YEP Letters: July 31

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Lib Dems’ strong strategic position

Don Burslam, Dewsbury

It has become rather fashionable to sneer at the Lib Dems but the Party can take comfort from the steep rise in membership to over 100,000 and a strong group in the Lords.

Their small number of MPs is entirely the result of first past the post which cheats the smaller parties of their proper representation making it difficult to obtain a hearing.

Sir Vince Cable is clearly the pick of an undistinguished set of party leaders and as the reality of Brexit becomes more and more difficult to spin positively, the tide may start to turn. The Party is in a strong place strategically.

Last thing we need is a tax on city businesses

Coun Andrew Carter CBE, Leader of the Conservative Group, Leeds City Council

I was extremely concerned to read the article in Tuesday’s YEP (Workplace ‘parking tax’ plan to cut air pollution – July 25) regarding a possible ‘parking tax’ to be levied against employers who offer free parking to staff.

I understand that the city has a problem with air pollution and clearly this needs to be addressed in the best way possible but introducing a tax on businesses seems to me to be wrong headed and possibly counterproductive. Would businesses in Leeds tolerate such a scheme and would they end up passing the charges on to staff? Clearly the proposals are not pro-business and could lead to some relocating from the city centre or from Leeds altogether.

Sadly we have been here before the council cannot resist charging motorists. We have had annual increases in parking charges, the introduction of on street parking charges on Sundays and evenings and, thankfully aborted, proposals to charge for resident permit parking.

Air quality does need to be targeted, the ruling administration has presided over a period in which Leeds has been identified as a pollution ‘hot spot’ which could lead to a clean air zone being introduced.

Clearly a strategic approach needs to be taken starting with diesel buses, let’s get more modern buses on the roads and think strategically about how traffic is managed to reduce congestion and thereby also impact on pollution before getting ideas about a possible parking levy.

Leeds is continuing to grow as an economy and the last thing we need is a possible tax on businesses that could end up damaging our local economy. I know it is only an idea at this stage but my group does not support it.

Long suffering motorists

Judy Goodwin, Altofts

Proposals for drivers to be charged to use certain road in Leeds is nothing new. Whenever local or national government wish to get their hands on more of our hard earned money, nine times out of 10 they will pick on the long suffering motorist, and of course it’s never about money it’s all about the environment.

When we see councillors and MPs travelling by bike around Leeds and London, I for one will believe them.

More money in council’s pocket

Steve Hunter, by email

On one page of the YEP July 27 edition we are told that there could be a charge to drive on five roads around the city centre, and on the next we’re told about the redevelopment of the south bank and the creation of 35000 new jobs that just happen to be inside the five roads.

Do the council realise 35000 new jobs and 4000 homes will mean around 30000 more people travelling into the area, and they won’t come by bus or walk.

But then again it will be more money in the council’s pocket. Another thought, if everyone that travels these roads, pays the cost how does the council get the clean air zone when it still has the same amount of traffic?

Standing up for students

Keely Bannister, Farnley and Wortley Green Party member

I have followed the furore around whether the Labour Party did or did not promise to cancel student debt with some amusement.

I only knew of that pledge to be in one party’s manifesto at the recent general election and that was the Green Party’smanifesto. The Green Party always has and always will be against student fees and student debt.

I am proud that as a resident of Bramley I could vote for The Green Party candidate, Andrew Pointon, knowing that if elected he would stand up for students and the future of our country.

HS2 is ‘national travesty’

Martin McFadden, Drighlington

Regarding HS2, a lot of people, so called ‘experts’ and laymen have voiced their opinion with the overwhelming majority saying: Leeds to London, 20 minutes quicker, so what?

Just look at Leeds station, it’s like Dick’s days, the ‘Art Deco’ foyer hasn’t altered much in 60 years.

Why don’t the powers that be realise that this station and countless more the length and breath of Britain, would benefit from a big facelift to make commuters lives more comfortable, and their necessary journeys more enjoyable. Spend a fraction of the money, make more people happy.

But no, £60billion, surely rising to £100 billion, or more, on a national travesty.

Ironically the ‘high speed’ or ‘bullet train’ which Japan have had for years uses a ‘magnetic levitation’ system which was developed in Britain.

No shred of pity

Derrick Bond, Shadwell

Could life get anymore depressing?

Theresa May hanging on by her fingernails, Jeremy Corbyn waiting in the wings, Vince Cable full of arrogance and hubris, Blair still fomenting trouble, Brexit in confusion, pay and gender battles at the BBC, Gary Lineker looking and sounding totally smug.

And yet without a shred of pity for a battered population, the BBC is going to inflict Mel and Sue on us in an update version of the Generation Game.

Thanks to LGI

Jean Hammill, Leeds 9

COULD I please say a big thank you to Leeds General Infirmary, Dr Derham and all staff on Ward 28 and Ward 25.

My brother was booked in for an operation last Thursday, all went well and he was able to go home on Friday.

The staff were so helpful and friendly, nothing was too much trouble for them. Everything was explained to my brother, and he was put at ease. Dr Derham and his team were excellent in every way, the Health Service is wonderful.

Defending gulls

Tod Bradbury, Campaigner, Animal Aid

During the summer period, there are always alarmist stories of gulls “attacking” people - which inevitably lead to calls to cull them.

The holiday period coincides with the birds’ breeding season and, being such fierce defenders of their offspring, the birds may occasionally become aggressive in order to see off any perceived threat to their nest and children. These “attacks” are usually exaggerated by the media and are very rare indeed.

To cull wild animals for protecting their babies is nothing short of ludicrous. Despite this, if gulls are causing issues, there are a number of effective, humane methods of deterrence that can be used to discourage birds from nesting on flat roofs or chimneys, or from rummaging in our rubbish. Animal Aid has free advice sheets that detail the number of humane, non-lethal methods of deterrence available. In any case, we should show tolerance to these birds, not least because they are just being good parents, and six of the seven gull species are in decline. To order a factsheet email info@animalaid.org.uk

PIC: PA

YEP Letters: November 16