THE COMMONWEALTH Games coverage has revealed the extent and amplitude of Glasgow’s facilities.
This, a city hardly bigger than Leeds, in a country with the population of Yorkshire.
Over 30 years the kilt has swirled through the Westminster corridors and with the Scots’ characteristic thoroughness, focus and acuteness they have secured a monopoly of funding to the point where per capita spending there must rival that of Switzerland.
Definitely a case of ‘I’m alright Jock.’
Like Wales and the self-harming Northern Ireland, it has its own Parliament.
We, on the other hand, have Stuart Andrew and Greg Mulholland gamely proclaiming our achievements and status to a sparsely attended House of Commons, many of whose members are bitterly resentful of us.
Meanwhile, the cloud of complacency hangs over the Civic Hall, as we argue about relocating visitor centres and continue the 40-year deliberations over the market and a transport system.
Our prosperity and status depend entirely upon accessing funding and decision-making powers – either for ourselves or as part of a wider amalgam of interested parties.
This and internationally minded leaders with foresight and boldness.
Paul Kilroy, Lawnswood
Shedding light on council cash
WITH regards to the council’s plan to save £50,000 by moving the Leeds Visitor Centre out of the railway station, if they hadn’t moved the lampposts originally installed about 12 to 18 months ago on the Swinnow slip road off the Stanningley bypass by about four yards, they might have already saved that amount.
Mick Mitchell, Bramley
More interest down on farm
I COULDN’T agree more with Brian Thurling (YEP, July 26) and the ridiculous storylines of Emmerdale. I stopped watching this programme years ago when it ended its association with anything to do with farming.
However, I became interested several months ago when the programme’s producers announced that the character of Donna was diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease mesothelioma, a lethal cancer for which there is no cure. If the programme’s editors had done their research properly, Donna would be seriously ill by now but in Emmerdale she continues with her life as if nothing has happened. Poor script and poor research.
John Appleyard, Liversedge
Poor research by soap writers
I so agree with Brian Thurlong regarding the current very disappointing storylines in Emmerdale.
My particular concern is what is happening with Donna, who a few months ago was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
If the scriptwriters had researched the subject properly they would know how this horrendous, terminal disease affects each patient and their families. There is no way she would be conducting her life so flippantly.
What could have raised awareness of the dangers of asbestos has been, to so many people, a great disappointment.
Pauline Brearley, Chapel Allerton
It’s a market, not John Lewis
Councillor Richard Lewis says that anyone spending £5 in the market will have £2 deducted from their parking bill in the NCP car park (YEP, July 24).
Leaving aside the economics of the matter for now, how is a person to show that he has spent £5 in the market?
You do not get, would not want, a printed receipt for a pound of onions here, a hand of (extremely cheap and excellent) bananas there.
I am sure that, as always, the councillor and his chaps have thought this through and can explain.
But I just worry that they may be seeing the market as no more than the food hall of John Lewis.
Mike Harwood, Kirkstall
Misinformed about pension
I see that Malcolm Nicholson has had yet another ill-advised and misinformed swipe at the public sector (YEP, July 23).
I work in the NHS and have just received a payslip which reveals I pay 9.3 per cent of my salary in pension contributions.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the average private sector contribution for defined benefit schemes is 4.9 per cent and for defined contribution schemes 2.8 per cent.
Even if it is accepted that the average public sector pension is vastly greater than that in the private sector (it is not), perhaps if the contributions were similar, the private sector might enjoy better pensions.
I seem to recall in any event that Mrs Nicholson is a former NHS nurse having taken early retirement and is presumably in receipt of an (enhanced for early retirement) ‘huge pension payout’.
Fill your boots Mr and Mrs Nicholson.
Steve Mason, Bramley
Detractors are not Luddites
So, according to BA Anderton (YEP, July 28), the detractors of the trolleybus or NGT have Luddite tendencies. I don’t think so.
If my history lessons were correct the Luddites were frightened of the new machines which would increase productivity and maybe cost them their jobs so they took hammers to them.
The detractors of the NGT are the opposite. NGT holds no promise of anything other than a long period of disruption with no guarantee that it will improve life or productivity. That is why people are against it and the majority of people at that.
The detractors are not against a much-needed transport system and would welcome one that matches the needs of the commercial and cultural capital of the North.
Many will agree with Mr Anderton’s comments about the Aire Valley and its no station journey from Shipley to Leeds.
Plans are afoot to construct stations at Apperley Bridge and Kirkstall Forge with extensive park and ride facilities.
Oh that the powers that be had more vision to do that in more areas. Maybe they have the vision but are denied the opportunity by the severe constraints so evident today.
There are many with brilliant ideas to alleviate the congested and overloaded system.
Even the plan to link the airport to the rail network is seeing the light of day.
Many of these ideas will never get off the ground for one reason or another.
One being that the individuals who come up with the ideas in the first place do not have the power to pull the necessary strings.
Another is that there is some demigod controlling the purse strings and he is like the man from Del Monte – he has to say ‘Yes’.
Detractors of a folly? Yes. But Luddites? Never.
Denis Angood, Stanningley
Welcome sign outside prison
During this week of terrible news, something actually brought a smile to my face.
Watching a television report on a prison incident, I noticed that the entry sign read ‘Welcome to HM Branby Prison’.
That must make new prisoners feel much better when they enter their new abode!
Edna Levi, Leeds