YEP Letters: April 11

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Litter and pollution at Temple Newsam

Jim Smith, by email

It was a wonderful day on Saturday, but people keep on coming to Temple Newsam and leaving their litter, including soiled nappies.

I attach a picture of the top lake covered in algae, this due to the Foxes Wood Beck still being polluted with crossed drains from Colton estate. The YEP reported on this two years ago, yet still nothing is done about it.

Yorkshire Water, Environment Agency and Leeds City Council go through the motions and then do nothing.

Every stream running through the park has cross connect drain pollution.

Price hike will destroy sports group’s impetus

Preethi Manuel (organiser),Nicola Singleton, Simon Watson, Matt Thomas, Hiren Tailor, Owen Davies, Adrien Kertesz ,Magda Lezama, Queenie Ng, Alec Chan, by email

Every Saturday for the past three years a group of us from all walks of life thrash out some great badminton games at Fearnville Leisure Centre.

Now a sudden decision by Leeds City Council (City Development Sport and Active Lifestyles) threatens our very existence because the price of our bookings has gone up by over 75 per cent.

We were informed of the changes at our last games with no notice though we had block booked for the year. A badminton court that cost us £7.10 an hour is now £12.60.

Sports groups such as ours are the embodiment of community sport – improving the lives of the community through engagement in sport and encouraging social relationships – all of which lead to stronger local communities.

We are fully inclusive with students, disabled people, employed and unemployed participants all taking part on a regular basis. Some 8-10 players attend every week though we have some 25 regular players.

With a price hike, we will lose players on a low income – the ones who are likely to benefit the most from this activity. Public Health England’s ‘Protecting and Improving the Nation’s Health, 2014’ means nothing if our contribution, however small within our community, is left unsupported.

In the first instance, we would urge Leeds City Council to honour the block booking and allow us to continue until the end of the year at our previously booked price so we have time to make plans to continue. We would be happy to talk to anyone concerned to ensure that the impetus in this group is not destroyed.

Cycle lanes help save lives

Jaimes Lewis Moran, member of Leeds Green Party

In response to the comments by Shaun Kavanagh ‘Cycle lanes are waste of money’ (YEP Letters, April 5), how can you possibly call safer cycling infrastructures pointless?

Do you even realise how such things have been sought for many decades, and that regardless of ‘CityConnect’ and their involvement in our cycle highway, it was paid for using money specifically for cycling.

Long overdue cycling infrastructure is not as you say a senseless scheme especially when it saves lives! Yet that being said, I too am slightly peeved that it is running very much behind schedule.

But honestly, bulldozing this would cost way more money, cause worse disruption and ruin travel durations too. I’d rather they start amending sections that haven’t worked for the best to benefit all.

Lastly, what example does it set if Leeds decides to remove the first cycle highway of this scale in the UK? If we did what you’ve suggested, this would cause cataclysmic damage to cycling in Leeds, nevermind a complete systemic chaos for motor vehicles along these routes.

Disgust at plan

Trevor Greenwood, Leeds 15

I am writing to express my disgust at Leeds City Councils proposal to support Go Ape being allowed in operate in Temple Newsam Park.

The park is for the benefit of the public, not the council and allowing it to go ahead would be a dereliction of their responsibility.

Daniel Gaunt’s letter (YEP, April 7) summed it up perfectly. The only people benefiting would be the company that runs it. If it is not stopped how long before they come back and say they want to extend it and make it bigger to make more profit for them not for the benefit of the people of Leeds.

I urge all residents to fight this proposal and the council should hang their heads in shame.

Don’t blame the schools

Margaret Boyes, by email

I am sick and tired of hearing parents complaining about not being able to take their child out of school for holidays.

It is not the schools they should be complaining about because they know the rules from the start. Complain to the travel companies or a better idea, buy some camping equipment and go out into our glorious countryside, you do not have to go abroad all the time.

Review council tax charges

Ernest Lundy, by email

Council tax bills will be dropping through the letter box any time.

Some people may already have them. To pay them will take a considerable amount of some people’s yearly income; especially if they are OAPs with little or no other income.

We all appreciate that we need to pay for the services we obtain in return, but surely the amount a person living alone (75 per cent) has to pay is out of balance. When one partner has passed away, where previously two people were sharing, those services have been reduced by half or 50 per cent. In comparison with those households where two or even more incomes are coming in, a 75 per cent charge for those living alone is totally out of parity. And if saving needs to be used to pay their way, those with above a specified amount obtain no help. Time for the government to review council tax charges.

Every day exercise plan

Sally Martin, by email

According to a recent survey from Arthritis Research UK, half of people who have or have had joint pain avoid doing exercise.

The joint pain puts them off. As a person who has lived with joint pain for some while, I find this worrying.

I used to be a keen runner but, after developing joint pain in my wrists, feet and lower back, I had to give this up as the pain became too much. But I was determined to stay active.

I now regularly attend spinning classes - which has even inspired me to learn to ride a bike for the first time. I also attend pilates classes, which I think helps build strength plus I walk the family dog, Dizzy. I feel like exercise has helped me with my pain levels and if I don’t exercise I do feel quite a bit stiffer.

This makes sense, as research shows that regular safe, simple and effective exercise can reduce pain and stiffness in joints.

Learn from my experience and keep up the exercise! If you’re not sure where to start, try out this programme of exercise that Arthritis Research UK has just developed.

It includes short, easy to follow one minute exercise videos that have been specially designed by experts for people with joint pain: www.arthritisresearchuk.org/everydayexercises

Joint pain is not a niche condition. Millions of people in the UK are living with it today. But there are ways we can take control of it, and exercise is a great way to do that.

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New colony of Humboldt penguins in the new Costal Zone at Lotherton Hall.
21st November 2017.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

YEP Letters: November 22