YEP Letters: August 4

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Help needed over uncle’s role in First World War

Mike Levy, by email

In 2018, I hope to bring to Leeds, my hometown, a play about my uncle who was killed with many other West Yorks Regiment tommies in late September 1918. Uncle Myer Tomofofski, MM, was 25 years old when he fell and I am going to dramatise the letters he sent home to his family in North Street during 1918.

Myer is bored in a Commonwealth War cemetery at Flesquiers Hill near Cambrai. Lying next to him and killed on the same day was a Private C Marshall.

I would love to know who he was. Also could your readers help me by filling in details of that battle on the 27th September 1918?

I currently live in Cambridge but will bring the play up to my birthplace for the centenary in September 2018.

Strong feeling on ‘traveller’ community

Mark Hall, by email

It is interesting to note that you reported that members of the gypsy and traveller community accused the YEP of bias against them in your recent article about “28 day amnesty periods for “travellers” to be allowed to stay in the area”.

It is also interesting to note that you stated that there was a huge response, much of it negative, and would like you to understand why.

I live in Leeds, and am a council tax payer. I have a caravan, and I go away with my family regularly. I pay for the services that my council provides.

When I go away for a holiday, I ring the site which I wish to stay on, and book my stay, giving them the dates. I am served with a notice which informs me of the rules of the site.

I PAY and I do not apologise for stating this in capitals, a deposit, and then pay the balance on my arrival.

Whilst on the site, I adhere to the rules of the site, knowing that if I infringe, then I will be liable to be asked to leave the site immediately.

I do not leave a mess, I do not commit criminal offences whilst in the area, and I do not expect a “free ride” from society!

I have an older vehicle, which I tow my caravan with, I have worked for 49 years, and paid taxes, and I do not expect anything from anyone.

So perhaps you could answer me the following questions?

Who will be paying for these “amnesty” sites for 28 days? Who will be responsible for administering the behaviour of those using the site?

Also, as an aside, may one ask where their many new vehicles have been obtained from, as they are “travellers”, and do not have a recognised source of income?

And please do not tell me that it’s from horse trading as I am verywell versed in the idiocyncracies of horse trading, and horse passports.

Who will contribute to clearing up the mess left behind when they leave, and who will be responsible for any increase in criminal behaviour? Let me guess?

The Leeds council tax payer, and our hard working and hard pressed police.

Perhaps before you write an article you should understand why there is a strong undercurrent of feeling against these people that the long-suffering council tax payers of Leeds have had to put up with, due to their anti-social behaviour over the years.

Positive move on extra workers

Joseph Nicholson, Kippax, Leeds.

THE announcement by Jeremy Hunt that an extra 21,000 mental health workers are to be recruited can only be received as a positive thing.

If the extra staff being recruited means that the mentally ill will receive better treatment, for example not having to first suffer attending an A&E department, then I welcome more help; it may even encourage those suffering without a diagnosis, to approach their GP or Community Mental Health crisis teams.

Move Brexit forward

David Collins, Scissett.

WELL thank goodness Parliament has recessed.

Maybe now the Brexit negotiations can move forward without bluster and party politics. Let the civil servants get on with the actual negotiations and documentation. Hopefully some of the Parliamentary press will also take a break from promoting non-stories. For a start what’s the hoo-hah about a border between Eire and the UK? There used to be an agreement of sorts on a border in much more difficult times (e.g. terrorism) before we joined the EU. The reduction in value of sterling is already making EU citizens think twice about working here. This is being blamed on Brexit but it might easily be that the pound has slipped because no one thinks we have a Government fit to govern or an Opposition fit to oppose.

Economic consequences

Nick Martinek, Huddersfield.

IT has been wisely said that political parties lose elections; they do not win them.

The widespread feeling that Jeremy Corbyn cannot be trusted has been borne out by his election promise to pay off student debt, followed by a rapid denial after the vote.

As cynical political bribes go this was a peach, but only the naive young, and Labour’s core vote fell for it, so he got his way and lost. Then the Tories, apparently equally keen to lose the election, tried to introduce numerous unpopular or irrelevant policies rather than concentrating on the mandate they already had – to leave the EU. Determined to emulate their election losing streak in government they now roll out Michael Gove’s truly bonkers ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars from 2040.

No one in Mr Gove’s ministry seems to have realised the enormous economic consequences. The UK will need a expansion of our electricity generation capacity on a scale we have never managed in the past. Nuclear, like Hinckley Point C, cannot be built fast enough, so that means new coal and gas-fired generators because wind turbines are too intermittent to rely on.On top of almost doubling our existing (inadequate) generation capacity, the grid itself will have to be expanded and rebuilt. In addition, barring the roads, almost the entire road transport sector and all its energy infrastructure will have to be replaced in 23 years. It’s just not feasible. And a realistic cost must be in excess of £600bn. It makes leaving the EU without a deal a piece of cake.

Misconceptions about cycling

Paul Annis, by email

If Mrs J Green (Letters, July 29) is “aware of the Highway Code and the rules for road users” as she says, she should know that the use of cycle tracks is not compulsory.

To defend the right of cyclists to use the roadway is not an act of arrogance. Mrs Green says that the cycleway “was built solely in the interest of cyclists like him for their safety and in consideration of other road users whose progress is often slowed by cyclists”. As John Dennis said (YEP Letters, August 1), it was not designed for experienced cyclists like myself, but for inexperienced and less confident cyclists. Experienced cyclists, especially commuters, travel at a faster pace and therefore need to be on the road. The cycleway was not built to get cyclists out of the way of other road users.

Many studies have shown that it is the occupants of vehicles who are exposed to the highest levels of air pollution: far more than people walking or cycling. The air intakes at the front of cars and vans are at the same level as the exhaust pipes of the vehicles ahead, and draw in high concentrations of particulates and harmful gases. Cyclists are in the open air, and breathing at a higher level. Pedestrians tend to inhale more fumes than cyclists do because they travel more slowly and so are exposed for longer.

Meanwhile Ernest Lundy (YEP Letters, July 29) misrepresents my last letter as a “diatribe against Mrs Green”, and misquotes me as well. I did not say that cyclists do not kill or cause injury to others.

I said “a bicycle poses very little danger to other road users”, meaning, in comparison with the much greater danger caused by cars. I said nothing of the danger to users of the pavement, but Mr Lundy raises that subject.

Yes, cycling on the pavement is illegal; I do not defend it. However, statistics show that pedestrians on the pavement are far more likely to be hit by a car than by a bicycle. In Britain, from 2005-14, 98.5% of pedestrian fatalities and 95.7% of pedestrian serious injuries that happened in collisions on a footway or verge involved a motor vehicle, while about 1% of each involved a bicycle.

New colony of Humboldt penguins in the new Costal Zone at Lotherton Hall.
21st November 2017.
Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

YEP Letters: November 22