YEP Letters: August 31

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Real progress in the future for rail

Geoffrey A Hall, Alwoodley

With regard to the rail investment in the north, it’s not all doom and gloom.

Commmuters and longer distance passengers will see significant investment and improvements. Brand new five coach locomotive hauled trains wil be introduced in 2018/19 on Transpennine Express, with better acceleration, Wifi and a hot food buffet. The coaches will be quieter (no under floor diesel engines). The Class 68 locos are the latest high tech low emission engines. Also, Northern Rail are introducing new rolling stock and Virgin East Coast the new Azuma trains to London and the north. Obviously HS3 would be ideal in the future (Liverpool-Hull), as will HS2. The trouble is lack of investment in the past – after World War Two the railways were in a very poor state. HS2 and HS3 is not about speed, it is about capacity as most main lines are running at the max. HS3 would also mean more freight trains over the Pennines – taking trucks off the M62 etc. The future for rail is real progress.

We need something more than promises

Mike Harwood, Leeds 5

The men returning from the trenches – those who did return – at the end of the First World War – were promised homes fit for heroes.

In Coventry the Mayor and his Corporation responded – by allocating £31,000 (perhaps £2.5m today) for the creation of a memorial park. As was immediately pointed out by those with some real compassion, the money could/should instead be spent on new and urgently needed housing schemes.

Today, promises have been made. But are we going to have something more than a few promises from those who are in control – or are we to have real homes actually fit enough and safe enough for the survivors of Grenfell Towers; and not just them, but for all those – heroic and tolerant - throughout this wealth ridden land, who have for too long been fobbed off with second rate homes or no affordable home at all?

Somewhere to live as well as to play? That will be the best possible memorial for those who did not survive. Do these politicians actually care?

Campaign fear goes on

Alan Chapman, Bingley.

OVER the last few days, the Government has published more of its Brexit strategy papers.

Some contain more detail than others, but the reaction by Remainers and the Remain-supporting media has been all too typical, dismissive and laughable. Take their reaction to last Wednesday’s paper on the European Court of Justice. Even though it is quite clear that ECJ jurisdiction will end when we leave, Remainers like Labour MP Chris Leslie alleged there had been a total climbdown which would make Brexiteers foam at the mouth.

What was this climbdown? Well, the Government were proposing a panel of arbitration to resolve disputes between us and the EU over trade, citizens’ rights and other areas, too. Will the discredited campaign of fear, rejected by the majority, be played out to eternity?

Quest to find relatives

Jeff Hewitt, by email

Can you please help me in my quest to trace any surviving family of 46 Royal Marine Commando Kenneth Musgrave who lost his life in World War Two? He was 20 years of age when killed in action.His parents were John Wilson and Mary Alice Musgrave who lived in Hawkeswood Grove, Kirkstall, Leeds. On June 11, 2019, the 75th anniversary of his death along with 21 of his comrades, I am going to present a photographic memorial plaque to the Mayor of the village in Normandy where they gave their lives to liberate it from German occupation.

The village is called Rots and after the war a marble monument was erected by the villagers to honour these 22 men. My late father Sgt Harry Hewitt fought alongside them and was fortunate to survive the whole of World War Two and safely return to the UK.

Having now walked in my dad’s footsteps through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany I consider it an honour to remember his fallen comrades.

By tracing any surviving family of Kenneth I will be able to share with them his war history and invite them to join me in 2019 to pay honour to him and his fallen comrades.

My contact number for anyone who is family or can help me in my quest is 01869 356082.

Support for older people

Denise Gordge, Scheme Manager, The Anchorage, Halton Moor

There are now more people aged over 65 in Britain than those aged 16 and under.

As older people are living longer thanks to better health standards, they are choosing to live independently in retirement housing properties with the support of scheme managers like myself.

I’m proud of the support I’m able to give my tenants so they can continue to lead fulfilling lives in their own home, knowing that I’m there if they need me.

Anchor’s housing managers are raising awareness of the importance of supported housing as part of the National Housing Federation’s Starts at Home action day on 1 September.

The campaign, now in its second year, celebrates how supported housing helps hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people regain their independence and confidence. Anchor and other housing associations are also campaigning to persuade the Government to commit to ensuring every person who needs extra support have a home that meets their needs.

Morley missing a vital service

A Paver, by email

Health experts recognise the link between stress, depression, anxiety, dementia and being isolated and lonely.

It is hard to believe in 2017 so many people admit they are isolated, lonely or both.

Thankfully the majority of these people are able bodied and can get out into the big wide world even if it’s only to the corner shop, or supermarket. However a significant minority due to numerous reasons are unable to get out of the house and are significantly at risk of the above mentioned health risks, the elderly are particularly so.

Many in our community of Morley spend weeks on end with minimal or no contact with the outside world which is pretty appalling really.

I have heard of elderly people been found dead in their homes days, and even weeks afterwards. It would be impossible to completely stop this from happening, but we could help to reduce the risk.

How? One way would be to have a befriending service. This would allow caring, committed vetted volunteers under the supervision of a recognised organisation to make a weekly visit to the most vulnerable in our community of Morley.

Befrienders would provide companionship, a friendly face to spend an hour or so a week visiting them in their own home.

They could also be eyes and ears for signs of health deterioration. A call to the GP, or nursing team to inform them could prevent a visit or a admission to hospital.

Currently Morley does not have such a service locally administered. Many other parts of Leeds do have successfully run schemes for members of their communities often run 
by neighbourhood action groups.

I believe Morley is missing out on what could be a vital service to some of the most vulnerable in our community.

I would welcome the comments of readers for and against having a befriending service.

Looking for family members

Marjorie Bell, Gildersome

I would like to enlist your help to enable me to get in touch with any members of the Armitage family.

I know the former Armitages had connections to both Roundhay and Farnley. I am 87 now and recall as a child in the Farnley parish we looked on Mr Robert Armitage as “the squire.”

A book has come to me written by Emily Armitage to her grandchildren; it’s the story of her life and it was a private publication, i.e. one for each of them. So it would be nice to return it to a member of the family.

Fingers crossed I’ll solve this problem.