YEP Letters: February 7

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Don’t blame pensioners for NHS woes

Harry Brooke, Meanwood

It always grieves me when I hear politicians blame the ‘ageing population’ when asked about the critical state of the NHS.

While I acknowledge that some of us are living longer, it cannot be the sole reason for the stark overcrowding of our health service.

It’s so easy to target the so-called ‘lucky’ pensioners who have never had it so good. Critics ought to remember that most of us have lived through proper austerity, when there was no NHS or welfare have worked all our lives paying our taxes along the way, and scrimped and scraped to get what we have today. So the next time the Government looks for another soft target to warrant its constant ineptitude, I hope it will think a little more carefully before deflecting the blame and look to problems it appears to be ignoring.

Council rakes in more than £4m in parking fees

Leeds City Council raked in more than £4m in city centre car parking charges last year despite having hundreds fewer spaces. The number of available spaces in council run car parks in the heart of Leeds has gone down yet the amount it costs to park has increased with varying charges within the city centre depending on location. Parking spaces around the centre - and in particular for those who commute by driving - are at a premium with more and more workers having to park further and further out of the centre. We asked YEP readers for their views and here’s what some of them said on social media..

Martyn Dawson

Leeds City Council hate cars...that’s the be all and end all of it, so you are fined just for using one.

Stephen Brook

People have to go to work, but Leeds City Council want us all to hand over our entire salaries to travel to work. Leeds City Council are anti car, deliberately reducing car parking. I thought car parking spaces were reducing and not only that they are getting tighter to slot into when any more are made or built or replaced. People who work in Leeds are cash cows for Leeds Council and blamed for their 59 years of disaster of city planning.

Andrew Harvey

So that’s why there are cars parked on the central reservation all night outside the casino on Eastgate every Friday and Saturday, there’s fewer spaces.

I thought it was illegal but it all makes sense now.

Tracey Wallis

Shame they don’t seem to be putting it back into road maintenence.

David Watson

Goes a little way towards the £34,300,000 we all pay for buses, whether we use them 
or not. And the £42,000,000 cycle superhighway that no one uses!

Nathan Farnell

This only happens because some people are so stubborn and refuse point blank to use public transport!

It’s time these people were better educated.

I’d love to see how they’d cope if they lost their driving licences.

Wayne Wilson

Less disabled parking aswell but more for the wagons near first direct arena, taxi drivers who think they can park anywhere they want.

Chris Jones

They lost £5m of our money on the failed Hilton hotel project. They need to get more money from somewhere.

Jan Barrell

Thought they would want to encourage shoppers.

Fern Moody

People love parking, but they don’t want to pay the parking charge?

Stand up and resist fracking

Simon Bowens, Friends of the Earth, Leeds.

PEOPLE in Yorkshire oppose fracking for a multitude of different reasons.

The Government’s own public opinion tracker has identified ‘loss or destruction of the natural environment’ as top of people’s concerns about the fracking industry. But there are others, including risks to public health and to groundwater contamination and, crucially, the impact on climate change.

With nearly 40 per cent of Yorkshire now licensed for fracking, and petrochemical giant Ineos looking to start exploration, we cannot stand by and risk losing our beautiful landscapes and natural habitats that draw people to the area in their millions.

As proud Yorkshire folk, now is the time to stand up and resist the fracking industry, and hold back the industrialisation of our countryside. Yorkshire is a beautiful part of the world. It’s up to us to make sure it stays that way.

Trump right over Brexit

Terry Watson, Adel

Donald Trump was quite right when he said Britain should take a tougher stand in the Brexit talks.

He is saying what most of the population have been saying for months. Theresa May has been a big disappointment as Prime Minister. She called herself another Margaret Thatcher,but negotiates like David Cameron.

Why was she so eager to offer Brussels £40 billion at the start of negotiations? Thatcher would have asked for money back for our share of all the investments we have paid into over the years.

May should never have been made PM after her disastrous record as Home Secretary and should be replaced by a true Brexiteer. We need a tough negotiating team that is prepared to walk away with no deal . Nigel Farage knows how to deal with the EU mafia and should be one of the team.

Unwanted voiceover issue

John Wainwright, by email

Like Anthony Hopkins, I too had a problem with unwanted voiceover commentary on some TV programmes, but I was puzzled about the cause when I realised that it was only happening on one of my two TVs.

What Mr Hopkins needs to do is go through the Digital set-up process on his TV and look for a feature called ‘audio description’ which he will find to have been somehow switched on. This is a facility provided for blind or partially sighted people, but can easily be disabled by setting it to off.

Combatting loneliness

Joan Warner, Manager, Saxon Court, Leeds

In this our 50th year, Anchor recognises that loneliness is nearing epidemic proportions and is something which concerns the older people living with us.

According to the Campaign To End Loneliness, more than half the country’s 75 year olds currently live alone which increases the likelihood of mortality by 26 per cent. As we deliver housing, care and support to 40,000 older people from our 1,000 locations across England, Anchor does its utmost to prevent this. The older people living in retirement housing properties, like mine, benefit from living in a thriving community. I’m also around if they need any support. That is why I welcome the Government’s decision to appoint Tracy Crouch as its Minister for Loneliness. We wish her every success.

And local retailers can also help older people, particularly those living alone, to reduce their sense of loneliness. Anchor’s Standing Up 4 Sitting Down campaign is asking retailers to provide seating so that older shoppers, as well as disabled people and pregnant women, can rest mid-shop. A shopping trip may be a weekly chore for many but for some older people living alone it’s a chance for social interaction and could be a life saver.

Town centre parking lost

N Bywater, Morley

In my childhood I attended Peel Street Junior School, it has recently been sold to developers, its transformation into apartments is looking amazing.

I recently walked past the old 1960s timber prefabricated classroom in the Melbourne Street car park that was my first classroom after nursery school. The car park is used by local businesses and shoppers. So I was surprised to see a planning application pinned to a telegraph pole for eight houses with gardens.

I have read that the council enjoys rights over the car park, but it has decided in its wisdom to forego those rights. Leeds City Council informed local councillors but they raised no objections to losing valuable town centre parking.

Melbourne Street and Peel Street is busy already with parked cars. The vehicles that once used the college car park and Melbourne Street for parking, will now be forced to use the already well used Annie Street car park and the neighbouring Peel Street and Acroyd Street. One of Morley’s best attractions is its ample and free parking. Since the car park has already been sold, perhaps it’s too late to save it from development?

Sad to hear of priest’s death

Martin Roberts, via email

A former parish priest who served at St Francis Catholic Church in Morley has passed away. Father Bernard Ratlidge died a couple of days ago. He was the priest at St Francis prior to moving to the Ossett Catholic Church.

He was still providing relief cover as priest to Morley St Francis up until recently.

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