Once again we see our brave firefighters putting their lives at risk to save the great city of Leeds.
The Majestic is just the latest large blaze to hit the city.
But according to West Yorkshire Fire Service, big fires don’t happen any more, and is one of the reasons they used to justify the closure of fire stations and removal of fire engines throughout not just Leeds but the whole of West Yorkshire over recent years.
It’s simple. The longer it takes for a fire engine to get there, the longer a fire burns and the bigger the fire is going to be.
Scenes like the Majestic, Tradpak at Armley on Easter Monday and the one at Airedale Air Conditioning at Rawdon are going to become more familiar as West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service struggles due to the massive cuts.
Add the fact that they tried to bring in off duty crews on overtime to cover shortfalls in relief crews (which failed due to the Fire Brigade Union’s present ban on voluntary overtime) proves that their fire cover is now at a dangerous level.
A good thing all these austerity measures introduced by Cameron and Co? I think not. Remember this next May!
Andy Killingbeck, ex-fireman, Seacroft
Trial and error over holidays
The trial that was set to begin next month of James and Dana Haymore for taking their child out of school during term time for six days has been dropped.
Their case was taken on by Liberty which said “common sense must prevail”, and now it has, resulting in a massive legal bill for the council involved.
The prosecution came after the couple took their 11-year-old son out of primary school for a memorial service for Mrs Haymore’s grandfather in the US.
While an Education Select Committee is taking evidence of extremism and fraud in free schools and academies, term-time school holidays seem to be the Conservatives’ top priority.
Nigel Bywater, Morley
Keep luggage off bus seats
I write following the number of letters printed in response to the recent letter from Nick Keer about giving up your seat for an older person.
My wife and I find his views perfectly understandable. If he’s been working hard all day, paid his fare of however many pounds, why shouldn’t he expect a seat?
We are both over 70 and on the odd occasion we do get offered a seat, and sometimes this is at the expense of full-fare paying passengers.
The one thing that annoys us most is passengers placing luggage on seats.
When we travelled to Hebden Bridge on the train from Morley a couple of weeks ago my wife asked a young woman to move her bag off a seat so we could both sit together.
She moved it, but did so with a very disgruntled attitude. Why on earth do people have behave like this?
Finally, when it comes to bus passes, why do the vast majority of older people always seem to treat them as a God-given right?
The free entitlement could be seriously reduced or withdrawn altogether one day, and the sooner that happens the better.
A flat fare of 50p to £1 or half fare would be more than acceptable to us.
K and D Ingle, Gildersome
Wrecking spree work of morons
SO, vandals with time on their hands took advantage of a collapsed wall and damaged a greenhouse which was erected only three weeks ago (YEP, September 19).
It was an open invitation to them, as the wall had been replaced by some inadequate fencing two weeks ago, said one of the allotment holders.
Nothing was taken by these morons who don’t want to work, but get enjoyment out of spoiling the happiness of others.
A Hague, Harehills
Voices silenced on child abuse
YOUR correspondents, like me, must be feeling glad and relieved that our faith and trust in “The Establishment” have been proved sound.
Those dissident voices that suggested our judiciary, police, churches, civil servants and politicians could ever be implicated in the shame and stain of child abuse have been properly silenced.
We now know that it is only a few wretched comedians and DJs (mostly Northerners of course) who are guilty.
This is a triumph for democracy, justice, morality, British institutions, the Amazon rainforest, a stiff workout before breakfast and the value of porridge oats.
More cover-ups than a polar explorer, me thinks.
Paul Kilroy, Lawnswood
It occurred to me that one could potentially make a fortune compiling specialist dictionaries for individuals or groups of people that would be more user-friendly than the usual dictionary.
Thus, the footballer/football manager’s dictionary would include: “hopefully”, “obviously”, “at this moment in time”, “know what I mean?”, “at the end of the day” and “I’m feeling emotional”.
The politician’s dictionary would include: “lessons will be learned”, “you’ll have to ask him/her that question”, “well, look” and “I came into politics to make a difference”.
The social worker/chief constable’s dictionary would feature: “lessons have (again) been learned”, “working with our partnership agencies”, “taking a multi-agency approach” and “structures are to blame, not people”.
The actor’s dictionary would include: “he/she was a genius”, “he/she was incredibly generous”, “he/she was unique” and “he/she lit up a room when they entered it”.
The possibilities are endless and so close I can almost touch them. In fact, I’ve wanted this all my life.
Terry Maunder, Kirkstall
Shifty and iffy
I have never ever seen a shiftier performance from a government minister than Jeremy Hunt speaking to Andrew Neil at the Conservative Party conference.
He was swiftly followed by Boris Johnson, who I doubt would appeal to many people in the north of England.
I was not impressed by Ed Milliband’s performance last week, but poor as he was he was more believable than this pair.
Walt Emsley, Gipton
WELL, Mark Reckless is really aptly named. His reasons for defecting to Ukip are spurious to say the least.
How can he have expected David Cameron to fulfil all the Tory manifesto promises when he is in coalition with a party that doesn’t agree with most of them?
In that case, Deluded, rather than Reckless, would be a more appropriate name.
Hilary Andrews, Adel
The trialling of a new app which allows people to buy food online from Kirkgate Market, and collect it at a convenient time (YEP, September 30) is a fantastic idea.
The internet has transformed shopping in the UK, allowing people to shop anytime, anywhere, at their convenience.
I am delighted this app has been developed, in conjunction with Leeds Beckett University, so the people of Leeds can use this new flexibility to order the great products the market offers at great prices.
I hope the app goes on to become a hit with shoppers and traders alike.
Coun Dan Cohen, Shadow Spokesman for Digital and Creative Technology, Culture and Skills