YEP Letters: March 19

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Plans to build on botanic garden are disgraceful

Tony Green, Headingley

Thank you for your careful article on the subject of 6 Grosvenor Gardens in Headingley (YEP, March 16).

The university spokesperson’s assertion that the proposed development of the site would provide ‘much needed family housing’ is disingenuous.

With the exception of the conversion of the old gardener’s cottage, the development proposes eight shoeboxes, which no family would touch with a bargepole.

They would have nowhere to park an ironing board, let alone a baby buggy.

Sure, they would be okay as starter homes for young childless couples (if they could afford them), but ‘family housing’? Beam me up Scotty.

There’s a larger issue. This once superb and internationally recognised botanical garden (the university has even named a building after its great founder, Professor Irene Manton; there’s an irony, she must be turning in her grave) was bought with public money, sustained by a public institution, and is now to be sold for private profit.

It’s a disgrace. The University of Leeds should be ashamed.

If it could no longer afford to maintain the garden as a research centre of excellence, it should at least have approached the local community about its future.

The garden could and should be considered as a public asset.

I am told that, under current legislation, it cannot be so considered because it was never in public use.

If the University of Leeds is not an institution in public use, I’d like somebody to tell me what it is.

Stars of future shone in Leeds

John Hartley, Roundhay

Further to the recent correspondence on the dance halls of Leeds, one of the bands that played at the Capitol was the Cyril Stone Band.

The band featured future movie theme song composer and jingle writer Alan Hawkshaw on keyboards.

He later played on several tours with the Shadows and became a renowned film and TV composer. Alan has a Fellowship at Leeds College of Music named after him, dedicated to emerging young musical students.

Apart from his musicianship and earlier job as session musician he was a member of various London-based groups, especially Emile Ford and the Checkmates.

Their first recording, What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes At Me For? went to number one in the British charts and stayed there for six weeks.

From the 1970s onwards he composed major movie themes as well as the theme music for TV’s Countdown, Give Us A Clue and Channel 4 News – to name just a few.

Another band who appeared were the Ray Ellington Band with future chart and TV star Marion Ryan (from Leeds and the mother of the pop duo Paul and Barry Ryan).

In 1969 she married the well-known showbusiness millionaire and music promoter Harold Davison.

Davison introduced European concert audiences to US artists such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby and brought the Rolling Stones to the US.

PMQs more like a pantomime

Mavis Harrison, Leeds

THEY are at it again – “they” being the leaders of this country.

It looked like pantomime time at Prime Minister’s Questions with all the 
name-calling – worse than children in the playground.

I thought they were there to put this country to rights? No chance.

The only thing missing was the custard pie throwing and “he’s behind you”.

Pensioner cash deal is a worry

Malcolm Shedlow, Moortown

The Government is thinking of allowing pensioners to cash in their monthly pension entitlement for a one-off cash sum. I don’t think this is a good idea.

The reason being that having a large amount of money at their disposal will make it very tempting for people to perhaps improve their home with an extension, take a holiday or perhaps help grandchildren with a deposit on their first house.

The end result a few years down the line will be no money and having to rely on benefits – that is if they would be entitled to them.

Far better to have a regular monthly income and not be 
just another burden on our 
top-heavy benefit system.

Recycling has its rewards

Nigel Bywater, Morley

I RECEIVED my ‘Leeds Resident Permit’ today – it blocks people from outside Leeds from using the council’s recycling facilities.

I assume this is in order to save money, but will it?

All manufacturers (or anyone else selling a product on the market in the EU) are liable to pay for take-back, treatment and recycling of end-of-life equipment, due to the December 2002 EU Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment directive.

So councils should be able to claim back the cost of recycling from manufacturers for electrical goods.

Glass, metal and many other things are sold for recycling once they have been collected.

So the more the council collect, the more money they should raise.

If the scrap vans that drive around all areas can make money, surely when people bring glass, paper and metals to the council recycling centre, the council can make money too?

Devolution only half the answer

Terry Allinson, Bardsey

WITH regard to Richard Carter’s suggestion for Yorkshire devolution (Your Feedback, March 16), I don’t think it would work well, for the simple reason that Sheffield is far too big and powerful.

I think city regions are the answer, ie one assembly for Leeds and another for Sheffield.

Not best cause for a petition...

R Kimble, Hawksworth

It’s good to see the public have their priorities right. They start petitions to save Jeremy Clarkson’s job but do nothing while Cameron and his cronies dismantle the NHS and privatise by the back door.