YEP Letters: July 2

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Have your say

The closure of the council-owned golf course in Middleton is so short-sighted.

The proposal to plant trees at Middleton Park to form a natural woodland and arboretum will cost money to implement and won’t be cheap to maintain.

When people use it they will do so for free. At least at the moment the golf course is bringing income into the council.

Having the golf course there also reduces the risk of vandalism.

The consultation paper states that private courses have now filled this gap in the market and there are 24 private golf courses in the Leeds area.

In my opinion that means the two municipal courses that should close are Temple Newsam and Roundhay as they are surrounded by private courses.

The council also states that private golf clubs offer competitive membership rates and are open to everyone.

I refute this as the criteria can be very strict and membership can be very expensive, as can green fees.

Not everyone has transport to access these private courses, especially in the deprived area of South Leeds.

The council cite evidence from Sports England that adult participation numbers for golf have declined nationally in the last five years.

I find it difficult to understand why they are using a national survey to support the closure two well-loved golf courses, both in deprived areas, that have little in the way of amenities for young and old people.

The reason why there has been a drop off in numbers at Middleton Park Golf course is that the golf course has not been maintained to the standard of the city’s three other municipal courses.

Members and patrons will fight to keep the course open only if the course is worth fighting for.

You only have to look at Gotts Park members, who are fighting tooth and nail to keep their course open because it is well kept.

Middleton, however, has been let go in an astonishing way.

Once golf courses are closed they are gone forever – and with them all the heritage and history that surrounds them.

The council consultation period will close this Friday and I urge everyone to have their say on the council website.

Martin Spring, Middleton

New Zealand axing trolleybus

This month, New Zealand’s Greater Wellington Regional Council moved to discontinue its trolleybus contracts from 2017. The capital city of New Zealand is getting rid of trolleybuses.

Is this not another blow to the Leeds ‘folly bus’ scheme?

Will Leeds be the last city to adopt such a ridiculous and unpopular, outdated and useless mode of transport?

The current public inquiry, which seems destined to run until late autumn, is worth reporting by the media.

Cross examination has shown the officers and consultants to be, at best, hopeless in explaining how they made up their figures on costs, benefits and claims for job growth.

The proposers seem have fallen into disarray.

It might be useful for the local TV, radio, and not least the YEP, to pop along to the inquiry when it resumes in mid-July and give regular reports.

The revelations of poor planning must be a great concern to all the voters in Leeds.

Trevor Bavage, West Park

Pay for missed appointments

MY DOCTOR’S surgery advised me that 599 people failed to keep their appointments in May.

That is 150 per week, or 30 missed appointments per day.

Even if we made a charge of £5 (returned if the appointment is kept) it would only pay for 10 per cent of the time wasted.

But it is the only way to show people that they can’t get away with treating our National Health Service with such contempt.

AE Hague, Harehills

Ukip candidates in communities

UKIP West Leeds & Pudsey covers 17 of the 33 council wards in our city, and we were happy to be able to field a candidate in each of them in this year’s local elections.

We had nine second places, with a couple of those being very close to winning, and other respectable results throughout the city.

I have some very definite ideas about what made us so successful this year, polling the second highest number of votes across the city, pushing the Conservatives into third.

We tried to field a candidate in each of our wards who lived within the ward boundaries and who really understood the needs of local people, and we had a good amount of the votes in each of the areas where we managed this.

While I welcome the fact that the council has subsequently said that it wants to engage with people more (YEP, June 9), they will still go about it the wrong way.

In your article James Rogers, the assistant chief executive, says they want to “express it through a new brand and very local imagery that people recognise”. But this is exactly the type of thing that the council are getting wrong.

It’s not about re-branding – it’s about doing what councillors used to do. People want their councillors to be local, well known and respected members of the community and not some faceless number cruncher that rarely interacts with them.

It’s all well and good sitting on boards and committees but the only way to get to know the community is to live in it, work in it, walk around it and listen to the bad and the good that people think about you.

This is why so many people are feeling disconnected from politics and the very reason that I became involved.

Another problem is that the council feel that it should promote all the good that they do. In fact, when talking about the grass roots work the council does, Councillor Peter Gruen said: “We don’t sell that sufficiently as a message.”

But this is not something to be sold or pushed at us or have them bombarding us with advertising and social media.

If the community could feel the good that is professed to be done for them then there would be no need to self-promote because the effects and benefits would be self-evident.

The electorate want to see you, know you, talk to you and make you understand what we think as individuals.

That is Ukip’s ethos and why we continue to grow in strength.

Craig Sweaton, Chairman Ukip West Leeds & Pudsey

Run to help fight meningitis

We would like to ask your readers to get their running shoes on and sign up for this year’s Great North Run – the world’s largest half marathon – and help fight meningitis with every stride.

Meningitis Now is looking for extra runners to join its team, but hurry – registration closes at 10am on July 7.

To tempt people to run with us we’ve lowered the registration fee to just £5. For that you get a running vest or T-shirt, an information pack on how to prepare for the run and a sports massage at our post-race reception.

Our friendly events team is also on hand to offer help and advice on how to raise the £300 sponsorship target for the race on Sunday, September 7.

Tragically, meningitis continues to affect thousands of people in the UK each year and kills more children under five than any other infectious disease.

Help us fight back on all fronts by funding research to eradicate the disease, raising awareness and supporting survivors.

To take part visit our website at www.meningitisnow.org, contact me on 01453 769023 or email beckyj@meningitisnow.org.

Becky Jones, Meningitis Now

Adel Church, Leeds

YEP Letters: April 28