YEP Letters: March 24

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Photo brings back memories

Malcolm Shedlow, Moortown

came across this photo of me over sixty years ago in the cutting room of Syd Morris and Co.

The factory was situated in Crimbles Street, off North Street, at a time when any school leaver could if they wanted leave school on a Friday and walk into the many jobs available on the Monday.

I thought that the photo would bring back memories to ex-clothing workers in Leeds.

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‘Disgusting’ graffiti wall needs removing

J V Westerman, by email

Re the article “Civic Trust plea over new sign” for the John Lewis flagship store.

Leeds Civic Trust has said John Lewis’s application for an illuminated sign on top of their new building will “clutter” the cityscape of Leeds and be “an intrusion seen against the spires and domes of the market and our historic churches”.

Come on, it would be far less intrusive than that graffiti wall that has been painted backing on to the market, yes a great historic area of Leeds and our heritage, plastered with this graffiti wall, it’s disgusting and it’s an eyesore. It would appear that Leeds City Council of various departments are not singing from the same hymn sheet.

It needs removing and something more in keeping with the area putting up. I would think that John Lewis will be embarrassed for its customers to have to look at this. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.I do hope that in the end common sense will prevail and get the people involved talking about these things and not just putting all this mess up in our lovely city.

Academies policy is disruptive

Keith F Wells, Chairman, Wakefield District Branch, UK Independence Party

I strongly deprecate the Government’s intention that all primary and secondary schools in England should have become academies by 2022.

At present roughly 60 per cent of secondary schools and one in seven primary schools have so converted. They operate by virtue of a contract between themselves and the Secretary of State for Education. Only a national education commissioner and eight regional commissioners lie in between. Often schools are organised into chains which can cross municipal boundaries.

Local education authorities in the form of councils have existed since the 1902 Education Act and were preceded under the 1870 Education Act by elected school boards. The academy system therefore directly subverts a long established tradition of local democratic accountability.

Changing patterns of population mean that schools have to open, close and merge, and increase or decrease their intakes. How easily will this be achieved once LEAs have disappeared? The Government is offering £140 million to councils to fund the costs of the changeover. In a time of economic stress, how can this outlay be justified for such a disruptive policy? In short, academies mix privatisation and centralisation. In seeking to complete a constitutional upheaval commenced by Labour and magnified by the coalition, is not the Government contradicting its other proposals for devolution in England?

Diversity of CSE victims

Stephen Oversby, Director Barnardo’s East Region

High profile child sexual exploitation (CSE) cases like those in Rotherham and Rochdale have led many people to assume that all CSE victims are white British girls.

But it’s not the case - Barnardo’s know that CSE affects children regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, faith, disability, background or upbringing.

Worryingly, the stereotype means that some front-line workers may be missing children affected by CSE. We think that a better understanding of the diversity of CSE victims in England is essential to tackling this vile form of child abuse.

Professionals need to receive training to help them identify children who have experienced, or are at risk of CSE and Barnardo’s also wants relevant organisations to work better together and share information on the diversity of victims.

Additionally, it’s critical that school lessons focus on sex and healthy relationships to help children feel more confident in being able to identify possible risky situations. This should include information on all types of relationships, not just heterosexual relationships.

It’s vital that young people, families and experts understand that this horrific form of child abuse can affect any child or young person. Assumptions must not be made when trying to identify sexual exploitation as each victim has their own vulnerabilities.

Recognising the diversity of victims will help ensure CSE victims are identified and get the support they so desperately need.

Martin Kelner: your views

Judith Varley, by email

I’ve just read the shocking news about Martin Kelner losing his job.

He is by far the most entertaining and best presenter on Radio Leeds, what are the management thinking of? What do they mean ‘moving in a different direction’. I think they will be losing a lot of their regular lunch time listeners. Radio Leeds will never be the same again.

Sarah Percival, by email

I have been a fan of Martin Kelner since he was broadcasting on Radio Hallam (local independent radio in Sheffield )in the late 70s.

He presented the 10pm until 2am slot and had that gift that not many presenters have of making you feel that he was speaking just to you.

I’m not sure who the powers that be at Radio Leeds think could be an improvement. Local BBC radio serves a valuable service, mainly to people of ‘a certain age’, most of whom may not appreciate a ‘change of direction.’

D and B Pegden, by email

Yes, I will miss Kelner’s broadcast! Radio Leeds has behaved appallingly and it appears underhand, too.

Martin is intelligent, witty and interesting and did not deserve this treatment.

It seems to be a repeat of John Boyd from years ago.

Radio Leeds hang your head in shame.

Thoughts on minning on

Andy Watts, Leeds

In response to Peter Manning’s letter about the term “minnin’-on”, he is not mistaken.

It is a snack which staves off hunger until the main meal and is used similarly to “drinkins” or “lowance” (being a break for refreshments). Along with regular episodes of Emmerdale, I have found the Yorkshire Dictionary of Dialect, Tradition and Folklore indispensable in understanding what folk are on about since moving to Yorkshire!

Mrs J Green, Crossgates

Please may I reassure your correspondent Peter Manning from British Colombia that he is not dreaming up the phrase ‘minning on’ - meaning having something to put you on between meals.

When I go shopping I often buy something, as I call a ‘ninnying on’ for a snack. I have lived in Yorkshire all my life and I can’t recall when I first heard the expression minning or ninnying on, I often say it, which doesn’t say much for my diet! My granddaughter isn’t from Yorkshire and finds some of our expressions amusing.

Leap years

A Hague, Leeds 9

REGARDING six of the best stories of the week (February 27), story five asks why years 1700, 1800 and 1900 don’t have a leap year.

A few years ago in Diary of a Yorkshireman it said in 1582 it was discovered that our year was more than 365¼ days (which made a day difference in about 130 years). To rectify this every 400 years we don’t have a leap year three times. Also our calendar jumped forward 11 days to rectify previous years, when they say people went mad saying ‘I want those days back’. This was the start of the Gregorian calendar.

YEP Letters: August 18