Young lives must not be put at risk

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Have your say

I WOULD just like to say the response to the meeting at Savile Hall today (May 10), in the afternoon session the amount of support from parents, grandparents and other charities was fantastic.

They really showed the panel what we thought about how they came to the conclusion that these bureaucrats can make a judgment on what’s viable or not.

Do they have any idea what each family has to go through when it has a sick child?

No, they don’t.

I have had this experience first hand more than once. My son is still alive to tell the tale. For the past 23 years we have been going to the heart hospital. We originally started at Killingbeck until it closed, for the state-of-the-art hospital here in Leeds, where he is under the care of Dr Mike Blackburn and his dedicated team.

The question was asked, “how would a sick child make it up to Newcastle by ambulance on such a busy motorway if the child was critical and had to be stabilised before this long tedious journey?” Who knows what will happen on the way.

How do they get a travelling time of three hours? They have forgotten about rush-hour traffic. Nor did they take into account the air ambulance at all.

What has happened to the Patients’ Charter? We have the right to choose.

We have all these facilities right here in Leeds. How is Leeds only featured in one option, not three, like Newcastle?

Decision makers have to take in travel expenses, unemployment, effect on siblings and travelling longer distances.

Has it come down to a postcode lottery on where we have to go?

This panel has weighed up the pros and cons and plans for the future for each hospital and is it viable.

There is too much red tape yet they want to save money. They have to spend more money if this proposal goes through. What is the sense in that?

They are putting children’s lives at risk. We will fight to the very end when they decide in July. We will not give up to save this unit.

Save our surgery, let it stay in Leeds. This is the future of our children.

Karen Osgerby, Tinshill

Bad decisions

I AM very disappointed and worried regarding the suggestion of taking the heart wards away from LGI.

Thinking back many years, Leeds has been subjected to bad decisions regarding hospital closures:

St Mary’s, Killingbeck (a great hospital), Hyde Terrace (another great hospital), St James’ geriatric wards are now a museum. Chapel Allerton closed, Seacroft Hospital now only used as an X-ray unit, all wards not now used.

Now the LGI and children with heart problems being denied the loving care. Why is Leeds being thought so little of for these things to happen?

A great protest is being made to those responsible for these decisions.

Leeds needs to be recognised as a city with a growing population and have the LGI left alone to be able to save children’s lives.

Why should very ill children be subject to travelling miles to a hospital, when the LGI is so good? Why should parents have the terrible thoughts of their children having this happen, because of decisions made by stupid men?

H Brearey, Garforth

Protest vote

I WAS shocked and saddened to be defeated in my campaign to retain my seat as a councillor for Roundhay Ward, which I had held since 2004.

I think there was a massive protest vote against what many have seen as ‘Government cuts’. It should be remembered that these cuts would have had to come anyway, whichever party was in power.

When cuts are made at national level, it is down to the body whose budget is cut – council, NHS or whatever – to decide where they fall within their organisations. At the budget meeting of council recently, positive and properly costed alternatives, including spending less on furniture, office equipment and glossy brochures, were proposed to save leisure centres, the free city centre bus and the Leeds (Mental Health) Crisis Centre, but to no avail.

The ruling party steamrollered the emotive options through, at the expense of many disadvantaged members of our society. The threat to jobs and pensions recently seen by many public sector workers resident in Roundhay is something that those working in the wealth-creating sector have lived with and coped with for years.

I am sorry that the majority of residents of Roundhay preferred the negative of a vote against cuts to the positive support I have worked hard to give to people and their problems. To all those who supported me, either by voting or with practical help, my grateful thanks and best wishes.

Valerie Kendal, Woodlea Square, Leeds

Combat waste

IT is always unnecessary to make “cuts” to services, benefits, amenities and areas touching upon the welfare and betterment of people.

Any deficit can be remedied by combating waste, extravagance and corrupt practices.

We have never been a poor country, only a grossly unequal, unplanned and unfocussed one. Our economy is always sufficient to provide necessities.

After ensuring material wants (i.e. housing, heating, food and transport) at a manageable cost, and providing subsidised work at a level of remuneration equal to minimum living costs, we should then allow communities to decide local environmental and social issues.

Capitalism, like rain, makes things grow but it soaks money. The state is an umbrella.

Before our entrenched conditioned mind-set declares it utopian, consider 70 per cent of work produces nothing more than the 27th variety of soup or something harmful to minds and morals.

This is insane and inflationary.

Spend less – it’s better!

P Kilroy, Spennithorne Avenue, Leeds

On the buses

FURTHER to my recent letter praising First Bus for its poster in the bus shelter, announcing the 7 series of bus times for the Shadwell/Alwoodley routes (buses every 10 minutes or better).

However, it turned out not to be the case, as, when the new timetable came out, this only applied to the No.7 park and ride service, which was already in force before the change. Nevertheless, as from May 1, Shadwell/Leeds would have a service every 20 minutes, instead of half-hourly.

Alas! Come the first week of operation and where are we? Buses cancelled. They couldn’t even keep it going for the first week. On Friday May 6, at peak time, the 17.42 failed to turn up in Infirmary Street. This meant there was no Shadwell service between 5.17pm and 6.08pm, when a bus finally arrived. Fifty minutes between buses.

Silly me for believing their tall stories. After all, common sense dictates that if First couldn’t always keep to a half-hourly service, how on earth could they cope with a 20 minute service? What a shower!

J Evans, Darkwood Way, Leeds

Blow to fairness

THE electorate has spoken and said a big NO to AV.

I am most disappointed, because if I continue to vote Liberal it will be a wasted vote, as would any vote for UKIP or the Green Party or similar.

I can vote tactically for Labour to keep the Tories out but why bother to make the effort?

I suspect that the effect upon the Lib Dems will be devastating. We shall in future, have, as before, a minority government, elected by less than 50 per cent of the voters. Fairness? Hardly.

As a voter for some 55 years, always unsuccessful, I would like to know why the 75 per cent to 80 per cent or ordinary people elect Conservatives.

If I had over £100,000 in the bank and earned over £100,000 per annum I could understand it, as such people would be looked after by the Conservatives.

For the majority of ordinary people, like myself, the Conservatives will do little or nothing. What legislation has a Conservative government passed over the last 55 years to help the majority of the population?

Would some Conservative voter kindly enlighten me?

M G Burbage-Atter, Rothwell

Plea for EU poll

NOW the local elections are over for another year and the waste-of-money AV referendum is out of the way, can we get down to some serious thoughts. Let’s have a referendum on what everybody wants – that is the question of in or out of Europe.

Do we really want to continue paying millions of pounds to the European Union or billions of pounds to those members who cannot manage their own money? All this while our own people suffer the most severe service cuts since the Second World War.

Then there is also another question, I must ask of all our elected members, while we are members of the EU and the rules on how we run our country are decided by the EU, why do we need 600-plus MPs, a House of Lords with over 200 people and a council of 99 members – and that’s just in Leeds?

Why are we paying all this money to people who are just following the rules of the EU, whilst these rules are costing us millions i.e. the Human Rights Act?

We wasted thousands on a referendum where most people did not vote, so let’s have a true referendum on Yes or No to Europe.

L E Slack, Lingfield View, Leeds

Deport criminals

RE DS Boyes’ letter (‘Imported crime’, May 7), I couldn’t agree more. Why can’t these criminals be sent home straight away after the guilty verdict, instead of spending time in our soft prisons?

Proof itself is the case of David Bieber, who brutally killed PC Ian Broadhurst in 2003. He apparently had the audacity to plan two prison escapes and only days ago his “escape bid” legal claim was thrown out and he lost his High Court application for a judicial review. He has been told that he will not serve a life sentence but at least 37 years behind bars.

He is classed as an American citizen and if he were on home soil his act of murder would have a more considerable punishment. Yet, like many “imported criminals”, he cannot be deported due to “agreements” between Britain and other countries.

And yes, we have enough home-grown criminals to catch and put behind bars but still, after political parties over many years saying they will be tough on crime once in government, yet again they become the Namby Pamby (noun) – an inspid weakling who is foolish. (Adjective) Weak in willpower, courage or vitality.

And as for the Human Rights Act, well, that’s a totally different discussion.

N Pearson, St Wilfrid’s Circus, Leeds

Leeds City Train Station. Picture Tony Johnson

YEP Letters: October 13