YEP Letters: July 20

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Council taxpayers of Leeds and the other four local authorities across West Yorkshire should greet news of a proposed ‘super council’ with fear and trepidation, because if it’s going to be anything like previous local re-organisations in 1974 and 1984 it can only cost us all a load of money.

Councillors will favour such a move because they all have £-signs in their eyes, and will be positively salivating at the thought of yet more personal aggrandisement and self enrichment on the back of it.

For long gone are the days when local businessmen undertook voluntary public service for the benefit of others and made our towns and cities great.

Now replaced with mainly self-serving parasites, often absentees who won’t live local peddling dogmatic party propaganda at enormous cost to all, because it pays more than they are qualified or experienced enough to earn in the real world of work.

As for the supposed thousands of jobs coming as a result. I say pull the other one because we have heard it all before – eg Supertram 30,000 jobs, when all that happened was £40m was wasted on pointless roadworks. How many new council houses might that have built?

The trolleybus 10,000 jobs, now the super council promising 27,000 jobs which, of course, will never happen because only business can create genuine employment if the economic climate of business rates, corporation taxes, energy costs, health and safety rules and red tape in general is benign enough.

DS Boyes, Rodley Lane, Leeds 13

Just the one ticket please

I AM pleased to see from Dave Alexander’s letter to the YEP that bus operator First wants to play its part in delivering ‘world-class transport across the region’ and is keen to take the next steps in doing so.

A ‘world class’ public transport system should be easy and convenient to use, fast, safe, clean and affordable and a key element of that is integrated ticketing. Along with reliable and up-to-the-minute information and high service standards, integrated ticketing that covers all services underpins widely recognised, high-quality public transport networks.

We, on the other hand, have a complicated ticketing system that expects passengers to pay a premium price if their journeys involve more than one operator or which can leave those passengers waiting at bus stops unable to board a bus from the ‘wrong’ operator. The convenience of one ticket covering a range of services is taken for granted in cities with highly regarded public transport systems such as Lyon, Copenhagen, Montreal or Amsterdam or even London.

While Metro welcomes the initiatives Mr Alexander lists in his letter, I hope that he and West Yorkshire’s bus operators come up with some realistic proposals to help us achieve our truly world-class ambitions.

Coun James Lewis, Chairman, Metro

We’ve had no improvement

INTERESTING comments from Mr Malcolm Nicholson. Can he just explain please how the last Labour government brought this country to the brink of ruin?

Is he possibly insinuating that they were responsible for a global economic meltdown that affected the whole world? Then he needs to explain to us just how this government has improved our situation, because I must have missed it.

Cameron and the rest of the ‘condem’ alliance are a disgrace to British politics, his policies squeeze the needy and reward failure, G4S, RBS, fat cat bankers, the royals. The ever widening gap between the rich and poor will not improve under his leadership.

M Haigh, Mowbray Court, Leeds 14

Not planning for the future

Regarding the headline ‘Too many pupils for our schools’ (YEP, July 11). No surprise there then for anyone except the Leeds councils’ past and present that systematically closed down schools and failed to plan for any future except that of a declining population.

The Jane Dowson quote “We have to show concern but we are not concerned about September” indicates the attitudes of our councils over a number of years. As long as something can be stitched together it will be okay; never mind about the quality of the accommodation and the environment the teachers and pupils are faced with.

So not only have the councils been unable to plan ahead they also undermine the society we expect. The closing of West Park is just one example where it is all about doing things on the sly. Suddenly and without warning that building became unsafe. The demolition of West Park is on the agenda of the Executive next week and quite suddenly Sue Buckle, Chair of the Royal Park Community Consortium, has a phone call to say so is the demolition of the Royal Park Junior School Building.

‘Former’ Royal Park Junior School once a thriving school and centre for the community was closed in 2005 and then left to be vandalised and destroyed; looking after this iconic building obviously well beyond the council. Despite attempts by the community to gain access and use of the building Leeds City Council showed little real interest in the community and nothing came of those attempts.

Paul Hudson, Headingley

Enough TV

AT LEAST three times a week we receive large envelopes from broadband and TV firms extolling their great service on offer.

Being pensioners we have our normal TV plus freeview, which provides us with all the TV we want to watch, unless we want to be glued to our television sets watching the rubbish they provide. We talk, we make a habit of going out in turns so each brings back different conversations to the home, this way we don’t get bored, we try our best to keep our lives interesting. Let the young ones live their lives as they find and let us live ours.

LE Slack, Leeds 17

Benefits babble

I’VE just heard Iain Duncan Smith talking about the new benefit caps.

He said that long-term unemployed people should begin a “new journey” or “transition” to looking for work. Who writes this psychobabble nonsense for them? Grown men using the type of language you’d expect from an A level psychology student who has just discovered Carl Rogers.

Still, I bet Malcolm Nicholson is chuffed. Or should that be “feeling positive self-esteem”?

R Kimble, email

Care standards

THE government is going to target 14 NHS Trusts which apparently have poor standards of care.

There may be in excess of 13,000 deaths above the national average at these hospitals in total. Some of these failures date back to the previous government when Andy Burnham MP was the minister.

All of this, of course, deflects from the fact that David Nicholson is still in post, has refused to resign and will “step down” in 2014 with a very nice lump sum and pension. This man had the front to appear on television over the weekend saying what challenges the NHS, the “public” and patients/service users face in the future.

Cameron and Hunt have continued, whatever, to collude with his continued presence. Responsibility without accountability is not responsibility, as someone once said.

T Maunder, email

YEP Letters: August 18