Leeds Citizens Advice Bureau is set to change the way it delivers services to Leeds residents if plans are given the go ahead by the city council this week.
If you live in the north and west of the city you will see your community bureau close and in its place be asked to travel to the city centre, Chapeltown or somewhere in the south of Leeds at a location yet to be confirmed.
In place of free, impartial and independent face to face advice delivered by trained advisors, there will be an increase in CAB’s telephone service which provides information, signposting and where necessary an appointment at one of the above locations.
Fine if you live close to the city centre, Chapeltown or south Leeds but not if you live elsewhere and do not have the funds or wherewithal to make the journey. If you have complex problems with for example, debt, benefits or housing – and often in our experience a combination of all three – then it is very likely that you will need to discuss these issues with a trained and experienced adviser in person and not over the phone.
Volunteers at Otley CAB (part of Leeds CAB) are campaigning to keep this bureau open. We serve not only Otley but the surrounding areas in north and west Leeds.
We are a well-used, well-run bureau and we believe that CAB’s face to face advice services should be available to all residents of Leeds.
If you are concerned about losing your local advice services write to your Leeds city councillor and protest these changes.
Teresa Loudon, Citizens Advice Bureau
‘Wisdom’ of our political leaders
MR FARAGE was one hour late for a meeting because the M4 was chock a block with traffic. “This,” he said, “is what you get with mass immigration.”
Mr Osborne says: “Deeper cuts to welfare are a price worth paying.”
Baroness Jenkin of Kensington says: “The increase in food banks is because poor people don’t know how to cook.”
Tory Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbots says: “The reason so many pubs are closing is because of the ever increasing numbers of teetotal Muslims in Britain.” These gems of wisdom are from the mouths of people who, at some time or other, have been chosen by British voters as their political representative.
Heaven help us!
Let us not forget that it is only the restraints placed on the Tories by the Liberals in the coalition that save us from the hard-hearted and nasty true face of Conservatism.
R Pearson, Burmantofts
Remember Tory sell-off
IN RESPONSE to Malcolm Nicholson blaming Gordon Brown and the Labour Party for the misery his own beloved Conservatives have created while in power – get off your high horse!
If you are not satisfied with what the Labour Party achieved while in power – fuel allowance, free TV licences, minimum wage, pension credits, free bus passes etc – I suggest you think back to the Thatcher era which saw all our essential services sold off on the cheap.
If you are not satisfied, give back what you are enjoying from the Labour Party.
I cannot wait for the general election when we will be all in it together again, not just for the few, but for the many.
P Bagnall, Shadwell
Panel beaten by reality
Has anybody noticed yet that the predictions of the Leeds United fans panel in any Friday’s YEP are the opposite of the actual result the following day?
John Davey, Crossgates
Start charging for GP visits
THERE is only one way to save our National Health Service and that is to start making changes to it.
For example, GPs are being let down by 20 people a day not turning up – so charge £10 per visit for these, and £5 a visit if you do turn up.
There should be charges for time in hospital. If people are on benefits deduct from them, as they are not spending on food when in hospital.
Refuse entry to A&E to people with drink problems, telling them to see their own doctor.
Also the Government must close loopholes that allow businesses to dodge paying their tax, which is not fair to those having it taken from their wages.
Until they do this we shall never be able to pay our way.
A Hague, Harehills
Fantastic care at St James’s
I would just like to mention the doctors and nursing staff of the Liver Transplant Team at St James’s Hospital.
What a fantastic and professional team they are.
From my very first visit in August this year to the present, nothing is too much trouble.
This is what makes the NHS the envy of the world.
The NHS at St James’s should stand for Nursing, Honesty and Support, because this is what you get – the best in everything they do.
I take my hat off to them.
Garry Chadderton, Oldham
Run specially adapted buses
For some readers regular correspondent Nick Keer seems to be a bit too controversial.
But it is an undoubted fact that others, through these same pages, enjoy the interchange of views.
Indeed, I have heard it said that discussion is a basis of learning and also the death of boredom. While I reserve my own opinion on his general topics, I do believe his ideas on wheelchairs and prams on buses (Your Views, December 12) have some merit; and that with things as they exist today, there are bound to be problems.
But surely it is not beyond the remit of the authorities to have specially adapted buses, running at fixed times to and from the city, thus taking the load off regular services with fewer complaints?
Ernest Lundy, Beeston
Help carers get a break
As we relax with our families to enjoy the festive season, I’d like to ask your readers to spare a thought for those who are unable to take such simple pleasures for granted this Christmas.
Many carers devote themselves 24/7 to caring for a loved one, without any chance of a break. Can you imagine yourself in the same situation?
I work for Vitalise, a wonderful charity that provides much-needed respite breaks for disabled people and carers.
Our breaks are an absolute lifeline, enabling our guests to regain their strength and restore their ability to cope.
But here’s the problem: according to our research, seven out of 10 carers will not get a break from caring this Christmas – in fact, half of carers have never had a break at Christmas.
For people struggling with the daily demands of giving and receiving care, Christmas must be a particularly lonely and stressful time of year.
Would your readers like to help Vitalise change all that? There are so many ways you can help, from something as simple as making a donation, to taking part in a fundraising event or sparing some time to volunteer at one of our centres. If you would like to support Vitalise, please call 0303 303 0147 or visit www.vitalise.org.uk.
Colin Brook, Vitalise