YEP Letters: December 12

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Increasing number of homeless

N Bywater, Morley

Reading the article about the additional 23 emergency beds being provided by Leeds City Council due to our below zero temperatures.

How many people are homeless? Are there more due to closures and due to Government cuts? Homeless numbers in Manchester almost doubled, from 43 in 2014 to 70 in 2015 (latest figures). I wonder if this trend has been taken into account, when people are being provided with emergency services.

St George’s Crypt at Great George Street has 27 beds, and 27 beds at other buildings – 54 in total.

The Crypt gives much needed help to people with drug and alcohol problems, that is not a good environment when vulnerable young adults also need shelter, and bed-space is tight.

Britain will miss out on EU-Japan trade deal

James Bovington, by email

Given the media frenzy of self-congratulation that Theresa May has managed to avoid her demise by agreeing a deal to move onto more substantive talks, many people will have missed that just as Britain is discussing how best to walk away from its partners, the EU and Japan have agreed terms for a free trade deal set to create the world’s biggest open economic area of 800 million people. A quick internet search will confirm this.

Although subject to ratification by member states and the EU Parliament the deal - the largest of its kind to be negotiated by the EU - is expected to liberalise almost all trade with Japan, which is still the world’s third largest economy and is being seen as a challenge to the protectionism championed by Mr Trump.

Anyone can do as I did and read online a joint statement by European Commission President Juncker and Japanese Prime Minister Abe stating that the deal had ‘strategic importance’ beyond its economic value and ‘sending a clear signal to the world that the EU and Japan are committed to keeping the world economy working on the basis of free, open and fair markets with clear and transparent rules fighting the temptation of protectionism.’

Shame that we might not benefit from it, isn’t it, given that there is virtually no chance that we will get a better deal negotiating on our own?

The assumption that good ship Britannia will be rescued by the current incumbent of the White House is also misplaced. The US Congress decides trade deals not the President whose power is limited to veto deals he doesn’t like but not push through those that he alone favours.

Rather than leading us to the Promised Land of economic milk and honey the arrogant assumptions, indeed downright lies, of leading Brexiteers could well give us the economic equivalent of 40 years wandering in the wilderness.

Even the best of deals will not be the equivalent of what we have now, so a high price to pay because a combination of Tory toffs and leftie militants sold us a pig in a poke. I accept that unlike me most people in this country don’t want the political project many EU members advocate, but neither did we vote on 23rd June to leave the Single Market and the Customs Union.

We should be offered a second referendum to allow these issues to be fully debated with associate EU membership being a valid option.

Support UK to get best deal

D Angood,by email

Michael Meadowcroft , in his letter (YEP, December 9), has himself given the reason why people voted to leave the EU.

Yes, we all realised just what decisions were being made for us and over which we had no control. That was the main reason for the vote to leave. If the EU can exclude the UK from the City of Culture process just what else can they exclude us from?

The people who voted Brexit realised this and are those who want the UK to make its own decisions about its future, not be regulated by a failing club.

The remainers are still looking through rose-tinted spectacles and seeing strong foundations, so much so they are blind to what is happening to the ground support throughout the EU.

They might be more advised to start looking as to how they can help and support the UK achieve the best Brexit deal instead of continually decrying everything British.

Search for information

Vincent Tessier, by email

I’m a French historian and archeologist publishing in France for some years about Second World War British veterans.

I’m trying to find anything about a Dunkirk veterans who died in Leeds in 1970. A press cutting I have mentions the place “Thorn Cross Gipton Estate Leeds” where George Gair’s wife lived.

He belonged to 1st Battalion the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders and was wounded and taken prisoner near Dunkirk in June 1940. He was sent to Germany and then evacuated to England in 1942-43 by Red Cross because of wounds. Army number 2926874. I would be pleased to find out anything about George Gair and contact members of his family.

NHS needs more funding

Phil McShane, by email

I would like to support the letter from Christina Hyde about recent changes in NHS organisation.

‘STPs’ and ‘accountable care systems’ have been dreamt up by bureaucrats without any decision by Parliament, or any accountability to the public.

The NHS does not need more reorganisation, but more funding. Britain spends a lower proportion of its total income on health than other wealthy countries.

The consequences can be seen in, for example, recent reports showing that mothers and babies die because of lack of appropriate care.

Privilege to attend festive celebrations

Coun Robert Finnigan,Mayor of Morley

As the Mayor of Morley I have had the privilege of attending many local schools to join them for their Christmas nativity celebrations.

What struck me was the excellent performances from children of all ages and the time and effort our hard working teachers put into our communities to make our schools the success they are. My very best wishes go to all – pupils and staff – that make our schools the excellent places they are.

Put children before banks

John Appleyard, Liversedge

In the autumn budget the Government continued to hand tax giveaways to the biggest banks, while funding for children’s services – like foster care, adoption and Sure Start – continue to be cut.These tax giveaways will see about £5bn handed back to banks. Meanwhile, cuts to children’s services have pushed the system into what charities have called 
a “crisis” and have warned it is nearing a “catastrophe.”

It’s time the needs of the most vulnerable children were put above the financial interests of the largest banks.

Supercar event to help The Children’s Trust

Shane Richie, actor and supporter of The Children’s Trust.

I am writing to tell you about The Supercar Event which is held in aid of a charity close to my heart and a day out I really enjoyed.

On Saturday July 7 and Sunday July 8 Rockingham Circuit will host The Supercar Event for the first time – a spectacular two day festival offering attractions for the whole family including once-in-a-lifetime supercar passenger rides. I know how much fun this is and all funds raised are donated to The Children’s Trust to help children with brain injury and neurodisablility across the UK.

Every year more than 40,000 children in the UK acquire a brain injury through an accident or illness and the effects are often life changing.

The Children’s Trust supports children and their families affected by brain injury and neurodisability through specialist rehabilitation, education and community services with the aim of helping them to live the best life possible.

Whether you dream of a ride in a Lamborghini Aventador S, Ferrari 488, Pagani Huayra, an Ariel Nomad, OR if you’re looking for a fantastic family day out, join us at The Supercar Event and help us to raise £100,000 for children with brain injury and neurodisability. Tickets start from £8. Save 20 per cent if you book before December 31, visit

We are also recruiting 100 volunteers to help us with the event, lunch is included and you will receive a free family ticket so that friends and relatives can come and enjoy the event too. Call 01737 364324 to register your interest.

I hope you will be joining us there.

Greatest gift this Christmas

Rupert Young, actor

With Christmas just around the corner, I’m feeling particularly excited as this will be my first Christmas as a dad.

As a new dad, I’m utterly thankful that my daughter is healthy and happy. It makes me appreciate just how unbearable it must be to see your child become seriously ill – particularly at Christmas.

I support a wonderful charity called Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity which provides support to families with a seriously ill child.

Rainbow Trust matches these families with a dedicated Family Support Worker who helps them emotionally and practically to make life a little easier and enjoy precious time together as a family.

If you have a moment, please visit to find out how this incredible charity will be supporting over 2,000 families this Christmas.

There is also a wonderful Christmas animation to enjoy and an opportunity to donate, if you are able to spare some change.

Thank you for your support.