So Leeds City Council leader Keith Wakefield warns of “brutal” cuts and says they’re going to be very “painful” (YEP, December 9).
For who? Well for a start ordinary council workers, who will be reduced by another 475, old people, whose homes are being shut, and community groups in the suburbs from Bramley to Belle Isle and Gipton to Seacroft where the fire sale of community centres is already under way.
There are cuts to library opening times and obviously many services, such as refuse collection and support for young people and those in need, will be further cut.
It’s not all bad though as we’ve got lots of new retail which we helped to subsidise, like the estimated £10m to £15m the council spent on a car park for John Lewis (we’re not actually allowed to know the amount as that’s “confidential”) or the £2m on the council website that does not work or the £1.7m in additional funding to Leeds & Partners who were supposed to bring jobs and investment into Leeds but have done nothing.
And we spent £80m on the arena when we were originally told the council’s spend would be a third of that.
And our PFI payments? Well, they’re due to hit £80m per year in two years rising to over £90m per year, the third highest in the UK.
Leeds sits on £14bn in assets and with some creative ideas and an intelligent business plan we could mitigate the very worst of these cuts.
Reducing 99 councillors to 66 would be a start.
Although it wouldn’t save much money it would show solidarity with the workers you’re getting rid of. Share the pain Keith.
Supporting the very old, the very young, making sure pavements are clear of snow and keeping community centres and old people’s homes open is not sexy like the arena, or Trinity, or Victoria Gate.
However, the 99 councillors need to start prioritising people.
The people that pay their salaries.
John Mulder, Hyde Park
The naming and shaming is right
FURTHER to the article about West Yorkshire police putting the details of all those convicted for drink driving offences online (YEP, December 1), let me give this my full support.
It is clear that drinking and driving clearly impairs one’s ability to drive and is one of the reasons for many accidents.
In my job I’ve visited a number of fatal road collisions and they bring home the severity of these collisions caused by drink.
If only those convicted of this offence could walk through this carnage and see first-hand the effects it has on the family and friends of those killed, I hope it would change their habits. Unfortunately, it is often the case that those who drink and cause the accidents are not the ones to die, so the little humiliation they would feel in having their details spread online is not too much to bear.
Having seen this destruction, I believe that any conviction for drink driving should carry a mandatory life ban from driving and those who cause a death should also have a minimum of three years in prison.
Continuing this police notion I also think it would be great if members of the public could submit their own photographs of people committing criminal offences in a similar place on the site.
What I have in mind are images of people driving while on the phone, illegal parking on
pavements, cyclists on pavements or at night with no lights and going through red lights etc.
This might help the police identify these offenders and get them to take action against these crimes that cause a great deal of upset to many members of the public but are ones that the police continually ignore.
Ivan Kovacks, Leeds
Great goods at low prices
In reply to Vernon Ward (Your Views, December 5), the reason the likes of Aldi and Lidl are doing so well is that they sell quality goods at reasonable prices. I now save £20 per week on my shopping bill, purchasing all the items I need, including the weekend chicken or beef. Although the items are not the usual branded goods the quality is excellent, the staff very helpful and efficient.
Due to Aldi and Lidl the bigger stores are being forced to reduce their prices to compete, and it just goes to prove that if they can reduce them now they could have been cheaper before Aldi and Lidl became as popular as they are now. It’s not a case of Germany v England, it’s a result of overpricing by the big four supermarkets. And no, Vernon, you are not just a sad old patriotic soldier, you are a very brave and well respected soldier who we all have much love, admiration and gratitude for.
Merry Christmas to you and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
Malcolm Meeson, Leeds
Thanks to our card sellers
Through your letters page I would like to say a huge thank you to a group of local people.
These people, without fail, offer their precious time to sell charity Christmas cards in the run up to Christmas.
They return year after year to help set up the shop, serve customers, keep the shop clean and tidy, restock our cards and man the till.
They arrive for their regular slot on time, in all weathers, with a smile on their faces.
All this is for the benefit of others.
Without them we couldn’t operate, which would have a detrimental effect on the charities we support.
So thank you to all our volunteers in Headingley – we couldn’t do it without you.
If anyone would like to come and keep our volunteers busy, you’ll find them in the Cards for Good Causes shops in Headingley Library.
Pop along between 10am and 4pm Monday to Saturday and buy your Christmas cards – there are lots of designs to choose from.
If anyone would like to become a volunteer with us, please ask at the shop – you will be made to feel very welcome.
Cards for Good Causes
Posters are a simply wrong
The ‘missing councillors’ posters put up in South Leeds (YEP, November 25) are a disgrace. When I was chief forestry officer for Leeds, Councillor Elizabeth Nash was always very responsive to problems and decisions.
She never failed to meet and discuss the situations on site with a real and practical concern that the issues were resolved to the benefit of the public.
This extended to other meetings up to the present relating to Chevin Forest Park.
Her willingness to be involved and help in these matters was part of her very vital role as a councillor and this poster is shameful and untrue.
K Rawling, Otley
House more than a memory
It was interesting to see the picture of the house in Memory Lane (YEP, November 27) as it once belonged to my great grandparents.
My maternal grandmother was Jane Robson, who married Alfred Jackson.
They owned a very popular fish and chip shop at No 2 Town Street, near the Cenotaph in Guiseley.
The tale handed down was that Stones, the well-known ice cream shop in Ilkley, offered to exchange their ice cream recipe for the recipe of grandma’s fish batter.
But my grandparents were not “having any of that!”
In fact the recipe is still a closely guarded family secret.
Barbara Bird, Leeds