COMMUNITY spirit is a phrase that we hear a lot, but is there any one thing that causes us to have it?
I read in the YEP last week that Otley and Chapel Allerton have been recognised as being among the best places to live in the country. I send an almighty well done to them and their communities for putting North Leeds on the map, and for developing the kind of spirit needed to convince people of the special nature of their areas.
The criteria for gaining this prestigious place in the top 20 was apparently a lot to do with the community spirit and this was in large part put down to the amenities that they have in the areas. Things like good strong house prices, high attainment in schools, good local services, theatre, cinema, sports centres and clubs and the local attractions like the Chevin. Again these are all good and I’m glad that they are so fortunate.
So what about Belle Isle and Middleton? Well, despite the very best efforts of us all, our schools don’t have a particularly high attainment level. We don’t have cinemas, theatres or even a bingo hall now. We only have a few pubs left open too, but we do have a community spirit that would rival anywhere in the country!
I work as a barber and often talk to people who are new to the area and one thing I hear all the time from them is “I was warned not to move up here but I’ve been made to feel really welcome!” This isn’t a fluke or a just an isolated little patch where people are friendly, this is our community and on the face of it, we have very little compared to the people of North Leeds.
I wonder then how come we have the same community spirit and a warm, welcoming demeanour to newcomers? It seems that what binds us isn’t what we have, but what we have not! It is in prosperity that the residents of Otley and Chapel Allerton come together, but in South Leeds it is adversity that unites us into a strong and welcoming community, and makes me extremely proud to be a part of it.
Craig Sweaton, UKIP, Middleton Park Ward
Jobs for awake night nurses
I HAVE seen a number of adverts for “Waking Night Nurses” in recent days via Yorkshire job sites.
Has nursing care become so poor in some areas such as residential/elderly nursing homes that jobs now have to specify that night staff should actually stay awake when carrying out their jobs and attendant responsibilities?
T Maunder, by email
Banks need new energy
OUR FUEL bills are rising fast, and politicians seem to have little idea what to do about it.
Tackling the profit-hungry energy companies has to be part of the answer. But the banks, too, must be made to change their ways. In years to come, coal, oil and gas prices are certain to carry on rising, while the cost of renewable energy will fall as long as we invest in infrastructure.
Despite this, the big banks put billions into dirty fossil fuel projects – many of which pollute and destroy rivers and forests in developing countries – while their investments in renewables remain tiny. We need ways of financing, producing and distributing energy that are good for people everywhere, and not geared solely towards maximising corporate profit.
Raymond Northgreaves, Templegate Drive, Leeds
The season for tree chopping
THE SUN is out and spring has arrived and judging by recent planning applications it is time for chopping down trees. There are 23 cases of tree work in Leeds in Gipton, Headingley, Horsforth, Hyde Park, Rothwell, Harewood and Roundhay. If I lived in any of these areas I would be checking what the work entailed because when they are gone you can’t do a thing about it (Gledhow Valley Woods being one of them).
AE Hague, Bellbrooke Grove, Leeds
Ed Miliband’s politics of envy
IN THE Budget last week George Osborne made the biggest announcement on savings and pensions for years, yet ”Red Ed” had nothing to say about it.
All Miliband could mouth was the politics of envy, what school Cameron attended and claptrap about the wicked Tories supposedly “making the poor work harder by making them poorer.”
What piffle – his class war rhetoric is 50 years behind the times. The Socialists’ idea of fairness is earn a pound, keep 20 pence, take from the rich, give to the poor...and the feckless, the scroungers and the illegals. Show me anywhere in the world where taxing the rich has helped the poor and perhaps the chippy Socialists might have a point.
The only change today is that as well as wanting to soak the rich, Labour would also love to soak the middle classes. Labour and the two Eds have never looked less fit to govern.
Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet
Why we don’t deserve planet
I HAVE travelled recently to Sheffield (and back from Leeds) a number of times and have been appalled at the state of the railway verges.
There’s one small piece of tangled land with old rusting cars and vans all over the place haphazardly; a little further on there’s a roadside area covered literally with plastic bags, plastic and glass bottles, old mattresses, cushions and so forth. I am not saying, I should make clear, that this is the fault of the railways.
The area with the vans looks like it’s an abandoned business and clearly the other mess is the fault of human beings just being there. We really don’t deserve this planet and some wild animals don’t deserve us.
I’ve just received an information sheet from World Wildlife Fund (of which I am a member) which shows a black rhino with its horn removed while it was alive (it still is – just). How about joining and paying a small monthly amount to help, folks ? Isn’t it the least we can do? Give up a packet of fags a week – that’s all it takes to help in a meaningful way, a fiver a month.
R Kimble, by email
Renting what we can afford
IN RESPONSE to John Davies’ letter regarding the Bedroom Tax (YEP, March 25), I would like to state that as someone who has always lived in the private sector, this is something we have had our whole lives.
In private rented accommodation I had to live in a one bedroom flat because I could not afford a two bedroom flat. On a brief spell of benefits, I only received the one bedroom Local Housing Allowance rate (which is judged on the same criteria as the bedroom tax). Now living in an owned flat, my partner and I have another one bedroom flat, again because we cannot yet afford a larger property.
Why, precisely, does Mr Davies believe that as a council tenant on benefits, they deserve to have the council pay for a house bigger than their needs? A family is always able to move to a smaller property in the private sector while they wait for another council house. The sense of entitlement is dumbfounding.
Ms K Lennertz, Basilica, King Charles Street, Leeds
Security of chemical stores
HAPPILY, ACID attacks are a rare event. Is this a tribute to the chemical security of so many stockists of industrial corrosives? Certainly anyone entering a pharmacy seeking acids would be asked pertinent questions and require proof of both identity and need.
I believe that the chemical used in the recent assault upon that lovely girl was stolen from an educational facility.
When can we expect that ALL chemical cabinets will have more secure ‘Georgian’ wired glass in the doors?
William J Houlder, by email