YEP Letters: March 7

Buses onThe Headrow in Leeds City Centre.
24th Febuary 2016.
Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
Buses onThe Headrow in Leeds City Centre. 24th Febuary 2016. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Bus routes went in straight lines

Kenneth Goor, by email

I NEVER owned or wanted to own a motor car, being able to catch a bus almost anywhere in West Yorkshire in reasonable time.

Just before deregulation happened, a bus inspector who I knew quite well (being a regular user) asked me when was I going to to obtain a car. My answer was never, I don’t need one. He said you will need one soon because there will be no convenient buses to catch. How right he was. I have a bus pass, but almost always use the car, because of journey times and availability. I live south of Leeds at Bruntcliffe, between Morley and Birstall.

When I came to live here in 1972 all buses went in straight lines. Now through every available housing estate and of course the White Rose shopping centre.

Some people visit or work in Leeds and want to get there in reasonable time and not go on a magical mystery tour. Journey time to Leeds was 20 minutes, now it’s 48 minutes. Leeds to Huddersfield went in a straight line along the A62. Wakefield to Bradford went in a straight line along the A650. Bradford to Skipton, again in a straight line.

The buses were moving constantly apart from picking up and dropping off. Any tickets and questions were dealt with by a conductor. So I never needed a car but could not do without one now.

New casino shouldn’t be celebrated

T Crawford, by email

Why is it a cause for celebration to have a casino opening in Leeds?

The attitude of casino operators is summed up in this cynical remark from the 1995 film Casino: “In a casino the cardinal rule is to keep them playing and keep them coming back. The longer they play, the more they lose. In the end we get it all”.

The whole gambling ‘industry’ is dependent for its very existence on exploiting the desperate, the gullible and the foolish. Even allowing for the occasional win, which acts as bait, the exploiters are always the ultimate winners. If this were not the case the ‘industry’ would not even exist because it has no other purpose than to extract money from the customers.

Unlike genuine industry it gives little in return such as goods and services. Even when these are provided, in the shape of food and drink, it is in the usually justified expectation that the suckers will return to be plucked yet again.

In recent years we have seen more and more people becoming addicted to gambling, leading to suicide, loss of careers and family break ups.

For Leeds to accept the disadvantages of a casino for mere income is a poor show indeed.

Time to scrap inheritance tax

Ivan Kovacks, by email

I SEE in a recent article that West Leeds MP Rachael Reeves was wanting to get some changes made to the regulations covering inheritance tax.

Well why not go the whole hog and get this tax scrapped altogether?

I feel that this tax is one too many, having little or no merit whatsoever.

Now I’ve worked hard all my life and paid tax on all my earnings, I’ve then paid tax on almost everything I’ve ever bought, I save, as governments of all shades want us to do, and then have had tax levied on the interest on my savings, I purchase services and they charge tax and on and on paying tax after tax after tax.

So for the government to come in and impose a tax on my death is totally immoral, grasping and unwarranted.

If I choose to leave money to family and friends, I feel that I’ve worked hard for all my money so the whole lot should be distributed as I wish free from yet one more tax.

I’ve worked hard all my life, have my own house and have managed to accrue some savings, so am borderline on having to pay this on death, but am determined to give enough away before I go so as not to pay it.

I know it is only paid on assets above £325k but I don’t care!

Even if one has earned vast amounts of money, has several houses and can afford to give hundreds of millions to a pension fund I still think it’s our money, we have earned it, paid tax on it many times over we should be saved the final indignity of being taxed on death.

In the overall context of government income it is a small amount and if one is clever enough to earn so much on is clever enough to find ways to reduce this tax, so why not let it go and rid ourselves of it?

Out means out

Jim Kirk, Middleton

John Cole continues to sabre rattle over Brexit (YEP Letters March 4).

Now he’s accusing leave voters of intellectual dishonesty. I get it Mr Cole, the 17 million of us who voted to leave the EU are dumber than soup and couldn’t start a rocking chair without instructions.

That’s the beauty of liberty, Mr Cole, the freedom to express your opinions as you see fit, just as I have the freedom to to tell you how stupid they are.

Once more he comes up with the old chestnut that the 52-48 per cent victory in favour of leaving the EU was a very fine margin. Of course it was, it divided the country!

But I have not once heard from anyone using those statistics how they would react if the vote had been 52-48 in favour of remain. Would it be alright then? I clearly recall being asked on my ballot paper if I wanted to vote to remain, or leave the European Union. Nothing whatsoever about it being ‘advisory only’ as Mr Cole states.

‘Out’ means ‘out’ why is that so difficult to grasp? Let us move forward and hope our politicians negotiate the best deal for our nation. Mr Cole your bitterness towards democracy, petty insults and lachrymose attitude to people power consumes you. I pray you find the peace to move on rather than continue your fruitless campaign. You may choose to continue and pull as many stats as you like to support your point of view, but a quick Google of ‘who gives a hoot’ won’t produce a single name in the search results of the 17 million who chose Brexit.

Working in partnership

Coun Ron Grahame, by email

In reponse to the budget story on ‘How will your cash be spent this year’ (YEP February 28) I say prioritise on housing, sheltered accommodation and transport. Build a home for our future generations, let the council work in partnership with our third sector and form a social contract with the communities to have a vision on clean air for the families to grow up in. Develop public services. Make connectivity available for the workers and the people who wish to see their hard work become a reality with investment in local credit unions. Local people, local consultation, local decision making.

Make our parks a place that families want to visit and enjoy life, our schools that encourage families to be part of and raise the aspirations for them to train and be successful.

All in the interpretation

Alex Gillies, Leeds 14

The NHS has a shortfall of money, doctors, nurses etc, but a shortage of interpreters is really taking the biscuit.

When a member of my family has an appointment at hospital, whatever the treatment, will be accompanied by a relative, close friend or neighbour if only for moral support. I cannot believe a patient would attend a hospital unaccompanied, devoid of the language skills needed to understand the doctors words of what treatment and medication they were to undergo. I’ve been retired eight years and remember this conversation with one of many clients from other cultures that we dealt with. This gentleman’s mobile rang and he informed me “that’s another twenty five quid” for accompanying someone with no English skills to their local GP. I would be very surprised if the doctor was on twentyfive quid an hour eight years ago and they’d pay stoppages. The moral or interpretation of this yarn is, be bilingual and I’m sure your palm will be crossed with silver on numerous occasions in your lifetime.

Consider career in construction

Mick Hammill, Regional Delivery Manager, Construction Industry Training Board

This National Apprenticeship Week (NAW), we are calling on more young people from Yorkshire to consider construction as a future career.

Construction offers a rewarding and fulfilling career, with six out of ten company owners starting life as an apprentice. Our research shows that Yorkshire and Humber needs 9,300 extra recruits in the next five years to meet demand. We can’t build the infrastructure and homes that we need without the skills and talent in place to deliver. We want to encourage more young people to take up construction apprenticeships and support the firms that want to take apprentices on.

Leeds HSBC UK City Ride event.
10th September 2017.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

YEP Letters: September 25