I don’t usually write letters to newspapers, nor do I make a habit of presenting to public inquiries, but I am about to do the latter. Let me tell you why.
The Leeds/Bradford conurbation is an amazing caged resource.
Caged by apathy of national governments whatever their rosette colour and similarly by fear, lack of courage, lack of foresight and no overall understanding of what this area needs.
In the, I hope, unlikely event that the trolleybus scheme is given the go-ahead, one could see two observant Yorkshire men at the inauguration.
On seeing NGT, the first may remark: ‘Is it a bus? Is it a train? No, it’s Supertram!’
The second Yorkshireman will respond: ‘Nay lad, he’s dead. That’s not Supertram, it’s the ghost of Supertram.’
We don’t want a ghost of a globally accepted failed system. We want something that is appropriate and relevant. One which is coherent, integral fundamental and future proof, achieving at least some of the goals it sets out to.
We don’t want a joke, we don’t want an embarrassment, we want what is right on a local and national basis.
Please all ask the public inquiry inspector to direct Metro to the Department of Transport and support their request that the money for this ill-fated project be set aside and used for identifying and supporting schemes which will provide real benefit for Leeds/Bradford and not just be wasted on vanity and dogma.
And yes, the answer will be a proper, accessible underground and overground system costing lots of money.
The first politician to demand this from national government will get my vote and I will hold the marching banner for them.
Chris Sheard, Meanwood
Hoping final is a great RL advert
Today’s all-West Yorkshire Challenge Cup Final should be a great game.
I only hope it doesn’t come down to a refereeing mistake or a drop goal, that both teams play to their best and deliver a game that is a great advertisement for rugby league.
I’m a Castleford fan and today is a day to be savoured.
It is just reward for Jack Fulton, Darryl Powell, Danny Orr, all the back room staff and those who have kept us in the Super League against all the odds over those years.
Congratulations to the team for making it to the final – and to all those supporters who have followed them over some difficult years.
As with the Hull game a few years ago, can the last one out of Castleford today turn the lights out? Come on you Tigers!
Jane Butler, Kippax
I am writing to wish the Leeds Rhinos well in today’s final. You always say in the YEP ‘who do you think was the man of the match?’ Myself, I think they are all great players, and don’t need a man of the match.
Keep going lads and good luck for today.
Annie Watkins, Belle Isle
Litter left by carnival-goers
I went to the Leeds Carnival last year for the first time. The main memory I have is not the costumes, food or music but the litter.
I had an early morning stroll in Potternewton Park the next day and was astounded by the tons of rubbish.
In my opinion, what constitutes a successful festival is one where all the visitors take all their rubbish home with them.
That way thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money will be saved on the ensuing clean-up.
Martin Phillips, Cookridge
Don’t double up on same letter
The council and private companies are always looking for ways to save money.
May I make a suggestion? When sending mailings, check to see how many people live at the same address before sending the same letter to every member of that household.
Both my husband and I have had exactly the same letter from Leeds City Council about the way voting is changing.
Surely they must know from their systems that there are two people living at the same address.
Think how much money could be saved on postage if adopting this system.
Judith Harris, Moortown
Better to be a scrounger
HAVING worked until the age of 60, my advice to anyone who needs help is to be a scrounger.
Needing help with my housework, my doctor contacted social services on my behalf.
Their first question was ‘what benefits do you get?’ My reply was ‘none’.
I have my old age pension, plus a small works pension from my deceased husband and my own works pension.
They all add to just over the threshold (by about £2) to get any help from social services.
I nearly laughed, but then I cried. I don’t mind paying something towards this service but to be told I cannot get any help is distressing.
G Proctor, Ilkley
Nations wrong to go it alone
AS a country we are faced with two campaigns, both of which – if successful – would be deeply damaging to the UK.
Fortunately neither of them are at all likely to be successful.
First let’s take Scottish independence. Leaving aside the point that no country can be fully independent in the modern world, it should be fairly obvious that Scotland is far too small to make a success of going it alone.
The proposal that, after centuries of intertwined fortunes in the Union, this northern outpost could deal successfully with the problems of defence, currency, relations with the EU and so on, is most unlikely.
If there was a separation it would certainly matter to us, but for the Scots it would be nothing short of catastrophic.
The other, of course, is Ukip’s campaign to exploit people’s fears and prejudices to cut us off from Europe.
Here again they are unlikely to succeed. There is a solid majority among the parties in favour of staying in.
This comprises the whole of the Lib Dems, five-sixths of the Labour Party and a surprising number of Conservatives who keep quiet for fear of Ukip.
It is a pity that we have to waste so much time and money on wrong-headed and ill-advised policies in an economic crisis.
United we stand, but nations divided will fall.
Don Burslam, Dewsbury
The business of housebuilding
To read the comments by housebuilding boss Steve Birch (YEP, August 20) you would imagine that his company was a charitable foundation, set up to provide much-needed shelter for those without a roof over their heads. The reality is this is a business, and a profitable one.
And this is why house builders generally are able to pursue developments so ruthlessly, using their resources to overwhelm local opposition as residents of Scholes and Morley, among others are finding out.
But why do house builders not just use brownfield sites, cleaning up unsightly wasteland and protecting green fields for the future? It comes down to simple economics – a figure of half a million pounds per hectare to remove previous evidence of occupation would not be excessive, but this is cost that eats into profits.
The solution surely is for local councils to use the local development plan to identify sites. They should then be given the ability to control sales on a piecemeal basis to preferred local builders who will build sympathetically, not create pressure on amenities, and crucially offer jobs to local people.
Bill Dicks, Headingley