YEP Letters February 18

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Become a vegan like Mr Spock?

David Gibbs, Leeds 7

A little conundrum for readers. What have coffee, bacon, alcohol, sausages, television, tinned food, dripping and bread, butter, milk,red meat and white bread got in 

They are all things I enjoy in life and have done for all or most of my 65 years on this earth. They are also, I have read in the last week or so, very bad for me according to various experts from one source or another.

I fear it is too late for me to change my ways now even if I wanted to. Which I do not.

As far as foodstuffs are concerned I am at a loss. What I could do except become a vegan? On reflection I may consider this as I was always a big fan of Mr Spock in Star Trek.

Insurance costs for young drivers ‘unfair’

Adam Bricklebank, by email

When turning 17, driving opens up a whole new world of freedom and independence for young people.

However, this freedom and independence is quickly lost and ruined by the sky-high prices of car insurance for young drivers.

Each insurance company all have the same idea, ‘new drivers are higher at risk so we will charge 12 times more than the average driver’, which is totally fine and everyone understands.

How about if I say, in 2012 (this is true), there were 146,000 personal injury collisions, with 30,750 involving one young driver - which isn’t even 30 per cent of the collisions.

If we weren’t safe on the roads, none of us young drivers would hold driving licences. I agree that car insurance for young drivers should be slightly more expensive, but not blow the roof off, looking on average at £1,600. 1.5 per cent of UK driving licence holders are young drivers. However, to contrast, 11 per cent of UK driving licence holders are over the age of 70. As you get older, your reaction times get slower, physical mobility will decrease and eye sight may shorten - three factors which are vital when it comes to driving.

Data from the Association of British Insurance say that the average premium for drivers aged between 66 and 70 is £241, for ages 80-85 it increases to £353. Over 80s car insurance isn’t cheap, however it’s nothing compared to the average £1,700 premium for young drivers. Surely this isn’t fair?

Black boxes are a rip off. My premium for my car insurance cost me upfront a cost of £270, to costing £130 per month. However, as a normal UK policy holder, you predict your average mileage for the year... no problem. Not for young drivers with a black box!

Not only do you predict your mileage, you pay for it. I went over my mileage, so needed to upgrade it to avoid my policy getting cancelled. I had the choice to pay £890 upfront for 1000 miles, or pay 50 per cent of the amount and the rest on my direct debits- either way I had a week to sort it and had to choose one. I chose the direct debits, to which I paid the 50 per cent and then they rose to £190. Rip off. I went over my miles again, so they wanted to charge me more money.

For every 1000 miles added, you paid a £100 admin fee for the trouble. This time I just cancelled the policy, followed by a nice £600 cancellation fee. This has to change. What 17-year-old in full time education has this sort of money? So Theresa May, put your Brexit plans aside for a day and sort our car insurances out or we can’t pay you road tax because there will be no drivers.

Searching for godmother

Karen Harris, by email

I have been looking for information of the whereabouts of my godmother Joyce Fisher or her family.

The last I heard from her was probably 2016 and she was living in Garforth. She will be about 90 years old.

We have kept contact with Christmas cards and she would ring then for a catch up I visited her last in March 2014/15 when at a funeral at Lawnswood.

I recall that she has two daughters living in or close by to Garforth. One I believe is Christine and the other Carol? Not sure now. One got married around 1979/80. It had an amusing incident. When we saw the photos, the little bridesmaids had the wrong dresses on! I am hoping that someone will recognise these details and get in touch either through e-mail or phone ( 01483 820989 ). I live in Woking and my maiden name was Shaw and we lived in Manchester.

Take no deal off the table

Pamela Radford, Horsforth

Three points about Brexit have become very clear in the last few weeks, even to an ordinary housewife like me:

1: We voted to leave the EU.

2: Crashing out without a deal would be massively damaging to our economy, far more than to the EU.

3: We cannot retain all the advantages we had as a full member of the EU so we have to face up to some losses in the short term in the hope of other advantages later on. The answer is to take no deal off the table - it was never a bargaining chip- any mother can recognise it as classic toddler tantrum territory.

Any party that allowed it on its watch would be toast at the next general election. We could then negotiate with the EU in an adult manner and ask for a delay in Article 50 to get all our new laws in place if we need it.

Join WellChild singing contest

Alexandra Burke, WellChild Ambassador

I am an ambassador for WellChild, the national charity for seriously ill children, and I would like to invite primary school choirs in Leeds to enter an exciting singing competition.

The WellChild School Choir of the Year competition is now open to choose pupils from one lucky primary school in the UK to display their singing talents in the company of a host of celebrities and perhaps even royalty at the WellChild Awards this autumn. WellChild is launching its third annual singing competition for primary schools across the UK to see who can perform the best version of the classic song Lean on Me, by Bill Withers.

The winners will perform their version at this year’s WellChild Awards which is regularly attended by WellChild’s Patron HRH the Duke of Sussex and a host of celebrity guests.

All each school needs to do is find 20 of their best musical stars and send WellChild a video of them singing their rendition of Lean on Me.

The competition will culminate in a live public vote from June 12-July 12. The lucky winner will not only be crowned WellChild School Choir of the Year but will win the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform at our prestigious WellChild Awards.

The winner will be announced on September 2. For full details visit