YEP Letters: April 28

Adel Church, Leeds
Adel Church, Leeds
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Check out today’s YEP letters

Disappointed at Adel homes decision

Coun Barry Anderson, Adel & Wharfedale Ward, Leeds City Council

I share the disappointment of many of my constituents with the decision to award planning permission for 100 homes near Adel St John’s Church (YEP, April 25).

The council’s plans panel has overridden nearly 130 letters of objection from local people, as well as the concerns of Historic England.

Like me, local people were concerned that the rural character of the area would be irreparably harmed by this development, given the site’s proximity to a Grade Two listed church and conservation area.

There are also access issues with the planned new school, drainage problems, and a lack of appropriate roads capacity and infrastructure to handle the significant additional development. Despite these objections the panel approved the application. I can only hope that council officers will now work with the local community and the developers to mitigate the effect of these plans.

Giving nursing staff a stronger voice on pay

Anne Kennedy, RCN Council member, Yorkshire and the Humber Region

When the Government gave nursing staff another real-terms pay cut this month, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) decided to ask all 270,000 of its members working in the NHS, including thousands in Yorkshire and the Humber, how they want to respond.

Sadly, there is no offer on the table for us to accept or reject – the Government imposed its below-inflation pay award. Consequently, the elected members of RCN Council voted to launch this poll of all members. It will give nursing staff across Yorkshire and the Humber a stronger voice and a direct way to decide what action the RCN takes.

Nursing staff are beyond disappointed by six years of real-term pay cuts. Over the same period, pressure in hospital and community nursing reached unprecedented levels and they are working harder than ever. In the online poll, they have a chance to vote for action short of a strike – such as not working unpaid overtime – or even taking the historical decision to take strike action.

We find ourselves in an unexpected general election but there is no better time to hold politicians to account for the impact of their decisions. The 1 per cent pay cap for nursing staff is fuelling a recruitment and retention crisis in the NHS that is as damaging for patient care as it is for the nurses themselves. We will use the collective voice of UK nursing to remind all parties of that before polling day.

Nurses are not taking this lightly. The wellbeing of patients is top priority of every nurse and healthcare assistant. But too many are struggling to make ends meet and they should not have to cover the NHS deficit from their own pay packet.

Council should listen to citizens

Shaun Kavanagh, Leeds 27

When will Leeds City Council (LCC) actually listen to experts and those citizens of Leeds they are allegedly representing?

They appear to have conned the Department of Transport at Westminster into believing the harebrained bus-rail link to Leeds and Bradford Airport will be successful when many “in the know” and residents alike believe it will fail just like LCC’s trolley bus scheme which didn’t actually get off the drawing board and likely cost thousands in the process.

LCC’s latest scheme will be just another waste of millions in addition to the many millions this council have poured down the proverbial drain. They talk of creating what the people of Leeds told the council they wanted. A likely tale.

The council talk of bus lanes being introduced on to the A61, A58 and A660. To create bus lanes roads need width otherwise other motorists are inconvenienced.

Buses do not travel in convoy and such lanes are often devoid of traffic ensuring the majority of motorist travel in single file. LCC call that efficiency when thousands of frustrated motorists will think not.

When will LCC get off their self-erected pedestals and actually listen to those who talk more sense? They are blinkered as to what people actually want.

We have cycle tracks basically unused which cost over £60m with more millions to be wasted on more tracks, then a rail link to Leeds-Bradford Airport in the offing which will stop short of the airport, requiring passengers to alight and catch a bus to the terminal building.

What an expensive farce that scheme will be and, no doubt, ruining the lives of people because of LCC’s need to compulsory purchase.

Let the people of Leeds bring about change within the Civic Hall for the benefit of all Leeds residents and sooner the better.

Better space for cycling needed

Jaimes Lewis Moran, Member of Leeds Green Party

I feel very much how other people on bikes feel, that our cycling infrastructures are overdue, low-quality and underfunded. Yet it doesn’t need to be this way.

Our biggest challenge ironically though, is convincing business leaders and councillors (who don’t cycle) to invest and share these cycling values.

By values I mean the right to cycle safely, to been seen as an equal and essential form of transport one that helps your wallet, waist, better mental health and creativity.

But most of all, in knowing that we are cycling to live - not to be stressed or worse, killed due to poor road planning and very inconsiderate drivers.

This can be achieved using long-term funding (not just grants) which will lead to safer and better #Space4Cycling for all.

Election not about Brexit

Roy Pearson, by email

Anyone believing the reason given by Theresa May for calling an election must believe in the tooth fairy. This is not about Brexit. This election should be about the NHS, education, housing, care for the elderly, and above all, the rip-off merchants who own the privatised industries industries. Every time the Tories are in power the NHS is in crisis.

Every time the education system is in turmoil. Tory policy ruined the concept of low-cost social housing to the detriment of those on basic earnings.

When the chancellor said we will have eight more years of austerity he failed to mention who will be suffering and paying the price.

It will not be the rich and powerful multi-nationals with their special tax arrangements. It will not be the bankers and leaders of the financial houses.

It will not be the bookmakers and ambulance chasing lawyers who flood our TV screens with adverts.

Mrs May has already 
stated that there will be no guaranteed protection for the old age pensioners, giving us just a taste of what to expect from a dominant Tory government.

My 93 years experience tells me that if you believe in wealth, power and privilege you will vote Tory.

If you believe in social justice, fairness for all, equal opportunity and help for those in need, you will reject the Tory creed of profit before people and prove your worth.

Brexit is just a sideshow

Derek Barker, Moortown

I have just heard the Labour Party’s song and dance election pledge to guarantee the rights of EU citizens already living here after Brexit, which is all well and good.

But what is the point of making promises to a group of people who can’t vote for anyone in a General Election. To my mind Brexit is just a side show, it is something that is going to happen anyway regardless of who wins the general election.

So why distract from the more important issues of the NHS, schools and public services, welfare provision and living standards, why make a big thing out of Brexit issues when surely it would be better to concentrate on the issues that affect those of us who can vote.

Hard problem to solve?

N Bywater, Morley

In response to Jaimes Lewis Moran, (YEP Letters, April 26), he says dog mess getting worse.

With budget cuts to our council’s budget, can any more can be done?

Prior to the budget cuts, Leeds City Council employed five dog wardens. Their duties include dealing with nuisance and dangerous dogs, dog control and exclusion orders, walking of multiple dogs and laws around dogs walking on leads.

With advances in technology, many people have a camera phone in their pocket - that is when it’s not in use.

If Jaimes Moran encourages his friends to film and photograph the offending dog owners, some action could be taken.

I have not seen anyone not clear-up after their dog in a very long time, so it must be a really hard problem to solve.

De-stigmatise social housing

Ian Kendal Wilson, leader of the UK Yorkshire Socialist Alliance Party

The Government is misleading so many millions with the notion of false empowerment in our embedded mortgage culture, and I do believe the Tories are using this roller-coaster system to clear the way so no social support remains e.g. welfare.

The emphasis remains to privatise everything, again no thought for the less fortunate. What the Tories have missed is the fact folk are living longer and they are not passing on the property life chance to the next generation, future generations will not be capable of raising capital for an over inflated property market, the banks literally own everyone and foster irresponsibility among humans.

This strongly suggests that social housing should be de-stigmatised and be given life tenure and succession rights to responsible people, as of this time social housing has become a hoop jumping fracas run by privatised council housing departments.

Fighting for tolerance

Kamran Hussain, Yorkshire and Humber Liberal Democrats Brexit Spokesperson

JEREMY Corbyn is never going to be Prime Minister.

He can’t lead his own party, let alone our country.

That is not just my view.

It is the view of the 172 Labour MPs who just last year said they had no confidence in his leadership. That’s why senior Labour figures such as Bob Marshall-Andrews are defecting to the Liberal Democrats.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour has waved the white flag on Brexit, is failing as an opposition and has given Theresa May a blank cheque to pursue a divisive Hard Brexit.

They are hopelessly divided, have no plan for the economy and are clearly unfit for government.

This is your chance to change the direction of our country.

Fond memory of rugby days

Martin Hall, Cleckheaton

MEMORIES indeed of the old Rugby Stand at Headingley.

Another endearing memory springs to mind – shared by many others no doubt – of the scantily-clad waitresses expertly negotiating steps and rows of spectators to deliver trays of beer. The highlight being when they elegantly climbed the ladders up the TV gantries to quench the thirst of the grateful cameramen.

No mean feat with tray in one hand and the other holding on. And not a drop spilt!

Huge cheers, and I daresay, exciting action on the field being missed.

Ah! Happy days.

Solution for social care issue

Judy Goodwin, Altofts

The issue of social care could be solved at a stroke if MPs had the will to do it.

All payments for nursing and residential beds should be paid direct from the government for every one regardless of situation, cap the price at £800 per week for nursing and £600 for residential beds.

Take this money from the overseas aid budget.

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YEP Letters: June 8