Let’s safeguard traditional pubs

Have your say

I HAVE to applaud Neil Hudson on his article (‘Pulling power’, YEP, March 21), it made an invigorating change to read about somebody praising our fine institution and last bastion that is the much-maligned, and berated, traditional pub.

I am a regular user of the pubs mentioned in the article and completely agree with the comments made.

These pubs are fine socialising and drinking establishments and the landlords have to be commended for maintaining these standards.

These pubs have remained through numerous prime ministers, several monarchs and countless wars and it’s great to see them still going strong.

On the other hand, we should reflect on the public houses that have fallen victim to so-called progress, either demolished to make way for a car park or converted into a takeaway, trendy wine bar, accommodation, shops or whatever the exploitative and unscrupulous pub companies decide its fate to be.

The length and width of britain pubs are falling victim to these actions and as a result the traditional public house is becoming a rare sight in our cities.

More publicity and commentary like Neil Hudson’s will promote and encourage people to use these fine watering holes.

Long live the traditional pub!

ROD POTTS, by email

April Fools Day price rises

HAVING just left my “adopted” local in Barwick-in-Elmet with the news that beer prices and others are to rise by 20p this Friday (April 1), I wondered who is the April fool: the vendor or the purchaser?

The vendor, in this particular instance, is Enterprise Inns who, I believe, already charge exorbitant rates for their hostelries but still fail to notice the increasing number of pub closures week on week.

I am sure they will blame Government taxes etc but what will there be left to tax at this worrying rate or indeed opportunities for income generation?

Has anyone considered a reduction initiative which I’m sure would enable more customer participation and ultimately more income and profits for these brewery moguls?

Despite the pathetic Coalition government’s claim and request for business expansion and job opportunities in general the brewers are insistent upon increasing charges and demands minimising customer participation, leading to diminished uptake and markets.

The inevitable outcome is continuing closures at an alarming rate with long-term effects upon previously well established communities who in the past have thrived upon the “coming-together” of families and friends.

Let us, for once, attempt to encourage this community environment and friendship for the benefit of all.

Who wants to end up with decaying, large ex-public houses adding to already decaying estates?

Come on greedy, short-termist brewers/businesses, start setting the trend and example for long-term survival as we don’t need any more terminations but growth, thoughtfulness and togetherness and fewer April fools.

Phil Roche, Garforth

Risky closure

LEEDS Children’s Cardiac Surgery Unit is vital and needs all the support we can muster, as we don’t want to lose it. To close it should be unthinkable, as there will be no other unit of this kind to service our needs within 100 miles or more.

During these recent years of bad winter weather, Newcastle, Liverpool and Birmingham have all been inaccessible at some time. There has also been massive delays to reach them due to incidents on our congested road network etc. We are constantly being told that the winters (global warming) and the roads (congestion etc) will only get worse.

Is this just another cut to our starved, failing and declining NHS Service under this shameful government?

It’s unreasonable offering proposed alternatives that are just too far away in both time and miles. Or are we now to become a Third World region with proposals of these proportions on infant life and death issues?

The people of Leeds and the Yorkshire region, with its large, dense population, needs and deserve to keep this excellent service. Too many children already rely on this local facility. Both present and future generations will be put at serious risk, their emergency care and their families will be seriously disrupted and disadvantaged.

Surely Leeds should have many advantages to other centres, due to its central location enabling it to service its all-round community.

The families who have used these facilities speak very highly and kindly of the marvellous work they do and the achievements they have made. The lives of our region’s children are more important than cuts, so how can we let them close it? If it needs improving then do it, it can’t improve things in this area by closing, however good the facilities elsewhere are.

Our logistics in this need to be right, so I hope people will make this a very important issue, both in the coming local election and future national ones. I am sure there are other issues but this should be one of them. We need to look after all our needy children in our region, as no-one else will.

Brian Hepworth, Belle Isle

Public interest

I HAVE been following the situation with regard to the issue of West North West Homes, and the details of the chief executive’s salary rise, amongst others, (‘OAP is sacked for complaint over pay rises’, YEP, March 29).

It would seem that he is accused of a ‘breach of confidence’ in letting the public know of these rises, and it is here where I have a problem.

The chief executive is paid from public funds, therefore what he or she is paid is common knowledge, (or should be), so where is there a breach of confidence?

He is charged that he was breaching the Board of Directors’ code of conduct, but this rule should not have been there in the first place, for, as I have said, they are public funds. Public funds or no, why are they so keen to keep it quiet, what are they ashamed of?

A G Goldsbrough, Leeds Road, Ilkley

Wasted money

LAST week, March 21, contractors – or Leeds City Council workers – finished the widening of the path running down South Parkway Approach.

This path has been widened by about 2ft, fitting new edging stones along the way. This path would be the length of two football pitches and took about a week to complete, with major road distruption when tarmac was being laid.

What is strange about this work is that one man and his dog only use this path. It’s not as though it is used by hundreds of people at peak times. This path is basically in a quiet area.

I can’t see where the council have made a decision and justify public money on this path, it doesn’t make sense at all – unless a local councillor, or councillors, had a few quid left in hers or his ward before the financial year end.

Let’s spend for the sake of spending.

Sam Hamblett, Penda’s Way, Leeds 15

‘Cowboy’ drivers

MANY in Leeds must be astonished at the recent letter to the YEP exposing the scale of illegal late night operations by the “cowboy” element of private hire cars in the city centre, not just by Leeds-plated vehicles but from many other towns and cities.

This is, of course, a very serious matter, because by definition the carriage of passengers for “hire and reward” must be carefully regulated for public safety, yet this is obviously not the case today in Leeds, where the rogue element feels free to flout the law.

Leeds City Council is the licensing body responsible, yet is clearly letting us all down yet again, while under Labour control.

Although the twin evils of a previous Labour leader of Leeds City Council, i.e. one who wanted Leeds to be a 24-hour city, and the last ‘New’ Labour government- who surrendered common sense to the vested interests of the alcohol industry by allowing 24-hour licensing etc, do not help the current situation.

The irony is, though, that although Leeds City Council employs an army of snoopers monitoring litter picking, even privet hedge heights, it seems incapable of solving this far more serious and dangerous problem.

Time for Labour to get a grip or resign before the May elections.

D S Boyes, Rodley

Horse play

YOUR picture of Gene Autry showed him in his later years, not the young man who visited Leeds way back in 1938.

I was one of the hundreds in City Square who saw Gene ride out of the Queen’s Hotel on his horse, Tony, not Champion as mentioned by Mr Adler.

Gene had two horses, Champion and Tony. Champion was black and Tony fair. It was Tony who accompanied him on his British tour.

The crowds, myself included, followed Gene, riding Tony, along Boar Lane, up Briggate to the Paramount Cinema. Like Mr Adler, I couldn’t get inside to see the show.

R J Holmes, Westfield Road, Goxhill, Lincs

Give us a vote

IT is time for all the people to speak up and say in a referendum if it’s right or wrong for this government to order our forces to forfeit their lives in fighting and helping to settle trouble in foreign countries.

Let us all remember it may be your husband, brother or son, or perhaps another relative or friend.

Policiticans say we have democracy in this country but I say to them where is there democracy when you order our loved ones to give their lives for someone and something that is not our concern?

I try to look at all the points available to me and it all boils down to politicians point-scoring. To put it more bluntly, there’s a law for you and a law for me.

We have already seen when we went and stood by the Americans how terrorists came to this country to do harm and take lives.

But it is not up to me alone, this also concerns all of you.

N Knott, Gamble Hill, Leeds

Blazing squad

MANY thanks for publishing my email, glad you found it interesting. Just one small point, the AFS was the Auxillary Fire Service, not the Army Fire Service as printed.

R Sanderson, by email

YEP Letters: March 20