YEP Letters: February 10
Check out today's YEP letters
Sign up for Resolution Run in city
Laura Tobin, TV weather forecaster
Just like many readers, I’m no stranger to the devastating impact of stroke.
My grandmother had two strokes before she sadly passed away, and that’s why the work of the Stroke Association is so close to my heart.
I’m calling on readers to make a new year’s pledge that counts, and sign up to the Stroke Association’s Resolution Run at Temple Newsam Park, Leeds on Sunday March 5. Whether you’re putting on your running shoes for the first time, increasing your running distance or achieving a personal best, the Resolution Runs are perfect for all ages and abilities. Runners can choose their distance from 5k, 10k or 15k and participants can run, jog or walk the routes. By training and taking part you’re helping to reduce your own risk of having a stroke, and the vital funds you’ll raise will help the Stroke Association to support those who have been affected by this incredibly cruel condition. Please join us and sign up for a Resolution Run: together we can conquer stroke. Find out more visit www.stroke.org.uk/resolution
Time for action on city centre safety
John Peckham, Leeds 11
The Yorkshire Evening Post (February 7, page 7) highlights city councillors’ concerns about weekend public order offences in the centre of Leeds.
Despite your frequent quotation of abundant warm words from Chief Supt Paul Money, his claims don’t appear to be matched by reality. May I now suggest that our civic leaders need to spend some overdue time in and around the city pedestrian zone towards the end of the working/ shopping day, when people are making their way home and experience an entirely different but growing menace?
This threat is both silent and fast yet both the police and civic enforcement officers seem to be either blissfully unaware of it or simply don’t care. I refer to the swarms of mostly delivery cyclists that weave through the crowds and can be on top of you in seconds if you step from one of the side streets into Briggate, Albion or Commercial Streets in particular.
Too many of these bikes are being ridden in a wreckless manner, without lights, carrying huge unwieldly box packages. Any actually using legally required lights and coming straight at you, invariably dazzle.
Watch them frequently cut over pedestrian crossings and footpaths along the Headrow or near the Merrion Centre. For the record there’s also a noticeable proportion of purely commuter riders who think they can pedal at 15-20mph through this same zone without any concern about flattening somebody’s young child or an infirm person not so agile and unable to jump out of their path. A “Safer Leeds”? Let’s stop the spin doctoring and start seeing some effective action please.
Cost of new police stations
Paul Walker, by email
I read with interest Mark Burns-Williamson’s letter in the Yorkshire Evening Post.
I believe the West Yorkshire Police do a fine job for us , however a question that has puzzled me for a few years and was brought up in your letter was the fact that in West Yorkshire we have lost 2000 police and civil staff and £140 million slashed from the budget. Yet (and this is the point of my email) I wonder why it was needed to build or refurbish three of the biggest police stations I have ever seen. Who is sitting in them? Certainly not the 2000 staff members you’ve lost. How much did they cost and what is the benefit to West Yorkshire? I am talking about Elland Road, Normanton and Wakefield 41. Could and should this money have been spent on more police officers?
Too many cars
Jaimes Lewis Moran,member of Leeds Green Party
As you’re probably aware, the traffic problems of Leeds are on the rise.
What’s so surprising though is that its cause and solutions are so undeniably obvious. Put simply there’s too many cars on the roads.
Sure, this is due to many valid reasons as you’d expect, but mainly due to the inadequate and crowded public transports (something like 53 per cent are always late I hear) link this to a useless or in most cases - non-existent network of unsafe painted cycle lanes (often illegally parked upon near yellow lines!) and it’s no wonder people are opting for private car usage.
To make matters worse, instead of solving these traffic issues with the aforementioned ‘obvious’ solutions, Leeds City Council seems hellbent on the dream of very, very costly trams.
For 30 years they’ve pursued its approval and sought funds repeatedly to no avail. They should move on and finally let this dream of trams go, enough time has been wasted thinking it’s the ‘solution’ which Leeds will need - wrong!
Focus on getting reliable trains, bus services and cycling infrastructures sorely needed first. To summerise though, there is no one-size fits-all project to ease traffic woes.
We must face the facts that trams or underground tunnel systems are just too costly and ineffective. In case you’ve forgotten though, council budgets and services have been drastically cut.
Demonstrations are tiresome
Mrs J Green, Leeds
“Fancy a walk dear? It will get us out of the house for a couple of hours for some fresh air and exercise, a chance to meet new people and clear our lungs with a chant or two and flex our arms carrying a placard with some slogan or other”.
This is the new craze called demonstrations that is catching on, clogging up the thoroughfares in our towns and cities both here and abroad.
Anyone with an axe to grind can now go online and rustle up a rent a mob to demonstrate their ability to raise hysteria and argue the toss, not that everyone knows or cares what it is for, as long as they can cause a bit of disruption it doesn’t matter. The cost of policing the demo is the last of their considerations. The same applies to online petitions, anyone with the similar axe may start a petition.
Rather than write to their MP and make them work for their money or write to the newspapers with their grievance they would rather have a full-on popularity contest to see how many lemmings turn up. It is becoming tiresome, and it begs the question has there ever been any satisfactory result for the trouble they cause? For those who feel it is their ‘right’ to show their disapproval (or show off ) in public, whether it be Brexit or Trump, which in both cases will not alter the outcome, why not compel the instigators of these demonstrations to lodge their case first with their city/town councils for consideration including the cost of policing etc. Unauthorised marches to be met by water cannon. I have to say that my heart goes out to the young woman demonstrator captured forever in a picture in the YEP last week holding a placard which solemnly states “I stand up to Trump!” I’m with you sister, but I would never have announced that in broad daylight.
Every vote should count
Alan Freeman, by email
Once again M Meeson (YEP Letters February 7) regales us with his/her claim of a 12 million + majority in the EU referendum. This is a complete joke, albeit a bad one.
The percentage result was 51.9 per cent for Brexit against 48.1 per cent for Remain. This is a difference of 3.8 per cent. For 3.8 per cent to represent 12 million people there would have had to be approximately 315 million voters turning out on the day. I am basing this on the probably correct figure of 17.4 million who voted Leave. The arithmetic isn’t difficult. Neither is the conclusion that M Meeson’s majority would have been impossible. M Meeson goes on to tell us very firmly that Kamran Hussain cannot possibly conclude who voted for a ‘hard Brexit’ - or not! He/she then presents us with a fairly comprehensive list of issues that the Brexit voters most definitely voted for. This is most certainly impossible to know given the daily outpourings of the Johnson/Farage bunch which were muddled at best and downright lies much of the time.
I largely agree with the views expressed by James Kirk on the same page on February 7, except where he states that a democratic process put the Tories in power when they actually polled just 37 per cent of votes counted on the day. No way can that be described as democratic. The system in use for longer than living memory stems from the days when the peasants had no say in who governed their lives. It has no place in the 21st century having produced possibly the most unrepresentative government of all time. Every vote should count for representation. In this case 63 per cent of actual voters are not represented within government. That cannot be right.