YEP Letters: June 20

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Have your say

For too long, the Government and right-wing press have demonised the people thrown out of work with daily stories of the minority who play the system.

At the same time they have ignored the majority who have been betrayed by 35 years of outsourcing taxable, wealth-creating, non-benefit-dependent work.

The poor, sick and disabled are being used as scapegoats for the short-sighted greed of our business leaders.

People are quick to believe everyone is a scrounger, yet all it takes is sickness or redundancy for many to discover the truth.

If you’re sick or disabled, you’re forced to go through the Atos test of seeing if you’re fit for work – a test even the terminally ill have passed.

Then there are the over 50s, the mentally disabled and carers (who even Cameron grudgingly admitted save the country billions) who can’t find work.

We hear the unelected Government crowing about all the wonderful new jobs being created, but what they don’t advertise is that most of those are part-time, temporary, zero hour contract jobs.

What they also fail to mention is that almost half of welfare goes to London – most of which is made up of housing benefit, mainly due to the new slum landlords snapping up properties.

Me? My skilled job was outsourced to China, which now manufactures 94 per cent of ‘our’ military kit.

So, in my mid 50s and having been a single parent for 24 years with a mentally disabled son, I am now volunteering at two charities.

Our politicians have no idea of the real world.

Mark Norris, Leeds

Bus lanes keep city moving

I would like to respond to Bob Green’s letter regarding bus lanes (YEP, June 16) as I feel there is a need to gi For too long, the Government and right-wing press have demonised the people thrown out of work with daily stories of the minority who play the system. ve your readers the facts. No motorists have been harmed in the provision of the new park and ride site at Elland Road.

We are extending the bus lane slightly, but it is not taking any road space from existing traffic lanes; I can’t imagine that this will lead to any congestion.

On the more general issue of bus lanes, the motorist who abuses them may save a few seconds off a journey.

But the cumulative effect of a large number of motorists doing the same (and that’s what happened before cameras were installed) is to cause considerable delays to buses and their passengers.

The bus operators then have to put additional buses onto the road to maintain reliability and frequency – and guess who pays for that? The passenger.

The small minority of motorists who think like your correspondent should realise that no city can keep accommodating more and more cars – and their attendant pollution.

The park and ride at Elland Road and our bus lanes are simply a part of our strategy to keep the city moving.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Executive Member for Transport & Economy, Leeds City Council

Volunteers deserve CBEs

I would be a lot more comfortable with the honours system if it was restricted to community stalwarts rather than the tired old politicians – local and national – who crop up twice a year (YEP, June 14).

No disrespect to Andrew Carter, the leader of the Tories on Leeds City Council, but wouldn’t it have been better if his CBE had gone to one of the volunteers who give so much to the city?

After all, being a councillor is now akin to a full-time job.

Andrew Mercer, Guiseley.

Conference centre appeal

NOW IS the time for Leeds to be bold and invest in a business and conference centre – an investment from which will accrue money, credibility, employment, marketing and trading opportunities.

Our city has been gifted a once-in-a-lifetime present (from Paris, not London-sur-Thames) which is a compliment to us, offers recognition of our existence and shows confidence in our capability.

A loan from the EU is perfectly possible (ask Manchester), whereas our chances of getting one from the country are non-existent.

Don’t let’s repeat the mistakes and failures of the past due to complacency and lack of ambition.

For once, you 99 triennial door knockers, forsake the face-painting for the kiddies, the new pelican crossings, best vegetable shows and photo opportunities and do something worthwhile.

Paul Kilroy, Lawnswood

Flag dismay

I am absolutely appalled. The England football team is staying in the Royal Tulip Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, which is flying the union jack upside down.What a disgrace.

Mr Nichols, Harrogate

Give cyclists extra throttle

people seem to want cyclists to be registered and taxed for riding on the roads (YEP, June 14). I want the outdated law of 1983 that restricts electric bikes to 15mph to be increased to 30mph, or 20mph as it is in America.

If that happened then I wouldn’t mind registering it, as long as the law that e-bikes have to be pedal-assisted models was also removed.

If you want bicycles to be treated like motorbikes then give us fully legal unassisted throttle control, then I’ll pay road tax for a bike.

James Moran, Seacroft

Potholes are getting larger

Thank goodness the Grand Depart is not going through Chapel Allerton between the traffic lights at Potternewton Lane and the Methleys because the road surface on that stretch is a disgrace.

The potholes are getting larger and more numerous by the day, the effect of which would be to unsaddle the most experienced of Tour cyclist.

In the meantime though, poor motorists just have to hope and pray that we don’t damage our cars. When will this road be resurfaced?

Jane Taylor, Shadwell

Extremists are harming debate

John Moore’s letter (YEP, June 18) preaches the sort of hatred it claims to decry. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

One must assume, for now, that Anjem Choudary, a British-born citizen, is not breaking any laws and cannot be sent home. As long as we have ‘extremists’, on both sides, preaching hatred at one another, we will not have a sensible balanced debate.

Both Anjem Choudary and John Moore preach their own muddled and rambling belief systems, based on prejudice and not on fact. When Mr Moore concluded his letter with ‘Will this madness ever stop?’, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was a glimmer of insight and a plea for help.

Dave MacFadyen, Crossgates

PCSOs better than nothing

Roger Watkinson (YEP, May 24) is right when he says there aren’t as many Bobbies on the beat as there once were and have been replaced by Police Community Support Officers.

But I don’t agree with him that they aren’t as good.

They may not have the same powers, but I’d rather have a PCSO than no police presence at all – and the ones I have met have been a shining example of what a police officer should be.

They have all been helpful, pleasant, knowledgeable, and willing to assist, even though many of them seem very young.

If the police had unlimited funds maybe they would have more people to spare to patrol our streets. But I fear that isn’t going to happen any time soon.

Denise Marsden, Cookridge

YEP Letters: July 21