YEP Letters: August 17

Have your say

Judging by Mr Connolly’s recent letter he hasn’t begun to grasp the true impact of the Trolleybus.

The scheme will cause irreparable damage to the character of one of the most attractive parts of Leeds due to the imposition of an ugly and heavily engineered bus lane with overhead poles and wires.

The destruction includes the loss of some 130 mature urban trees – a forest the size of Meanwood Park. Mature trees, some nearly 100-years-old, are irreplaceable. The ensuing images of destruction will put Leeds (renowned as a Green City) on the map and in the public imaginations for a long time.

This negative image equals loss of investment and jobs. For investors the attraction of Leeds is the quality of the environment such as Headingley and not a place that will become synonymous with disastrous town planning decisions like the 60s. An ugly bus lane with poles and wires will not attract investment. No one is fooled by the grandiose names such as “New Generation Transport” or “Rapid Transport System” (12mph?) The claim of 4,000 jobs resulting from the scheme must be treated with great scepticism. A hundred jobs is more realistic.

The scheme offers nothing in terms of alleviating traffic problems in Headingley – a stated objective.

The Government’s financial contribution is fixed with the council to pick up the inevitable overspend. What consequences for jobs and services in Leeds?

Perhaps Mr Connolly would like to question the supposed benefits of this scheme rather than dismissing intelligent debate as the work of the Taliban?

Mr Connolly tellingly states in his letter “Mind you a tram/bus scheme has been on the cards over 30 years so not so new”. Maybe it’s time for some fresh thinking? Please tell your public representatives.


There’s no one left to trust

IN JUNE Ed Miliband and Ed Balls signalled that the Labour Party supported the coalition government’s austerity plans and if elected at the next general election a Labour government would continue to put them into practice.

Since the core of any government’s programme is economic, how close are we to a tri-party coalition government?

We cannot trust any of the political parties to defend our basic rights of housing, education, health and food, in other words what are needed to live as human beings. At present we live in a society that bases itself on ‘If it does not make a profit scrap it’.

There are many things in society that do not make a profit. Those in the public sector that satisfy real needs are to be scrapped. Those that work for the system or prop up the City have money poured into them.

Norman Harding, email

Will Labour ever win again?

THERE was a time, as Labour reached full bloom, when it seemed you really could fool all the people all of the time. It was a freak of nature, the political equivalent of the “corpse flower” which blooms once in a lifetime and leaves behind a stench like rotting flesh.

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown proved Labour cannot be trusted to run the economy. All that remains is a bad smell.

With the Old Labour Left back in charge it seems very unlikely Labour will win another three elections, because the Blairites who made Labour electable have been hounded out or sidelined.

The question now, after three years with “Red Ed” as leader, is whether Labour will win again.


Expansion needs thought

IN NO small measure a school is only as “good” as its aspirational parents. Expand a school too far, and you inevitably change its dynamics. And there will be Ofsted hovering in the wings, waiting to seek out faults and failures.

So I am surprised that MP Greg Mulholland “welcomes spending on extra places”, (YEP 30 July) especially on a primary school. It is one thing supporting your local school, but this expansion of the institution which is one step away from the small family unit needs to happen only with care.

And, Ofsted is a very crude measure of a school. Anyone in education knows this to be the case but is forced to play the game, because power resides in Westminster with a set of incompetent rogues (Greg excluded!)

It also makes me very very angry that places like Royal Park, architecturally so in tune with their surroundings, and so local to so many families, is denied the opportunity to live and breathe education again, while there seems to be enough money for contractors to put up the ghastly new builds that litter this once proud town of ours.

Expand a primary school? We should be careful what we wish for.

Victoria Jaquiss FRSA, Leeds Education Campaigner

We need a new political party

The current disaster that is occurring in Egypt (and indeed other countries) has been blamed on the intervention of the army and others who it is said are acting in an ‘undemocratic’ manner. Some pundits and so-called political experts have said that countries like Egypt just aren’t ready for democracy. I even heard someone on the radio say that just because democracy works in this country, it doesn’t follow that it will necessarily work in countries like Egypt. This is clearly nonsense. The real problem is with so-called democracy itself. In its current form democracy isn’t working for millions of people. A ruling elite always ends up being elected and they only act for their own people and ignore millions of others (some might say scum always rises to the top!). Mosi in Egypt is a classic example. As an Islamist he only represented people of the same persuasion with the backing of the Muslim Brotherhood. This reflected the society which prevails in the middle east which has such a religious divide with separate branches of Islam, Christian sects and secularists.

We have the same problem in this country where instead of religion being the divide it is class and wealth. Our so called democracy has given us a government and indeed a ruling elite which only looks after its own kind; the liberal, rich and wealthy; bankers, millionaires and tax avoiders. All at the expense of the rest of us. There was a balance once when the Labour Party represented working people but that is no longer the case since it was infiltrated and taken over by the rich middle classes. This leaves millions of people in this country totally disenfranchised. What’s needed is a new political party which can represent and unite these millions of people and actively involve them in the running of society and wrest control from the liberal elite in this country.

Kevin Wilson, Cottingley Grove, Cottingley

Why do we need the Trolleybus?

COUN Richard Lewis is quick to condemn anyone who opposes the Trolleybus (NGT) plans but he has failed to provide any explanation as to why we need this scheme.

It has already been established that NGT will not reduce transport congestion since it will not entice drivers to leave their cars at home, given that the trams will not be quicker than using the car; it won’t be cheaper than using the car; and it will not run frequently enough to be as convenient as using the car. In addition, the NGT route will only run along two of dozens of routes into the city centre, so will do nothing to ease the gridlock. It would appear then that the only reason for the promotion of this scheme is status; Leeds has to have the NGT system to keep up with Manchester, Sheffield, and Newcastle. Unfortunately, all Trolleybus will do is tell the world that Leeds is the poor relation to those cities since they all have the superior supertram.

Martin J Phillips, Tinshill Lane, Cookridge