YEP Letters: April 5

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Health service is its own worst enemy

Harry Brooke, Meanwood

Once again the cry goes up for more money for the NHS.

The NHS is a black hole with little control over its spending. It suffers from all the weaknesses and inefficiencies that blighted the gas, electricity and phone monopolies before they were privatised.

It’s not a surprise that no other country has a health service like ours, with most relying on a mix of state aid and private insurance. It is its own worst enemy, with practices that no efficient private company would tolerate.

It allows itself to be ripped off by the big pharmaceutical companies and the ratio of managers and pen pushers is out of all proportion to the number of clinical staff.

MPs are demanding a major inquiry into the NHS.

Patients and the hard-working staff deserve no less.

Managed red light zone is ‘living nightmare’

Claire Bentley-Smith, by email

Regarding the recent article about the managed approach to prostitution in Holbeck, it is time to have a balanced report with the opinion of the actual residents living here in Holbeck and Beeston and the harsh truths of the situation from having sex work in our streets.

The prostitutes work all hours of the day and night, shouting about their prices and drugs so that children can hear, staggering into moving traffic at morning school run trying to flag down potential customers or approaching men, workmen etc offering sex and if the man says no they follow him along and shout abuse.

The punters cruise slowly in cars all over the area outside the zone and stare at any woman walking about their daily lives, it’s now called ‘The Holbeck Look’ and all of us women are aware of being judged. Teenage girls have been asked for sex walking to college, teenage boys offered sex or hard drugs... what if one of those young people was talked into taking that choice?

Across the residential area we are plagued by a trail of the filthy detritus of sex and drug taking and human excrement. Our parks, streets and schools are contaminated to the point where children can no longer run free without diligent checks by parents and witnessing sex acts in public and drug binge people lolling off benched have forced many premature conversations for us with children too young to consider such things.

Drug dealers and pimps circle round like clockwork, recognisable cars briefly stopping to deliver drugs or girls all over the area and the known drug houses in our streets a meeting point for prostitutes and drug addicts whose lives are intertwined, screaming and fighting in roads so residents have to lock themselves in, cars waiting with engines running and headlights on, a sinister presence outside our kids’ bedroom windows.

Residents have had to join forces and fight tooth and nail for what Coun Coupar mentioned in the article, they wouldn’t have done anything without our tenacity or coordination. We now have a reference group of community leaders and a residents group called Save Our Eyes trying to protect our community, especially pensioners and children. Please come and hear our stories for yourself, you’d be amazed and disgusted in equal measure.

No community deserves this scourge upon them, it’s a living nightmare.

Problem has worsened

Carol Lee, Cookridge

I respond to Aisha Iqbal’s article in Thursday’s YEP regarding the claims by Coun Debra Coupar that “progress has been made” in making the prostitution zone in Holbeck work.

I thank Coun Amanda Carter for bringing up the question in the council but Amanda you need to speak with residents to obtain the correct answer to this question.

I agree that there has been extra Leeds City Council workers employed in cleaning up the disgusting discarded rubbish connected with sex and drugs but as soon as they clear it up more is dropped.

The police responses to both the reports of the activities of the prostitutes who are present at all hours in the streets and to the reports of drug dealing has been totally inadequate.

It would appear that the problem has worsened over the last six months and residents are dreading the coming of the better weather.

I would ask Amanda and all readers to watch the YouTube video Save Our Eyes about the managed zone.

Brexit is not inevitable

Sheena Vigors, by email

Voters could be forgiven for thinking that Brexit is now inevitable, given the poor coverage of anti-Brexit activities in the media.

For instance on Saturday March 24 there were huge marches all over the country campaigning to reverse the Brexit decision.

I attended a very inspiring rally in Leeds, together with about 7,000 other people, but the BBC ignored this on their news bulletins, while giving frequent exposure to leave supporters.

The fact is that nearly half those who voted in the referendum wanted to remain in the EU, and that even leave voters are now pessimistic about the future. Since then our economy has dropped from the strongest to the weakest in the developed world. Even the Government’s own studies show we will be worse off if we leave the EU. I’ve been interested in of European co-operation since I was at school (over 50 years ago), and I thought I was pretty knowledgeable, but I am discovering almost daily, new Brexit problems.

Nearly all the leave promises have been broken, and both Tories and Labour are more concerned about party unity than the future of the country. The government is spending billions of pounds paying civil servants to unravel 40 years of EU laws, while the NHS bleeds to death, and the price of imported goods rises due to the weak pound. Many valuable EU workers are leaving because they think we have become a racist society, while British citizens living in other EU countries face an uncertain future.

New trade deals will take years to negotiate and cannot compensate for losing the fantastic deal we already have as a member of the world’s biggest single market. Plus we will lose our seat at the decision-making body of our continent, we will become a vassal state. Tragically the government is even prepared to threaten peace in Northern Ireland in order to implement their “hard” Brexit.

None of this is inevitable. We live in a democracy in which people are allowed to change their minds. The referendum result is also suspect because of the leave campaign’s illegal funding and misuse of Facebook data. So it is essential that before any final decision is taken, we must have the chance to reconsider, either through a parliamentary vote, a general election, or a second referendum.

Pinderfields Hospital

YEP Letters: April 4