YEP Letters: May 30

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

Dig deeper to find the city’s culture heroes

Victoria Jaquiss, Meanwood

If Leeds is serious about its City of Culture bid, I think it should look past the usual suspects.

Instead take a look at the background boys and girls who have been beavering away for years teaching the arts, putting on shows, and including them all, from those with additional needs physically and mentally to those whose life chances are reduced by social circumstance.

I will mention the two activities that I know best and am personally involved with: YAMSEN:SpeciallyMusic, formerly known as YHAMSE is an organisation set up over 30 years ago by a group of Music and Special Needs teachers, which is now well established both within our schools and in community settings.

Apart from teaching and training we run festivals, including the Christmas Town Hall concerts, when the stage overflows with the three choirs.

These choirs meet fortnightly, and play other events throughout the year.

My other area of expertise is steelpans: Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows, East Steel and Foxwood Steel.

When the Tour de France needed a big steelband at its events, we all came together to be Leeds Pan Central in the Victoria Gardens on the Monday, outside the Arena on Thursday and Briggate on Friday, in just one week, June to July.

Between them our steelbands play about 80 gigs a year, including Wharfedale and Harrogate Festivals, and also Otley, Huddersfield and Manchester Carnivals. After a decade of playing we are sadly not now invited to Leeds Carnival.

Four years ago the Leeds Carnival Committee informed us live music on the parade might “cause a riot”. Playing Leeds Carnival, on a float or mainstage used to be the highlight of our steelband year.

To play our own hometown now a small group of us have had to resort to popping up, predictably not causing a riot, in Savile Park.

“Authentic” carnivals, in Port of Spain or in London, include many steelbands. With the costumes, they are the backbone of Carnival.

Leeds West Indian Carnival Committee, at public expense, only invites its own steelband to play.

Being “bigger and better” is meaningless in itself.

If Leeds is serious in getting people to flock to our city for other than economic reasons, it needs a proper audit of what’s already going on, or not, and actions taken now to plug the gaps.

Tackle dog poo pests head-on

Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet

In answer to “ what do you think on dog poo pests” my answer is this: instead of the usual suspects moaning of dog mess why don’t they go out with a camera phone (everyone has one these days)and get some evidence.

A couple of years ago I challenged a man at Lotherton Hall to pick up after his dog. He refused and I received the usual abuse from this anti-social thug.

I followed him back to his car at a discreet distance, took a picture of his registration number and sent it off to the proper authority. Six months later I received a letter telling me that the culprit had been taken taken to court, found guilty with the evidence I produced and was fined £1,000.

I like to think that I did my bit but sadly it’s still going on. Young people need educating at a very early age of the medical dangers and unsightly sight of dog faeces.

Not fair to ask us to cry foul

R Kimble, Hawksworth

The statement by Paul Standler in yesterday’s YEP that “the chances of someone allowing their pet to foul a public area and then walk away unseen” when there are FIVE dog wardens is both specious and mendacious.

He should have a walk around the Hawksworth Estate. Ask someone to clear up after themselves and you get awful verbal abuse and physical threats.

The one time a warden appeared in the area following a complaint about dog fouling on the Lea Farm Drive roundabout he parked in full view so that several dog owners spotted him and immediately turned tail and waited until he had gone.

The stuff is everywhere and I have heard staff complain that there are just too few of them to have an effect. I know of someone placing No Dog Fouling stickers around the area only for them to be removed by a resident within 10 minutes.

It simply is not fair to ask residents to take on such responsibility when the majority of perpetrators are such unpleasant people.

Putting dog mess through your letter box would not be beyond some of them when they calmly walk into other people’s gardens to put dog bags in your wheelie bin because they’re too damn lazy to carry it home.

Education is only effective with the sort of people who want to learn and these chavs do not fall into that category.

Praise due for this rail gent

Craig Beaumont, Leeds

On Tuesday morning I was travelling from Leeds to Manchester Airport and thought I would catch an earlier train even though I had an Advance Purchase ticket for a later train.

Before we arrived at Dewsbury I was told to leave the train and wait for the train I’d booked. The Revenue Protection Agent was very professional and told me I could only travel on the train I’d booked.

He ended up waiting with me at Dewsbury until the next train arrived.

He told me about his life on the railways and even shared a couple of toffees with me!

I wanted to acknowledge my mistake and commend the employee for his professionalism and friendliness. As he said to me, “cheat, cheat, never beat.”

Cameron trip is a waste of time

Terry Watson, Adel

Why is David Cameron wasting time rushing around European capitals begging for support for a new deal for Britain on our continuing membership of the EU?

Why should they want changes ?

They don’t have to pay 
£55million a day to be members of the worst trading block in the world.

YEP Letters: June 21