YEP Letters: July 12

Ivy Benson in the 1940s
Ivy Benson in the 1940s
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Add trailblazing band leader to list

Martin Hamilton, Director, Leeds Civic Trust

On behalf of Leeds Civic Trust, can I add our support to your campaign for a sculpture to honour the city’s women.

The names readers have suggested are all very worthy, and the selection panel will have a difficult job in selecting the winner. Leeds Civic Trust has long been keen to recognise the role played by women in making our great city what it is today. Thus, we have celebrated the lives of Sue Ryder, Isabella Ford and Beryl Burton with our blue plaques scheme.

I would also suggest that Ivy Benson, also honoured with a blue plaque, should be added to the list.

What better place to celebrate this trailblazing band leader than in Quarry Hill, home of the Leeds Playhouse and Leeds College of Music, and regional headquarters of the BBC – whose “house band” she led all those years ago?

May was always working to thwart Brexit

Robert Mansfield, Bramhope.

SO Brexit is dead. We will leave the EU ship in March 2019 to sit in the rowing boat strapped to its side with no influence over where it goes.

Theresa May’s plan is to align us in so many areas such as the environment, employment and state aid that EU rules will reach deep into UK law on almost everything, not just on UK/EU trade.

With the benefit of hindsight, I think that this is what the chief Remainer, Theresa May, has been working towards since she found herself on the wrong side in the referendum. Her speeches to the contrary just bought her time. First she packed her Cabinet with Remain voters and a few Brexiteers for the sake of appearances.

Then she quite unnecessarily hatched a plan with the EU to scupper any chance of a meaningful separation by agreeing that there should not be a hard border on the 310 miles between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

This was never impossible, it would not affect the Good Friday Agreement and the EU manages to cope with 8,200 miles of borders with other countries. Why not the 310 miles in Ireland?

She set up the Brexit department, run by David Davis for appearances, but has been running a parallel department from No 10, run by her henchman Olly Robbins, to carry out the real negotiations behind the scenes. Even the EU negotiators confirmed this.

Last month she orchestrated a re-run of Project Fear with Greg Clark asking business leaders to make ludicrous threats of factory closures if we got a Brexit.

The meeting at Chequers was brilliantly managed by not allowing the Cabinet see the 120-page document they were signing up to until they arrived. I believe that it is probable that she has already agreed a deal with the EU. Yes, there will be some well-orchestrated huffing and puffing where we will, of course, have to make further concessions, but these are probably already in the plan.

So Theresa May has won for Remain by outmanoeuvring the Brexiteers. The EU have won. They have the UK following all their rules but don’t have to listen to us telling them they are wrong at their meetings and will be paid £39bn for nothing.

Jeremy Corbyn has won because the Tories will be heavily punished at the next election which he will now probably win. The recession he is likely to create will, of course, be blamed on a Brexit that never happened. The losers are the UK and the citizens who believed we could thrive as an independent nation.

Leaving EU is costly mistake

Ken Cooke, Ilkley.

THE Cabinet Brexiteers have finally worked it out for themselves – leaving the EU is a costly mistake. There was no plan at the time of the referendum and two years later there is still no plan.

They have tried to bend the laws of logic to have their cake and eat it, and have failed – as they were bound to do.

For me, the icing on this particular cake are the resignations of David Davis and Boris Johnson. Please don’t feel sorry for Theresa May. Before the referendum she was a convinced Remainer, but with the promise of a big job the lady was turned.

Right now she must be feeling convinced again that for the UK there is no better trade deal than membership of the EU.

Within the EU we are part of the rule-making. Outside it we will be rule-takers.

Slumping at wheel cuts visibility

Mr SB Oliver, Heckmondwike

THE AA says that learner drivers should have to prove they can see potholes in the driving test.

This subject is significant to me, not because of the subject of potholes, but because of the bad seating position of many drivers.

Drivers will see potholes only if they are able to see the road surface from their usual driving position.

For quite some time now I have been concerned when I see hundreds of drivers whose heads are almost behind the steering wheel with their eyes almost level with, or just above, the top of the steering wheel.

This means that the driver is unable to see the surface of the road ahead and can only see the top half of the vehicle in front.

So consequently they won’t see any road lane markings, especially direction arrows and yellow box junctions, pedestrian crossings and, of course, potholes and small children.

I drive a Ford Focus and am of average height and able to see the road surface about four metres in front.

The problem seems to be with drivers who are smaller than average.

Then there are the young male drivers who think it’s cool to look bored and slump down in the seat (often without the seatbelt as well).

I don’t know if any police check patrol would consider a bad driving position to be a careless driving offence.

People desperately need houses

Elaine Grogan, Garforth

Coun Mark Dobson’s letter (YEP, July 10) reaches new heights of NIMBYism – he doesn’t want housing on greenfield, he doesn’t want housing on brownfield (even opposing development on the old Stocks breeze block factory site).

People desperately need houses. Where exactly would Coun Dobson consider acceptable? Perhaps on disused offshore oil rigs?

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