YEP Letters: March 31

Check out today's YEP letters

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 31st March 2016, 6:00 am

Television tribute to the Queen

Edna Levi, Leeds 17

I very much enjoyed the TV programme about the Queen recently as I do admire her and it was nice to listen to the affection of her children and grandchildren.

However I wonder why not included in the latter were Edward and Anne? Granted we do not see Edward doing much but Anne undergoes many tasks and all she was portrayed doing was helping cut a cake!

She also has children Peter and Zara, but no tributes were forthcoming from them either for their esteemed granny!

Schools: co-operation, not competition

Victoria Jaquiss, by email

Nobody is buying this stuff, this lie that schools are under local authority “control”.

For a start schools have been setting their own budgets since 1991 and making all staff appointments. Do all schools have the same uniforms or timing of school days?

And yet, if they were “under control” how would this be worse than than under the control of central government or academy chief executive control?

LAs offer schools support eg with special/additional needs, in hospitals, to those with mental health, looked after children, travellers and families, refugees; they are well-placed to work with children’s homes, hospitals, hospices. They have an overview of a whole town’s needs, and can plan appropriately.

On another note, the money that schools contribute towards local services (and don’t just keep for themselves as do academies), this money also pays towards quite a few other local services. One is union facility time, where the unions can help to sort out disputes between management and staff before they escalate. And you don’t read about these disputes in the media because they don’t escalate!

Another wonderful service that most local authorities still provide is a peripatetic music service, which includes running several high quality central ensembles. In Leeds this includes Leeds Youth Orchestra and Leeds Jazz Rock Orchestra. You can catch one regularly at Leeds Town Hall, and one also in Durban, South Africa. And it would be disingenuous not to mention my own award-winning steelband, the Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows, who, besides at many venues in Leeds, have graced the boards at the Royal Hall Harrogate, London Festival Hall and the Royal Albert Hall London.

Every single academy that opens, takes the money that has traditionally funded mental health, and music in education, and keeps it for itself, but of course it is not enough in itself to fund a children’s ward or a central choir. Schools working together under the reasonably democratic oversight of a local authority can benefit all our children. Co-operation, not competition. Makes sense to me.

Potholes and speed bumps

Rob Brooks, Farsley

I had the misfortune to suffer an unavoidable breakdown today due to a broken front spring that had projected itself into my front tyre.

The breakdown guy mentioned broken springs are “going through the roof” with pot holes and speed bumps to blame. It’s not just older cars that suffer. It’s one of the scourges of modern times with councils under monetary pressure and not spending money on repairing roads. However, if like Leeds City Council, matters are made worse by installing cycle super-highways that are smooth and wide for the six cyclists that use it on a daily basis!

The breakdown guy mentioned that he’d been to five breakdowns on the Stanningley Road caused by motorists driving into the wiggly kerbs they have constructed – in some case they protrude into the carriageway with no warnings! Accidents and broken springs waiting to happen if you ask me.

Care was very satisfactory

Malcolm Shedlow, Moortown

In reply to the article about bad care homes (YEP March 29), my wife Lena was in Donisthorpe Hall care home for two years and my own observations of the care given to her was very satisfactory.

I must say that the care workers that looked after my wife did their job in a most efficient and friendly way, as did the nurses. Nothing was too much trouble for them.

I went to visit every day for at least three hours over the two years my wife was a resident until she passed away just over a month ago.

The findings of the CQC that inspect care homes have not painted a good picture of Donisthorpe.

They must have inspected when, through illness or holidays, the home had a fair amount of temporary staff covering. Yes, I agree improvements can always be made, but what other care home can offer the facilities that Donisthorpe offer apart from the excellent meals that they provide.

Outings twice a week in the homes two mini buses. Bingo a few times a week. Concert once a week.

A film showing a few times a week on a 50 inch screen. A sing along a few times in the week and once a week table tennis and miniature golf putting.

There is also a sun room where the residents can relax with music and heat.

In the foyer is a snack bar where residents can get free drinks,tea or coffee. If ever I have a need to go into a care home, Donisthorpe Hall will be my first choice.

Theatre ticket pricing concern

W J Cichorz, by email

Does anyone know why theatres have taken to charging a “Transaction Fee” on ticket purchase?

Grand Theatre in Leeds charge £3 per transaction, even if you visit their box office.

That is 15 per cent surcharge on a £20 ticket the price of which already includes a profit element.

How disingenuous to try to make customers believe that tickets are cheaper than they actually are, and thereby increase their revenue. Shades of budget airlines costings.

All this from a theatre with the most uncomfortable seats in Europe and a nasty, amplified sound. Never a value for money, even less so now.

Why only three sets?

Keith Handley, Horsforth

Women play 90 minutes of football and 80 minutes of rugby, they run 26 miles 385 yards in a marathon race and play 18 holes in a round of golf.

Why, therefore, do they only play the best of three sets in tennis when men play the best of five sets?

Not all in it together

B Leonard, Leeds

Having read the papers on Monday, it looks like we got what we expected after the floods, a big slice of money going down south and a small pot coming up north.

But as call me Dave keeps saying, we are all in this together.

Only if you live down south. We can see what damage Storm Katie did, but you can best most will be sorted and money found in quick time.

It never changes, the north south divide is always there, just like take form the poor, give to the rich.

No wonder when we get the Tory party in Number 10, we get what they say of themselves, welcome back the nasty party.

Sad news on steel industry

Judy Goodwin, Altofts

It is sad to see the great British steel industry go the same way as our once coal production.

The steel industry has been hampered by high energy prices through green taxes, rendering them unable to compete in the open market.

They will get no bail out from the government as this is against EU rules, although Germany and France manage to get around this to help their own industry.

I wonder how long Chinese steel will stay cheap once they have a captive market.

Governments of all colours should be ashamed of themselves for what they have done and are still doing.