YEP Letters: August 28

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Check out today’s YEP letters

We are responsible for our own health

Hilary Andrews, Leeds

YET again calls are being made for something to be done to stop the rise in Type 2 diabetes.

The cause of most such cases is pure and simple – the inability of people to control their intake of unhealthy food.

Surely educational messages should concentrate on this line of prevention rather than expecting food manufacturers or the Government to do something?

We are all largely responsible for our own health and it is about time we took that on board.

Make sure city centre business operates in safety

Coun Andrew Carter, Leeds City Council

The timing of Tuesday and Wednesday’s front page stories in the YEP could scarcely have been more ironic. The story of Leeds bidding to retain safe-city Purple Flag status was immediately followed by the report of the third ram-raid burglary within a year on a prominent Leeds business.

The Purple Flag scheme is a badge of honour for Leeds recognising safe and enjoyable nights out – we must not lose it like other places have. But there is a blight of high profile crime that keeps happening again and again in the city centre. Aside from very recent distressing events, let’s not forget the ‘Italian Job’ style attack on a jeweller’s in Commercial Street that happened in broad daylight on a Sunday in February! It appears this gang managed to evade the ‘ring of steel’ with ease.

We have to be seen to be taking action and supporting our local businesses. We need detailed plans from the council on what more can be done. There is of course a fine balance to be struck between protective measures and ensuring the city centre is a welcoming, accessible place, but I fear that at the moment we have not got that balance right if criminals are able to act at will repeatedly targeting Leeds businesses.

I am all for supporting our partners and the police with sensible and appropriate measures that will improve and enhance our great city, but at the moment I have yet to see what the council’s response will be. We should be rightly proud of our city centre and its massive contribution to the city’s economy and the significant number of jobs created. There is no room for complacency, we need to do all we can to ensure that the city centre businesses can operate in safety.

Questions over town’s project

Coun Tony Wallis (Lab), Castleford.

IT’S easy to look back at the 10 years at the Castleford Project and ask what happened?

What’s happened at the Green at Airedale? Why was Tickle Cock Bridge changed so soon after being built? What about those market stalls? Yet, in reality, changes were occurring during the seven years of the project and the 10 years since have been no different.

The footbridge was not the one initially intended. The sculpture at Fryston was changed along the way. The Castleford Project was not just about pretty places – it was, and is, about changing the town as a foundation to the future, In that respect the footbridge, now being enhanced by developments next door at Queen’s Mill, is a major piece of the jigsaw. Fryston is another piece of that jigsaw. Over the next 10 years, the missing piece of the former Hickson site will join up that part of the jigsaw, creating the south riverside, an urban and rural mix of a boom for the town. Even Tickle Cock Bridge, despite its change and need for cleaning (which is going to happen soon), is an improvement on the pre-project gap when even I, at 5’6”, had to lower my head. Now it is a major pedestrian route into the town. It will be another 10 years before we see whether the project has worked.

Let’s give EU and Barnier a deadline

David Rhodes,by email

AT the time of the Brexit referendum, Jean-Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier stated that negotiations for the UK’s departure would be long and arduous. Ever since, they have made sure it is, thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The picture portrayed is that the UK will be punished for asking to leave the EU, whereas we are telling them we are leaving. Michel Barnier should be summoned to London and presented with our proposals for a fair departure.

We should give them a deadline to agree in principle of say two months and a further two months to “iron out any wrinkles”.

This would enable businesses here in the UK and those in the EU to know where they stand and make arrangements accordingly. Any fudging by the EU would automatically introduce the No Deal scenario and our trading under the World Trade Organisation rules.

Trade loss to the poorer parts of Spain and Italy could cause potential riots if they couldn’t economically export to the UK.

Remember Seville oranges are predominantly bought by the UK for making marmalade, a commodity which is normally the preserve of the British!

Parking ticket confusion

Amanda Stretton, Motoring Editor, Confused.com

MANY drivers find parking signage, ticketing systems and stay durations confusing. It’s no wonder private parking firms are finding excuses to issue more and more fines to motorists.

Drivers are being stung with ever-increasing motoring costs, from the cost of fuel being at a 12 month high, pricey car insurance premiums. The last thing they need is over-inflated parking fines.

Our research shows the average driver will rack up almost £10,000 worth of parking charges and fines over a 25-year period - £6,952 of which is spent on car park fees alone.

Those drivers who feel a parking ticket has been issued unfairly should challenge it and report any unclear parking signs to the local council to help other drivers in the future.

Newmillerdam litter bins

Glynn Humphries, Service Director for Environment and Street Scene, Wakefield Council

I’d like to respond to the points raised by Tracey Guest in her recent letter.

Newmillerdam is enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors to our district every year. Most visitors play their part in helping to keep the country park clean and free of litter. Dog owners are expected to pick up after their pet and either place the waste in one of the bins provided or take it home – which the majority of owners do. The bins are emptied several times a week.

Whilst I understand that visitors would like to see more bins places around the lake, we have limited resources to maintain and empty the bins.

Like many local authorities we have faced huge reductions in our budgets in recent years. In 2018/19 alone we have had a £28m financial challenge to address. Over £171m has been saved from our budget since 2010 – and this means we have to carefully consider how we use the resources we have.

For this reason we have deliberately placed litter bins, which take both general litter and dog waste, near to the main entrances to the park so that they can be emptied quickly and efficiently. Volunteers from The Friends of Newmillerdam also do a weekly litter pick around the site.

Staff regularly patrol the park and will issue a £50 on-the-spot fine to anyone not cleaning up after their dog. Anyone wishing to report dog fouling can do so at www.wakefield.gov.uk/dogfouling

Bypass making a difference

Graham West, Acting Service Director for Planning, Transportation and Highways at Wakefield Council

I’d like to respond to some of the points raised by David Lane about the design of Neil Fox Way.

The new bypass has been created not only to provide an essential road link between the A642 and A638 but to bring major economic benefits to the district.

Neil Fox Way has opened up a large area for development with space for approximately 2,600 homes, additional employment with an estimated 3,200 jobs, plus access to green spaces and improved pedestrian and cycling facilities.

The road is making a difference to drivers by helping to ease traffic pressure, as it provides a new river crossing and an alternative route away from the “Chantry Bridge” area of the city.

Neil Fox Way has been designed to support drivers to use the road safely and to encourage them to stay within the speed limit.

We have looked at routes in the area and have found that all have quicker overall journey times, with fewer queues now on Oakenshaw Lane at the Doncaster Road junction.

There has been no increase in accidents on Oakenshaw Lane since the opening of the new road.

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