Jobless could aid the community

I READ the letters from Mr Taylor and G Edwards in the Evening Post on December 17 with interest.

They reminded me of a winter in the early 1960s when I was working in the building trade and was laid off because of the bad weather and had to sign on at the Dole Office in Leeds, behind the Marquis of Granby pub at the bottom of Eastgate.

In those days there were no automatic payments of any kind of benefit and, as was the case with G Edwards's father, we were issued with shovels and had to clear the snow and ice from the footpaths in central Leeds before we could qualify for any unemployment pay, or the "dole" as it was then known. We never thought twice about it but just got on with the job, thankful that we were given the opportunity to earn a small amount of money when our wages had been stopped.

Mr Taylor's suggestion that the unemployed should be expected to work for their benefit payments makes sense to me. I would take this further and say that all able-bodied men who are being paid any kind of benefit should be expected to put something back into the community and earn their benefit payments by doing other kinds of community work. Apart from clearing snow and ice from the pavements in winter, they could assist year-round by clearing litter from the hedges and grass verges across the city, cleaning graffiti and other similar kinds of work.

I am sure that if they did this they would be grateful at having put something back into the community in exchange for their benefit payments.

Trevor Buckley, Horsforth

Pied piper plea

SO Susan May was told to stop feeding the wildlife around her home. I do not understand why rats appear to have the freedom to roam our gardens over the natural beauty of wildlife. Rats are vermin and carry many diseases, which can transfer to humans and pets.

Myself, my brother Andy, who lives behind me and my next door neighbour Brian have all spent money trying to rid our gardens of an infestation of rats, which over the years has become worse. Why doesnt the council do something about this? Why is it always the same "Don't feed the wildlife"? Where are the rat catchers? Obviously there is an open vacancy for a team of Pied Pipers of Leeds.

N Pearson, St Wilfrid's Circus, Leeds

Spirit of Christmas

MANY thanks to the headmaster and all staff at Hunslet St Mary's Primary School for the wonderful concert I was privileged to attend last Thursday. The children were delightful and, I felt, portrayed the true meaning of Christmas. I enjoyed every minute.

Mrs O Lee, Royal Court, Leeds

Wonderful day

Congratulations to the staff of Queenswood Day Centre. Last week short-staffed owing to sickness, the freezer had broken down and the weather was terrible.

The four carers took over and helped the cook and made an excellent three-course meal.

After lunch we had entertainment and then Father Christmas arrived with a gift of goodies for me. It turned out to be a wonderful day. Thank you.

L Ackroyd, Leeds 16

Perfect party

A BIG thank you to the staff of Bupa at Horsforth, who put on a Christmas party for 150 pensioners at Meanwood WM Club on Stonegate Road. They served food and drinks, entertainment, raffles etc and we were all given a present. Thank you to all involved in this event, not forgetting Maureen and Denise, who got the whole thing off the ground.

D Chapman, on behalf of Zest Club at Meanwood

Special friend

THROUGH you paper could I thank my friend and neighbour Mrs Veronic Turley, for everything she has done for me in the past two-and-a-half years, while I have been ill. Nothing was too much trouble. She's brilliant.

Maureen Fardy, Seacroft

YEP Letters: March 16