YEP Letters: August 22

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I am concerned about the nature of the culture that Leeds is putting forward in its bid to be a capital of culture, especially as it seems to be pinning a lot of its hopes on Leeds Carnival.

For size and longevity, Leeds Carnival is certainly a winner, but that seems to be about it.

Every year we read that the carnival will be bigger and better, but this year we are also told it will be ‘authentic Caribbean’.

Is this a way of explaining, I wonder, why music from other cultures is not included?

Cities like Liverpool, Cardiff and Bristol have expanded their carnival events in order to welcome and include their more recently arrived immigrants.

I am sure I am not the only person who would like to see and hear a bit of Bhangra, samba, Junkanoo, New Orleans style marching bands, circus acts, gypsy music, and maybe even a Yorkshire brass band, parading around our streets and filling them with all these different wonderful sights and sounds.

And, since when did an ‘authentic Caribbean’ carnival only include one steel band, and why only the one run from the West Indian Centre itself?

Besides the many local Leeds bands, such as Casablanca, Sea, Sun and Sand or my own Foxwood Steel/Sparrows there are other UK steel bands that could come and visit Leeds, as Foxwood Steel does every year for Huddersfield and Manchester.

I absolutely love that Leeds Carnival exists, and enjoyed it every time that I took part in it.

But it’s a sad legacy that a carnival which originally did so much to unify newly-arrived West Indian immigrants with the host nation does not now include any other steel bands other than its own, nor open up its own heart to the immigrating nations that followed.

Victoria Jaquiss, band leader, Foxwood, East Steel, Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows

Powerful ‘Mafia’ in Headingley?

i write further to the letter from Reverend Robin Paterson (YEP, August 4) and subsequent correspondence about the so-called ‘Headingley Mafia’ opposing the trolleybus scheme.

I am indifferent to Rev Paterson’s apparent lack of charity, that’s for him and his conscience.

But I do object to his ignorance and sloppy thinking.

Had he taken the trouble to find out, he would know that opposition to NGT is neither confined to nor dominated by residents of Headingley.

I for one live in Woodhouse, and opposition is widespread along the northern route from there to Holt Park.

The packed public meetings, petitions and written objections show it, not to mention submissions to the ongoing Public inquiry.

Further, as the YEP’s own admirable coverage shows, there is substantial opposition in Hunslet and Belle Isle.

My goodness, those Headingley gangsters must be powerful.

Never mind vicar, why let a couple of simple facts get in the way of a good sermon?

Tony Green, Woodhouse

Unaccountable trolleybus boss

I HAVE attended many sessions of the public inquiry being held into the scheme to bring the NGT system to Leeds and I have been given the opportunity to cross-examine council officers and fellow promoters of the scheme on a number of occasions.

What I have not been able to do, however, is to hold to account the individual senior politicians responsible for promoting this scheme.

I have been approached by a number of objectors who have asked me whether I would pursue this, but in my quest to do so I am stopped at every turn.

This only serves to convince me further that this scheme is wrong and that the politicians responsible cannot defend their decisions to go ahead with it.

If this project is right for Leeds, these councillors will be able to show the benefits in easily-understood terms.

I shall continue to attend the public inquiry and question and cross examine those in front of us;, but it is sad that the politicians responsible will not equally stand up for what they believe in.

This city is the only major city in Europe without a modern public transport system. Let’s get it right, so that all of the city can benefit.

Councillor Barry Anderson, Adel and Wharfedale Ward

Keep Scotland’s subsidy - vote No

Claims that Scotland is being subsidised by England encourage me to vote ‘No’ in the independence referendum.

Canny Scots should grab every penny we can.

The debate can be re-visited in 20 years or so when the UK is bankrupt – or earlier if the English wake up and kick us out of the Union first!

John Eoin Douglas, Edinburgh

Tell us about the damage done

We can only apologise to your correspondent Martin Phillips (YEP, August 20) for the failure to clean up at the bus stop he had reported.

We do take calls like Mr Phillips’ seriously and since the start of August have attended 45 individual sites across West Yorkshire where damage or cleaning issues relating to bus stops and shelters have been reported.

Unfortunately in the case of this stop, which has been dealt with this morning, there was a break-down in communication with our cleaning contractors who were requested to attend this site when it was reported.

Bus shelters across West Yorkshire are visited and cleaned on a three-weekly cycle but we do also ask members of the public to let us know about damaged and vandalised stops and shelters.

They can do this through our website at our MetroLine call centre on 0113 251 7214 on Twitter at @MetroTravelNews or on our West Yorkshire Metro Facebook page.

We value this feedback and act upon it and can assure Mr Phillips and your readers that we will be sitting down with our cleaning contactor to work out how this failure to respond happened and put in place any actions to prevent it being repeated.

John Henkel, Metro

On the brink of World War Three

I have been concerned for many years now that I will live to see World War Three, which I believe will, on the surface at least, be fought along religious lines. The world’s politicians appear to have a blindness as to where this will arise.

Their interest in the Middle East is mainly oil driven and they show little understanding of the complexities of the region.

Many, particularly young people, can see a world which values profit above all else. A world which allows tens of thousands to die, daily, of poverty.

Mainstream politics not only appears to ignore this but vehemently supports the system which creates poverty.

In the absence of any visible will among the world’s leading powers to change this, many, particularly young people, can be attracted to radical ideologies which appear to offer an explanation and solution.

The rise in both religious and political extremism is a direct result of young people’s frustration with the inequalities they can see across the globe.

We ignore this at our peril. Don’t be surprised at how easily people can be led astray.

There are now armies of people in the UK who believe that the poor, the unemployed, the sick and disabled, the elderly, migrant workers and public sector workers are to blame for all the country’s ills.

Many believe this, being convinced that it is something beyond their understanding and should be left to those of greater ability to sort out.

And who is responsible for this misdirection? David Cameron.

Dave MacFadyen, Crossgates

YEP Letters: February 19