YEP Letters: December 14

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Jobs and services second to cycleway

Christopher H Tyne, Leeds 15

With reference to your report in the YEP December 9 and especially the comments from Councillor Judith Blake about local authority finances, it would be more than helpful to know by what logic the council started the Leeds-Bradford cycle pathway, costing millions of pounds, when there was a shortage of funds needed for essential public services and staff wages.

Why are those services and jobs taking second place to what is nothing more than a massive ego trip which will benefit very few people and be utilised by even fewer. Added to this, there is the huge inconvenience that this whole project has caused drivers and bus passengers from Seacroft to Stanningley, and even further afield, for a year and shows no sign of decreasing. The traffic hold-ups on the A64 around Killingbeck are absolutely disgraceful and no doubt it is the same on the west side of Leeds.

Once upon a time local authorities regarded fulfilling their responsibilities towards the public, both practically and financially, to be the sole reason for their existence. Nowadays they are jam packed full with what a friend of mine calls ‘mini-people in uniform who enjoy dictating to the public and making names for themselves.’

And before the excuse is raised about government cuts - yes, no doubt one could be equally critical of Cameron and his mates too, but that is not the present issue. Local authority incompetence, and worse, is.

It would be helpful if Councillor Blake and her chums could address this issue.

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Appalled at train service

N Willoughby, Halifax

What great news that the Northern Rail network is to be given a boost at last. For the past four weeks I have been travelling daily from Halifax to Leeds General Hospital.

I take my hat off to the poor commuters who travel this route every working day. I have been appalled at what the travelling public has to endure on this line. The trains are dirty and grossly, dangerously overcrowded.

Why can’t extra carriages be put on at peak times? So far in this period, I have had three trains broken down during the journey, several cancelled trains, and don’t even get me started on those inefficient ticket barriers at Leeds station. I have managed to get through these on about four occasions without have to call the attendant to release the gates.

However, I must say that there could be a few extra seats if it were not for the selfish and insensitive actions of some travellers. The mentality of ‘I have paid for a ticket, so why shouldn’t I have a seat?’ prevails; but I question that your baggage should then pay for a seat.

There are the city types who take over the whole four-seat tables, (when there is one) with their laptops, papers, plugged in phones and other media, sandwiches and coffee cups. Then there are the backpackers who take up two seats, those who sit on the outside seat with their coat/bags on the inner seat and studiously ignore the fact that others are standing, the shopper who constantly rearranges their goods so that no-one can sit on the empty seat beside them. The worst culprits seem to be the younger generation who sit down and immediately open up their phones thus losing touch with the reality around them. When asked to allow someone to sit in the empty seat beside them, they look aggrieved and grudgingly give way, (if you’re lucky).

Maybe I am the wrong generation but I was brought up to give up my seat to anyone elderly, infirm, pregnant or young mums with babies. No chance on this line, it’s dog eat dog all the way.

So intrepid travellers I salute you and wish you the happiest of Christmases and I sincerely hope that your woes will ease in the New Year. Somehow I am sceptical, but hopefully in the next few days my journeys with you will be over. It can’t come soon enough!

Charity begins at home

B Leonard, by email

Once again winter is here and as we see on the news, very bad floods up north but no bother, call me Dave, our man from No 10, will come to the rescue.

We will hear the same old, same old, we will do all we can to help and yes, we will learn lessons from this, so nowt new there then.

If this had happened abroad it would have been a state of emergency and we would be sending money by the bucket full. It’s about time call me Dave from No 10 cut back on all the £16 billion sent abroad to countries that don’t need it.

It’s about time we saw some charity begins at home instead of telling us all that we can’t have because of all we spend abroad.

Thanks for your support

Julia Clark, Director of Fundraising, Yorkshire Cancer Research

As 2015 draws to a close, Yorkshire Cancer Research would like to thank everyone who has supported the charity during the past 12 months.

For more than 90 years, people in Yorkshire have raised money to fund cancer research projects here in our county. We have made a huge contribution to the global fight against cancer, from funding the early development of breast and ovarian cancer drug Tamoxifen to enabling huge advances in surgery for bowel cancer. As a region we can be very proud of the achievements we have made over the past nine decades. More people than ever now survive cancer and we have made significant progress in our understanding of the disease. However, as we look towards the next 10 years we believe that there has never been a more important time to make a major investment in improving cancer outcomes in Yorkshire.

Around 30,000 people in Yorkshire are told they have cancer every year and this is set to double by 2030 so there will be twice as many people needing access to the best treatments and long-term care. In addition, people in Yorkshire are more likely to get cancer and more likely to die from it than almost anywhere else in England. We could save 2,000 lives every year if Yorkshire matched the best performing local authority in England. So we’ve committed to spending £100m over the next 10 years to achieve this by 2025 but we need everyone’s help. There are many ways to get involved and join Team Yorkshire in 2016 and you can find out more by visiting www.ycr.org.uk/teamyorkshire. We appreciate every minute you spend raising funds for our vital work and I ask that you continue to support us with your time and your donations.

YEP Letters: December 16