Cold snap brings out selfishness...

THE recent cold snap has just gone to prove how selfish some people can be.

Many people cleared their drives and not so very kindly dumped the snow onto footpaths, or left ridges for us to trip over.

Some simply dumped their cars outside their house, dug themselves out to go to work and did exactly the same thing. As the ice formed over the next few days, it became a death trap.

I went out walking my dog and came home in a foul mood after having to navigate us both round mounds of snow, and bins, without running the risk of breaking my neck.

My dog's okay, he would make a brilliant skier and is completely oblivious to it.

Walking on the road did cross my mind, but the sides of the roads were so bad you could not see the kerbs, so I would end up walking right in the middle of the road.

The prospect of getting flattened by an oncoming car, or slipping and breaking my neck on footpaths, didn't exactly fill me with excitement, so I took to walking on grass verges where there was still some snow with grip.

On the other end of the scale, our street is very community-spirited, and quite a few of us went out and cleared our street and driveways so that cars were off the road, and the residents were still able to get out of their drives to go to work the next morning.

It was hard work, but very self-satisfying to know we had made a big difference to everyone who lives on the street.

After the hard graft, one of our neighbours very kindly invited us all in for a cuppa and some Christmas cake as we had all worked so hard. I don't think you can get much better than that can you?

Julia Marchant-Bottomley, Shadwell

Paying price for bad weather

JUST a quick note regarding getting around in Leeds following the heavy snow.

I had a business appointment in Leeds; the only accessible parking I knew of was around Park Square where it is a two-hour maximum stay.

If I had attempted to drive into the normally used car parks I would not have been able to get back out.

The parking bays around Park Square/Park Place were only just accessible.

I returned 30 minutes late following putting the maximum of 5 in the meter, only to find a warden issuing a ticket.

When questioned regarding being lenient with the weather in mind, he replied he had been more than lenient and issued the ticket.

I now understand the thoughts of many other ex-pats/visitors to Leeds who will avoid it where at all possible because of getting around and parking issues.

I was born and lived in Leeds until 15 years ago and, to say the least, I feel disappointed that I, like many others, will only now return to visit/shop only as a last resort due to the above mentioned items.

I have appealed against the parking ticket and will be interested to see the response.

Dave Cavell, by email

Worst of '60s planning is back

RECENTLY, our union (Unison) organised a trip to Liverpool for members. A bright, crisp November day. Lots to do and see for a few hours. A great city, despite its troubles over the years.

But how utterly saddening to witness, as pointed out by our coach driver, the fresh debris of what had been superb Victorian houses, which had been boarded up for the past two years. Finally they'd succumbed to the demolition man. This is all part of the "Pathfinder" housing policy, initiated by New Labour. What was wrong with restoration? What will they put in their place?

I thought we'd got over the worst excesses of 1960s high-handed, megolomaniacal planning. Not so. It's the same short-sightedness in a different garb.

There is now talk, in some cases, of making good some of the damage done in the 1960s. What the Luftwaffe didn't destroy, the grandiose planners of the time ensured the job was finished.

In the early 1960s there was the famous Doric arch outside Euston station in London. Despite ferocious opposition, British Railways had it demolished. By all accounts, even the boss of the demolition firm felt so bad about what he had been hired to do that he made the offer to itemise and label each stone, in the event of a future re-build. BR turned his offer down. There is now a plan to rebuild the arch!

Vernacular, domestic buildings are equally important. Why the same mistakes?

J Roberts, St Johns Court, Wakefield

We can't afford EU membership

MR Firth has written a plausible polemic in defence of the EU. Unfortunately, he has ignored many vital facts.

It really doesn't matter whether the EU costs us 6 billion or 60 billion, we cannot afford to stay in that corrupt club.

The EU is a bloated Brussels bureaucracy, where the accounts have not been approved for 16 years. The EU is draining us and dictating to us in both small ways and large, e.g. the matter of types of light bulbs and the subjugation and obliteration of England.

Mr Firth doesn't mention the nine regions into which we are surreptitiously chopped.

Our Queen is being sidelined and our politicians are puppets, from self-confessed traitor Heath, to capitulating Cameron.

The insidious EU tentacles permeate our lives. They control us to our detriment, e.g our fishing industry has been decimated. At Whitby we had over 50 boats. Now there are three, and the EU has given the latter only 90 days at sea per annum.

CAP is crippling our farmers as the French farmers do well at our expense. (Ridiculous Chris Huhne wants our farmers to claim up to 50,000 per annum by covering 35 acres each with solar panels.)

The EU is an undemocratic gravy train, which bears all the trappings of a fascist organisation and Mr Firth has the temerity to state that without the EU there would be war. On the contrary. Binding 27 nations together artificially is the surest way to create war.

I wonder what the Scots and Welsh will feel when the penny drops that they are not independent countries but only one-ninth each of the Prescott regional area?

Perhaps Mr Firth can explain what "one size fits all" means. Poor (very poor) Greece is suffering from having to use the euro and the Republic of Ireland is in a mess.

Incidentally, George Osborne has made Britain responsible for a 'contribution' of 7 billion to Eire.

Then come more supplicants, Spain, Portugal and possibly Italy, to rescue. By that time the euro will have collapsed.

The euro makes it impossible for Eire etc to devalue their currency and to survive.

D Holliday, Leeds

Germs - setting a bad example

WE are forever reading or hearing about how germs are transferred from one object to another and the persons responsible are our children not washing their hands or not following their parents' example.

As a young man I worked in two bottling plants at Brindleys and Melbourne Brewery. In these places I saw crates of bottled beers stacked for days gathering dust from everywhere, then carried on wagons to be delivered, ending up getting a quick wipe over and placed on pub shelves before being handed over to the customer.

Having worked in pubs, I know what a quick wipe over means, many times with a not so clean cloth. So you can imagine what I feel when I see the first thing a customer does after receiving their bottle of beer is to refuse a clean glass and drink straight from the neck of the bottle. Can you imagine the amount of germs being transferred direct into the drinker's blood-stream and organs, to be passed onto girlfriends and families?

Is this a good example to pass on to our children?

TV adverts are forever telling us how easy it is to pass on germs and how long they cling to our bodies, how many hospital visitors call for a quick drink before entering our hospitals – breathing out these germs onto the patients?

LE SLACK, Leeds 17

It's bin great!

IN our area of Garforth we have no complaints about our bin collections since the change of days.

In spite of the snow, they haven't missed a collection of both bins on the right day.

The binmen are always cheerful whatever the weather and should be proud of doing a first class job, as far as we are concerned.

P and D Ridsdale, Garforth

No problem here

I have read a lot over the weeks about the state of the bin collections in Leeds since the changes, well, all I can say is no problems here.

I live in Wortley LS12 and even when the roads were bad this week the binmen were there on the day, as always.

We have also had the street gritted twice, and the grit bin has been filled up.

I live on a side street I must be one of the lucky ones, according to some of your letters.

Tony Hermann, Wortley

Winter recipe...

MY daughter is six years old and wrote this lovely Christmas/winter poem. I hope your readers find it as charming as we do.

A Recipe For Winter

Take a...

A spoon full of snow,

A cup of reindeers,

A sleigh of Santas,

A box of sticky pudding,

A hand full of chirping robins,

A scoop of hot chocolate,

A bowl of freezing ice,

And mix it all together and share it with your family.

By Nancy Faraday

Rebecca Faraday, Horsforth

Kirkgate Market, Leeds

YEP Letters: February 9