Being stuck for something to do on a miserable bank holiday, my daughter and I decided to make a visit to Tropical World in Roundhay – boy did we get a shock.
The admission charge (for what you get) is extortionate.
There were lots of empty display tanks, tanks covered in green algae so you couldn’t see if there was anything in them, poor lighting in some areas –and as for the butterflies, well they just weren’t there in the numbers we have experienced before.
The ‘jungle’ was very poorly planted, there were no brightly coloured plants to encourage the butterflies to land and as for the vision of the waterfall – that was ruined with builder’s material stacked up behind it.
Everywhere was shabby, grubby and looking really neglected.
The meerkats were adorable as always but the new space created for the shop is too big and I can’t see what benefit will come from it apart from the income generated by people buying something which will probably be neglected after a very short time.
In my opinion the attraction was better looked after when admission was free.
I think Leeds City Council and a member of the Ziff family should make a visit to Rotherham butterfly house near Sheffield.
There is an entrance fee but what you get for your money is a brilliant experience and the opportunity to see and interact with all kinds of small animals.
The butterfly house is out of this world with lots of bright coloured plants, lizards, small birds and fantastic butterflies which you can get within inches of.
They also have guinea pigs, lemurs, otters, chipmunks, rabbits, farm animals, a café, parrots, birds of prey, large tortoise, wallabies and of course a colony of meerkats
Everything was clean and well lit, and children were encouraged and educated at the same time.
They should have closed Tropical World down and done the refurbishment.
As for the cost of the refurbishment, I think the council have done their usual job of spending too much in the wrong place!
Sad really because it used to be a nice experience.
Christine Waterland, Leeds
Treatment is just so unfair
It is absolutely terrible that Portas Ongondo, who puts so much into the community, is being forced to leave this country (YEP, August 29).
He does not claim benefits, has a valuable job and is revered by the community in which he works.
He is not a burden on the country nor is he a lawbreaker. I wonder what would have happened if he was a female with a family?
I reckon there would not be a problem with his being allowed to stay in this country.
Contrast his treatment with the criminal who recently was actually on his way to be deported when he suddenly announced that he was gay and would have problems when he got to his home country.
The judges announced that he should stay in the UK.
This is obviously the path that Mr Ongondo must take.
Graham Robinson, via email
He should be allowed to stay
I definitely think that Portas Ongondo should have been allowed to stay in the UK.
He has lived here, married to a British citizen for many years, and has paid his taxes.
His immediate family live here with their children, his grandchildren.
He has worked in a very responsible job as a school caretaker and is clearly a well-loved and well-respected member of his community.
The decision made to deport him lacks any compassion and is very cruel indeed.
There is nothing for Mr Ongondo back in Kenya as a 55-year-old man.
He is definitely the kind of hardworking citizen we should be welcoming here.
I very much hope that the continued appeals to help Portas stay will be successful.
Elizabeth Kenwood-Herriott, Horsforth
We support Mr Ongondo
We write in support of Portas Ongondo and his desire to remain in this country.
We have known Portas for several years through our church in Boston Spa.
For as long as we have known him he has been a hard working family man, whose children are going through higher education in this country.
It is very sad that his right to work, pay taxes and contribute to community life in this country has been taken away from him.
I work at another Leeds primary school. We lost our caretaker recently and it is very difficult to find a good person to do the job.
We know Portas was an excellent caretaker and very appreciated by Collingham school staff, it is tragic that he has had to leave this job.
Portas will be missed by many people, we pray that his plan to reapply from Kenya is successful.
Dawn and Mark Kennett, via email
All the children love Portas
This whole thing is a disgrace, this man’s family is here, he had a fantastic job in our local school which has never been so clean and tidy and all the children love him.
What is wrong with our country? This is a total miscarriage of justice.
Send all the scammers and social benenfit seekers home and let this man stay. He has a good job, is well loved and costs this country nothing.
It’s a shame the Government are so blind to respected people and let the idiots stay.
I am totally disgusted and challenge the minister of immigration to look at this case and tell us exactly why he can’t stay when so many can and use our country.
Stand up and be counted minister, this is a disgrace
Jane Turner, Collingham
Curb these bus drivers
WHEN is something going to be done about these bus drivers who speed off before the passenger has time to sit down or get up?
They have mirrors to look down the bus and cameras upstairs to view what’s going on.
It only takes 10 to 12 seconds to get to your seat, so why cannot the driver wait?
But no, he or she speeds off throwing old people with sticks and women with babies in their arms to the floor.
If the driver could be sued or lose his or her job it might help.
Something must be done. We, the public, pay their wages.
J Taylor, Leeds
Differences in aspirations
Thank you to S Hughes, who wrote recently to the Yorkshire Evening Post about new housing on Manston Lane (YEP, September 1).
I hope S Hughes knows that there are large differences between our aspirations and the developers’. In brief, my views are:
1. There is a clear need for new affordable homes, but these must be the right homes in the right places. Developers almost invariably want to pick green field sites. 2. We must have a national policy of using brownfield land before greenfield land; just as we do locally. 3. Necessary infrastructure must come up front, where possible. Specifically, we know that the Manston Lane Link Road is an absolutely key piece of infrastructure for Cross Gates.My fellow ward members and I have expressed the view that this road must come before any further housebuilding in the area. Cross Gates opinion is firmly in agreement.
Councillor Peter Gruen, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Planning and Personnel, Leeds City Council