YEP Letters: October 6

PA Photo/Thinkstockphotos.
PA Photo/Thinkstockphotos.
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Check out today’s YEP letters

No right to overrule the parents

John R Wainwright, by email

I don’t have children attending school and taking packed lunches, so whether teachers should vet their contents doesn’t really concern me.

If I was in that position however, I would go to the headteacher and ask him / her too say what legal authority they think gives them the right to vet the contents of children’s lunch boxes.

If they could not quote such authority to me, I would advise them in no uncertain terms that any further interference with my children’s lunch boxes would result in a formal complaint to the police for such unlawful practices.

They may well claim that they are acting “in loco parentis”, but that does not give them the right to dream up their own dietary rules and by imposing them overrule parental
authority.

Report findings were not fully discussed

S Sleeman, A660 Joint Council

Last week the YEP gave an excellent report of a Leeds Council meeting which was supposed to look at the final report made by Scrutiny Board into the Supertram and Trolleybus schemes.

The leader of the council had stated that “the draft report will now be discussed and formally considered by the Scrutiny Board at its meeting on 27 September”.

The findings of that report were not, however, fully discussed at that meeting. The Board members appeared to be reluctant to put probing questions to those responsible for the two faulty schemes saying that ‘rather than conducting a post-mortem of all that had happened in the past, members wanted to look at where we were now and where we were moving to in the future’.

The result of not discussing how things went wrong, is that similar mistakes will be made again. Thus: those council executives who presided over the flawed proposals for NGT still hold decision-making positions – Labour councillors were ‘whipped’ into voting
for NGT by the then leader of the Council, now Chair of WYCA (West Yorkshire Combined Authority - formerly Metro).

Yet more council tax payers’ money will be spent on schemes which have not been sensibly analysed or regularly re-evaluated as to their appropriateness (£72m was wasted on the two abandoned schemes).

Public interest will not be taken into consideration in future.

Future major schemes may end up not being externally challenged and verified but instead allow promoters to “mark their own homework”.

Surely, if a scrutiny board spends time looking into reasons for a scheme’s failure, those reasons should be discussed.

The trolleybus scheme was the wrong scheme for the wrong route, as was shown at public inquiry and by the Scrutiny Board.

The council should accept this and consider the findings.

Nation should care for all of its people

Tony Winstanley, Castleford

Not for the first time a letter appears in the YEP criticising Labour and especially Jeremy Corbyn, for suggesting that we should be priorotising the health and education of the majority of people and the welfare of our parents and grandparents.

Why this should be such a horrible concept to some people is baffling. Terry Watson (Letters, September 28) says they are “promising all sorts of nonsense as they did in their election campaign”.

Just what is it that’s nonsense about asking a government that can find any amount of money to fund Hs2, Crossrail1and 2, the Olympic games, refurbish Buckingham Palace, renew Trident, pay a billion pounds to the DUP and be prepared to fund any interventionist wars that may come into the heads of some sabre rattling politician in need of a jolt in popularity, to look after its poorer people first?

I am not suggesting that none of these projects ought never to happen, but I am saying that it is proof that we do have the “magic money tree” and when it suits the Tories they have no trouble shaking it. It’s all about priorities.

The Tory ideology is (and I haven’t invented this) everybody should look after themselves.

As Thatcher was pleased to suggest we were seeing the end of society. (Pause to shiver). I am 67 years old and for as long as I can remember we have been told that we must make savings now in order to help the children of the future. My family had little money when I was a child and I’m still waiting for that future to arrive.

It’s about time someone said what about the children of today, do they not count? It’s a con perpetuated by those who do not want to share. The money is there.

Everyone and every company pay your taxes and there will be even more there.

And if it’s good enough to be encouraged to borrow to get a mortgage and borrow to get a car and have credit cards then it’s okay to borrow collectively, as a nation, to give dignity to our young and old now.

Only the greedy would disagree. As for the financial crash been the fault of Labour, that has been discredited so many times, even Tory politicians now refer to it as the world financial crash. It was caused by the American sub prime mortgage market.

This country has the money. Use it where it’s needed first, then we can truly be a nation that cares for all its people.

Turn the bank... back into a bank

M Whitehead, Chapel Allerton.

I know I am not alone when I say please don’t turn our lovely Yorkshire Bank building into yet another restaurant (by the way this is in Chapel Allerton, not Moortown as printed in the article). We have quite enough eateries and food outlets in this “vibrant community”.

What we don’t have is our Yorkshire Bank. Plus the Leeds Building Society has closed. Do these people want us all to move up to Moortown? There are three banks up there after all. We shouldn’t have to traipse up there, and I am sure it has caused inconvenience to some of our independent shops.

I think Martin J Phillips has a good idea – turn it back into a Yorkshire Bank. 
Their motto “We are here” rings a bit hollow.

Surprised at fridge outcry

Derrick Bond, Shadwell

I am surprised at the complaints about Bake Off’s Noel Fielding hiding in a fridge because children might try it.

For decades, fridge doors have been designed to be opened easily from the inside to prevent accidental 
suffocation.

Next will be a campaign to ban the conjuring trick of sawing a women in half.

Drivers: keep your distance

Simon Wilson,Yorkshire co-ordinator for the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), Leeds

Most motorists will agree that having another car travelling inches from your boot is one of the greatest sources of stress and agitation on the road.

More importantly, aggressive driving is dangerous and is the key factor in many needless personal injury claims.

The government is under pressure to crack down on whiplash claims from insurers who pay compensation to the people who are injured.

But rather than making life harder for those suffering genuine injuries, surely a more logical way to reduce whiplash claims is to concentrate on reducing the number of collisions in the first place? Even insurers can agree with that.

That is why the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) of which I am a member, has long campaigned for drivers to ‘Back Off’ from the car in front.

We still have work to do to make the government listen, but in the meantime we urge everyone to keep their distance from the car in front.

Teachers just can’t win

Terry Maunder, Kirkstall

I read the letters by L Goodwin and S Kavanagh with a degree of irritation and also surprise.

They write as if the role of school and teachers in dictating behaviour is something new. One role of education is to socialise us into our social roles and they have always had this role in “directing” behaviour. Teaching is, and always has been, much more than just imparting information.

Remember boys doing woodwork and girls doing home economics in the 50s, 60s and 70s and tell me that isn’t about reinforcing gender roles? Or having to sing Christian hymns in assembly even if you weren’t religious? It is the responsibility of teachers and other staff, and always has been, to ensure the health of pupils : that’s why we did sports and why school dinners were generally healthy. As for the comments about children being free to eat what they want, even if it is unhealthy, I walk round at school run time to the local shops and see lots of obese children eating crisps as they walk to school and that is their breakfast, along with the can of fizzy drink.

To say we should ignore this is to abdicate social responsibility : professional talk about crises in obesity.

The latest NHS review states 68% of women and 58% of men are clinically obese and part of this is the falling standards in diet and the reliance on fast food. I assume Mr Kavanagh will be happy to pay higher tax and NI to deal with the problem his attitudes and views would appear to support.

If a pupil has a heart attack at a school because of obesity, guess who will get the blame: teachers just can’t win can they?

Try veganism this November

Tod Bradbury, Campaign Manager, Animal Aid

This November will be Animal Aid’s fifth annual ‘Great Vegan Challenge’ - a month long challenge that gives non-vegans all of the information and help they need to go vegan for November, and hopefully stay vegan thereafter.

With the number of vegans in the UK growing by more than 350per cent in ten years, it has never been easier to adopt a plant-based diet.

The number of vegan products has grown rapidly with vegan food now widely available in supermarkets, local shops, coffee shops, restaurants and beyond. There are now vegan alternatives to almost everything - including “chicken” nuggets, ice-cream, burgers, and even steak.

A vegan diet is not only kinder to animals, it is better for the environment and it is also healthy.

Sign up for Animal Aid’s Great Vegan Challenge today: www.govegan.org.uk or phone 01732 364546 ext 223.

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YEP Letters: October 9

YEP Letters: October 5