Unfortunately I have recently had cause to visit our Leeds hospitals and had to park close by using Leeds city parking facilities for myself, family and friends.
On each occasion I have been appalled, disgusted and ashamed at the “hospitality” received from the city’s wardens who hover, wait and swoop like vultures to add further pressure and worry for patients and visitors alike.
Surely there is no need for this kind of aggressive approach and no need to fleece those attending hospitals – especially those travelling from miles away and who are not Leeds residents. On one occasion a warden was actually sitting on my car waiting for the clock to tick down on my parking ticket’s last 15 minutes. What kind of mentality are we breeding?
I appreciate that this is easy income but is it worth the hassle, upset and distress for the paying public?
Come on the city of Leeds. Please show some compassion, empathy and assistance.
We do visit our hospitals for the good of our health and you are not helping!
Phil Roche, Garforth
Expenses probe MPs protected
I read with astonishment that MPs who are being investigated for their expenses are to remain anonymous.
The public are not going to be allowed to know the names and details of these people as we did previously. The revelations about the MPs and their expenses was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. This is being silenced by government departments.
This is the protection of people abusing their expenses while at the same time they cannot even find one per cent extra money for midwives. This is the same group of people who regularly vote on their own behalf but seldom on ours, even suggesting that they should have a 10 per cent wage rise.
Can I tell any MP who is not happy with the wage structure, the simple answer is there – resign.
Brian Fleming, Adel
Italian job over immigration
AS CHAOS reigns in Calais over the number of illegal immigrants attempting to smuggle themselves into the UK, is the Government missing the point here?
Surely the law states that those people who flee poverty and deprivation in such countries as Eritrea, East Africa, Sudan and across the Sahara, travelling via Libya to Italy, have to stay in the first country of disembarkation – which in this case is Italy.
Unfortunately, knowing of their desire to reach the El Dorado of the UK, with its abundant benefits, they are quickly given access to the Milan-Paris line by the Italian authorities, where at Calais – many without documentation of any kind – await their opportunity to stowaway.
As migrants break into lorries, storm ferries, cling to the underside of caravans and hide in the boot of unsuspecting tourists, is not this a problem for the weak and effete EU to solve?
Or have they turned their backs on it, like on so many, apparently insolvable crises?
Some three years ago, when returning via Calais from vacation, passing to the UK immigration side, we were asked by officers if the French immigration authorities had checked inside our caravan. The answer was ‘no.’
Herein lies the root of the problem. Knowing of the unquenchable yearning of these migrants to get to into the UK, other countries are quite willing to facilitate this wish, and happy to ‘turn a blind eye’.
R Miller, Leeds
Empty promises from politicians
ONCE again the party conference speeches with the same old empty promises – “if we are re-elected” we will do nothing again!
Thirteen years of New Labour, four years of coalition.
Did they use their power to improve the quality of life for us? No, only for themselves.
I compare all of the good work of Clement Attlee in just four years. The welfare state, the NHS, beautiful council estates, homes with baths and gardens from slums with one up and one downs with large families living in them, care homes for the old with excellent food and lots more.
So let’s have some deeds, not empty words please, if re-elected!
Robert Holman, Headingley
Giving tenants point of contact
I have read with interest the recent letters about council housing repairs.
As you would expect, I am deeply interested in making sure that we offer a high quality housing service for every tenant in Leeds.
Having brought housing management back in house, we are currently undertaking a significant reorganisation in order to ensure that residents can have direct contact with a housing officer.
As an addition to this, I would suggest that any residents having difficulties resolving individual cases contact their local councillors, who are perfectly placed to try and assist them. Any residents who want to contact me directly can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor Peter Gruen, Deputy Leader, Leeds City Council, Executive Board Member for Neighbourhoods, Planning and Personnel
A Riot Club of social injustice
The Conservative party is in crisis, they are losing votes and members.
A recent opinion poll put Labour six points ahead which would give them a comfortable majority at next year’s general election.
The other night I watched a programme about the film The Riot Club based on the drunkenness and violent activities of Oxford’s notorious Bullingdon Club of which Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne and Mayor of London Boris Johnson were members.
The members of this club were as elite as you can get. They believed they were the best and the brightest.
To be a member of this club you had to go through an initiation test of sitting down blindfolded whilst drinking a glass of wine containing maggots, urine, cigarette butts and human spit.
These posh boys destroyed dining rooms and were described by one woman as disgusting, sleazy little sharks.
The Riot Club film is a magnifying glass on social injustice.
John Appleyard, Liversedge
Sign up for Decembeard
Beating Bowel Cancer’s Decembeard campaign is calling on men in Yorkshire to ditch their razors and grow a beard throughout the month of December to help raise awareness of bowel cancer and funds for the charity.
Bowel Cancer is the UK’s second biggest cancer killer but it’s a very treatable condition if caught early so it’s very important that people are aware of the symptoms.
Decembeard is a fun, easy way for people to help us to raise awareness of the condition and raise funds for the charity – no 100 mile treks or jumping out of planes, just stop shaving! To reach our target, we’re hoping a total of 2,500 men throughout the UK will raise £100 each – and I’m hoping as many of them as possible will be from Yorkshire.
The money raised will help to fund the charity’s work supporting people with bowel cancer and their families and raising awareness of the disease, its symptoms and the need for early diagnosis. So sign up at www.decembeard.org and join the rest of the ‘grizzlies’ for December.
Paula Guanaria, Senior Community Fundraiser (North) for Beating Bowel Cancer