YEP Letters: April 5

Have your say

Check out today’s YEP letters.

Use the market or risk losing it

Brian Hyman, Leeds

I read with great interest about the plight of many traders in leeds market

As an ex market trader myself I can certainly emphasise with their problems. However the answer is with the public of Leeds. Do they want a market in Leeds or not ? If so they must get out and support it.

Support genuine traders who work hard, not the online pirates who are slowly but surely killing the retail trade.

Use us or lose us is the answer. If not the market will close, subsidy or no subsidy.

Cyclists are a scourge on communities

Ivan Kovacks, by email

I was pleased to see a feature article on ‘Police turn a blind eye to illegal cycling’ by Rob Parsons in Friday’s Evening Post.

It confirms what I and many other corresponders with this page have repeatedly mentioned over the last couple of years. These cyclists are a scourge on many communities and cause great upset to a vast number of pedestrians especially the very young, disabled and elderly, the very vulnerable people that our police force should be acting to protect.

Last week I drove from a friend’s house in Kippax back to West Leeds and made a point of checking for cyclists. I saw 26, of which 18 were on the pavement, one went through a red light and one was cycling in the wrong direction on the wrong side of the street.

And yet only 17 tickets in a year from the police. I’m sure if they were diligent enough they could fine sufficient cyclists to employ a dozen or more police officers a year.

I see, unsurprisingly, Martin Stanley (pro cycling) calls lawyer Nick Freeman hypocritical, but I’m sorry so is his reply. Mr Freeman’s comments make no comparison between cyclists and drivers’ collisions with pedestrians on pavements. If you look at my statistics, above, whilst only from one trip, I could easily say 20 out of 26 cyclists commit criminal acts.

More thought to market rents

C Sharp, LS25

Are Leeds City Council so short sighted as to raise rents (at Kirkgate Market) when reconstruction work is still in process?

They have long looked upon the markets as a cash cow instead of an asset . Not every market trader makes a fortune, the councillors should try running a stall and pay silly rents, they might then appreciate the difficulties these people face.

Rents have to be levied but some thought needs to be applied .

Why move radio favourites?

A Ward, Leeds 8

I agree with your correspondents who wrote about the abrupt departure of Martin Kelner, one of the most erudite, mature presenters on BBC Radio Leeds.

The replacement presenter is, in my opinion, more suited to Radio 1 and a younger listener. I assume the radio station is trying to attract these younger listeners but it’ll never happen and the discerning older listener will just switch off.

Martin’s own webpage puts the blame squarely onto the shoulders of the BBC itself, who are trying to run local radio on restricted income while expecting an increase in listening figures. It’s sad but a fact of life that most people under the age of 40 don’t listen to local radio in enough numbers to justify employing juvenile presenters while disposing of themore mature person with an interesting slant on life.

While on the subject of radio, Classic FM seems to have become the station of retired newscasters, with John Suchet and Nicholas Owen and now Bill Turnbull. To accommodate Bill Turnbull the wonderful Jane Jones has been shunted backwards to a 4am slot!

I heard her today gamely trying to pretend that having to get up at 2am was all her own idea, instead of the idea of some person in an office who seems to think that a retired newsreader is the best thing since sliced bread. I’d rather listen to someone who has a wealth of music knowledge of all types thansomeone employed for their “name”.

Help needed for manufacturers

N Bywater, Morley

Dr Glyn Powell wrote about ‘European Unions green energy policies’ forcing up electricity prices that adversely affect the steel industry (YEP Letters, April 2).

Our Conservative Government are totally signed up to ensure that the net UK carbon account for all six Kyoto greenhouse gases for the year 2050 is at least 80 per cent lower than the 1990 baseline, so the EU’s green energy policies will still be in place, inside or outside the EU.

Electricity accounts for only seven per cent of the cost of steel production. Our steel industry needs protection from massive steel over-production, amid world decline in demand. The Conservatives have been too right wing in wanting total free trade, at the expense of UK manufacturing.

The UK’s industrial output suffered its sharpest decline since 2013. ONS figures showed the current account deficit for 2015 was the biggest deficit on record, the largest for 67 years. The current account deficit, means that the UK is importing way too many goods, and exports are low. Our Government needs to help our manufacturing sector, instead of relying on housing and consumer borrowing to stimulate demand.

Well done on a pearl of a show

Ernest Lundy, by email

After knocking TV programmes over Easter, in good faith I have to mention the BBC2 film Quartet on Saturday night.

Being long in the tooth myself, I could relate with much of the content, which featured activities in a retirement home for old musicians and singers. Maggie Smith, Billy Connelly, Tom Courtney, Pauline Collins and other well-known actors of advancing years all took brilliant parts. Although completely without any musical expertise myself, the main subject around which the story lines were based, I could still empathise with situations which arose in the home. Situations which regrettably are all too true in life. I can also guess that hundreds of others, also in old age, felt the same on seeing and appreciating this programme. Congratulations BBC, you produced a pearl which, if it comes around again, I shall certainly watch it.

No such thing as a free OAP

DS Boyes, Leeds 13

IF Chancellor George Osborne fancied a change of occupation becoming an illusionist might be an easy move when you look at how clever he has been in convincing the public he has made them much better off.

When in fact some are in for a shock after April 6 when the full effects of changes to tax thresholds versus the consequences of the new Universal Flat Rate State Pension’ on National Insurance Contributions become known.

For about 40 years, we had a two tier state pension, ie basic plus SERPS if you weren’t contracted out via membership of an ocupational pension or superannuation scheme, with lower NICs to pay.

SERPS have now ended, replaced by a universal flat rate pension and a new second pension scheme optional for all employees via their employer, the rub being that the threshold for making any National Insurance contributions remains much lower than that for income tax at around £8,600 pa, plus the contracted out lower rate of NIC’s is now abolished.

With all now liable to the full 12 per cent NICs millions will have less take home pay, although more state pension in years to come.

As the saying goes there is no free lunch or apparently OAP.

Do I qualify for abbey discount?

Leo Wynzar, Leeds 23

I wonder how many people spotted the ‘ April Fool’ in Friday’s YEP (‘New lease of life for Kirkstall Abbey’. Could you please ask Mr. S Illy Chief Exec of YEP construction to contact me. As a retired monk I am wondering if I would qualify for the discounts referred to in your article?