YEP Letters: January 14

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Rethink hospital demolition plan

Tony Coleman, Castleford

I, like many others, cannot understand why Castleford Hospital is being knocked down and replaced by even more new houses.

We keep hearing about hospitals being short of beds, a problem that will only get much worse. We solve this problem by knocking down a beautiful old hospital on a beautiful site, part of which could be used for patients with none serious problems or those needing a bed to recover from non urgent surgery. At the end of the day it will free up valuable bed space in an area of West Yorkshire that is growing day by day.

It would also reduce the number of visitors and the need for more car parking space at Pinderfields Hospital. Castleford Hospital is near the motorway and, with thousands of new homes being built in the area, the powers that be need to have a rethink before knocking it all down.

Driving ban: every sympathy with coroner

Jeremy Spillane, Tingley

I have every sympathy with David Hinchliff, the West Yorkshire coroner, receiving a six months driving ban after accumulating 12 penalty points on his licence.

The only important question is, is he good at his job? – I believe he is. Some seventeen years ago I nearly lost my licence in similar circumstances. I went to court and due to the fact I would have lost my job had I been banned, the magistrate very kindly didn’t ban me, but left me with 11 points on my licence for the next two years.

Unfortunately we humans are susceptible to lapses and we can be caught doing what we’re not supposed to.

Is there any reader out there who has never done anything wrong, ever? We are ruled by politicians who are also human, and because speed is the only driving characteristic that can be measured remotely, decide to measure it and earn revenue from people who possibly accidently exceed the limit by a small margin.

We’ve all seen speed cameras hidden by trees, or cameras on a stretch of road where there is no speed limit sign to tell us what the speed should be.

As a fellow road user, I would far rather have someone like David Hinchliff sharing my road space, than someone driving below the speed limit, but playing with their mobile phone, as is all the rage these days.

Short-sightedly, road traffic police are virtually extinct, so drivers can do almost anything without fear of being caught, except go three miles an hour over the speed limit past a speed camera!

Show some compassion

by email

It’s a great pity that the magistrates that banned coroner David Hinchliff from driving for six months didn’t show just a tiny amount of compassion that this man has shown to thousands of Yorkshire folk when dealing with them at one of the lowest points of their lives.

One never wants to meet this man in his professional capacity but if you are ever unfortunate to do so you will be treated with respect and understanding.

I know several people who drive for a living with 12 points plus on their driving licence who have pleaded hardship if they were banned and received a higher fine or a very short ban ( weeks). What happened with Mr Hinchliff’s case ?

And as far as road safety group Brake is concerned, it is getting a bit boring now listening to them jump on any bandwagon to get publicity and probably funds for itself. Whatever the offence be it drink driving, speeding or whatever they always adjust the stats for that particular problem. Best leave advice and comment to the traffic police, Institute of Advanced Motorists, ROSPA. These are people that actually know, teach and practice safe driving and not some small noisy charity that relies on press releases for its funding.

Market’s beauty destroyed

by email

I read with interest the letter from Joe Cooney (Yorkshire Evening Post January 6) regarding Leeds Market and agreed with all that was said.

I first visited the new look market one Saturday afternoon in October, as I had been to see the newly opened Victoria Gate centre.

I stood near the bottom half of the market and I could have cried. What had once been a vibrant, busy, bustling market was now a huge, almost empty shell.

I later learned that this was the much heralded “event space”, but no event was taking place that day. There were a handful of small food “shacks”, a few empty benches and a small stage, with banners of “promote”, “perform”, “create” above it. Hmmm?

I went back to look at the market again on a Saturday afternoon, two weeks before Christmas. Again no events were taking place, so it begs the question that if no events take place at the busiest time of year, when exactly do they happen and what exactly are these events?

The long established butchers row is now totally empty and what butchers there are left, have now been corralled into the former game row.

The standard of many of the goods being sold in the market has really deteriorated. Some years ago, you could have visited an expensive shop (such as in the Victoria Gate Centre) seen an expensive handbag and then gone to the market and found a good quality replica for a fraction of the price. Not any more.

Leeds Market used to attract coach loads of people from all over the country as the range and quality of produce etc. was so good. It was a tourist destination of choice. Not any more.

Leeds City Council should have looked at thriving markets in the country and aimed to replicate the success of those. For example, Bury Market has a huge variety of stalls, is always busy and many coach trips take people there as it is so popular.

Borough Market in London is a fine example of how a market should look. It is packed full of stalls selling wonderful breads, cakes, cheeses, fruit, vegetables, meats etc, all piled high and all looking spectacular. There are stalls selling a variety of hot foods, (street foods such as paellas, pastas, Mexican food etc ) cooked fresh in front you. There are wine bars, cafes, speciality beers and delis a plenty. This is how a market should be.

I had the pleasure of working in Leeds Market prior to the 1975 fire and continued to work there once it reopened and I have many happy memories of the place, which is why I am now very upset to see how the beauty of Leeds Market has been destroyed.

I would agree with Joe Cooney in that Leeds City Council have put the final nail in the coffin for market traders.

That may have been the council’s intention, as when the new venture fails badly, they will agree plans to demolish it and build yet more eyesore, non-essential flats for “city living”.

If Leeds Market were ever to be lost, then a huge part of the great heritage and history of Leeds would be lost forever.

Dangers of asbestos

Dominic Smith, Industrial Disease lawyer at Slater and Gordon

When you pick up a paint brush or drill into a wall the last thing you would expect is that you could be risking your life.

But that is the reality if you haven’t had your home checked for asbestos.

We carried out research that revealed almost half of would-be decorators are unconcerned about the health risks – despite asbestos being widely used in housebuilding up until the 1980s.

Asbestos is most dangerous when it is moved or disturbed, but 45 per cent would happily drill into walls and 49 per cent would remove tiles, wallpaper or plaster.

Shockingly only six per cent of people have carried our an asbestos survey on their home

Breathing in the microscopic fibres released by asbestos can lead to a range of illnesses, the most serious of which is mesothelioma, an incurable and aggressive form of cancer which typically takes decades to manifest itself.

Many of our clients tell us they weren’t aware of the risks when they were exposed to asbestos, leaving them and their loved ones in utter shock when they are diagnosed.

With more and more people turning their hand to DIY, it’s important they know the risks and take all possible precautions to protect themselves.

Having your home properly checked for asbestos is a simple measure to safeguard the health of you and your family and could even save your life.

YEP Letters: April 26