The high price of merging services

Have your say

I WAS interested when I saw the headline ‘Maternity merger’ (YEP, March 15), as it brought back memories.

Not of maternity, but of mergers, and I see no reason why this one should not go the same way as the others.

Those in authority never seem to learn, or do not know their history.

In the past I have seen how it goes. First they go for mergers, as this will apparently get savings, so merge for economies.

Then, as apparently this works, they merge yet again, until there is one unwieldy bureaucracy that cannot be controlled because of its size, and also costs so much to administer, so demerge for economy.

As this seems to work, they demerge yet again, until the system is so fragmented, it is now hard to control, and so the whole process starts over again.

Meanwhile, if they had done their homework on what was optimum, there would be little or no upheaval, and a vast saving of public monies. But then, what do I know?

A G Goldsbrough, Leeds Road, Ilkley

Build a station on Eastgate

I AM delighted that the long-awaited Eastgate Quarter shopping centre, with 130 stores, may soon become a reality. This development will provide many much-needed jobs as well as promoting the renewal of a large section of Leeds city centre.

It is a shame, though, that customers and staff will not be able to access the development directly from an Eastgate underground rail station. We don’t really want people going there by car, do we? As for the bus, well, many people are, like my wife, who would rather sit in her car in a traffic jam than use the services provided by First, Arriva and others.

If you want to shop in the massive Eldon Square shopping complex in the centre of Newcastle you can do so directly from the regional Metro’s Monument station. But hey, this is Leeds. Can’t expect such convenience here. The largest city in Europe without a rail -based metro system. Where the trains roar past the regional out-of-town shopping centre at White Rose where no-one seems to see that a station could actually bring custom and reduce traffic congestion. It is actually easier to go by rail to Meadowhall in Sheffield or the Metro Centre on Tyneside than to our own local White Rose.

At some stage in the future I hope that many thousands of shoppers will be able to enjoy the facilities at the new Eastgate development directly from an adjacent underground rail station, which would also serve busy places like the city bus station and the West Yorkshire Playhouse. It’s called integrated, co-ordinated transport. Pity that we don’t have local politicians prepared to champion the vision.

I hope that electrified trains from York and Selby will eventually serve Eastgate and then continue to City Square and westwards to Shipley and Skipton, but I won’t hold my breath.

After all, this is Leeds.

James Bovington, Horsforth

Think of today, not yesteryear

MOST will understand R T Strudwick’s views on the Lord Mayor of Leeds, as he has obviously made a living from being associated with it.

However, the civic ‘pride’ which he constantly refers to, is in reality vanity, largely concerning councillors and is of little value to most ordinary citizens today facing closure of libraries or swimming baths etc.

As for tradition, my grandfather was born at Low Moor, Armley in 1860, was taken as a child, around 1865, to witness the public double execution at Armley Gaol field. That ‘tradition’ was never repeated and, 100 years later, the death penalty was abolished altogether. Maybe Mr Strudwick would want both traditions kept going?

The same could apply to the aircraft carrier Ark Royal. Today it’s not the one paid for by Leeds in the Second World War but the third one to bear that name, now just an obsolete pile of scrap metal due for recycling, so why does the Mayor wants to waste his time and our money travelling to Portsmouth when an email message would have sufficed?

That money, plus a lot more, would be better spent allowing our children daytime access to Bramley Baths, or keeping the part-time staff at Broad Lane and other libraries due to close, in work.

Think of today, live for our children’s tomorrow; the past is not a prologue, never has been, never will be.

D S Boyes, Rodley

Rename road

LEEDS has had a long association with HMS Ark Royal, even raising £9 million to help build a new one after its predecessor had been torpedoed. Now the Ark Royal is being decommissioned, owing to the vast spending cuts of this government.

The old ones will always remember the Ark, with its brave crews patrolling the seas to keep this country of ours free and safe.

So, to make an everlasting memory for future citizens, The Headrow should be renamed “Ark Royal Parade”.

Having done this, we must remember our other two armed forces, the Army and the Air Force, inviting each of them to parade on separate days through Leeds, so we can show our pride in both services.

Other towns and cities have shown their heartfelt respect for the three services, now it’s our turn.

A Britt, Dewsbury Road, Leeds

National insurance ananchronism

ABOLISHING National Insurance contributions, UKIP party policy for the last seven years, appears to have been picked up by the Coalition government.

NI has long been an anachronism. As soon as a fund for pensions and welfare was established, it was misappropriated by politicians. It is complex to administer, expensive and has long been a shield for deceitful politicians to pretend they have not increased tax.

However there must be a revision of pension entitlement to ensure only those who have put in can take out. Not difficult if there is a serious commitment.

Perhaps we could persuade the government to also adopt UKIP policy of not giving away £65 million per day to the EU and ‘overseas aid’ budget?

Who knows, British old age pensioners might start to get a fair deal.

Godfrey Bloom, UKIP MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire

Fed up with royal entourage

THE Duke of York has been British Envoy for 10 years now. Is this not enough time for him to have made his fortune? Is it not time for this man to pay for his own gallivanting around the world, partying, playing golf etc? Why should royalty be excluded from scrutiny? He is a total waste and, as many British CEOs and others have said, they would have received their contracts without him.

Also, is it not high time to stop payment for police protection for his two daughers, flitting from one party to another around the world, all on taxpayers’ money?

Why do we put up with this fiasco with most “royals?”

They supposedly do something useful, they travel with enormous police protection, a huge entourage consisting of their friends, mainly. I hear this government is supporting Andrew and the rest as well.

Well, as a Tory, I would advise this government to think very carefully. An enormous lot of people are fed-up to the teeth – or face the consequences at the next election!

Mr Wright, Leeds

Jericho myth

A I STUBBS of Bridlington says that archaelogical evidence supports the biblical record. It may support the outline events but not the myths woven into them by the scribes of the time.

For instance, the ruins of Jericho, if found, might support the story that it was sacked by a besieging army, but not that it fell because they marched around its walls with priests blowing trumpets of rams’ horns.

It is just as well that the story as not verified, as it says that God told Joshua to kill all the inhabitants, including women and children, except the family of the harlot Rahab.

By today’s standards that would make not only Joshua a war criminal, but also God!

R G Tee, Hon. Sec. Humanist Society of West Yorkshire, Calverley

What a waste

IT seems that, as of this morning, the council’s Highways Department is still carrying out work on the one-way scheme for Hyde Park Road (unwanted by residents), even after being told to stop by Councillor Richard Lewis, Executive Board Member for Highways.

What an unnecessary use of £12,000.

Mrs H Johnson, Leeds 4

Simon Brown, from Morley, Leeds.

YEP Letters: January 19