YEP Letters: June 16

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Unwarranted special pleading

Alan Slomson, by email

No-one complained when student votes, inspired by the Liberal Democrat pledge not to support increased student fees, help to win Leeds North West for the Liberal Democrats in 2005 and 2010.

So the complaint from F and A Ward (Letters, June 15) about student votes in 2017 strikes me as unwarranted special pleading.

Students spend more of the year in Leeds than at their home address. After graduating many of them stay in Leeds or move elsewhere away from the family home because of their employment. So why shouldn’t they vote in Leeds? The Liberal Democrats had the same opportunities as the other parties to persuade students to vote for them. They should not whinge because the Labour Party’s manifesto of hope attracted more support.

Their failure to support market would be a crime

Mike Harwood, Kirkstall

I have written to the YEP several times in the past in defence and support of Kirkgate Market.

I write now to damn the council for what they seem to have done to the market without, that I am aware, the slightest attempt to show any rational justification and to call on them to undo it.

The market has been for centuries - since 1826 I think – a vibrant hub in the life of Leeds, an essential service for its ordinary working folk. The council has destroyed the renowned butchers row. To get your choice of meat now you have to journey to different parts of the market.

Why? It has turned the bottom half of the indoor market into a gloomy, unwelcome mausoleum; as one of your correspondents described it, nothing but ‘a big empty space with a few food stalls dotted around’ and gloomier than the night.

Why? It has been charging the level of rents which will drive stallholders out of business and out of the market. Why? Is that what it wants? I cannot imagine (or at least I try not to) what the council is trying to achieve. The council should undo the bad things which it has done to the market.

The market must be a significant element in attracting tourists and tourist money to the city, far more so than say the John Lewis complex which has, I am sure, been far more cosseted by the council.

The council should have this in mind when fixing rents. Huge sums were spent I think on financing, for example, the Tour de Yorkshire on the basis that money spent would be more than returned by the event.

The market likewise.

The ordinary working folk of this city will not be off to Victoria Gate on a Friday to treat themselves to another £3,000 diamond ring.

They will want/need an availability of decent, varied, cheap vegetables, food for the family and the other essentials of a reasonably decent life. The market provides that.

Our council is under an obligation to see that the market can continue to provide. The market is a bubbling, throng of multi-ethnicity in its stalls and its customers. – Moroccan, Chinese, Caribbean, Polish, English. As such, it is rare jewel in the crown of anti-racism and a multi-cultural community.

Failure by the council to support its continued life would not only be a shame it would be a crime.

Back to two party politics

Martin J Phillips, Leeds 16

Now that the dust has started to settle, to the surprise of many – including his own party – the only leader who has come out smelling of roses after the General Election is Jeremy Corbyn, the one leader everyone thought would be resigning. With the Liberal Democrats doing so poorly (again) the suggestion of a second EU referendum is dead in the water and Tim Farron is stepping down as their party leader.

The Scottish Nationalists took a strong hit as well losing a third of their seats in parliament and any claims 
they had for a second referendum on Scottish independence has gone out of the window. They are now a party with nothing left to 
stand for and I expect they will go the same way as the Lib Dems.

Hopefully we will hear a lot less from Nicola Sturgeon especially since she is not even a Member of Parliament. With a bit of luck she may resign as well.

It wasn’t really a surprise that UKIP’s support declined but they achieved their main goal last year at the EU referendum and didn’t really have anything else to stand for. I note their leader has also stepped down.

So it seems the UK is back to two-party politics.

Controversial plans to transform a former factory in Beeston into a Muslim prayer hall and attached multi-faith community centre have been approved despite a four-year battle and a massive outcry from local residents and politicians. Beeston-based charity Aspiring Communities’ plans for the Ice Pak site on Barkly Road in Beeston were first submitted in December 2013 and went on to attract nearly 2800 objections – including from MP Hilary Benn and local councillors. Concerns were raised over the scale of the proposal – described as a mixed-use development comprising sports hall with teaching and prayer and community facilities – an increase in traffic and demand for on-street parking and the impact of noise on neighbours. Here’s how some YEP readers have reacted to the news on social media.

Muriel Rogers

Why would a ‘multi faith community centre ‘ have a two hundred plus prayer room,
two teaching rooms, and separate entrances for male and female?

It was declined by Leeds City Council, our MP, three councillors, on traffic grounds, yet someone who lives in Bristol decides it’s ok.

He wants to live on the street and see what it’s like for the kids from three primary schools who pass daily on the narrow streets.

The roads are already blocked most of the time without the extra vehicles, and especially when they start excavating the car park.

Craig Harrington

Hold up we have local amenities available everywhere why not use them? Sport centres, libraries, school sports halls.

How about the council put cheap affordable let to buy housing on this site instead.

Ryan Alexander Pride

Does anyone moan when we build a new Christian church? Do we moan when we build a new shopping centre? Do we moan when we build a new Catholic school?

No. because the majority of us aren’t racist.

It’s somewhere for people to worship whoever they worship, in peace. Stop tarnishing people with the same brush.

Debbie Harrison

The community of Beeston do not wish this development to go ahead because of major traffic and parking issues already experienced by the local residents.

The proposed development is too large for small streets with mainly back to back houses in the close vicinity it is a safety issue.-

Caroline Bateman

If the surrounding community didn’t moan every day about the few trucks coming in and out when it was a food factory then maybe we would still be there.

Now that has given the community something to moan about!

Samantha Hendry

Could be turned into council flats instead. Isn’t religion causing enough trouble already. The local community are strongly opposed to it. Whoever made this decision sounds grossly out of touch.

Rick Poppa

I for one welcome this, who cares if it’s a mosque?

Have the last few weeks and the pulling together in crisis after two terrorist attacks not made you see we are all one community, be it in Beeston or 
wherever.

Is anyone listening?

Robert Reynolds, Batley

THERE should be no surprise that Britain has returned a hung parliament.

There are too many uncertainties in life. Why are standards of living falling and costs rising? Why are so many essential services being cut? Why can’t younger people get jobs that pay for their own homes? Why are the super- rich walking away with so much wealth, as the poorest struggle to survive? No politician has answers.

Plutarch said the greatest danger within a state is inequality. Huge wealth and privileges are now in the hands of a few. Just as in America, people are waking up to and are angry about the greed and injustice. For the Tories to then demand support for Brexit is like asking a wolf to guard your sheep. Workers will find their rights trashed, bosses getting more power. We are slowly becoming slaves in our own country – and I will be nobody’s slave.

I want a Government that delivers good opportunities and fairness for all. I want someone I can trust, someone to believe in, someone with answers. I want someone who will make me proud to be British and give my daughter a future. Is anyone listening?

Plea to become kidney aware

Paddy Tabor MVO, Chief Executive, Kidney Care UK

I’m writing to let readers know that right now in West Yorkshire there are 131 people currently waiting for a kidney transplant and every single day in the UK one person will die whilst waiting for their kidney. This has to change.

Most people don’t want to think about their kidneys, but the reality is that one in eight people will develop Chronic Kidney Disease which can affect their general health and may ultimately mean they might need dialysis or a transplant in order to stay alive.

The average time waiting for a kidney on the transplant list is three years and there are almost 30,000 people on dialysis in the UK, a treatment that leaves patients hooked up to machines for hours at a time for several days every week, which has a knock-on impact on their ability to study, work, socialise and ultimately live their lives to the full.

Kidney patients constantly tell us that greater awareness of kidney disease and the impact it can have on their lives would be life-changing for them, which is why we’re calling on your readers to become kidney aware by visiting www.kidneycareuk.org. We are here to ensure that no-one in West Yorkshire has to face kidney disease alone.

Bake for breast cancer

Jane Devonshire, on behalf of Breast Cancer Care

Like many of readers, I know first-hand how devastating a breast cancer diagnosis can be as I was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer when I was 46.

As I love baking and having family round, I’m encouraging people to host an afternoon tea this summer to raise vital funds for the wonderful charity Breast Cancer Care, who support people like me.

It’s the only UK wide charity providing free care, support and information to those living with breast cancer, providing somewhere to turn so they feel less isolated and more in control.

It’s easy to get involved in the afternoon tea fundraiser, simply choose a date and invite your friends and family over to enjoy a lovely cuppa with some delicious cake and tasty sandwiches. However you do yours, all money raised will enable the charity to continue to be there for the 691,000 people living with breast cancer in the UK today.

It’s been a year since I won MasterChef and I still enjoy coming up with delicious creations so I’ve created a special gluten free scone recipe that’s perfect for your very own afternoon tea.

Just go to the Breast Cancer Care website to download it for free.

For recipes and to take part, sign up for your free fundraising kit at breastcancercare.org.uk/cuppa

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YEP Letters: September 20