YEP Letters: July 30

Date: 13th June 2016. Picture James Hardisty.
Victoria Gate Development, Eastgate, Leeds.

Date: 13th June 2016. Picture James Hardisty. Victoria Gate Development, Eastgate, Leeds.

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Check out today’s YEP letters

We can shape our own destiny

Councillor Peter Gruen, Ward Councillor for Crossgates & Whinmoor, Leeds City Council

May I welcome the wise comments from Gerald Jennings regarding our economic outlook post referendum.

We are indeed fortunate to have Gerald at the head of the Leeds Chamber, batting for us, instilling confidence and helping to lead the joint civic-commercial partnership.

We stand on the cusp of great opportunities: Victoria Gate about to open, it will be transformational just as Trinity was; the South Bank and Aire Valley opened and offered up for unrivalled commercial developments with first class transportation links and the emergence of key new national and global investment and developer partners. What a fabulous platform for our city!

At the same time we acknowledge that some of our existing inheritance is well past its sell-by date - the miserable railway station, the lack of coherent transport links and the lack of affordable housing.

But the city is up for these challenges and ambitious to positively embrace our future. With energy, vision and continuous pro activity we can shape our own destiny.

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Sensational scaremongering over HS2

Martin Whitaker, Wakefield

Let me state at the outset that I have no particular feeling either for or against HS2, as I live in St Johns, just outside the city of Wakefield, and will not be affected, and will probably be dead by the time it’s finished anyway.

What does bother me is the sensational scaremongering of those who do want to protest.

So let’s put the fundamentals in a sensible perspective first.

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, but railways can’t just bulldoze their way across the country because all sorts of things get in the way.

Neither do railways like sharp corners or steep gradients, so a compromise always has to be found, minimising the difficulties and using the lie of the land to best advantage in terms of cost and directness.

The old railway builders knew this, and that is why, if you care to look around, the railway is only rarely intrusive; it usually sits in sympathy with the surroundings.

Nowadays, with good architects and 21st century civil engineering, there is no reason why a modern line cannot achieve a similar sympathy.

It may be useful to draw a comparison with road-building, which is not under the same constraints and can therefore barrel its way across the countryside regardless of obstacles.

In fact, a two-track railway line plus all the electrical infrastructure can be built within a width of no more than 50 feet or so - far less than a six-lane motorway, and probably about the same width as the Eastern Relief Road.

Now for the objections. MP Jon Trickett says the line will have ‘dire consequences for the local people and our communities’.

Coun Peter Box says it ‘could be devastating’.

Rather sweeping statements with no explanation or details as to what either of them means, so perhaps they would care to elaborate?

Mr Trickett and Coun Box also both say that ‘it brings little benefit to our communities’.

Well of course not. It isn’t designed to do so. It is simply a high-speed connection between London and Leeds, which would lose it’s ‘raison d’etre’ if it stopped anywhere else.

Coun Box also predicts that our existing local services will be diminished by the new line’s construction. Again, maybe he could expand on these thoughts and tell us something more definite.

Jenny Layfield, of the National Trust, is worried about the railway being ‘alien’ to the Nostell estate, polluting the lakes and filling the house with dust.

It makes me wonder whether or not she’s ever seen a high-speed electric train - maybe she simply suffered a bad dream.

Incidentally, it may be appropriate to point out that the Nostell estate itself was crafted quite artificially in the mid-18th century, and is certainly not a natural landscape. Someone from Crofton used the phrase ‘thundering through the village’ - well, I’m sorry to be a killjoy, but fast electrics go with a hum and a swish, that’s all.

Foot high weeds in the gutters

C Sharp, Leeds 25

A few weeks ago the YEP ran a letter from me regarding Leeds City Council’s failure to address the problem of foot high weeds in the gutters.

The council, when they have a drum to beat, bins emptying, recycling, cycle lanes etc they are only too pleased to put their name to a long article bestowing their virtues.

On the grassy streets? Silence. What’s up councillors? Lost your tongue? Or is it, as I think, indefensible?

Shopping bag warning

Mrs S Priest, Garforth

THIS letter is for all the people who hang their shopping bags on the hook at the front of the trolley.

I’ve done this for years thinking it was safe. On Sunday 17 July I was half way through my food shop at M&S when I saw two of the staff walking towards me with my bag. I hadn’t felt a thing. But luckily for me the girl who took it was caught on the CCTV upstairs and arrested when she went outside.

But my thanks go to three girls at M&S, who were so kind to me. Luckily I got my purse back, and also my house keys and cards. It could have been such a different story if I had lost everything.

If this tale saves someone else from having their things stolen I’ll be happy.

Get country back on its feet

Malcolm Cameron, Robin Hood

WHEN the economic crash came government said we are ‘all in it together’! Since however, events have shown that being in it together is not the same as ‘pulling together’ for the good of the country.

The opportunity to prove that as a country we are always at our best when our backs are against the wall was wasted. Particularly by those who should have known better.

Now that we have chosen to leave the EU is it too much to ask that those in the public services put their grievances aside and help the country get back on its feet, instead of demonstrating their 
grievances by continually disrupting progress with repetitive strikes.

By so doing they (we) could demonstrate that our land is still full of hope, if not glory, which is something from the past.

Have some pride in your area

Marjorie Whitehead, Leeds 7

I HAVE just read the interview with Charles Willcocks who has made a short animated film about a street cleaning robot. What a pity it is only a film.

The state of our streets is disgraceful, and, all right, we have an abundance of takeaways but in the end it is the people who use them that are the real culprits.

Going down Stainbeck Road on the bus last week I was appalled at the amount of rubbish on both sides.

Can’t these consumers take their rubbish home or wait until they come to a litter bin - there will be one eventually.

Mention of which could I ask why the bin at the end of Town Street Walk opposite the Nags Head was removed?

This was very convenient because as the ‘unofficial litter picker upper’ in Chapel Allerton I frequently picked up rubbish in Town Street near the old police and fire station and popped it in there.

The last time I did this I had to bring it home as the bin had gone. Today on my way to and from the shops I collected four drinks cans which will go for recycling. Please people, have some pride in your areas.

Not qualified

A Shipman, Leeds 13

THE mere thought of Donald Trump, in the White House, or Jeremy Corbyn in Number Ten, is enough to put anybody off ever voting again.

Mr Trump, with no political experience whatsoever, and Mr Corbyn, having never held a cabinet post, are both unqualified to preside over two of the world’s leading economies. A general election, held here now, would be a rerun of 1983, when Michael Foot, and his ‘longest suicide note in history’ aka the Labour party manifesto, handed Margaret Thatcher her second victory on a plate.

Bank cutbacks

Edna Levi, Leeds 17

It is sad that (again) thousands of people are going to be out of work because of Lloyds Bank cutbacks, but do they realise that not all their customers own computers or do online banking?

Often people need to have face to face (live) consultations with staff at their local branch or need to use the cash points.

YEP Letters: May 20