YEP Letters October 25

An artist's impression of how HS2 could look
An artist's impression of how HS2 could look
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Check out today’s YEP letters

HS2 will bring massive benefits to city

Coun Neil Buckley, Alwoodley Ward

I was a little disappointed with the negative tone of your recent HS2 coverage. This is a huge project and there are bound to be a range of issues to resolve, but let’s also not lose sight of the massive benefits and opportunities that High Speed Rail will bring to the city.

Building new £500m Leeds HS2 station ‘may hit residents’ quality of life’

The improved connectivity to and from Leeds is a huge prize, not to mention the thousands of jobs, targeted investment and city-wide growth that will be generated. The cities that succeed in the future will be those that can unlock the potential of new technology, creating highly paid jobs and careers which attract and retain the best talent. HS2 is a key part of that.

We should also be looking at HS2 as a critical part of our wider transport ambitions, improving connectivity within the city and across the region. Let’s get serious about HS3 and a mass-transit system for Leeds to embed inter-connectivity across the North.

We need to listen to what people say in the consultation, but now is also not the time to be overly negative about some of the challenges that lie ahead. Now is the time to bang the drum for Leeds and make sure those in Whitehall can hear us.

Something should be done to end ‘nightmare’

Carol Lee, Cookridge

What is the question most asked in Holbeck? If you asked a resident there they would say “Are you looking for business?”

This is a question posed to male residents by prostituted women when they go to the local shops or, as happened to my partner, when they are just getting out of their car to go into their house.

It is asked of most tradesmen who enter the area, as happened to my plasterer when eating his sandwich in his van. It is asked by kerb crawlers to innocent female residents as they are walking along the streets, no matter what age they are or how they are dressed and that disturbingly includes young teenage girls.

There are around 80 drug addicted prostitutes in the area and the consequences of the managed area for prostitution is affecting thousands of people in the Holbeck residential area plus business owners and workers in the Holbeck Lane “zone” area.

There are so many personal hidden costs to this problem that do not get publicised, one of which is the cost to many businesses who have had to put railings round their premises to prevent sex acts and sex litter in their grounds.

Some office workers have been known to be escorted through the zone. Workers and residents now get taxis for travelling near the zone instead of walking.

There are other consequences that do not get publicised. Charities and some landlords are placing prostitutes in houses in the residential area so as to be near their “work”.

I got involved in this campaign 18 months ago when this happened in a house next door to some of my tenants. 
My tenants had to get up early in the morning to go to work. Their lives and the lives of other residents in the street were blighted for 14 months.

Prostitutes work all hours especially through the night. There are blatant drug deliveries to these houses. There are disturbances, drug overdoses and deaths – you name it, it all happens.

When I started to complain I was shocked that nothing was done about it.

The only people who are benefiting from this so-called “Managed Approach” are the punters, pimps and pushers. It is incredibly difficult to give up drugs.

There is help there for these women but not enough incentive for them to accept help.

The power of their pimps and their addictions is overwhelming. Alternative successful approaches have been carried out in other towns and an educational event about various other approaches to prostitution and drugs problems was held by the Save Our Eyes campaign. Local councillors are now pressuring the council. Let’s just hope that the council wakes up and realises that something has to be done to end this nightmare.

Shop around for parking

Coun Richard Lewis, Ward Member for Pudsey & Executive Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning, Leeds City Council

Councillor Andrew Carter (‘Strike a balance on charges’, YEP, October 22) manages yet again to get his facts wrong.

The Quarry Hill car park which he complains has just put up its charges is council-run, but it is not council-owned.

It belongs to Quarry Hill Developments which sets the parking fees, so the council is certainly not ‘viewing the site as a cash-cow’.

Under the development agreement between the council and QHD for the site the prices charged must be comparable to other long-stay provision in the city.

The site remains cheaper than others in the vicinity for all lengths of stay.

The debate on parking charges is all too frequently depicted as the big bad council holding commuters to ransom. The truth is that the council only owns about a third of parking spaces in the city, but is usually cheaper than private operators.

My advice to commuters is always to shop around – or try out Park and Ride at Temple Green or Elland Road.

Thanks for compassion

Linda Whittingham, by email

Last Tuesday I had the very sad task of driving my (adult) son to the PDSA in Leeds to have his faithful old dog put to sleep. She had a cancerous tumour.

We had taken her for one last walk to her favourite haunt.

My son went in with his girlfriend. As I sat alone in the car crying, a teenage girl, still in her school uniform, tapped on the car window.

She didn’t ask if I was OK (as clearly I wasn’t) – she simply said “do you want a hug?” What a lovely gesture from one so young.

I can’t thank her enough for her compassion.

Disgusted at fare increase

Adele Beeson, by email

The cost of the bus from Hyde Park Corner to Headingley has gone up by a third this week.

While First are known for their lack of consideration of communities and locals in their thirst for profit, this is beyond what I expect from even them.

Thoroughly disgusted.

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