YEP Letters: July 25

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Have your say

How on earth could £50,000 be saved by relocating the Leeds Visitor Centre from its current excellent position at the railway station to the art gallery shop (YEP, July 15)?

As it is at the moment, the centre is always busy, well used and convenient. All the staff there are simply wonderful, friendly and helpful, and it is lovely to have human contact and be able to ask them questions directly. Please don’t think that everything can be reduced to pressing buttons and gazing endlessly at screens! Have Leeds City Council nothing better to do?

L Vorlicky, Cookridge

Visitors Centre should stay put

It is with dismay I note the possible relocation of Leeds Visitor Centre to the art gallery.

Many visitors stream each day into the station and this proposal is ludicrous.

It is the second busiest tourism information centre in the UK and the art gallery doesn’t open until 10am and not on Wednesday mornings. Is that helpful? Visitors need people to speak to who are friendly, not self-service technology. What is £50,000 saved when our council is squandering huge sums on the trolleybus planning, which the majority do not want?

M Fletcher, Horsforth

Why not have two centres?

Rather than moving the Leeds Visitor Centre out of the train station, we should be keeping it there and adding a second centre somewhere else, such as at the art gallery.

Wasn’t the whole idea of having the Tour de France here was to boost the number of tourists coming to Leeds?

The council says closing the centre at the station can save £50,000, but what about the money and goodwill that will be lost if these visitors can’t access what the city has to offer?

Surely this is the very definition of a false economy.

David Edwards, Leeds

Not all us dog owners are foul

After reading Nicola Aspinall’s letter (YEP, July 15) about the selfish dog owner who refused to clean up the mess his pet left behind, it completely underlines the fact that the right people are not being caught for this offence.

Here we have a deliberate offender who has no intention of cleaning up, even when challenged. These are the people who the council should be targeting, appropriately fining and branding irresponsible dog owners.

I have owned dogs all my life and have never had any problems apart from at one park.About three-and-a-half years ago a local resident allegedly caught me off guard. Although nothing was ever proved, I had to pay the sum of £770. Since I have stopped visiting this park I have had no further problems. But I have seen many people accidentally miss their dogs fouling.I have told them and they’ve thanked me and cleaned up immediately.People should be given a chance to make amends after an accident.

Peter Haddington, Bradford

Royal Mail no longer deliver

I am not surprised that people are starting to choose other parcel carriers to Royal Mail.

Last month I posted a parcel to our daughter in New Zealand. It contained perfume, and stated so on the box label.

Although we did not know it at the time, it was not allowed to be sent overseas.About 10 days later it was returned to us (minus the perfume) from Belfast in Northern Ireland with a note about ‘dangerous goods’. The perfume cost about £26 and postage was £13.60.

I have asked why the rest of the parcel was not sent on to New Zealand as postage has been paid. And, as perfume is allowed in the UK post, why was it not returned to us?

I can only think someone in Belfast must have a good car boot stall going. In a letter they said that they send overland to Ireland. I replied asking if they had built a bridge. I got nowhere at all and we are £39.60 down. And they wonder why people are leaving them.

David Green, Thorner

Opera in the Park’s sad loss

I agree with Bill Moore about the sad loss of Opera in the Park at Temple Newsam (YEP, July 21), once a free event for families. One year I watched a child conducting the orchestra and keeping good time. It might have been the only time he had heard and seen live music.

Unfortunately there are certain councillors whose main concern is to charge for everything.

R Edmondson, Whitkirk

Only fat cats get pension cream

So Malcolm Nicholson is back on his soap box knocking public sector pensions (YEP, July 23).

Just to remind him that the median average salary linked public sector pension (the mid-point in the range of pensions where half are more and half are less than this figure) is £5,600 a year compared to £5,860 in the private sector.

The figures for mean average pensions (add up all the pensions and divide this by the number in the group) is £7,800 for the public sector and £7,467 for the private sector.

So there is very little difference between the miserable level of pensions paid in both the public and the private sector.

The ‘huge pension pay-outs for the privileged few’ are the obscene level of pensions paid to senior management and directors in the private sector.

Mr Nicholson might also like to reflect on two key points made by Lord Hutton in his report on public sector pensions.

He noted that public sector pensions are far from ‘gold-plated’ and that although some private sector employees receive less, this should not affect public sector pensions.

It should not, he says, be the race to the bottom that Mr Nicholson clearly wants to lead.

Dave Pentelow, Otley

Self-service should checkout

FURTHER to the letter from Jocelyn Caramell (YEP, July 12), I believe the majority of supermarket customers loathe those ghastly self-service machines.

Yet thick-skinned and somewhat arrogant staff still borderline bully us shoppers into using the damned things. Is it unreasonable to suggest utter discourtesy here? Why should we have to check out our own shopping anyway? I thought that was one of the things they are paid for (by us). Every time the human checkout is closed, I walk out. I wish others like the nervous senior citizen I spotted today struggling with the self service contraption in Asda would show some bottle and do 
the same.

Only then would complacent management prick their cloth ears up.

Viola Aesop, Meanwood

We need food price controls

Last year, global investment bank Goldman Sachs made up to £251m from speculating on the price of basic foods like wheat, soy and maize.

Food speculation drives up food prices and contributes to the fact that nearly one in seven people worldwide are hungry.

While high food prices hit people in the world’s poorest countries hardest, people in the UK are also affected, with the cost of our weekly shop going up. Regulation to curb speculation on food is under discussion at the EU, but our government has so far attempted to block strict rules.

I would like to see the UK supporting tough controls to prevent banks from pushing up prices.

Janos Szuhanszki, 
Chapel Allerton

YEP Letters: March 15