YEP Letters: July 11

Photocall of Mamma Mia, Leeds Grand Theatre..Pictured from the left are Emma Clifford (Tanya) , Helen Hobson ((Donna) and Gillian Hardie (Rosie)..31st May 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme
Photocall of Mamma Mia, Leeds Grand Theatre..Pictured from the left are Emma Clifford (Tanya) , Helen Hobson ((Donna) and Gillian Hardie (Rosie)..31st May 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme
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Check out today’s YEP letters

A truly memorable Mamma Mia

Malcolm Peverill, by email

I would just like to tell people what superb show Mamma Mia was at the Grand Theatre Leeds.

I have been to a lot of musicals, but this was by far the most entertaining, you start smiling when the curtain goes up and by the time it comes down again you are laughing and cheering in equal numbers.

It is not deep and meaningful but the singers are superb and the dancers are amazing you come out of the theatre feeling elated.

So thank you to all the production team for making this a truly memorable night.

Our airport can’t cope with this demand

Lindon Dove, by email

The only reason my wife and I fly from Leeds and Bradford Airport is its proximity to home. As an elderly couple in their 70s, even this advantage is rapidly disappearing as the airport’s poor treatment of passengers begins to make the longer journey to other airports more attractive.

Designed to maximise profit at the passengers’ expense, Leeds and Bradford Airport’s infrastructure is totally incapable of dealing with the number of passengers and flights. It is particularly horrendous for the elderly and disabled. There is a £3 fee for dropping off or picking up passengers and their luggage. Those unfortunate enough exceed the short waiting time due to the airport’s inability to process arrivals quickly face rapidly escalating fees.

On entry to departures, long queues wind their way from security almost to the door as limited resources struggle to deal with vast and rising numbers of passengers. Of course, you can avoid this by paying a “fast track fee.”

In effect, this reduces the limited number of security desks available for the patient majority. If you are unlucky, you find yourself leaving through gate 5. This requires you to carry your hand luggage up one flight of stairs, queue until allowed to move by boarding staff, and then descend with your luggage to the lower floor again before a long walk to the waiting aircraft. You couldn’t make it up. In most cases, you face a long walk whatever your leaving gate. If departure is a nightmare, arrivals surpass the experience by a mile.

Lacking any kind of moving walkways or escalators and few buses, passengers face a long walk to the terminal building with their hand luggage. On entering, you are immediately faced with two flights of stairs carrying your luggage. This is followed by an equally long walk internal to the building to passport control, quite often undermanned and trying to deal with long queues recently disembarked from numbers of flights arriving at the same time. On our last trip, my wife had to stop twice to use her angina spray for symptoms triggered by the exertion.

The final insult on leaving passport control, is the one and only escalator which descends to the exit door one floor below. The only passenger aid in the airport is placed in exactly the place it is not needed. Bring on the development of Robin Hood Airport and let’s have a choice.

No captive breeding here

Su Gough, Communication and PR Officer, Hawk and Owl Trust.

I FELT obliged to write in response to your article “What does the future hold for pigeon racing? The sport born in a Leeds pub”.

We are all entitled to our own beliefs on the balance of wild birds of prey and domestic pigeons, and I am not writing to open that can of worms. However, the reporting of completely incorrect ‘facts’ needs to be refuted. The largest single inaccuracy is the frequently repeated misinformation that peregrines (and other birds of prey) in the UK have been subject to reintroduction and breeding programmes. This is simply untrue, indeed it is illegal to release captive bred individuals.

Yes, populations have risen, but only back to the levels seen before persecution and DDT and they have achieved this through a reversal of the causes, and protection provided by bird lovers. Despite this, the peregrine population has actually fallen in the UK by 13 per cent in the last 22 years.

Children should see the show

Jane Fairburn, Helmsley

CHILDREN at our local school are being refused permission to go to the Great Yorkshire Show, unless they are showing there.

All children should be encouraged to go to this wonderful event. To touch their first farm animal, or learn where their food comes from, could be a memory for life.

The Great Yorkshire Show is a national treasure; as such, parents should be encouraged to take their children. A day in the open air, away from computers, can only do a child good. A visit to the show can be educational and inspiring.

Criminalising parents for taking a child to the GYS is a crime in itself. Headteachers should think carefully before preventing children going to this Yorkshire event, which is the largest agricultural show in 
England.

A family day out to the Great Yorkshire Show should not be allowed to become a thing of the past. I have not missed a Great Yorkshire Show in my life, and neither have my children (our education did not suffer as a result). I dearly hope that my grandchildren will be allowed to keep up this record.

Pensioners hit in their pocket

Malcolm Shedlow, Moortown

Why is it that the most vulnerable people in society (ie the pensioners) get hit the most in their pocket.

Theresa May threatened to take away the fuel allowance which helps thousand of pensioners who need it. Forget about the richest pensioners.She would have taken it away from most.

If you are unsteady on your feet you can’t get mobility allowance, yet if you are younger you can. To top it all my brother who is 86 has had £225 added to his car insurance on renewal. He contacted several insurance companies who wouldn’t even accept him at all even though he is accident free and does less than 3,000 miles a year.

In desperation he contacted Age UK who as far as I am aware is there to look after the interest of older people. They quoted him over £3,000 which is three times his renewal quote.

Why should the the good older driver who rely on a car to get around be penalised for the bad driving of the younger driver? As an 84-year-old pensioner myself I feel these quotes are so ridiculous that they are almost unbelievable and I am dreading my renewal coming through the letter box.

Hoarding is a distraction

Dr Paul Leslie, Leeds 17

I note a 40ft-high electronic advertising hoarding is being erected in the middle of 
Leeds’ busiest junction at Sheepscar.

It has been the scene of many accidents and some tragic deaths.

Given it is a most complex series of roads and many non-locals use it, surely it is folly to distract drivers who could already be struggling to maintain their correct lane, direction and speed.

An example if ever I saw one of the council renting out space at the roadside inappropriately and raking in money wherever they can.

Stop witch hunt against smokers

Aled Jones, by email

So our “representatives” in parliament now plan to ban smoking in outdoor public places too.

How outrageous.

Surely smoking outdoors is nowhere near as harmful as emissions from vehicle engines?

Strange this receives little attention isn’t it? I wish the lawgivers would stop this witch-hunt against smokers and concentrate on the true cause of air pollution today i.e. dirty diesel.

Air pollution is a deadly problem

Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation

With air pollution in the news so much it can be easy to lose sight of what is really at risk if the dirty air many of us 
breathe, particularly on our daily commutes, isn’t tackled.

It isn’t an issue that any of us can afford to ignore. Air pollution is an invisible but deadly problem which contributes to an estimated 40,000 premature deaths in the UK per year.

Behind that large number is an even more worrying truth. Pioneering research funded by the BHF has shown that even short-term inhalation of high concentrations of air pollution – particularly dangerous ultrafine particles found in diesel vehicle emissions – increases the risk of a potentially life- 
threatening heart attack occurring within just 24 hours of exposure.

Leeds has previously exceeded the World Health Organisation’s air quality guidelines for particulate matter.

For the 79,100 people in Leeds living with heart and circulatory disease, we must take action now.

Since 2010, the British Heart Foundation has invested £3.2 million into medical research into the link between air pollution and heart and circulatory disease.

We’re committed to working with political leaders at all levels to clean up the city’s dirty air.

Everyone in Leeds deserves that.

Fighting for consumer choice

Judith Donovan CBE, chair of the Keep Me Posted campaign

July marks four years since consumer choice campaign, Keep Me Posted launched.

Keep Me Posted was started to challenge companies who push their customers to receive electronic communication, without their consent, sometimes without their knowledge.

Our research has proven that it is easier to assess your financial health when you receive paper statements (75 per cent) compared to (48 per cent) electronic statements. Thanks to the valuable information and feedback we have received from your readers, we have been able to persuade parliamentarians, large corporations, service providers and banks that everyone should have the right to receive their financial information in the format that is easiest for them – be it text, paper, email or a combination of all three. As a result, 29 service providers, including a number of high street banks, have been awarded the Keep Me Posted Mark of Distinction in recognition of their commitment to consumer choice. This means that millions of people across the country can rest assured that they will not be forced to receive electronic communication or penalised for requesting a hard copy of statements or bills. I am incredibly proud of what the campaign has achieved over the past four years. However, the battle is not over - we must continue to fight to ensure that our rights are honoured by companies.

We ask readers to do the same.

Together we can stop organisations overlooking our wishes or taking our custom for granted. Let us know your experiences by writing us at: FREEPOST KEEP ME POSTED.

Air cadet memories

R M Whitaker, Pontefract

A few days ago I went to the passing out parade of the 2460 (Pontefract) Squadron of the Air Cadets to see a young relative receive his certificate.

It was a pleasure to see the smart young people, both male and female, giving us a display of their drill skills. It took me back some 65 years plus, to my days in the Air Cadets, although in those days it was the 463 Squadron. I have very little memory of those days, the only things I can remember is that our headquarters were in the grounds of the Senior Boys School which was situated where Morrison’s is now. What I did achieve was a proficiency certificate in signals dated 1952, which I have still got. This was a very important document, because it ensured that I would complete my National Service in the RAF, and so in August 1955 a trainee telephone engineer was told to report to RAF Cardington for kitting out and a few days later was transferred to RAF West Kirkby for basic training and to became 3147163 Whitaker RM.

These memories made me wonder how many other ex-cadets from 463 Squadron are still around?

YEP Letters: November 20