YEP Letters: August 5

Have your say

Portas Ongondo, the school caretaker threatened with deportation (YEP, July 30), adds significant value to the families, the children and to the local community within which he works.

He has strong Christian values and provides a truly positive link to a different culture to many children without any African influences in their formative years.

His return to Kenya would be a great loss to so many families in his local area.

There is a lot of talk about the tightening of the rules regarding immigrants being granted leave to stay because of their right to a family life.

Perhaps these changes should reflect the rights of existing domicile families not to have their family lives impacted upon by immigrants who contribute little or nothing to society.

In contrast, individuals like Portas Ongondo who entered the country legally, is hard-working, intelligent, financially independent and plainly contributes so much to the family lives of his local community.

We would like the Home Office to reconsider his application and find a way of keeping Portas in our school and community.

Lynne and Jeremy Denton, Collingham

I was pleased to see the publicity you are giving to the case of Portas Ongondo, the caretaker of the village school in Collingham.

While the Home Office have applied the rules, as they stand, to order Portas’s deportation, is this fair and just?

This man has more than earned his right to stay in this country.

He has never scrounged, he is in good employment, he pays his taxes and is an important part of his community.

How has the Government earned the right to separate him from his children, even if they are now adults?

Please continue to support the campaign.

John Jefferis, East Sussex

The law is the law. It just sometimes it would be nice if some human compassion and understanding could make a difference.

Here is a man, Portas Ongondo, who is making a positive contribution and is greatly loved by all who know him.

So yes, please let him stay.

Jill Thompson, Boston Spa

I am just writing to say thank you to the YEP for their support and article relating to Portas Ongondo.

As a parent at the school and an ex-chairman of the PTA, Portas is exactly the sort of man we need to keep at the school.

He is kind, helpful, the children respect him because of how he treats them and nothing is too much trouble for him.

I really hope this campaign assists with his fight to stay as he is the sort of role model we want our children to aspire to be like, and to separate him from his children would be criminal.

He is an absolutely vital part of our community and we are lucky to have him.

Lorna Murdoch, Collingham

Wires beat diesel fumes

As ever, the flood of usual suspects turn up when a letter appears supporting the NGT trolleybus scheme.

In fact, BA Anderton (YEP, July 28) makes some very valid points. The tram system in Sheffield has proved a great success and is now being extended to Rotherham.

It is worth noting that First bus services run alongside Stagecoach trams in Sheffield and both make a profit. Indeed, Sheffield is making the most profit for First countrywide.

In Manchester, RATP trams run alongside Stagecoach buses and both are a success on the same routes.

We keep being told by the anti-NGT lobby about low emission diesels and hybrids – but these still pump out deadly particulates at street level. This is borne out by the new diesel taxes being introduced in London.

As for intrusive infrastructure, give me wires over diesel fumes any day.

Even Prince’s Street in Edinburgh, a World Heritage Site, has overhead cables strung along it.

Cliff Stead, Headingley

Labour left us in deplorable state

WITH regards to the Feed A Family campaign (YEP, July 22), although the YEP has only the best interests of everyone of Leeds in mind, and is by definition politically neutral, Labour’s various spokesmen and women give the unfortunate impression that it is part of their 2015 General Election campaign.

But the increasing need for such support and other ‘benefits’, even by some in regular work, is just another example of the malaise affecting this country resulting from the previous 13 years of ‘New’ Labour maladministration, with the coalition’s efforts to improve things still having a way to go.

Gross overpopulation by uncontrolled immigration, plus lax financial management and expansion in public spending largely unfunded other than by excessive ‘borrowing’, left this country in a deplorable state.

Wages were depressed, job vacancies under pressure, house prices and rents unaffordable for many.

Labour’s only response is to want to artificially increase the minimum wage and raise many taxes even higher, so continuing the downward spiral they put us into, with more public sector strikes on top.

Far from redistributing wealth, the rich would get richer via tax avoidance and the poor even poorer by higher prices for every commodity.

Babies in 1997 when Labour came to power may vote for the first time next year. Children then at junior school will be university graduates.

Should any of these vote Labour? I believe their parents might advise them not to.

DS Boyes, Rodley

WW1 service truly inspiring

I WOULD like to thank the Rev Tony Bundock and his team for the lovely service at Leeds Minster on July 26, commemorating all those who died in the cause of our freedom during the First World War.

It was a truly inspiring service, especially the poem read with such feeling by the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe.

I also wish to thank everyone who attended the Montagne de Bligny service after the church service. It was a sad moment personally as a great uncle died in this battle and I did not expect to hear his name read out on the Roll of Honour. For the first time I was able to lay flowers from my garden.

I am now more determined to visit his grave at Chambrecy, France. If anyone is arranging to visit the cemetery I would love to join them. I can be contacted at

For those who do not know of the battle at the Montagne de Bligny, the 8th Battalion of the Leeds Rifles were among others to gain land from the German forces and were awarded the French Croix de Guerre. Some 33 men of the 8th Battalion died in the battle and are laid at the British Cemetery at Chambrecy.

Margaret Anderson, Bramley

Save £20m with a yellow line

SO, THE plans for a cycle super highway have moved up a gear (YEP, July 18), but it’s the cost of it at £21m that is all wrong.

All it needs is a simple yellow line just half a metre wide.

I have cycled for 64 years now and in a cycle lane I feel safer, although cars parked in them are a hindrance.

If the motorists swing their door open it forces me out nearly a metre. Why not try the yellow line system first, saving £20m, and see if it works?

AE Hague, 

YEP Letters: July 20