Like many of us who have fought to save the West Park Centre, I was disgusted by Coun Lewis’s letter of July 2 – both in what I felt was its disingenuous, misleading content and its glib, patronising tone.
If Coun Lewis wishes to talk about facts, perhaps we should start with the “millions” of pounds he claims would be needed to keep the centre open to accommodate the users (2,000 of them per week – another fact) who have been displaced. In 2009, an extremely detailed survey of the building was carried out by Leeds City Council which found that a comprehensive modernisation and refurb of the building would cost £2.2m.
The cost of the necessary works to keep the building safe and operational? A far more modest £199k. Meanwhile, Grafton Learning Centre in Little London has just had very similar works done at a cost of less than £60k!
The figures used to support the disgraceful decision to close the centre were produced this year, at LCC Asset Management’s request, by a “design consultancy” called Arup – not a construction firm, not a firm of electricians, not a firm of gas/water fitters.
The ludicrous figure of £4.2 million to refurbish the building is not a quote – it is a wild estimate (including costings for work that has already been done) from a firm whose previous projects include the Gherkin, the HS1 rail link, the London Eye, Angel of the North and Sydney Opera House. Not one real quote has been obtained for work on West Park since its closure last year, and Arup’s reports have meanwhile cost the taxpayers of Leeds around £8,000. Shame on Coun Lewis, shame on those who prevaricated for years on the building’s fate, and shame on the barbarians in Leeds City Council Asset Management who have so casually run down and destroyed one of the city’s biggest assets.
Name and address supplied
Scouts are still going strong
I AM writing this in response to a letter in the YEP on July 16 regarding whether the boy scouts movement still exists.
First I too went through the cubs and scouts and remember going on cubs and scouts camps and had some fond memories. I also remember bob a job week.
Scouting gave me a lot of self respect and respect for others.
I can assure Mr D Daniels that yes scouting does still exist. I went back into scouting a number of years ago although I am now no longer involved. Scouting has changed a lot over the years. Unlike when your reader was involved, there is now a section below cubs called beaver scouts for those aged 5 to 8, (I think it is although I will stand corrected on this if any one knows different). Also the scouts do not do bob a job week any more for safety reasons.
Also the scouts is no longer just for boys. Girls can join scouts as well now at beavers and go all the way through. Also some districts have merged with others and the uniform has changed over the years too.
I hope this answers Mr Daniels’ question .
Howard Newton, Beeston
BBC licence fee is superb value
In ANSWER to D Daniels’ letter of July 18, I wholeheartedly disagree with him regarding the TV Licence fee!
The licence fee for BBC is superb value, compared to ITV and Sky. ITV for a start, has no licence fee, but the commercials advertised we pay for in an indirect way, through all the products we buy, and this applies to all the commercial stations.
As far as Sky, Virgin and BT television stations are concerned, not only are there commercials on them, we also pay to watch the programmes anyway, in a monthly subscription. One month’s subscription is almost the same as one year’s licence fee to the BBC, depending on what package you are on.
Therefore, Mr Daniels’ comments seem irrelevant, and in closing, you might call it a licence fee, but it enables the BBC to offer an alternative to commercial television.
Howard Richman, Leeds 17
Right to honour sports success
I ENTIRELY agree with Rod McPhee that Andy Murray’s historic victory at Wimbledon deserves a knighthood, also the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award. Not only did he beat the world number one, but he did so in straight sets.
It’s good to celebrate national success stories, in sport or other activities; last year it was Yorkshire’s great Olympians.
Jayne Dawson, in contrast, had a ‘knock’ at both Andy and tennis – Andy being “the elite of an elitist sport”. Maybe she was playing devil’s advocate? Please try to encourage her to appreciate historic international success at a high level, be it in sport or any other activity.
Surely she must realise it’s a good thing to celebrate historic success. As Andy said, winning at Wimbledon is the pinnacle of his highly competitive sport and it comes on top of his outstanding successes last year.
Graham Branston, Rawdon
Jobs boost in roads project
THE Government’s recent announcement to invest in upgrading local roads (covered in the Action for Roads report) is great news for the local construction industry and also for anyone in the area who is currently out of work.
Locally-managed roads make up 98 per cent of the UK’s road network and the repair and maintenance of this infrastructure are vital to promoting growth locally and nationally – in fact, for every £100m invested in the sector, 3,200 jobs will be created – so the potential benefits to the local economy are significant.
In Leeds, R&M work could be worth £1 billion and could create over 35,000 jobs, providing a much-needed boost to construction firms. We’d now urge the Government to deliver these projects as soon as possible so that the sector really benefits in the short term.
William Burton, interim chief executive, CITB, Carthusian Street, London
We need action from Metro
IT IS a bit rich for the chairman of Metro (“allowance” for the part time role a mere £37,000) to write moaning about the lack of integrated ticketing and transport – isn’t it his job to sort that sort of thing out?
They, Metro, have so far taken well over a year to think about introducing “Quality Contracts”, they consider the crumbs that First offer every now and again to persuade them not to, and are still thinking about it.
In the meantime, the travelling public put up with high fares and unreliable services.
Get your finger out Metro and do what you are paid to do. Jam tomorrow does not cut the ice.
Steve Mason, Leeds 13
Stopping to help
WHILST waiting for a 42 bus a few evenings ago on the Headrow I saw a cyclist fall off his bicycle. He was obviously disorientated and many passers by went to his aid.
These included the staff of Subway who took him into their shop and applied first aid. ‘Luckily’ for the cyclist there were also some paramedics in the area! It was gratifying to know that people today understand the meaning of society and still come to the aid of others in distress and don’t just walk on by.
Stephen Clark, Bawn Approach, Leeds 12
Too many kids
WITH regard to your article on child poverty, I have every sympathy for genuine cases and I know that there are many, but your story begins with “Single mum of four...” If I had a pound for every time I read “single mum of – four, five, six...” Where is the father? (or, more likely these days, fathers). It’s no wonder some people are living in poverty when they have too many children and so many fathers who just don’t take any responsibilty.
P Flanagan, Leeds 8