YEP Letters: January 27

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Check out today’s YEP letters

‘Rip-off’ parking making people stay out of city

Val Goldthorp, Roundhay

Have you any idea what rip-off parking companies are doing in Leeds?

In December I parked behind the Corn Exchange in Leeds and bought a ticket for £4.75 for 12 hours although we were only staying for two to attend a concert.

My husband has had Parkinson’s for 16 years and has a Blue Badge but still had to pay to use this car park.

The machine was failing to accept cards and it took 20 minutes to retrieve the card and buy a ticket by which time we were soaked, In dreadful weather conditions I placed the ticket on the dashboard and helped my elderly companions out of the car.On our return we found a penalty charge on the windscreen...the gale had blown the ticket over!

I wrote to Vehicle Control Services and sent the ticket, explaining the mishap. Appeal refused. We went to the trade body appeals procedure and appeal refused.

A recent changed interpretation of the law means that the charge no longer has to be justifiable or related to their losses, it can be a fine.

So, they get the money for the parking place, use for 10 hours of the space I paid for and £100! How many more “fines” have been raked in by this greed-driven company?

No wonder people steer clear of Leeds... another ripoff for a pair of OAPs who won’t be coming into Leeds any more.

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Sympathy for junior doctors

Mel Smart, Farsley

May I say that I am a great supporter of the NHS and the doctors who run it.

I have a great deal of sympathy for junior doctors who work 91 hours per week.

Imagine if you had to start work at 6 in the morning and finish at 9 at night six days a week as a standard. It makes you wonder how much sleep they get in between shifts.

Firemen work long hours but their pattern is two day shifts of 9 hours, two night shifts of 15 hours and two days off, 48 hours in total.

This is almost half of what junior doctors have to work.

The proposals by the health secretary to reduce the working week to 71 hours and covering 24/7 at normal rates is ludicrous but in keeping with the Tory policy of ruining the NHS for which they have been trying to privatise it since its inception because it was brought in by a Labour government. I say to junior doctors, stick to your guns and see it out and put this inept government in its place. The NHS is for everyone, not the privileged few.

Return to roots

D Angood, by email

Having read the report that the contract for new carriages for the region has gone to a firm in Spain and is worth £490m, one has to wonder under which rocks our politicians are hiding.

Now we can probably presume that the contract had already been discussed and finalised before the franchise was agreed, the only bearing being that Arriva got the franchise. How many politicians knew about this beforehand? Those that did surely kept quiet because they knew the furore it would create if people had been made aware of it. We had a company called Bombardier once that manufactured carriages but it was allowed, like the majority of manufacturing industries, to go to the wall because contracts were given to continental firms or others further afield.

Successive governments have dwindled away our industrialist heritage through lack of support. The decline in manufacturing has led to a decline in many a lifestyle and education. Some people have finally realised the extent of this and have begun setting up science and engineering colleges to facilitate the regeneration of some expertise. It is all very well remembering the great names in industry, such as Brunel and Smeaton, but we have to continue to emulate them. We have to do more to safeguard our historical lead in engineering, preserve the steel industry.

If that means paying a bit more for our own steel than imports so be it, but the price will fluctuate so when imported steel becomes more expensive we will still be self reliant. We have relied too heavily on the service markets, especially the bankers, who have proved to be expensive to the whole world. Time we returned to our roots and nurtured what is left of our industries instead of letting orders worth £490m slip away.

Don’t stand by

Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust

The theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day on Wednesday 27th January is ‘Don’t stand by’.

At over 3,500 events across the country, hundreds of thousands of people will hear about bystanders, those whose silence and indifference allowed dreadful persecution, and ultimately genocides to take place. And we will honour the rescuers and resisters, people who not only saved individuals, but who took action against bigotry and hatred.

We know silence and indifference in the face of discrimination and hatred allows persecution to take root, so we want to encourage people to stand up and speak out, in the way many brave souls have in the past.

In our film for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016, Susan Pollack, a survivor of the Holocaust, tells for the first time a surprising and unique story of surviving genocide.

Visit dontstandby.hmd.org.uk, share the film using social media, and sign up to our Thunderclap, so Susan’s story is shared as widely as possible at 1pm on 27 January.

YEP Letters: August 18