YEP Letters: April 17

Have your say

I WRITE in response to your recent article regarding proposals to build 200 homes at Moseley Wood Bottom in Cookridge (YEP, April 11).

I would like to commend the members of the public who took the time to come to the meeting so councillors on the City Plans Panel could see for themselves the strength of local opposition to the proposals.

Moseley Wood Bottom is currently too prone to flooding and poor drainage to sustain housing. The developers, Taylor Wimpey, are going to have to do a lot of work to persuade councillors that the site’s long history of drainage problems can be surmounted. As the experiences of earlier this year showed, it is simply not acceptable any longer to build homes in areas of poor drainage.

There is still much to fight for, because last week was only a pre-application Position Statement. The developers will no doubt come back to the Council in a few months with revised proposals. Local people need to keep motivated, and continue to fight against these unwelcome proposals.

Coun Barry Anderson, Adel & Wharfedale Ward, Conservative Group Office, Civic Hall

No sympathy for striking teachers

IMAGINE CHILDREN being taught by some of the ”scruffy” individuals seen striking the other week. Most of these striking teachers appeared to be no more than militants hoping to get at the Government.

Only three things were achieved by the striking teachers: those on strike lost a day’s pay, thousands of children lost a day’s schooling and parents either had to pay for extra childcare or take a day off work. People on very low incomes will have no sympathy with these teachers. They receive a good salary with plenty of holidays and an excellent pension at the end of it, which is more than most.

If a parent takes a child out of school during term time they are likely to get fined. Maybe all the children and parents affected should fine their teachers for forcing them to take a day off.

Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet

Brave gunner stayed at post

YOUR INTERESTING article on the Victoria Cross failed to mention what must be the most poignant recipient of all time.

John (Jack) Cornwell was born in 1900. He enlisted in the Navy at the age of 14(!) and was trained as a sight setter and gun layer. He joined HMS Chester.

On May 31 1916 HMS Chester came under attack and all but one of her five inch guns was rendered inoperable. The open backed gun turrets allowed shell splinters to penetrate the emplacements which resulted in severe wounding and death to the gun crews. Cornwell’s five inch gun crew were all killed and although Cornwell was severely wounded he remained at his post until relieved by the Medics.

HMS Chester was ordered back to Immingham where Jack Cornwell was transferred to Grimsby General Hospital where he died on June 2, 1916.

After an initial burial in an unmarked grave he was re-buried with full military honours after a public outcry. With obvious reluctance the Admiralty recommended Jack for the Victoria Cross.

There were several buildings, streets and even a school re-named in his memory – all probably demolished and certainly long forgotten.

David Davies, by email

Read more write less Malcolm

THE CAT is out of the bag this week. You have printed two letters, on consecutive days, under the name Malcolm Nicholson. It became obvious, on Tuesday April 15, that this is not a serious writer. If this individual exists at all, if you locked him in an empty room he would still start an argument - with himself. He should read more and write less. That would benefit us all.

After this letter I will not respond to his ranting again. I may comment on current issues again, however, I will not waste my time, or that of your readers, on the nonsense written by Mr Nicholson.

D MacFadyen, by email

A highly selective education

In Monday’s YEP (14th April), Malcolm Nicholson states how important it is to have well educated people who went to private schools leading the country i.e. Old Etonions like David Cameron.

In his letter the following day he is critical of the country’s potential leaders like Ed Balls for being educated at a private school and Ed Milliband for studying at Oxford University.

Thatcherism at it’s best; what the Tin Lady herself liked to refer to as Victorian values, where only the wealthy should be entitled to a good education. The ironic thing is that Mr. Nicholson - in his letters - refers to other people as bigots and hypocrites!

Sadly, with Academies using ‘selective’ admissions and Universities charging £9000 a year tuition fees, it is only the wealthy who can now gain a good education.

Martin J. Phillips, Tinshill lane, Cookridge, Leeds

Insensitive comments

Dear Sir,

Malcolm Nicholson’s rants are, I suppose, part of the price we have to pay for free speech. But I feel bound to protest at his letter (YEP, April 16th) to which you have given prominence, and which goes beyond the normal decencies of political debate.

His “born with a silver hammer-and-sickle in his mouth” slur about Ed Miliband, leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. Ed Milband’s grandfather, Samuel, was a working class leather worker who moved from Poland to Belgium in 1921. He managed to escape to England with Ed’s father, Ralph, in 1940 just before Belgium surrendered to the Nazi army, but other members of his family were murdered. Ed’s mother was a refugee from Poland, and also lost members of her family in the holocaust.

Ralph Miliband, with financial help from a refugee organisation, was able to study at the LSE, and after serving in the Royal Navy had an academic career which brought him to Leeds as professor of Politics. The Miliband’s sent their children to state schools, at first in Horsforth, and later in London,

To refer to this family history, with all it’s tragedy and achievement, as being born with a silver spoon, of any variety, in the mouth, is appallingly insensitive, and quite contrary to the facts.

I am willing to believe that Malcolm Nicholson was unaware of the facts when he wrote his letter. I ask him to have the decency to use your columns to apologise for his comment and to withdraw it.

Alan Slomson, Alan Slomson, Grosvenor Park Gardens, Leeds,

Airport is ‘just being greedy’

I am writing with regard to your article about the decision by Leeds Bradford Airport to axe the Voyager scheme for taxi firms and SJK in particular.

I have to say that that SJK have always provided me with an excellent and friendly service.

This is in contrast to the attitude of the Airport which is nothing but greed.

Sometimes I have taken and collected people at the Airport and I have had to pay £2 to be at the drop off for a matter of seconds.

On principle, I myself do not purchase anything when I am inside the terminal building. LBA need to learn how to treat their customers.

Brian Poulter, 

YEP Letters: March 20