YEP Letters: May 13

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Cut number of city’s councillors

Geoff Holloran, by email

I feel I have to respond to the comments of the recently elected Labour councillor who says that our Labour controlled council are finding it hard to function at a level we have all become accustomed to, putting the blame fair and square at the door of central Government.

The facts are, as Labour councillors well know, we have seen more elderly persons’ homes and day centres close and other services budgets slashed over the past 20 years under the Blair/Brown Labour Government.

David Cameron has a lot to answer for but the reduction in our services in Leeds is not one of them.

If our Labour controlled council is serious about saving taxpayers’ money and protecting our services why don’t they look at the proposal to reduce the number of councillors from thre per ward to two per ward?

It seems to me that the only people in our city who have not been effected

Increasing centralisation, not devolution

Dr Martin Hemingway, Headingley

I have had the opportunity to read through the Sheffield devolution deal document relating to the proposed establishment of a Sheffield City Region with continuation of the current Combined Authority, and an elected mayor.

I assume the Leeds deal looks the same. What appears to be missing from the proposal is any meaningful devolution, instead there is increasing centralisation.

The government offers extra money but dictates in quite particular terms how it is to be spent. Government officials will have overview of the actions of the combined authority and the authority will have to confirm that the spending is in line with the government dictates.

The opportunity for discretionary spending is not there. The reference to housing refers not to any building, especially not any build of social housing, just to the sale of public assets. There is nothing on the environment or energy.

This new level of government appears to have had no input from the city regions as to what they want to do, they are just being seen as agents to deliver government priorities and policies.

Perhaps the people of the proposed city region should be given the opportunity to vote on whether we want this new tier of government designed to impose Conservative priorities on an unwilling region.

Words were misguided

Daniel Maguire, Micklefield

Michael Lowry (Posters were damaged, YEP 11 May 2016) may well have been “seriously disappointed” that some of his election posters were damaged or removed during the recent city council election in Leeds.

More disappointing is his slur on people living in Third World countries.

His statement that damaging or removing election posters “is more akin to Third World behaviour than an enlightened civilised society”, is wrong for so many reasons. His comments could be at best lazy, and at worst racist. The “Third World” is not some homogenous collection of people who all behave in a similar way.

Furthermore, by contrasting the “Third World” with “enlightened civilised society” is to suggest that the former is neither civilised nor enlightened. The same arguments were used by supposedly enlightened colonial occupiers.I hope that Councillors Eleanor Tunnicliffe and Judith Blake will join Mr Lowey in his criticism of those who damaged his posters.

More importantly I hope that Mr Lowry will reflect on his comments, and I feel sure that having done so he will realise that his words are misguided and will apologise. I am confident that he did not mean to cast a slur on the Third World.

Forward to the future

Stephen Bennett, by email

Is it possible to go back to the future, and could we really turn back time, or is this just part of Hollywood or a song by Cher?

Is our love of nostalgic television programmes showing people ballroom dancing, baking and displaying various degrees of talent clouding our judgement? Was life in the 1950s and 60s happier than today, and were we better off when we did not have much? Was Harold Macmillan right to say in 1957 that Britons have never had it so good?

Was Harold Wilson right to say that devaluation does 
not mean that the pound in your pocket has been devalued?

Would we want to go back to an era when an elite group of Eton public schoolboys, like Eden, Macmillan and Home, governed us (or have some things in life never changed)?

Would we miss colourful European football managers such as Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp and Claudio Ranieri?

Can we remember when dining out in Leeds consisted of the Berni Inn or Wimpy Bar? Are we more interested in the shape of a cucumber or the price of one?

Why is it that only political opportunists, extremists and people over the age of 65 are anti Europe, is it a case of they do not have much to lose. Nostalgia is defined as ‘a sentimental yearning for the past’.

Are we to go forward to the future or backwards to the past?

Levy is revenue raising stunt

DS Boyes, Leeds

E Lundy’s concerns over the proposed Leeds ‘congestion’ or ‘clean air’ levy vis-à-vis diesel exhaust emissions are not entirely correct as it is not only carbon monoxide or dioxide causing the problem, but nitrous oxide and soot particles.

However, I am afraid this is just another revenue raising stunt by Leeds City Council, disguised as a benefit to society; just like the EU pretends to be about economic matters when its real intentions were 
always entirely political federalism.

If congestions or air quality were that important then all vehicles except buses, taxis, delivery vans or emergency vehicles would be banned form entering the prescribed zone.

Motorists have always been classed as enemies of the people by Leeds City Council, with less and less parking available, forcing shoppers to go elsewhere. Also, the cost of monitoring things will be enormous, ie, needing £millions spent on the spy cameras and associated enforcement action, as for London’s Congestion Charge and Low Emissions Zone. I have only run diesel cars and vans since 1987 and know that, for example, around 1988 the exhaust emissions were not part of the MOT test then, although today’s newer vehicles are fitted with both catalytic converters and particulate filters on their exhaust systems which does reduce pollution, although buses seem exempt from such considerations.

No sympathy with doctors

Alan Thompson, Bramhope

What makes the junior doctors think they’re a special case?

Workers are suffering everywhere with many thousands losing their jobs who would be grateful to be in a junior doctor’s position.

The job they have chosen is stressful, but so are the jobs of countless of others.

The top and bottom of these strikes is money, they always are.

I have no sympathy for the junior doctors and they will eventually alienate the public with their demands.

Forced to work seven day week

A Hague, Harehills

So our doctors are being forced to work a seven day week by our MPs who themselves work only part-time for a full salary with generous allowances.

Let’s hope that the trial test suggested by Labour is given a try so Jeremy Hunt can save face, and our ill don’t get operations delayed, which can be a life or death situation.

There’s no hope

R Kimble, Hawksworth

Who does Cameron think he is calling other countries corrupt when a) his personal financial shenanigans were revealed and b) his lot voted 
for disability cuts recently when significant numbers of Tory MPs were outed on Facebook for making huge expenses claims at the same time?

We’re supposed to vote EU Remain based on his integrity then, are we?

Then look at the opposing faction – which is led by 
Boris Johnson. There’s no hope.

YEP Letters: July 26