YEP Letters: May 10

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Show compassion for wildlife

Denise Marsden, Cookridge

Well done to the moron who got up one morning in April, went to Eccup and shot one of the most beautiful birds in Yorkshire – the red kite.

Almost wiped out in the late 1800s, they have recently been reintroduced into our region, I understand via the determined auspices of Harewood House, the RSPB, English Nature and Yorkshire Water.

Everyone probably worked very hard so we can continue to enjoy these magnificent birds – and then you just decide that you’re going to kill one. How intelligent was that? I understand that it had just laid eggs, and was about to start incubation. Perhaps the male kite will continue to do his best, but even so, his mate will never lay any more eggs, so even if you haven’t condemned these chicks to an uncertain future, you have most definitely wiped out any future generations we could expect from the dead bird.

They soar silently over the landscape, with their almost six-foot wing-span, looking very like their name – a kite. The sight is absolutely breathtaking, their flight unmistakeable. This was just one bird, but what if this idiot decides to do it again? We can only hope that he boasts of his “kill”, and those who hear it, have enough compassion for the wildlife that they report him.

Saddened at decision to sell sculptures

Dr Carol Atack, Cambridge

Like many other Wakefield Girls’ High School old girls, I was saddened to read of the school’s decision to sell the Barbara Hepworth sculptures which have inspired generations of Wakefield Girls’ High School students to share in the ambition and achievement of their famous predecessor.

While the stated aim of raising scholarship funds is laudable, it seems to me that depriving students of the school’s unique cultural heritage strips away a significant part of what 
made a WGHS education valuable.

By equating art only with its financial value, the headmistress and governors are providing a regrettable lesson for their students.

Their action is also a 
warning to any alumnae or parents who might have considered future gifts to enhance the school’s environment, in the way that earlier parents and teachers generously worked together to place these sculptures in the school.

I myself was inspired by these sculptures while at the school, both Quiet Form in 
the library, and Galliard on display in the headmistress’ office, as it was when Miss Hand was in charge back in the 1970s.

They inspired my lifelong love of art as well as being a visible symbol of achievement.

The opportunity to experience art while going about one’s studies and daily business, is very special; but even if that could not be preserved at WGHS, why not turn to the Hepworth Wakefield and arrange a permanent loan?

That these works should leave Wakefield during the 
fifth anniversary year of one 
of the UK’s most successful 
new museums, whose name links the sculptor and the city, seems sad and ironic.

I hope that some effort can be made to keep these sculptures at home in Wakefield to benefit future generations of residents of Dame Barbara Hepworth’s home city.

A balanced decision

Dr Martin Hemingway, Headingley

In your letters page on May 5, we were assured that the EU supporting CBI was funded by the EU and thus could have no unbiased opinion on it, and that the views of small businesses would probably be the reverse.

This is easy to check. The CBI received £800 000 over five years from the EU, equivalent to about 0.6 per cent of their annual budget.

This might I suppose bias them but is unlikely to have been able to buy them. It would be accurate to say that many of the 190 000 small businesses they cover are indirect members who belong to direct members such as the National Farmers Union, so they do speak ‘directly’ for the bigger industries.

On the second point, the figures do not suggest ‘the reverse’ is the case for members of other business associations. Figures published three weeks ago put the Remain figures at: CBI (80 per cent), Tech UK (70 per cent), Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (77 per cent), Engineering Employers Federation Manufacturers Organisation (60 per cent), British Chambers of Commerce (59 per cent), Institute of Directors (59 per cent), Federation of Small Businesses – the 2015 figure – (50 per cent). The rest are leave, ranging from 40 per cent for the Federation of Small Businesses to less than five per cent for the CBI and EEF, or are undecided.

When the information is so easy to come by one sometimes suspects that those making simple statements may be more interested in misleading people than helping them to come to a balanced decision on such a major issue.

Brexit myths

James Pullein, Leeds 8

In Saturday’s edition June Newton wrote about some common Brexiteer fears; ‘for many years now a large percentage of English legislation is not made by elected representatives but unelected bureaucrats in Brussels.’

13.2 per cent of UK regulation is from Brussels, this is not a large percentage, it’s quite a small percentage.

‘The European Commission only proposes laws. It is the directly elected European Parliament and the Council of The UK has an input into making those laws and regulations.’ (EU Myths busted, see our MEP Linda McAvan’s website.)

If we leave the EU and enter into a trade relationship with it we will have to abide by its laws and regulations, just as non-EU countries Norway and Switzerland do. Like those two countries, we will have no input into making those laws and regulations. One of those EU cornerstones is free movement of labour. We will have no more control over our borders than now. We are told how much money we contribute each week to the EU. Many Brexiteers believe we will be able to keep all of this and some propose we give it to the NHS.

Countries in the EU pay for its running costs so do the non EU countries of Norway and Switzerland. If we want to continue trading with the EU we will have to make a financial contribution towards its running costs. Open Europe estimate that we would pay 94 per cent of our current contributions.

Thanks to voters

Coun Karen Renshaw, by email

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the residents of Ardsley & Robin Hood who have elected me to serve as their Local Labour councillor.

Times are becoming hard for councils to function, at the level we all became accustomed to, due to the financial cutbacks being imposed on us from Central Government.

As a city, Leeds has tried to ensure that the vulnerable and needy are still able to receive the support required, working together with public, private and voluntary sectors to ensure services were available to all in need.

I hope I can continue to reflect the requests and views of communities within Ardsley & Robin Hood and keep our localities safe and clean, while enhancing the assets we already have in our areas.

Once again, thank you for electing me and I hope I can act on your behalf to retain the quality and reassurance that we receive our share of the services we deserve within our community.

PM is scraping the barrel

Judy Goodwin, Altofts

David Cameron is really scraping the barrel saying we risk sliding into conflict and war if we vote to leave the EU. What next a plague of frogs followed by boils and locusts with the river Thames red with blood?

Being in the EU did not stop Tony Blair sending our young men to fight in the Middle East with poor equipment killing hundreds of these brave men and it did not stop David Cameron trying to get his own war only foiled by a vote in Westminster.

No, Mr Cameron, the only threat to this country is from weak politicians like you and Tony Blair.

Truly magical

Jack Banner, Meanwood

One of the few benefits of growing old is the ability to watch TV into the early hours.

I have just watched a couple of hours of the music of John Denver. We tend to forget what a wonderful writer and singer this man was.

His partnership with Jimmy Webb was truly magical. I would urge you all to encourage your children and grandchildren to listen to and understand his music.

He was one of the first white singers to endorse the aspirations of the black American population. RIP John Denver, I will never forget you.

Sir Bruce Forsyth.

YEP Letters: August 22