YEP Letters: December 12

Have your say

The key question about timetables for bus users is: “Will I be able to get there and back, with enough time at the destination to complete the purpose of my journey?”

County councillors are considering a proposed cut of 40 per cent in subsidy for bus services in seven district council areas of North Yorkshire (Craven, Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire, Ryedale, Scarborough and Selby). If implemented, these cuts would have far-reaching consequences for individual passengers, employers and the local economy, including tourist businesses,

I understand that the next date in the decision-making process is a meeting of the relevant Scrutiny Committee, to be held at County Hall, Northallerton, at 10am on Thursday December 19. The agenda for this meeting, names of committee members and other information is on the website: Members of the public may attend to hear the discussion; it is also worth checking whether there will be an opportunity to address the meeting or ask questions if the chairman is notified of details in advance.

During the recent public consultation, it was suggested to NYCC that cuts should be postponed until next autumn to:

(a) cover the busy tourist season, including the Yorkshire Grand Depart event in July;

(b) take account of responses received during the public consultation (ended November 25);

(c) allow for an informed review and assessment of the consequences of the proposed cuts;

(d) offer an opportunity to revise and improve the proposed timetables.

I hope that councillors will bear in mind the following comment from a report published by the Campaign for Better Transport: “All policies that aim to improve local economies, tackle unemployment and ensure equal access to educational opportunities depend on buses.” (From The Crisis of Bus Provision in England, December 2012).

Ruth Annison, by email

White Rose plan will boost city

The announcement that a major expansion to the White Rose Centre is expected to be given the green light by Leeds City Council is fantastic news for South Leeds.

It will bring much-needed employment to the area with the building of a 12 screen cinema (the nearest multi-screen cinema is five miles away at the Showcase at Batley) four new restaurants and extension to Primark and Debenhams.

To say this will affect Leeds city centre shopping is ridiculous,

The White Rose Centre, Morley town centre, all have high volumes of shoppers which has not affected Leeds city centre that is already renowned for its restaurant and club life.

If Leeds City Council gives the go ahead, it will bring even more visitors to Leeds, rather than less to the city centre.

M Meeson, Leeds

Cash for EU could help UK

BURIED in George Osborne’s Autumn Statement is the small matter of the British contribution to the EU. It will rise this year alone by £2.2bn to £8.7bn and over five years will rise from £30bn to £40bn.

Can you imagine what one could do with that money within the confines of our own country? Think how many nurses, doctors, policemen, schools, teachers etc, the money would pay for. The list goes on and on.

What are we getting out of it?

Come on UKIP, give them a shock.

Brian Fleming, Rothbury Gardens, Adel

Grans’ recipe for mincemeat

I have just made mincemeat from my grandmother’s recipe. Nothing unusual there, you may think, but my grandparents were both born in the 1860s, and I believe this recipe must therefore date from somewhere in the late 1800s. It is quite a simple recipe, and the proportion of apples to dried fruit is much higher than any modern recipe I have come across so far.

I believe this is because in the 1880s, let’s say, although you could obviously get sultanas and currants, apples would be much easier to acquire – and cheaper – and thus would make more of the recipe. Before she was married, my mother used to help grandma to make it. Later, when I was old enough to be trusted with the potato-peeler, I helped mum to peel the apples to make ours. Then, I was allowed to turn the handle on grandma’s mincer, (clamped to the table top with a large screw, and a bowl underneath to catch the liquid escaping from the apples) with strict instructions that I could drop the quarters of apple in the top, if I kept my fingers out of the way of the mincing screw inside!

Unfortunately the mincer and both knives have long since gone, and I have one of those new-fangled peelers. Then I have to grate the peeled apples, afterwards using a large kitchen knife to slice across the shredded strands. It seems to work, though it’s not as much fun as using grandma’s mincer!

In case any readers are interested, the recipe is as follows:- 2 ½ lbs apples, minced (this is the nett weight, you may need to buy 3-4 lbs apples); 1 lb sultanas; ½ lb currants; 1 ¼ lbs sugar; 8 ozs suet; teaspoon lemon essence; teaspoon mixed spice. I hope someone does try it; it would be nice to think the recipe might continue to be made for another 100 years.

Denise Marsden, Cookridge

Revolution in welfare needed

Why did the Labour government think it was OK for millions to be paid to loaf around at home with no questions asked? Or that it was OK for the unemployed to pocket more money doing nothing than they would in work.

The cynical answer is that Labour knew most would gratefully vote for them at election time. So George Osborne’s welfare revolution is long overdue. Funny when the government stop giving people free money for sitting on their backsides, they quickly work out that it’s time to get a job.

Malcolm Nicholson, Barwick-in-Elmet

Spectacular...and locked out

As one of the many people who couldn’t work out that we needed to be parked and sat down for the official start time to enjoy Classical Spectacular (Your views, December 7), I felt a response to the reprimand was required. People who were there in good time, but had seats in block 3 found the doors locked and had to wait for up to half an hour and beyond to be re-seated.

Don Langley, Brandon Terrace, Leeds 17

Carol concert was superb

We attended the Salvation Army Carol Concert at the Town Hall on Sunday. It was a superb event, with something for everyone, and certainly started up a wonderful Christmas for us.

The traditional carols played by the Army Brass Band were excellent as were the adult choir songs; the teenagers and children who took part did so with energy and creativity, it was such fun.

The African Youth Choir was exciting and energetic with lots of seemingly original African songs. As for Alex Ward’s solos, it’s the first time we’ve heard her sing. The piano accompaniment was touching and sensitive and a perfect balance for her beautiful, clear voice.

I hope I haven’t left anyone out: the presentation, organisation and backroom work was efficient and we felt welcome from the beginning. This was the first time we attended the concert, but we will make it a priority in future years. Thank you.

Andy and Norma Hobbs, by email

YEP Letters: March 20