YEP Letters: August 10

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Relax rubbish rules on rubble

Christopher Cameron, by email

I am not one to continually criticise Wakefield Council, as I think under the circumstances it does a fair job – but I just wish they would reconsider their policies on tipping waste.

I understand that you are only allowed six 40 kg bags per month of rubble.

I have seen the results of fly tipping over local lanes and seen three men from the council and a lorry taking approximately two hours to load a pile of rubble onto a lorry and obviously take it back to the depot.

Surely the cost of this recovery programme is much more expensive than to relax the rules and allow people to legitimately dispose of the rubble?

Red light zone should have been closed down

Marilla Clayton, Potternewton

Yorkshire people are renowned for calling a spade a spade, so we should keep to the same Yorkshire characteristic regarding the current and former illegal red light districts of Leeds.

The Holbeck/south leeds red light district has, to my knowledge, been in existence for at least 17 years now, probably longer.

Since 2014 it has been variously referred to in the YEP as ‘legal’ red light district or ‘managed zone’ or the police’s stance is referred to as the ‘managed approach.’ Prostitution is referred to as ‘sex work’ and the prostitutes as ‘sex workers.’ Long-suffering Leeds residents who have had decades of experience of living, running businesses or working in the illegal red light districts (Holbeck, Chapeltown, Potternewton) know full well that all the following illegal activities take place in red light districts: sexual abuse, rape, soliciting for the purposes of prostitution, kerb crawling, living off immoral earnings (pimping), running brothels, sex trafficking, child sex grooming/abuse/trafficking, murder, manslaughter, assaults, drug dealing, street robbery, harrassment of passers-by (male and female), urinating in public places and private gardens, general anti social behaviour such as drunken and disorderly behaviour, drug-addicted behaviour, threatening behaviour, begging, noise nuisance, obstructing the highway, spitting on the ground and at passers-by, throwing drink and other missiles at passers-by, littering (used drugs paraphernalia, used condoms etc), vandalism of property and vehicles.

In setting up the designated illegal red light district or ‘managed zone’ or evern ‘managed approach,’ the police and Leeds City Council staff are organising crime in the same way that drugs barons, for example, organise crime.

All the evidence from the Chapeltown and Potternewton red light district meant that from day one the Holbeck ‘managed approach’ would never work. The murder of Daria Pionko proved that it was not working and the illegal red light district should have been closed down then.

Let’s think big on transport

Coun Neil Buckley, Shadow Executive Board Member for Transport, Alwoodley Ward

I read with interest your recent article on transport in Leeds (‘New phase of work under way in £270m transport revolution’, YEP August 6) referring to a ‘transport revolution’ going on in our city.

It is good to see overdue investment in transport but I am not sure that the proposals amount to a full on ‘revolution’.

Transport has been a major concern for Leeds residents for years. It would be churlish to criticise the measures that have just been consulted on; indeed many of them are welcome improvements, but they are delivering what should already be in place – an efficient and reliable bus service, better rail links and improved gateways to the city.

These are not revolutionary; council taxpayers should expect it in a city that wants to be the best in the UK.

A transport revolution would see a major step change in how transport looks and feels in Leeds.

The only thing that can do that is a mass transit system, something that will bypass the congested road network and encourage people to use public transport, because not only would it be reliable and efficient, it would be comfortable, accessible and above all desirable.

Bus patronage is in decline in Leeds; it is clear that whilst it is a valued service, it is not going to be the ‘magic bullet’.

It is not going to persuade people to leave their cars at home.

What the council is doing is not all wrong, some of it is mistaken, such as introducing bus lanes on dual carriageways potentially restricting the space available for cars and possibly adding to congestion, but the majority of it is sound and will deliver incremental gains.

However, what about plans for a major overhaul?

We need to be planning and preparing now so that we can properly link to the new HS2 and HS3 hub when it comes to Leeds.

It’s great to see investment but let’s think big and let’s once and for all answer the big transport question and bring a major mass transit system to Leeds, then we will have a ‘transport revolution’ on our hands.

Stress drives teachers out

Julian Stanley, CEO, Education Support Partnership.

IT was concerning to read about the increasing levels of stress amongst teachers in the region.

This correlates with a rise in the number of callers to our charity’s free and confidential emotional support helpline for education staff.

This increased by 18.6 per cent in Yorkshire and the Humber over the past 12 months, with our trained counsellors managing over 8,600 cases last year across the country – the majority calling us at a crisis stage.

With record numbers leaving the profession, we must start prioritising teacher wellbeing.

Failure to do so will be felt strongly by future generations.

Lack of capacity to store water

Chris Ramus, Harrogate

I READ with interest articles about water leaks, usage and the weather.

This is the first drought that we have experienced for several years. It comes during a period where water companies are completing several flood defence systems to ensure fewer homes and businesses are blighted by constant flooding. I have 
long held the opinion that we are not short of water in the UK.

We are, however, extremely short in reservoir capacity.

With the exception of Kielder reservoir in Northumberland, I’m struggling to think of any major increase in capacity to hold water in recent years.

We are in the middle of a drought year. Yet it is only four months ago that it never stopped raining for weeks. We also had a good fall of snow during the winter and spring.

During this period, our rivers were bank-top high with excess water that just flowed out to sea day after day.

Yet here we are struggling for water and with a hosepipe ban just about to begin. Reservoirs silt up by natural process year on year, thus reducing capacity.

If Government figures are to believed, 300,000 new homes are to be built every year to meet growing demand.

All of these homes will have washing machines and dishwashers, not to mention showers and hosepipes to wash hundreds of thousands of cars etc.

I’m unaware of any programme of increased holding capacity to meet this growing demand.

Can someone enlighten me as to where all this much-needed water will be held to supply all these houses, especially since we are told that long hot summers are to become the normal rather than the exception?

No comparison with war deaths

Mrs D Kellett, Wakefield

Re the letter from DS Boyes (‘What about the war effort at home?’, YEP Letters, August 6).

How can you compare the war effort, all due respect to those who did it, to the horrendous suffering, deaths and the tortured souls who made it home after such an horrific bloodbath?

Thousands of young soldiers were teenagers who were not old enough for war, but they went and gave their young lives for us.

All families suffered extreme hardship women lost husbands and sons, so to compare being made redundant after the war, and falling on hard times, to these young souls dying in blood-soaked foreign fields (some calling for their mothers) is without doubt the most disturbing piece printed in the YEP for sometime.

You need to visit these cemeteries in France and Belgium etc. I bet their families wished that they had come home to be made redundant.

The men and boys that did come home were either maimed or shell-shocked so were unable to work. That’s hardship.

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