OUR CITY’S prestige and pretentions are not well-served by the Civic Hall sandpit which combines the ugly, the intrusive and the inconvenient in one statement of stupidity.
Nor by the trolleybus saga, which resembles The Forsyte Saga in its intricacy and interminable length.
Ominous, too, is the news of independent retailers being affected by shopping centres and the council’s level of charges.
The solutions are clear; borrow from the EU to build a conference, business or exhibition centre.
Take into council control all derelict property and wasteland and renovate and develop them using youth labour.
Serve legal notice on private landlords who refuse or delay to improve their stock. Compulsorily purchase them, if necessary.
Replace councillors with citywide volunteer groups.
Retain the excellent 12-person executive board, and the admirable Yorkshire promotional and regional development teams.
Undertake a thorough, ‘non PC’ public analysis of the education and social/welfare budgets on a cost-benefit-value basis.
Need and necessity should be the guiding principles – not fairness, justice and equality.
Connect the airport with a rail link, re-open rail halts (two platforms and shelters) along the mainlines and install four huge park and ride terminals.
Cancel the folly bus but demand the £250m to subsidise this programme.
Paul Kilroy, Lawnswood
I’ve ruffled a few feathers
I SEEM to have ruffled a few feathers when recently I said I could live on £80 a week (YEP, August 9).
One writer, David Packham (YEP, August 12), asks why should we be forced to live on such an amount.
We now get enough to live on, if you spend wisely like our parents taught us to do when money was really tight just after the last war.
Also, the minimum full wage is £260, as he states, but on pension credit and with no more than £16,000 in savings, you don’t pay any rent or council tax.
It is like being paid £248 a week or more.
Writer Ken Norrie (YEP, August 12) says he has never been out of work and can’t claim a sausage. He should be fairly pleased he could work all those years and must be on a decent pension.
I worked for 40 years until being forced to retire and receive a princely £7.24 a week for it.
No system is perfect and some do get rewarded more than others.
Most of today’s money problems were laid at our feet by the spend, spend, spend brigade and those who feel for it have only themselves to blame.
AE Hague, Harehills
Independence vote concerns
COULD someone explain to me how Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has been allowed to change the rules of voting in the forthcoming vote on independence?
Firstly he has lowered the voting age to include 16-year-old schoolchildren, and then denied the vote to Scots who live in England but given it to those who reside anywhere else in the world.
Why has not someone complained to the EU Humans Rights Court on this issue?
Dennis Lemmon, Halton
What Labour got to offer?
THE FASTEST growing economy in the moribund EU, the UK is outperforming any other leading industrial nation, with a continuing drop in unemployment and more people in work. But what has hapless Labour got to offer instead?
The two Eds predicted the only path to recovery was even more borrowing, more public spending and more debt.
Yet far from wrecking the economy, ‘austerity’ has worked in rescuing the UK from the degrading economic mess Labour got us into.
We only have to look at socialist France under Francoise Hollande, implementing the same strategy as the two Eds want to foist on us.
Low or non-existent growth, deficit rising, bloated unreformed public sector, living standards stagnant with the wealthy fleeing to booming Britain to boost our economy.
None of this means the Tories are home and dry for the next election.
The fall in wages has to be tackled, along with the rising discontent of more workers drawn into the 40p tax band and the threat of Ukip allowing Miliband to sneak into No 10 by the back door.
But with Labour’s lead in the polls vanishing, this is a dismal position for an opposition nine months away from a General Election.
With the hapless Miliband unfit to be Prime Minister leading a lacklustre party, all things are now possible.
Brian Johnston, Burmantofts
George could be the next PM
Steve Fodden (YEP, August 18) criticises my letter in support of a northern powerhouse, but I will continue to push a good idea.
The Chancellor George Osborne was lumbered with a difficult job, yet appears to have made a very good job of it.
I think one day, George could be our Prime Minister and would do a Harold Wilson for the North.
In other words, champion northern infrastructure projects as Wilson championed the building of the M62.
Terry Allinson, Bardsey
Where has the wealth gone ?
The rising costs of healthcare should be a wake up call to the nation.
It represents a tsunami of debt about to engulf us and has its origins decades ago.
An interesting graph came my way a few months ago. It showed British productivity growth since 1948.
Listen to the ‘captains of industry’ and they will say British productivity is poor.
This is a lie. It has grown on an annual average of about 3.8 per cent.
Next to productivity growth was another line showing average income.
Up to 1972 the two lines were almost together. As our nation got richer, that wealth was shared with the workforce.
After 1972 productivity growth continued, but incomes flatlined and even fell.
Since 1972, the generated wealth was no longer shared with the British workforce.
Where has that wealth gone?
Robert Reynolds, Batley
Cyclists should pay to use roads
Driving to work the other morning from the bottom of Eastgate to the middle of Vicar Lane, a lady cyclist went through three red lights and just missed scratching my car.
Why do cyclists think they are a law unto themselves?
They pay nothing towards the use of the roads and don’t pay insurance.
If they are involved in an accident and they are at fault who is going to pay for the damage?
Would it not be more fair on motorists who pay hundreds of pounds per year to keep their vehicles on the road, including insurance, for cyclists to pay a nominal sum of say £10 a year in road tax?
Don’t forget that they have their own cycle lanes as well.
Surely they should also have insurance to cover the vehicles they are in collision with.
Every cyclist should also be made to have a proficiency test to prove that they are capable of using their bikes in heavy traffic.
There will no doubt be an uproar that some motorist has dared to suggest that the cyclist should pay to use the roads, but I am surprised that there has not been more accidents.
C Cole, Pudsey