YEP Letters: May 14

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Have your say

Mr Hague in his letter (YEP, May 12) asks why Leeds Civic Trust is objecting to the demolition of the unlisted Lyons Works on Templar Street to provide temporary surface car park pending the erection of phase II of the Hammerson Victoria Gate development.

This former clothing factory built in 1921 was the home of the famous high street men’s tailors, ‘Alexandre’ which by 1937 employed 1,000 workers in Leeds and had over 70 shops across the country. After its closure it functioned very well as the heart of the growing city centre Chinese Quarter until it was emptied of tenants anticipating that the ‘Eastgate Quarter’ development would soon be built there. Five years on there is absolutely no certainty that Victoria Gate Phase II will be built or in the form originally planned.

Across the city there are unlisted buildings which are highly valued by communities because, though not of sufficient architectural merit to be listed, they are pleasing to the eye and form part of a familiar and much-loved local scene. They provide a sense of place and continuity. The YEP frequently reports local protests about threats to them, e.g. Royal Park School, the Middleton Arms, and the Regent Pub on Regent Street. Such buildings are often given some protection from demolition by being included by local people in village designs statements, neighbourhood plans, and, if there is one, a Conservation Area.The Lyons Works falls into just this category of building. It is part of the heritage of the Leeds clothing industry. It is attractive to look at while not being of outstanding architectural merit. Many buildings of this sort have been very successfully conserved and adapted to enhance the character of new developments.

The Trust is not objecting to new surface car parking on the Lady Lane site –just that part for which Lyons Works would be demolished. The Market Multi-storey car park was originally erected to compensate for the loss of car parking pending development on the George Street, and Hammerson are about to build a very large multi-storey on the site of Millgarth Police Station to service the Victoria Gate development. Do we value heritage and characterful buildings so little that we are prepared to lose a perfectly reusable, attractive. 100-year- old factory building in Leeds City Centre for the sake of about 90 temporary parking spaces?

Kevin Grady, Director, Leeds Civic Trust

Political smoke and mirrors

Mr Duffy, the figures don’t speak for themselves, they’re been peddled to a nation desperate to see improvement because the Tories will need your vote again shortly, and just like Thatcher, who sold everything off she could find to make the economy look better than it actually was, we now have figures published by the Coalition telling us the economy is improving.

Strange where all this support for the Tories is suddenly coming from, where was it when countless foreign heads of state were criticising this coalition for all the cuts they were making?

To say we are now in a much better place because of a few figures published by the most inept government this country has every seen is to be deceived by the most shoddy smoke and mirrors tactics, tactics being used to camouflage what they’ve actually done, nothing.

In my experience it’s usually the catastrophes left behind by Conservative administrations that Labour governments spend years trying to improve, and when they do, the Tories usually get voted in again and the cycle of ruination begins once more.

Mel Haigh, Mowbray Court, Leeds

Repelled by toxic ideologies

My parents were both involved in their own ways in World War Two, a war against fascism. Perhaps I’m being naive but I find the presence of the EDL on the streets of Yorkshire and the appearance of a television advert for the BNP in anticipation of the forthcoming elections hugely repulsive. World War Two was fought to protect democracy and its many elements.

Freedom of speech does not mean that people can say what they want, where and when they want no matter how offensive and dangerous their views. People criticise certain political ideologies that have resulted in what are referred to as terrorist attacks (July 7, 2005 being one example) but tolerate these no less toxic ideologies? These two groups have caused fear of physical attack in certain communities: that’s called terrorism. There are numerous people who write to you about the “evils” of North Korea or what they inaccurately refer to as Communism but I rarely see letters complaining about these characters?

R Kimble, by email

Numbers up for poor prizes

Since Camelot increased the price of the lottery by 100% to £2 a line I haven’t done it as the price increase put me off. However yesterday (May 10) on learning that it would be a rollover and that the prize pay-outs had been increased to a minimum of £25 for three numbers and higher average pay-outs for more numbers ie £100 for four, £1,000 for five numbers and so on, I decided to have a go.

I was very pleased to find that I had one line of three and one line of four numbers on my lottery ticket, and went to bed believing that I would have £100 plus to claim. On checking the prize pay-outs on the National Lottery website this morning (May 11), I am very disappointed to find that last night’s draw pays out exactly the same amount for four numbers as it does for three numbers, just £25, and the prize money for more numbers is nowhere near Camelot’s own pay-out estimates printed on the back of every lottery ticket.

Given that this must surely be a breach of trade descriptions for false representation, and the fact that for a rollover jackpot last night was very low compared to pre-price hike rollovers, why don’t Camelot admit that their greed is killing off the golden goose and drop the price back down to £1 a line?

Derek Barker, Leeds

Sick of the sight of Savile and pal

We all know what Savile and his old Mayor “friend” looked like. As the latter is stripped off certain “distinctions”, is it really necessary to show images of firstly him and then shots of them both apparently doing judo with each other?

Whether or not actually guilty in the true legal sense of the word (given no trial of either can take place), there is surely enough public repulsion about both of them to avoid forcing images of them on us whenever there is some sort of news report about them.

I am sure I am not the only one sick of the sight of Savile (who I always thought was dodgy, given the huge sublimation evident in his “good” deeds).

T Maunder

Hold a BBQ and help charity

I am writing to invite your readers to get their grill on to support people with epilepsy and take part in the first ever Epilepsy Action Big BBQ, from 9-15 June.

Every year, around 32,000 people are diagnosed with epilepsy, that’s 87 every single day. All the money raised from this event will help us to continue our vital work in supporting the 600,000 people with epilepsy across the UK. It is estimated that around 51,000 people in Yorkshire and the Humber have epilepsy.

Everyone who registers to hold a Big BBQ event will receive a grill-tastic fundraising toolkit. It contains a collection box, invitations, posters, recipe cards and even a branded chef hat for the king or queen of the barbie.

To register for a free Big BBQ fundraising pack, visit epilepsy.org.uk/bigbbq or call the fundraising events team on 0113 210 8800.

Carl Foster, Fundraising events officer Epilepsy Action

Picture: Robert Viglasky/BBC/PA Wire

YEP Letters: August 17