Time to stand up for our city
Tony Makin, by email
Leeds is a successful city with a thriving job sector, be it private or commercial.
The financial services is up there with other big cities. The shopping and entertainment scene is also very strong so it is strange that Leeds continues to be left out in the cold by the Government.
Leeds is a wonderful city, but doesn’t fit in with other UK cities and doesn’t have a say on the big stage. The Tories’ treatment of Leeds during the floods is evidence of bias against the city. We need to stand up for our city.
Short sighted decision to close Garforth clinic
Sarah Field, Labour Party Candidate, Garforth and Swillington Ward
I would like to alert residents in the Garforth area that there will be a public meeting in Garforth at the Miners’ Welfare Hall, Main Street on 16th April, 10am, to discuss Leeds Community Healthcare’s decision to close Garforth Clinic.
The meeting will include LCH and the local Clinical Commissioning Group and, as residents, we will hopefully have the opportunity to challenge this short-sighted decision.
The clinic delivered essential local health services, including warfarin provision, podiatry, muscular skeletal services, hearing aid dispensing and many more.
These were frequently accessed by older and vulnerable residents. The plan to transfer many services to Kippax, which is very difficult to access by public transport, is both costly and problematic to those same residents.
The Government has imposed housing targets of many thousands, to be achieved in Garforth over the next 15 years; therefore to lose services as the local population will grow is both ill-considered and unwarranted.
I would ask as many people to attend as possible and make your voices heard. And please could I ask your broader readership to sign my online petition at https://www.change.org/p/leeds-community-healthcare-save-garforth-clinic-and-its-essential-services .
Objective EU information
G Wright, Tadcaster.
A NUMBER of correspondents have emphasised the need for more objective information on the Brexit question as opposed to the subjective and often emotional views peddled by the leading spokespersons for the various interested parties.
The EU has 27 departments, headed by unelected Commissioners from member states with offices, staff, budgets and some with separate press offices. At the head of these departments is Jean-Claude Juncker, whose claim to fame is that of having been President of Luxemburg, which has a population smaller than Leeds.
All of these departments have responsibility which in some cases are vague and others overlapping or duplicated.
Of the 27 Commissioner heads of departments, perusal of their CVs show only five have participated in commerce, trade or wealth creation.
Given that one department has a remit for “foreign affairs” another for “enlargement negotiations” and yet another for “international negotiations”, it seems surprising that the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has been engaged in advising Albania on steps needed in the preparation of its application for EU membership.
EU: No case to make?
Ralph H Sutcliffe, Mirfield.
BOTH sides in the EU debate have a view on what they believe will happen after the referendum on June 23, but the reality is that nobody knows so let us look at what is not in dispute and is unlikely to change:
Official population projections indicate that if net migration averages 185,000 a year over the next 25 years, our population is set to grow by nearly 10 million. That’s 10 more cities the size of Birmingham. To put that in context, the current rate is 330,000 a year.
The EU turns a blind eye to corruption and waste. The UK contributes around £33m per day net in contributions to the EU. Much of our law-making is determined in Brussels by bureaucrats who have no accountability to UK voters. The balance of trade is hugely in the EU’s favour. It is perhaps significant the above assertions receive little attention from the ‘Remain’ campaigners. Could it be that, deep down, they don’t believe they have a case to make?
Diane Lucas, Mirfield
In response to Peter Manning’s letter re: minning on.
As a child, I too was offered a snack prior to the next meal if I was feeling hungry. But it was a ‘midding on,’ ie a snack in the middle of two meals.
Perhaps Peter misheard his grandmother or maybe it is just another way of saying the same thing.
Ban on diesel vehicles
Ernest Lundy, by email
What will they think of next?
MPs are proposing to ban diesel engine vehicles in urban areas. And the older driver knockers are at it again, saying drivers over 70 should be retested to stay on the road.
The same old chestnut again; won’t they ever give up? How they would implement the first suggestion is something even a Walter Mitty wouldn’t dare suggest! How could that work when buses constantly run through urban areas as matter of course to pick up and drop off passengers?
Their whole purpose! It may just possibly be something a think tank member thought up in an idle, otherwise unproductive, moment. Wouldn’t back against it! But as for retesting old drivers or indeed any other kind of driver, perhaps it should be pointed out that actual driving records should decide the issue. Why retest accident free drivers with clean records, when there is enough work for testers to do with those who constantly have them. Enough said!
We need proper energy strategy
Andy Shaw, Wakefield
Recently Yvette Cooper argued for a “proper energy strategy”, then evaded the issue.
Why is Ferrybridge C power station closing, despite record low coal prices?
Because the government has imposed the highest carbon tax in the world. Coal-fired power plants are being crippled.
Power stations in the EU pay £5.30 per tonne of CO2 emitted, but British coal-power plants pay £23.38 per tonne. We should be benefitting from falling electricity prices, as we are from falling oil and gas prices. The Labour Party can’t blame the Tories (Labour imposed the Climate Change Act and supports the tax).
The Tories can’t blame the EU (the UK carbon tax is five times higher than other EU countries). Nobody can blame the climate (the global temperature hasn’t risen this century despite record CO2 emissions). The blind obsession with carbon dioxide is having real consequences and they are not good - Drax now imports wood chips from the US instead of burning coal, at massive cost; Kellingley super pit has been shut; Ferrybridge is being shut; and the council has killed a new fracking industry before it has started.
Electricity and gas prices should be falling dramatically and they’re not. So, we do need a proper energy strategy and it should be based on two simple principles – cheap and abundant energy. Come on Yvette, take an honest look around you and argue for a proper energy strategy – one that will actually benefit us all.
Beware of CBI warning
Charles Lawson, Brighouse
THE CBI has warned that it would cost the UK £100bn and one million jobs if we leave the EU. The CBI record for predicting outcomes is very poor so this warning should be treated with extreme caution.
Before the Equal Pay Act came into effect in 1975, they warned it would cost women their jobs. It did not. There are more women in work now than before. The CBI warned that a minimum wage would cost two million jobs. It did not. More people are in employment now. I have noticed that ex-European Commissioners are failing to declare that their very generous pensions are at risk if they fail to promote the EU. Why are the media allowing them to avoid declaring a financial interest?