I read with interest the letter from Malcolm Nicholson about charities being too political (YEP, July 5). I would like to comment on his remarks regarding the RSPCA.
To start with, I should declare an interest. I am a former RSPCA superintendent who left in 1990.
The RSPCA has a mission statement, which is as a charity they will, by all lawful means, prevent cruelty, promote kindness to and alleviate the suffering of all animals.
Mr Nicholson refers to the fox hunting ban, but surely it goes without saying that a fox is an animal. And it was MPs, elected to represent the people of this country, who voted to bring in legislation to ban hunting with dogs.
The recent lawsuit brought by the RSPCA against a hunting group, which Mr Nicholson refers to, was because they broke that law. However, neither the Government, represented by Defra, nor the police, who are stretched in many directions, would prosecute in this matter.
Perhaps in such cases the Government should pay the charity concerned the costs of upholding a law that they brought into being. Then the money could be spent in a way that might suit Mr Nicholson.
If the Government is not going to provide protection for the animals it brought in a law to protect, then surely it is the job of the RSPCA to do so and it should be applauded for sticking to its stated mission.
Sid Jenkins, Leeds
In response to Malcolm Nicholson, the RSPCA would like to correct the assertion that it ‘uses donations to finance anti-hunting groups’.
This is simply not true. The RSPCA is opposed to the illegal activity of hunting wild mammals with foxes but we do not fund any other organisations or groups.
The RSPCA is hugely grateful for supporters’ donations and use them to prevent cruelty to animals, to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals, whether wild, farm or domestic.
Sophie Wilkinson, Regional Media Manager, RSPCA
How can Malcolm Nicholson claim that chasing wild animals with dogs, which rip them to pieces when they catch them, is not cruelty to animals?
This is exactly what the RSPCA should be campaigning about.
Dave Pentelow, Otley
Disappointed at booking fee
Further to the correspondence on the council’s funding of the £653,000 shortfall caused the mis-management of Leeds Grand Theatre (YEP, June 30), I was both amazed and extremely disappointed to find that a £2 per seat booking fee has been introduced at the theatre.
My wife and I visited the box office on Friday last week to be advised that we had to pay the additional booking fee.
The lady was not able to explain why, other than saying ‘it was introduced in June’.
I could perhaps understand a booking fee for telephone or postal bookings when tickets have to be mailed out, but not when attending the box office in person.
As we, the council tax payers, are having to fund this £653,000 ‘loss’ it would appear that we are now having to pay twice through this £2 per seat levy, which equates to something close to half a million pounds over the year based upon 50 per cent seat occupancy.
What a rip-off!
Keith Barber, Churwell
Yorkshire you played a blinder
There are so many people to thank for the massive success of last weekend’s visit of the Tour de France to Yorkshire.
One man above all deserves every accolade and honour going. Gary Verity had a dream and achieved it with true vision, passion and determination.
The Yorkshire council leaders led by Keith Wakefield put aside party and geographic rivalry and bravely backed the bid in difficult financial times.
The team at Welcome to Yorkshire played a blinder for their boss and deserve to be backed in future by the Government and local enterprise partnerships to build on local authority support.
Local government officers and everyone from street cleaners to CEOs did everything and more, impeccably organising a truly world class unforgettable weekend for three million people.
Yorkshire taxpayers and communities paid for the Tour’s visit, utilised it to celebrate their identity and love of the county and had a great time.
The police, businesses, universities, colleges, schools, voluntary groups, the unions and more played a crucial role.
The Government, after a tricky start, backed it via Sir Rodney Walker, Nicky Roche and TDF Hub, as did UK Sport and GB Cycling.
The Yorkshire Festival 2014, local authorities, Welcome to Yorkshire and ACE National saw 40,000 people turn Yorkshire yellow via the biggest participatory public art programme ever.
The local media embraced the Tour, scrutinised it and publicised it. Cabinet members in all local authorities took difficult decisions in regard to cultural funding, road closures, service provision and so on and stood accountable for them.
And last but not least it’s a privilege to work with such a brilliant team at Leeds City Council. The world came to Leeds and you delivered!
Tom Riordan, chief executive, Leeds City Council
Well done for a great time
Reading all the letters on the Tour de France (YEP, July 8) it was good to see that it looked like everybody had a great time.
And well done to the council, the YEP and all who worked to put on this show for Leeds and Yorkshire. We may even get some congratulations and praise from Mr DS Boyes, after all he always has something to say when the council doesn’t get it right.
Barry Leonard, Leeds
Shame on thief who stole bike
I have just read the article about the thief who stole a £12,000 bike with a view to winning the Tour de France (YEP, July 8).
I wonder what the person who stole my daughter’s bike from outside her house was thinking.
My daughter, a single parent, works hard for her children. One of the things they enjoyed together was to go riding on a Sunday.
When the children get asked what they remember about the Tour de France, they will answer: ‘Oh yes, that was about the week before mum got her bike stolen’.
Lorraine Stevenson, Rothwell
Violence is not the answer
Which world is Mhic McGlashan living in (YEP, July 3), never mind which century?
If we are to have a world that is peaceful, those who are against peace should accept the consequences of their actions.
Comparing ages past has no real meaning in today’s values and he shows his lack of understanding and knowledge of history in his last statement.
The Crusaders went to the Middle East to defend the Christian sites from destruction by Saladin and his followers and it was the Muslims who called the Crusaders ‘infidels’.
Just as today the militant and fundamentalist Islamists call all unbelievers ‘infidels’ and call for them to be killed.
Violence will never be the answer to any questionable cause, whether politics or religion. But there are too many blinded by their own fanaticism to either realise or accept that fact.
Denis Angood, Pudsey