YEP Letters : October 8

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‘Apathetic approach’ to missing pets

Jenny Kay, Beeston

Do pet owners know that when their beloved animal goes missing – be it dog, cat, bird, rabbit or anything else – if it is picked up dead by Leeds City Council, it is incinerated without even an attempt at scanning for a microchip?

They are at pains to assure you on the telephone that they scan, but they do not. If an animal is still alive, it is scanned by a vet; a dog in the pound is scanned by the council.

But dead animals are as nothing to Leeds City Council, their environmental officers ‘do not have the facilities to scan’.

You might be spending hundreds of pounds on publicity and hundreds of hours pounding the streets searching, leafleting houses and businesses, visiting vets, placing adverts in newspapers and trawling the internet – this could go on forever and yet your loved pet could be long gone, with only the briefest epitaph on the council’s ‘Dead Cats and Dogs Register’, like: ginger cat, kerbside of Somewhere Street, or black dog, opposite post box, Nowhere Road.

Do you grieve for this unknown moggy or doggy that might possibly be your own, or do you plod on with blistered feet, ever searching? One thing for sure – Leeds City Council couldn’t care less.

Nobody wants bad news, but we do need to know. I am going through this right now with a friend, for almost a month her much-loved cat Lottie has been missing from Chapel Allerton and as time goes by the search feels more futile, but it must go on until we have an answer. Kind strangers have responded with messages of hope and sympathy, some with possible sightings (sadly false, so far) and others eager to help, and they have done so.

For all of this we are deeply grateful. But there are two sides to every coin; leaflets posted neatly have been torn down and left screwed up on the ground, or ripped untidily from bus shelters.

None of these was causing damage or obstruction and all would have been properly removed, once Lottie’s fate was known.

But a local council surely should have guidelines. With microchipping of dogs becoming law next year, will scanning resources be made available not only for dogs, but for all domestic animals, to improve Leeds City Council’s current apathetic approach to a most upsetting situation?

Shame on you, Leeds City Council. For us the search will continue.

Come home Lottie, we love and miss you. Ah well.

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Hopes for new ice rink

Colin Cawthray, Bridlington

regarding “We’re on B-Rink of Success” (YEP October 3), Leeds did have an ice skating rink in the early 1960s.

It was situated on Kirkstall Road which is now YTV studios. It is to be hoped it turns out a greater success than its predecessor. If it is to be sited next to Leeds United’s ground in Elland Road, will it have to close when there is a home match? Just as the well planned park and ride does?

Puzzled over unusual words

T Crawford, by email

Why do so many journalists and politicians, whose trade is words and communication, so often seem intent on inducing puzzlement?

They start using unusual words and phrases that have suddenly emerged from nowhere into the public consciousness. For example here’s a word that has lain unneeded and unused in our dictionaries for decades. Yet it is now used at every opportunity by commentators in all media. That word is “trope”. Or the curious case of the word “silo”. I have always understood this to be a structure in which grains and other crops are stored. Yet as currently used by politicians it means something completely different as well but is not at all clear to me. And here’s an expression I had never before encountered at all until recently: “get go”, as in from the start or beginning. But where did it come from? Perhaps it is my advancing years that induce my state of befuddlement. (drat it, now I’m doing it).

Labour:realistic policy ideas

D S Boyes, Leeds 13

HAVING listened to the conference speeches of both the Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell and leader Jeremy Corbyn, I wondered why it has taken so long for Labour to find men of this calibre, who speak a language that the working man can understand, and deliver realistic policy ideas in a calm and measured way unseen for a long time.

Of course the wealthiest should pay more tax than the poor - but New Labour under Blair then Brown did exactly the opposite with a top rate of just 40 per cent for 12 years and 10 months, actually less than the Tories charge today! Taxed by the poor by stealth then imposed a 100 per cent rise by abolishing the 10p band.

John McDonnell’s ideas seem entirely justified to me anyway, an ex-Labour member who became disillusioned with the way the party went.

Jeremy Corbyn’s thoughts on housing are also very good - I am old enough to remember the Rachman days and in my opinion the relentless right to buy of social housing coupled with shorthold assured tenancies which give families no security of tenure whatsoever and put them at the mercy of rogue landlords are not far removed from those times. New Labour did nothing about that either.

Also employment for the young and promotion of manufacturing must be given priority so that people can learn useful skills and be able to earn enough to afford to rent or buy a decent home of their own without reliance on benefits. Against this background though I cannot understand the open disloyalty shown by so many Labour MPs. Thousands of new party members or supporters obviously disagree. Maybe one or two deselections will sort those rebels without a cause out.

Charity gimmicks

Edna Levi, Leeds 17

I hope the regulator succeeds in establishing a law relating to delivery of unsolicited charity requests to vulnerable people.

My bone of contention is the waste of money included, not only by the postage but some of materials. This especially applies to sheets of printed labels with your address and name on, correspondence cards and even pens. Some charities I support have ignored requests I have made saying I do not need so many charity gimmicks. They should make notes of those who respond like this and thus save a great deal of money which would go to their very worthy causes.

YEP Letters: July 26