YEP Letters: August 29

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Check out today’s YEP letters.

The waves are our free gift

Ian Anderson, Wakefield

Isn’T it time the Government listened to ordinary people?

What is the point of spending an absolute fortune on an express train that, if you live south of Leeds, will take longer to get to London than the existing service?

As this new train will not stop at Wakefield, anyone wanting to catch it will have to travel to Leeds, which will take at least half an hour. As the new train will only cut 20 minutes from the journey, it will take 10 minutes longer by the new route.

If the proposed new nuclear power station is shelved, as it should be, there will be an immense amount of money left floating aimlessly. We are struggling to get our carbon emissions under control and our air quality is abysmal. Why doesn’t the Government pool 
the money that they could save by stopping 
HS2 at Sheffield, and by cancelling the new nuclear power station and then invest this money into the research of tidal power? We are an island nation, totally surrounded by heavy tidal seas.

There is a huge pool of unemployed labour in our old fishing ports. Tidal power is an enormous free gift for this country and we don’t exploit it. We could rapidly become the world leader in this free power generation. Our leaders should look to the future.

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Farage and Trump was frightening

Terry Maunders, Kirkstall

LAST week I got up, switched on the summary on BBC World News to the spectacle of Farage speaking on a platform he shared with Donald Trump. In this speech he has described himself, and Trump, as “anti-Establishment”.

What? He represents everything about “the Establishment” that we should loathe.

He had an ‘independent’ education (of course) and worked in the corrupt financial system. He claimed, in 2009, as an MEP, £2m in expenses from tax payers. He led a political party that had members whose views were clearly racist (remember “bongo bongo land?”).

These views still mirror a party that looks to our imperialist, nationalistic past as some heyday, when we exploited other cultures, as in India, for our own financial profit and often at the expenses of the indigenous population’s lives.

These historic examples parallel, of course, the experiences of the indigenous population of what was to become the US, a country that still thinks it can invade countries with impunity, whose social system is corroded by institutionalised racism and who think people have a “right” to be armed with lethal weapons.

They make good bedfellows, Farage and Trump. Which is very frightening. Make no mistake, they encapsulate all the very worst of “the Establishment”.

‘sod’ night?

Tony Mudd, Apperley Bridge, Bradford

OUR family trips led us up Armley Town Street, hearing the music from the rides and added to the smell of the mint sauce, pie and peas stall. The excitement grew as we neared the moor.

The most remembered stalls and rides were the boxing booth, where three retired boxers took on all comers (local big hitters).

The Shamrock reminds me of my mother, a hero 
who loved the ride, but who 
lost all her change out of her purse, it rolling back and 

Does anyone remember ‘sod night’, the day before feast, opened?

Local gangs of young kids used to do battle throwing grass sods at each other, possibly with the feast families’ children.

Safer Leeds is a secret plan

D S Boyes, Leeds

IN the public affairs of this country, none are more transparent than in Parliament at Westminster, where every word ever spoken in any debate or vote to amend existing legislation or introduce new laws is recorded verbatim in a publication called Hansard, open to inspection by all citizens, copies available in e.g. Leeds Central Reference Library.

Sadly, this is not so where Leeds City Council is concerned, as major policy decisions often remain shrouded in secrecy, with even Freedom of Information requests ignored.

None more so than the so-called Holbeck red light zone, as no one could find any reference in Hansard to Parliament de-criminalising prostitution as Leeds City Council appears to have done of its own volition.

Not only was that decision forced on local residents and legitimate businesses located there to their great detriment, without any consultation, a vote or right of appeal, but the report on a subsequent review into that situation drawn up by a mysterious unelected organisation called Safer Leeds has I understand been declared top secret and not only unavailable to the public but also to opposition councillors who are being deliberately kept in the dark.

Such a situation does not belong in a democratic society, but in somewhere like former Communist Soviet Russia or East Germany. Those Labour commissars at the Civil Hall must have a lot to hide, but what can it be, what are they afraid of?

Too much foul language on TV

Mavis Harrison, Leeds

I am no Mary Whitehouse by any stretch of the imagination but the increasing use of bad language on television, to me, is totally off-putting.

I started to watch a comedy (Fleabag, Sunday evening, 21 August, BBC2). Having seen a snatch of it, it’s a 1/6 – I will not be watching the following five!

Bus lane fines nightmare

Peter Haddinton, Eccleshill, Bradford.

I AM writing in defence of Janet Porter’s letter about the bus lane fines which she claimed are daylight robbery (YEP, August 3).

She has come in for a fair amount of criticism for this letter, but there are several truths in what she says. I can fully relate to where she is coming from having had experience of Leeds City Council’s methods of enforcement.

I always remember a letter from a gentleman a few years ago who attended the skyride event in Leeds who instructed us to use the bus lane by the road signs and was told that the cameras were switched off. A few months down the line he received a fine through the post for going into the bus lane from the council and asked the question were the hoping he had forgotten.

He appealed against the fine and won his case, but as he said, how many other motorists have been caught out by this, who had forgotten the signage at this event and paid the fine without a second thought? This example does tend to suggest that this lady might just have a point with her daylight robbery claim.

It also suggests that a recent statement by a councillor who said obey the signs and you won’t be fined look rather fragile.

This lady is right that by paying the fine you are deemed guilty but the fact that your fine can double and you could incur costs is the council’s way of trying to enforce an early payment. I also agree that a better appeal system is needed.

She is also correct that authorities need to start focussing more on drivers using mobiles at the wheel, driving through red lights and for failing to indicate. Sadly Mrs Porter there is no chance of warnings being used by Leeds City Council, not when money can be made. Anyone who has never been in Leeds City Council’s clutches cannot be expected to know of their methods, but their powers of enforcement are wonderful when money can be made.

There are other areas when making money outweighs solving problems, and not all alleged offences are caught on camera.

Some people believe that photographic evidence is needed to secure a conviction or a successful prosecution, these people have never been in Leeds City Council’s spotlight.

Thank you for Access bus

Lena Ackroyd, Leeds

THROUGH your paper I would like to say thank you to the Access Bus.

It is the 30th year it has been going and I was in with the start.

The staff in the office and the drivers are always so helpful and it’s such a pleasure to go shopping.

In the early days we had an old bus and not many members. I used to go on a Saturday for nearly a day out. It came from Bradford and in the first year I was invited to the office in Bradford Bus Station for afternoon tea. The bus number was LX10 and was called Lena’s bus.

Keep on going, I am now 
in my 90s and enjoy my time out.