicians could provide the same treatment privately within weeks at an extortionate cost and bypassing many months of waiting for NHS treatment.
This policy almost broke the National Health Service and left health service staff devastated and working for a pittance. In the 1990s the Labour Party took this on board and campaigned for improvements and better conditions for our doctors and nurses.
The outcome of this campaign resulted in a landslide victory for the Labour Party in 1997 mainly due to the campaign to save our NHS. We now find ourselves in the position of our health service being at crisis point again and getting worse.
It is now time to reclaim our NHS and make us the envy of the world once again.
Charity begins at home
Dick Lindley, Altofts
AS we all know, the NHS is stretched to breaking point.
Patients are now at risk of suffering serious illness when admitted to our casualty departments.
This is so sad, that despite the valiant efforts of our dedicated nurses and overworked doctors, we are unable to manage the system successfully.
It is ironic in the extreme that the whole problem is being made much worse by hospital trusts spending obscene amounts of money on management consultants, presumably to teach the hospital directors and managers how to run their hospitals.
I was shocked to find that the Mid Yorkshire Trust has spent £16.5m of scarce resources on such advice when that money ought to have been used to improve facilities for NHS patients. Not only are the NHS trusts spending money like drunken sailors, the Government should, instead of wasting £9bn of our money on foreign aid, spend all of that money helping the poor and the sick in the UK.
Charity begins at home.
Take heart and don’t give up
Valerie Allen, East Ardsley
Further to my letter printed in the YEP (Jan 10 )regarding having my PIP claim reassessed at the lower rate, I have received a letter rom the DWP to inform me that my appeal has been successful.
I would like to say a big “thank you” to the caseworkers at my MP Andrea Jenkyns constituency office, namely Ollie Foster and Brandon Lakin who helped and guided me through the PIP process and particularly the appeal process which can be very daunting and stressful. I am very grateful to both Ollie and Brandon for being so understanding and helpful. Finally, to all those disabled people who find themselves in the same position I was in, take heart and do not give up. Contact your MP and any organisation (Citizens Advice are very good) who are experts in disability and the PIP process and appeal against the decision. Thank you also to the DWP who did look again at my PIP claim and allowed my appeal.
More cash for police force
S Kavanagh, Morley
In the YEP, Friday 6 January, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, sought assistance from the ratepayers in the form of a 1-2 pence per week increased levy to enable the recruiting of more police officers.
The request is really a no brainer, especially if we all want better policing and bobbies on the beat. Perhaps his figure should be doubled or even trebled so we receive more officers than he would ideally like! All too often, the police are under pressure in dealing with the daily demands of the varying incidents.
We must have high standards in relation to law and order if the police are to safeguard everyone in the way we expect.
Policing cannot be provided without financial resources being made available, to think otherwise is living in a dream world. Police are not always proactive and not always even reactive when dealing with incidents but volumes do apply pressure and we do not live in an ideal world.
The answer is not easy but officers “on the ground” will help and we should all strive to make it easier for our own benefit.
We must have a quality law and order system in place for the benefit of everyone so if that means digging deep into our pockets then, so be it.
This will also mean Leeds City Council supporting Mr Burns-Williamson by stopping the waste of money on crazy projects, thereby putting good money to good use, with policing being be just one of the essential good uses.
Profiteering in the park
A Wilson, Roundhay
I SEE Leeds Council and a company called Go Ape propose to site zip wires and treetop climbing in the Ram Wood area of Roundhay Park.
Is the idea that as much money that can be made will be made?
The park was donated to the people of Leeds, to walk in, and enjoy, not for the benefit of entrepreneurs.
Food banks and poverty’s definition
John Watson, Kirk Deighton
Before Christmas, there was much news about “food banks” and about the rising number of people “living in poverty”.
Fair enough, but we must also consider what “poverty” actually is. The generally accepted definition is that a household is living in poverty if its total income is below 60 per cent of the “national median household income”.
In 2016 there were 13.5 million such households in the UK. That was 21 per cent of the total, a figure “barely changed since 2002/3” according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
What has changed since 2002/3, however, is household income itself. It has risen by 11 per cent.
It has also doubled since 1977 – even after making allowance for inflation.
So those in poverty may still be poor in relative terms but their standard of living has been rising as fast as everyone else’s.
If all that is true (and it’s based on figures from the Office for National Statistics), then the real question is not why are there so many food banks in 2016 but why there were so few in 1977?
A frightening sight
Terry Maunder, Kirkstall
I’ve just seen a frightening sight, far more disturbing than anything in Deadpool or The Revenant.
What is it? The sight of Boris Johnson meeting senior Republican politicians.
This is the way the world ends? Live every day as if it’s your last.