YEP Letters February 27

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Trust teachers to get on with job

Peter Wrigley, Birstall

The way to reduce stress among teachers is to to get off their backs and trust them get on with the job which they are trained to do and many of them love.

Those were the circumstances for most of my very rewarding and enjoyable career from 1959. Then trust went out of the window and now many teachers now spend more time on paperwork to prove that they’ve done what they’re supposed to do, than they spend actually doing it.

Ofsted should be abolished and its inspectors made redundant without financial compensation, but with guaranteed posts in their nearest inner-city school. They should not be allowed to apply for posts in a recreated Local Authority Advisory Service from which well-meaning Advisers, as of old, make occasional visits to schools and sometimes introduce good ideas.

Airport link plans ignore public opinion

Phil Gomersall, Rawdon.

Leeds City Council doesn’t seem to be aware of what the local constituents and the wider population of Leeds want when it comes to a link to the airport. Leeds City Council planners still lack vision when it comes to decisions regarding future infrastructure in Leeds.

I have spoken to many people about this proposed link road and, apart from one councillor, I have yet to hear anyone in favour of it. It would not be a solution as the traffic problem is not in Rawdon at all but in Horsforth and Pool, even after the thousands spent on the half-hearted attempt at a solution.

The only environmentally- friendly and sensible solution wanted by the vast majority is a proper rail link, which is not even being considered; not this proposed half-hearted station shuttle service.

We all know that the politician’s term ‘examining a rail link in the long term’ means never and is not an option and only added afterwards, as it may appease the objectors.

Coun Graham Latty has in the past stated that he would prefer not to have the loss of green belt and then states ‘but it is not an option’.

Sounds like he knows more than he is letting on and that the consultation is yet another box ticking exercise. He goes on to say a new road would improve the congestion on the A65 and A658. It would also create access to possible housing schemes once the green belt has gone.

It is not the airport traffic which causes congestion, less than 10 per cent on both these roads is airport traffic. There are only two congestion spots, the previously mentioned Horsforth roundabout and the poorly synchronised traffic lights at Murgatroyds.

Like Coun Latty, I, too, live next to the A658 but, unlike Coun Latty, I would love to see an improvement to our existing road system and protect our endangered green belt land.

More than that, however, I would prefer to see Leeds City Council for once take notice of its residents and create a proper long-term and environmentally-friendly solution, a proper rail link as any progressive airport would expect. And not spending taxpayers’ money on yet another transport white elephant.

We need to leave with a deal

N Bywater, Morley

In reply to Barrie Crowther (YEP Letters, February 20), Barrie thinks that we were lied to prior to the referendum. I think it’s more a matter of it being a very complex issue.

People wanted lower immigration, yet immigration from outside of the EU was just as much of an issue. People felt that the EU was unaccountable, well just look at our lot in Westminster, are they doing what the voters want?

I can see the merits of another referendum, but it would in itself be very divisive. We should just get on with leaving, that is what our MPs voted for when they triggered Article 50.

We need to leave with a deal, Theresa May’s deal is rather convoluted, but that is because she wants to end free movement. Although in reality we will end up going back to letting in workers, as we did before, and of course we all want to move around freely for holidays and business. Leaving the EU is and will reduce growth and prosperity, but let’s get on with it and then we can get back to high growth. We need to tackle the issue of increased violence and poverty, we are still a rich country, inside or outside of the EU.

Of the 51 million adults in the UK, only 17,410,742 voted to leave the EU; when the next general election is called, people need to understand that their vote does matter.

With the splits in both Labour and Conservative, changes to the electoral system are very much needed. We need to stop this revolving door of left-right politics and adopt a voting system that will allow the smaller parties to flourish.

TV licence is good value for money

Ivan Kovacks, by email

Can I take issue with many of the points that Mr C R Lancaster and Mr R Marshall make in alleging that the BBC is thinking of abolishing the free TV licence for some pensioners and also saying it can be paid for by taking 10 per cent of the salaries of the top earners.

The free TV licence was introduced several years ago and paid for by the government, with the BBC taking full responsibility for it by 2020. The BBC has been consulting, including online surveys since 2018 about the future of these payments. Have Messrs Lancaster and Marshall contributed to this survey?

Mr Lancaster makes the point about the 4.5 million over 75s and says they should stop paying the licence if it was reintroduced for them. Well what did the 4.5 million do before it was free? Remember it, in round figure, amounts to just £3 per week.

TV is like any other employer in that in the creative side it must pay market forces to hold on to the best staff and we have seen several employees being tempted in to other companies over the past year, since these incomes were made public. Is he really saying that no one should earn more than the Prime Minister? If so I’d like to see him walk up to any Premiership footballer and tell them. Even if you cut out all the salaries over say £200k this would make very little impression on the close on£1 billion the free licences will cost within a few years.

If the BBC funds in full the free pensions then that would work out at about 20 per cent of the total budget so would they be happy to see a equal reduction in quality and be glad that so many hundreds of employees will lose their jobs to cover the over 75s free pensions? I speak as a soon to be a 75 plus pensioner who will be happy to pay the licence fee which, I feel represents very good value for money.

If Messrs Lancaster and Marshall want the free licence to stay then it should be paid in full by the government who, after all, were the ones to impose it.

Waste charges are a false economy

Andrew Carter, Leader of the Conservative Group Leeds City Council, Calverley & Farsley Ward

Your article about the number of cases of fly-tipping made for sobering reading.

Over 52,000 reports since 2017 is a staggering figure, with each individual case representing a blight on a local community’s environment.

The scale of the problem should make this Labour council think seriously about whether it has got its waste policy and charging regime right.One factor that they should look at is the current fees for disposal of household DIY waste at council waste sites. This service was previously free of charge, but the administration introduced fees last year and they are retaining them in this year’s budget too. At the time they were proposed, my group warned about the risks and the potential for people to try to avoid the charges by fly-tipping. We advocated scrapping the charges in our budget amendment last year and we’re doing the same again this year.

Communities all across the city are suffering from fly-tipping; In the inner city areas they are already face environmental challenges and many residents may struggle to pay charges for getting rid of their waste. In the outer areas where dumping on rights of way and beauty spots is on the increase. Charges are a false economy, since the council has to pick up the cost of clearing up after people who fly-tip. It’s time for the Labour administration to think again. They should support our alternative budget proposals and consign these unpopular charges to the ‘dustbin of history’.

Disappointed at loss of bus service

Mr C Byrom, Leeds

I would like to express my disappointment about the withdrawal of the 39 bus in Leeds.

For as long as I remember, there has been a ‘little bus’ connecting Stonegate Road with Headingley and Kirkstall, but in recent years the service has, in my view, been somewhat neglected. A few years ago First Bus cancelled the evening timetable. Soon afterwards, the whole route was given over to Connexions and finally to Squarepeg. However, there was little apparent co-operation between these companies. For instance, First’s day tickets could not be used on the Connexions bus or Squarepeg’s, so anyone wishing to combine a trip on the 39 with other journeys had to pay extra.

Connexions and Squarepeg were also unable to access the ‘live’ bus notification system, so you never knew exactly when the bus would arrive.

I wonder if First could have maintained the service themselves, accepting that it would not make a profit, on the grounds that it provided a useful connection, especially for elderly shoppers who did not wish to go in town. The excuse given for the withdrawal is that passengers can go into town and then out to other destinations, but no one is going to go from Moortown into town in order to go to Headingley. Such a shame to see a long-standing bus route disappear.