HATs off to Denis Angood (YEP, July 30), he’s clearly a brave man. He says there must be a ‘demigod’ in control of Leeds’s transport purse strings.
He beat me to it. I was about to put my head above the parapet and declare that the more I follow the story of this city’s prolonged failure to construct a modern transport system, the more I suspect there is a ‘Headingley Mafia’ in control, doing its utmost to deprive the people of Leeds of a proper transport system.
I am a sucker for conspiracy theories and I can anticipate the response – but something, somewhere is going badly wrong.
Headingley remains virtually unchanged since the days of the tram and certainly since I used to drive buses through it in the early Seventies.
There seems to be a self-interest group with access to the corridors of power that is determined to make darn sure that not one inch of Headingley will be given up for the benefit of city-wide transport development.
Those who protest against the NGT trolleybus, or the Supertram before it, are a tiny group of people who need to get out more.
Spend half an hour on the websites of the tram systems of Nottingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Birmingham and Croydon and wise up.
I have just returned from Nottingham where the tram system is being doubled in size with park and ride facilities.
Manchester now has a second fleet of new trams, and even good old Blackpool has negotiated for a branch line from the Tower to the rail station to link with the coastal tramway.
And all we can manage in Leeds is a shuttle bus service to Leeds-Bradford Airport.
Is it a coincidence that Birmingham has extended its tram into the city centre and HS2 plans to locate its headquarters in the city?
Leeds is embarrassed by a bus system hampered by traffic congestion, archaic ticketing procedures and filthy, littered busways that fill with stagnant water.
Leeds has been left behind by most of the world’s cities where new and expanding tram systems have been built.
Rev Robin Paterson, Crossgates
Portas should stay in the UK
I wanted to give my personal view on Portas Ongondo, the school caretaker who has been threatened with deportation (YEP, July 30).
Portas and his family are all of very good character, he works hard and is a much loved, valuable member of our society.
He earns his money, has a place to live and has a strong bond with his three sons.
Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights protects people’s right to a family life without interference and should stand however old your children are.
How many of us would not want to be able to support and be close to our children, whether they be aged three or 43?
Although his relationship with his wife has been and is still difficult, they are not divorced and are trying to work through their issues.
How many of us have struggled with our relationships and made it through the other side?
Portas has done nothing wrong and in fact has contributed to society with his work and experience.
He is a very educated man and is very important to the school, the children, their parents, staff and the wider community.
What does this teach those very children when they see a hard-working, much-loved member of the school staff being put through this?
He should be given to right to remain here as his three sons and his wife have already. Let him live as he has always done – in peace.
Kazia Knight, Wetherby Town Councillor
There should be some flexibility
I understand it’s a complex situation in regards to Portas Ongondo, and I appreciate that the law is the law.
It just seems a pity that there is no room for flexibility.
Not only is he loved and valued by his church family (and as his pastor I can affirm this), but the weight of support from the school where he works speaks volumes.
Surely there must be a way for someone who contributes so much to the good of our society and the well-being of his community to remain in our country.
Listen to the volume of his supporters in Collingham who are desperate not to lose him.
Rev Stephen Thompson, The King’s Church, Boston Spa
Storyline is disappointing
Like other viewers (YEP, July 30), I am so disappointed with the Emmerdale storyline of Donna and her mesothelioma.
If they had done their research properly it could have helped people and brought awareness to this cruel illness.
I find it an insult that the producers think everyone who watches Emmerdale must be of very low intelligence and we will accept anything, however far from the truth, and enjoy it.
I am so proud of beautiful Yorkshire and loved how the Tour de France gave the world a glance of what we have to offer.
However I get so angry with Emmerdale for not portraying Yorkshire as it is.
Where are all the Yorkshire actors? I counted one in the last episode. I want real Yorkshire dialect spoken.
So please Emmerdale, get your act together or I will be another viewer turning over.
Amanda Lilliu, South Milford
You have the wrong person
I would like to reply to Steve Mason of Bramley, who seems to have my wife mixed up with someone else (YEP, July 30).
She has never been a nurse and has definitely not been employed by the NHS.
So fill YOUR boots, Mr Mason.
Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet
The phrase is a contradiction
THE PHRASE ‘capitalist democracy’ is a contradiction in terms.
Capitalism is a form of industrial and economic power involving ownership, control and direction of privately owned business.
Democracy is a form of government for the people by the will of the majority.
The mass of the people don’t want self-service checkouts in supermarkets to the exclusion of real people.
They don’t want self-service ticket machines in railway stations for the same reason.
They don’t want unmanned local railway stations and they don’t want their heat, light, water and other services provided by faceless people at the end of a telephone where an automated voice drones out a choice of buttons for them to press.
All they want is a real live person with whom they can interact and they do not want these services run for profit.
Nor do they want the HS2 high-speed rail line or millions of pounds sent overseas to line the pockets of powerful people.
Here in Leeds, I feel sure that most people will be amazed and annoyed at the destruction of an iconic building on the south side of Eastgate to create space for an upmarket department store.
To my mind this is corporate vandalism, for one only has to look around to know that there are already too many shops and too few customers.
This also shows that elected politicians, once they are in power, dance to the money man’s tune.
This is certainly not of the people, by the people or for the people.
R Pearson, Leeds